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MHDT Havana DAC - Page 143

post #2131 of 2475

Guys, I installed the Duelund CAST PIO Cu output caps last night and without going into too much detail yet I will say I think I like them better than V-Cap CuTF!  The CuTF sound more vivid and super saturated by comparison whereas the CAST are smooooooth but every bit as detailed, possibly a tiny bit more.  Imaging is so rock solid with so much depth and definition all all the way back through the sound stage.  It's kind of like the CuTF are like an HDTV set up in an a store display where the picture is really bold and pretty, but the CAST are like a properly calibrated set that's natural and easy on the eyes (ears in this case).  Not to say the CAST produce a subdued sound -- not at all.  It's hard to explain.  If you've ever heard the Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2 vs. Series 1 it is kind of the same difference in sound to my ear.

 

I will let them burn in more and report back.  Still like the CuTF very much and luckily I will get to enjoy both sets of caps with a second Havana on the way.  biggrin.gif

post #2132 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post
I will let them burn in more and report back.  Still like the CuTF very much and luckily I will get to enjoy both sets of caps with a second Havana on the way.  biggrin.gif

We are expecting your judgment after some burning time, What capacitance you installed - 0.47 ?

Rgds

post #2133 of 2475

Yeah, 0.47.  Just BARELY fit EXACTLY.  I had to install a new pair of 100/25 + 47/25 electrolytics with longer leads to push them off to the side.  I couldn't even put 1 layer of ripwrap around even 1 cap to tie the long radial lead to the body.  Will post photos later.  WHEW!

post #2134 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

Guys, I installed the Duelund CAST PIO Cu output caps last night and without going into too much detail yet I will say I think I like them better than V-Cap CuTF!  The CuTF sound more vivid and super saturated by comparison whereas the CAST are smooooooth but every bit as detailed, possibly a tiny bit more.  Imaging is so rock solid with so much depth and definition all all the way back through the sound stage.  It's kind of like the CuTF are like an HDTV set up in an a store display where the picture is really bold and pretty, but the CAST are like a properly calibrated set that's natural and easy on the eyes (ears in this case).  Not to say the CAST produce a subdued sound -- not at all.  It's hard to explain.  If you've ever heard the Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2 vs. Series 1 it is kind of the same difference in sound to my ear.

 

I will let them burn in more and report back.  Still like the CuTF very much and luckily I will get to enjoy both sets of caps with a second Havana on the way.  biggrin.gif

 

I think I would have liked some more Cast PIO, imagining the sound..BUT, musicality is the most important thing into a sound system and I think we can talk about musicality without reserve in both case.

Thank you for impressions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post

Electrolitic caps influence the sound I'd say more than foils. BG lower values like we have in Havana are not very expensive, I replaced 16pcs of Nichicons with BG, the most expensive were the red ones N-series,

the total cost of a set of BG FK,F,N for Havana is around $350-$400.

You are asking me if they are better than Elna silmic II. Yes, BGs are better caps, the differences are not huge but significant.

It's like with chips, Malaysian K are very good sounding but Japanese K are better, right?

 

Remember every cap makes a difference, so you have to set up the sound characteristic due to your presonal preferences.

 

I mounted a week ago two 47uf/50V Black Gate Non-polars and I bought another one (only one because they are extremely difficult to find out,..) and I'm extremely happy with the result!

These capacitors giving a more natural sound, a texture that I hadn't another chance to taste with Elna Silmic-l. So, to put in value the full potential of CuTF (or Cast PIO), you needed performing electrolytic caps..

I spent about two dollars/for a piece (Elna 47uf/25V), so they are very cheap compared to other components. Considering that BG "FK" are hard to find and quite expensive, I opted for the "F" series, so I will replace about 10-12 Elna Silmic capacitors.


Edited by loserica - 11/17/12 at 8:20am
post #2135 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

Guys, I installed the Duelund CAST PIO Cu output caps last night and without going into too much detail yet I will say I think I like them better than V-Cap CuTF!  The CuTF sound more vivid and super saturated by comparison whereas the CAST are smooooooth but every bit as detailed, possibly a tiny bit more.  Imaging is so rock solid with so much depth and definition all all the way back through the sound stage.  It's kind of like the CuTF are like an HDTV set up in an a store display where the picture is really bold and pretty, but the CAST are like a properly calibrated set that's natural and easy on the eyes (ears in this case).  Not to say the CAST produce a subdued sound -- not at all.  It's hard to explain.  If you've ever heard the Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2 vs. Series 1 it is kind of the same difference in sound to my ear.

 

I will let them burn in more and report back.  Still like the CuTF very much and luckily I will get to enjoy both sets of caps with a second Havana on the way.  biggrin.gif


Hi,Am i wright in thinking Cu means copper foil ? I was looking for something else to try i have been using Jupiter HT Round bees wax which i am happy with but always int-rested to see the next step.

post #2136 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcat2 View Post


Hi,Am i wright in thinking Cu means copper foil ? I was looking for something else to try i have been using Jupiter HT Round bees wax which i am happy with but always int-rested to see the next step.

 

Yup.

 

CuTF = Copper Teflon Foil

 

PIO Cu = Paper in Oil Copper

post #2137 of 2475

Well, my previous comments regarding Duelund CAST Cu still stand -- they are no doubt better than CuTF in my opinion.  Again, timbre is so accurate and so natural sounding it's scary.  CuTF have a more juicy, vivid sound, but CAST are more delicate and refined.  I found the same thing when I replaced CuTF with CAST in my Almarro A205A MkII.  I still think CuTF are fantastic sounding caps, but if you are a Havana lover I have little doubt you will easily prefer Duelund.

 

My opinion, in general: CAST PIO-Cu > V-Cap CuTF >> ClarityCap MR... and the rest.


I'm just going to pretend Duelund CAST Ag do not exist!  Also Duelund VSF makes no sense when smaller values cost more than CAST.

post #2138 of 2475

Kimchee411,

 

When I use  Vcaps CuTF I can hear the highest resolution I have heard so far,  I can hear details, that I could't hear with other caps (best Mundorfs SGiO, Jensens copper foil and ther rest), Vcpas CuTF are just extremely opened, nobody can understand what I'm talking about without prior listening to them.

"Violins sound like violins, flutes sound like flutes". Timbre and image are really breathtaking.

 

 

How do the Duelunds PIO Cu compare with Vcaps CuTF with terms of transparency and resolution?

 

Vcaps are also very delicate, refined and very natural sounding  in my system.

post #2139 of 2475

The Duelunds give up nothing to the CuTF in terms of transparency and resolution and dare I say even do a little better.

 

Robert, trust me, I know how you feel.  I didn't think it could get any better than CuTF myself... but curiosity got the best of me.  If you search the web you will see a couple people who have experience with both caps.  I have yet to read a report of anybody preferring CuTF, or any cap, to Duelund CAST.  Don't let "PIO" fool you -- there is nothing smoothed out about these caps.

 

That said, if you prefer a super pristine and somewhat sparkly presentation (without being bright or overly etched), you may prefer the CuTF.  But if you want the most organic and honest sound, I think CAST is the winner.

post #2140 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by robeeert1 View Post

When I use  Vcaps CuTF I can hear the highest resolution I have heard so far,  I can hear details, that I could't hear with other caps (best Mundorfs SGiO, Jensens copper foil and ther rest), Vcpas CuTF are just extremely opened, nobody can understand what I'm talking about without prior listening to them.

"Violins sound like violins, flutes sound like flutes". Timbre and image are really breathtaking.

 

Vcaps are also very delicate, refined and very natural sounding  in my system.

 

I am so happy with V-Cap CuTF! After about 500-600 hours of burning-in, I can say: they sound absolutely beautiful. Stax's sound is definitely more ennobled by CuTF, and if we add some Black Gate, it is an audiophile delight. The sound texture is refined, but also has naturalness and credibility throughout the frequency spectrum. YES! Timbre and image are really breathtaking! Amazing how much information reveal CuTF, differences from mediocre capacitors are huge...

I imagine the sound of Duelund and I'm sure I would love more than CuTF from those discussed. BUT, I remember what I said before: I am so happy with CuTF, so satisfied! smile.gif

Amazing in what can transform Havana, with these upgrades.

 

PS: I'm back with impressions after I will mount another two BG non-polars (47uf/50V) in the chips area and change all Elna Silmic-I & Cerafine capacitors (with BG F & FK series).

post #2141 of 2475

If you have CuTF and are happy with them (and I'm sure anyone who has them is VERY happy), then I am not going to say you've got to try the Duelunds, but if you have been thinking about adding CuTF output caps I urge you  to go with Duelund CAST Cu instead.  The 0.47 uF values from Parts Connexion even cost a bit less than the CuTF... and if you are not happy I will gladly trade you for the CuTF in my second Havana.  smile.gif

 

Last night I replaced the CuTF bypass caps in my Tannoy Turnberry SE high frequency crossover with CAST Cu and again I have gotten more realistic, refined sound with even more inner details.  The subtleties in the music that these caps brings out is unparalleled.  When listening to Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous" -- an album I listen to a lot -- I noticed certain emphases that the singer puts at the beginning of some words for the first time and then my wife, who usually prefers to listen to Pandora through her laptop speakers over my hifi systems, started mocking the singer in the same way.  Today I watched Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance and was just floored at how real every instrument sounded and how the ambiance of the room was captured.

 

Anybody know of a good source for reasonably priced BG F/FK and N/NX?  As much as I would love to try some, I am not paying $50+ for one electrolytic cap from a Chinese eBay seller.

post #2142 of 2475
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchee411 View Post

Anybody know of a good source for reasonably priced BG F/FK and N/NX?  As much as I would love to try some, I am not paying $50+ for one electrolytic cap from a Chinese eBay seller.

 

Yes, you're write. 50$ for a piece is excessively! But, I searched desperately four pieces of BG Non-polars, regardless of price and luckily I found them. The problem is that both, N and the FK series are very hard to find and if you find them on e-bay (I don't know other sources),.. are still expensive. I bought two capacitors BG N series 47uf/50V and one FK series 2.200uF/35V from Canada, and another two non-polars from Russia. I understand that they are the best on the digital section near the tube&chips. I am very curious to see what changes It make in sound all BG capacitors from Elna Silmic&Cerafine. I will find in about a week or two.

 

On: http://www.hificollective.co.uk/components/cerafines.html

I found this:

" Which capacitor to use is difficult to determine without actually trying. It depends on too many factors. To hear the potential of a certain part, it's often nessecary to change other parts too. Experimenting with different combinations is a more solid way to lift a design to a higher level. In principle the original music signal has to be preserved as much as possible, but it's difficult to tell which parts do. For analysing a music signal (harmonic structures changing in time), our ears are still the most useful instrument. But we're all calibrated differently. To some a SILMIC adds color and warmth and a Black Gate FK sounds neutral. To others a SILMIC sounds neutral because it exactly reproduces natural colors and warmth from the recording, a Black Gate FK sounds more 'hifi' to them, making the signal more pulsed, peaky (giving attack) and too clean (filtering out natural timbres).

Often a combination of different (high quality) capacitors in the right places gives the best result. Best thing is to try yourself and trust your ears. Still, we want to mention some general characteristics as a rough guideline (of course these are our personal, biased, subjective experiences). These characters apply for capacitors used either in the signal path or in the power supply (for digital different rules apply, but there are simularities as well). Lower voltage versions of a capacitor can offer more refinement (it's faster, gives more presence towards the mid-highs).

The SILMIC II is best for reproducing different timbres, natural colors and warmth in a recording. It offers most presence in the low-mid range with lots of texture (tangible). Bass is round and warm, the mid and highrange are very refined, 'silky', quiet, but with lots of openess (more open than CERAFINE, less open than Black Gate FK).

The CERAFINE is also very good for reproducing different timbres, natural colors, but has a more direct sound than SILMIC (less direct than Black Gate FK). Bass is round and warm, the midrange has most presence and the high range is lively.

The Black Gate FK has the most open and clean sound, with the main presence in the high range. It sounds thinner, offers somewhat less texture and timbre. It offers most pulse, attack in both the low, mid and high ranges".
 

I think that the changing of electrolytic caps with Black Gate, and possibly Duelund CAST-PIO Cu instead CuTF, it would be the last step to Havana. We passed this critical point beyond which any change is very expensive and no longer justified intro this DAC!

post #2143 of 2475

Black Gates "FK" are really the best electrolitics I have tried in Havana. I know they are hard to find and extremely expensive. I know some values reach $50/pc. Do you think they are not worth the price? So what for do we use Vcaps or Duelunds which cost a lot of  money, too?

Black Gates improve the sound considerably compared with any Elna.  I think there is no use trying Duelunds or Vcaps without having Black Gates on board first.

 

I think the last step is to try Duelunds, but it's gonna be a cosmetic change, maybe I'm wrong, that's what I'm gonna find out.

Kimchee411, can you enclose a photo here of these babies?

post #2144 of 2475

When you say there is no use trying Duelunds or VCaps without BG first that implies either that BG are better than them or BG somehow influences their performance to a great extent.  Can you really say that BG FK can compete with the likes of V-Cap CuTF in terms of performance?  I have a hard time believing that any electrolytic will provide improvements even close to CuTF.  $50+ is what you would pay for 2.2.uF Clarity MR, which is one of the very best film caps that smokes your run of the mill Solen or Bennic PP.  Is the gap between Elna and BG that wide?  Plus it's not just the per cap price that I am balking at, it's the number of caps too.  At today's prices replacing every electrolytic in the Havana can easily run you $1000 assuming you can find all of them.  Can changing one or two provide huge improvements?  If so, what are the key electrolytics to replace first?  I may start with one or two and see what happens.

 

I am adding a 0.22 C12 CuTF this week and will post photos of the Duelunds when I do that.

post #2145 of 2475

Kimchee,

 

I wanted to give you a hint seeing you are doing extreme upgrade, you are using Duelunds or Vcaps not kowning how considerable changes provides bendix 6386 '64 or BGs.

You have your mind of course and decide yourself which parts to replace, as I said before I'm only giving you a hint. One electrolitic BG wiil not provide improvements close to CuTF but 10 x BG I wouldn't be so sure.

 

Can changing one or two provide huge improvements?  If so, what are the key electrolytics to replace first?  I may start with one or two and see what happens.

 

Start with 1000uf BG FK and see what happens..

 

Cheers Robert


Edited by robeeert1 - 12/16/12 at 1:40am
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