How much has the SQ of gear improved in the last quarter century?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ilusndweller, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. Ampexed

    Ampexed "Ampexed Tape Is Professional Tape"

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    If you bother to look at my profile you would see that I am a practicing designer of audio amplifiers, not retired.

    I cite polystryene because they are the most stable capacitors with the lowest dissipation factor. They are frequently used in analog filters and RIAA equalization because of their stability. I use paper in oil in gear I design for myself, but they cannot be used in commercial designs which are sold worldwide, at least by a major company.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  2. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    FL
    And, no different life in hours than older caps. They last much longer than 5000 hours. Not junk science. Now, here in junk older capacitors. Read it: Capacitor plague - Wikipedia
     
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  3. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    FL
    More non-sense. Paper in oil last over 100 years. They are just too expensive. Of course, like yourself I also use paper in oil in my DIY designs. So, stop accusing me of being an idiot.
     
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  4. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Yes they do, and no old tube amps aren't better. Check out Convergent Audio Technology.
     
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  5. Ampexed

    Ampexed "Ampexed Tape Is Professional Tape"

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    I never accused you of being an idiot - you said that. I don't dispute the stability of paper in oil, but aside from Mundorf, where can you purchase the real-deal military spec ones? I bought out most of the local stocks around my area decades ago. And are you saying that polystryene capacitors aren't used where stability is critical? Have you looked in lab gear?
     
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  6. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    FL
    I been an electronics consultant to Hewlett Packard among other nationally known large organizations. Stop calling me an idiot, wrong or whatever. Projects were in the 10s of millions each just on the electronics. My projects exceed a billion dollars, the electronics were just part of it. Your sales?

    Be careful with me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  7. Frank Bisby

    Frank Bisby Forum Resident

    Right, but not every tube amp is a CAT. I’d put my MC30’s up against many (if not most) new tube amps and I’m confident I’d stay with what I have.

    I believe in science and that technology improves as we move forward. I do think tubes are a notable exception to that rule, they were better at making them 50 years ago. Same thing with pressing records.
     
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  8. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    Fellas.
    Please keep it civil.

    some of us might want to learn from your experience.

    so tell us more about capacitor quality and sound?

    why do both of you consider paper and oil the best?
    And who sells those besides Mundorf?

    thanks!
     
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  9. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Look at my above post.

    I’d like to know more
     
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  10. Ampexed

    Ampexed "Ampexed Tape Is Professional Tape"

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Paper in oil capacitors are very colored due to their high dissipation factor. This coloration is not a bad thing, but a euphoric one. Unfortunately the 'oil' part is (or used to be - I don't know what type of oil Mundorf uses) toxic to the environment. New old stocks of military grade paper in oil caps, which are really the only type worth using, were getting rare 20 years ago. I've not even bothered looking for them anymore. I bought handfulls at a local surplus store in the last century.
     
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  11. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Doesn't sound like your making a fair comparison by the same company. :doh:
     
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  12. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    FL
    Here, read:
    According to this not very colored: The "Sound" of Capacitors (jacmusic.com)

    A quote from the text here: 'The paper in oil is extremely clean, best of the group. That may be one reason why some people prefer the sound of the paper capacitors. Although not recorded, oil capacitors in general appear to be very linear. These caps also appear to have relatively stable characteristics with change in frequency'.
     
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  13. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    So what does the high dissipation do electrically and how that translates into sound?


    Thanks!
     
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  14. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I suspect there are about the same amount of audiophiles (probably slightly more, gut feeling is all, though I have read reviews of some of the newer stuff like their 8300 CDQ preamp/CD player) that would prefer the sound of the newer China-built gear by Audiolab. Having said that, I have zero experience with that brand.

    I would think the more modern/made in China gear has: 1) a more neutral sound 2) a faster sound (which gets back to 1), and 3) a cleaner sound (both specs wise and subjectively to some with great hearing).

    Whether that leads to a preferred sound is another story, but for most(meaning slightly more than half), I think it will.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
  15. Ampexed

    Ampexed "Ampexed Tape Is Professional Tape"

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    The technical explanation is here, but what this has to do with audio is basically their distortion profile under signal.

    This article doesn't have anything to do with audio but is interesting regarding the hazards of PCB oils use in these old capacitors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  16. Frank Bisby

    Frank Bisby Forum Resident

    I’ve replaced a lot of capacitors and the diffence in how they sound isn’t a much different than talking about speaker cables or inner connects. The key difference being you can measure the values of a capacitor. Many times the improvement one attributes to materials has more to do with replacing a cap that’s out of spec. Said differently, caps of the same value sound much more alike than different. An electrical engineer will tell you, “electrons can’t tell a difference”. An audiophile will tell you his stereo sounds better at night because fewer people are using the power grid.

    it’s a conversation that will get argumentative, subjective and lacking any real provable science.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  17. rexp

    rexp Forum Resident

    Not true, The 27.5 was poor compared to the earlier stuff.
     
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  18. T69

    T69 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    But old gear looks better.
     
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  19. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wales
    I find the reverse to be true. The modern equivalent seems to be a notch below in terms of SQ
     
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  20. Roger P

    Roger P Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Price vs performance has skyrocketed!
    That is why I jumped back into the rabbit hole.
    The SQ you can get now a days for not a ton of money is truly amazing.
    I am not a class d fanboy but, a well designed hypex based amp is very hard to beat for the cost.
    And paired with the right gear can be even that much better.
     
  21. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Never owned the ( circa 1992 ) ML27.5 so I'll take your word for it. Which earlier ML units do you feel sounded better ?
     
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  22. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    FL
    A few paper in oil capacitors. Blue Jacket, Mundorf, Sprague Vitamim Q,
    One more item. Unless used in the power supply, capacitors see little heat. The caps are rated life wise at maximum operating temperature of 80C or 105C (176F or 221F). Many caps see only a few milliamps current thru the cap itself and operates at ambient temperature. It is high temps that shorten the life of capacitors. And for power supply caps, Epcos has high capacitance capacitors that handle 35 amps ripple current at 22,000uF @ 63 volts plus rated 10000 hours. They would produce little heat and would survive many times that 10,000 hour life..
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
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  23. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    I remember a speaker designer, probably in STEREOPHILE, stating that speakers should always get better and cheaper due to advances in material science that are constantly made, unrelated to the relatively small market of hi-fi.
     
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  24. BrentB

    BrentB Urban Angler

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    None whatsoever. Sales and Marketing have sure improved however.
     
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  25. BrentB

    BrentB Urban Angler

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    I have to respectfully, yet 101 percent disagree with these statements.
     
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