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Pioneer Capacitors

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by SargentRicko, May 25, 2016.

  1. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    I'm a novice when it comes to electronics, I have a 38 year old Pioneer SX-780 that I plan on restoring. I have been doing some extensive research on the web, and what I found I wish to share as it might be useful information to others. I obtained a copy of both the SX-780 "User Manual" and "Service Manual" on the web. The Service Manual has the blueprint schematic and parts list. I found that the original part numbers (p/n's) are now obsolete, but the parts list still has valuable information which will become more apparent as we move forward.

    I found a booklet entitled "Tuning Fork No. 2" which is all about Pioneer Capacitors of the late 1970s. Here is some info that I extracted from that booklet that I found useful in combination with the obsolete P/N list that I have in my SX-780 Service Manual:

    The Pioneer Part number of Capacitor is broken down into seven codes:
    P/N CEANL101M50NP

    [1] = Type of capacitor . [2] = Form . [3] = Characteristics
    [4] = Nominal Capacitance . [5] = Tolerance . [6] Maximum working voltage
    [7] = miscellaneous (NP is used exclusively to indicate a non-polar electrolytic capacitor).


    [1] Type of Capacitor

    There were fifteen types of capacitors used in Pioneer Stereos of the late 1970s. The Pioneer capacitor part number will begin with one of these 2 or 3 digit codes:
    CE - Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor
    CSY - Solid Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor
    CSS - Solid Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors for Coupling
    CSZ - Solid Tantalum Electrolytic Capacitor
    CK - Ceramic Capacitors with High Dielectric Constant
    CC - Ceramic Capacitors for Thermal Compensation
    CM - Mica Capacitors
    CQM - Mylar Capacitors
    CQS - Polystyrene Film Capacitors
    CQC - Polycarbonate Film Capacitors
    CP - Oil-filled Paper Capacitors
    CG - Ceramic Capacitors
    CQE - Metalized Mylar Film Capacitors
    CQP - Polypropylene Film Capacitors
    CH - Metalized Paper Capacitors

    [2] FORM
    A = Radial Leads
    B = Axial Leads
    D = Disc Type Radial Leads (Ceramic, etc.)
    H = Radial Leads with insulator mount on capactitor

    Represented by two alphabetic letters, if they appear in your capacitor p/n it is an indication that the capacitor has certain characteristics by design. The Characteristic code only applies to Ceramic (CK or CC) and Electrolytic (CE) type capacitors.

    Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors (CE). NL is the Characteristic Code of a Low Leakage capacitor.
    CEANL = Aluminum Electrolytic, Radial Lead, low leakage capacitor
    CEBNL = Aluminum Electrolytic, Axial Lead, low leakage capacitor.

    Ceramic Capacitors with High Dielectric Constant (CK). The first alpha letter of the Characteristic Code will represent the Temp. Range, the second alpha letter is simply a code letter.
    YA - Capacitance variation range within -5 to +5% - Tolerance Code J, K
    YB - Capacitance variation range within -10 to +10% - Tolerance Code K
    YD - Capacitance variation range within -30 to +20% - Tolerance Code M
    YF - Capacitance variation range within -80 to +30% - Tolerance Code Z
    BC - Capacitance variation range within -30 to +30% - Tolerance Code M, Z

    Ceramic Capacitors with Thermal Compensation (CC). The first letter of the code gives the temperature coefficient of the nominal capacitance, while the second letter indicates the capacitance tolerance.

    2pf or less [CK, HK, LK, PK, RK, SK, TK, UK, SL]
    3pf [CJ, HK, LJ, PJ, RJ, SJ, TJ, UJ, SL]
    4 to 9pf [CH, HH, LH, PH, RH, SH, TH, UJ, SL]
    Above 10 to approx. 330pf [CG, HG, LG, PG, RG, VK, WK, LX, CH, HH, LH, PH, RH, SH, TH, UJ, SL]

    FIRST Code (Thermal Coefficient PPM/Celsius) CC Capacitor.
    C = +/-0 Black [-] H = -30 Brown [-] L = -80 Red [-] P = -150 Orange [-] R = -220 [-] S = -330 Green
    T = -470 Blue [-] U = -750 Violet [-] V = -1,000 V [-] W = -1,500 W [-] X = -2,200 X
    SL = -1,000~+350 no color [-]

    SECOND Code (Thermal Coefficient Tolerance PPM/Celsius) CC Capacitor.
    G = +/-30 [-] H = +/- 60 [-] J = +/- 120 [-] K = +/- 250 [-] L = +/- 500

    The nominal capacitance is represented by a 3 digit figure followed by the unit uF for Aluminum Electrolytic capacitors, and pF for other types. The first two digits give the significant value, while the third digit indicates the number of zeros that follow it. If a fraction is involved, the decimal point is represented by R.
    Example: 2.2uf becomes 2R2 in the part number such as in : CEA2R2P50 = 2.2uF 50V Electrolytic Cap
    Example: CEA331P16 = 33 plus 1 zero = 330uF 16V Electrolytic Cap.

    Tolerance is indicated by a single letter and gives the range variation permitted beyond the nominal capacitance. The tolerance codes are as follows:

    C = +/- 0.25pF *** note: Applies to 0.5 to 3pF CC type capacitors
    D = +/- 0.5pF **** note: Applies to 4 to 6pF CC type capacitors
    E = +/- 1pF ****** note: Applies to 7 to 10pF CC type capacitors
    F = +/- 1% ******* note: Possible with CQP type
    G = +/- 2%
    J = +/- 5%
    K = +/- 10%
    M = +/- 20%
    P = +50, -10% **** note: Applies to CEA type capacitors
    X = +40, -20% **** note: Applies to CSZ and CSS types
    Z = +80, -20% **** note: Applies to 330 to 47,000pF CK type capacitors

    [6] Maximum Working Voltage
    This represents the maximum DC voltage that can be supplied to the capacitor. Working voltages are standardized at 6, 10, 16, 25, 35, 50, 68, 80, and 100V.

    For example your parts list might call out for a CEA100P16
    CE = Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor
    A= Radial leaded
    100 = 10 + no zeros = 10uF
    P= +50, -10% Tolerance
    16 is the maximum voltage that can be supplied to the capacitor.

    [7] MISC
    This code is used only for indicating non-polar aluminum electrolytic capacitors and is identified by the letters NP.

    Down below is my Tuner Board, as you can see it's quite dirty. The indicators are the part locations of capacitors and semi conductors listed in the SX-80 service manual. This photo only serves as a guide when trying to identify a location on this board.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016


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  2. zebulon1

    zebulon1 Building a new bench. Finally! Subscriber

    Las Vegas Nevada
    Its nice you put it in a post-able format.
    Well done.
    Hyperion and SargentRicko like this.
  3. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    SE PA
    We have been told to read it and learn but now we have it in a single post.
  4. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    I have attached my electrolytic radial capacitor parts list for my SX-780 for both the Amp and Tuning Board. Also attached is a inverse view of my tuner board with the bottom side schematic transposed over it.

    Attached Files:

  5. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Glen Burnie Md.
    I have a sx-790 which is the Military PX in Europe sold only version of the SX-780. The only real difference is the black dial face. Anyway, When i rebuilt it in 2009, I used UKW's and UKL's in the SX-790, and in a SX-780 I rebuilt at the same time, I used UPW's and UKL's as per Mark the fixer's recommendations and research. They tested pretty much the same, and sounded the same. Both were rebuilt at the same time and tested on a pair of KLH 17's. The only difference is price of the caps. The UKW's being a "audio" grade, was approx 20% more expensive than the UPW. I asked 3 other friends to listen to them with the two receivers and speakers behind a sheet. None of them could tell a difference in sound quality between them. AFAIC the UFW and UKW, being "AUDIO" grade, are snake oil. I've been using the UPW/UHE and ukls since 2008 in my Pioneer's and all sound great and as original as I can remember from my sx-434 I bought new. When we got done with the testing I replaced the UKW's in the SX-790 with UPW's and UHE's I had left over. The sound quality did not change.

    Here's MarktheFixer's "RULE OF THUMB" for capacitors.
    Originally Posted by markthefixer
    UPW and UHE from Nichicon is the general purpose e-cap series I usually recommend. Yes, they are 105 degree c caps. There are Panasonic caps EchoWars recommends as well, they are fine.

    THEN there are the low leakage caps, which is some circuit locations DO make a difference. They ARE literally QUIETER.
    They are the unique Nichicon UKL series, which was originally just an 85 degree c cap line.
    Now there are UKL's that are 105 degrees c rating.

    When examining the recap lists (especially the ones I personally did) You will find MANY UKL caps in them.

    My "rules of thumb" for caps:

    Rule of thumb: 0.1uf to 1.0uf of any type >> stacked film DSF(cornell dublier) or ECQ (panasonic)caps
    cea >> nichicon upw or uhe caps
    ceb > nichicon tvx axial caps or holler for help on these
    ceanl, cssa, csza >> nichicon UKL caps - (low noise, low electronic leakage)

    It didn't cover non-polarized (or "bi-polar") caps, there are a few, but I can't look up that answer now at this computer about which Nichicon series to use.

    The "stacked film" caps are being discontinued in some convenient voltages, but regular ecq's will do.


    The above recommendations were made after years of research and actual installation and testing in a myriad of receivers, amps, preamps, tuners, etc. Mark has been in the Electronics field for over 30 years in various electronics fields. He is one of the top techs/guru's on AK mainly in the PIONEER Forum, but also Solid state and other forums.
    merlynski likes this.
  6. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    Larry that is good information, thank you. I did read an article at antiqueradio.org in which I believe the author "Phil" had stated to his viewers not to waste your money on "Audio Grade" caps and go with the "General Purpose" as the general purpose caps produced today are equal or superior than the original caps that Pioneer used in the 1970s. And yet I have read other articles that suggested to use caps that were specifically designed for audio, hence audio grade citing frequency issues. So after reading your post, I am convinced, that the general purpose capacitor, now cited from at least 3 sources are the recommended choice, not only because they are equal or superior in quality than the original capacitors, but also because they are economically more affordable when doing a total recapping of a receiver.


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  7. Tommy_B

    Tommy_B Active Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    Great job, SargentRicko! I've got a SX-780 I've been meaning to recap someday ... this info should make the prep work much easier.
    SargentRicko likes this.
  8. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Glen Burnie Md.
    Phil is a member here IIRC. Yep, the general caps produced today are a couple order of magnitude better than the best that came out in the 70's. The "AUDIO" caps are more for the DIY 'er who is building a "holy grail" type of amp, etc. The consumer stuff doesn't benefit from them as the worst caps from today is better than most of the higher end stuff back them, and with spme spec's being fairly loose, don't benefit from a tighter than a ticks a__ rated component. And cost IS a factor for a good many of us.

    The 780 is a fair representative of mid grade receivers in the mid to late 70's. It's been called the most popular receiver PIONEER ever built, as it's got more than it's share of bang for the buck. Being right in the middle of the stack it neither suffers from lack of basic functions, but doesn't have the BLING that the higher ended stuff has. It's a good compromise between capabilities and price, and people ate them up like funny brownies at a stoner's convention. The biggest bug in the whole thing is the STK MODULES. SANYO hasnt made original STK modules in almost 20 years now, and with Panasonic buying Sanyo and then almost immediately closing Sanyo (and incidentally FISHER which was a subsidiary of Sanyo) IN 2012/13, there is absolutely NO CHANCE of getting original STK's. The "new" one's out there are all generic clones and vary in quality from pretty good to just plain horrible. Spin the wheel and take your chances. There are a few retailers that sell decent STK's but they are few and far between and getting harder to find. I'm not up on who has the decent one's anymore.

    So if you have a 780, BE EXTREMELY careful with the ends of the speaker cables, and try not to short any loose wire strands (Irish Pennant's). Cut them up before they have a chance to touch. This will blow the amps, end of arguement. Then you have the inenviable task of finding STK modules that will play for more than a couple hours. I wish someone would design a drop in board with BJT output's (mj21193/94's or equivalents, at least) designed in, that could be built/populated by the average hobbiest.

    Basically the 780 mantra is "SOLDERED WIRE ENDS are my Friends" or "IRISH PENNANTS can be found on spkr wires TOO, TRIM THEM OFF"! Meaning that Twisted and Soldered spkr wire ends don't have loose strands hanging around looking for a mate to short with. Google Irish pennant. Irish pennants in the US Military (predominately Navy and Marine) is any piece of loose or untidy gear, or a thread hanging on an article of clothing but primarily a shirt / blouse, mainly at a button hole, pocket edge, or on a button itself. It's trimmed and gotten rid of before inspections, or before the Gunny or Chief see's you and verbally gives you a lesson in clothing maintenance that you'll never forget. A lot of guys I know would also call a loose strand off any wire an Irish Pennant. As the amps are so sensitive, you must be extremely vigilant with regards to the spkr wire ends. 1 strand touching the other side, can/will leave you with a smoking unit.
    USMC Spike and SargentRicko like this.
  9. jheu02

    jheu02 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    North Carolina
    I've heard them called "cables" in USAF days, as in " that cable is so long you could rappel from it."
  10. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    Larry, The Darlington STK0050 amplifier modules, I ordered a pair on E-bay through "Liberty Electronics." I didn't know anything about these modules until I read your latest post, and again, you have supplied some extremely helpful information. I see that the STK0050 cross or equivalent part numbers are the NTE1281 ($32.64 ea), Philips ECG1281, TCG1281, and RCA SK7661. NTE is the only major manufacturer of semiconductors that still makes the equivalent to the STK0050, although expensive, it might be the best alternative to a Chinese knock-off. The Philips ECG line was purchased by NTE a long time ago. The RCA SK7661 is a fossil, good luck finding one. The TCG1281 is a module part number by the Trusted Computing Group (AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel), I suspect it was just a NTE module per the numeric 1281 in their part number. It's kind of a coin toss, I figured I would try and purchase my Darlington's through an American Electronics business hoping they might have a good source of quality modules at a reasonable price. I am several months away before I begin my restoration project, but when its all put together I will let you know how those Darlington modules worked out. Enlighten me about the fuses. I haven't removed the bottom plate of the receiver yet to examine them yet. But looking at the service manual, I am wondering if I can I get these fuses at the Auto Parts store, as they look like the old barrel type fuses used in cars from the 60s and 70s. Or are they special fuses that I have to purchase from an electronics store? I ran the part numbers, and didn't get any hits on the web.
  11. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Glen Burnie Md.
    They look like the 60's barrel fuses, but if you look carefully, the voltages on Automotive fuses of that type and House voltage fuses are way different. usually 32v vs. 125V or 250V. The fuses you need, (BUSS or LittleFuse AGC types) can be had at Home Depot or Lowes in packs of 5. Compared to Mouser they are a bit expensive but when you throw in Mouser or Digikey's shipping , it's really a wash. The voltage is just what the fuse is maximum rated for. Don't use a 32v fuse in any audio gear that has wall voltage directly to the fuse. It will blow almost immediately and you'll be pulling out what little hair you have left plus the blown fuses trying to figure out why. Personally I use BUSS or Littlefuse 250VAC rated standard blow (some call it fast blow) fuses of the correct wattage. If you come across something like 3.2A use the nearest full size fuse. if it's a .5 or less use the lower whole number. If .6 or more, use the higher next whole number.

    We try to stay away from NTE unless it's absolutely the last resort. They are not a manufacturer of semi-conductors, they are a distributor. They get the cheapest transistors /ic's /etc from the lowest bidder and imprint their name on them. So chances are you'll be getting a chinese module. The problem is that just about all of them being sold are chinese made. So keep your fingers crossed and speaker cables UNCROSSED. :) For any transistor in their inventory there will be a whole range of transistors that a particular one will supposedly replace. and quite a few of their replacement spec's are shoddy. About the only thing I would use NTE for is a germanium transistor (small signal type) if there is no other alternative, even in europe. Their caps tend to be 2nd and 3rd tier age and spec wise, but #1 on price (higher than anyone else).

    Audiolab of GA. tends to have good STK-0050 replacements as does or did, BDENT co. I'vebeen lucky and have the original Sanyo STK-0050's in my 790, and plan to keep it that way. This one won't be given away to relatives until after my demise. I may even have it put in the box with a pair of Minimus 7's.


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  12. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    NTE information - disappointing.... I had made a list of crossed p/n's to NTE, luckily I haven't ordered them yet, back to the drawing board with that. The Matthieu Benoit Electronics Engineering Firm in France has listed some manufacture cross reference data sheets on their website. I found the following semiconductor cross reference, equivalent part number datasheets at that web site: Fairchild P/N, Panasonic, Philips, Philips (2), Pioneer. Caution, there seems to be several websites that offer semiconductor cross reference p/n's, take the time and look up the specifications, and try to match the "Ratings & Characteristics" of the original P/N.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
    redk9258 likes this.
  13. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    Great website - thank you for some great feedback....
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  14. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

    Need input about this axial can on the bottom side of the Tuner PCB board (SX-780). Is it a capacitor? Looked in the service book, I only see one item listed as an axial capacitor but it doesn't appear to be in that location. I'm guessing that most people probably don't bother with that capacitor when they are doing a recap job. But if it is replaceable, I would like to do so. Photo below:

  15. Leestereo

    Leestereo Super Member

    Ottawa, ON
  16. jheu02

    jheu02 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    North Carolina
    You can also replace it with a radial cap if the leads are long enough. It doesn't HAVE to be an axial. You'll want to insulate the leads like shown in any case.
    SargentRicko likes this.


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  17. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

  18. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member


    The above capacitor, 473Z can be expressed: 47000pF ... or ... 47nF ... or ... 0.047uF
    I found this conversion at a website called "Just Radios."

    Capacitance is measure in three different ways:
    pF (picofarad); ... nF (nanofarad); ... uF (microfarad)

    Removed a 473Z Ceramic Disc Capacitor. Using my MK-168 component tester, I tested this capacitor, and it gave me this reading: Vloss = .3% .... .. 33.91nF.

    SX-780 Tuner Assembly (AWE-099) Parts List:

    Pioneer P/N: CKDYF473Z50
    CK = Ceramic Capacitor with high dielectric constant
    D = Disc Type Form
    YF = Thermal Characteristics
    473 = 47000pF ... or ... 47nF ... or ... 0.047uF it is the measured capacitance
    Z = Tolerance -20%, +80%. Cap is good if the capacitance is between 37600pF to 84600pF (37.60nF - 84.60nF).
    50 = Maximum working voltage is 50 volts.

    The 473Z capacitor I removed was 33.91nF, which is below the minimum required capacitance of 37.60nF, so I am replacing that capacitor.

    This is a non-stock item at Digi-Key. NOT available at Mouser, or MCM electronics.
    The 473Z Ceramic Disc capacitors are available at NTE. The also can be found on E-bay.

    I ended up buying a few of these from NTE. The NTE capacitor came in yesterday, and they are really small compared to the original. I tested one of these new capacitors: Vloss=.5% ... .. 48.65nF
    The new 473Z capacitance tested good, a much higher capacity reading than the old ceramic disc capacitor.

    The Vloss is much higher on the new capacitor. I think Vloss is the Voltage Loss when charging the capacitor. What is considered the range of acceptable Vloss? I realize that the Vloss from my "old to my new" capacitor is only a difference of .2%, so these new capacitors will probably work ok, at least I'm hoping they do.

    UPDATE 10/19/2016: I removed all eleven 473Z Ceramic Disc capacitors from the tuner board. I tested each capacitor on my MK-168 component tester; Two were bad; Five were borderline; Four tested good. So I replace 7, and reinstalled 4 of those capacitors. Before installing the seven new NTE capacitors, I tested them, and I selected to use capacitors that had a 47.00nF reading or higher.

    There are other Ceramic Disc capacitors on the Tuner board, but I decided to leave them alone.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  19. SargentRicko

    SargentRicko New Member

  20. rctm

    rctm New Member

    Hello everyone,

    First off congrats "SargentRicko" on this great post :)

    I was wondering if anyone here could help me out. I'm restoring my Pioneer Exclusive C10 and was wondering if anyone could help me identify the capacitors which I need to replace. I have attached some photos of the capacitors.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Rod. IMG_20170109_164737.jpg IMG_20170109_164647.jpg

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