Upgrading Capacitors

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dbx

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Upgrading Capacitors
« on: 12 Oct 2015, 02:04 am »
I am looking to reuse capacitors that I upgraded from a previous speaker capacitor upgrade into a new set of speakers I purchased.  I  notice with the new speakers, they don't quite have the same soundstage depth as the previous speakers I have.  There is depth, but not as much as I am accustomed to with my previous speakers (which I once said I would be buried with them).  I contribute the depth of the previous speakers with the capacitors I used.  I used Sonic Craft Gen 1, Clarity Cap MR Caps, and Jupiter Flat Stacked Caps.

These speakers are Salk SoundScape 8 which is rated at 4 ohms.

The new Salk speakers use Solen Capacitors.  See below for the caps values.

The Tweeter uses a RAAL 70-20D Ribbon Tweeter with the following capacitor values:
6 uF - I don't have a cap for this.
15 uF - I have a Jupiter 12uF HT Flat Stack that I could use, and would need 3uF more.  Perhaps two Mundorf SOG 1.5 uF should do the job.
I am looking to get clarity and liquidity with this tweeter since it is a high-performance tweeter.  Perhaps a Mundorf SOG, SO, or SG Cap for the values I need can do the job to bring out as much detail as possible.

The Midrange uses an Accuton C90-6-079 Driver with the following capacitor Values:
12 uF - I have a Jupiter 12uF HT Flat Stack that I plan to use
80 uF - I have three 25uF Clarity Cap MR and would need 5uF more to bring this up to spec.  I was thinking of purchasing a Jantzen Superior Z Cap, unless Sonic Craft has another suggestion.
I am looking to get as much meat and clarity out of the midrange as possible.


Woofer:
220 uF
Perhaps Clarity Cap ESA Series or if Sonic Craft has a Gen1 Cap of this value.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!!!

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #1 on: 13 Oct 2015, 03:40 am »
If you are set on reusing caps, this will present the first (and largest) restraint.  I have a question and a couple of statements.  After that, we will look closer at your inventory of caps.  I'm going to make recommendations here as if you had no capacitors or budget.

The perfect cap for all the series positions to the ribbon is the Jupiter Copper.  On a budget, SO.  This ribbon will not be bright with any of the caps in question, so I would tend to refrain from using warmer SG, SGO, Flat Stack, etc...  This in part is why this tweeter works (musically) at all with a gritty, edgy, bright cap like Solens.

The midrange would benefit from a true film and foil unlike the ribbon (even though the Jupiter Copper is a true film and foil).  This mid would never have any issues with clarity when using any single winding film and foil.  Now for the weight, and rich harmonic bloom?  The Jupiter VT Flat stack would be the best way to go.  You should use all large values.  On a budget, your planned caps would be fine.  However, I would work a larger VT Flat Stack into the mix with those MRs.

The woofer shunt would benefit from a stack of G1s or ESAs, but that too would be costly.

Are there any other shunt caps besides the woofer circuit (including parallel shaping networks)?

dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #2 on: 13 Oct 2015, 07:41 pm »
Hello once again Jeff.  Its been a while since we last spoke.

So here are my thoughts regarding this project -

I'm going to make recommendations here as if you had no capacitors or budget.
Assume no restrictions on budget, and we can take it from there.

The perfect cap for all the series positions to the ribbon is the Jupiter Copper.  On a budget, SO.  This ribbon will not be bright with any of the caps in question, so I would tend to refrain from using warmer SG, SGO, Flat Stack, etc...  This in part is why this tweeter works (musically) at all with a gritty, edgy, bright cap like Solens.
So then if using Jupiter Copper Foil Cap for both 6.0 and 15.0 uF values should do the trick.  This would come to $1700 to cover both speakers.
To lower the budget, if I were to use the 6 uf Cap for Jupiter Copper Foil, and have the 15 uF value consist of the 6.8 and 8.2 uF Mundorf Supreme S/O, would you see any issues audibly with this mix of caps for the ribbon tweeter?


The midrange would benefit from a true film and foil unlike the ribbon (even though the Jupiter Copper is a true film and foil).  This mid would never have any issues with clarity when using any single winding film and foil.  Now for the weight, and rich harmonic bloom?  The Jupiter VT Flat stack would be the best way to go.  You should use all large values.  On a budget, your planned caps would be fine.  However, I would work a larger VT Flat Stack into the mix with those MRs.
So for the 12 uF value, I can use my 12uF Jupiter VT Flat-Stacked Cap
For the 80 uF Value, I can use either - (two 25 uf for) 50uF for Clarity Cap MR, and then (two 12 uF for) 24 uF for Jupiter VT Flat Stacked, leaving me with a 6 uF Cap to purchase.  Perhaps I would need another 6 uF Jupiter Copper Foil Cap, or a 3.3 and 2.7 uf Mundorf Supreme S/O?  Any recommendations?
I have 25 uf Values to work with for the Clarity Cap, and 12 uF Values to work with for the Jupiter VT Flat Stacked.  If the mix of values should be different, I am open to suggestions.


The woofer shunt would benefit from a stack of G1s or ESAs, but that too would be costly.

Are there any other shunt caps besides the woofer circuit (including parallel shaping networks)?

How would I be able to tell if a cap is connected as a shunt?  The manufacturer does not offer schematics of the crossover design, so I will have to ask them, or I can visually inspect the crossover board.

Thanks much Jeff!!!

dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #3 on: 14 Oct 2015, 02:37 am »
Jeff -

In addition, I am getting a set of Exotica 3s speakers later this week which uses the following values:

Tweeter - Seas Exotic T35 X3-06:
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/seas-soft-dome-tweeters/seas-exotic-t35-x3-06-tweeter-with-alnico-magnet/
15 uF
30 uF

Midrange - Seas Exotic W8 X2-08:
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-8-woofers/seas-exotic-w8-x2-08-8-woofer-alnico-magnet/
15 uF

Again, I have Clarity Cap MR 25 uF, Sonic Craft 25 uF, and Jupiter 12 uF HT Flat Stack Caps to play with.  If other caps are required, please let me know


Thanks again!!!

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #4 on: 20 Oct 2015, 12:56 am »
So then if using Jupiter Copper Foil Cap for both 6.0 and 15.0 uF values should do the trick.  This would come to $1700 to cover both speakers.

That's a fact :cry:

Quote
To lower the budget, if I were to use the 6 uf Cap for Jupiter Copper Foil, and have the 15 uF value consist of the 6.8 and 8.2 uF Mundorf Supreme S/O, would you see any issues audibly with this mix of caps for the ribbon tweeter?

Which cap comes first?  Or, which cap is closer to the driver?

Quote
So for the 12 uF value, I can use my 12uF Jupiter VT Flat-Stacked Cap

Again, which position in the circuit does this cap fall?

Quote
For the 80 uF Value, I can use either - (two 25 uf for) 50uF for Clarity Cap MR, and then (two 12 uF for) 24 uF for Jupiter VT Flat Stacked, leaving me with a 6 uF Cap to purchase.  Perhaps I would need another 6 uF Jupiter Copper Foil Cap, or a 3.3 and 2.7 uf Mundorf Supreme S/O?  Any recommendations?

If you are taking a bit of the budget route here, I'd actually use a 6uF AudioCap Theta for the filler.

Quote
I have 25 uf Values to work with for the Clarity Cap, and 12 uF Values to work with for the Jupiter VT Flat Stacked.  If the mix of values should be different, I am open to suggestions.

If you are flush with 12uF VTs, I'd use seven of them.

Quote
How would I be able to tell if a cap is connected as a shunt?  The manufacturer does not offer schematics of the crossover design, so I will have to ask them, or I can visually inspect the crossover board.

Just venturing a guess here, but I bet the manufacture will not let go of the schematic.  You could draw a schematic.  It does not have to be pretty, but it does need to be correct.  If you do not mind shipping one XO, then we will do it for you for free.  You would only be out for return shipping.  If you happened to buy some parts, we could return everything together.

My apologies for the reply  :oops:

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #5 on: 20 Oct 2015, 01:09 am »
In addition, I am getting a set of Exotica 3s speakers later this week which uses the following values:

Tweeter - Seas Exotic T35 X3-06:
15 uF
30 uF

Midrange - Seas Exotic W8 X2-08:
15 uF

Again, I have Clarity Cap MR 25 uF, Sonic Craft 25 uF, and Jupiter 12 uF HT Flat Stack Caps to play with.  If other caps are required, please let me know

A schematic would be great, and I would happy to make the same offer as above.  You might have noticed that I hate shooting in the dark.  :wink:  I really need to know what the XO looks like.  I can say that a 15uF VT would be great on the mid.  The Mundorf S/O would work well on the tweet, but you could use something like the MR to save money on the first position (furthest from the tweeter).

sfox7076

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #6 on: 20 Oct 2015, 03:02 am »
Note that Jim glues the caps down, so you have to start over... 

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #7 on: 20 Oct 2015, 03:08 am »
A schematic is all I'm looking for.  I can likely draw it without lifting a single component.  :wink:

dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #8 on: 20 Oct 2015, 03:54 am »
Thanks Jeff.

I will find out from Jim about these questions.  Jim does glue down the caps to the board, making them impossible to remove without damaging them.  He has offered to make me a new board with the replacement caps in exchange for the old board.  However, I took a look inside, and it looks like that crossover board will be a PITA to remove from the speaker.  All components are soldered in a point-to-point fashion.

I will have to talk to Jim on the best way on how to remove the board from the speaker.

Thanks Jeff!!!

dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #9 on: 20 Oct 2015, 04:41 pm »
OK, here is what I got regarding the cap layout.  In addition, I was thinking of redoing my cap layout based on Jeffs recommendations.  I have the following caps to play with, perhaps to reuse with a mix of other caps:
25uF Clarity Cap MR Caps
25uF Sonic Cap Gen 1 Caps
12uF Jupiter HT Flat Stacked Caps

I plan using the following caps to make up the values wherever needed - unless Jeff has other recommendations -
Jupiter Copper Foil Caps - mainly for the tweeters
Mundorf Silver in Oil Caps - mainly for the tweeters
Jupiter HT Flat Stacked Caps - Mainly for the midrange drivers
Clarity Cap MR Caps - mainly for the midrange drivers



Exotica 3 – Tweeter
15 uF and 30 uF in series with the tweeter – 30uF closest to tweeter

If I went with all Jupiter Copper Foil Caps, it would be very expensive.  How about using one Jupiter 15uF Copper Foil for the 15uF Value and Mundorf SO for the 30uF value?  (I am open to vice versa if it is worth it)

Exotica 3 – Woofer
15uF shunt

15 uF Jupiter VT Flat Stacked or CC MR Cap?

SoundScape 8 – Tweeter
15uF and 6uF in series – 6uF closest to tweeter

6uF Jupiter Copper Foil Cap and Mundorf SO Caps for the 15uF value

SoundScape 8 – Midrange
80uF in series
12uF shunt

80uF Cap - two CC MR 25uF Caps with two 15uF Jupiter HT Flat Stacked or two 15uF CC MR Caps
12 uf Cap - Jupiter HT VT Caps


SoundScape 8 - Woofer
220uF shunt

I am open to SonicCap Gen 1 or Clarity Cap ESA caps, or I may leave it as-is until another time.

Thoughts?

Thanks to everyone here for their input, and Jeff for sharing his wisdom in his field of expertise!!!!

sfox7076

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #10 on: 20 Oct 2015, 05:17 pm »
I am watching this with interest as I may be convinced to do the exact same thing you do.  That said, I thought Jim didn't solder at the wires where they connect to the woofer/tweeters.  I am not as sure about the wires from the binding posts.

dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #11 on: 20 Oct 2015, 05:57 pm »
I am watching this with interest as I may be convinced to do the exact same thing you do.  That said, I thought Jim didn't solder at the wires where they connect to the woofer/tweeters.  I am not as sure about the wires from the binding posts.

The wire that connects to the speakers are connected by faston clips which can be removed.  I am judging this from one of the woofer drivers I removed - I have not checked the midrange or tweeter.  The resistors and caps are soldered together in a point-to-point fashion from what I saw without removing the board from the speaker.  I have no clue how I am going to remove the crossover board from the speakers.  From what I can tell, it looks to be a daunting task.

I have not looked to see how the wires are connecting to the binding posts.

sfox7076

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #12 on: 20 Oct 2015, 06:40 pm »
I have pulled the crossovers out before on other of my Salks. 5-6 screws and out it came.

undertow

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #13 on: 20 Oct 2015, 08:28 pm »
Taking the Solens out if on a woofer Shunt/bypass/Parallel will do just about "Nothing" sonically... Wasting a lot of money here would be a big mistake overall.

However, highly agree dumping all Solens from everywhere else is a must. I have used Mundorf Silver/Oil vs. Clarity MR vs. Clarity ESA vs. even Duelund VSF, and believe it or not in the right speaker those Gen 1 Sonicap versions are nearly as good if not better in many ways. Jupiter HT {okay} but overpriced in my opinion.

In any case the only true step up I have heard for a reasonable price is the Audyn True Copper caps which I would maybe use on the tweeter if possible. These will be a step up over any Mundorf, or Clarity cap in general when used in passive crossovers. In electronics it depends.

By the way the values you listed with 80 uF - even 12 uF are HUGE CAPS if you can get them in the really exotic stuff we are talking easily the size of SODA cans. So I am telling you now that most will never fit anywhere near the original crossover in the cabinet unless your going to build from scratch into "Outboard" crossover cabinets not inside your speaker cabinets. From what I see listed you could have a crossover board 12" x 18" squared at a minimum once laying everything back out.

I would stick with Sonicap Gen 1's saving you a ton of time, money, and space which honestly will be 99% of the results you can get from any of the other mixes in this specific case. However, you may still have fitment issues physically if trying to just replace exactly as the original crossover was built because you have some very large value caps, even Solens are sizable, but everything you list here will be a minimum of DOUBLE the physical size per cap, some 5 times larger. Solen caps are Babies in comparison to the physical size of some listed here.

If your already using 25 uF Clarity MR caps I know they weigh like 1 lb each! I was accidentally shipped some 10 uF Clarity MR's, and they were huge...

undertow

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #14 on: 20 Oct 2015, 09:23 pm »
Here are some 9" x 12" boards I did a couple years ago... One board alone for the 180 uF plus cap I believe it was at the time with the woofer inductor. So this is taking up nearly 2 ft long x 9" alone with both boards in each speaker, and these are just using the Jantzen Crosscaps, and a couple of Obbligatto golds! So some of the caps your talking about if you can even get the values, including those Clarity MR caps not sure...



dbx

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #15 on: 21 Oct 2015, 02:36 am »
Taking the Solens out if on a woofer Shunt/bypass/Parallel will do just about "Nothing" sonically... Wasting a lot of money here would be a big mistake overall.

I heard this statement from a number of sources, so I will most likely leave the Solen in the Woofer section as-is.

However, highly agree dumping all Solens from everywhere else is a must. I have used Mundorf Silver/Oil vs. Clarity MR vs. Clarity ESA vs. even Duelund VSF, and believe it or not in the right speaker those Gen 1 Sonicap versions are nearly as good if not better in many ways. Jupiter HT {okay} but overpriced in my opinion.

In any case the only true step up I have heard for a reasonable price is the Audyn True Copper caps which I would maybe use on the tweeter if possible. These will be a step up over any Mundorf, or Clarity cap in general when used in passive crossovers. In electronics it depends.

There is only one place I can use the Interteknik Audyn True Copper Cap - is in the 6uF value.  The rest of the values offered would require at least 4 caps in the tweeter area.  I would use copper caps or Mundorf Supreme Series Caps in the tweeter area only, which is where the bulk of the capacitor budget would be spent.


By the way the values you listed with 80 uF - even 12 uF are HUGE CAPS if you can get them in the really exotic stuff we are talking easily the size of SODA cans. So I am telling you now that most will never fit anywhere near the original crossover in the cabinet unless your going to build from scratch into "Outboard" crossover cabinets not inside your speaker cabinets. From what I see listed you could have a crossover board 12" x 18" squared at a minimum once laying everything back out.

I know what you mean... Think of the Sonic Caps as an earth-size capacitor.  The Clarity Cap MRs, are Jupiter-Size in comparison.  No joke!!!  One CC MR is like 5 Sonic Caps in diameter!!!  As a result - fitment issues can arise when using certain caps in areas inside the component you are using it for.


I would stick with Sonicap Gen 1's saving you a ton of time, money, and space which honestly will be 99% of the results you can get from any of the other mixes in this specific case. However, you may still have fitment issues physically if trying to just replace exactly as the original crossover was built because you have some very large value caps, even Solens are sizable, but everything you list here will be a minimum of DOUBLE the physical size per cap, some 5 times larger. Solen caps are Babies in comparison to the physical size of some listed here.

If your already using 25 uF Clarity MR caps I know they weigh like 1 lb each! I was accidentally shipped some 10 uF Clarity MR's, and they were huge...

I have had good results with Sonic Caps which are a great value for the money.  Tweeter section - I would use the higher-end caps.  If Jeff recommends that Sonic Cap is 90% or better of the CC MR, or Jupiter HT Flat-Stack, I may go with the Sonic Caps in certain areas - particulary in the 80uF and one in the 15uF value.

Have you used Sonic Caps in comparison to Mundorf or CC MR in a Soundscape 8 or Exotica 3 Speaker?  If so, what were your thoughts?

undertow

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #16 on: 21 Oct 2015, 03:02 am »
In just about any speaker application the sonicaps will not be 90%, but likely 99% as good. Specifically in a speaker like this. I have not done any Salks specifically, but virtually any 1-2-3 style dynamic drive speakers using the basic popular off the shelf European drivers which these Salks are just another clone of most and yours have nearly identical crossover slopes, and even those crossovers in my photos have nearly identical values.

By the way another very good cap arguably for your midrange or tweeter are the very affordable Mundorf EVO oil caps which honestly might be the true king in "value" caps. They are also very compact compared to many, but not tiny either. I like them a lot and are less disappointing vs. buying very expensive caps of any type, and  then finding out they really don't do miracles or magic which most exotic caps do not beyond the point of diminishing returns in the case of most crossover designs.

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #17 on: 22 Oct 2015, 05:15 am »
OK, here is what I got regarding the cap layout.  In addition, I was thinking of redoing my cap layout based on Jeffs recommendations.  I have the following caps to play with, perhaps to reuse with a mix of other caps:
25uF Clarity Cap MR Caps
25uF Sonic Cap Gen 1 Caps
12uF Jupiter HT Flat Stacked Caps

How many of each do you have?

Quote
Exotica 3 – Tweeter
15 uF and 30 uF in series with the tweeter – 30uF closest to tweeter

If I went with all Jupiter Copper Foil Caps, it would be very expensive.  How about using one Jupiter 15uF Copper Foil for the 15uF Value and Mundorf SO for the 30uF value?  (I am open to vice versa if it is worth it)

Actually, S/O would be great for both locations.  We could potentially trim the budget more with the 30uF "if" it happened to be the cap farthest from the tweeter.

Quote
Exotica 3 – Woofer
15uF shunt

15 uF Jupiter VT Flat Stacked or CC MR Cap?

Sonicap G1

Quote
SoundScape 8 – Tweeter
15uF and 6uF in series – 6uF closest to tweeter
6uF Jupiter Copper Foil Cap and Mundorf SO Caps for the 15uF value

This will work.

Quote
SoundScape 8 – Midrange
80uF in series
12uF shunt

80uF Cap - two CC MR 25uF Caps with two 15uF Jupiter HT Flat Stacked or two 15uF CC MR Caps
12 uf Cap - Jupiter HT VT Caps

If you weren't trimming the budget, the 12uF G1 would still be a fine choice.  Even if you are trimming the budget, I would not compromise the 80uF beyond two CC MR 25uF Caps with two 15uF Jupiter "VT" Flat Stacks.

Quote
SoundScape 8 - Woofer
220uF shunt

I am open to SonicCap Gen 1 or Clarity Cap ESA caps, or I may leave it as-is until another time.

The G1 would be great provided the budget allows.[/quote]

Jeff

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #18 on: 22 Oct 2015, 06:34 am »
Taking the Solens out if on a woofer Shunt/bypass/Parallel will do just about "Nothing" sonically... Wasting a lot of money here would be a big mistake overall.

I'll have to disagree with you here.  The bass shunt will have an audible effect in the two octaves that flank the mid/woofer crossover point.  While those 8s likely will not benefit much over Solens, I guarantee the mid will.  If forced to pick "only one" range to get right on speaker, it is the midrange.

Quote
However, highly agree dumping all Solens from everywhere else is a must. I have used Mundorf Silver/Oil vs. Clarity MR vs. Clarity ESA vs. even Duelund VSF, and believe it or not in the right speaker those Gen 1 Sonicap versions are nearly as good if not better in many ways. Jupiter HT {okay} but overpriced in my opinion.

If I were trimming the budget on the bass shunt, the name "Duelund" would not even come up in the conversation for any position.  Jupiters are likely responsible for bring the price of Duelund offerings down.  :wink:

Quote
By the way the values you listed with 80 uF - even 12 uF are HUGE CAPS if you can get them in the really exotic stuff we are talking easily the size of SODA cans. So I am telling you now that most will never fit anywhere near the original crossover in the cabinet unless your going to build from scratch into "Outboard" crossover cabinets not inside your speaker cabinets. From what I see listed you could have a crossover board 12" x 18" squared at a minimum once laying everything back out.

I think this is commonly understood by most savvy DIYers.

Quote
I would stick with Sonicap Gen 1's saving you a ton of time, money, and space which honestly will be 99% of the results you can get from any of the other mixes in this specific case.

Since the Sonicap is my baby, I certainly appreciate your kind words.  :green:  However, I and many of my customers would not agree with you here.  Not only do I hear great things from other caps in certain applications, the whole diminishing returns argument is relative.  The general public does not "need" high-end caps, or speakers for that matter.  They do not put food in your mouth, or provide shelter.  Just like exotic cars and fancy houses, they buy them in a quest for "enjoyment" because they can.  My profession is a small niche in the audio industry, so I can assure you that I am not made of money  :wink:  However, I have a couple of hobbies.  I spend good money on them when I can, and the term "value" has little meaning here.  Just ask my wife  :lol:

BTW, I agree with you on the Evo Oil.  Especially for a filler on larger series values in the mid band.  The smaller values can be a successful budget consideration where applicable.

undertow

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Re: Upgrading Capacitors
« Reply #19 on: 22 Oct 2015, 01:14 pm »
I guess I will clarify.

When I said "Woofers" I was just talking about the parallel cap on the lower bass. Not midrange which is why I stated he could do a little better possibly in the mid's and tweeters which the Mundorf Evo could be a good choice for size, value[uf], and value[cost]...

As for general public, or even hard core audiophiles I have gone about as far as you can take it building with over priced exotic parts in some speakers in the past, and truthfully spending 2000.00 plus on any design will render very little vs. 1000.00 on just as good of parts for that same application is all I was illustrating.

My opinion most standard 3 way's or 2 way's the majority on these audio board people are rebuilding that have your average efficiency of 85 to 90 db honestly are better buying the best parts for the job within reason, because many times the super exotic stuff does nothing maybe even making it worse.

Beyond that I agree that many really unique applications, and speakers specifically running very high efficiency horns, or other types of ribbons etc... can in fact benefit from some extra finesse in choosing the finer parts or more exotic.

Mundorf Evo vs. Sonicap I can say are slightly different maybe in end results, but both similarly can be a better choice vs. trying to jam really expensive, or magic caps in some spots.

By the way I was a fan of Clarity MR caps in some tube gear, but honestly with speakers they seem to "Enhance" a little to much bringing everything more forward with "Clarity"... It's all a balancing act.