Audioengine A5+ Film Capacitor Replacement - diyAudio
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default Audioengine A5+ Film Capacitor Replacement

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Last edited by ohsnaptimothy; 31st January 2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 24th January 2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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Hello Diy'ers

I'm looking to replace the cheap chinese capacitors on my Audioengine A5+ PCB, but do not know where to start.

Stock Film Capacitors on A5+:
(1) Maroon: Model CY250103JL (0.01uF / 250V / 5% Tolerance / Metallized Polypropylene / 5mm or 7.5mm lead spacing)
(3) Orange: Tag 104 (0.1uF / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Ceramic Disc / 5mm lead spacing)
(2) Small Orange: Tag 102 (0.001uF(1000pF) / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Ceramic Disc / 5mm lead spacing)
(1) Gray: Model 224J100 (0.22uF / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Metallized Polyester / 5mm lead spacing)
(1) Yellow: Model 224J100 (0.22uF / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Metallized Polyester / 5mm lead spacing)
(2) Green: Model CY2A104J (0.1uF / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Polyester Film / 5mm lead spacing)
(1) Small Green: Model 2A103J (0.01uF / 100V / 5% Tolerance / Polyester Film / 5mm lead spacing)

I was planning on replacing all of them with Wima MKP2 (Metallized Polypropylene)
Is that okay to do? A guy told me that i should look for something else to replace the Ceramic Disc capacitors since it's job is power decoupling, but on Wima's website, MKP2 shows to work fine for High Frequency Coupling/Decoupling so i'm unsure as of now.

My Thread page on Head-Fi : http://www.head-fi.org/t/644525/audi...eaker-upgrades

I've done quite a bit of modding on the A5+ already, but in order to MOD further, i would be needing help, and no one on Head-Fi seems to know anything about parts, which brought me here.

Help is GREATLY appreciated.

Timothy
Artemis Cables

Last edited by ohsnaptimothy; 24th January 2013 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 26th January 2013, 01:53 AM   #3
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Bump.

Still waiting on someone who's knowledgeable enough to help.

Tim
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Old 26th January 2013, 04:07 AM   #4
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I won't claim to know the most about this topic, but I do have some experience swapping caps.

I suggest you replace all the polyester caps and polypropylene caps with Wima. MKP are no doubt better than the cheapo stock parts, but FKP (stacked film and foil with superior sonics) are even better where proper values are available.

If the ceramic caps are for PS decoupling, it would probably be best to stick with ceramic. For better quality you could use Kemet, but no guarantee they'll sound better. Still, very inexpensive to try, and they certainly won't sound worse. As long as you're in there and experimenting, why not give some polypro's a try? I've used them, but I can't say for sure they're any better than ceramics for PS use.

One additional note: if any of these small film caps are used to "bypass" a larger value electrolytic (parallel in the circuit), you might try leaving the small film cap completely out of the circuit, especially if you have already upgraded the 'lytics. It is an almost universal band-aid to parallel crappy 'lytics with cheap films to "smooth them out," but sometimes it will cause resonances or detrimentally affect other sonic properties. If you have invested in superior quality electrolytics, they may no longer require the film cap crutch. No harm in trying it, and you might be surprised at the results.

DO NOT add a jumper where the film caps were. If they're in parallel with the 'lytics, the circuit will perform the same without anything in the place of the film caps.

Peace,
Tom E
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Old 26th January 2013, 05:17 AM   #5
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Hey Tom,

Thanks for answering. i do not know what a jumper is, so i don't think i'll ever add that in. Do you mean a wire that connects the two together since there won't be any cap there, and signal has to go from point a to point b?

As for the polyester/polypropylene caps, theres only 1 polypropylene which is next to the AC AC Rectifier, the rest are cheap stock Chinese polyester capacitors.

I was going to go with FKP2 film foil for everything but considering the values, most were only available for MKP2, so i ended up going for entirely MKP instead of having a few FKP's in the mixture.

Since the stock caps were nearly all "metallized" and of polyester, i knew replacing them with MKP2 would be okay to do, now that you mention is fine to do, it raises an even greener GO Flag for me.

Is PS Decoupling specific purpose a lot different than "decoupling" in general? Because WIMA shows the MKP2 as being a coupling/decoupling cap, so i thought it would be okay to use even for power supply purposes (just most costy).

For ceramics, i couldn't fine some correct value Kemet's, but another brand called TDK.
FK22C0G2A104J TDK | Mouser
FK24C0G2E102J TDK | Mouser

It will be hard to put the original orange caps in, then switch them with MKP2 to hear sonic differences, since every time, to un-solder them, i'll need to remove the two large electrolytics which can be a pain in the *** to do.

As for your the "universal band-aid", i find that to make a lot of sense, but since the spot for the caps are already there, there's no harm soothing it out a little more. Then again, more signal paths to go through = sound degraded.

I'm asking WIMA to see if MKP2 is okay for PS decoupling, since these small film caps nowadays may even do better than ceramic caps, who knows.

Tim
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Old 27th January 2013, 03:42 AM   #6
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Glad I could help.

Yes, a jumper is only a piece of wire. If the signal has no place else to go but through a component that's not there any more, you must replace it with something (wire jumper) to pass the signal. If the component you eliminate is in parallel with some other component, then a jumper in its place will create a short circuit, which could be disastrous or at least sound terrible.

Mixing MKP and FKP is not a problem, and may sound even better than all one type. I'll repeat: caps constructed of film and foil such as FKP almost always sound better than metalized film such as MKP.

TDK is probably just as good as Kemet in this application. If you want to try MKP there instead, there is no harm in it. Sometimes it sounds better than ceramic, sometimes not, and sometimes it makes very little or no difference. I wouldn't worry much about it. Choose what you believe to be best, and be satisfied that whichever you use is probably better than stock quality. There are far more important things to disturb sonics.

The term decoupling is rather ambiguous and can mean power supply decoupling or input/output DC decoupling. We really need a more specific term for each application.

Just because the space for bypass caps is there is not a good reason to use it. If you are using high grade electrolytics (Silmic, Blackgate, even Panasonic FM), a parallel film cap may cause more problems than it solves. There is lots of expensive, excellent sounding equipment that does not bypass 'lytics, and a lot of cheaply produced midgrade stuff that does. This is probably the most critical area for experimentation and listening trials.

Peace,
Tom E
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Old 27th January 2013, 05:46 AM   #7
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Hey Tom,

Thanks for clarifying jumper along with it's usages.

I should of incorporated some FKP's, but now it's too late and i'm stuck with MKP. Since this is only for smoothing before lytics and power decoupling, i don't think it would be beneficial anyway as its not in the signal path.

Just put an order for some TDK Ceramics to see if they sound better than the MKP for this power decoupling purpose. Took your advice and i went along and filled the entire thing with MKP's.

Click the image to open in full size.

This was what i found on google regarding the use of ceramic for PS decoupling, which triggered me to buy some of the TDK's.

"Ceramic are more suitable for PS decoupling because of their low parasitic inductance and their high losses, which help to dampen resonances of wiring inductances and the decoupling capacitors."

&

"Due the higher inductivity of the polypropylene, or polystyrene they are not the godd solution for supply decoupling. Ceramic caps has lower impedance over 1MHz, and they succesfully avoid the HF oscillation."


I'm not using super super highgrade like Silmic II and BlackGate, just high grade Nichicon KZ, KG (two large smoothing cap), and Panasonic FR (which should be better in longevity than FM).

I only thought to just leave the film caps in there since it was used to help the crappy electrolytics, so it should do any harm to better caps, but maybe i'm wrong.
Perhaps now with better overall caps, changing from ceramic to MKP should cause no harm from High frequency?
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