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Thread: The sound difference between Elna Silmic 1/2 versus Elna Cerafine

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 206
    I'm Rob.

    Default The sound difference between Elna Silmic 1/2 versus Elna Cerafine

    Hi,

    I wonder what is the sonic difference between:
    Elna Silmic (1 or 2)
    vs
    Elna Cerafine.

    Any suggestion is welcome.
    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date: Dec 2011

    Location: Sydney, Australia

    Posts: 142
    I'm Pete.

    Default

    IMHO I find Silmics to be quite natural and inoffensive, whilst the Cerafines accentuate details in the music slightly and are a bit brighter.

    I do a lot of recap work on vintage amps, and I always use Silmics in preamps, tone amps and other signal path locations. I get the best results with these.
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch > audio-gd NFB3(2014) w/ E9018 > fully recapped/restored Sansui AU-X701 and AU-719 > a healthy sprinkling of expectation bias > PMC GB1i speakers > Aurealis and Audio Principe cables

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Basingstoke, UK

    Posts: 16,866
    I'm Gone.

    Default

    Another vote for Elna Silmics here, when I recapped the Beresford Caiman with them I found a very rewarding improvement in sound quality.
    I have left AoS.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: United Kingdom

    Posts: 129
    I'm Anthony.

    Default

    Words courtesy of hificollective :

    "The CERAFINE series realize high audio quality by super fine ceramic particles adopted in the fibers of the electrolytic separating paper. Charge/discharge speeds are improved, distortions are reduced (less potential variations due to electro-chemical action of the ceramic), and electrical noise generated by external vibration is suppressed. This reproduces excellent sound with real concert-hall presence, resolution, power, good presence in the low range and less distortion in the mid and high ranges. With the recent demise of Black Gates and stocks becoming hard to source, the Elna Cerafines are a near as you can get to the Black Gate sound and at a fraction of the price."

    "The SILMIC series are Elna's highest grade audio capacitors that exhibit superior acoustic characteristics. An entirely new type of electrolytic separating paper is used, containing silk fibers. The extreme softness of silk can mitigate vibrational energy (generated by the electrodes, by external vibrations and by electromagnetic fields). Due to it's new electrolytic and foil design the signal propagation speed has increased (the ESR is reduced) and a more powerful, yet-mellow, sound is possible than before. When these capacitors were subjected to aural evaluations, the high range peak and midrange roughness were reduced substantially. Also, the low range richness and power were increased in the obtained high-quality sound."


    HTH,
    Ant
    Last edited by Ant; 24-12-2011 at 09:52.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 206
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    I appreciate all the input.
    But can you describe your opinion between NichiKZ vs Elna?

    BTW the problem I am having is that I have refreshed my poweramp with all Elna Silmics 2 but I found sound to be a little thin and slightly aggressive.
    The old no name caps old 15 years seem to be integrating better to my ear.

    Thats why I thought of taking out some of Silmic2 and putting in one spare Cerafine.
    Rob

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Basingstoke, UK

    Posts: 16,866
    I'm Gone.

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    Roberto, it's much more likely that a) the Silmics need more time to bed in and fully form their electrolytic charge or b) there is something else amiss along the reproduction chain that the amp can now resolve. I doubt very much that a swap from Silmic to Cerafine will transform the sound as you expect.
    I have left AoS.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: United Kingdom

    Posts: 129
    I'm Anthony.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinT View Post
    Roberto, it's much more likely that a) the Silmics need more time to bed in and fully form their electrolytic charge or b) there is something else amiss along the reproduction chain that the amp can now resolve. I doubt very much that a swap from Silmic to Cerafine will transform the sound as you expect.
    +1

    Are the capacitance values the exact as the originals? Differ in values can impact the sound, especially in the feedback circuit.

    KZ's - I find them less 'mellow' than the Silmics, however - others don't find the Silmics mellow at all. A bonus point for the KZ's is they cost around 1/10th of the equiv value Silmics.

    [edit]

    FWIW these are my preferred caps:

    KZ - Analogue decoupling
    AmpOhm Polystyrene - Analogue coupling
    Sanyo Oscon - Digital decoupling
    Kendeil/BHC - PSU reservoirs

    Ant

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 206
    I'm Rob.

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    Martin, I guess you are right especially for burn in as so far 30hours have been playing.
    I am also sure that something is also wrong along the lines as the poweramp sound open at least 5times more IMO, hence I can hear details which I was not able before.

    But still If you can not listen the music, only sounds, the enjoyment is not full.

    Ant, yes values are the same (only voltage on some of them is higher, which should be ok as far as I know).
    The only higher value is 4x10.000uf of Kendeil PSU reservoirs (the old caps were called "Wendell" with 4x6.800uf) which also should be IMO.
    The rest of tiny caps values were 4x 1uf,22uf and 220uf.
    Amp in question is AMC 2445 which I use only as 2 channel poweramp.
    Rob

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: United Kingdom

    Posts: 129
    I'm Anthony.

    Default

    My guess is the amp has been brought back to to it's former glory, ie, the details you are now hearing were there in the first place but after time were muted by the degrading caps.

    The kendeil 10,000 are fine for this application, as are the others.

    Hope it settles for you though, if not, try replacing the caps back one by one with the old until satisfied (apart from the Kendeils)

    Ant

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: Sheffield

    Posts: 1,982
    I'm Simon.

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    Chances are that the Silmics are appreciably lower in ESR than the older caps, this will affect the sound of the amps.

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