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View Full Version : Nichicon Muse KZ Audio Electrolytic Caps



Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 12:51 PM
Has anyone used these electrolytics and if so what is your impression compared to other esoteric brands like Blackgate etc?

Ken

Ian Mackenzie
11-21-2005, 02:21 PM
The Muse are a cut above the average capacitor.

The Black Gates are tehnically better but will to not always lead to the desired expectation...and they take a long time to burn in and are very expensive.

Like all this stuff its not that simple:)

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 03:19 PM
Ian



Thatís the one consistent I keep running into.

Boulder is sending me "free of charge for all 4 amps" 2 choices of Caps. The Nichicon KZís and Roederstein EKO series. Apparently clients have differing opinions on them so they are sending both.

I approached the scenario as you suggested with stellar results. He wants me to change out the power relays as well so he is sending 8x NEC MR602-48SR's as well (Red Boxes on Input board). The 4x 3 watt resistors on the 500's are being replaced with 5 watt versions.

I sure am impressed with this company. Thatís 52 caps x2. Because I am changing them myself their paying the shipping.

Unreal

Ken

scott fitlin
11-21-2005, 03:47 PM
I would prefer the Nichicons! I have some Nichicon Muse, and Silmic caps, and they are nice! They have a nice full, warm sound. They definitely sound good in the bottom.

All the Blackgates I have had, and pieces that had Blackgates I didnt care for the way the top end sounded! Too dry sounding for me! Almost coarse sounding. Blackgates take an exceptionally long time to break in.

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 04:08 PM
I would prefer the Nichicons! I have some Nichicon Muse, and Silmic caps, and they are nice! They have a nice full, warm sound. They definitely sound good in the bottom.

All the Blackgates I have had, and pieces that had Blackgates I didnt care for the way the top end sounded! Too dry sounding for me! Almost coarse sounding. Blackgates take an exceptionally long time to break in.

Interesting, thanks for the input.

I started desoldering the caps and ran into a shitty problem. No problem using my Pace desoldering tool on the back of the PCB but when I gently pull on the cap to take it out the top trace on the pcb is so tight around the cap lead I am pulling the trace off the top of the pcb. So far no serious damage that cant be fixed with jumping but I don't want to try anymore without a plan "B". I have removed 3 caps and with 2 I have ripped up the traces.

Any suggestions?

I will try and get a closeup photo.

Ken

John
11-21-2005, 04:11 PM
If this sounds stupid please disregard. What if you cut the lead and pull the leftover lead out from the bottom of board?

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 04:17 PM
If this sounds stupid please disregard. What if you cut the lead and pull the leftover lead out from the bottom of board?

Far from stupid John, I was thinking the same thing. The problem is getting under them as they are mounted flush to the surface. I could cut them up as I don't want to save them. Split them with a dremel.

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 04:27 PM
Here is the trace damage.

Believe it or not, I was very gentle. Sure does not look like it.

The eyelet circled in black has a piece of lead still stuck in it.

I think cutting them off is the only thing I can think of. I will wait to here other suggestions. Like "send it to Boulder and let them do it:blink: "

Ken

John
11-21-2005, 04:28 PM
Well which ever way you do it take your time and do it right the first time. Get some good light in there so you are only cutting what needs to be cut. Post a picture pointing to the caps involved???

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 04:28 PM
Here

John
11-21-2005, 04:34 PM
Yes I am with you lets get some more ideas from the experts. I know we will figure something out. There are a lot of fine minds on this forum:D

scott fitlin
11-21-2005, 05:57 PM
You can glue that trace down to the board with some clear nail polish!

You may have to make a fine wire jumper, youll have to get some Kynar wrapping wire, radio shack has this, its very fine ultra small gauge wire, and make a jumper/trace repair. Or have a skilled tech do it for you.

Personally, I strongly recommend taking the amp to a good tech in your area and spend the money, and let him do it!

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 06:21 PM
You can glue that trace down to the board with some clear nail polish!

You may have to make a fine wire jumper, youll have to get some Kynar wrapping wire, radio shack has this, its very fine ultra small gauge wire, and make a jumper/trace repair. Or have a skilled tech do it for you.

Personally, I strongly recommend taking the amp to a good tech in your area and spend the money, and let him do it!


I agree Scott. It would appear every one is going to peel and break. I am going to stop at this point and send the amps to Boulder and have them do it. He did elude to this being a problem but I thought he meant the back side traces not the top. With the caps being some 12-14 per amp in very tight places let them do it. I was trying to avoid the 2-3 weeks they said it would take. I can't believe how fragile the traces are. Every other board I have worked on the traces were much stronger and attached to the substrate much better. I can tell you one thing, they must have had to push hard to get those leads through the eyelets. There is no way you can remove them without damaging the traces. I tried using a PCB drill bit to drill them out but you all know that rarely works. Still, it did less damage to the traces.

Its off to Colorado for the 250 and 1 of the 500's

Thanks for helping guys.

Ken

speakerdave
11-21-2005, 06:34 PM
Hold the trace in place (with your third hand) while pulling?

David

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 06:47 PM
Hold the trace in place (with your third hand) while pulling?

David

I would if I could but following the instructions the way they told me to do it prevents me from laying the board flat because its still attached to the output board with about 18 wires that would have to be un-soldered.

Maybe I will remove the board completely. That would definately make it easier to work on.

Thanks

Ken

porschedpm
11-21-2005, 07:12 PM
I would definitely send either the individual boards if easily removed or the entire amps back to Boulder to have them do it. It sounds like the traces are fragile and if the boards get FUBAR'd you want them to be the ones to have done it so they'll replace them.

Does Boulder have an exchange program where they send you boards with the caps you want already installed? And then you return your old boards so that your down time is minimized?

grumpy
11-21-2005, 07:15 PM
If you can't get enough solder out with a professional desoldering tool (such as the PACE
unit manned by an experienced operator) to remove the part without damaging the board,
then the spec for the PC board through-hole diameter was too small for the leads on part
they used. Often happens when an engineering change order calls for different parts and
the same boards are used (causing much tech grumbling when units come in for repair...).

(yes, I've designed and laid out multi-layer circuit boards and have had very competent
technicians, with much wisdom to learn from, grumble at me)

From your description, it sounds (to me) like it was a known problem that they didn't
convey to you fully before you started. Hopefully they'll do you right.

-grumpy

...was thinking along the lines of porchedpm's comments exactly.

Ken Pachkowsky
11-21-2005, 09:59 PM
then the spec for the PC board through-hole diameter was too small for the leads on part they used.
-grumpy



I think you hit the nail on the head.

Ken

Charlie4350
11-21-2005, 11:28 PM
Send ALL the amps to Boulder. Bite the bullet, get it all done one shot, and have em all the same, all matched and ready to go.

Your running what 4 boulders, more - I forget, 2 have a problem with the caps. So next year you're maybe in the same boat. Sucks.

Ken Pachkowsky
11-22-2005, 01:48 AM
Send ALL the amps to Boulder. Bite the bullet, get it all done one shot, and have em all the same, all matched and ready to go.

Your running what 4 boulders, more - I forget, 2 have a problem with the caps. So next year you're maybe in the same boat. Sucks.

Your right.

Just spent 2 friggin hours installing new eyelets and repairing the 3 ripped out traces. Thats enough.

These are extremely fragile trraces in terms of peeling off. The trace itself is quite strong but peels very easily. Hell, let them do it. Obviously they have run across this before.

Off they go.

Ken

Regis
11-22-2005, 07:06 AM
Ken,
May I inquire as to how you're desoldering your caps? I'm a former Aircraft Electrician and have done a ton of Mil-Spec soldering. Are you simply heating up the back of the board and trying to pull the cap? Or are you using desoldering braid and removing 99.9% of the solder before you attempt to pull the cap. The braid wicks up just about all the solder as you heat the solder joint on the back of the PCB. Work it around in a circle using the lead as a pivot and you'll just about have a bare hole when you're done. A gentle wiggle and the cap should come right off.

http://www.circuittechctr.com/guides/7-1-2.shtml

PDF Digi-Key file
http://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T053/1479.pdf

Ken Pachkowsky
11-22-2005, 09:44 AM
Ken,
May I inquire as to how you're desoldering your caps? I'm a former Aircraft Electrician and have done a ton of Mil-Spec soldering. Are you simply heating up the back of the board and trying to pull the cap? Or are you using desoldering braid and removing 99.9% of the solder before you attempt to pull the cap. The braid wicks up just about all the solder as you heat the solder joint on the back of the PCB. Work it around in a circle using the lead as a pivot and you'll just about have a bare hole when you're done. A gentle wiggle and the cap should come right off.

Regis

First of all, nice to chat. I am using a pace desoldering wand with vacum system and proper size tip for the job.

Reading the thread you will notice that a we / I have come to realize they used caps with leads to wide for the holes provided on the PCB and the problem is the lead won't release from the trace eyelet around the hole. No matter how gently I pull or heat up the lead the trace comes with it. The electrolytics on this PCB are flush mounted in very tight spots surrounded by wima caps and resistors which makes it impossible to lift the cap just a little and hold the trace down. Obviously these cap leads were to large and forced into the holes during the initial assembly.

The only suggestion that I think would work is to cut the cap off from the top and pushing the lead down from the top of the board out the back.

PS: Just got off the phone with Boulder. There techs wingle the caps back and forth till the leads break and then desolder from the top of the PCB. Would have been nice if I was told this earlier.

Ken

Regis
11-22-2005, 09:59 AM
My apologies, should've read the thread more closely. Must be very frustrating and I can see where it'd be ugly any way you go. :(

Ken Pachkowsky
11-22-2005, 10:02 AM
Regis

No problem, note my PS I just added to my last reply. By the way, I did remove the board completely.

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
11-22-2005, 10:47 AM
Works like a hot dam

Allways learning...

duaneage
11-22-2005, 11:39 AM
FWIW I use a small amount of solder paste then heat the joint with about 25 watts. When the solder flows I use a desoldering vacuum tool. I remove the iron then vacuum it right after the iron leaves the board.

I used PACE irons before but did not like them. I ended up with similar results as you did.

It is also a good idea to cut flush the components so they do not take heat from the board. If you were near me I would jump at the chance to help you. I performed repairs on medical equipment boards day in and out for many years, and they were 6 layer boards.

Ken Pachkowsky
11-22-2005, 01:47 PM
FWIW I use a small amount of solder paste then heat the joint with about 25 watts. When the solder flows I use a desoldering vacuum tool. I remove the iron then vacuum it right after the iron leaves the board.

I used PACE irons before but did not like them. I ended up with similar results as you did.

It is also a good idea to cut flush the components so they do not take heat from the board. If you were near me I would jump at the chance to help you. I performed repairs on medical equipment boards day in and out for many years, and they were 6 layer boards.

I'll put the coffee on...haha

Thanks for the tips.

Ken

richard c.
11-23-2005, 10:49 AM
Ken,

Are they using plated thru holes? Most double sided boards would use plated thru holes to ensure there is a good connection on the component side (where you can't see it). Drilling out the hole may open up the connection thru the hole and cause intermittant problems down the road.

I like the idea of breaking the leads off (if you can't cut them) BEFORE you heat the connection. Much less stress on the trace pads. I cut every pin off an IC before I heat it, and than I carefully de-solder and remove them one at a time. (Takes much time with good results)

But, IF the leads were too big to begin with?? ...."Fella's, you're on your own" - quote from "Blazing Saddles"

Richard C.

Ken Pachkowsky
11-23-2005, 01:31 PM
Thanks all.

I packed up the 250AE and 500's today and will ship them Friday. They hinted they may switch the boards out as there is a upgraded replacement board for the 500's I have.

Apparently there were some very good modifications done that my original boards don't have.

I have to be crazy not to let them do it. Shutup Den..!:blah: :bouncy:

Ken

scott fitlin
11-23-2005, 01:33 PM
Thanks all.

I packed up the 250AE and 500's today and will ship them Friday. They hinted they may switch the boards out as there is a upgraded replacement board for the 500's I have.

Apparently there were some very good modifications done that my original boards don't have.

I have to be crazy not to let them do it. Shutup Den..!:blah: :bouncy:

KenUmm, Ken, whatever it is Boulder suggests these amps need, LET THEM DO IT, you just pay for it!

You will be much happier!

Happy Thanksgiving! :D

Ken Pachkowsky
11-23-2005, 01:50 PM
Yep

You too Scott and everyone else.

Ken

John
11-23-2005, 01:54 PM
It seems that Amps are just like dish+laundry detergent;)

It,s "Always new and improved" :D