Best Capacitors For Audio Purposes

Is it true that certain types or brands of capacitors are optimized for use in audio components, as opposed to general use on computer boards etc.?

If anyone has manufacturer recommendations that would be great!

Greetings,

Choosing devices that are appropriate for the specific task at hand is the primary concern.

“Capacitor” is only a slightly less specific term than “food.” If one wants to make cookies, it’s important to use flour when flour is called for; substituting onions will not produce the desired result. Both flour and onions are food, but they are best used for different purposes within that context.

The audio field is one in which a great deal of marketing and snake oil salesmanship prevails yet to this day. Some people pay exorbitant amounts of money for things that deliver no material benefit, which are objectively inferior to technology available decades ago, or which are simply standard fare to which extra hype and a big price tag have been attached.

Electronic components purchased from ECIA authorized distributors (such as Digi-Key) can be expected to perform to published technical specifications; by contract it comes direct from the manufacturer, and only from the manufacturer. Unauthorized sources such as fleabay or the jungle store are often channels through which counterfeit or sub-par products are sold, and such sources are not recommended if product quality is a concern.

Serious product comes with datasheets filled with lots of numbers, tables, and graphs describing the actual physical behavior of the devices in question in cold, no-BS technical terms to which warranties apply. Product sold with only a cursory technical characterization and flowery language about how the gold-plated unobtanium casing with unicorn flatus dielectric delivers brilliant highs and powerful lows, endowing x-ray vision and transcendental enlightenment… Well, that’s probably overpriced at best from my perspective.

Bottom line: buying appropriate parts from a reputable source can be expected to yield performance that is objectively commensurate with the quality of the design in which they’re used. Take the “objective” out of that, and all bets are off…

This post serves as an index into others discussing capacitor techonology at some depth, if you’re interested.

Thanks Rick—super helpful info and link. I’m a music producer who knows the basics about electronics, but all this home time during the pandemic has got me poised to re-cap failing audio components and computers on my own. Very good to know it’s about fulfilling specs using any reputable brand rather than seeking out specific brands for the job!