There is few almost religious beliefs in effects pedal world. Old is better than new, vintage is still better than that. Expensive must be good, and handmade is a guarantee of quality. Well it is, but sometimes it’s just a bad quality. So what is good and what is bad? Let's see.
Because of those beliefs, some components also enjoy almost cult status and premium price. One of these is the tropical fish capacitor. Also known as Mullard C280 capacitor. These are colorful capacitors, and very eye catching because of it. However, these capacitors are very poor quality. All are “NOS vintage perfect” as always, but these capacitors do not age well. Their cases will fracture over time and allow moisture to creep into the dielectric, which renders them useless. Look at the picture. It’s magnified just ten times, and crack is clearly visible. In addition, sometimes when you bend the lead just slightly, it will crack completely. It is not “just a crack in the paint”. It never is, even if the seller says so. Avoid these.