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Old 8th February 2003, 06:04 AM   #1
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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Default Keep the Black if you want.

Quote:
Originally posted by jean-paul
Halo, just try BG once and you'll talk a different story. Keep your open mind and experiment first and criticise afterwards. You won't for sure, I can tell you that.
What's the point anyway of changing them when they are already built in ?? A real waste of money...
Jean-Paul
In my opinion there is nothing to gain by
buying very expensive Electrolytes.
Especially not for use in power supplies.
Expensive Polypropylens, yes. Especially in the signal rail.

But on the other hand,
You lose nothing in performance by wasting your money
on Big Money Capacitance or Specially namned Resistances.
So of course he should keep them.

And those who "hears" the difference between Electrolytes
used in amplifiers, can stay happy.
There is no scientific evidence it effect the soundwaves.
But it obviously can effect your subjective listening experience.
When you know that you have bought and put a such cap into amp.
And that is what counts in the end. Be happy!

I just do not want to encourage guys here,
to spend money in vain.
In my opinion there is no reason.


/halo - knows the difference between objective facts
and subjective "facts"
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Old 8th February 2003, 07:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
And those who "hears" the difference between Electrolytes used in amplifiers, can stay happy.
There is no scientific evidence it effect the soundwaves.
But it obviously can effect your subjective listening experience.
When you know that you have bought and put a such cap into amp.And that is what counts in the end. Be happy!
Halo, I really don't want to argue and I usually respect your opinion but in this case I think you don't hit the nail on the head.
I did a lot of experiments with all kinds of caps in the past and since I discovered the sonical qualities of BG they are my choice. As even my wife hears the difference there must be a real difference
The normal series are not that special but NX Hi Q really is the best I ever used.

To me ( and others probably ) the use of BG is a choice of building a good amp or a very good amp. Very simple isn't it ?

It is certainly not that I want to hear a difference because I bought them and they were expensive. If they wouldn't sound good I would remove them and use another brand/type.

Something else: I recently "overhauled" ( if that's the correct expression ) two old but very good Yamaha T80 tuners that were built in 1984. A type of tuner with a sound quality that is rare today.
Since caps of nearly 20 years old ( some were labeled 1981 )are not to be trusted I changed them for BCcomponents series 37 ( standard industry quality ).
BG is too expensive in this case. Almost 30 pieces. When I wanted to change them in the other tuner I ran out of them so I used series 135 ( LL, 105 degrees and low ESR ) that I had in stock.
I left the tuners on for a few hours and listened to both of them.
There was a big difference to my surprise. Before my work they were practically the same in sound. I thought that it was too early for a conclusion so I left them on for another day. The next day there was still a difference. I opened them again and searched for the differences. Then I saw that the one with the worse sound had the switched PSU series caps. Left for the shop and bought the standard series and soldered them in. The differences were gone and both tuners were practically the same.

Please don't think this is the case with all low ESR types ! I used Elna RJH and Nichicon SXE with good results. Had bad experiences in the past with PR series that made sound very dull too.

The output cap was a 4.7 uF 50 V bipolar which I first didn't change. After the tuners burned in I decided to change the caps for 2 pieces of paralled 2.2 uF Siemens MKT ( 5 mm pitch ). The magic was gone and sound was "metallic" in the high tones.
So now I ordered BG 4.7 N series and will try them. If they again bring back the magic as I expect they sure will be my default brand for the highest demanding applications.

\Jean-Paul- that asks himself what scientific evidence you want if you have a good pair of ears.
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Old 8th February 2003, 03:39 PM   #3
Bobken is offline Bobken  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by jean-paul


Halo, just try BG once and you'll talk a different story. Keep your open mind and experiment first and criticise afterwards. You won't for sure, I can tell you that.

What's the point anyway of changing them when they are already built in ?? A real waste of money...

Jean-Paul
I couldn't agree more J-P, on both points!

Regards,
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Old 8th February 2003, 04:31 PM   #4
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally posted by jean-paul


Halo, just try BG once and you'll talk a different story.

I'm not halo, but in the last few years I must have tried about any premium "audio grade" Electrolytic capacitor, about each and every "audio grade" copuling Cap and many "audio grade" resistors. This OF COURSE includes BG's.

In most cases I find myself, strictly subjectively prefering high quality military/industrial parts as being less coloured. Adding BG's to any Amplifier I tried them in (SS, Valves, SE Valves) it gives the sound an unpleasant edge. One BG is enough. I like the NX-HiQ for specific low noise PSU applications (Clocks, PLL Loops) but prfer to avoid electrolytics at all if I can or use Elna Silmic for signal and Sanyo Os-Con for Digital rail applications.

Black Gates? Almost always - no thank you. Equally the various PIO Coupling Cap's I tried remind of wet blankets thrown over the speakers and many Foil & Film plastic types tend towards the BG "etched, edgy, unpleasant" sound.

Equally, neither Carbon Resistors nor premium metal films really sound neutral. Of course, knowing the various sonic attributes of the different parts can help to make the right choice of parts when building/modifying gear, like my recommendation of carbon composite resistors and metalised polycarbonate caps for solid state gear (like gainclones), but BG's in solid state gear that already tends towards leannesse and edginess? Not me. Try Elna Silmic instead for a much smoother, more relaxed sound while missing no detail.

Anyway, no given part is a "silver bullet" that always improves the equipment it is applied to, BG's are no exception.

Sayonara
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Old 8th February 2003, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
I like the NX-HiQ for specific low noise PSU applications (Clocks, PLL Loops) but prfer to avoid electrolytics at all if I can or use Elna Silmic for signal and Sanyo Os-Con for Digital rail applications.
Do you mean that you prefer Silmic over NX HiQ ? I agree on OSCON for digital although BG NX HiQ are prefered by me for digital also. OSCON in analog is ruining sound, nevertheless I see a lot of schematics that use them in the analog part of DAC's
However I will try Silmic again for a change. It can work refreshing to listen to something else once in a while.

Quote:
In most cases I find myself, strictly subjectively prefering high quality military/industrial parts as being less coloured. Adding BG's to any Amplifier I tried them in (SS, Valves, SE Valves) it gives the sound an unpleasant edge.
Military grade parts are hard to obtain for most of us, I compare to normal electrolytics and for example Wima MKP 10 caps. NX HiQ wins in that cases. Although more difficult to obtain than heroin in my country BG is practically the only boutique brand one can obtain without having to order from abroad.

Quote:
Anyway, no given part is a "silver bullet" that always improves the equipment it is applied to, BG's are no exception.
Agreed, neither is the trend to use S&B transformers in all gear as I remarked lately. It always is the combination that does it. In the case of BG I found that paralling them to existing caps is a failure.

Anyway the remark Halo made was not to use BG's in a Gainclone. I am sure BG gives good results here. And Silmics probably will also. And they will always be better than the standard brands too in this amp.

My non-inverting Gainclone will have Panasonic FC's probably because the price ( 15 Euro's a piece ) for standard BG 1000 uF 50 V is too high for my taste. I can afford it but it is a ridiculous price and the decadency to buy such parts confronts me with my own character. I like quality but when I realise there are people on this planet that know poverty I really can't give 15 Euro's for one cap when I can have another very-good-but-slightly-less-than-BG one for 3 Euro's. Must be that calvinistic background of the dutch I guess
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Old 8th February 2003, 05:04 PM   #6
Bobken is offline Bobken  United Kingdom
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Hi Kuei Yang Wang,

Congratulations are in order here as you are the first person (certainly since the three threads on BGs which were thrashed to death since Xmas) to imply that *having tried BGs out for themelves*, they didn't like them.

Craig Buckingham has found some Jensens which he likes better, but for most of us the jury is still out on this one as we haven't made this comparison yet. Hopefully Peter Daniel will be next on the list, as he has some to try, and he likes BGs in some of his constructions.

Incidentally, Craig didn't say he didn't care for BGs, in fact in some earlier posts he raved about them, but he has stated this preference more recently.

From my own point of view, your findings are interesting, especially as the majority of *BG users* who have posted here seem to think that there is nothing to touch them in the electrolytics line.

Regards,
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Old 8th February 2003, 05:07 PM   #7
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I'm using 1000/50 standard and 4.7u N BG in my gainclone with very positive results. Actually, the one with 4.7 coupling cap sounds better than the one without coupling cap at all. So don't get discouraged before you try for yourself, anybody.
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Old 8th February 2003, 06:11 PM   #8
jcarr is offline jcarr  United States
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I imagine that everyone on this website wants to be able to build gear that sounds special, and audio-grade parts are certainly a quick and easy (albeit expensive) way to accomplish this goal. However, it appears that often audio-grade parts are used as a substitute for thoughtful, thorough engineering. If you wish to become a better designer (and I hope that everyone reading this wants to), rather than purchasing audio-grade parts, you will do better to purchase lots of electronic engineering texts, study them, think about the ramifications, and apply the principles to your own designs.

A professional photographer may carry a Leica or Nikon, but they should be able to take a great photo using just a Brownie camera. The same standards should be applied to audio designers. If you can make a wonderful-sounding amplifier using industrial-grade parts throughout, then, and only then, should you think about special-grade parts. These should be considered as icing on an already delicious cake, _not_ the cake itself.

Assuming that you have cleared the above criteria, you may still regard certain special-grade (ie, military or aerospace) parts as being essential to the type of sonic personality that you want your designs to convey. Nothing wrong with this.

When it comes to audio-grade parts, however, my overall sentiments go in a similar direction as Thorsten's. Like him, I have tried a ridiculous number of "audio grade" parts, including just about any capacitor and resistor that I could lay my hands on. My conclusion is that they certainly change the sound in a major way, but for that very reason, their colorations are usually too much to stomach (although there are occasional exceptions).

But at the end of the day, there are many people in this world, and each individual has different experiences, expectations, priorities and tastes, and I respect those differences. No single "solution" can satisfy or be right for everyone.

regards, jonathan carr
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Old 8th February 2003, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
However, it appears that often audio-grade parts are used as a substitute for thoughtful, thorough engineering.
Of course no one will disagree with what you stated, Jonathan but in the case of this handfull of parts called Gainclone there is not much left to engineer. There are 2 major topologies with some minor ( but effective ) sub versions. Besides that most people here are no engineers but hobbyists and probably they don't even have a wish for engineering. Maybe they just want a good amp and just copy the given schematic without even wanting to think about it's exact working.

This amp has been engineered, a schematic is given and the builder are left no other options than :

1- quality of wiring, how it is done and how it is routed.
2- case quality ( as Peter Daniel showed us recently ).
3- quality of parts including power supply.

We are talking about 9 parts per channel maximum ! So the not-so-mechanically capable among us will stick to points 1 and 3.
It is a very good project for someone that want to start this hobby. The endresult when built according the old rules will be good and maybe better than discrete amps. I state maybe because I haven't built one ( yet ). This little amp has stirred up things a lot and even some of the ones that laughed most have built one out of curiousity.

The "audio grade" components are generally no better than good industrial quality parts. My experiences are from changing caps in already engineered ready made products.I am no audio designer and changing existing equipment is a challenge and it can give a great deal of insight when done with patience and a understanding of what you're doing.
Sometimes with good results and sometimes with very bad results. Just using brand X because everybody does so and because they are audio grade is not the way to go. Colorations of parts are a fact of life and picking the ultimate is a hard task and very time consuming. Maybe that's one of the things why there is a market for High End gear. Some of us don't draw the line that high and are simply satisfied with a better result than than they had before.

I make an exception for BG however. In this amp you can't go wrong by choosing BG instead of standard caps was the point I was trying to make.

regards,

Jean-Paul
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Old 8th February 2003, 07:41 PM   #10
jcarr is offline jcarr  United States
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>in the case of this handfull of parts called Gainclone there is not much left to engineer<

There are still things that can be done, even if you don't depart much from the Gainclone schematics. And if you are willing to design a new monolithic amplifier schematic, then you can go quite far indeed.

>1- quality of wiring, how it is done and how it is routed.<

Having put quite a bit of work into this area, I assure you that this can be a big one. Although the quality of wiring has some impact on the outcome (of course), the major gain comes in how the harness is designed and routed.

>3- quality of parts including power supply.<

How the power supply is designed can have a conclusive impact on your point 1. If the power supply is cleverly designed, the quality of the parts used has comparatively less impact. However, doing this may push you over the 9 parts per channel limit.

>Besides that most people here are no engineers but hobbyists and probably they don't even have a wish for engineering.<

I sincerely hope that you are wrong. Up to now, I have assumed that even if the readers on this website may not always have much knowledge or experience with electronic engineering, at least they have a strong desire to learn and become better. But if you are right and the vast majority of the readers here are simply looking for others to hand out ready-packaged information, without much desire to study, learn or think on their own, then for me to post on this website is a waste of time and server space.

>Maybe they just want a good amp and just copy the given schematic without even wanting to think about it's exact working.<

99.999% of the time, the desire for quality does not coexist easily on the same sheet of paper as the desire for intellectual laziness.

>I make an exception for BG however.<

While I respect the desire of others to use Black Gates, I have yet to experience any overwhelming urge to incorporate them into my own designs.

regards, jonathan carr
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