[sdiy] VCF caps in modern synths

ColinMuirDorward colindorward at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 08:56:30 CET 2021

Hi folks,

What kind of caps are the grownups using for the VCFs in their synths,
especially their polysynths?

I've checked out pictures of voice boards in the DM12, minilogue, and
prologue, and I don't see anything sticking out past the SMDs except for
some electrolytics, so I assume NP0/C0G is the norm? I don't have much
modern stuff to peer inside. In most of the vintage stuff that I own and
have opened, I see polystyrenes. I'd love to know what some of the current,
more upscale manufactures are using in their polys.

In my own filters, I've noticed polypropylenes often make a sweeter sound
than C0Gs, but not always. For eg in high distortion types like my MS20
version, I can use just about anything and it sounds more or less the same.
But if I wanted to clone something like an SH-101 vcf, I'd choose
polystyrenes and work from there. The behri version must have C0G though,
yeah? They aren't stuffing TH parts, right?

In the world of hifi/mastering gear, attractive looking WIMA packages,
non-polar electrolytics, and the like, seem to add credibility to a
product. I don't see this trend perpetuate in the commercial-synth market,
despite VCF-fetishes. At least I haven't noticed any big manufacturers
bragging about their caps. Can the pros design for C0G and make it sound
just as good as would something fancier? Or would my DM12 sound a wee bit
better if I could somehow bodge in 48 polypropylenes?


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