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Orgy of Capacitors: The Cap Thread - Page 8

post #106 of 559
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pars View Post
Jon,
250V Erse 8uf and so far they sound pretty good. I'm still probably going to do the Dynamicaps for these, but at ~$4-$5 a pop, I can live with these for a bit. They also have 630V available (though nowhere near the size I need).
Yeah, I see these Erse caps popping up a lot these days. Makes you wonder if they are as good/better (?) than another budget champion, Claritycap SA.

BTW, it appears Custom Capacitors Electronics makes Penta teflon, then it must use tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) film and aluminum foil, which makes perfect sense since I seem to notice a consistent sonic pattern with aluminum foil teflon caps and tin foil teflon caps, like VH Teflons. Based on that, Aura-T teflons I am currently listening to probably is tin foil...



*Edit*
I am now told that Penta Labs uses tin foil, not aluminum, in their teflon capacitors, though I can't confirm for sure with Pena Labs.
post #107 of 559
Thread Starter 
Audience Aura-T Teflon Capacitor



Oh, boy, does this ever stop? It was almost easier back in the day when you basically had only one Teflon capacitor to choose from, the Relcap TFT Teflon capacitor, which is a fine capacitor. Having lived with many different Teflon capacitors, I get the impression that roughly 2 general “flavors” exist among the Teflon capacitors available today. One I would call “electrostat flavor” and the other “cone flavor” because the former group reminds me of a great electrostat speaker while the latter reminds me of a great dynamic cone speaker. Formerly, only the VH Teflon belonged to the electrostat flavor while the Russian K72, FT3, Sonicap Platinum, and Penta Labs belonged to the cone flavor.

Well, now the Aura-T joins the VH Teflon in the electrostat flavor. These caps set themselves apart from the others by having an almost impossibly ethereal, pure, and extended top-end with endless decay like only a good electrostat can. Sound has a see-through transparency and zero veil, and there’s not a spec of dirt, grime, grit on that window. It’s possible some people’s tastes may prefer a less see-through, more tactile density like a good dynamic speaker can provide, but there’s no question the ‘stat camp resolves more information.

The cone flavor Teflon caps have a more forward midrange presentation compared to mid-hall perspective of VH and Aura-T. Some would call them “too forward,” but this combined with less-see-through boldness can make for some *very* involving musical fun. No, these don’t have as much forever-decaying, absolutly feather-sweet extension and elegance, but in the right setup and personal tastes, I can’t blame you if you said you preferred this school of sound.

Now, somebody must be wondering, “so which is better, VH or Aura-T?” First of all, I am already using the most-resolving transducer I know of (HE audio ‘stat) half an inch away from my ears to get rid of any room interactions that will muddy up evaluations using speakers. Even then, I would not bet any of my hard-earned money on reliably telling them apart most of the time.

If somebody had a gun to my head, I *might* mutter Aura-T may possibly have a thin hair’s worth more sparkle and VH Teflon may have gnat’s fart’s worth more midrange warmth. I’m sure to some people that hair and fart will be a big deal in their preferences, but please don’t be using language like A “blows away” B. Really…
post #108 of 559
Thread Starter 
Russian SSG-3 silver mica capacitor



These 1% tolerance silver mica capacitors are another example of overbuilt, tank-like Russian new-old-stock capacitors. The big ones like these can have more than 0.1uF capacitance fit for use in coupling duties, and indeed they are an excellent capacitor. These sound different from other capacitors such as polypropylens, polystyrenes, teflons, PIO’s, etc in that they don’t have the stereotypical polypropylene harshness, polystyrene dryness, Teflon slippery polish, or PIO roundness. Silver mica’s have a reputation for being very detailed but “bright” and lacking in bass, but these large silver mica’s had plenty of bass and NO hardness at all. Their tonal balance cannot ever be called dark because they are very airy and illuminated as if with soft white light bulbs; these are perfect for those who like open, airy top-end that’s not extra-hard or etched, perfect for recordings that have spitty, hard upper ranges. They have an effect akin to turning up the “brightness” control a notch while turning down the “contrast” a notch in terms of video displays.

These have such feathery, extended highs that almost makes Mundorf gold/silver seem a bit less open up top. Not bad for a $5 capacitor, so what’s the caveat? Unfortunately for the SSG-3, I’ve been listening to some of the best Teflon capacitors of late, and compared to the good teflons, the silver mica’s don’t quite have the stop-dead-in-your tracks resolution and definition, especially in the midrange. Compared to teflons, SSG-3 is a tad more laid-back and softer in the midrange, and the bass, while impactful, is not quite bounce-rain-off-the-drumskin tight. Still, I can see a lot of people being quite happy with these silver mica’s, especially if used in equipment that leans in opposite sonic directions or if your tastes cotton to the open, airy, feathery, smooth sound.
post #109 of 559
Man, those sure are a lot of nice capacitors!!
I hope I can learn more about them
post #110 of 559
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jma790 View Post
Man, those sure are a lot of nice capacitors!!
I hope I can learn more about them
Hey, do you live in Costa Rica? What kind of capacitors do you guys have available in your country for audio use?
post #111 of 559
Thanks for your interest in my little country!!
To tell you the truth, I had never been to an electronics store to buy capacitors, but since there isn't much demand for high end pieces for electronics uses here, I would say they should be generic and cheap ones from china.
I had bought some 3.5 mm plugs, and they just cost $.20, and that's the only one avaible!
But, I am an Electronic Engineering student, and so I am really interested in pretty much anything regarding audio, I really hope to be able to create some amps in the future; and who knows, maybe someday I will make a fine piece of art I can share with everybody! Just... 5 more years studying... but that's the way to go!!
I think I would need to buy all the pieces online when I could be able to do that tough...
post #112 of 559
Thread Starter 
Dynamicap-E metalized polypropylene capacitor



Some believe these to be among the best metalized polypropylene caps ever made, and I might have to agree with that, if somewhat reluctantly. After all, Mundorf silver/oil and gold/silver are still technically “metalized poly” caps, and they do have a magical something that other poly caps lack, including Dynamicaps. As I have observed before with Vishay poly caps, the Mundorfs have a sense of weight and texture behind the notes, especially in the midrange that keeps music interesting and captivating over longer-term listening. The better poly caps sound balanced, detailed (though not Teflon-detailed), and all the notes are present and accounted for. This is true for Dynamicap as well, and it does one better by being probably the most neutrally balanced among the poly caps. I even dare say it sounds more neutral than something like Mundorf gold/silver or the Russian silver mica’s, so here we have a reasonably affordable capacitor that is quite uncolored, clear, sweet, yet extended. No wonder companies like Alta Vista Audio is using these caps in Counterpoint gear upgrades, not to mention VMPS offering them as upgrades in their speaker crossovers.

What about Auricaps? This is a tough one. One’s preferences will have a large part in this choice. Auricaps have a fuller low-midrange to upper-bass presentation compared to Dynamicaps, which makes music richer and more propulsive; they also emulate some of that midrange texturing of Mundorfs. Dynamicaps counter with subjectively more ruler-flat neutrality with less bloom and thickness, sounding cleaner and clearer. I would say consider the way your system sounds now and which direction you want to go before choosing one over the other.
post #113 of 559
Thread Starter 
EC MP12 mil-spec metallized polypropylene capacitor



EC is a military capacitor supplier, and their capacitors appear well-made and heftier than usual. Unfortunately, these do not sound as good as other, more expensive metalized polypropylene capacitors like Dynamicaps or Auricaps. In fact, this capacitor is a good example of your stereotypical metalized poly capacitor sound that many audiophiles are trying to improve upon by using other poly caps like Auricaps, Dynamicaps, and Mundorfs.

No, the music doesn’t suddenly sound broken or anything, but compared to Auricaps, the EC cap seems less rich, less dynamic, less lively, less clear, less involving, and flatter. Music that I know to be breathy, dynamic, and sparkling lose the magic touch. Compared to a clear cap like Dynamicap, EC cap sounds veiled as if a thin hazy layer is covering the music. Many components of reasonable cost use many caps similar to these, which is understandable given the retail pricing structure, but it would be definitely worth it to spend a few more bucks to upgrade at least the critical signal-path caps to something a bit better. For example, the well-priced Russian FT-3 Teflons really kicked it up a few notches compared to EC caps in terms of resolution, clarity, and liveliness.
post #114 of 559
I just rolled set of Obbligatos in place of my previous K40s. Hmmm... it seems that the K40 had been hiding some of the upper mids and highs that have now been revealed by the Obbligato. But, the down side is that I have lost some of those wonderfully solid mids and bottom end impact that I enjoy so much in the K40

I'll try a few other combinations.
post #115 of 559
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fordgtlover View Post
I just rolled set of Obbligatos in place of my previous K40s. Hmmm... it seems that the K40 had been hiding some of the upper mids and highs that have now been revealed by the Obbligato. But, the down side is that I have lost some of those wonderfully solid mids and bottom end impact that I enjoy so much in the K40

I'll try a few other combinations.
Which Obbligato's, the black PIO or copper-color film cap? Anyway, I wouldn't judge the Obbligato's until you run them in for a looonnng time first.

BTW, I do plan to try K40y's with smaller teflon bypass to see if I can get best of both worlds..
post #116 of 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Which Obbligato's, the black PIO or copper-color film cap? Anyway, I wouldn't judge the Obbligato's until you run them in for a looonnng time first.

BTW, I do plan to try K40y's with smaller teflon bypass to see if I can get best of both worlds..
They are the (apparently quite new) brass coloured ones - The Obbligato premium. The prices are quite reasonable.

I tried the K40 with an FT-1 teflon (the small version of the FT-3), and liked it; very solid mids and good bottom end impact.It wasn't until I installed the Obbliatos that I realised that the top end had been rolled off.

I have now reinstalled the K40 in addition to the Obbligato. It seems to work fine, and I now have the bass and mids I like in the K40, and the highs that the Obbligatos revealed. This sounds pretty good to my ear. I'll continue to try a few other combinations of types (mostly Russian caps) and values.
post #117 of 559
Jon L, would you like to test some AudioCap Theta? I have some 0.22uf/600v laying around... I wonder how they compare with the RTX (since both are made by REL and use tin foil).
post #118 of 559
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioCats View Post
Jon L, would you like to test some AudioCap Theta? I have some 0.22uf/600v laying around... I wonder how they compare with the RTX (since both are made by REL and use tin foil).
Why not. I actually got in some Jantzen Superior-Z Caps, which might be an interesting comparison also.
post #119 of 559
Thread Starter 
Jensen Copper Foil Paper-In-Oil Capacitor


Its reputation precedes it, and Jensen PIO capacitors are indeed excellent PIO capacitors. The word “musical” seems made for it, not by virtue of syrupy romance but by virtue of refined microdynamic texturing and tonality, which allows one to immerse in the music instead of analyzing it. If you are the type who can easily relax into music when it sounds “good” and be content, then the Jensens are perfect for you because they provide satisfying tonal color, harmonic richness, and smooth sophistication without becoming overly rolled-off, muddy, and slow. In fact, the upper-midrange to midrange has a lively character without brightness or dryness that is quite attractive indeed.

Compared to Russian K40y PIO, Jensen is simultaneously finer-grained yet smidge less dark, presenting music with seemingly more tonal purity and light. The Jensen difference is not huge, akin to a soufflé made with eggs beaten a little fluffier and lighter, but both taste like soufflé. On the other hand, K40y does come across a little more dynamic and denser in tone, so once again, we have choices.

So the oilers are great, but I am surrounded by mountains of capacitors from all around the world. Compared directly to some stupendous teflons, while not “overly” rolled-off or slow, Jensens *are* a wee bit less extended and slower, relatively speaking. The leading edges are perhaps not as sharp as a new razor, but it’s not far off. Bass definition also is not nose-to-nose with teflons or polystyrenes, but I think it’s good enough for me, especially for acoustic music. Jensens do serve up a tasty, warm, refined midrange, and if that’s one’s preference, one may even say Jensens are a better capacitor than teflons or other film caps.

-------------------------------------

FT-1 2200 pF Russian Teflon Capacitors (Bypass)



Jensens and other PIO’s are so good at what they do, it’s natural to feel the need to somehow improve them just a little where they are not state-of-the-art. I tried to accomplish this by bypassing Jensens with a small bypass Teflon capacitor, the FT-1 Russian capacitor at 2200 pF.

This does not completely change the sound, and the effects are subtle, but some may find them useful. The extreme treble does open up some, and triangles and chimes gain a little more definition. I don’t mean to imply the Jensens suddenly turn into Russian teflons, as they still sound mainly like Jensens. In my experience, better treble definition tends to lead to subjectively tighter bass signature, and the Jensens’ bass did firm up a trifle.
So have we created the perfect capacitor here? Not really. The original signature charm of Jensens does diminish by a measure, so if you loved Jensens for their billowing, grand, bloomy richness, perhaps you should leave them alone. If you are still curious, it’s always worth an experiment since these small Russian Teflon capacitors are quite cheap.
post #120 of 559
Thread Starter 
Russian K40y PIO Capacitor Bypassed with FT-1 Teflon Capacitor



After experimenting with bypassing Jensens with small teflons, I thought I would try the bypass with K40y PIO caps as well. Unlike Jensens, K40y's are very affordable, and if I could improve them just a little bit with just-as-cheap small Russian teflons, that would be something to celebrate.

Alas, laws of physics apparently wanted to be consistent because the results were similar to when I bypassed the Jensens. The upper ranges did extend further with added twinkle and sparkle just like with Jensens, but some of the PIO charm was lost at the same time. Once again, it turns out there is no free lunch or cheap miracles. Now, downside is not huge by any means, and many people will find this little tradeoff completely acceptable and maybe even unnoticeable, especially in systems that tended to extra bloom and richness to begin with.

Adding the small teflon bypass is almost like adding a supertweeter to a nice single-driver speaker. There is more air and twinkle, but some of the super coherence and earthy charm of the single-driver is lost. The degree of the loss will depend, in both cases, on the specific capacitor/tweeter used as well as the skill(and/or luck) of the implementation as usual, so if you have a lot of time on your hands and many different capacitors of numerous values, I'm sure one can rig up something basically "perfect." Maybe..
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