Cheap Capacitors in high end audio amplifier?

Hi Friends,

I desperately need advice. Next week, one of the local stores is doing a promotion on audio equipment, celebrating X no. years of activity.
The sale i’m interested in is Stereo amplifier Roksan K3 integrated amplifier (1900USD) and with it, i get free set of speakers Tannoy XT 6F (around 1900 USD). This is by far the best offer i’ve seen in the last couple of years.
Here’s the catch:
Where i live, 1900 USD is alot of money. This setup will probably be for a life time.
Both the amplifier and the speakers appears to be highly rated in audiophile industry.
Getting deep into my research, i found that the roksan k3 amplifier uses mainly Sam’wha capacitors.
Check picture (picture
There are some Nichicon caps, but the main ones (and small ones) are samwha. In my point of view, for a high end audio equipment this is unacceptable. I’ve just replaced my yamaha’s as-201 bulged caps after 3 years of service. They were tier 3 caps aswell, but that i can accept from a 250 USD amplifier.
So, to get to the point:
Is this amplifier truly worth it’s price tag or it’s just a big pile of bullshit ?
Is there some kind of magical design that they couldn’t justify the extra dollars for quality caps ?
Not to mention i find laughable the fact that the volume control is driven by an electric motor. That kind of design i had in my 100 dollars 5.1 system when i was a kid.

I’m looking forward for your replies
Best Regards

FWIW, the markup from manufacturer cost to finish product is usually about 10X. Dealers typically pay 40-60% of retail, so for the amp in question:

Retail $1900
Dealer Cost $950
Manufacturer’s Cost $190

Should you expect better parts in there? Cheap caps can cost 10 or 20 cents in bulk. Good caps can cost $150 or more. Each. You could buy the Roksan and replace the output caps if you wanted to. IMHO, the cost of the caps is commensurate with the price of the unit.

Just my 2 cents.

Welcome aboard.


Were it me I’d worry less about the brand of caps and more about whether the Roksan K3 gives you musical pleasure in your home.
Any number of highly successful designers and manufacturers have made the point over the years boutique parts are no substitute for smart design. An element of which is choice of parts for the application that are not more expensive than they have to be. I can think, for example, of Frank Van Alstine who has built an amazing successful company with an affordable product range. All based on a philosophy of spending your money wisely in the design and manufacture of the audio gear.


Completely agree. At the end of the day, what does it sound like? I’ve seen bad designs with really good parts that sounded much worse than good designs with cheaper parts. Don’t believe hype. Don’t believe specs. Don’t be swayed by what’s under the hood.

Let your ears be the final arbiter. Does it sound good?

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Exactly and to use an analogy you could say the same thing about cars any other piece of manufactured equipment. You could probably look at something like a Ferrari and find higher end parts and buy them for a fraction of the price of one of their models. That doesn’t mean anything you put together would be anywhere near as good - if it even worked at all. You are not just paying for parts, you are paying for the R&D, the engineering knowledge, the design, the testing and the packaging of all that into a functional whole with known performance.

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I wouldn’t look at it that way. You could have a really shitty design with the best possible caps, etc and it might likely sound shitty. And vice verse.