Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Capacitors - A brief review with listening notes

Ranked in no particular order, but if its on the list, its worth a try.

Low voltage electrolytic

Elna Silmic -Smooth, fast, deep tight tuneful bass.

Nichicon UHE - The most neutral cap on this list, tight, but a little light on bass, not tuneful or colured in any way. Dead neutral. Not grainy.

Nichicon FW - Slight grain, slight haze, but a tuneful and warmish sounding cap suited to analog circuits.

Nichicon Gold Tune - As above but better in all areas.

Elna Cerafine - fast and detailed, but a little light on bass, highs sound a bit too prominent for my liking.

Panasonic FCA- Acceptable, but grainy midrange and highs. Wooly slow bass. Perhaps for use in restoring older power amps, but not recommended for low voltage line level devices.

Panasonic ECA -  Gives nice bass extension, has an overall warm sound. Quite grainy. Soft highs. Distinctive sounding cap which sounds very different to everything else.

Nicicon Muse KZ - Very tight bass, has good sub bass punch, gives a tightness and enclosed sound which is not good for giving the perception of "extension" or width to the soundstage. The 50V version sounds much better than the 25V version.

Digital local decoupling

Sanyo OSCON SEPC - Speed, detail, accurate, neutral, great bass great highs. Perfect digital cap. 10/10

NCC PSC - Same as above but slower and just not as good.

Oscon SP - on par with the above, perhaps even a little slower.

High(er) voltage electrolytic ( reservoir caps )
(almost) Any screw-in capacitor from Philips or NCC -Warm, punchy clear, smooth

Nichicon FW - Above average, has some warmth and some punch.

Nichicon Gold tune - Better than the above, but tighter faster sound

Panasonic TS-UP or TS-HA - Neutral with great punchy bass. Smooth and clear.


  1. I loved your review on the caps. My best sound CD player is mostly Cerafine, some fine gold, the mostly KZ and FG player has lots of punch, not as open.

    I found your page while looking for powercaps as they dont have many KG, which was my choice, however I was looking into ther TS-HA, your review has them as punchy and also very nice in the upper end.

  2. Hello again :)
    When you say low voltage that is below 50v. If so the Nichicon you are talking about is the gold tune - KG TypeII or Fine Gold FG?

    1. Hi Sam, Im talking about the Fine gold FG type.
      Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  3. Hi Agent 86,
    Thanks for the reply. Yes i like the FG Fine gold also and use then in CD power supplies, better than their KZ i think :)

  4. For High(er) voltage electrolytic ( reservoir caps )

    How NCC caps compare to those Nichicon Gold tune?