Author Topic: Capacitor Games  (Read 23332 times)

Offline stevenvalve

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Capacitor Games
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:57:03 PM »
My PX4 valve amp has always been a problem. It was great in many ways but when i swapped to the other 250 globe amp it showed these problems, one was a lack of liquidity. My main 250 amp has 1930-40s Freed oil filled chokes, critical for its brilliant liquid sound. PX4 does not, and it shows. So how do I give that amp what it demands. Them I spied the answer, Audionote 0.22 paper in oil filled capacitors. Out came the Duelund 0.47. Am I crazy you ask, Removed the choke input setup and the extra caps, (less is more) now in one fowl swoop, it is brilliant, liquid, so liquid you can cut it with a knife, big soundstage, dynamic, grainless, This amp just needed this cap, the synergy is amazing. Before you rush to buy Audionote oil caps these are not the new Audionotes oil caps, the ones I am using are 5-10 years old, paper in oil. The new Audionote Mylar oil capacitors look the same and may measure better, but sound ordinary.    
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 02:26:09 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 07:34:32 PM »
Them I spied the answer, Audionote 0.22 paper in oil filled capacitors. Out came the Duelund 0.47. Am I crazy you ask, Removed the choke input setup and the extra caps, (less is more) now in one fowl swoop, it is brilliant, liquid, so liquid you can cut it with a knife, big soundstage, dynamic, grainless, This amp just needed this cap, the synergy is amazing.

Ahhh finally Steve, less is more indeed!

How much voltage do you get on the PX4 tube? Is the amp quiet enough since you took out the cap and choke input?

I gotta have another listen!  ;D
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 07:38:12 PM »
Steve, one more thing, perhaps it's time to try out the new Duelund Cast Copper? They are paper in oil. I think I'm going to order some more parts for my Leak so if you want to get a pair or quad of the Duelund, let me know, more than happy to do the order together and share shipping cost.
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 07:43:31 PM »
Steve, one more thing, perhaps it's time to try out the new Duelund Cast Copper? They are paper in oil. I think I'm going to order some more parts for my Leak so if you want to get a pair or quad of the Duelund, let me know, more than happy to do the order together and share shipping cost.
I have already had them here last month, More junk.

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 08:02:12 PM »
Good to know. Save lots of my money  ;D
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline ochremoon

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 11:27:17 PM »
Steve, one more thing, perhaps it's time to try out the new Duelund Cast Copper? They are paper in oil. I think I'm going to order some more parts for my Leak so if you want to get a pair or quad of the Duelund, let me know, more than happy to do the order together and share shipping cost.
I have already had them here last month, More junk.

Junk? Can you elaborate? What didn't you like about them? I've just (tonight) replaced the output caps in my Cary preamp with 2.2uF CAST copper and basically I've got a new preamp. Stunning and that's without any burn-in.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 07:27:42 AM »
Junk? Can you elaborate? What didn't you like about them? I've just (tonight) replaced the output caps in my Cary preamp with 2.2uF CAST copper and basically I've got a new preamp. Stunning and that's without any burn-in.

Hi , welcome to the forum.   What caps did you replace with the CAST copper?    Did you pull out some electrolytics?    What you removed is really relevant, and how did the sound change for you?

Plenty of people rate the CAST caps highly.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline ochremoon

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 11:18:13 AM »
Thanks Ozmillsy, I'm very pleased to be here.

I've been looking at this forum almost since its inception but am basically in reading and learning mode as I have insufficient experience to comment on most matters discussed here. I've spoken to Steve on the phone about qualities of various valves and have some familiarity with the killerdac through listening to Graham's (Gamve's) unit, so I know I want one eventually. My focus is very much on tone and timbre and much of the celebrated hi-fi gear leaves me cold, so I feel some affinity with the values and goals of most people here.

The caps I replaced were old Evox polypropylene numbers which admittedly are cheap and nothing special. In fact I'd never heard of them before I opened up the unit. They were put in by the previous owner as replacements for Audio 1 PIO caps (which are the standard Cary upgrade caps) which he thought sounded muddy. I suspect that may have been a backward step in some ways but I don't know as I never heard the unit with the Audio 1 caps in.

I liked the sound of the Cary SLP98 (good midrange, though perhaps a tad dark, instruments like cymbals unnatural and not much depth to the soundstage) and thought it had upgrade potential. I figured the biggest gain would be in changing the output caps. I have Lenehan ML1 speakers and upgraded to the reference model with Duelund VSF caps in the crossovers about 18 months ago, so I already knew the difference Duelund caps can bring in this application. Since I got the preamp cheaply I felt I could justify to myself spending a lot on the caps so after reading nothing but positive stuff about the CAST coppers (and after a bit of hand-wringing) I ordered them.  The case is only about 25mm deep so I mounted them on top, just in front of the four big electrolytics that stick out above the unit also. They actually look pretty good there and as you know are about half the size of a red bull can. I may post a photo when I can get a decent one.

The improvements were in all areas, immediate and not subtle: Much more presence and realism, greater clarity, better separation of instruments, more accurate tone, greater detail and an actual soundstage now. I feel that the transparency of these caps is such that I'm confident that I can now swap out some of the resistors and hear the change. The magnitude of the difference I heard in swapping the output caps is a fair bit greater than it is in rolling valves, but probably valve rolling will also reveal greater differences now these caps are in. If they really take up to 600 hours to reach their stable best I have an interesting journey ahead - I'm only just reaching that point with my speakers.

Cheers,

Chris

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 02:32:26 PM »
Well done Chris, I have heard the cast here, They where clean that's for sure, but probably not my first choice. but there is no absolute, they (cast copper) seem very system dependent. I will write a report on the Cast tonight.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 02:39:23 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 08:33:39 PM »
Good post Chris, thanks, interesting findings.  

Always great to hear the experiences from a fellow tweaker.
 It's a sickness we have you know,,,, that irresistible urge to change something.  But incredibly rewarding when we make a big stride forward.

Sounds like the CAST is giving the Cary exactly what it needs.  Well done.

I agree with Steven that alot is system dependent.  It's not surprising when different people get different results.

Hope to see more posts in the future, when you start changing resistors and other components.  :)
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline rab

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 08:20:46 AM »
Junk? Can you elaborate? What didn't you like about them? I've just (tonight) replaced the output caps in my Cary preamp with 2.2uF CAST copper and basically I've got a new preamp. Stunning and that's without any burn-in.

Hi Chris, i think you have to bear in mind that "junk" in this context may well mean no more that, in the particular circumstances of Steven's extremely optimised system, it lacked the last few percent of life, body, etc. compared to his reference. But those last few percent is what Steven is chasing, his system is so good every scintilla of sound counts for a lot.

Congrats on the ML1 refs. I have heard Mario's ones in Perth and they sound astonishingly good in his system, better than any other Lenehan speaker i have ever heard. Keep going!

- r

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 03:37:54 PM »
Yes.  Mario's speakers driven by a well sorted EL34 amp has the richness of tonality that many miss with their whiter than white crap hifi.  The KDAC is providing the goods musically with rich sounding components, add to this the valve bloom and optimized room size / positioning of speakers by a dedicated audio junky and the results stack up.
V :D
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 09:01:15 PM »
Steve, one more thing, perhaps it's time to try out the new Duelund Cast Copper? They are paper in oil. I think I'm going to order some more parts for my Leak so if you want to get a pair or quad of the Duelund, let me know, more than happy to do the order together and share shipping cost.
I have already had them here last month, More junk.

Junk? Can you elaborate? What didn't you like about them? I've just (tonight) replaced the output caps in my Cary preamp with 2.2uF CAST copper and basically I've got a new preamp. Stunning and that's without any burn-in.
About a year ago a friend bought around 4 cast 0.47 duelunds from parts connection. He was not 100% happy with the sound of this amp and when the opportunity came up he came to my place with his amp (Radford STA25). He wanted me to attach my 4 spare duelund VSF 0.47 for a listen. Both sets had been run in for about a year. The cast where better in most audiophile parameters, A lot Cleaner, clearer, more extended, more detail, But what the VSF did for him was more important. bigger soundstage, warmer, natural, organic, liquid, real, and most important involving. The cast was just more HIFI like. He was amazed how much better to VSF where, actually he was over the moon. His priority's dictated that the strengths of the VSF in this amp, made it sound right.  You may say, how is this possible, the cast is the top of the line. Well....The original designer of the VSF is dead, these new duelunds are not his creations, and I feel they must be cheaper to make, Look at the parts connection prices, the top of the line cast is cheaper than the VSF. Its so system dependent, Mike lenelan loves the cast in his speakers because of there strengths. But modern drivers are slow, ponderous, lack life, suffer from a lot of overhang, small low gauss magnet, well....built for a price, he needs to hurry them up, clean them up Give them energy and life. So in his world, they where the right choice. In my world, in that amp, the synergy was right. Is one better than the other, depends who you ask.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 11:44:30 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 09:30:50 PM »
I have borrowed 4 cast 0.47 duelunds and have put them in my Leak stereo 20 for a listen, and I wanted to see how they perform in a different amp. They indeed sound real good in this leak, the synergy in real nice. Are they better than the VSF 0.47 duelunds, well time will tell because I have some on the way, if these casts are better in this amp, they will stay. Here is a picture of the casts with flying leads in the amp,  Ps that's the girl who dropped them off at my place, and is always pestering me for a date.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 09:49:50 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 10:01:10 PM »
Hi Steve, very nice! (the girl)  ;D
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Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2014, 12:34:42 AM »
I have borrowed 4 cast 0.47 duelunds and have put them in my Leak stereo 20 for a listen, and I wanted to see how they perform in a different amp. They indeed sound real good in this leak, the synergy in real nice. Are they better than the VSF 0.47 duelunds, well time will tell because I have some on the way, if these casts are better in this amp, they will stay. Here is a picture of the casts with flying leads in the amp,  Ps that's the girl who dropped them off at my place, and is always pestering me for a date.

How do the Casts compare to the VSFs in your main type 50 amp? That would provide the best comparison since your main system is highly tuned.
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 01:18:56 AM »
Long Cat 5 connecting expensive caps...........................hmmmmmmm  ???  :-\, tut tut.
I owned a stereo 20 for many years, nice sounding amp but compared to great amps it does lack grip, air and body.  I gave it to a good mate who had good ears and horns so the lack of reasonable wattage was less of an issue.
V
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 01:32:50 AM »
Hi V,

I'm quite certain the modest Cat 5 works better than fancy silver wire in his system  8)

Cheers,
William

Edit: If you're talking about the length of the Cat 5 wire, then fair enough...  :)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:51:32 AM by Jehuty »
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Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 01:50:34 AM »
OK William so here's my point:  :) How many people are using Cat 5 for their interconnects?  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[
OK so its as cheap as chips and made of recycled buss bars in China, does this give it the credibility to be used when deciding which of a several hundred dollar cap is the best, hmmmmmm, give me a nono second to think about that one.
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline Jehuty

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Re: Capacitor Games
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 01:54:05 AM »
Hi V,

Okay, I understand your point. What works well in his system may not work in your system nor mine. So YMMV  :D

Cheers,
William
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.