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Old 2nd July 2011, 07:18 AM   #1
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Default Recapping Linn Linto

Hi
I used to be an elecrical engineer years ago. Now I am retired and a bit rusty. My Linto is an early one, so it is well over ten years old. Can somebody tell me:
1) Would there be sonic advantages in replacing the electrolytic capacitors?
2) What affordable make of capacitor would be best - also which would not significantly change the overall tone of the unit?
3) If I should change only the most important capacitors, which ones to go for.
Thanks
Don
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Old 3rd July 2011, 08:03 PM   #2
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Ten years is a bit short on a quality product , but I bought an Acme DTV converter 2 years ago and it came from the store with diagonal lines in the picture that cleared up after 5 minutes. Probably expired electrolytic caps, another W******** bargain.
There is a member here who recommends not replacing an electrolytic cap until you measure capacitance and dissipation, but I find meters with C function last less than a year, whereas 1000 hour caps can last ten years and 3000 hour caps more. Read the datasheet at mouser etc, newark/farnell has the hours in the selector table. Don't buy expired or old electrolytics, life is too short. I've had to recap a ST70 amp 3 time, an that is with distributor sold caps.
Panasonic, Nichicon, Vishay, all three make 1000 hour caps, 3000 hour caps, and some 8000 hour caps. When I put new ones in, I like to use the highest hours I can find, never less than 2000 hours.
Some circuits are sensitive to ESR (equivalent series resistance) others are not, so depends on the circuit what you buy. If you can download the datasheet on the original caps from datasheet.com or equivalent, it helps to make a decision. I've been buying higher ESR caps with long life for my organ and amps and they sound better after than before, so I am getting away with it. I also find in 10000 uf caps, that parallel 4700's is way cheaper than one 10000 and has better esr too, so I've been making little sub-boards out of polycarbonate plastic to mount the new caps.
The caps in the power supply nearest the transformer, are the ones most likely to short out the transformer, at twenty years for a quality 2000 hour cap. 40 year old power supply caps in my organ really crippled bass response, and treble, too. The coupling and filter caps will affect the sound more directly, if off value. Significant progress has been made in minaturizing plastic film caps, so you might find replacing electrolytic with polyester (good) or polyprophylene caps (better) might improve things. Or, it might not, change two and a time and listen, if you made it worse back up and think or ask questions here. I make the occasional cold joint or color wire mistake, two at a time focuses my attention on right where I finished work, and the practice has paid off in debugging.
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Last edited by indianajo; 3rd July 2011 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 3rd July 2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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Thanks you very much for such a detailed reply, IndianaJo.
A lot to think about.

Don
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Old 5th July 2011, 07:18 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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The Linto is a phono preamp I believe and as such is all low power stuff.

As always it would be helpful to see the circuit but like indianajo I think at 10 years there will be no problems. If any caps get hot (near a regulator for example) then there might be a case for replacing those but that's all really.

Measuring capacitance on a meter is no guide... its like measuring a "flat" 9 volt battery off load... still reads 9 volts or so.
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Old 7th July 2011, 12:31 AM   #5
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It depends if it has been left on standby permanently or is used a lot.
Electrolytics are the first to go.
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