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Old 13th February 2005, 01:32 PM   #31
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Default Sanyo SEP vs Rubycon ZA

After reading this thread I swapped the Rubycon ZA 220u 35v in my CS8412/TDA1543 DAC for Sanyo SEP 330u 16v.

The ZAs are pale, fluid and open, with a strong sense of acoustic space. In my (fairly limited) experience they make Black Gates sound horribly suffocating. And they still punch and groove.

The SEPs are much more throaty and muscular. The acoustic space is more separate from the actual inastrument sound than with ZAs, and the sound is generally more intimate and forward.

For the record I think regular oscons sound like rubbish, fat and artificial.

ZAs are still the ultimate "pretty" sounding cap as far as my knowledge goes, and may well be prefered by some modders.
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Old 13th February 2005, 03:53 PM   #32
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After reading this thread I also experimented a bit with Rubycons. On first tries they also seemed to me like a better choice over BGs, but after playing with them closer, it's not always a case. Rubycons sound very open, clean, detailed, but also a bit klinical and in some setups may be too bright.

For instance, Rubycon 100/25 ZL sounds very good as coupling cap at the output of my DAC, and by some people was preferred over BG N I had there. The same cap sounded also very good as direct bypass on the DAC (instead of 47/50 BG N I was using). But both those choices of Rubycons cannot be used at the same time, as the sound is overly bright (so it's either on DAC or as coupling).

But 1000/50 Rubycon ZL sounds completely unleastenable in a GC and Panasonics FC are much better.

In coupling, comparing same values, I preferred ZL over ZA; ZA sounded softer and somewhat less real, more processed, although ZA indeed presents acoustic space better than ZL.
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Old 13th February 2005, 04:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
But 1000/50 Rubycon ZL sounds completely unleastenable in a GC and Panasonics FC are much better.
Since I started with GCs, I have been using 1000/50 ZL virtually exclusively...Once again, I have to declare that my experiences are exactly the opposite to Peter's!
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Old 13th February 2005, 04:34 PM   #34
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Unlistenable with non inverting LM3875, and premium resistors. Unlistenable comparing to Panasonic FCs and BG STD.

In different setups the results might vary, as I noted already previously.

Comparing to most other caps, Rubycons are very good, but with the tendency to sound bright. Sometimes it's just too much.
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Old 13th February 2005, 05:33 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
After reading this thread I also experimented a bit with Rubycons. On first tries they also seemed to me like a better choice over BGs, but after playing with them closer, it's not always a case. Rubycons sound very open, clean, detailed, but also a bit klinical and in some setups may be too bright.

For instance, Rubycon 100/25 ZL sounds very good as coupling cap at the output of my DAC, and by some people was preferred over BG N I had there. The same cap sounded also very good as direct bypass on the DAC (instead of 47/50 BG N I was using). But both those choices of Rubycons cannot be used at the same time, as the sound is overly bright (so it's either on DAC or as coupling).

But 1000/50 Rubycon ZL sounds completely unleastenable in a GC and Panasonics FC are much better.

In coupling, comparing same values, I preferred ZL over ZA; ZA sounded softer and somewhat less real, more processed, although ZA indeed presents acoustic space better than ZL.
Tried any of the Nichicons yet?

se
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Old 13th February 2005, 06:03 PM   #36
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I tried Muse KZ, and personally didn't like them much. They sound properly with good tonal balance, but for some reason they are not involving, they don't grab you wanting to listen to the music, they lack certain harmony that Panasonic FCs have. They are still better than FX grade, but personally I think that of all Nichicons, I like FG the most (although I never tried them in GC, only in a DAC)..

Yesterday I did some testing with different caps, and it happened that at the same time there was another guy present who is sort of trained in listening and can clearly point weakness of a given sound.

He actually preferred Panasonics to all the other we tried. He said that BG STD have more clarity and resolution, but borderline with harshness. In case music material is not too complicated everything is fine and vocal is in front of instruments, when things get more complicated though, BG get somewhat lost with instruments coming in front of vocal and certain tones starting to sound annoying. This does not happen with Panasonic FCs and for long term listening enjoyment Panasonic would be preferred. They might seem to have less detail than BGs, but the exact detail is still there, just slightly less exposed. His choice would be on BG when listening more critically and analyzing musc material. BGs havve also better bass than Panasonic FC.

Nichicons by comparison were not harmonically correct, the was less order in the music, and the sound was sort of restless. Rubycons sounded too bright. We didn't listen much to them, because switching from Panasonics or BGs was simply unbereable.

I also tried snubber with a same setup (using BG N 100u at the chip and 10,000 Jensens at the bridges). The guy didn't like the snubber at all, pointing out that the sound is very artificial, sort of synthesized, comparing to sinus wave converted into triangular. According to him there was no proper freguency extention and tonality gradation, sepration lacking and everything put close together. BTW, snubber has its effect and putting it across big caps makes for more depth and dimentionality, but according to that guy, sound without snubber even with big caps is more natural.

After that I removed both big caps and the snubber leaving only 100u BG N in the amp, and now we really hit the nail.

It was perfect combination of BG STD and Panasonics we tried before, with everything being properly presented, sounds separated and not fighting with each other or being put in one layer. What striked us the most was a natural harmony and sounds diversity, with proper acoustic in a bacground. Sounds we didn't notice before, suddenly came to view, things you don't notice normally, like certain reflections around the vocals created by the room or different stroke of the bass note. In my present opinion, this is the best cap for mids and highs. Although low value (100u only) the bass is suprisingly good as well with gradation and bottom extention. It may not have the punch, but its naturalness makes up for it. I also found that 100u with batteries doesn't work as good as powered from the mains. Batteries have a similar effect to a bigger cap (although much less pronounced) taking away the true dynamics and sparkle that live music has. Using 100u caps directly after bridges and AC power, brings the sound closer to the original event with all the atmosphere of the original event somehow present.

I'm still experimenting with the choices here, my views may change in a future, but this is what stand by today.

Coming back to the main topic, BGs (I'm referring to N type only) are still the best caps, one just have to know how to use them.
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Old 13th February 2005, 06:14 PM   #37
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Thanks, Peter!

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
Coming back to the main topic, BGs (I'm referring to N type only) are still the best caps, one just have to know how to use them.
Yeah, but there is that nagging issue of their being out of production now. Perhaps not much to worry about for now as far as DIY goes, but but for production, the outlook isn't too good.

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Old 13th February 2005, 06:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
I also found that 100u with batteries doesn't work as good as powered from the mains
Maybe batteries will work better with 10 or 22uF.

Bartek
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Old 13th February 2005, 06:37 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by zygibajt


Maybe batteries will work better with 10 or 22uF.

Bartek
Actually I tried 10u BG N with batteries comparing to 100u, and 10u seemed a bit thin.

In a meantime I listened some more to the combination of 100u and AC power, and I think it is very good, very natuaral and real. Recordings that before sounded not that good, now sound more properly. There is no harshness or any brightness, something I was noticing in certain recordings before, there is a texture and air, and the bass has a same gradation of tonality as mids and highs. It's actually quite startling to hear certain bass notes in this way for the first time. The bass is extended enough, and I don't really miss the bottom end, even on material that really needs it.

There is something special in connecting AC power with such small capacitance, and I would incourage anybody having those caps to try it.

As to BGs being out of production, it may not be so certain yet. Partsconnexion say they will keep production untill Spring, and then who knows. Besides, the major distributors have it in plans to stock up with enough supplies for next two yers.
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Old 13th February 2005, 07:00 PM   #40
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Peter

A question from a novice. How do you actually test a capacitor, when in my experience that all seem to have a significant burn-in time? Have played around with lots of different kinds (BG, Rubycon, OS-con, CDE & Arovox) but non of them sounded anything but terrible until they had at least 100-200 hours.
Makes it kind of difficult to play around with..
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