improving parts on Audiosector kit

I bought an Audiosector kit, which I am currently putting together. I bought the premium kit, which is the gold plated board, Caddock resistors, and I thought better caps, but I have all panasonics as far as I can tell. May have been an oversite on Mr. Daniels part.

My first question is the capacitors. Are the Panasonic FC's pretty good, what are better choices. Is a Blackgate Standard an option, the N's are pricey and would take longer to get. I even considered the Jensen 4 pole, but didn't want to mess with the added work of installing those on my first chip amp, and are just as expensive. For the 1500uf, it looks like I would have to go with a 1000uf Black gate. Are there any Nichicon or Elna's which are a better alternative to the panasonic, while not being as expensive as the Black gate. How about some as exotic and expensive, but possibly easier to get?

For the 10uf cap, what is the purpose of this one. Is this just to help further smooth the ripple closer to the diodes? At such a small value, could a film cap be used with better results, or is that a waste of money. Would cost probably as much as a black gate.

Are Caddock resistors known to be delicate. I already broke two of them trying to clamp them while I solder(aligator clamp). I ordered some replacements as I felt bad asking Peter to send me more, I figure I have bothered him enough with my questions.

Are there no input caps used in this design? I didn't notice any, so I will assume not, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing the obvious. Why is that, For whatever reason I thought people had said you needed them on this circuit.

Final question, what are all the extra holes and spots for on the boards, they are not covered in the manual. My assumption is that they are for implimenting various other cuircits that people have brought up on the boards, but without mention of it in the manual (it may be and I missed it) I am not sure which area goes to what.

Thankyou if you can answer any and all of my questions.

I think I read somewhere deep in the forum that they had settled on the panasonics because of their good performance. If you read the premium components list on, you will see that you got what you ordered :) In any case, it would be a good idea to build with the supplied parts so that you have a reference to compare against as you chase nirvana by replacing parts...

The spare holes are probably for the zobel network, which is discussed on the Audiosector website: " Zobel components are not recommended for Premium kit, but can be included if required."

I'm mystified how you managed to break the resistors soldering them. I'm no ace, but I haven't managed to break one yet. All I do is to pre-bend the leads to the correct spacing with small pliers (a clothesline peg has been suggested for this task as well), place the leads through the holes, bending the tails slightly on the rear of the board to stabilise the component and stop it falling out, then solder it in and cut the excess lead length.

There's a soldering guide in the nigc users manual as well.

Hope this helps, good luck with the amp!

dont bother with panasonic
sony is better because is japans no1 quality manufacturer, if you cant get
sony try sharp

Philips is europe's best part manufacurer

in america i dont know it's chaos there at silicon valey the best is yet
to come try intel and youll see what i mean the cpus have stoped
growing maybe it is because the japanese are not a force anymore
who knows

the only part I was confused about is the 10uf which I thought it said was supposed to be a Black gate part. I will go and check again. I had emailed Peter once before, and he had suggested upgrading to the Blackgates if I wanted, but I just wanted to feel it out.

As for breaking them, it really isn't an issue of my soldering ability, I didn't do it soldering. I was clamping an aligator clip around the body, and another to the board in order to hold everything for me. I twisted the board a little trying to get the resistor sitting level and it twisted the soft plastic body off the resister and broke the leads out. I also broke a small piece of that soft plastic body when I was pushing the resistor into the pcb. My solder joints are perfect thus far. I a big part of the problem is that I decided to start some of it at 1am last night. I will just wait till I have more time to dedicate to this, as I dont want to break any more costly parts.

I actually may consider switching to the power supply now being offered on the sight, but I think I will do as you suggested. The reason I wanted to start with the good part is that I dont like desoldering parts, the pads can begin to fall off and the boards get messy, things break, its always easier to start fresh I think. However, the other power supply is more inline with what I am used to, and may make me feel better, it has a great deal more overal capacitance, and a great deal of small ones used, which sounds inline with what I know to be good. I will listen to both and see which I like, its not all that expensive. Maybe later on I will try a more expensive cap here and there.
pjpoes said:
the only part I was confused about is the 10uf which I thought it said was supposed to be a Black gate part.

Is this the 3875 premium kit?

From the website:
4 10u Panasonic FC Capacitors

There's no mention of any included BG caps. :(

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you didn't know how to solder, I was trying to cover all the bases. It sounds like those resistors are very fragile!

Not sure what mastertech is on about :) Anything I've had from Sony recently has been of quite average quality, and not made in Japan! The Panasonic FC caps have a reasonable reputation... ???

Anyway, good luck with the kit, hope it comes together nicely for you now.

I think the kit sounds better with input caps. You could use the 10uf panasonics in this position. I ditched the caddocks and the Rikens. They do produce a kind of hifi sound that many like. I mixed the panasonics fc(V+) with bc component capacitors(V-). This was the right combination for me. Experiment with different parts. You can get many different kinds of sound out of it.

I also bought the premium kit. I suggest to just build it as per Peter Daniels recommendations and go from there. Peter has got good ears IMHO. My eperience is as follows

As for the PS caps. I swapped the Panansonic FC 1500 uF for Black Gate N-type 100 uF (no typo) near the chips and no additional caps on the diode bridge.

I was and still am amazed by the transparency with this setup. Real bass 'umph' is lacking and some hum is coming tru your speakers. Also the amp sags to much when listening at louder levels. Since i don't listen loud and I am in the proces of using a subwoofer to take care of the lowend (Jordan TL's for mains) the tradeoff is no concern to me.

The 'save'route would be going with 1000uF (panasonic FC/Philips BC or Black gate standard if you can afford) at the diode bridge and 100 uF Black gate N-type at the chips. However it's all personal: you might like a snubberized setup. try try try.

Regarding the input cap: just measure the DC-offset and go from there. My TubeDAC has an outputcap (Black Gate again) so no input cap at the amp.

One suggestion when using bipolar caps like the Black Gate N-type. Connect the foil-side to the lower impedance point. That usually means foilside pointing to the 'input 'when used in the signal path and going to ground when used for bypassing. Just study the pics in the Audiosector thread in the Vedors Bazaar and you get the point.

I believe this also answers lot of your questions regarding the PS options etc.

Good luck and enjoy!



2002-10-06 11:25 pm
the User Guide lists 2 BG N-type 4.7uF for the Premium Kit, and 2 FC 4.7uF for the Basic Kit. lists 4 FC 10uF for the Premium Kit and 2 FC 10uF for the Basic Kit. (4 bridges vs 2.)

it's likely a revision that just isn't reflected in the Guide yet.

pipoe -- i wouldn't worry about it. if peter is supplying FC's in the Premium now, then it's because they sound good. no doubt the change was discussed in a previous thread, but i'm sorry that i don't have a link for it. perhaps someone could supply?

The one -- are you saying use FC's as input caps? i thought this position need bipolar?

I would normally agree that using less parts increases transparency, but I'd advise you to try the input caps and zobel. It makes the amp fuller and more musical to me. I'm using a rega planet 2000.


I used the panasonic fc 10uf and it sounded great but I switched to some equipment pulls 3.3uf that I think I like better. (+) side input (-) side output.

Greg Erskine

Paid Member
2002-01-05 11:56 pm
ofb said:
the User Guide lists 2 BG N-type 4.7uF for the Premium Kit, and 2 FC 4.7uF for the Basic Kit. lists 4 FC 10uF for the Premium Kit and 2 FC 10uF for the Basic Kit. (4 bridges vs 2.)

it's likely a revision that just isn't reflected in the Guide yet.

I thought the guide was written for the BrianGT's kits. The Audiosector kit by Peter is a different animal although very similiar. :angel: I could be wrong?


2002-10-06 11:25 pm
Greg Erskine said:
I could be wrong?

and you could be right.;)

however it's the PDF supplied on the same Audiosector page that lists the above info.

probably updating the Guide has a low priority because so many people building the kits have read the forums; they can fill in the blanks. but get a few more threads like this one and i'm sure peter will get around to the rewrite.


2002-10-06 11:25 pm
does input cap polarity matter? i'm just digging through the datasheets here and i notice that the few using elco's are inconsistant.

lm3886 is neg on input side
tda2003 neg
tda2030 neg
tda2050 pos
tda2040 pos
lm4700 neg

meanwhile most people specify non-polar or bipolar. enlightenment please?
ofb said:
however it's the PDF supplied on the same Audiosector page that lists the above info.

probably updating the Guide has a low priority because so many people building the kits have read the forums; they can fill in the blanks. but get a few more threads like this one and i'm sure peter will get around to the rewrite.

That would be correct answer;)

I never bothered to upgrade, or come up with a new user guide, but at one point it will be neccessary.

The original Premium kits (from a year ago) was being supplied with two BG N caps (4.7/50 value). I regarded that as a nice upgrade to the regular caps, as type N caps from BG adds warmth and "thickness" to the sound, which in many setups is quite advantegous.

Later, the premium kits have been discontinued, and when I started Audiosector, I decided to bring them back. But since my overhead is higher now (I don't split costs with Brian anymore, so the discounts are lower) and BG threatens to stop production, I eliminated BG caps from a standard kit issue. For a while, I was using Nichicon FC caps, but when those became hard to source from percyaudio as well, I went for the most convenient and readily available choice, which is Panasonic FC 10/50 cap.

Panasonic FCs are very good as main PS caps, and in my tests they are better than Nichicon KZ, Rubycon ZL and they can also compete with BG STD in some areas (BG STD gives seemingly more detail and space, but those usually jump at you and are presented a bit aggressively. Panasonic FCs are very laid back and smooth, have same amount of detail, although less obvious, but in character are pretty close to BG N caps, just less refined). BG STD definitely produce much better bass than both FC and N caps .That's why Panasonic FCs are a standard supply in both kits, and for the price are hard to beat.

My recent experiments indicate that those small, additional 10u (or 4.7u caps) are quite important for the sonics. They do change sound a bit, and adding 4.7u BG Ns is not always recommended. With smaller bypass added, the sound gains on midrange warmth, however top end extention may suffer, as well as bass.

Currently, my best combination is using small bypass only on negatie supply ( that means one BG N 4.7 caps only). Panasonic FC (4.7 or 10u) are cheaper alternative and works well too.

Next combination up, would be using 100/50 BG N caps at the chip and 1000/50 BG STD at the bridges. This gives the best of both: nice mids and highs (no brightnes or glare) with warmth and detail, and very good bass (with appropriate speakers of course).

The best bypass choice, IMO, would be BG N 100/50 only ( without any other additional caps) with clarity, immediacy and detail that is hard to improve on, but the bass will suffer and some hum occurs. This combination is perfect fo bi-amping setups.

Here's the comment from a customer who recently bought the amps with BG STD 1000/50 and a single 4.7u BG N as bypas:

The amps are outstanding. They have a clarity and spaciousness to the sound that I have not heard before. The match between them and the Placette line stage and Avantgarde speakers seems as close to perfect as I will get. Varying sorts of details are much better appreciated using them. Large choral works have a spatial sense coupled with the ability to decode individual voices. On recordings with snare drums the full detail and sound of the drums is present. On string quartets one can actually hear the viola as an individual instrument.

I have used a fair number of other amps in my system over the years including ARC's, Pass Aleph O's, and Audiopax 88's. The Patek's are the best I've used. They seem to combine the best properties of all of the above.
I just tried adding 4.7uf epcos stacked film caps right on the V- caps. Usually, I don't like what bypass caps have done in my other projects, but so far I think this is an all around improvement. Incidentally, I thought the amp sounded better with the 10uf panasonic caps removed from the rectifier boards.

Nice work!
Thankyou peter and others, this was very useful information. I am still wondering if the BG N series caps offer better performance than a similar rated film cap, as I had always understood that these were the best, but just too expensive in large sizes. If these are being used for bypassing, then wouldn't a decen't film cap work better.

Now you are saying that I should try only using the 10uf on the negative side, or remove those and insert a 4.7uf on just the negative side, for best sound? Just making sure I am clear on what you are saying.