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Old 17th January 2015, 02:04 PM   #1
kaister is offline kaister  United Kingdom
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Default Nad 3120 Recap results

After reading more and articles about re-capping and various caps, pros and cons etc. i got more and more confused about what caps to use. I was going to recap my ageing 3020a which is my main amp, I never got around to it due to not being able to find a service manual and didnt want to have it out of service while i did the work.
Then just before christmas My Brother gave me a broken 3120. Perfect. mission on.
After giving up on what caps to use i went to ebay due to not wanting to pay huge postage costs from the big surpliers.

So I used what was available: Mainly Nichicon FW series, and for the smaller ones not available in nichicon I used panasonics various series. I am not really sure if they are audio grade or not?
Also i cant tell whats in the audio path or not.
The only ones i have not replace are the main big ones 2 x 4700uf 50v

So I fixed the amp problem, which was the back part of the power switch not working and keeping the muteing circuit on.
Then swapped out all the caps and put four trimmers in to adjust the offset and bias.
So did it work, yes, no explosions or fires.
Does it sound better?, well i dont know because i didnt hear it before i re-capped it but i can compare it to my 2030a with its origional caps.
But what i can say in comparison is the mid is much clearer, the treble seems nicely chilled and clear and the bass seems a little better but still fluffy on the lower end. The main difference, thats instantly noticeable, it sounds very clear and detailed at low volumes. Overall it sounds alot better than the 3020a. as far as i can tell the circuits are the same, one has four big caps and one has two but as i didnt change them yet it shouldnt make any difference. I have just orderd some big caps from poland/ebay to replace the main ones and have gone up to 6800uf. i am hopeing this will sort the bass out.
In summery. I think with old amps still using there origional caps they are not going to sound quite as they should and re-capping with new ones will see a good improvement. do you need to spend 100.s on expensive caps? No I dont think you do.
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Old 17th January 2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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Location: West Australia, near to the beach, natural ambient sounds only.
IIRC the original 3020's boards were stuffed with the cheapest Hu Flung Dung electro caps available to the Taiwan assemblers.
I well expect fitting known decent caps would improve these integrated amps.
Swapping the mylar greencaps out with PP and PS as appropriate would help also.
I have one on the back shelves awaiting renovation one day....

Dan.
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