Electrolytic caps: tolerance/accuracy and brands?

Bucksears

Member
I know it's kinda hit & miss across the board with capacitor tolerances, but I don't think I've ever seen 5% tolerant electrolytics; typically it's 10% to 20%.
Are some brands/types more accurate/less tolerant than others?

And am I the only one that meter-measures caps for lowest tolerance/highest accuracy?
Feels a little OCD at times, but tolerances out of whack all over the place add up. I'm less obsessive about it with overdrives/distortions than filters/modulations.
 

swyse

Active member
I don't have any scientific or technical information, but something I did notice, I had a cost prioritized circuit where I was using cheap generic capacitors and I decided to use nichicon capacitors in it and it didn't work right and I was lost, but then I realized the silk screen on my PCB had one capacitor backwards and it had worked with the cheap ones but the nichicon actually minded the polarity issue. Once I flipped it, I was back in business.
 

Betty Wont

Well-known member
Electrons can't read brand labels. In general, the more expensive capacitors that are touting "high performance" are doing so in relation to extreme operating conditions, not improved audio. The pedals we build tend to be very low in those performance requirements and conditions. The tolerances of electrolytic are industry standard for a reason. Buy new fresh stock of whatever value and rating you need, dont sweat it and have fun. Save money where you can.
 

Deperduci

Well-known member
I'm with Betty, look at the important numbers, voltage, lead spacing, diameter height(yes it matters if you ever do a stacked pcb box...)I personally get panasonics not because of some claims but because a)still actually fairly cheap, like 2-5 pence more per than the bargain bin and B) they've been around electronics long enough to write the specs if they wanted AND certainly c) they have sizes that fit most pedal applications in values we use, like 100uf , 220uf and 470uf in a 16v+ the 1st 2 the same size as a 4.7~22uf and the latter about the size most other companies make the 220.
I don't have any scientific or technical information, but something I did notice, I had a cost prioritized circuit where I was using cheap generic capacitors and I decided to use nichicon capacitors in it and it didn't work right and I was lost, but then I realized the silk screen on my PCB had one capacitor backwards and it had worked with the cheap ones but the nichicon actually minded the polarity issue. Once I flipped it, I was back in business.
might have been a bi-polar cap(cheapo)with some extra paint. I know I got a handful of 2.2s and 1' uf's that have the longer lead but no polarity..
.
 
Top