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  • CE Manufacturing Cap Cans

    I'm looking to replace the original filter caps on my '78 Princeton. Has anyone had any bad experiences with the CE cans? I am skeptical to use it, since they're only rated at 55C or 65C, and the original can is 85C. I don't wanna install something that isn't going to last, or even worse, have the possibility of damaging the amp.

    But, on the other hand, I think that if they are billed as a direct replacement for amps like mine, then they must be reliable. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • #2
    I've had a couple sections go bad on some I've used, but that was on cans I was using in builds that I was doing a lot of prototyping on & so reoeatedly soldering & futzing with. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with my failures.

    I've had a couple other amps that they worked fine in, one of which being my 79 Champ & another was a 66 Princeton.

    I really do like the fact that they're a direct fit, but I DON'T like having to toss a $45 part if a section craps out... I've used JJ 4-section cans successfully, and there are also some very tiny 22μF/450V caps available for later stages that could be stuffed in the old can. There's room to finagle in a Champ so I'd likely go that routre in the future, & just get a single or dual section can to fill the hole, depending on cost.

    Just my experience & opinions.

    Justin
    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
    "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cyborg_stew View Post
      Has anyone had any bad experiences with the CE cans? I am skeptical to use it, since they're only rated at 55C or 65C, and the original can is 85C. I don't wanna install something that isn't going to last, or even worse, have the possibility of damaging the amp.
      YES. I've had to replace several that were installed by other techs. Twice I've installed CE multisections provided by customers when they insisted I install them. They also failed within months. Given the rapid failure rate I've avoided buying any. Some options:

      1. Use a nice reliable 50+50 uF 500V can for the first two sections. F&T, JJ, some other manufacturers make these, I get mine generally from CE. You will have to drill a couple holes for a mounting bracket, plus add 2 more individual cap sections inside the amp.

      2. Replace all 4 sections with individual caps inside the chassis. What I do is remove wiring from all 4 multisection cap electrodes, bend those electrodes over so they're out of the way, place a ground bus wire near the power transformer, then solder 4 individual caps spanning from the circuit board to the bus wire. Advantage: you can place the lowest voltage cap's ground terminal on the brass bus bar behind the controls for a small additional reduction in hum. Another advantage, you can beef up the value of the first stage filter for better hum reduction. With a tube rectifier, there's a limit to how big a cap you can use. My choice is 47 uF 500v, never had any problems, only happy customers.

      3. There's another supplier of multisection caps we've recently become aware of: Hayseed Hamfest LLC . I just had a scan of their can cap offerings. They've grown quite a bit since I last looked maybe half a year ago. So far I don't see anything that would be a good direct replacement for Princeton or Champ can caps. But - you could ask. So far HH is aiming for the ham radio market. But, if their can caps are really reliable, they could expand a bit by supplying the guitar amp fixit crowd. Maybe a little pressure in the right direction would help. So far I haven't seen any feedback on their reliability. Certainly some of their offerings would be applicable to other less popular guitar/bass amps & similar gear from the 1930-80's. BTW HH's can caps are rated for 105C, a BIG plus compared to CE. This may speak to better reliability, but only real world testing will reveal the truth.
      Last edited by Leo_Gnardo; 03-02-2020, 10:46 PM.
      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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      • #4
        I have to wonder if there are any date codes on these cans? Just thinking that they might be sitting on the shelves for too long. Sure could be production issues as well and then coupled with sitting on the shelves too long. Makes you wonder.
        When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DrGonz78 View Post
          I have to wonder if there are any date codes on these cans? Just thinking that they might be sitting on the shelves for too long. Sure could be production issues as well and then coupled with sitting on the shelves too long. Makes you wonder.
          Never noticed any date codes on the CE's. 20 years ago they had a very short list of CE caps. I bought 10, maybe a dozen, that were covered in translucent blue plastic. Those never gave me any problems. I used 'em on many repairs. Also one on a Heath W4M power amp that I've been using ever since as a real world output tube tester adjacent to my work bench. For long term testing I let radio play thru the amp while I'm working to keep my ears amused. 20 years later, that one is still working perfectly. Early 2000's those blue-coated ones went away and that's when trouble started. CE prides themselves on using machinery they got from Mallory to make the cap cans. That's all well & good - for the metal CANS - but what's inside is what counts.
          Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cyborg_stew View Post
            I am skeptical to use it, since they're only rated at 55C or 65C, and the original can is 85C.
            Note on the CE description (-10%, +50% Tolerance), 55? 85? whatever°C Temperature Rating. I have installed several in various Fender amps , with no issues , and they have logged a lot of hours. not 20yrs ago, but in the last 10.

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            • #7
              I seem to be the odd man out in this subject, but I have used CE can caps for a long time, with no known failures that I am aware of. I install them with confidence. I will also use JJ, F&T and the blue cans that go in Marshalls, I forget the name at the moment. No failures of any kind on any of them.
              It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DrGonz78 View Post
                I have to wonder if there are any date codes on these cans? Just thinking that they might be sitting on the shelves for too long. Sure could be production issues as well and then coupled with sitting on the shelves too long. Makes you wonder.
                That's possible.

                The failures I encountered the tab was corroded going into the dialectric and rotted away.

                Another was due to an inexperienced solderer using too much heat for too long.

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                • #9
                  Just so I'm clear, the ones I did have crap out were repeatedly soldered & desoldered to, and I'm open to the possibility that my issues were self-inflicted. I also had a JJ crap out a section while prototyping/tweaking, even thpugh it was a section I was NOT fooling with. But who knows the geometry inside...

                  The ones I just used as repairs & sent out the door seem to be fine. That said, if possible I'd still like to use radial or axial single-units in future builds - IF space permits.

                  Justin
                  "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
                  "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
                  "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

                  Comment

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