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Old 24th September 2013, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Best 100uF cap for 15 volt rail

Its been a while since I tried to figure out what the best sounding 100uF cap for a 15 V rail was. Im not specific on value, it could be smaller, it can be bigger, but size is a factor. A big polyproplene is not gonna fit.

Its for a power supply rail for a transistor gain stage for a DAC.

Also if price was not important are there any crazy caps that are small that will do this.
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Old 24th September 2013, 11:23 PM   #2
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100uF Electrolytic at 16Volts with a 100nF poly in parallel is fine. Cost will be around $3 US. If you pay any more you will have been seen off!
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymox1 View Post
Its been a while since I tried to figure out what the best sounding 100uF cap for a 15 V rail was. Im not specific on value, it could be smaller, it can be bigger, but size is a factor. A big polyproplene is not gonna fit.
I suggest you to use a 50/63V or higher rated cap, it will usually sound better than a 25V one.

My favourite, a safe and not too costly choice, is Elna Silmic II (black version, not the brown ROHS one).

Other good ones are Nichicon FG, FW, Elna RJH.

Avoid low ESR caps (apart RJHs).

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My suggestions are based on uncontrolled subjective evaluations, please avoid any sterile controversy.
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Old 25th September 2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Interesting. Yes i want to try and avoid doing any bypassing with a second cap. The reason is I want my higs to have the same sonic attributes as my lows. Thats of course IMHO.. So I would prefer to use one cap. Yes i know a cap might sound different at different freqs.

Interesting to avoid low ESR. Normally a low ESR is of course a good thing. It would be with a film cap. Why is this ?
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Old 25th September 2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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Interesting. Yes i want to try and avoid doing any bypassing with a second cap.
I usually avoid too bypassing PS caps, IMHO, they often harm more than what they fix...

But if a bypass is necessary I consider an X7R ceramic the less intrusive (soundwise).

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Interesting to avoid low ESR. Normally a low ESR is of course a good thing. It would be with a film cap. Why is this ?
Low ESR caps I've tried are unbalanced or harsh or both, unique exception Elna RHJ, particularly in voltage gain stages.

Low ESR caps, though, can be preferrable where current is required (es. transimpedance amps), in such case I use RJHs.
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Old 25th September 2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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I was going to suggest some organic polymer capacitors until I had a closer look at the datasheet. I've not used them, but had been considering it. Their rated ripple current is at 100Khz and reduces dramatically at lower frequency.

For example the panasonic SEP series you need to muliply the rated ripple current by 0.05 to get the ripple rating at 120 Hz... So much for that idea!!

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Old 25th September 2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Yea ive seen thoise cap too. Ive never listed to them It would be interesting to listen to them.

Ive used silver case wet tantalums in some places for digital and video stuff. Like a DAC digital voltage rails. The hyper low ESR and super wide freq range of a wet tant seems to work well on digital stuff. BUT these caps are stupid expensive and hard to get. They are weird for audio tho. They smear detail.

I tell ya tho. This signal on a unipolar DAC is just stunningly critical. As the ground point that is synthesized as the zero point for the differential outputs from the DAC's it turns out to be amazingly critical. This is most apparent when playing back SACD DSD.
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Old 26th September 2013, 04:01 AM   #8
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If the supply is regulated with very low ripple then the organic polymers would be worth a try. They seem to offer the advantages of electrolytics in size terms, and the advantages of ceramics or film caps in the high frequency range.

The downside is that they don't seem to handle ripple at the frequency that a non-regulated linear supply will have.

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