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Large (>5k ) caps, what are favorites?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for high capacitance (at least 5000), high voltage (at least 35 V) electrolytic capacitors. Digikey lists Panasonic ECG series. Are these good? What are some other _reasonable_ alternatives?

post #2 of 26

My premium standard is Panasonic HFQ series. These were Walt Jung's standard choice. Personally, I have very good experience with these capacitors. These are very high performance yet very affordable.

ELNA Cerafine caps are the "audiophile" standard. I used 4700uF 50V before and they are less wet sounding. However, Cerafines were generally expensive and are not discontinued making them cost far more. ELNA now makes different series called Duorex II. I find these very good alternative.

Black Gate caps are also "audiophile" standard. Very silky sounding; comparably different from generic caps. However, I found these too costly. I used mid-size caps 47~1000uF in my PSU and I am very impressed with performance. (2 of these costed me more than 4 Duorex electrolytics.)

Sprague caps are comparably cost effective to HFQ. I got about thirty 10000uF 25V dirt cheap. I have used couple in my Szkeres amp. A little wetter sounding than HFQ, but overall smooth. I would bypass them with Orange Drop (SBE).

All in all, if I were to buy large capacitance caps, I would go for HFQ and its decendents. Cerafine and Black Gates are awesome but prices are outrageous preventing you from buying a lot. This is a problem for me. I like paralleling a large quantities of mid sized electrolytics (2200~4700) to achieve high capacitance. This way I can get very low impedance. HFQ's are affordable so it makes perfect sense only costing about 20~30 dollars. However, if I were to buy 30 Cerafine or BG, I will be spending 100's of dollars.

I guess if I have to choose electrolytics for signal coupling I will go straight for BG or Cerafine. But if I have to choose one for PSU, I will choose HFQ and decendents any day.


Nichicon Muse, I was told, are pretty good caps also. Unfortuantely, these are pretty expensive too. So I hasitated to use them.

So you ask, "What if you were Mr. Gates?" Well, then I will choose an odd-ball cap called, Sanyo OSCON. These cost twice or thrice more than BG or Cerafine. Generally, available in low voltage tolarences and low caps. However, if I can get the right value to suit my circuit, these kick bottoms really hard. OSCONs are the best possible caps for low voltage applications. HOWEVER, THESE CAN BANKRUPT YOU.

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
i'll look into those

one more general question:
let's say i build a PSU with two or three 5-10k caps before the regulators. Is it necessary/beneficial to put another set of caps before the power goes into the amplifier circuit?

like so:
[ three caps--regulators]

or is that an overkill?
post #4 of 26
Unfortunately, HFQ appears to be obsolete. I guess the next best thing if the FC series.

Speaking of Oscon - these are aluminum organic electrolytic caps, highly praised for switching power supplies. Panasonic has a similar line in its polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitors and Kemet has its A-O capacitors. These are carried by Digikey and Mouse respectively. These caps don't come in very high voltages nor capacitances but they sure as heck seem to be good. At several dollars each, it's not exactly cheap as Tomo mentioned.
post #5 of 26

Pre-regulator capacitance is only limited by the current tolerance of rectifier bridge and possibly the transformer. Note larger capacitance does NOT always mean better. Problems that comes with large capacitance are pretty serious.

My New THS4022 headphone amp rarely use more than 50mA. On top of that, this chip has really high supply rejection on its own. So I do not need too much pre-regulator capacitance. I use Duorex II 1000uF and HFQ 2200uF for each pole. This is not much, but if I take in account of supply rejection of THS4022 itself, I am getting well over 120 dB rejection.

My Szkeres' amp has modified Lambda PSU. This PSU has 0.2 Farad of input capacitance. I used 10000uF decouple the amplifier. I paralleled it with few smaller caps to ensure the low impedance for all freq range.


P.S. Joobu - I have never said OSCONs are cheap.
post #6 of 26
TOMO is the "Cap Man". I am getting ready to restart my Szekeres and will use a Lambda 3 1/2 Amp supply. Here's a photo of the amp board.
The blue electrolytics are now replaced with a nice set of Cerafine 1000uf compliments of Apheared. I also have a set of 450uf Nichikon Muse. These are the output caps not the power supply caps.
So, I also need 10,000uf between! Thats a lotta Caps.
Maybe I'll use the huge ones I have. I have two Nippon 64,000uF at 15V from a friend who serviced Cash Machines! I can charge these and they will power a Cmoy for a LongTime. Is that enough Tomo?
Just kidding. I will add some but not that much.
post #7 of 26
Panasonic FC is the replacement for HFQ.

Joobu: did you try those polymer electrolytics? The fact they're available from Digikey makes them very interesting. I might get a few to try them out. I managed to get a couple of OS-CON's at low prices this week but that was a one-time thing.
post #8 of 26
The panasonic polymer is interesting. Their specs appear to be in line with Oscons. However, at several dollars each I'm holding back for now.

P.S - Sorry Tomo, my sentence construction after midnight is atrocious. I meant to say they are expensive like you said.
post #9 of 26
Which series is the organic polymer series from panasonic? I did a quick digikey parametric search, and all they had under polymer were SMT <20uF caps... (and mouser is out of the question, they need a $100 minumum order to canada )

Nichicon Muse, I was told, are pretty good caps also. Unfortuantely, these are pretty expensive too. So I hasitated to use them.
Hmm, there are several lines of "muse" caps, most seem quite reaonable... At partsconnection's summer sale, i picked up 330uF caps for pennies each. For similar voltage/capacitance ratings, they seem to be much closer to generic parts than premium parts like Black gate or OS-con....Then again, i have no idea how well they perform, never bother to do A-B comparasons...
post #10 of 26
The Nichicon Muse series to look for are the KZ's (see their website for a listing of all Muse series). www.angela.com has a picture of these and sells 220uF and below for a decent price. I would've put these in my Apheared #42, but I forgot to add them when I was ordering.
post #11 of 26
Yeah, all those polymer caps are SMT - which means IDEAL for my portable DAC. I am waiting on an order of OS-CON's since they were on sale, but the final version is going to use these caps. They can be placed right by DAC chips. The only issue with them is extremely high price - maybe even higher than buying OS-CON from an audiophile exotic shop!!! How the hell does the Panasonic set up the price? Are they Sony of the components world, or what?
post #12 of 26
Don't be put off by SMT parts. They are extremely easy to solder and handle.

The panasonic polymer at Digikey is FD, CD UD/UE and SP/CB. They are all low voltage (<20V) and medium capacitance (<200uF). The prices are pretty high.

Sanyo has a much greater range in both voltage and capacitance. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a good distributor for them!
post #13 of 26
The Black Gate caps are really good, IMO. Theyre a bit pricey, but they're worth it. I helped a friend mod his Yamaha CD player using Black Gate caps and Burr Brown op-amps and the difference in sound quality after the mod took place was outright jaw dropping.
post #14 of 26
By the way, does anyone have info on Nichicon LK series of electrolytic capacitors? No info on Nichicon site, and all I can guess from searching the web is that they're obsolete. But there are some indications that they are low ESR. They're available in high capacitance and voltages and have very low profile for their ratings. I'm asking since I got 4 of 4700uF/50V which are only an inch tall and 1.2 inch in diameter, for only $2 Canadian as surplus, and I can get more and in higher capacitance/voltages as well...
post #15 of 26
yep, the nichicons aren't as expensive as the others, i use the fine gold which according to the site is just below the KZ series... but i paid less for them than generic panasonics from digikey...

The panasonic polymer at Digikey is FD, CD UD/UE and SP/CB. They are all low voltage (<20V) and medium capacitance (<200uF). The prices are pretty high.
yeah, these are too expensive for me Even black gates at those sizes are cheaper, though i have no idea which is better...(btw i only found the CB and CD series at digikey, nothing larger than 33uF/6V)

I'm asking since I got 4 of 4700uF/50V which are only an inch tall and 1.2 inch in diameter, for only $2 Canadian as surplus, and I can get more and in higher capacitance/voltages as well...
I also get most of my caps from surplus stores, they're substantially cheaper than online retailers, and there are several stores nearby with huge selections of caps. But its hard to know how old or how good they are
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