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Old 1st April 2013, 03:24 AM   #501
vkj is offline vkj  India
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by linuxguru View Post
Malgoa is generally always pretty good - the best ones have an earthy bouquet near the stalk when ripe. Nearly identical in flavour and colour, but even sweeter, smoother and buttery, is Himampasand, which is available right now at horrendous prices at Maha Bazaar outlets. I planted two saplings about 7-8 years ago in Chennai, and have been rewarded with lush green leaves - but not a single fruit in sight!

My favourite local variety is Mallika - it keeps forever at room temperature, and has a flavour comparable to or even better than the classic Alphonsos.

The best bang-for-the-buck is Banganapalli/Benishan at Rs.25-30/kg at peak harvest, and almost all taste pretty good. Late-season Rumani is also a good deal when bought by weight - it has very thin skin and a small seed, so the edible portion is maximized.

Incidentally, about 20 years ago, there used to be a seasonal wholesale mango market at Palace grounds. There were literally 100s of varieties on display and sale. I bought the huge Enugu Daata (Elephant's Tooth) at 1 kg per fruit there, it had good texture and body, but average flavour compared to a Banganapalli.

Nowadays, there's a retail mango fair at Lalbagh, later in the season.

I leave cooking to the professionals - I haven't heard of Bassaru, but I'm guessing it's some kind of thick Rasam. I quite enjoy the thick Tomato Saru, though that is probably commonplace.
Wow, thanks for that mango expertise! You know your mangoes man! I must try out the Himmanpasand. I have tried Rumani some time back (mishread it as "roomali" as in the roti ) Hopefully the mango crop will be good this year, tho I was told that many plantations have been converted to housing "development".

vkj.
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Old 1st April 2013, 03:48 AM   #502
vkj is offline vkj  India
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Originally Posted by linuxguru View Post
Pics of a Dharmapuri Alphonso (about median-sized at 250 gms) from a push-cart vendor at S.P. Road, and an upgraded Marantz CD4000 I-V converter section with my LF03 discrete opamp, premium electrolytics and film caps. The yellow 390pF/630V axial styroflex in the foreground is a somewhat atypical NOS tube-era premium cap occasionally available at S.P.Road - this one was in a lot with a 1983 date-code, so it's about 30 years old. All the components in the LF03 discrete opamp were sourced locally, including the Japanese TO-92s and the Philips 2222 plate-type 2%-tolerance P100 ceramics - very nice-sounding for the price, if you can find them.

The Rubycon Black Gate STD and the low-profile Cerafine in the CD-4000 I-V stage are imports (not available locally, AFAIK), but there are some usable alternatives like Panasonics FC/FJ and Elna RE3/RJ4/RJJ/RJH which are sometimes available locally.
Where did you get the Styroflex/polystyrene caps? I recall they used to be freely available years back, but suddenly disappeared. Why did they fall out of favor? They were available in 1% tolerances. I went looking for them the other day for some active filter designs. UNiversal had a bunch of them and sold me the lot for Rs 40. Unfortunately most of them are "NOS", leftovers from '80s, many of them have the markings worn off, and leads missing, and to top it all the values I needed werent there. Waste.

I finally used the small polyester(?) caps aka "box" caps, but the min. value for these appears to be 1nF. 63V. Tolerance not mentioned. I recall they were once made by Erie. Incidentally Amar has some nice trimmer caps (20pf) but Rs 40 each!! CeePee has cheaper but not as nice ones for a lot less (forgot the price).

What is an I-V converter? Current to voltage? Recently my Denon DVD 2910 conked--SMPS driver burnt. Amazingly I was able to get this in SP road (TOP 244) for Rs 65!

vkj
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Old 1st April 2013, 04:56 AM   #503
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkj View Post
Where did you get the Styroflex/polystyrene caps? I recall they used to be freely available years back, but suddenly disappeared. Why did they fall out of favor? They were available in 1% tolerances. I went looking for them the other day for some active filter designs. UNiversal had a bunch of them and sold me the lot for Rs 40.
That's a terrific deal, even if some of them don't work out. I paid between Re.1 and 2 *each* for the few values that I've seen at CeePee or Chetan. Styroflex fell out of favour when the sole producer of the bulk sheets, BASF, stopped making them in the '80s. The alternatives were metalized polypropylene and polycarbonate (also obsolete now), which don't perform quite as well and sound a bit more closed in most audio applications.

Quote:
I finally used the small polyester(?) caps aka "box" caps, but the min. value for these appears to be 1nF. 63V. Tolerance not mentioned. I recall they were once made by Erie.
Tolerance is specified by a letter code:
M - 20%
K - 10%
J - 5%
H - 3%
G - 2%
F - 1%
and so on.

For low values from 1 pF to 1000 pF, the only viable option now is Class-1 ceramic, like the Philips plate-type 2222 series, Murata, AVX/Kyocera, Kemet Aximax/GoldenMax, etc. The COG/NP0 dielectrics are available up to about 220 pF, and N150, N750, etc., above that until a few 10s of nF.

Polyester is not recomended in the audio signal path, unless the DC voltage across them is very low, say 0 to a few volts. Under those conditions it performs OK. Panasonic ECQ Polyesters are available from sub-nF to a few uF.

The best box-types are polypropylene film/foil like the Wima FKP2/FKP3, and Evox/Rifa PFR or similar. I have bought some small stashes of these from CeePee and Chetan in the past, but they're now unobtainium. CeePee has one value left in 7.5mm FKP3,
and maybe something in PFR also.
The Wimas are available from Farnell online and others for princely prices like Rs.50 each and higher.

Quote:
What is an I-V converter? Current to voltage? Recently my Denon DVD 2910 conked--SMPS driver burnt. Amazingly I was able to get this in SP road (TOP 244) for Rs 65!
The better sounding DACs have tended to be current-output unbuffered DACs like the Philips 154x, etc. Typically, you need an inverting opamp in current-series low-pass integrating configuration to convert it to line-level voltage. The performance of this stage is critical - a good I/V can lift the performance of a mediocre consumer-grade CD-player into an entirely different league. I have found Class-A discrete stages with styroflex capacitors to be the best sounding upgrades here. This is a proven upgrade for Marantz CD-4000, 43/53/63/67 and few Marantz DVD players.

The thing that ruins the sound in a DVD player is the RFI/EMI from the SMPS. Unfortunately, the market went towards slim DVD players, for which an SMPS is the only option, and even the bulkier ones went with SMPSes around Y2000 time-frame.

Nothing much can be done about this, but some Marantz and Denon DVD players have some filtering to improve the PSRR. A discrete opamp upgrade to a Marantz DV-4400, for instance, takes it into fairly rarified territory.

TOPswitch converters have been available easily for years. However, if one failed in-circuit, then some other component would most probably have failed before it - most probably a P6KE-series transient-suppressor or similar, or maybe dried electrolytics. Denon has been cutting corners on electrolytics over the last 10 years. Once they were exclusively an Elna Silmic/Cerafine house, and now they use Samwha, Jamicon and other junk that I've never even heard off. I believe that the parent company Nippon-Columbia unloaded the Denon brand to some Indonesian or Malaysian entity, but I could be mistaken.

Check if your Denon has mostly red and brown Elna electrolytics. If so, you're lucky - that's an old-school Japanese build. Even so, the SMPS electrolytics will dry out and need to be replaced, preferably with solid polymers or Oscons if possible.
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Old 1st April 2013, 06:24 AM   #504
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Location: Dona paula, Goa
If you happen to be in Goa, try Maankuraat(mango). These are a Goan speciality and the best in the mangoes. Nobody in Goa even glances at Ratnagiri Alphonso. But one thing is sure, Maankuraat are too costly, presently nearly Rs500 a dozen.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 1st April 2013, 06:00 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkj View Post
UNiversal had a bunch of them and sold me the lot for Rs 40. Unfortunately most of them are "NOS", leftovers from '80s, many of them have the markings worn off, and leads missing, and to top it all the values I needed werent there. Waste.
I went to Universal today to check out the polystyrenes, and I saw exactly what you saw - NOS caps with brittle and oxidized leads, missing text, etc. There were very few useful values - 68 pF and 1000 pF being two of them. I bought all 3 of the 1000 pF caps he had for Rs.15 - a minor rip-off, but this was just a small test purchase. I measured their values on an LCR meter, and they turned out to be 872, 918 and 965 pF respectively. They're not even 10% tolerance, but 20% ! A total waste for active filters, and in fact for just about any useful application - no joy there.

He did have a whole lot of gold RF connectors - SMA, BNC, and various others. Also spotted a 64 VA 24-0-24 Miracle toroidal trafo there for Rs.850 - a moderately expensive deal for some lower power applications like DACs, pre-amps, headphone amps or even a low-powered gainclone or Class-D amp.

@Gajanan: I've heard of the Mancurade (must be the same thing, Portuguese spelling), but never tasted one.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 06:40 AM   #506
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Dona paula, Goa
Never leave an opportunity to eat one anytime. The tree ripe ones are even costlier, sold at price each, available on in the mornings in the market, and are a total taste surprise for anybody. One disadvantage is that u will not like any other type of mango in your lifetime.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 3rd April 2013, 03:19 AM   #507
vkj is offline vkj  India
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxguru View Post
That's a terrific deal, even if some of them don't work out. I paid between Re.1 and 2 *each* for the few values that I've seen at CeePee or Chetan. Styroflex fell out of favour when the sole producer of the bulk sheets, BASF, stopped making them in the '80s. The alternatives were metalized polypropylene and polycarbonate (also obsolete now), which don't perform quite as well and sound a bit more closed in most audio applications.



Tolerance is specified by a letter code:
M - 20%
K - 10%
J - 5%
H - 3%
G - 2%
F - 1%
and so on.

For low values from 1 pF to 1000 pF, the only viable option now is Class-1 ceramic, like the Philips plate-type 2222 series, Murata, AVX/Kyocera, Kemet Aximax/GoldenMax, etc. The COG/NP0 dielectrics are available up to about 220 pF, and N150, N750, etc., above that until a few 10s of nF.

Polyester is not recomended in the audio signal path, unless the DC voltage across them is very low, say 0 to a few volts. Under those conditions it performs OK. Panasonic ECQ Polyesters are available from sub-nF to a few uF.

The best box-types are polypropylene film/foil like the Wima FKP2/FKP3, and Evox/Rifa PFR or similar. I have bought some small stashes of these from CeePee and Chetan in the past, but they're now unobtainium. CeePee has one value left in 7.5mm FKP3,
and maybe something in PFR also.
The Wimas are available from Farnell online and others for princely prices like Rs.50 each and higher.



The better sounding DACs have tended to be current-output unbuffered DACs like the Philips 154x, etc. Typically, you need an inverting opamp in current-series low-pass integrating configuration to convert it to line-level voltage. The performance of this stage is critical - a good I/V can lift the performance of a mediocre consumer-grade CD-player into an entirely different league. I have found Class-A discrete stages with styroflex capacitors to be the best sounding upgrades here. This is a proven upgrade for Marantz CD-4000, 43/53/63/67 and few Marantz DVD players.

The thing that ruins the sound in a DVD player is the RFI/EMI from the SMPS. Unfortunately, the market went towards slim DVD players, for which an SMPS is the only option, and even the bulkier ones went with SMPSes around Y2000 time-frame.

Nothing much can be done about this, but some Marantz and Denon DVD players have some filtering to improve the PSRR. A discrete opamp upgrade to a Marantz DV-4400, for instance, takes it into fairly rarified territory.

TOPswitch converters have been available easily for years. However, if one failed in-circuit, then some other component would most probably have failed before it - most probably a P6KE-series transient-suppressor or similar, or maybe dried electrolytics. Denon has been cutting corners on electrolytics over the last 10 years. Once they were exclusively an Elna Silmic/Cerafine house, and now they use Samwha, Jamicon and other junk that I've never even heard off. I believe that the parent company Nippon-Columbia unloaded the Denon brand to some Indonesian or Malaysian entity, but I could be mistaken.

Check if your Denon has mostly red and brown Elna electrolytics. If so, you're lucky - that's an old-school Japanese build. Even so, the SMPS electrolytics will dry out and need to be replaced, preferably with solid polymers or Oscons if possible.
If I recall correctly, the caps on my Denon were choc. brown, but this could be wishful thinking . Im pretty sure the failure was due to over voltage. The mains voltage here quite often goes as high as 265V! For some reason (possibly to save relays) my stabilizer does not cut off if the voltage is beyond its range. Ive found that the SMPS is the weakest link in most electronics gear today. My Nak. tape deck has never given any trouble besides a belt replacement. > 15 yrs old.

I was a bit surprised to see the SMPS in the Denon. Here we have all kinds of fancy settings such as switching off the display to "avoid switching noise" and yet its powered by an SMPS! I guess this is some energy-saving regulation? I toyed with the idea of replacing it with a xfr (surprisingly the SMPS is followed by 78xx linear regulators). But it seemed too much work. And besides the Denon is awful at playing pirated/scratched DVDs. A waste of good money.

The corner-cutting isnt just Denon. I bought a Sony SR-660 and was quite pained by how badly it was made compared to a old Sony NS50P(?) that I bought years back. The latters only shortcoming was that it doesnt have a 5.1 audio output. The USB functionality of the 660 seems to me a me-too feature added hastily, and is barely usable.

I once bought the fancy Burr-Brown and Cirrus Logic DAC-set as well as the AD sample rate converter in the hopes of building the greatest DAC, but that was abt 10 yrs back . In these days of MP3 and 5" retinas who wants ultra-pure Hi-Fi and 8' screens? Heck, even CDs are obsolete! It seems that the good old days of diy electronics are numbered .

vkj
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Old 3rd April 2013, 03:34 AM   #508
vkj is offline vkj  India
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Originally Posted by gmphadte View Post
Never leave an opportunity to eat one anytime. The tree ripe ones are even costlier, sold at price each, available on in the mornings in the market, and are a total taste surprise for anybody. One disadvantage is that u will not like any other type of mango in your lifetime.

Gajanan Phadte
There was once a time not too long ago, when Bloreans would have mango trees in their gardens, and the braver ones among us would climb them for rich pickings. I remember on the way back from school we would regularly stop at what is now KSCA stadium to pick those purple "jamun" fruit from the trees that once existed there.

Today all we can do is try to avoid (mostly futile) mangoes that have been artificially ripened by that white powder.

vkj
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Old 3rd April 2013, 04:50 AM   #509
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Dona paula, Goa
Today all we can do is try to avoid (mostly futile) mangoes that have been artificially ripened by that white powder.

Very much true. Everybody is behind fast buck.

Your post reminds me of a similar incident.
On the way to Miramar beach from Panaji, there used to be vegetable fields and other side of the road was also barren and you could see the Mandovi river. Many of use would steal the tomatoes and run away towards the river.
Presently, nothing except concrete jungle.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 4th April 2013, 10:58 AM   #510
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Originally Posted by vkj View Post
Hey Linixguru,

Exactly how areas of "expertise" do you have?
I know him off the list, and I have gotten past the point of amazement
over the years. Gives one a real complex....
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