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Old 4th February 2014, 05:46 PM   #71
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
I found this forum with a quick Google search. I was actually thinking that I might be a little obsessive about this cap thing. Apparently I;'m not alone.

I'm currently right in the middle of auditioning three different sets of caps (Tonerex, SilmicII, and Cerafine) in three Hafler DH120's that I have restored. This all kind of started after I purchased a used, but working DH120 on Ebay. I started off by recapping the main ps, and then discovered a kit to upgrade the amp with a combination of electrolytics and poly caps, etc. I also replaced the existing wiring and connectros etc and got rid of the input pots. The kit also offered a slight modification to the original amp. It came with Tonerex caps. When I finished the job and fired it up I was amazed at how good it sounded. So I ended up buying two more of the 120's (all under $100.00). I also own a DH220 that I have had for many years and that amp has not been upgraded at all. I have it in my office with a stock Spectro Acoustics 217 and two Rane 1/3 octave Eq's into two recently restored and recapped EAW JF80's

So, now that I am in the middle of experimenting with these electrolytic caps, two issues have come to mind. A) yes, absolutely these caps make a huge difference, and B) loudspeakers are a huge factor in the equation. I am keeping all variables fixed and only swapping caps, but at the end of the selection there will have to be a final and careful eq performed. So with a 1/3 octave you can tweak the outcome to a very musical result which might leave you with any of those caps and satisfied.

I am currently listening to the Silmics and just before that I had the Cerafines in. I found the Cerafines to be much more edgy than the Tonerex and I didn't like them after listening to a lot of known music. The Silmics were a big change, but at first I wondered if they might be too smooth. They have grown on me over the last two days. The detail is definitely there but the shrill edgy zing is gone. it's difficult to describe because they almost sound like they are compressing in a pleasant way at certain frequencies (like tape saturation in a way but much more hi fi).
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Old 18th March 2014, 04:50 AM   #72
mbz is offline mbz  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
My 2 cents worth.

I've recapped a NAD3150 with cerafines apart from Nichicons
used in the power supply. Also upgraded the opamp, voltage
regulator and...

Result was OK, but a bit flat. Continued to listen to the
amp for 6-9 months. Dramatic improvement when running the
NAD as a power amp with external preamp. The NAD (pre/power)
was almost unlistenable with other equipment being played.

Eventually changed C505, 506, 517, 518 (signal path, preamp) to
Silmic II's. Significant improvement (more open, more detail...)
Nothing subjective about this.

Then changed C539, 540, 601, 602, 603, 604 (signal path pre/power)
to Silmic II's. There was no dramatic improvement.

I've also recapped a HK6300, Mundorf in psu and cerafines.
Similiar results. Disappointed with the flat sound. Have just
now replaced C401, 402, 411, 412, 416, 417, 505, 506 (signal
path "ish") with Silmic II's. Significant improvement.

My observations/conclusions/theory is that Silmic II's are better
than cerafines in the small signal area. Other caps may be better.

I would not use cerafines in the signal path of a preamp or phono
stage. There are better alternatives.

Will give both amps time (months) to settle down before making
a full assessment of the Silmic's.

Cerafines/Silmics sourced new from partsconnection.

I've omitted some detail as it was deemed not relevant to the post.
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Old 4th May 2014, 09:38 PM   #73
mbz is offline mbz  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Ooooops!

Correction, Cerafines were sourced from Hifi Collective. I will order Cerafines from partsconnection/mouser and roll back C505, 506, 517, 518 in the NAD and check for any significant change.

Along with the NAD3150 and HK6300 a Marantz CD 75 MkII was also upgraded with same batch of Cerafines, result also disappointing. Rotel RCD-855 after upgrade of power supply with Nichicon's makes music, I did not have the heart to remove the blackgate caps.
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Old 11th May 2014, 01:17 AM   #74
dhayes5 is offline dhayes5  United States
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Default Luxman C120A Preamp Recap

I am getting ready to recap a Luxman C-120A pre-amp. After reading many posts on this site and others I had settled on Elna Cerifines in the power supply and Elna Silmic II in the phono section, pre-amp section and coupling caps.

The problem is, I cannot find a single source for the Cerifines in the values I need (partsconnextion.com and Digikey don't have them) 220uF x 50V and 47uF x 50V.

Does this sound like a good way to go or would another type in the power supply be a better way to go?
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Old 11th May 2014, 01:52 AM   #75
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Location: Ireland
Step up a voltage rating? assuming they physically fit.
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Old 11th May 2014, 11:13 PM   #76
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Do they really need to be 50 V on that preamp? Most preamps use to run at significiently lower voltages.
Blaue Leuchtdioden machen blöd. (hb)
sent from NSA monitored device
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:59 AM   #77
mbz is offline mbz  Australia
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Cerafines/Silmic in Power Supply

I initially tried Cerafines and Silmics II in the NAD3150 power supply but some failed, their ripple current rating is a bit low, so switched to Nichicon KZ/FG/KG/FW. Currently, I use Nichicons prior to voltage regulators and Silmics after.

Maybe you will have better luck with the Luxman as opposed to NAD's budget approach.
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Old 16th June 2014, 04:16 AM   #78
mbz is offline mbz  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Follow up to my post on Cerafines v Silmic II's in NAD3150 preamp stage.

Recapped a second 3150 in same way as the first (Silmic's, Nichicons,
OPA2604,,,) Both sound the same.

On one unit, rolled back C505, 506, 517, 518 (1uf/50V preamp) with Cerafines
sourced from parts connection to retest comments made earlier.

"Eventually changed C505, 506, 517, 518 (signal path, preamp) to
Silmic II's. Significant improvement (more open, more detail...)
Nothing subjective about this."


"I would not use cerafines in the signal path of a preamp or phono
stage. There are better alternatives."

I could switch between the two amps reasonably quickly for comparisons.

The Cerafines sounded good, the Silmic II's sounded better (more open,
more detail...). The difference was not dramatic as suggested above
but very noticeable.

If your system is a little bit on the "bright" side then the Cerafines
would be a good choice to tone it down a bit. However, my vote goes to
the Silmic II's for the extra openness/detail.
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