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Thread: Sozo Caps???

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Sozo Caps???

    Is there any difference between the standard mustard and the "vintage" mustards caps (.022uf)? Tonewise.

    I'm looking to get these in a Epiphone Valve Junior to make it into a mini "marshall". Which I'm going to mod tomorrow .......... for the most part.

    I was about to order some but I decided to ask before I buy them. I think I might go with the vintage ones, though. I'll shoot sozo the same question. I just figured I'd get a quicker response here. Thanks.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Bump....

    No one knows? would anyone like me to post the answer from sozo when I get it.

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    Electron Herder glassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    There is a lot of hype about capacitors out there. Personally, I can't tell the difference between the Sozo caps and Orange Drops...maybe it's my ears.

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    GuitarArtologist kmcguitars's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    I've used the Sozo STD. in some of my builds. Very nice caps. To my ears not a dramatic improvement over Mallory 150's, But worth the extra $$ IMO. From what I understand the vintage ones are hand wound in a attemp to recreate the Mojo of the original mustards. (And they might have a tighter tolerance % Then the regular Soso's)? If your going for a Boo-Teak Mojo Build? And cash isn't a issue? Then try the vintage. I'm not one of those rabbit ears guy's who can tell what kinda caps you have in your amp. Sozo has made a name for themselves among builders & tweaker's. The guy's at the Metro amp forum rave about them. You may want to redirect your ?? on there Board.

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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by kmcguitars View Post
    I've used the Sozo STD. in some of my builds. Very nice caps. To my ears not a dramatic improvement over Mallory 150's, But worth the extra $$ IMO. From what I understand the vintage ones are hand wound in a attemp to recreate the Mojo of the original mustards. (And they might have a tighter tolerance % Then the regular Soso's)? If your going for a Boo-Teak Mojo Build? And cash isn't a issue? Then try the vintage. I'm not one of those rabbit ears guy's who can tell what kinda caps you have in your amp. Sozo has made a name for themselves among builders & tweaker's. The guy's at the Metro amp forum rave about them. You may want to redirect your ?? on there Board.
    I think this pretty much sums it all up. Different ESR, and they are "hand made". The only way YOU will ever know is if you buy a set and listen. I did a fairly unbiased/scientific review on the Ceriatone forum regarding Mallory 150 and the "regular" Sozo's. Don't even get into the Blue Sozo's with me.
    For coupling caps I think you will be very well served by Vishay/Orange Drop, Mallory 150, Sozo non-vintage, and the Dijon caps that Mojo sells. Any of those four are all any amp builder could possibly need. Of course, now we have the "white" Mallory's that are bound to create a whole new "Vintage" or "Yellow Mallory's sound better than white Mallory's" revolution. And this is exactly what happened with the Marshall "mustard" caps. Sylvania's (I think it was Phillips actually) production eventually changed (like all products do) and that created a crazy market for the older is better, vintage is better, phenomenon that always seems to happen in the amp world. People are always looking for a magic wand solution to great tone, and many are willing to pay for it.
    OK, I'll turn it off now.
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    Last edited by zzmoore; 10-11-2009 at 10:55 PM.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker jimijames's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    There are a bunch of things you can do to improve the stock valve junior, unfortunately the ones I've done have been to move it more towards fender territory, so I can't help out all that much. Although, IMO it is worth it to change the Output Transformer no matter how you're modding it. Unfortunately, you'll end up paying $45-50 for a Hammond 125DSE (the one bitmo bruce recommends).

    If price isn't an object, Mercury magnetics makes a replacement kit for both the power and output transformer that allows you to install another power amp tube - the how-to guide I read said that with the kit it sounded a lot closer to a bogner (actually it said that when the modder was playing it over the phone his friend mistook it for a bogner, so I don't know how accurate that is...), dunno if that's marshall-esque or not as I haven't played one but it's worth a look.

    I've got the bitmo tweaky kit and for $18 it's a good option for upgrading your vj to sound closer to a marshall.

    It's great that you can mod the valve junior to sound like either a marshall, vox, or fender-style amp.

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    Tone Member RLee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Personally, I think most of the hype around different types of caps making a significant difference in tone is just that -- hype. There are certainly higher quality caps and specialty caps made for special applications, like high current pulse and high frequency applications, but for the audio range, there's just not a lot of difference... audio frequencies just don't put much of a demand on caps, especially coupling and tone stack caps. I'm sure there are those who disagree, and this is just my opinion, everyone's got their own.
    I'm not saying don't use hi quality caps -- I use good polypropylene films, like orange 715's or 716's. I just don't buy into the big tonal differences attributed to various types.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Well, I don't have much tube amp experience but I can only hear a minor difference between PIO caps vs. orange drop. That minor difference doesn't justify the cost of 2 PIO caps for a 2 pup guitar.

    I'm only getting 2 .022ufs, so it's gonna total up to about $11 with shipping with the standards and it's about $17 with the vintage mustards. The difference is about $3 each cap. I don't think I'll be upgrading the OT (output transformer). These things are loud as is and upgrading to a 125dse would just make it louder. It's version 3 amp so I think they upgraded the OT and tons of other stuff, IIRC.

    Well, I was right about getting a answer here first. I'm still waiting on sozo to reply.

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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    I have Zoso's in my Metro Amp, but I don't know how the amp sounds with some other caps? The awesome tone of the amp is probably the result of many small things working together rather than just the brand of some of the caps. The use of particular componants in replica circuits is not really a question of "better", but trying to be as "authentic" as possible, and to sound more "authentic" when all the factors come together. Using Mustard replicas in a different circuit will probably not turn it into a Marshall.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    ^^^



    I get what you're saying. I'm looking at sozo so I get the epi as close to a "authentic" marshall sound. I've heard the end result of the mods and I have to say that it's pretty **** close.

    Out of all the resistors and caps I'm replacing, these are the only ones I'm giving thought to. The rest were ordered from Mouser.
    Last edited by Got_tone?; 10-12-2009 at 06:46 AM.

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    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    I throw those old Phillips mustard caps away. There's nothing special about them. I am amazed that people are now falling over in the rush to buy old ones and make new ones. There are some great caps out there to use. That's why the Phillips ones lurk in the bottom of my garbage bin.
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Im sure there is some difference althought Im sure people make it be a much BIGGER difference than it really is.

    However, not to sound like a jerk, Im not sure it'll make much difference in a Valve Jr...

    Plus no amount of mojo caps, or any parts for that matter will make a Valve Jr sound like a Marshall...
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire View Post
    Im sure there is some difference althought Im sure people make it be a much BIGGER difference than it really is.

    However, not to sound like a jerk, Im not sure it'll make much difference in a Valve Jr...

    Plus no amount of mojo caps, or any parts for that matter will make a Valve Jr sound like a Marshall...
    Not at all man. I've heard a clip of someone a/b the modded epi with a marshall (can't remember the model but it was a 50w). Same cab and guitar. The tone was there, IMO.
    Last edited by Got_tone?; 10-12-2009 at 08:47 AM.

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    Red&Goldologist joelap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    When I had my AC30 Custom classic I happened to have the exact value Sozo mustards lying around so while I had the amp open, I figured I would change the stock black film caps to the sozo's.

    Perhaps I dont have magic ears, but the difference was minimal. Soemtimes people want to hear something when they spend the money on it. The emperor has no clothes. I would say if the entire amp was done with them from start to finish, perhaps yes. But after the tremolo circuit and reverb circuit (which were solid state) the difference was hardly worth it. I think you'd notice the difference more in a complete recap from input to speaker jack.
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Got_tone? View Post
    Not at all man. I've heard a clip of someone a/b the modded epi with a marshall (can't remember the model but it was a 50w). Same cab and guitar. The tone was there, IMO.
    Thats your opinion brother...I'd love to see/hear this clip.
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    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Got_tone? View Post
    Is there any difference between the standard mustard and the "vintage" mustards caps (.022uf)? Tonewise.

    I'm looking to get these in a Epiphone Valve Junior to make it into a mini "marshall". Which I'm going to mod tomorrow .......... for the most part.

    I was about to order some but I decided to ask before I buy them. I think I might go with the vintage ones, though. I'll shoot sozo the same question. I just figured I'd get a quicker response here. Thanks.
    I don't think swapping caps of the same value to a cap of a different composition but the same value is going to make a dramatic diff in an amp like the Epiphone Valve Jr. Maybe...but it certainly is not going to make it into a Marshall.

    I'm one who cannot hear the difference between different caps of the same value but a different composition in a guitar's tone circuit. I think it's mostly hype.

    But I definitely DO hear the sound of different caps of the same value but a different composition in certain stages of an AMPLIFIER.

    For example, I pulled some of the preamp caps in a particularly steely and shrill sounding Fender silverface Deluxe Reverb and replaced them with Mallory 150's and that did seem to warm it up quite a bit and eliminated the shrill quality I had been hearing.

    So, IMO, save those expensive caps for your guitar amp and go with Orange Drops in your guitar. Why Orange Drops? I like the way they look!

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    Tone Member RLee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar View Post
    But I definitely DO hear the sound of different caps of the same value but a different composition in certain stages of an AMPLIFIER.
    I think the bottom line is that if a cap change sounds better to someone, whether it's a real difference or if they just THINK it sounds better, then it's a positive change and worth it. Also, it's cool to go for a vintage look and feel. I get all that, and I've certainly paid more for vintage parts when maybe I didn't need to, just because I wanted to.

    But whenever I hear the phrase "different caps of same value" I always wonder if the "same value" part was verified. I think sometimes what people might be hearing is the obvious: actual differences in value. Many of these parts (especially the older ones) are 10 - 20% tolerance. If the cap you took out was 20% higher in value, and the one you put in is 20% lower, that's a 40% difference in cap value, which could really sound significant in a tone stack. (So for a .1uf cap, you take out a .12uf part and replace it with a .08uf part -- in a tone stack, you'd hear that difference.)

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    Red&Goldologist joelap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar View Post
    For example, I pulled some of the preamp caps in a particularly steely and shrill sounding Fender silverface Deluxe Reverb and replaced them with Mallory 150's and that did seem to warm it up quite a bit and eliminated the shrill quality I had been hearing.
    Silverfaces were made in the 70's, so assuming its a '79 model those were still 25 year old caps likely at a minimum that were replaced. I know films are a different composition than electrolytics (which dry up, need to be replaced) but surely the age of the components vs. brand new mallories could have had much to the difference as well.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Got_tone?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    The guy who posted the video deleted it since he only made it to sell the amp. If it was still posted on youtube, I'd let you hear it.

    I'm not saying it's gonna sound like a cranked 50w plexi but it was pretty **** good for a $100 5w tube amp.
    Last edited by Got_tone?; 10-12-2009 at 02:10 PM.

  20. #20
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Sozo Caps???

    Quote Originally Posted by RLee View Post

    But whenever I hear the phrase "different caps of same value" I always wonder if the "same value" part was verified. I think sometimes what people might be hearing is the obvious: actual differences in value. Many of these parts (especially the older ones) are 10 - 20% tolerance. If the cap you took out was 20% higher in value, and the one you put in is 20% lower, that's a 40% difference in cap value, which could really sound significant in a tone stack. (So for a .1uf cap, you take out a .12uf part and replace it with a .08uf part -- in a tone stack, you'd hear that difference.)
    That's exactly what Rick Turner's opinion is. He feels that when guys say they "switched a .02 ceramic disc cap to a .02 Oil cap and hear a big improvement", most likely they had switched to a cap of a different value without knowing it. They went up 10% or 20% down or 10% or 20% up in value because of the tolerances.

    In my case, I compared a 022. Sprague Orange Drop to a .022 Hovland and installed them on a switch mounted in my Strat's pickguard. I could switch back and forth between caps in a mili-second and heard no difference.

    Lew

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