Jump to content

SOtM sMS-200 Neo Upgrade - DIY Capacitor Details

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I bought the original sMS-200, and then upgraded to the Ultra as soon as it came out.  When the Neo version was released I couldn't bring myself to buy yet another new model device, nor was I keen on shipping my unit away for an extended period to have the Neo upgrade performed.  Initially, the details of Neo hardware changes were scarce, but later it became known that it was a capacitor change on the power supply input board.  It took some time, but I was able to find the specifics of the Neo capacitor, and I also researched couple of other alternatives which may be easier to obtain, and quite possibly be better capacitors.  I'm posting this here in case other owners are interested in the upgrade for themselves.   It should go without saying, but opening your own SOTM device will probably void the warranty, and if you don't have a reasonable amount of experience with a soldering iron, you could easily damage your device.  


To cut to the chase: the Neo devices use a 3300uf 25v cap in place of the 2200uf 25v cap that is in the original models.  Below are the complete details of the original caps along with some alternatives.



A) Elna Tonerex 2200uf 25v – The original non-Neo Cap

This is a high-quality capacitor from a respected Japanese manufacturer, and it has less capacitance than what is used in the Neo.  I was unable to locate the datasheet for this particular capacitor, but Elna markets Tonerex branded caps for audio applications.


B) Nichicon Gold Tune KG 3300uf 25v – A good alternative cap choice for someone who wants to upgrade their SMS-200 to Neo electrical spec.


This is high quality audio grade cap from a premiere Japanese cap manufacturer that is the correct value for the Neo upgrade.  The nice thing about this cap is that it is a direct fit for the SMS-200 board (“snap-in” solder leads with 10mm spacing).  The datasheet for this cap indicates it was designed for high quality audio power supply applications.


C) Samyoung KMG 3300uf 25v – The cap SOTM uses in Neo products 

SOTM uses this cap if you pay SOTM for the $30 Neo upgrade.  I don’t know how to source this cap aside from SOTM Dealers.  Samyoung is a Korean capacitor manufacturer whose products are used throughout the SMS-200 and other SOTM products.  The main downside to this cap is that it’s lead spacing is tighter than the original Elna, so it won’t sit flat on the board; hot glue or silicon can be used to secure it in place before soldering.  The datasheet for this cap indicates that it's a general use cap, so no fancy pedigree here.


D)  Kemet PEG226 3300uf 25v – An alternative choice that could be similar or the same as the SOTM “Evox Upgrade”


This is a very high-quality capacitor which was previously sold under the Evox Riva brand (Kemet bought the company).  SOTM offers an upgrade for $100 USD that is referred to as the "Evox" capacitor upgrade.  I have observed that SOTM has used Evox PEG224 series capacitors for power supply filtering in some of their other products, so it stands to reason that they are using something similar in the Neo Evox upgrade, however this is speculation on my part.  The PEG226 is basically a super duty capacitor designed for high ripple current applications and harsh physical environments.  This cap is an axial form factor instead of radial, so some minor contortions are required to install it.  Due to the bare exterior of the body, I recommend covering both the leads and the body with heat-shink to ensure it cannot short out against any nearby components.




I went with option D, as shown above.  I secured the cap in place with 3M thermal adhesive.  I also used this opportunity to covert my device to 12V operation.   While it wasn't night and day, I do think my player is sounding better in it's new configuration. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, creativepart said:

PS. How do you change the SMS 200 to 12v rather than the 9V design.

The internal change is only required on Ultra models, as it pertains to the sCLK-10Ex clock board.  I'm attaching a picture that was provided previously by SOTM which shows the positions on the board you need to look for, along with pictures of my own boards (my SMS-200 ultra has rev 1.3 and my tx-USB ultra has rev 1.2). 


For rev 1.3 boards, you just need to remove one or two jumpers.  For version 1.2 it's necessary to remove a blob of solder that connects two solder tabs on the board labelled as R342.  I highlighted jumpers with red circles, and the solder points with blue.

SOTM sCLK-10Ex Jumper setting1.jpg

SOTM sCLK-10Ex rev 1.2.jpg

SOTM sCLK-10Ex rev 1.3.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...