How often should all capacitors in our power/integrated amps be replaced?
I’ve been reading they should be replaced every 10 to 20 years depending on the design of the amp…which is actually a shorter time period than i thought it would be.
Can they blow? What normally happens in that case? Sorry for the grim question just curious since my amp is getting close to the ten year mark.
Not something that should be causing you any loss of sleep.
According to Pass Labs:
It is our experience that, barring abuse or the odd failure of a component, the first things to go will be the power supply capacitors, and from experience, they will last 15 to 20 years before needing replacement. Fortunately these components die gracefully; typically with years of warning and are easily replaced.
nycenglish, I appreciate your response.
Just curious, can you elaborate more about the warnings that will come about - will it produce a specific change in sound?..or is it visual to the cap itself - swelling etc.
Been playing the high end audio game for 30+ years and have yet to have a capacitor outright fail due to age. If in doubt, just send your amp back to the manufacturer for a routine check up. If it gets a clean bill of health and is still performing to factory spec, relax and enjoy.
Capacitor technology since the late 80’s is such that you shouldn’t have to worry about them failing in even 15-20 years. Realistically, probably more than double that these days (30-40 years).
If quality caps are used with the proper voltage/temperature ratings in given situations, they should perform within spec for 30+ years easily.
Like Brodric said, don’t lose any sleep over it.
I haven’t had any fail me personally but I understand that SQ will degrade, loss of dynamics, some crackles and distortion. They may bulge or leak but that would require a visual inspection.
I have a Plinius SA 102 amp from about 20 years ago and have decided to do the full restoration from the authorized service which involves replacing the power supply caps as well as several other things. I’ll let you know what it sounds like on replacement.
This has always been an awesome sounding amp so I could never let it go.
rmueller1, please do!
I bet it will sound brand new again…if not better than when it was new.
Another excerpt from Pass, in line with what others are saying here:
More to the point, we would suggest that you not worry about it. This is a conservatively built industrial design, not a tweaky tube circuit run on the brink of failure. If it breaks, we will simply get it fixed, so sleep well.
Doubtful unless there are leaky, out of spec caps, which is also doubtful in a Plinius product.
I would say 15 years, 20 if you’re lucky.