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Orgy of Capacitors: The Cap Thread - Page 6

post #76 of 523
Thread Starter 
Russian FT3 Teflon Capacitor



I must first thank an Audio Circle member Gary (“GBB”) for loaning me the FT3 and K72 caps. Otherwise, I would have had to buy on eBay and wait a month for delivery. The FT3 is a great cap sonically, but its sheer size and weight can present a challenge in cramped spaces. Its lack of traditional leadouts also forces one to make his own; I had to solder some leftover leads as seen in the photo above.

This cap is exceedingly smooth, smooth, yet resolved like only teflon caps are. This evenness and lack of glare, grain, or bite can be disadvantageous for FT3, especially in quick cap-rolling A-B comparisons, where a cap with a more insistent personality will attract more attention and spotlight. However, after living with this cap for a long time, one has to marvel at its consistently musically-revealing nature and tonality. It doesn’t wear its detail resolution on its sleeve, yet when one chooses to listen for it, the extension in both directions are impressive as well as actual detail. Its trick is having equal resolution from top-to-bottom, so the whole is well, wholesome. It conveys music in a flowing, suave tonality and is the crooner of the cap crowd.
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Russian K72 Teflon Capacitor



Probably the most hyped AND maligned cap out there. Some praise it while others despise it and write it off completely. It is my understanding that FT3 and K72 caps are internally the same. Here is an internal picture of K72, courtesy of the internet.



FT3 uses aluminum casing and thin tabs as leadouts while K72 uses thicker steel casing with solid poles as leadouts. FT3 is glass-encapsulated while K72 is hermetically sealed, and due to the thick steel case, K72 is even heavier than FT3.

One huge caveat to comparing K72 and FT3 is that the largest value of K72 available seems to be 0.056uF, while FT3 is predominantly available in 0.1 and 0.22uF. My loaned K72 was the customary 0.056uF and FT3 0.22uF, and yes, the larger cap is “supposed” to be more bassy. Lo and behold, FT3 does seem to be a little richer in the bass region; however, it was not a huge difference, and there is no way to tell how much of this is due to the uF difference or just the way these caps sound. This cannot be answered today b/c K72 does not come in 0.1 or 0.22uF and FT3 does not come in 0.056uF.

These caps do sound similar, but after doing A-B-A-B comparisons using music with and without bass, I can say they do have differences. K72 adds a pinch of spice and “kick” to the proceedings. Middle midrange to somewhere in upper midrange seems to sound bit more obviously “detailed” with K72; this leads to a little more tension in the listener’s shoulders when playing poorly-recorded material, i.e. the vast majority of today’s compressed and hotly EQ’d modern fare. Some may even call it extra grain, glaze, or hardness compared to FT3’s relative softer rendering. However, with clean recordings, I can see some people even preferring K72 for its more assertive, forward stance. Combining that little highlighting with a bit tighter control, K72 comes across as hair more dynamic and fun. Which Teflon cap should you purchase? Well, both are cheap enough that I think you should try both, but do consider if you wish for a little more smoothness vs. forwardness from current setup.

P.S. When you tap the stiff steel case of K72, you can hear and feel a hollow “ping” resonance. I tried applying a strip of EAR Isodamp material, covering about 1/3 of the surface area, which attenuated the sparkle and “detail” just a tad. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but depending on your tastes, a bit of damping may have a role.
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Are You a Contender?

So, are these Russian teflon caps as “good” as the V Caps, Sonicap Teflons? Well, I know some say no, but I don’t know how to answer that.

In direct comparisons, VCap teflon does come across as having the highest highs and the most linear response across the range. It paints the sonic scape with the finer brush, and its sonic signature reminds me of my beloved Sylvania 5751 triple mica black plate tubes for you tube people. On the other hand, the FT3 and especially K72 have a more forward, bolder midrange presentation, albeit with a bit less refinement and a bit bolder lower midrange/upper bass range. I enjoy listening to deep male vocals a bit more through the Russian caps while VCaps absolutely rule with high-pitched female vocals and instruments that live in the same range and above, resolving them with the finest of the surgical scalpel yet without any harshness.

I really don’t feel all these caps should be given concrete rankings, like number 1, 2, 3, etc. Let’s just say music can sound glorious with most good caps mentioned in this article, often coming down to tweaking tubes, interconnects, power cords, etc.
post #77 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phraxos View Post
Hey does anyone happen to know what's in the ALO portable Vcap? This one:

http://aloaudio.com/store/catalog/images/vcap-new.jpg

I'm not sure if they're OIMP or Teflon, it's been indicated to me both ways. Also, anyone know how much one of these go for (nowadays and when they were sold)?

Thanks
Anybody?
post #78 of 523
I'll throw in some caps too, since i have been cap rolling as well, not as much as Jon L but some special caps indeed.



Black gate:

nx and nh type of caps are very clean and have the lowest noisefloor of any cap around. They are the perfect cap in any powersection with clean presentation. They are notorious for a long burn in period though and it's true, as i found out. it takes at least 300-500 hours to burn them in.

On the right are the CUSTOM made silver signal caps.
These caps are custom made and supposedly are an alternative for the very expensive audio note silver caps. The guys that make this cap say they actually prefer this one to the audio note silver cap! They are audio note dealer as well, so they should know.

It is made of pure silver strips, with a secret insulation material topped with beeswax...The square form should prevent any distortion, as conventional round caps have.

This cap is like buying a different higher end amp, bigger soundstage in every direction, clean yet natural sound, positioning is absolutely pinpoint...

I would place it in the same ballpark as the Vcap teflons and the audio note silvers. Not cheap though but much more affordable then audio note silvers!

Another audio goeroe compared those caps with other caps and called this indeed a very special cap.

The drawback is that they are especially designed as coupling caps in tube gear! There is also a limited number of values available, other then that, wholeheartedly recommended.

Silver signals as coupler caps:


VenHaus oimp:

Good clear and reasonably clean cap. Nice deep and tight bass, goes down deeper then most caps. Everything they say about this cap is true. Also takes a long burn in period, about 300 hours at least. Probably the best companion for the VenHaus Vcap teflons?!


As for solens:

cheap caps that sound a bit constrained and grainy...even bypassed nowhere near the black gates or silver signals...

Solens are usually used by manufacturers because they are cheap and available in large quantities. I would recommend to get rid of them in any critical path.
post #79 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phraxos View Post
Anybody?
Standard probably the Vcap oimps...as in the idock. There could have been an option to go for the more expensive Vcap teflons though...would cost ya even more.
post #80 of 523
Jon L, thanks for sharing the impressions. I cannot describe the sound the way you did, but I do recognize the sound characteristics of these Teflon caps you wrote in your post. Totally agreed with your comment about the size and weight.
I have tried these caps in several amps in the past and I found them very good in terms of neutrality, resolutions and details.
Personally I prefer the FT3 (a bit more laid back) over the K72.

As far I know, K72 does exist(ed) in 0.1uF (have used it in the past) and FT3 was also available in 0.47uF (the silver one in the pic below).

post #81 of 523
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourmaline View Post
The drawback is that they are especially designed as coupling caps in tube gear! There is also a limited number of values available, other then that, wholeheartedly recommended.
Well.... What kind of $ are we talking about for say 0.1uF of these silver coupling caps? I will try anything if my wallet will let me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari View Post
Jon L,
As far I know, K72 does exist(ed) in 0.1uF (have used it in the past) and FT3 was also available in 0.47uF (the silver one in the pic below).
Yeah, I heard K72 in 0.1uF exists; it's just that none of the usual Russian/European sources seem to have any left. The K72 especially has to be securely tied down; otherwise, its weight will pull itself off the solder over time.
post #82 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phraxos View Post
Anybody?
I think they are 6.8microf OPIMP, its definatly OPIMP, but I dont own one so not 100% sure on the value.
There was an expensive special edition which also ran two smaller teflon v-caps alongside the OPIMP's.
post #83 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabeer View Post
I think they are 6.8microf OPIMP, its definatly OPIMP, but I dont own one so not 100% sure on the value.
There was an expensive special edition which also ran two smaller teflon v-caps alongside the OPIMP's.
Thanks Kabeer, any idea on cost?
post #84 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Well.... What kind of $ are we talking about for say 0.1uF of these silver coupling caps? I will try anything if my wallet will let me.



Yeah, I heard K72 in 0.1uF exists; it's just that none of the usual Russian/European sources seem to have any left. The K72 especially has to be securely tied down; otherwise, its weight will pull itself off the solder over time.
There is no 0,1 ufarad and the only way to obtain those caps is via me, so i can pick them up locally. They are not for sale via websale or anything.

The russians are in general BIG......most of the time you need such a metal capholder to screw them down secure because of the size and weight.

Black Stuart also tried out those russians and he liked the ft3 best.
post #85 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabeer View Post
I think they are 6.8microf OPIMP, its definatly OPIMP, but I dont own one so not 100% sure on the value.
There was an expensive special edition which also ran two smaller teflon v-caps alongside the OPIMP's.

OPIMP do you mean the oimp Vcap?!

In that case the teflon caps were used as bypass caps....

link to the pricing of the vcap oimps:
V-Cap Oil Capacitors

scroll down and you'll see on the right pricing for the 6.8ufarad cap!

6.8ufarad for vcap tftf (teflon) would cost you an arm and a legg! hence, they only go to 3.3ufarad!

3.3ufarad would set you back 700 dollars! For one cap!

That is why the tftf (teflon) caps are mostly used as coupler caps in tube amps( smaller values) and/or as bypass caps (also smaller values) for larger caps in amps!
post #86 of 523
Thread Starter 
The Russian K40y paper-in-oil caps are up next. Just for size comparisons, the following caps are of the same value, starting from top: Russian FT3 Teflon, Russian K40y PIO, Mundorf Silver/Oil.

post #87 of 523
It is getting more and more interesting!

Is it possible for you to do some comparison between the Russian PIO cap vs. US PIO caps such as VitaminQ? please please....
post #88 of 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
The Russian K40y paper-in-oil caps are up next. Just for size comparisons, the following caps are of the same value, starting from top: Russian FT3 Teflon, Russian K40y PIO, Mundorf Silver/Oil.

Holy....and i thought the mundorfs where already quite big...
post #89 of 523
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioCats View Post
It is getting more and more interesting!

Is it possible for you to do some comparison between the Russian PIO cap vs. US PIO caps such as VitaminQ? please please....
I really can't keep buying more caps, but if somebody wants to let me borrow a pair of Vit Q's, I'd be happy to compare..
post #90 of 523
what is your tester's voltage requirement? I have some .22uf coming, but they are only 100v DC rated. If that is high enough I can send a pair over.
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