Another recapping question (speakers). Because I’m bored.

JoeThePop

Known member
I re-foamed my Titans a couple of years ago, and at the time I had considered replacing the caps in the crossover. Not because I thought they looked bad, but simply because I was in there and I do understand that electrolytic capacitors have a finite lifespan. However, I didn’t do it because the crossovers have a glob of epoxy like material holding them together and to the speaker cabinet wall. Not having a heat gun, I decided it was too much work at the time.

So do I recap because I’m bored and curious if it would result in better sound? I get the “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality, but being 24 years old, it’s possible that the sound of my speakers has degraded gradually over the years. On the other hand, more than age has to be considered when assessing the lifespan of a component. Rated lifespan for electronic components is typically given based on a case of fairly high stress factors. Use cases with lower temperature, voltage, or current can mean an extended lifespan beyond the rating. But then again, the cost and effort of replacing 4 caps would not be much. And I’m bored.

I have already pretty much convinced myself to go ahead and do it, but thought it would be nice to start a conversation about it anyway… because I’m bored.

P.S. Part of our preparing our house for sale is an agreement with my wife not to bring anything new into the house. So until we move, any additional audio equipment is on hold. Hence my boredom and looking for something to do.

1619095131410.png

1619095184096.png
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
A couple of thoughts.

1) The Titans are that old? I remember when they were the exciting new things.
2) Paradigm definitely built them to a price point, so I'd give a try at some new, higher quality, caps. Be a fun upgrade to try.
 
Those look like film caps which have a longer lifespan than electrolytic caps. Chances are they're probably still within spec. That said, it wouldn't take much time, effort, or money to replace them with some better quality film caps and see if your ears can notice the difference. If nothing else, you'll know they're ready to go for another 24+ years. And you're bored, so why not? :) If those are v1 Titans, I believe those are two 1.33uf caps in parallel.
 
If you do the crossovers (which is a HUGE element of a speakers sound), I also recommend upgrading the internal wiring. With those small speakers it shouldn't break the bank to get some quality cable in there. There are other ways to improve the sound as well but all those small things could begin to outgrow a budget.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
A couple of thoughts.

1) The Titans are that old? I remember when they were the exciting new things.
2) Paradigm definitely built them to a price point, so I'd give a try at some new, higher quality, caps. Be a fun upgrade to try.

1) Yes the Titans are that old. I bought them as part of a 5.1 system in 1997.
2) They were definitely built to a price point. I believe they were around $200; about $330 today according to an inflation calculator. The midwoofer does have a cast aluminum basket that you don't typically see today at that price point. And real wood veneer, even if it is black ash. The port tube though is actually cardboard. It almost looks like they cut off a piece from an empty role of paper towel.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Those look like film caps which have a longer lifespan than electrolytic caps. Chances are they're probably still within spec. That said, it wouldn't take much time, effort, or money to replace them with some better quality film caps and see if your ears can notice the difference. If nothing else, you'll know they're ready to go for another 24+ years. And you're bored, so why not? :) If those are v1 Titans, I believe those are two 1.33uf caps in parallel.
Thanks for the info.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
If you do the crossovers (which is a HUGE element of a speakers sound), I also recommend upgrading the internal wiring. With those small speakers it shouldn't break the bank to get some quality cable in there. There are other ways to improve the sound as well but all those small things could begin to outgrow a budget.
Yeah not looking to spend too much. I will be looking to purchase speakers after we move.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Okay. Where does one buy a simple 1.33uf film capacitor?

I'm not looking to spend a lot of money on inexpensive 24-year-old speakers. I sure hope that with some of the prices I'm seeing for capacitors, they do more than capacitate. Like maybe cook me dinner?

Maybe I'll run down to RadioShack or Olson Electronics after work.
 
Maybe I'll run down to RadioShack or Olson Electronics after work.
Olson Electronics? I haven't heard of that one. I'm within walking distance of Abel Electronics--they have a few things I can use in a pinch (they have the basics) but I wouldn't find film caps or anything beyond the single brand they carry. The only other place I can think of is Electronic Connection in Westland.

I can't even think of a Radio Shack near me anymore.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Olson Electronics? I haven't heard of that one. I'm within walking distance of Abel Electronics--they have a few things I can use in a pinch (they have the basics) but I wouldn't find film caps or anything beyond the single brand they carry. The only other place I can think of is Electronic Connection in Westland.

I can't even think of a Radio Shack near me anymore.

Rudy you need to get out more :tongue:. Olson Electronics went out of business a long time ago, and Radio Shack filed for bankruptcy twice, and I'm not aware of any actual stores that are still open. Somebody did buy the name and they operate online now.
 

Andyman

Junior Member
Parts Express is your friend. Shipping could be more than the caps. BTW, you can always bundle a 1.0uf with a 0.33uf, which are common values.
Let me dig around here as I'm certain I can come up with 4 caps here to fit the bill; I've got more caps here than I'll ever use and probably can hook you up with some PIO caps to play with too.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Parts Express is your friend. Shipping could be more than the caps. BTW, you can always bundle a 1.0uf with a 0.33uf, which are common values.
Let me dig around here as I'm certain I can come up with 4 caps here to fit the bill; I've got more caps here than I'll ever use and probably can hook you up with some PIO caps to play with too.

Thanks! Yeah, Parts Express was my first stop and finding no 1.33uf caps I moved onto multiples.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
Olson Electronics? I haven't heard of that one.

Ha, spent many an hour in Olson Electronics in Westland Mi. They were on Wayne road just North of Cherry Hill.

I know I purchased my first pair of Koss headphones there and several pairs of raw speakers.

In high school, I built a pair of speakers that used 12" three ways from Olson's. I believe they were actually manufactured by Utah Speakers. My Uncle sent me plans for a 5 sided bass-reflex cabinet that was 'Computer Engineered' at South Dakota Tech specifically for this Olson speaker. Wish I had some pictures as they kicked around for many years, both in friends' home systems and in our portable van-based music used in Hines park, MIS, and the other auto races where we thought we were 'Kings of the tunes.'

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 6.59.47 PM.png

 
Rudy you need to get out more :tongue:. Olson Electronics went out of business a long time ago, and Radio Shack filed for bankruptcy twice, and I'm not aware of any actual stores that are still open. Somebody did buy the name and they operate online now.
Yeah, I figured all the Radio Shacks were gone after the last round of liquidations--I gave up visiting (and caring) when they switched to being a cell phone store. I remember Allied Electronics (we had one of their catalogs) but not Olson. Also, I remember the two Heathkit stores--one was on Old 8 Mile in Harper Woods (my grandfather and uncles bought many kits there), and the other I believe was on the west end of 8 Mile Rd.

There used to be an electronics shop in East Detroit (they used to sell those kits that decoded OnTV, channel 20), somewhere on 9 Mile or 10 Mile--heck, I'm thinking there might have been two, as I recall one that was next to, or turned into, a bookstore. And there was a company out on John R. near 14 Mile that we had bought a couple of antennas on, and they were a stocking ECG distributor at the time. (That goes back to the early 80s.) The one a few blocks from me used to be Bell Electronics, but changed to Abel maybe within the past 15 or so years.

I like shopping online for parts since I can get just about anything, but miss being able to walk into a store and "wing it" if I needed to solve a problem.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I remember Allied Electronics
They were also owned by the Tandy Corporation between 1970 and 1981.

Radio Shack was quietly sold again very late in 2020, and apparently there are still some Radio Shack stores that are some sort of independent dealers (not corporately owned). There is one only about 10 miles north of me in the next county, but I've never been to it.
 
They were also owned by the Tandy Corporation between 1970 and 1981.

Radio Shack was quietly sold again very late in 2020, and apparently there are still some Radio Shack stores that are some sort of independent dealers (not corporately owned). There is one only about 10 miles north of me in the next county, but I've never been to it.
One thing that amused me as a kid was driving through Canada and seeing the Radio Shack licensees, like seeing one in a television repair shop for instance. I don't even know if we had an Allied near us, but we did have the catalog, and that was the source of a few wishlist items that never came to fruition. That catalog is hosted here--look for the 1969 catalog:


It's interesting to flip through it now, since I know all the brands. There used to be a site with all the years of Allied catalogs (by the same guy who hosts the Radio Shack catalogs) but it's offline now.

The closest store with hi-fi electronics was E.J. Korvette. But my dad wouldn't take me into the hi-fi room much if that "devil rock & roll" was playing. 🤣
 
Top