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Old 12-16-2018, 10:06 PM   #1
redrooster
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Default Elcap Capacitors

I have some speakers that I'm recapping the crossovers on but someone told me that the Elcap brand of capacitors on the crossover board are electrolytic and not the polymer type? Some have red sealed ends are they electros as well? There is a yellow 470nf that must be a polymer type? Anyone here clued up on these caps? P.S. They are N.P. Non Polar.
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Last edited by redrooster; 12-16-2018 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

Yes, those are all nonpolar electros. They look like the "wax sealed" electros found in late 60's US stereo equipment.
These came in radial lead, polar or nonpolar, with a solid plastic body and two leads wax-sealed on the bottom.
(Soon to be?) leaky or open, take your pick.

Cheap enough to replace them all with modern NPEs- and the crossover will work better if they were off.
If leaky, the ones in the hipass ckt will send more low-freq energy to your tweeters than normal; not good!

The .47u is a polyester or polypro film cap, not to be confused with polymer caps used on recent motherboards, etc. Generally reliable except for certain "ROE" ones.

7436 on those resistors seems like a date code of the 36th week of 1974. I'd consider this accurate, judging by the appearance of the components, PCB, and especially those wax-sealed electros.
You do not need overpriced, audiophoolery caps costing upwards of $30 a piece.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaboom View Post
Yes, those are all nonpolar electros. They look like the "wax sealed" electros found in late 60's US stereo equipment.
These came in radial lead, polar or nonpolar, with a solid plastic body and two leads wax-sealed on the bottom.
(Soon to be?) leaky or open, take your pick.

Cheap enough to replace them all with modern NPEs- and the crossover will work better if they were off.
If leaky, the ones in the hipass ckt will send more low-freq energy to your tweeters than normal; not good!

The .47u is a polyester or polypro film cap, not to be confused with polymer caps used on recent motherboards, etc. Generally reliable except for certain "ROE" ones.

7436 on those resistors seems like a date code of the 36th week of 1974. I'd consider this accurate, judging by the appearance of the components, PCB, and especially those wax-sealed electros.
You do not need overpriced, audiophoolery caps costing upwards of $30 a piece.
What if I replace these electros with the polypropylene type ones? I did it on some other speakers fairly recently and they sound great! I got them from Queensland but lost the address, they were like half price. Where am I going to find 16uf, N.P. 42uf N.P. and 60uf capacitors all 50v?

Last edited by redrooster; 12-16-2018 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

The sound quality from film capacitors is significantly better than electrolytics. The only drawback is the increased cost, especially for larger values where the cost of even "cheap" film capacitors becomes prohibitive in most cases.

A typical compromise is to use film capacitors for the tweeter and midrange crossovers where it is most critical and use electrolytics for woofers, subwoofers and impedance correcting zobel networks where large values are required, though if you want to spend the money or are building/repairing really high-end speakers that are worth it, splurge for the film caps throughout.

Suitable capacitors are available from any well stocked electronics supplier, though you can more easily find some of the strange values you might want to use (without resorting to using two caps in parallel, etc.) from places that specialize in speaker crossover capacitors.

The selection available from Parts Express is a reasonable sample cross-section. though certainly not an exhaustive list of the many, many options that are available:

https://www.parts-express.com/cat/cr...capacitors/292
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

I could get polypropylene caps at half price from a guy who sells them from home if I could only find the name and address of the place to get them in Queensland Australia? These speakers are high-end Quasar QS1 Studio Loudspeakers manufactured in England in 1973 by Eagle International. The Supertweeter, Tweeter and midrange drivers sound great but the woofer is lacking and the sound on some records is very thin. The big 60uf Elcap doesn't have NP on it or have red ends like the rest of the caps but it has plus signs on both ends like the rest, do you think its NP or BP?
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrooster View Post
The big 60uf Elcap doesn't have NP on it or have red ends like the rest of the caps but it has plus signs on both ends like the rest, do you think its NP or BP?
+ signs on both ends means it is bipolar.

In a speaker crossover application like this, the capacitors MUST be bipolars.

There are several ways of marking an electrolytic as being bipolar, the + signs at each end being the most common. In a pinch or for testing, you can also use two regular electrolytics of twice the uF value each in series, connected - to - (well, or technically + to +, it doesn't actually matter which) to create a bipolar electrolytic. That is all the non-polarized versions are... Two electrolytics back-to-back.

Quote:
I could get polypropylene caps at half price from a guy who sells them from home if I could only find the name and address of the place to get them in Queensland Australia?
No idea who that would be in .au, but those kind of guys are the best sources. It's like the JustRadios guy here in Canada for high voltage film caps for old radios, etc. here in Canada.

Quote:
These speakers are high-end Quasar QS1 Studio Loudspeakers manufactured in England in 1973 by Eagle International. The Supertweeter, Tweeter and midrange drivers sound great but the woofer is lacking and the sound on some records is very thin.
If the mids and highs sound good now, I expect you would be blown away by the clarity if you substituted even low-cost film capacitors of any type in there instead. With good drivers the crossover makes a HUGE difference when fed from a good quality, accurate, low noise source. This is far from Audiophoolery.

Spending $100 on a capacitor made from silver plated unobtanium when a $0.75 cent Digikey special would do pretty much exactly the same thing is audiophoolery. Using a plastic film capacitor of virtually any material and physical construction instead of an old electrolytic of any quality level is not audiophoolery or a waste of money.

The difference will be readily apparent in a listening test.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

I know exactly what you mean because I fairly recently replaced the electrolytic crossovers in a pair of JVC SK-71 speakers with polypropylene caps and I really was amazed. I just found 8 x 3.3uf polypropylene caps on eBay for $13.70 from China so I might give those a go and see what happens? Or should I buy elsewhere?
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

Those 3.3uf polypropylene capacitors I ordered from China are the "Udio" brand just in case anyone has come across them before?
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

Link so we can see them?
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

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Originally Posted by kaboom View Post
Link so we can see them?
I don't know how to make a link to them? Have a look on eBay, they are the same as any other polypropylene cap but yellow.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/123001380845 Hows that!
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

They look good!

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Old 01-01-2019, 10:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Elcap Capacitors

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They look good!

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