It can be an unwelcome surprise to order something online and not get exactly what you expected. That was Dan Blacktowhite’s* experience with a Zapco limited production Z-LX amplifier. Open the previous part of this story in a new tab with this heading:
If you haven’t read Part 1, the short version is Zapco had updated components inside the Z-LX amplifiers without making an announcement. On June 9 the Zapco official Facebook page posted the following:
Critical to the development of Zapco products is a continuous search for new technologies and better components to enhance sonic performance. Our engineers are audio guys, with years of experience in amplifier design, but also in car audio competition as both participants and judges in IASCA and USACi in the US and Europe and in CAN (Car Audio Nationals) in Italy.
Components are evaluated first on the relative specifications, and if they look good, they are evaluated in listening tests.
All parts are initially tested to verify the reliability of published specifications, but final choices are based on actual tested data and the listening tests.
There are many factories In the market producing electrolytic capacitors, some old and well known, some new and un-known. We look at, and we test, them all.
We continuously look for any better components that comes along, since it is impossible to improve without change.
Testing by our engineers showed the new Zapco capacitors to be superior to what we have been using in the past as below:
1) Higher operating temperature: Up to 105℃ instead of 85℃ (only Panasonic matched that value)
2) Better capacitance tolerance than the others: -10%~+20% instead of -20%~+20% (tighter tolerance is higher quality)
3) ESR and dissipation factors are the same in all
4) Max Ripple: better value than Elna capacitors, similar the other two
5) Max leakage current: same in declared values, but much lower in actual testing
6) Endurance the same (1000 hours) except the Panasonic that is 5000 hours. Note: the value of the endurance is with capacitor at the maximum rated data: ie. temperature, voltage, ripple current, etc.. In with normal use the average endurance is up to 5 times more
7) The new Zapco capacitors are little smaller than all but the Nichicon.
The superior numbers demanded further consideration, and after the listening tests we decided to make the change on all future Z-series LX production.
For more on capacitors and the actual numbers on these caps, see here https://www.zapco.com/zapco-electrolytic-capacitors
Zapco products sold by Rubyserv are shipped directly to you from Zapco’s warehouse. We are unable to guarantee that your Z-LX amplifiers purchased now will have the updated capacitors. However, we are committed to delivering maximum value in our products and services. We hope this information assists you in making a decision, whether that includes Rubyserv in your life or not.