Sprague "Orange Drops" capacitors

Sprague Orange Drop capacitor by Cornell Dubilier, genuine, made in the USA

Special tone?

When introduced in the late 1960s, Sprague Orange Drops  set the standard for "modern" capacitors in appearance and performance (they are now made by Cornell Dubilier).  As some of the first readily available, high quality capacitors in values suitable for audio use, the Orange Drops achieved wide spread uptake among electronics manufacturers, including amp makers.  This is probably one of the reasons why they are associated with vintage tone.

The tonal reality is that there are no measurable differences between the various types of capacitors of the same value in audio applications;


  • high quality;
  • consistent/accurate values;
  • look impressive.


  • expensive;
  • bulky, so hard to use where space is limited.

Beware of knock-offs

Just because a capacitor is orange in colour, doesn't make it a Sprague Orange Drop.  Buy from a quality Cornell Dubilier reseller like element14.com or specialist suppliers like those found on Amazon.

Related articles:

Paired spoke lacing

Getting the right spoke lengths

Shimano derailleur spare parts

Latest Articles and Updates

Refinishing carbon parts

Carbon parts like seat post tubes, handle bars and derailleur side plates get scratched up over time. Typically, what gets damaged is the "cosmetic" clear coat layer. This is not a structural part of the component....

Scott branded grips

These grips are a good diameter and are nice and comfortable. They are a dual density design with a soft black rubber outer and harder grey rubber inner. They feature grooves at either end so they can be ...

Short cranks for kids

Update 2021