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 Post subject: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 06, 2010 3:37 am
Posts: 1229
Location: Broadview Hts. / NE Ohio
Hello-

Its been a few years since I've done a quality recap on my radios, but I am getting back into it this winter.

1. What is the best electrolytic capacitor's to buy? I used to buy Sprague Atoms, which I can still get.

2. What are the best paper capacitors to get? I used to buy the Sprague/Vishay orange drops.

I listen to my sets a lot, so I want to put quality components in them.

Thanks Lenny


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 25, 2018 3:00 am
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Location: Berryville, VA
I buy Nichicon, Rubycon and Kemet electrolytics, Panasonic film caps.

All reasonably priced, all great quality.

Vishay keeps the Atom brand around to charge people who care about looks too much money for capacitors. Not a fan of the amount of real estate the orange drops take up for a given capacitance, leads on some models are a bit inflexible. No technical issues with them though.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 4:12 pm 
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Location: Panama City, FL 32401
Hello Lenny. Here's a list of highly regarded capacitors. Though desirable, these aren't always available. I'll also add:
United Chemi-Con
Vishay/Sprague
Newark/Illinois.
Kemet
Cornell Dubilier (CDE)

Nichicon doesn't make axials anymore, as far as I know. I've found Newark usually stocks them, though getting harder to find, especially with low voltage ratings. Higher voltage ones are more plentiful.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
If I have to use electrolytics, I really like United Chemicon brand. I usually get the 105 degree types whether its necessary or not. (type KXG)

As for film caps, the yellow ones are plenty good, but I often use Solens for high values and use them instead of electrolytics when I can.

-Steve

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Last edited by azenithnut on Aug Wed 18, 2021 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Jun Fri 19, 2009 6:34 pm
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Location: Long Island NY
Asking which capacitor brand is best is like asking which brand of tire is best. Are we talking on road, or off road? Racing or street? All weather? No one brand is best at everything, you have to consider the application. There may be some things where Nichicon (for example) has the best solutions available, and other things where Vishay Sprague or CDE (for other examples) would be better choices. Any simplistic answer like "just use brand-X" is likely to let you down sooner or later. Either you'll end up with something that doesn't last as long as it should or doesn't work as well as it should, or you'll end up paying way more than you should have for a level of performance and quality you could have gotten at lower cost somewhere else.

My definition of a quality part of any kind is one that has a really detailed technical specification sheet available for it. Even if you don't understand all the specifications or need that much information, the fact that the manufacturer is willing to "put it out there" in print means that they have their quality control down because they are saying what's on the page (electronic or otherwise) is what you can expect from any of their new parts of that type. Of course I read the data and use it to try to refine my selections as much as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Wed 18, 2021 12:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Cortez, Colorado
My favorites are:
Electrolytics - Nichicon UCA, UCY, ULD; they are long life (10,000 hours) high ripple current and small enough to restuff into cans.
Film - for the best in audio, Panasonic ECW-FD, or ECW-FA, both are polypropylene, last forever
Film - for general radio replacement, Sal's yellow caps.


Last edited by Tin Omen on Aug Wed 18, 2021 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Wed 18, 2021 1:20 am 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Quote:
My definition of a quality part of any kind is one that has a really detailed technical specification sheet available for it. Even if you don't understand all the specifications or need that much information, the fact that the manufacturer is willing to "put it out there" in print means that they have their quality control down because they are saying what's on the page (electronic or otherwise) is what you can expect from any of their new parts of that type.


Amen, brother!

Buying caps from a garage in Hong Kong works OK for low voltage projects that are experiments. Anything like a tube radio... use a "real" cap. I deal with Digi-Key and Mouser, mostly. Just bought some "clearance" caps from Newark recently.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Wed 18, 2021 11:58 am 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
My "favorites" are from our vendors right here on ARF as far as their offerings go. For the rest, usually Mouser or Digikey, and I'm a Panasonic or Nichicon fan.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Wed 18, 2021 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Generally speaking, we are talking about capacitors to be used in consumer vacuum tube radios and associated test equipment with a bulk of them made before 1960.

power supply filters, bypass and coupling capacitors.

These are not precision instruments going on a mission to study a planet.

-Steve

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-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 06, 2010 3:37 am
Posts: 1229
Location: Broadview Hts. / NE Ohio
Thanks all for the input. I will be looking at Panasonic's or Nichions for electrolytics.

Who makes the little yellow round caps?

Lenny


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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 6:06 pm 
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The ones Dave in Canada sells will likely give many years of fine service.

You can buy AC/ripple rated film capacitors on Mouser (and other such suppliers) to use instead of lower value electrolytic capacitors.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Quality Capacitors to buy
PostPosted: Aug Thu 19, 2021 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
FStephenMasek wrote:
You can buy AC/ripple rated film capacitors on Mouser (and other such suppliers) to use instead of lower value electrolytic capacitors.


KEMET brand seem good for these.

-Steve

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Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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