If you are looking to repair or restore a vintage radio, turntable, preamplifier, amplifier, stereo receiver, or piece of test equipment, you’ll very likely need to replace many of the capacitors in the circuit. But where to buy capacitors for vintage electronics projects online?
Where to Buy Capacitors Online
Here’s a shortlist of reputable suppliers starting with major authorized distributors and ending with small businesses run by individuals mainly serving hobbyists.
Mouser is a massive global authorized distributor of electronic components in Mansfield, Texas with a robust search tool made for power users. Some hobbyists get overwhelmed by Mouser – but if you learn how to use their search tool, you’ll find capacitors you didn’t even know existed!
We like to use Mouser for big recaps of stereo receivers or solid-state test equipment. We feel confident and safe buying high-quality Nichicon and Panasonic capacitors from an authorized distributor like Mouser. They carry a massive selection of other parts too – such as transistors, IC chips, diodes, and even transformers.
The best part of Mouser is that they offer discounts on quantity. Buying in lots of 10, 25, or 100 can save you money. For a repair shop or avid home hobbyist – these savings really add up.
Mouser also ships individual components in handy plastic ziplock bags that are great to re-use when taking apart equipment to store screws, connectors, knobs, dials, and tubes while you complete the restoration.
Digi-Key is also a very large authorized distributor of electronic components operating out of Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Like Mouser, they offer quantity discounts on a dizzying array of electronic components. Good company with great service and selection.
Antique Electronics Supply
AES has been selling electronic components and other supplies for vintage electronics restoration projects for a long time. They’ve got a good selection of film capacitors, electrolytic capacitors (especially axial and multi-section cans) often needed for vintage project work. They will often have sales around major holidays that offer discounts of 10-15%.
We like to buy Mallory 150 and Orange Drop capacitors from AES to replace those old wax and paper caps you often find in old radios and tube amps. Also a great source of vacuum tubes!
A trusted source of capacitors by hobbyists everywhere – Just Radios is a small business out of Niagara Falls, NY that specializes in electronic components often needed for radio restoration projects.
Just Radios is old school – you order via email. Their website is a bit dated and hard-to-use, but just fine if you like doing business the old school way with a small company passionate about radios .
If you want to support a small business – consider buying from Sal’s in New Jersey. Though his page is not the most user-friendly, many antique radio hobbyists love buying from Sal and supporting his business.
Sal is old school – if you want to order, you send him an email. Sal then calls you to get payment info. If that way of doing business appeals to you – you’ll like Sal’s Capacitors.
Radio Daze is a great site for supplies related to radio restoration – reproduction graphics, dial glass, and decals to capacitors. Haven’t ordered capacitors from them but just noticed they do sell them.
Where NOT to Buy Capacitors: eBay
You might be tempted by cheap prices found on eBay, but I’d look elsewhere. While you can certainly find capacitors on eBay – the issue of counterfeit capacitors (cheap generic capacitors relabeled as high-quality name brands) by unauthorized sellers makes eBay a problematic choice.
Do You Know of Another Place Where to Buy Capacitors?
Let me know where you like to buy capacitors online in the comments.