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What exactly does a capacitor do?

Discussion in 'Audio' started by Troopie's Tonka, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. Troopie's Tonka

    Troopie's Tonka 1/2 ton status

    Oct 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Aiken, SC
    So, let's say I get an amp that says that I will get 6oo watts out of it at 12 volts, or 800 watts out of it if it gets 14.4 volts. How will a capacitor affect that? I'm not sure I know exaclty what a capacitor does. Thanks for any help.
  2. 3car

    3car 1/2 ton status

    Dec 16, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hernando, Florida
    a stiffening capacitor is basically a storage unit for power to help you maintain steady voltage if there is a momentary drop in voltage in your charging from running accesories,or from the amp itself.if your charging system puts out 12.5 volts,you will still have 12.5 volts with a cap,but if every time your windshield wipers cycle(or whatever power accessory you choose), it drops to 11.5 volts,thats where the capacitor comes in to help your amp maintain the full 12.5 volts.
  3. rampage

    rampage 1/2 ton status

    Mar 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Humboldt/Pacifica, CA
    Depends on what kind of circuit the cap is in. As mentioned, in a DC circuit, it will maintain a charged as long as it can (usually momentarily depending on its size). In an AC circuit it's used as a filter to allow certain frequencies to pass through it. Exactly what is the question you're asking. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
  4. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

    Mar 5, 2001
    Likes Received:
    444 Days to BB2018
    If your talking capacitors in the "Audio" sense....the reason people use them is to provide INSTANTANEOUS power to the amps during periods of high demand.

    A song with a rapid bass drum attack is going to pull a lot of current from the amps, and conventional truck batteries are not designed to discharge that quickly. The result is that the voltage "sags" and the amps don't get full power....as a result, they lose control of the speakers they are trying to move accurately, and the sound becomes muddy and the drum beats are non-distinct.

    Headlights dimming on a deep bass note is an indication that you are LONG overdue for a charging system upgrade (ie stiffening cap) You almost can't believe the difference in crispness and immediacy that you get by adding caps to a high-powered system that has been running without them. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

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