How to improve tube amplifier tone by changing one part

Tube or solid-state, this section goes to eleven!
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andy-h-h
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Post by andy-h-h »

soulsonic wrote:
08 May 2020, 06:37
andy-h-h wrote:the only way to resolve this in a way that is indisputable.
I'm sure it would still be disputed :lol:

Hey, I just found one in my stash! Time to play. :horsey:

Good point!!!! What was I thinking.

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Post by marshmellow »

But unless you roll your own, you're not really taking your toooan seriously though, aren't you? :slap:

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Post by FiveseveN »

So has anyone looked at the test samples? Google Drive doesn't count the number of downloads but my bet would be on none.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by marshmellow »

Nah, I'm not of the corksniffing type. I've listened to plenty of tests and comparisons in the past. Whenever I did make out differences, they were just that: minute differences, without any clearly preferred choice. I honestly don't care if a certain cap type will give me smoother highs, I have a tone pot in the guitar and a treble pot in the amp to control just that. That's a lot easier than changing the caps every time I want something adjusted :lol:. Also my OCD while building stuff would never allow to change a single capacitor in an amp, while all other caps are of a different type. How can you look at that, you gotta be kidding. :scratch:

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Post by andy-h-h »

FiveseveN wrote:
09 May 2020, 17:39
So has anyone looked at the test samples? Google Drive doesn't count the number of downloads but my bet would be on none.
I haven't downloaded the files, but I did listen a few times and could not hear the difference (nice headphones running loud with youtube on HD). Thanks for going to the effort to do this FiveseveN

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Post by bajaman »

completely missing the point :roll: - but hey, that is exactly what i expected, so more fool me for actually suggesting it - just by chance has anyone tried using a philips or mullard mustard capacitor OR a TAD mustard capacitor ?
AND - try using a CLEAN tone not distortion ;-)
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Post by FiveseveN »

bajaman wrote:
10 May 2020, 00:32
try using a CLEAN tone not distortion ;-)
Thanks for making it clear that you drew your conclusions before looking at the files.
Missing the point how? Will I have to take my most vintage cap apart to show you old French caps have the same innards as old Dutch or British ones? Like I said,
FiveseveN wrote:
05 May 2020, 13:37
I can't go through all the trouble to be told I didn't use the 'proper' mojo.
But I think it should be obvious by now that no amount of proof will change your mind.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by gght »

Why does it irritate some people when a guy who has contributed so much to this community offers a suggestion? It’s not like Baja stands to make a profit from his suggestion or some such thing.

I’d agree that cap changes probably only make insignificant changes to tone, but I do remember building one of Craig Anderson’s projects years ago. I think it was the tube sound fuzz/red llama?? At some point I saw a suggestion to change one cap to a silver mica of the same value. I hunted down that elusive cap and made the change, only to find the tone really was altered enough to tell the difference. I switched it back because I didn’t care for the change. That’s all you need to do if you take his suggestion. You can try his simple mod if you want, then switch back if you don’t like it. Or ignore his suggestion!! 👀👀👀

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Post by plush »

gght wrote:
11 May 2020, 05:10
Why does it irritate some people when a guy who has contributed so much to this community offers a suggestion?

History has taught us that in no case we should accept suggestions based on authority, but on clear and documented evidences.

p.s. nothing personal, Baja is a cool dude.

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Post by FiveseveN »

gght wrote:
11 May 2020, 05:10
It’s not like Baja stands to make a profit
But SoZo sure does, and all the other snake oil salesmen. Do you have any idea how many "audio grade" cap makers there are?
But ultimately—and I know Americans may have a hard time grasping this—it's not about money, it's about truth. "Some people" would rather be right than popular.

And I'm not saying the dielectric or construction of a cap never makes a difference, just that this particular "suggestion" is bullshit. It can be dismissed through theory alone but nah, we have to jUsT TrY It oUt, MaN. So I did and could not measure a difference between my vintage full-foil vs modern metallized polyester film caps. Surely someone with an actual mustard cap can take 5 minutes to prove me wrong and absolve this cherished contributor.
Baja is a cool dude.
I agree.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by lolbou »

plush wrote:
11 May 2020, 08:09
History has taught us that in no case we should accept suggestions based on authority, but on clear and documented evidences.
That's dismissing experience a bit too fast, and even evolution to some extent... And these two has taught us a lot more. How would you explain great apes eating medicinal plants when they're ill? How did we find out that willow's leaves where good at treating fever and pain?

And i don't think the human race has ever learnt anything from History anyway :slap: ...
- Are you a mod or a rocker?
- Uh, no, I'm a mocker.

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Post by FiveseveN »

lolbou wrote:
11 May 2020, 08:53
How would you explain
Sounds a lot like survivorship bias: all the apes who opted for thoughts and prayers instead of medicinal plants didn't get to pass on their methodology. Yet here we are, where magical thinking is very much still a part of our brains.
Bloodletting and vaginal fumigation were also "treatments" for fever and pain, yet you're not asking how we discovered those methods.
And i don't think the human race has ever learnt anything from History anyway
I agree with that as well :D But let's try not to derail this thread more than it needs to be.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by plush »

lolbou wrote:
11 May 2020, 08:53
How would you explain great apes eating medicinal plants when they're ill? How did we find out that willow's leaves where good at treating fever and pain?
Ye old demagogy at it's finest - tying unrelated things to prove one's point does not work anymore.

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Post by lolbou »

plush wrote:
11 May 2020, 09:38
Ye old demagogy at it's finest - tying unrelated things to prove one's point does not work anymore.
Don't get me wrong, these are just experience examples...

And these are not made upon beliefs (which bloodletting and vaginal fumigations were indeed). When Hoffmann invented the aspirin from the molecule contained in willow's leaves, he did it the opposite way they downsized the government : he kept the part that works! :wink: Yet he had no idea why it would help with fever and pain...

I lack the time know to give it a try, but i will. I have a 18nF/400V mustard, and a 18nF/400V poly. I'll try and go double blind (my wife's a scientist as well)...
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Post by FiveseveN »

You only need to blind the test if what you're assessing is the (difference in) subjective experience. If swapping the cap has a measurable impact surely it doesn't matter whether the test signal came from a signal gen, cell phone or a person playing a guitar. It's just that the latter is practically impossible to control so a consistent signal is more useful.
Unless you're one of those people who believe ears can detect things scopes, spectrum analyzers etc. cannot :mrgreen: . I'm not saying you are, but they exist.
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Post by bajaman »

I'm not saying you are, but they exist.
yes - agree - we do exist.
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Post by FiveseveN »

Are you saying you can hear a difference in my samples?
Let's be clear about what I mean by "detect": I'm not talking about eyeballing two traces on a scope to determine if they're vaguely similar. I mean when we properly employ the analytical tools afforded by current technology to determine whether two signals are "the same", i.e. something like the null test I alluded to earlier.
The Golden-Eared will claim that they can hear things technology inherently cannot describe and will deny factual evidence if it disagrees with their perception, because they believe The Ear to be the ultimate judge. The same people who are oblivious to just how limited and quirky auditory perception has been shown to be. Is this who you identify with?
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by lolbou »

FiveseveN wrote:
11 May 2020, 11:03
You only need to blind the test if what you're assessing is the (difference in) subjective experience.
It is indeed. It's being well-said, therfore the blinding wipes it off...
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- Uh, no, I'm a mocker.

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Post by soulsonic »

I just listened to the video. I could hear differences between the different caps, though they were subtle. The first Vishay cap was the least good to my ears. I'll see about downloading the reaper files, because I'm always curious.
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Post by bajaman »

I just listened to the video. I could hear differences between the different caps, though they were subtle.
Well - i could not hear any difference at all because they all sounded distorted :lol:
Perhaps if he had compared any cheap Chinese 630v polyester capacitor with the SPECIFIC Tube Amp Doctor mustard capacitor (link provided) I was referring to in my original post (AND compared clean NOT distorted tones) it may not have been as subtle :hmmm:
As I pointed out also - do not try and explain why - just try the CORRECT capacitor that I suggested before testing every other capacitor and attempting to ridicule me and my hearing. When you have done this and listened, please feel free to comment.
OK ?
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