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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 14th Sep 2008, 10:50 pm   #1
fuzziebro
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Default S.R.C. capacitors

Hey guys,

I'm a newbie to this forum, hailing from NZ.

I recently purchased some NOS .01 uf 400v caps which look identical to the hallowed Phillips/Mullard "mustard" caps except they are blue. the only 'branding' on them is "S.R.C." I was wondering if anyone may have any more info on them as to who made them and when etc...

Thanks in advance...
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 12:08 am   #2
Kat Manton
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Hi,

They're likely to be some sort of 'polymer film' type of capacitor and thus likely to be fine. Old waxed paper capacitors deteriorate whether used or not and NOS ones shouldn't be used. Polymer film is much more stable and doesn't degrade, especially when the capacitor is encapsulated in some sort of epoxy resin (whether blue, mustard or any other colour is irrelevant.)

By the way, we tend to be a bit "no-nonsense" around here when it comes to "capacitors sounding different", we're mostly engineers who know better.

If they're the right value for your purpose and have a voltage rating sufficiently high enough for the application, use them.

Who made them, when they were made and what colour they are makes absolutely no difference to "what they sound like". The inductance of a capacitor is insignificant at audio frequencies and is only of concern when designing RF circuits.

If anyone can produce any measurements or a properly-conducted double-blind test which proves otherwise, I'm interested. Nobody has. Funny, that...
  • If you can't hear it but you can measure it, it exists.
  • If you can hear it but can't measure it, you're measuring the wrong thing.

I've designed and worked on professional audio equipment costing thousands (and in a couple of cases, millions) of pounds. Components used were selected for decent bulk price and easy availability, not by listening to them. This is common throughout the electronics industry, with the notable exception of manufacturers of over-priced "exotic" domestic equipment.

I hope that clears a few things up. As an engineer, I'm getting a little tired of the pseudoscientific rubbish and spurious unfounded claims I see on the 'net.

Cheers, Kat
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 12:26 am   #3
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Kat is sounding a bit grumpy tonight, but she's basically correct. These caps are likely to be late 60s plastic film types and will be fine. The Philips 'mustard' caps fetch ridiculous prices and your caps will be very similar, though without the snob value.

I don't recognize the brand but they're probably American. US parts are more common in Australasia than here in Europe.

Paul
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 2:08 pm   #4
Tim
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

If these are a sort of medium blue, the same shape and size as the Mustard caps and a sort of rough texture, (write-onable with a pencil) they will be fine. I have also seen them in orange/ brick red , mostly in 60's and 70's TV's, and all the ones I have come across have been fine.

Do be careful with them though, they seem to lose their markings very easily.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 3:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

I've got a few green caps that look identical to Philips C296 series (the proper name for mustard caps).
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 7:02 pm   #6
Skywave
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Arrow Re: S.R.C. capacitors

It would appear that "S.R.C." caps. are made by Solen, Inc. . . .

http://www.solen.ca/pub/cms_nf_catal...lvbj0zJmZ0PW5m

Al. / Skywave
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Old 16th Sep 2008, 11:03 pm   #7
fuzziebro
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Thumbs down Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Thanks People for your info and yes Tim they have that 'rough' texture.

I think there is a lot of over hype about NOS components, however I have built hundreds of audio circuits ranging from simple transistor buffers to complete valve amps (both "hifi" and guitar) some audio coupling caps I have to say sound distasteful to my ears and some sound great.

In general film oil caps do indeed sound transparent and polyester caps warmer and less defined.

I wouldn't go so far as to say certain AC power cords "sound" better or "worse" though , and in fact I would wager money if you snuck into the listening room of certain "what HIFI" reveiwers and changed their power chords and perhaps swapped a spike for a rubber foot on a amplifier here or there, odds are on they'd not hear it.


of course putting a piece of paper under one leg of the listening chair might just do it...
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Old 17th Sep 2008, 8:43 am   #8
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Yes, I've yet to meet some expert who can honestly say they can tell the difference between 1% and 2% audio distortion.

There are a lot of rip offs in the audio and visual trade. Like the £100 gold plated DVI leads that work no better than the £5 ones, but do at least make an interesting conversation in the pub on a Sunday morning.
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Old 17th Sep 2008, 9:51 am   #9
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Hi Folks,

According to the article by Dave Hazell in the Spring 2008 Bulletin, S.R.C. were Stability Radio Components Ltd of London who made capacitors in the 50's & 60's. I've got a few of the types in question which I bought in the early 80's from Bi-Pak (remember them?) in a mixed bag, so they were certainly pretty old by then. They do tend to loose their markings and also pick up dirt due to their matt finish. (A nice grubby example is pictured below!) I don't think there is any connection between this company and Solen though, who AFAIK started in the 80's. They seem to be good quality though and test very well.

Regards,
Andy
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Old 17th Sep 2008, 10:03 am   #10
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

I was interested to see the reference to "stability" components. I worked for Lucas Semiconductors and there was a manufacturing site in Antrim, Northern Ireland called Lucas Stability. They made diodes and capacitors, as I remember, right up until the late 1990's. Does anyone know if this is the same Stability and if they're still doing the business?
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Old 18th Sep 2008, 12:39 am   #11
fuzziebro
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by radioman View Post
Hi Folks,

According to the article by Dave Hazell in the Spring 2008 Bulletin, S.R.C. were Stability Radio Components Ltd of London who made capacitors in the 50's & 60's. I've got a few of the types in question which I bought in the early 80's from Bi-Pak (remember them?) in a mixed bag, so they were certainly pretty old by then. They do tend to loose their markings and also pick up dirt due to their matt finish. (A nice grubby example is pictured below!) I don't think there is any connection between this company and Solen though, who AFAIK started in the 80's. They seem to be good quality though and test very well.

Regards,
Andy
Thats awesome! yep those are the ones.
Cheers,

Paul.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 11:35 am   #12
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Hello,

Yes, Stability Radio Components (SRC) was a UK manufacturer. It was taklen over by Centralab of the USA (Centralab was itself a subsidiary of Globe Union Inc.), in 1970.

By 1970, there was a plant in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Centralab Ltd - jointly owned by Joseph Lucas (UK) and Globe Union Inc. of USA.

Globe Union was taken over by Johnson Controls Inc, in 1978. Johnson only wanted Globe’s battery business, so it looks like they sold Centralab on – probably to North American Philips – the US arm of the Dutch company. In the 1990’s Philips sold off its passives businesses and one of these was named BC Components (Beyschlag – Centralab). BC was later taken over by Vishay (of the US).

Regards,

Dazzlevision
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 5:24 pm   #13
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Default Re: S.R.C. capacitors

Lucas Stability's plant in Antrim was sold by Lucas-Varity to HTA Electronics around 1999, by this time they were no longer making capacitors, concentrating on semiconductor die and diode manufacture, HTA were in turn bought out by a Florida based, american company called Contex. The site was finally closed in 2001 as uneconomical.
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