ELNA for Audio real or fake
Recently I purchased on ebay (from Chinese seller) 2 Elnas for audio15000uF/63v.
They look quite suspicious to me, so I am not sure if they are genuine elnas.
They have black plastic top with sealed number 4625T. They do not have any coding on the sides like most of caps.
Can anyone assess if they are real or fake?
Thanks for help.
Well.... I recently purchased a very versatile LCRZ meter which allows me to measure from 40Hz to 200 Khz all wanted cap properties, and I am currently doing a very large aged cap survey, including also some new Elna power supply caps. I bought some genuine Elna Tonerex 63V 6800uF from germany and some doubtfull ones from china, labelled Elna Tonerex Kenwood 73V 8200uF. The latter are much slimmer, which is odd for a higher voltage and higher capacity. Secondly the tan delta (DF) and ESR are really collapsing after 5kHz, as where the genuine one goes on much longer (though not eternal). I intend to finish the measurements soon and to put it up here.
So I expect the slimmer one from HK to be relabelled fake ones, but I have to admit that the plastic sleeve and printing is almost identical to the genuine, including the aluminium top with typical Elna sword-shaped rupture path.
In your case, there are 2 things to check first: what is the manufacturing date? There should be some small printing like 0420 (meaning 2004, week 20). Depending on the date, we have to look up the Elna datasheets of that year, to see if the dimensions fit the Elna datasheet (first indication). I have seen genuine Elna's with plastic top cap before. Elna makes a lot of custom series for HiFi OEM clients, since they want certain looks, dimensions and voltages, and eventually some surplus is dumped in the market. My 'Kenwood' might be genuine, despite the odd size, odd voltage rating, and poor measurements (but I think it's crap).
You could send your caps to me if you like (I'll send them back :) )
EDIT: the 'for Audio' series are actually older series, it migth very well be over 10 years old, going from stock to stock, as the wear signs show. Also, to complete the story, Elna had (has?) factories in China (like any other cap manufacturer) and many HiFi manufacturers have assembly lines in China. Hence, there are lots of surplus genuine parts out there. Unfortunately, also quite some counterfeit ones.
I just looked at the caps again and definitely there is no any sort of coding or numbering except 4625t on the plastic cap.
Thanks for proposition of checking their electric specs but I afraid it is not worth of both ways postal cost. I will check at the post office tomorrow.
Anyway I already purchased 100% sure Elnas from Diyaudio member Pocoyo. If you are interested in such cups he has some more. See his thread.
Thanks for the mentioning Pocoyo, I got in touch with him today.
The Elna's he (and several Ebay sellers) are offering is again a different series.
Surprisingly, the 12000uF can has the same dimensions as my Tonerex 6800 uF (63V) can, probably the difference between the LAO and LPO series. meaning that my 6800 uF version has probably better characteristics: something I want to test.
I hope I could test your Elna's, because I would like to publish here some Elna comparison test results. I think I will buy some more from China / HK, specially the ones labelled 'Denon', 'Marantz', etc, plus some strange can sizes claimed to be 'Tonerex', probably some fakes ones are amongst them. You could call it a waste of money, but I would like to obtain and present some clarity to the audio community (and myself). Even if they are genuine, it will be nice to know their properties.
PS: Elna has been very reluctant to print manufacturing dates on their caps, I think it's only after 2000 or so they started to do that, probably linked to the requirements stipulated by reference IEC standards and QA/QC certification requirements. The number you provided is rather a manufacturing batch number, for which inside information is required (and Elna really is a closed company, publishing hardly any information).
This is actually becoming a huge problem. At work we discovered some fake electrolytics b/c a power supply didn't deliver to specs. We eventually troubleshooted it down to the 'lytics and tested them with the HP4194 analyzer. They had about half the rated capacitance, and when compared to a known good real cap, we noticed a slight different font on the labelings. I can't remember which supplier we got them from, but they quickly threw out the remaining stock when we informed them. Turns out fake parts is a growing problem. My guess is the 'hotter' a component is, the more likely some fake clones are circulating the market.
Hi Semperfi, that's interesting; do you have any one of them left?
I've been digging deeper into the datasheets and I'm pretty sure one of my Elna's labelled "Tonerex / Kenwood / 73 V / 8200 uF(M) / Elna / CE 85 C" is probably fake, because:
- 73V does not exist across the LAO/LPO/Tonerex series (71V does)
- the can size (30 x 50) does not exist in that capacity range (it should be 35 x 50 for @ 71 V)
- the manufacturing country is missing; the data sheets and my genuine Elna have Thailand or Japan printed on them
- the font type for the word 'Tonerex' is different
- the snap-in terminals are longer
- the sword-shaped vent rupture groove is not across the whole diameter, actually not even nicely in the middle
- the sword-shaped vent rupture lines seem 'stamped' afterwards (deformed surface inwards), as where the genuine cap is really deep square groove
- and finally, the the ESR is double/tripple while the DF (tan d) is going to infinity around 5 kHz (don't want that in your amp....)
So bartmallow, what are the dimensions of your caps? They seem pretty slim to me for that capacity / rated voltage, and there is also no country printed on them.
And more sorry for this: 15000uF @ 63V does not exist in the Elna LAO / LPO datasheets. 42 volt is last one for that capacity, sized 35 x 50 H.
EDIT: I will get some pictures up when I get back home this weekend.
I just pulled some Elnas out of an old Kenwood amp and would like to reuse them.
I read that If they were custom caps for a manufacturer like kenwood they sometimes missed some lettering. Does anyone know what the 64F23 means?
My question is: which connection is positive, is it the one with the black dot?
I also found a Elna data sheet PDF
cbdb, if that Kenwood amp is 15+ years in age I would be very reluctant in reusing those caps.
Your pictures are not clear, but I'm 99% sure these are the same Fake I purchased on the chinese eBay (I live in China) for 40 cents a piece (although mine are Nippon ChemiCon hahaha !)
You can tell by looking at the (-) minus band where you can see the "matrix" from the printer.... (however mine did not have a serial number on top)
When I complained , the guy said "No they are not fake, I promised, they are authentically genuinee...." then "OK.. maybe they are relabeled Elna, but only the sleeve has changed, these are brand capacitors"".. finally after I insisted a bit more, he said.. "hey! for that price what did you expect?????"
I guess he was right... :P
In the end they work.. probably not super low ESR, but they filter 50Hz ....
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