Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Where we discuss new analog design ideas for Pro Audio and modern spins on vintage ones.
brianroth
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Salina, Kansas
Contact:

Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by brianroth » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:28 pm

I typically choose Nichicon (and also Panasonic) caps for new builds as well as repairs. Each brand has a huge number of variations that are difficult to select.

I typically look for 105c and long life, but there are a ton of other variants.

I stumbled across this at Mouser:
https://www.mouser.com/new/nichicon/Nic ... udio-Caps/

Besides the different color wrappers, I drilled down into the specs sheets. Besides hyperbola and simple things like temp/hour ratings/package sizing, the only variants I can see are in the "Tangent of loss angle (tan δ)" tables.

I decided to slap the numbers into a spreadsheet (attached) to analyze.

Barely any variations from one series to the next.

"Audio lytics"...BS or maybe something going on there?

Bri
Attachments
Nichicon audio.pdf
(23.16 KiB) Downloaded 15 times
Professional audio and video systems design/installation/maintenance.
www.BrianRoth.com

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 2410
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: Nichicon "audio" lytic caps

Post by JR. » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:10 am

Marketing... Dissipation factor is not much concern for lightly loaded electrolytic DC blocking caps. I seem to recall the Japanese making a big deal about marketing "audio" caps....

IMO caps are caps...

JR

User avatar
mediatechnology
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:34 pm
Location: Oak Cliff, Texas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "audio" lytic caps

Post by mediatechnology » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:25 am

If I ignore the ad copy which is total BS and look at the table entries it breaks down into these categories:

Polar/Bipolar
Small/Large
85°C/105°C

The DB-GB bipolar series is probably better-suited to higher operating currents than the ES bipolar so they're probably constructed differently.

The ad copy is word salad to me.

Personally I like the pretty green or the black and gold ones...

It wouldn't be too hard to null test for differences between types but I doubt you'd see much unless the cap was working really hard.
There might be measurable differences between types with lots of DC bias or polar vs bipolar.
There was an AES paper on DC bias differences IIRC.

But there's also this "dipole" rabbit hole: https://www.proaudiodesignforum.com/for ... =40#p11987

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 2410
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: Nichicon "audio" lytic caps

Post by JR. » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:17 am

I recall looking at DF back in the 80s when parsing film capacitors... The lower ESR of modern electrolytic caps for use in switching PS kind of changes the DF landscape since that is related to ESR.

But IMO not a huge concern.

JR

User avatar
mediatechnology
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:34 pm
Location: Oak Cliff, Texas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "audio" lytic caps

Post by mediatechnology » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:34 am

Note: I changed the title of this thread slightly to improve search indexing.

I remember Greg Hanks and I talking about the listening tests he performed with various films and electrolytics with clients. Some claimed they could hear distinct differences between the various films and electros.

If I were retrofitting/re-capping a large console for a client I'd conduct listening tests and have the client sign off on the final choice of brand or type.
If its an old console anything will likely sound better than what's in it due to age but I'd want protection.
The last think you'd want is a happy client with a newly-recapped console going off to GS or DIYAdios and being told he used the "wrong" brand by someone who doesn't know sh*t from Shine-Ola.

After re-capping many-more-than-I-care-to-remember MCI consoles whose caps ran hot and dried out quick we were always amazed at how much the sound of the console opened up with new ones.
I used Panasonic back then and they always sounded better than what they replaced.

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 2410
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by JR. » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:43 pm

I recall much drama about electrolytic caps back last century in the hobby press (TAA). I proposed null testing back then.

Something I have suggested to others (this century) working on consoles is to recap two identical strips with the two brands of caps you want to compare. Invert the polarity of one strip then send both to a bus to null... If they don't null you have found a difference, do more measurements to determine which one is wrong.

The residual signal that does not null will advise where to look for the difference.

JR

PS: This is not a bad idea for unmodified channels to confirm health.

User avatar
mediatechnology
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:34 pm
Location: Oak Cliff, Texas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by mediatechnology » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:12 pm

JR. wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:43 pm
I recall much drama about electrolytic caps back last century in the hobby press (TAA). I proposed null testing back then.

Something I have suggested to others (this century) working on consoles is to recap two identical strips with the two brands of caps you want to compare. Invert the polarity of one strip then send both to a bus to null... If they don't null you have found a difference, do more measurements to determine which one is wrong.

The residual signal that does not null will advise where to look for the difference.

JR

PS: This is not a bad idea for unmodified channels to confirm health.
I agree.

I did that very thing several times with various SSLs to compare the Raytheon 5534s to the Signetics. The broadband null was OK but left a lot of intermodulated distortion/grunge when Raytheon was nulled with Signetics. When two Signetics channels were nulled the residual was deep and musical. I replaced thousands of Raytheon 5534s. I recall the average 48 input SSL 4K required about 35 tubes of 5534s.

I'm pretty certain there would be a difference in electrolytics revealed comparing old vs. new the same way and it won't necessarily be in the low end.

brianroth
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Salina, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by brianroth » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:02 pm

Belated thanks for all comments re. the Nichicon "audio" lytics...I had smelled some bovine excrement as I read the advertising prose, but tried to drill down to see what spec sheets would reveal. As usual, stick with 105C, long life, low ESR...and oh, yes...pick your fave wrapper coloring! lol

Wayne, I recall nothing but crap from Raytheon opamps. In the dim recesses of memory is a Raytheon disaster in the 1970's, when a popular opamp used by many audio manufacturers all started to die within a year.

I wonder now how well the old Signetics 553x null against TI and any others....

Bri
Professional audio and video systems design/installation/maintenance.
www.BrianRoth.com

User avatar
mediatechnology
Posts: 3260
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:34 pm
Location: Oak Cliff, Texas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by mediatechnology » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:16 pm

The Raytheon 5534 were a total disaster.

I have a few NOS Signetics ('77) and I recently found some Raytheons stashed in the back of a bin.
It would be fun to compare them now along with TI and NJR.

I like the current NJR 5532/5534 and 2114s. They seem to have a consistent, clean process with a smooth noise floor.

FWIW I just bought some axial lead Nichicons from Mouser to rebuild the Texar Audio Prisim 4 Band processors.
It looked like axial lead parts for replacement were going to become hard to get so I was encouraged finding these.

Are you going to be recapping a console soon Brian?

brianroth
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Salina, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Nichicon "Audio" Electrolytic Caps

Post by brianroth » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:31 pm

I sincerely hope that at my age (64) console recapping is a thing of the past! lol I have looked in vain for more than a few years to find a much younger person to deal with that drudgery. Alas, I bet there will be Yet Another MCI or Trident or whatever (big SSL's are not on my list) to recap before I assume room temperature. Grit my teeth and "Get 'R Done!" :D

My questions were related to doing a restock of the bins in my traveling kit (yes, I still do house calls if money beckons).

Bri
Professional audio and video systems design/installation/maintenance.
www.BrianRoth.com

Post Reply