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Help needed: Panasonic FC versus Elna Silmic/Cerafine and Nichicon Muse

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I need your advice on electrolytic capacitors.
Some days ago I ordered an upgrade kit for my Sony CDP-XA5ES cd-player and now I'm quite surprised that this kit suggests to substitute the original Elna Cerafine, Elna Silmic and Nichicon Muse capacitors with Panasonic FC and Panasonic TS-HA capacitors. I always believed that Elna and Nichicon capacitors are superior to Panasonic. Am I wrong or is this well-acclaimed HiFi-engineer talking nonsense?
The parts of the cdp that are to be upgraded are the power board and the audio board.

I already asked him for the reasons for this substitution but his reply was rather cross and not very specific .
As it is a lot of work to replace more than 40 capacitors I'd like to be sure to do the "right thing", I don't want to have to resolder everything in the end.

Apart from electrolytic capacitors some no name foil capacitors are upgraded in this kit by WIMA MKS and FKP capacitors and four OPA2604 shall be used in the output stage instead of the original opamps.

I really need your help and experience on this,

many thanks in advance ,

sean-xenos.
post #2 of 10
Without having actually done these mods on your model player, who knows?

THEN AGAIN, my bet is he's talking B/S - Elna are very fine in PSUs. I don't like Nichicon much, but I doubt it's worth your time replacing 40 caps.

Care to name names? The guy should be able to justify his selections without coming across like a a-hole.
post #3 of 10
I have heard this before. LC Audio don't think highly about the Elna Silmics either. No mention of Cerafine. Somehow i think it is just a bad excuse that they couldn't tack up the Silmic series for their products. (Just a theory).

It's very interesting he likes the panasonic FC over the others when he suggests substituting a foil capacitor with an in-any-way inferior polyester (mks) capacitor.
post #4 of 10
Unless he can explain clearly the reasons for the changes, keep your money. Too many conmen around in hi-fi. Panasonic FCs are fine caps, but his mod/upgrade strategy seems strange.
post #5 of 10
not to mention that powersupply capcitor upgrades are for squeezing the last little bit out of a system which has already reached it's upgrade limit at best.

I would definitly not go with this upgrade.
post #6 of 10
I don't think that it is necessary to spend the money on new caps, but if I was starting starting from scratch, I actually think the Panasonic-recommendation makes sense. IMHO the FCs or other low-ESR caps are better suited for power supply duty than high-grade elnas or BG


/U.
post #7 of 10
If starting a project new, I'd be going with the Panasonic FM's, since they're supposed to have about 60% better ESR than the FC's. But if your CD-player already has Cerafines and Silmics in them, I wouldn't bother with a cap replacement. The only ones I'd be concerned about at that point are any caps in the signal path. Those should be replaced with film caps if possible, if not, maybe Black Gates.

I've used Cerafines, Panny FM/FC's, Nichicon Muses KZ/FG, and black gates. I've decided to mainly go with the Muse KZ/FG and the Panny FMs in the future. I don't think BGs are worth the money 99% of the time, and quite frankly, I think the Muse/FM jackets look better than the Cerafine/Silmics. Oh yeah, I went there. Arbitrary selection due to color choices! (I hope this breaks some audiophile tweaker brainery out there). The specs for the Muse KZ and FMs are pretty similar if you get your hands on the datasheet.

Also, for whatever it's worth, I hear zero difference between Cerafines, Panasonic FM's, and Muses when used for PSU decoupling. I'm sure if they were in the signal path, it'd be a different story, though.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisbeth
I don't think that it is necessary to spend the money on new caps, but if I was starting starting from scratch, I actually think the Panasonic-recommendation makes sense. IMHO the FCs or other low-ESR caps are better suited for power supply duty than high-grade elnas or BG


/U.
Yep, I agree.... the Panasonic FC are superb for PSU applications.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisbeth
I don't think that it is necessary to spend the money on new caps, but if I was starting from scratch, I actually think the Panasonic-recommendation makes sense. IMHO the FCs or other low-ESR caps are better suited for power supply duty than high-grade elnas or BG
/U.
Ok, maybe the Panasonic FCs (or even better the FMs) are an upgrade for the power board compared to Elnas or Nichicon Muses. Maybe the hype about Elnas (and Black Gates) has infected me , or just influenced me.

On the other hand I still wonder if an upgrade in the rather sophisticated power supply section of the XA-5ES will be a big audible improvement .
I was looking for an improvement in the first place because I found the sound of the cdp a bit too bright and exaggerated in the highs and this didn't fit too well with my headphones.
I get the impression that the use of a warm sounding external DAC could make more sense as a major upgrade than the exchange of capacitors on the power board.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisbeth
the FCs or other low-ESR caps are better suited for power supply duty than high-grade elnas or BG
Yes, especially since the CDP's power supply is almost certainly a switcher, and it's driving digital circuitry. Low ESR matters here!

Boutique caps should be placed close to analog circuitry only.
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