My Capacitor comparisons: Mundorfs, VCap, Sonicap Platinum, Auricap, etc

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Speakerquest

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I absolutely agree about the necessity to choose the right combination of components to acheive a neutral sound. However I would hardly say that my system is dull sounding with silver interconnects and silver speakercables, and Al/Mg tweeters. Of course these are subjective qualities, and it would be wrong to claim that the RTX is "better" than the Dynamicap. I can only say that in my fairly high-end system the RTX was superior to the Dynamicap as preamp output caps, since the Dynamicap clearly had a more flat closed in colored sound in this scenario. Perhaps the Dynamicap would be the better cap in a solidstate system in a room with different room acoustics. I am looking forward to test the Mundorf SiO in my new poweramp, and perhaps I will take the plunge and get Duelund caps for my tweeter crossovers.  :)

Jon L

Jantzen Superior Z-Cap



Jantzen Audio is a Danish company, and they make three grades of polypropylene capacitors:  Z-Cap, Superior Z-Cap, and Silver Z-Cap.  I am testing the Superior Z-Cap which, like the Silver Z-Cap, has been wound using a “special machine…so that the capasitors become a very tight reel.  This minimizes the inner vibration and keeps microphonic effects as low as possible.”  The ends appear sealed with some sort of resin to keep out moisture, a nice touch, and the overall look and feel are definitely a notch or two above the common polypropylene types. 

There is a bit of “buzz” about Jantzen capacitors out there, and they certainly did not disappoint.  Superior Z-Cap rather reminds me of Dynamicap E, which is one of my favorite polypropylene capacitors.  They share a sense of evenness, balance, and coherence, which means nothing is sticking out like a sore thumb to distract you from the music.  Superior-Z possesses a very smooth, flowing, mid-hall type of personality with no sense of congealing, bloat, raggedness, or bite, yet it is not lacking in detail resolution, especially when compared to something like Claritycap SA.  One of its greatest attributes is the fact it’s difficult to point out things it specifically does “wrong” because it pulls off a great balancing act that serves the music.   

Once again, it’s not fair to compare most polypropylene caps to expensive teflons, but the best of both breeds are more than capable of delivering the music.  Since cost is always an issue, a top-grade polypropylene is certainly a viable way to go in my opinion.

tomat

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I don't quite agree with the positive review of the Dynamicaps. I tried them as output caps in my Mapletree (Dr.Peppard) hardwired (silver) preamp (modded with Shinkoh tant resistors, Auricap interstage, highest grade BG caps, NOS tubes etc), and found them slightly muted and lacking in treble sparkle even after burnin. The were highly resolving and neutral, but lacked the magic open quality I was expecting after reading the Altavista review. I changed to Multicap RTX and the treble resolution improved and the sound became more alive. After reading your review of Mundorf SiO I ordered a pair to be used as input caps in a new poweramp that needs some smooth oil cap euphony that might be less evident in a Multicap RTX. Claritycap in the UK has done some research lately (published) and found that the cap self-vibration damping is important, which has led to a couple of new highend film/foil caps that you might interested to test.



Hi
mute & lacking of treble sparkle is from shinkoh tantalum resistor ,try to change with riken rmg or vishay s102 or tx2575 ,they have more extend & airy high frequency

thanks

Speakerquest

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I am not so sure about Shinkoh tantalum resistors lacking in treble sparkle. I find them pretty neutral. I have used Rikenohms, TX2352, Dale RN55, and Caddock MK132 in different amps at critical positions and I don't think that any of them lack treble sparkle. I have heard comments about tants sounding "fat", but also some claims that they sounded bright... http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/137474.html

RodMCV

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Any one try the Mundorf Supreme new Resistor or the Deuland carbon?
How about the new ClarityCap MR capacitor designed based on resonance reduction data, see claritycap.co.uk?

Jon L

WIMA MKP10 Polypropylene Capacitor



I was absolutely shocked when I received my WIMA MKP10 capacitors.  They are HUGE as seen next to same-capacitance AudioCap Theta and Auricap in the picture.  This German company supplies a lot of capacitors for many high-end companies, and I have seen many red-colored WIMA capacitors inside components; but I don’t remember them being this large.  WIMA MKP10’s claim to fame is their “double-layer” construction:
“The construction principle of the series WIMA MKP 10 consists of a non-metallized dielectric film and an carrier film metallized on both sides acting as electrode. Thanks to the metallization on both sides, the electrical conductivity is considerably improved and the contact surface between the electrodes and the schoopage layer is doubled. This results in better contact and allows for high current and pulse loading capability.”

The reason I am even going into such detail is due to the fact its sound quality easily exceeded my jaded expectations.  It sounded quite bright at first, but after settling down, it presented a nicely-detailed, airy, and sexily breathy sound.  It perhaps does not have 100% of the refinement and sophistication of Dynamicap E or Jantzen Superior Z, but its slightly more forward and breathy sound is a bit more exciting and ear-grabbing.  It’s not overly etched or thin-sounding, either, which you always have to watch out for in cheap metalized poly caps.  I have heard some people complain WIMA lacks bass, but this was not true in my case at all, as its bass was just as good as other good poly caps.  I don’t know how WIMA’s other caps sound, such as MKP4 and FKP, but the 630V MKP10 is a budget-champ!   
« Last Edit: 12 Sep 2008, 02:28 am by Jon L »

Jon L

AudioCap Theta Polypropylene Film and Tin Foil Capacitor



AudioCap Theta is constructed with polypropylene film and tin foil with gold-plated OFHC leads, and it is very reasonably priced compared to AudioCap PCU, which is polypropylene film and Copper foil and priced accordingly.  I have read AudioCap Thetas being described as lean and clinical in the past, and that’s exactly how they sounded in the beginning.  However, after proper break-in, these things became extraordinarily rich and warm in tone, without any wooly, syrupy sloppiness.  AudioCap Thetas definitely had another notch of detail and resolution in the mid-midrange compared to even the best metallized polypropylene caps, resulting in sumptuously textured and detailed voices; however, the upper-midrange and treble also retained this rich smoothness, which in fact made them sound a touch less open and sparkling compared to metalized poly caps like WIMA.

The longer I listened to AudioCap Theta, I was both more charmed and frustrated at the same time.  Its densitiy of tone and authoritative texturing in the midrange was very tasty, which only highlighted its Achilles’ heel, i.e. somewhat dark and shut-in upper highs compared to the best. Hoping for luck, I tried bypassing the AudioCap Theta with FT-1 Russian teflons 1/10th it’s value.  Even though both caps were burned-in, the resulting sound was initially horrid:  overly bright, grating, and just amusical. 

Knowing these things take time, even with previously used caps, I ran them for some time, and like magic, everything fell into place.  The combination was at once rich, textured, and warm, yet with intact high-frequency leading edge detail and sparkle.  This casserole of sorts yielded very, very satisfying results, working much better than when I bypassed oil caps with small Teflon caps.  I must presume that oil caps and teflon caps are simply too different to gel coherently; combining more similar film caps really hit on something wonderful here.     

In fact, to check my own impressions, I put back one of my expensive Teflon references; and I honestly can’t tell you I definitely prefer the teflons.  The teflons still have a smidge more see-through transparency and smoother liquidity, but the Theta/teflon combo has more weight and texture behind the notes while not giving up overall resolution and punch.  This combo is a definite contender in the right system.   
« Last Edit: 2 Sep 2008, 02:23 am by Jon L »

Scott F.

WIMA MKP10 Polypropylene Capacitor

<snip>

It’s not overly etched or thin-sounding, either, which you always have to watch out for in cheap metalized poly caps.  I have heard some people complain WIMA lacks bass, but this was not true in my case at all, as its bass was just as good as other good poly caps.  I don’t know how WIMA’s other caps sound, such as MKP4 and FKP, but the 630V MKP10 is a budget-champ!   


Jon,

I'm glad to see I wasn't delusional. I had a Consonance amp here on loan for a while that used the Wimas as the coupling caps. While they took some serious time to break in, when they did, I thought they sounded pretty darned good. I had to do a bit of tube rolling to find the right combination for the amp (and caps) but once I did, I liked them a lot. Like you, I didn't feel that there was anything (major) missing from the music. If somebody is on a tight budget, they shouldn't turn their nose up at the Wimas.

Oh, great tip on bypassing the Thetas with the Russian teflons. I'll have to give that one a try  :thumb:

rpf

A month or so ago, I replaced three Sonicap Platinums (.22uf, 400VDC) in each of my tube mono-blocks (Dodd Mono 50s) with AudioCap PCUs and have been really happy I did. A Modwright Truth Sony 9100 (tube rectified), Modwright LS 36.5 and Aural Acoustics Model Bs (with AudioCap Thetas in the crossovers) rounds out the system.

The PCUs are supposedly very warm but I didn't find that. Full and rich, yes; but not woolly or dark in the least. They seem to have even slightly more resolution than the Platinums, without the latter's Teflon character (overly polished, slippery notes). The highs are extended and open; the bass and leading edge detail are clean and well defined and, best of all, the body of notes are realistically textured and even more dimensional. Trailing transients seem a tad bit longer in length as well. All in all, a very nice cap at the same price as the Platinums.
« Last Edit: 1 Oct 2008, 04:55 pm by rpf »

Jon L

The PCUs are supposedly very warm but I didn't find that. Full and rich, yes; but not woolly or dark in the least. They seem to have even slightly more resolution than the Platinums, without the latter's Teflon character (overly polished, slippery notes). The highs are extended and open; the bass and leading edge detail are clean and well defined and, best of all, the body of notes are realistically textured and even more dimensional. Trailing transients seem a tad bit longer in length as well. All in all, a very nice cap at the same price as the Platinums.

The thing I worry about AudioCap PCU, other than teflon-like price, is the use of copper foils and oxidation.  Jensen gets away with it b/c the oil tends to retard oxidation, but PCU is copper foil wrapped in polypropylene film, so I'd be worried about slow oxidation and sonic degradation over time that you can't see, as slow changes tend to be hard to notice..  Only way to find out is to crack open an older PCU and see  :green:

rpf


The thing I worry about AudioCap PCU, other than teflon-like price, is the use of copper foils and oxidation.  Jensen gets away with it b/c the oil tends to retard oxidation, but PCU is copper foil wrapped in polypropylene film, so I'd be worried about slow oxidation and sonic degradation over time that you can't see, as slow changes tend to be hard to notice..  Only way to find out is to crack open an older PCU and see  :green:

Interesting. All I know now is that I really like the sound. I guess time will tell.

rpf


The thing I worry about AudioCap PCU, other than teflon-like price, is the use of copper foils and oxidation.  Jensen gets away with it b/c the oil tends to retard oxidation, but PCU is copper foil wrapped in polypropylene film, so I'd be worried about slow oxidation and sonic degradation over time that you can't see, as slow changes tend to be hard to notice..  Only way to find out is to crack open an older PCU and see  :green:

Interesting. All I know now is that I really like the sound. I guess time will tell.

Actually, I also know Response Audio has used them in some pieces. Bill, could you chime in with your experience on the PCU's longevity?

Audio-fiilis

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 7
WIMA MKP10 Polypropylene Capacitor



I was absolutely shocked when I received my WIMA MKP10 capacitors.  They are HUGE as seen next to same-capacitance AudioCap Theta and Auricap in the picture.  This German company supplies a lot of capacitors for many high-end companies, and I have seen many red-colored WIMA capacitors inside components; but I don’t remember them being this large.  WIMA MKP10’s claim to fame is their “double-layer” construction:
“The construction principle of the series WIMA MKP 10 consists of a non-metallized dielectric film and an carrier film metallized on both sides acting as electrode. Thanks to the metallization on both sides, the electrical conductivity is considerably improved and the contact surface between the electrodes and the schoopage layer is doubled. This results in better contact and allows for high current and pulse loading capability.”

The reason I am even going into such detail is due to the fact its sound quality easily exceeded my jaded expectations.  It sounded quite bright at first, but after settling down, it presented a nicely-detailed, airy, and sexily breathy sound.  It perhaps does not have 100% of the refinement and sophistication of Dynamicap E or Jantzen Superior Z, but its slightly more forward and breathy sound is a bit more exciting and ear-grabbing.  It’s not overly etched or thin-sounding, either, which you always have to watch out for in cheap metalized poly caps.  I have heard some people complain WIMA lacks bass, but this was not true in my case at all, as its bass was just as good as other good poly caps.  I don’t know how WIMA’s other caps sound, such as MKP4 and FKP, but the 630V MKP10 is a budget-champ!   


Thank God!

The industry standard found it's place in the audiophile world.

Wima has two (2) qualities. It has the capacitance it promises. It also has a low Rs.

Honestly. When trying to find a decent capacitor, measure it. Do not listen because there is a chance the (High End) manufacturer that used the (bad) original cap in your loudspeaker has exploited the properties of the original "cap".

Professionals naver use something like Mundorf. There is no need for that.

doug s.

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Thank God!

The industry standard found it's place in the audiophile world.

Wima has two (2) qualities. It has the capacitance it promises. It also has a low Rs.

Honestly. When trying to find a decent capacitor, measure it. Do not listen because there is a chance the (High End) manufacturer that used the (bad) original cap in your loudspeaker has exploited the properties of the original "cap".

Professionals naver use something like Mundorf. There is no need for that.
so, if i understand you correctly, you say that, if replacing a cap for an upgrade, you should try to match its actual walue instead of its stated walue?  but, mebbe there's a chance the mfr didn't exploit the actual cap walue, but yust went by the cap's stated walue.  which means you should try both?  hmmm.... 

doug s.

Tyson

I don't use any capacitors at all.  I simply hear the music in my head, directly from God. 

whubbard

I don't use any capacitors at all.  I simply hear the music in my head, directly from God. 

 :lol: :lol: :lol:

face

How about the new ClarityCap MR capacitor designed based on resonance reduction data, see claritycap.co.uk?
I installed a pair in my Tannoy HPD crossovers about 2 weeks ago. 

My first initial impression was, they're tremendous! The .89uf MR is larger than the 17uf Sonic Cap used in my low pass. The 4.7uf MR is just tremendous. If I didn't build a point to point x-over on a piece of MDF, there would be no way I would be able to use these.

First listening impression, right off the bat they seem smoother, less closed in, pianos especially sounded more realistic, and there is slightly better separation. And I don't know if I am imagining things, but there seems to be less floor noise. Now does someone want to give me a loan so I can purchase some for my low pass?  :D 

Now that I probably have 50 hours on them, surprisingly there has been very little change, if any at all.

lushds

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hi all,
I'd like to try out those Russian caps in my tube pre as signal output caps; I wonder if the K-40, K-72 and FT-3 types come in values greater than 2.2uf?
I've seen those greenies (K-75) come in higher values; but not for the abovementioned types.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
DS

aragon63

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  ---
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2008, 10:48 pm by aragon63 »

Jon L

  Hello,

             Have anyone tried Mundorf Silver/Gold  as coupling caps  in SET amps(300b).Currently been  using Russian K 40 PIO.....well,kind of congested,slow &  should I say "oily constipated".It's too smooth & boring .Lots of guys like this soviet capacitor......... not my cup of tea. I would like something with more clarity,sparkle,dynamics & life.Particularly interested in Mundorf S/G(not oil).....so if someone can give me opinion on this one I'll be greatly appreciated .

You  can read about silver/gold here:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=54218.0

IME it's not easy to match up a 300B SET with the right speaker/system to end up with fast, sparkling, uncongested sound.  It can be done, but very sensitive, fast speakers are required.

If K40y sounds *that* slow and congested, I'm not sure Mundorf silver/gold will be quite that much faster/clearer.  I would look to some of the better teflons.  I think the Aura-T teflons will do what you seek, but oh, the price..  In a pinch, Russian FT-3 Teflons also sounds very fast and sparkly.