Check out this great tutorial by Don Fox over on Make: Projects, describing how to rebuild vintage caps using smaller modern capacitors inside the old housing.

Makezine_COTM_Capacitor-BadgeWhen working in an old TV, audio amplifier, or turntable, invariably I will run across capacitors of all types, paper, mica, electrolytic, etc…. Generally when we run into caps that are of the electrolytic type they are mostly dry, or drying out. Some common practices have people just shotgunning the problem by swapping out all old caps with new technology. Electrically equivalent… but to some of my audiophile buds, it is blasphemy bordering on the obscene.

Don’s solution is to add an bunch of modern caps to the retro housing, in order to keep his vintage electronics looking classic!

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • knobend

    That’s highly unethical, and likely to end you up in court if you don’t make it clear the caps have been “re capped” up-front.

    • Ross Radford

      Agreed; there’s nothing wrong with fixing equipment this way, intrinsically speaking. It becomes malicious the instant you knowingly try to deceive someone who has a gainful interest in it. That goes with anything you sell, not just something that has been re-capped, so it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned. On the plus side, anyone who buys old equipment now knows one more thing to watch out for.

      • Daryl Neumann

        WOW!!, I thought for a second he(knobend) was being satirical. Does re-capping really affect the end product enough for someone to notice?