Panasonic Radial vs Blackgate Radial Caps


I am more of guitarist than electronic wiz. I am just learning about this stuff and have been experimenting/learning by doing with my guitar amp. Changing coupling caps, filter caps, tubes, transformers, wire, speakers etc. Its kind of addicting! I have heard improvements already by changing out some of the coupling caps, phase inverter caps, and currently changing out the power/filter caps from Illinois to Sprague.

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations regarding replacement caps for the radial electrolytics. I have a guitar amp with Illinois Radial Caps and want to replace those with more improved model. I have heard about Blackgate being the best, but also more expensive than Panasonic. Will it make much of a difference Panasonic vs Blackgate? I have read that the better radial electrolytic will make the amp less noisy and heat resistance is another factor to consider.

You guys are are all light years ahead of me with this stuff, so I figured I've come to the right place for advice.

Hope someone can weigh in on this.



2006-12-28 12:19 am
one thing i've actually seen is:
don't use "atom" caps with the red epoxy seal. the positive wire invariably separates inside the epoxy, at first causing an intermittant connection, and later the cap goes open. usually the first sign of trouble is a black spot or ring in the red epoxy indicating that the connection is overheating. i've seen this with the older "atom" caps with the red rubber seal, where there's a dark bubble in the seal next to the positive rivet. i don't know if it's a corrosion problem or a formulation problem, but it does happen often. one type of equipment i used to work on regularly had used these "atom" caps in a 5V power supply during at least a whole year of production before switching to panasonic lytics. after i began seeing several machines from the same production year with exactly the same problem, i ordered enough panasonic lytics to replace every "atom" lytic in our company's customer base. every time one of those machines came in with flaky intermittant problems, such as memory loss or scrambled data, the first thing i did is tap the "atom" cap with a screwdriver, and 99.99% of the time that was the problem. i ended up just replacing them if i saw them, because sooner or later it would fail. i've seen the same problem with the same type of cap in many other pieces of equipment, including guitar and stereo amps. if i see one of those caps now, i just replace it immediately.