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 Post subject: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2019 6:24 pm 
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I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on these caps - made in Germany. I used them for a recent "higher-end" tube amp I rebuilt for a customer. (For most things, I use the generic caps that Sal sells, and never had a problem.) These are typical aluminum axial lead caps, but they're about twice as big physically - definitely not for re-stuffing cans. The ripple/AC hum was inaudible, and barely showed up on a scope. They're not that expensive - - definitely not in the "Audio Phool" category. F&T's website also gives complete performance specs, as well as life expectancy, etc. - - something that's hard to find for "generic" components. Thoughts? Experiences?


Dan


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:37 am 
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I purchased some from AES because I needed some other parts from them, I later used them in my General Electric E-61 tombstone. I liked the 500V rating and good ripple current characteristics. They are physically large and not as cheap as other offerings, however I would not have any issue with using them again in a radio of this type as they are of good quality and the radio was being given as a gift.

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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:48 am 
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hello Dan,
those would be a great cap to install in my 1950s harmon Kardon they look like a great cap for the price and yes they cost more but for a special project it's worth it .

Sincerely rich


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: May Fri 31, 2019 11:17 pm 
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I've been using F&T electrolytics from Antique Electronic Restoration for years now without issues. I like the axial lead ones because I just mount them under the chassis and connect the leads.


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: May Fri 31, 2019 11:38 pm 
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Use them in guitar amplifiers quite often. I'd buy them over Sprague.

Jason

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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 02, 2019 2:22 am 
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Very good quality caps, used them since many years and never had any issues. And I think F&T are the only manufacturers still offering dual axial wired electrolytic caps, very convenient for some restoration purposes where space under the chassis is limited.


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 11:55 am 
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While I am glad to see that somebody is still supporting the axial lead electrolytic format (I never liked the look of radial caps in a chassis that didn't originally have them), I think it should be pointed out that most of the materials in those capacitors are made by other companies. There are only a few wholesale suppliers in the whole world for the anodized aluminum foils, the paper separators, the aluminum cans, and the electrolytes. Made in Germany, great. But probably not of German aluminum, electrolyte, or rubber. Where did the materials come from? Probably the same sources that all the other capacitor makers get them. Certainly well made, high quality components but are they necessarily any better than the best capacitors coming out of China and Japan today? I kinda doubt it.

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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Chris - - - consider this. Suppose you gave 2 chefs an identical set of ingredients, and instructed them to create one specific dish. One chef works in a Michelin-star restaurant, the other at Applebee's. I would bet that one dish would be far superior to the other.

Another example - - - take two identical sets of all the materials necessary to build a violin. Give one set to an amateur violin maker, and the other set to a master violin craftsman. Which one would produce the superior instrument?

Years ago, there was a TV/radio ad for Pall Mall (I think) cigarettes. The jingle was "it's not how long you make, it's how you make it long". Your points are indeed valid, but I think there's more to it than common raw components. . . . . :)

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Quote:
Chris - - - consider this. Suppose you gave 2 chefs an identical set of ingredients, and instructed them to create one specific dish. One chef works in a Michelin-star restaurant, the other at Applebee's. I would bet that one dish would be far superior to the other.

Another example - - - take two identical sets of all the materials necessary to build a violin. Give one set to an amateur violin maker, and the other set to a master violin craftsman. Which one would produce the superior instrument?


To be sure, considerable cleanliness and precision are needed in the fabrication of a good electrolytic capacitor. The anodized foils have to be slit perfectly, as any jagged edges will likely turn into failure points. The cans have to be drawn from the proper grade of aluminum, annealed, and cleaned carefully. Any dirt or contamination will result in short life. The lead attachments have to be right, otherwise the ESR could end up too high and reliability may suffer. As it will if the electrolyte is under-filled or over-filled, the rubber plug is crimped improperly, the correct forming voltage at the correct temperature for the correct length of time is not applied, or any of dozens of other things that could go wrong, were to do so.

But in the end we are not talking about fine cuisine or handmade musical instruments where the skill and talent of some artisan make all the difference between just another mediocre product and something really special. We are talking about manufactured goods produced to a large extent on automated machinery. What manual labor there is does not influence the outcome to any great extent; the QC procedures employed by top manufacturers ensure there's practically no measurable variation from one cap to the next. Since everybody in the business uses the same machinery and procedures in addition to the same materials, one should not expect big differences from one brand to the next. They can do it just as well in China or Japan or Taiwan as they do it in Germany. It looks to me like F&T is making caps like axials and cans that still have value in specialized fields, but in markets which are too small for the mainstream companies. Not a bad business plan at all for a smaller, high quality company.

Of course first rate materials--not seconds--proper fabrication, testing, and quality control all cost money. If you buy write-your-own-name capacitors from two-bit sellers online, it's a whole different story.

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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 4:55 pm 
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Quote:
We are talking about manufactured goods produced to a large extent on automated machinery. What manual labor there is does not influence the outcome to any great extent; the QC procedures employed by top manufacturers ensure there's practically no measurable variation from one cap to the next. Since everybody in the business uses the same machinery and procedures in addition to the same materials,


Scale is a real differentiator in manufacturing. A company that makes 500K capacitors a year can operate very differently than one that makes a million capacitors a week. The equipment is not necessarily the same. F&T is probably using vintage equipment rather than investing in expensive, modern hi-volume stuff. I used to work for a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. The scale of operation is so different between Stuttgart (M-B) and Wolfsburg (VW). M-B was concerned about a luxury image; VW was driven by cost. M-B pays its "manual labor" to do a better job of assembly. The key learning for me was that you need machine operators and testers to "know a good one from a bad one." Assembly in Asia, thirty years ago, was cheap and efficient, but the plant occasionally made 20,000 ICs before someone down the line noticed a defect. "Just following the recipe; they are all that way!" vs. "The first 20 pieces I tested were ALL on the low end of the spec; that's unusual."

Maybe F+T is the Mercedes of capacitors?

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Let's hope not! Mercedes is not as reliable as VW, according to Consumer Reports: https://www.osv.ltd.uk/are-mercedes-benz-reliable/

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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Good point!

Initial "quality" doesn't always equate to long-term reliability. M-B cars are much more complex with more features and systems.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Scale is a real differentiator in manufacturing. A company that makes 500K capacitors a year can operate very differently than one that makes a million capacitors a week. The equipment is not necessarily the same. F&T is probably using vintage equipment rather than investing in expensive, modern hi-volume stuff. I used to work for a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. The scale of operation is so different between Stuttgart (M-B) and Wolfsburg (VW). M-B was concerned about a luxury image; VW was driven by cost. M-B pays its "manual labor" to do a better job of assembly. The key learning for me was that you need machine operators and testers to "know a good one from a bad one." Assembly in Asia, thirty years ago, was cheap and efficient, but the plant occasionally made 20,000 ICs before someone down the line noticed a defect. "Just following the recipe; they are all that way!" vs. "The first 20 pieces I tested were ALL on the low end of the spec; that's unusual."

Maybe F+T is the Mercedes of capacitors? Rich


This is just pure unsupported speculation. FYI, F&T (Now part of the Mersen Group which also owns Leclanché) is one of the very few big german capacitors manufacturer, supplying the industry for more than 65 years and having an ultra-modern production, design and research center. All their products are manufactured in Germany (and Switzerland) and none are outsourced from asia. You should have checked their website before, very far from a small "garage" production unit using vintage outdated equipment. They also supply special custom design caps to the Defense Technology, Aeronautics ,Medical,... where the highest reliability is paramount. Maybe not the biggest in terms of quantity (certainly not a million caps/ week) but the quality (and reliability) of their products cannot be questioned. Of course they're a little more expensive than the million per week cheap asian stuff but (IMO) this difference is fully justified.

F&T are not the "Mercedes of capacitors", but very close to.


https://www.ftcap.de/en/company/individual-production/

https://www.ftcap.de/en/company/qualitymanagement/


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 Post subject: Re: F&T (Fischer & Tausche) Electrolytic caps?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 3:41 am 
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Never said it was a garage operation.

Big difference between manufacturers who serve computer, telecom, and automotive vs. those who serve audio/hi-fi. Audio is a "hobby," the others are volume businesses. Millions vs. thousands makes for much different investment and processing.

What is F+T annual sales volume?

Rich


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