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Polymer "Solid State" Capacitors in a Chip Amp?
Polymer "Solid State" Capacitors in a Chip Amp?
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Old 11th March 2011, 01:26 AM   #1
TheLaw117 is offline TheLaw117  United States
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Default Polymer "Solid State" Capacitors in a Chip Amp?


Sorry to barrage this poor community with questions. Hopefully my questions can be helpful for future reference. I've looked around this site and I've gotten mixed responses on using organic polymer "solid state" capacitors (like OS-CON), in amplifiers.

I'm building an LM3886 x 2 amplifier. I was going to use the standard Nichicon FGs and KWs etc, but as I look around, this solid polymer capacitors seem to be quite tempting.

Does anyone have any input on this? It seems that a lot of Class T and Class D amps have solid (or the like) capacitors, but I haven't really seen much on Class A/B...

Any ideas?

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Old 11th March 2011, 07:46 AM   #2
singa is offline singa  Singapore
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Hi, Oscon caps are primarily used in switching supply or digital circuits and they can also be used in standard or normal electronic circuits mostly as supply decoupling as it's designed upper limit frequency is 100Khz.What this
means is higher frequency noise is well filtered compared with the same
value standard electrolytic capacitor.Given that oscons cost more and are
available in the low capacity range ,manufacturers only use them in critical
or necessary for performance type circuits only.There are also other low esr
electrolytic caps than are suitable alternatives for sanyo oscon.

I guess it's the hype by "audiophiles" that have made oscons a desirable
"must have in the circuit".In truth they do what they are designed for specific
applications but whether they are a universal cure all,that is whether they
"sound" good to the ears is subjective and I personally don't find them to render music as favourable as others might suggest.In fact they sound quite
lifeless or in other words oscon is no silver bullet for audio as well as vampires.

In your application ie. LM3886 you can add an oscon or two for noise
filtering but that will not mean it will elevate the amp to audiophile quality.
In audio there is a lot of "blind leading the blind",there is a powerful business
profit agenda that brainwashes the unsuspecting audiophile to only have a narrow perception of what is good sound/music reproduction.

You have to step out of the comfort zone of commercialism and
look at other alternatives of sound amplification.Like Jean Hiraga said it
is difficult to make a good sounding transistor amp but it's not impossible
just that you must know that it's the spectral distribution of the sound/signal
harmonics that determine if one amp is musically pleasant to the ears.
Unfortunately because most transistor amps used push pull circuits (output) their spectral signature is not favourable to the human ears.

After you have completed LM3886 try Hiraga's Le Monster 8W or
his 20W push pull class A amp.I can asure you it's not because it's class A but
also the type of transistors he specifies that have a certain spectral signature
close to a triode type reproduction.It's not going to be a cheap project because apart from the transistors there is a large capacitance needed that you will not find in any commercial amp except for the stratoshperic high end class. DIY is not cheap.

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Old 11th March 2011, 02:43 PM   #3
TheLaw117 is offline TheLaw117  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Thanks for the detailed reply!

Is it a completley viable replacement for regular electrolytics?
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Old 11th March 2011, 02:49 PM   #4
mace1337 is offline mace1337  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Originally Posted by TheLaw117 View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply!

Is it a completley viable replacement for regular electrolytics?
Completely viable in their respective area of application, yes.
For all intents and puposes they are electrolytics, just with some special characteristics that make them very suitable for certain applications, and less suitable for others.

If your question was more: "Can I use OS-CONs everywhere?" then you haven't really understood singa's post.
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