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the best capacitor type for audio application

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Newbie level 5
Jul 13, 2009
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Hi all,

can anybody tell me which type of capacitors is better for audio applications?
I have a circuit which amplifies audio differential signals with opa1632 and I have used tantalum caps for ac coupling between various stages but a guy told me electrolyte caps are better and if you use tantalum caps it would ruin them:-( their performance would be degrade if they see a 100mV difference on their two pins?!!!:-( I've got mixed up and don't know what does he mean?
I think tantalum caps are better in frequency and temperature from electrolyte caps isn't it?
can anybody reference me with good links?

thanks in advance,


The true point is, that tantalum caps are rather sensitive to polarity reversal and can handle only a few percent of rated voltage. If you observe this limitations, they are surely better than aluminium electrolytic types in terms of loss factor and ESR. Generally, both shouldn't be used in frequency determining circuits respectively with a more than neglectable AC voltage drop in high performance audio circuits, because they cause considerable signal distortions. Film capacitors are a must in these applications.

Another article about capacitors is this

I haven't read anyone recommending to use a tantalum capacitor in the audio signal path, on the contrary I have read many articles and posts in audio forums that blame this type of having high harmonic distortion.
At the end of the day anyone can try and decide what type to use so if you are happy with tantalum then keep using them.


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