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Audio Capacitors. Myth or Reality?

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This paper gives an account of work carried out to assess the effects of metallised film polypropylene crossover capacitors on key sonic attributes of reproduced sound. The capacitors under investigation were found to be mechanically resonant within the audio frequency band, and results obtained from subjective listening tests have shown this to have a measurable effect on audio delivery. The listening test methodology employed in this study evolved from initial ABX type tests with set program material to the final A/B tests where trained test subjects used program material that they were familiar with. The main findings were that capacitors used in crossover circuitry can exhibit mechanical resonance, and that maximizing the listener’s control over the listening situation and minimizing stress to the listener were necessary to obtain meaningful subjective test results.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society