Can you swap Brand A for Brand B?

Hi, I've got a couple of diy kits I might like to swap resistors/caps/transformers in. Can you swap Brand A resistor/capacitor/transformer for Brand B if the specifications are very similar or the same?

I guess before I blow something up, I'm asking if specs published for component parts are standardized.

I'd love any other tips you may have.

Thanks, Jeff
Hi Jeff - sure you can. It is quite common for folks to swap out components for higher quality units to improve sound; not only on kits but on manufactured gear also. Some of the things you could look into is swapping coupling capacitors for better ones, signal path resistors for better ones and rectify diodes for ultra fast/soft recovery types.

Make sure you keep the values the same and do not go lower on the voltage /wattage rating than the component you swap out.

Thanks. Is there any book that would provide some guidance at my level of interest? I don't really want to become an ee, but if there is a good source on defining components and identifying which have more or less impact on sonics, I'd enjoy giving it a go. Jeff

ps. I just finished building an Audio Note DAC signature and I'm really very pleased with it.
Jeff, I do not know of any books that pertain specifically to tweaking/modding amps.

However there is a lot of information on the net. Arthur Salvatore has a nice intro into modding tube equipment, which you may find helpful when starting out. I found a lot of useful information on bulletin boards and many time builders (both private and commercial) give tips on their web pages.

Also there are a couple of capacitor shootouts on the web. Have a look at and There are many more.

Paul, Thanks for the excellent article.

I wonder if the author has tested any Black Gates since he published his paper.
Hi Jeff – seems I have pasted the URL for the same article twice. Here is a shootout on some electrolytic caps.

If you go to you’ll find some very good white papers on black gates. I have used BGs in the past and generally liked them.

I generally prefer to use motor run capacitors in my power supply stages. ASC makes some nice high value high voltage oil caps that are waaaay better than any electrolytic caps. Downside, they are as big as soda cans so you need a big chassis to use them.

Note, like anything else, choice of caps is somewhat subjective. After many years of tinkering, I now have a fair idea what is going to work for me.