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Old 09-04-2013, 10:49 PM   #41
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Default Re: What do you think is the most underrated "bad cap" brand?

Originally Posted by linuxguru View Post
Premium audio capacitors definitely have their unique sonic signatures, but whether it makes a material difference depends on the specific purpose it is used for.

Almost all of them differ when used in coupling/DC blocking - in descending order of preference:

Rubycon Black Gate NX-HiQ > NX > N > PK > F > FK > STD
Sanyo Oscon SA > SC
Nichicon Muse KZ > KW > SW > FG
Elna Cerafine > RE3 > Silmic II > Silmic > Tonerex > Starget > Duorex
Panasonic Pureism > FL > FJ

However, when used for bypass, several other series (in addition to the ones above) do well:

Elna RJJ > RJH > RJ4 > RJ3 > RE2 > R3O > R2O
Panasonic FK > FM > FC > NHG > NHE
Nichicon HD > HE > PX > PW > PJ > PM > PL > PR > PS > VZ > VX > VR
Rubycon ZA > ZL > ZLH

Cerafines don't work out for every application - they tend to be very analytical and dry sounding, and in some applications the tonal balance of Silmics is more well-rounded, even though it loses detail.

Both the Rubycon Black Gates and Nichicon Muses are the kings of detail - tiny and under-rated Muse SW is very close to the Black Gate PK in almost any coupling/bypass application. It's great when space is tight (e.g. sound cards, CD/DVD decoder boards, etc.).

For transparency, Oscons and Polymers are hard to beat, but they have some drawbacks including leakage current, low voltage rating and magnetic leads (most polymers).
Lots of good information. Thanks for the reply!
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