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best rubycon blackgate's alternative

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
hi everyone... I googled around... decided to open a thread here....

came across several & narrowed down to these 2 brands... panasonic FJ/FM/FL & rubycon ZL/ZA/MCZ

FL & MCZ were said to be better in a "pc motherboard capacitor article"

while most audio related discussions involve the FJ/FM & ZL/ZA only...

any idea? thx in advance....
post #2 of 38
I like the Panasonic FM's and Elna Silmic II's, but I haven't done anything remotely serious comparison-wise.
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
wokeh thx...

anymore input?
post #4 of 38
You could try rubycon ZL. It suppose to be a little better than FC for power supply. YMMV.
post #5 of 38
it is totally conditional on application.

some caps are very well suited to digital power supplies.
some are very well suited to analog power supplies with class-a/b sytems.
some are better suited to amps with full class A and lower PSU RR topologies.

is a ferrari a better car than a hummer? it depends if you want to roll over or rip off your exhaust driving over a fallen twig.
post #6 of 38
I've used Panasonic FM in quite a few applications. I cannot tell the difference between them and Blackgates. Maybe I have tin ears, but the price difference says it all for me!
post #7 of 38
I pretty much entirely use Panasonic FM/FC and NHG.

Purely because they are the easiest and cheapest for me to get, other than dodgy electrolytics from local suppliers. They probably would work fine but a few of the brands have been known to vent/explode in motherboards. I know my typical uses wouldn't be anywhere near as demanding but imo better safe than sorry, plus the Panasonics have far better specs anyway.

For any in the signal path, I am usually tempted to use Elna Silmic IIs just for the sake of it, they're pretty cheap really.

Wouldn't have a clue how either stack up against Blackgates as I've never had the incentive to try given the cost.

Btw, Nichicon Muse are often recomended as audio caps.
post #8 of 38
Here's my choices: (listed in order of preference)

Signal Path Coupling: Nichicon Muse ES, Elna Silmic, Elna Cerafine, Elna Tonerex (very warm!), Muse FG

Power Supply (Analog): Nichicon Muse KZ, Panasonic FM or Nichicon UHE, Elna Silmic/Cerafine, Muse FG

Power Supply (Digital): Sanyo OS-Con, Panasonic FM, Nichicon Muse KZ

I haven't tried the Rubycon ZL's in many applications, but they're supposedly good for both power supply and signal path applications.

Personally, I really only use the Black Gate N and NX/Hi-Q types for signal path applications. I think the others listed above are better for PSU applications.
post #9 of 38
for signal, the Silmic is nowhere close to the BG NX. The silmic doesn't muddle the sound much, but it doesn't help anything either, might as well don't use it. (tried it in the Stax 001's input). Try some dip tantalums and see if you hate them, some tantalums can sound better than the silmic's.

for power,UnitedChemicon PS/PSA seem to work quite well for power supply rails, but they only come in small values. The nichicon Muse works well too, of course. Both have a "colder" sound in my little dynamic amp. The muse I got are green cased, not sure what series they are.

People keep using blackGates for a good reason.
post #10 of 38
Nelson Pass said that the Elna silks are the best electrolytic capacitor he's heard and measured.
post #11 of 38
Originally Posted by AudioCats View Post
for signal, the Silmic is nowhere close to the BG NX. The silmic doesn't muddle the sound much, but it doesn't help anything either, might as well don't use it.
There isn't a cap made that is going to "help" the sound, unless you mean adding something that isn't in the original signal (iow, distortion). The best cap is no cap...
post #12 of 38
yes the best cap is no cap, but apparently we use them for a reason
the silmic didn't add anthing for the 0.12uf polyprops, with silmic in place the sound was still thin, as if they were not there. What a waste of $0.15.....
post #13 of 38
nikongod gave you very important remark - you must distinguish between analog decoupling/supply, digital decoupling/supply and analog coupling.

Panasonic FC is for the first purpose but it's nowhere as good as Sanyo OsCon SP, and especially Sanyo WG - the best "digital" 'lytic I have ever tried. Just... transparent. Oscon SP is on a bright/fun side, with accentuated impact. For specific results I recommend Nippon Chemicon KZJ - very warm, rich, tubey sound.
For analog decoupling - it's funny but nothing has beaten Panasonic Pureism and JVC "for audio" in my experiments. I've never tried the Black Gate's but the JVC won over Elna Silmic by a slight margin and over the Cerafine by a higher margin. The former Elna was too creamy, the latter too cold and lacking timbre sometimes. It is allowable to use Jamicon's here, you'll get decent spectrum ends and dark but sweet midrange, kind of losing timbral complexity but acceptable when well paired with other parts.
Panasonic FC and FG - suck in both applications IMHO. Jamicon's are better and cheaper.

For coupling... as a DC coupling fan I say what's been written - best cap is no cap. Whichever I tried (Wima or other MKP, KSP, etc.) it was making the sound worse.
post #14 of 38
For power capacitors, I like the Nichicon UHZ , available at Mouser, it has very good specs for ESR and ripple current. Unfortunately Mouser only carries the ones rated for relatively low voltages.
post #15 of 38

As time passes by, any other alternatives to NX? Choosing coupling caps is really a burden... (330µF needed here, and tiny of course :) )

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