Topic: Caps in the signal path

A technician told me that there are caps in the signal path, and he was worried that this could affect negatively the sound quality in the long term due to their deterioration.

Re: Caps in the signal path

How long are you planning to keep this DAC? Your ears might go first. ;-)

Re: Caps in the signal path

1) I am no technician, but I bet most of the caps are not "in the signal path" and are used to regulate current etc.
2) The caps used in the RME ADI are Nichicon high quality ones.
3) Even if some are "in the signal path", I bet they will induce less distorsion in 15 years than a brand new audiophile tube preamp.

It's a shame to always ask the wrong questions when you are looking for "sound quality"...

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: Caps in the signal path

Yes, all this worrying is bad for sound quality. Just enjoy the music.

Re: Caps in the signal path

N00b wrote:

1) Nichicon

the same Nichicon responsible for 10+ million dell's going wrong ? ...

Re: Caps in the signal path

15 years ago...no similar incidents before or after. Things can go wrong sometimes, you know. Quality checks have probably changed, so the chances such thing can happen are even smaller now. Or do you assume RME is still using the faulty batch from 15 years ago?

Re: Caps in the signal path

You kind of hope hope QC has improved at least a bit - its not like they failed small
Surprised they survived dell and co's sue ball

Re: Caps in the signal path

Their QC must have been great before the event, because why would Dell (and so many others) consider them as a business partner anyway? Like I said, these things can happen. Companies sue or get sued, and move on. That's how the current world works. Nichicon still exists, so they must be doing something right. I don't really care, but I'm intrigued that someone is... :-)

Why are discussing the possibility of something happening in the future in a piece of equipment used to play music? I wonder how many people dissect the insides of their cars for pieces of equipment that might fail someday. See if they can find pieces produced by companies who once failed.

Re: Caps in the signal path

Trojka wrote:

I'm intrigued that someone is... :-).

Most of the these caps went into server mobo's (particularly entry level servers); I was working DevOps at the time. Nichicon weren't the only folks chucking out loads of dodgey caps at the time, but their name got mentioned in the IT press more.
TBH not heard the name mentioned for many years, so somewhat surprised to see the name appear in a studio-kit  forum as positive feature

Trojka wrote:

Why are discussing the possibility of something happening in the future in a piece of equipment used to play music?

Have you ever visited the website gearslutz ?
The quality/condition of your caps are the sort of thing folks with older/vintage studio gear spend time thinking about

Trojka wrote:

I wonder how many people dissect the insides of their cars for pieces of equipment that might fail someday. See if they can find pieces produced by companies who once failed.

Perhaps a bad example
Have you ever heard of car tuning/race car building ? - there are websites devoted to just about every make and model of car ever made



Just to make this clear - I'm not loosing any sleep over the thought my RME kit (or any other gear I own for that matter) might be stuff full of nichicon caps - just surprised to see the name again, and used in the context of quality - maybe the poster of the comment didn't know of the companies history

Re: Caps in the signal path

No I don't visit Gearslutz, for this exact reason. smile I rather make or listen music than endlessly talk about equipment. It's just tools to me. When they break, I replace them. Vintage gear might be cool, but too tricky for me. I get to spend very little hours a day on this hobby because of a regular day job and I don't want to waste it with troubleshooting vintage stuff. The Multiface in my studio, has been working flawlessly for more than 10 years, while the rest of the computer equipment has been replaced. That is remarkable these days. Drivers still get updates even.

Maybe the comment's poster knows the companies history, but chooses not to care either. Origins of the Nichicon company go back as early as the 50's (the name Nichicon appeared early 60's). That's 70 years, and only 2 years of things going wrong (2003-2005). That's a better score than me as a human being. I'm 45 and have made more failures so far, LOL.

Re: Caps in the signal path

The Nichicon audio grade caps are some of the best electrolytics available outside of overpriced boutique offerings. Elna Silmic are good also. Panasonic makes solid caps and Rubycon aren't far behind.

The point is: for any real company that cares about cost, Nichicon are the go-to these days.

Re: Caps in the signal path

There are NO caps in the DAC signal path (fully DC-coupled).

The ADC section has 4 Nichicon Muse highest grade oversized bipolars for DC-blocking right after the XLR input connectors, 2 for each channel, differential input.

There's a ton of supply e-caps, though. High temperature long life types of course.
Those might need replacing after many years of 24/7 duty. All e-caps are THT, replacement if ever needed will be easy.

Signal path cap issues are total non-existent with this device.