Help with NX Otica crossover mods

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Badd99

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Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« on: 22 Jul 2021, 03:51 am »
Hi all -

I am thinking of maximizing the crossover for the NX otica. I have a 20k front end so everything matters in these speakers. I also never want to think about speakers for years to come so its now or never.

I paid for all upgrades on dannys site however I am making some changes and could use some help.

1- I changed out all the resistors to the path audio ones after very, very good reviews

2- I paid,  but don't think I will be using the miflex cap on the mid circut. There are many people I have seen that changed the miflex to a VCAP ODAM 0.1uF and said it was significantly better.

3- Do you think its worth putting a VCAP ODAM 0.1uF bypass cap on the tweeter sonic cap? The cap is in the range of 8-15uF (I dont want to say exactly due to danny keep things tight on his crossovers.)

4- There is a small erse cap in the tweeter that is sub 8uF....is this worth bypassing?

5- In the mid circut there are two main sets of caps, the set danny sells a bypass miflex for (much larger uF) and then another cap that is ~1/6th the size of that first cap. He does not bypass this. Should I bypass this too with VCAP ODAM 0.1uf?

6- I changed the coils in the tweeter from his air core to janzen foil inductors. They have tiny higher DCR, but I have read that foils sound a smidge better so I changed them out. What do you think?


Thank you all - crossovers are all new to me, but I learn fast!


Early B.

Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #1 on: 22 Jul 2021, 01:42 pm »
Rip out all remaining Sonicaps and Erse caps and replace them with Danny's caps, Miflex and/or Jantzen Superior caps. Also, upgrade the inductors in the woofer circuit with foil. 

mkrawcz

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #2 on: 22 Jul 2021, 02:23 pm »
Vcap odams are significantly better than any of the copper caps IMO. I use them in my NX studio and I just put one on the tweeter of my NX Oticas. The smaller value on the Oticas tweeter softened the tweeters response a little. I am going to experiment with a bypass cap value to get them closer to the spec’d value. So far the improvement is spectacular. You simply get loads more detail and much more of a 3D soundstage. I also use the odams in all my amps.

Endo2112

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #3 on: 22 Jul 2021, 05:56 pm »
I'm a huge fan of the path audio's, much better than the dueland's that they replaced. I think that adding bypass caps is like adding salt to your steak and that each different one will have a slightly different character, ultimately you will need to determine what flavour you like, and that flavour would need to mate well with your associated gear. If you were feeling really zesty, a bypass cap shootout might be fun and i'm sure the outcome would be intriguing to everyone, the problem would be the time to break each one in before a proper assessment could be had, heck, if you're interested i'd even buy a pair for the shoot out?? Shoot me a PM, maybe we can get some other folks to jump in??

Don

Badd99

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jul 2021, 11:42 pm »
Vcap odams are significantly better than any of the copper caps IMO. I use them in my NX studio and I just put one on the tweeter of my NX Oticas. The smaller value on the Oticas tweeter softened the tweeters response a little. I am going to experiment with a bypass cap value to get them closer to the spec’d value. So far the improvement is spectacular. You simply get loads more detail and much more of a 3D soundstage. I also use the odams in all my amps.

Thanks for this. I know what you mean for the smaller value. I was thinking of putting two in parallel to make up the correct value, but that's really not all that cheap lol. I then though to just bypass the original cap with 0.1 - thoughts? I think the speaker is best with the value that he desigined it for.

Did you change out the erse cap on the tweeter or bypass it? What about on your nx oticas putting the vcap odam's on the mid cricut?

mkrawcz

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jul 2021, 12:22 am »
Thanks for this. I know what you mean for the smaller value. I was thinking of putting two in parallel to make up the correct value, but that's really not all that cheap lol. I then though to just bypass the original cap with 0.1 - thoughts? I think the speaker is best with the value that he desigined it for.

Did you change out the erse cap on the tweeter or bypass it? What about on your nx oticas putting the vcap odam's on the mid cricut?

I have not tried the odams as a bypass capacitor so not sure what the result will be. The Miflex caps are still really good as a bypass, but the Sonicaps are only going to go so far. For the mid circuit, I replaced the Sonicap "bundle" with a single Auricap XO of equal value and bypassed it with a Miflex. I think that offered some pretty worthy improvement. The only reason I didnt use vcaps for this is it would be over $1k just for one cap position. I havent changed out the shunt caps, but I did add .047uf Miflex bypass caps to both the tweeter one "Erse" and the mid range one. I have found that a bypass cap on the shunt caps seems to have a pretty significant improvement on the soundstage. I have a set of Dueland silver foil bypass caps on order to try bypassing with the vcaps as well.

Badd99

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jul 2021, 06:19 am »
I have not tried the odams as a bypass capacitor so not sure what the result will be. The Miflex caps are still really good as a bypass, but the Sonicaps are only going to go so far. For the mid circuit, I replaced the Sonicap "bundle" with a single Auricap XO of equal value and bypassed it with a Miflex. I think that offered some pretty worthy improvement. The only reason I didnt use vcaps for this is it would be over $1k just for one cap position. I havent changed out the shunt caps, but I did add .047uf Miflex bypass caps to both the tweeter one "Erse" and the mid range one. I have found that a bypass cap on the shunt caps seems to have a pretty significant improvement on the soundstage. I have a set of Dueland silver foil bypass caps on order to try bypassing with the vcaps as well.

Please let me know what you think with the silver foil bypass caps on the tweeter bulk vcap odam.

I am struggling to either 1 - bypass the sonic cap on the tweeter circuit with a 0.1odam - or replace the sonic cap entirely, but the value is not the same and I worry about the softer tweeter.

Thanks for the rec on the Auricap - what % do you think this improved things?

Do you think the miflex is better than the vcap odam as a bypass? I know you havent tried it, but it seems others have said they liked the vcap odam as bypass much more

corndog71

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jul 2021, 07:16 am »
As someone who has tried other caps with some of Danny’s speakers, all I can say is it can be hit or miss.  The Miflex bypassing Sonicaps worked really well for me.  I haven’t tried the Odam caps but I am familiar with the Teflon V-caps.  They’re very nice sounding caps but cost a lot more than the Miflex.  Ultimately the only way to know is to pick one and listen.  Danny provides what he likes.  Take that for what it’s worth.

mkrawcz

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jul 2021, 10:58 am »
Please let me know what you think with the silver foil bypass caps on the tweeter bulk vcap odam.

I am struggling to either 1 - bypass the sonic cap on the tweeter circuit with a 0.1odam - or replace the sonic cap entirely, but the value is not the same and I worry about the softer tweeter.

Thanks for the rec on the Auricap - what % do you think this improved things?

Do you think the miflex is better than the vcap odam as a bypass? I know you havent tried it, but it seems others have said they liked the vcap odam as bypass much more

The VCAP ODAM alone on the tweeter on both the NX-Otica and the NX-Studios in terms of detail, soundstage, and overall realism (being there) is significantly better than the Sonicap/Miflex combo. Not even close. So at a minimum, id say put a VCAP on the tweeter and see how you like it. The softer response is very subtle and with the right bypass value, it can be corrected if you don't like it. I am going to try bypassing it with a value to get close the original value and I am pretty certain it will be good. For bypass caps, knowing how the VCAP sounds alone, if others claim the VCAP is better than the Miflex as a bypass, I believe them. Keep in mind, we are also talking $15 vs $55 for each cap at .1uf. For the Auricap, the improvement is maybe 5%. That particular cap position is really annoying because copper foil or VCAPs will make the real improvements, but it will end up costing A LOT of money due to the huge uf value needed. It ends up being a cost vs performance thing.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jul 2021, 12:01 am »
I'm personally not that into getting every last detail, so much as being able to get lost in the experience as a whole, and copper caps like the Miflex, really seem to allow for that balance while maintaining musicality.
Plus the typical music i enjoy most isn't all that well recorded, and mostly MP3s ripped from CDs, and getting overly detail focused system would likely ruin my enjoyment of those songs.. lol

That's just me, tbh and why my Studios' crossovers will be almost entirely copper. aside from the Sonicap in the bass circuit that'll also being bypassed with a 0.1uF copper cap. :p



mkrawcz

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jul 2021, 12:17 am »
I'm personally not that into getting every last detail, so much as being able to get lost in the experience as a whole, and copper caps like the Miflex, really seem to allow for that balance while maintaining musicality.
Plus the typical music i enjoy most isn't all that well recorded, and mostly MP3s ripped from CDs, and getting overly detail focused system would likely ruin my enjoyment of those songs.. lol

That's just me, tbh and why my Studios' crossovers will be almost entirely copper. aside from the Sonicap in the bass circuit that'll also being bypassed with a 0.1uF copper cap. :p
Trust me, what you are into is what I am talking about with the vcaps and it’s better than copper. You and Danny really should try them in the NX line and compare to straight Miflex caps. They do everything the Miflex caps do but better. Plus they are physically small compared to the Miflex beer can.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #11 on: 26 Jul 2021, 12:30 am »
Try soup can. Or a Fosters "oil can" I guess. :lol:


Badd99

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #12 on: 26 Jul 2021, 07:59 am »
I think I am going to try the vcap ODAM on the tweeter as the main cap then and add another vcap odam with it in parallel to get close to the stock value of the crossover.

willief23

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #13 on: 27 Jul 2021, 10:55 am »
Miflex caps are considered neutral and are a pretty good cap. The vcap odam is on a higher level than miflex. Than you got Vcap CUTF which are even better than odam. Odam are considered more musical caps and CUTF will bring out even more detail, dynamics and all the other benefits a copper cap provide.   On bypass caps you can go up to 0.33uf size to stay within the margin of factory specs for caps. The vcap cutf i would use as a bypass cap as they get expensive once you hit 1uf sizes and above.

here is a link to several hundred caps tested out only on speaker crossovers so the info will be accurate and its a highly regarded site. I used the info to upgrade my caps on a different speaker.

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cap.html

Badd99

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #14 on: 27 Jul 2021, 12:03 pm »
Miflex caps are considered neutral and are a pretty good cap. The vcap odam is on a higher level than miflex. Than you got Vcap CUTF which are even better than odam. Odam are considered more musical caps and CUTF will bring out even more detail, dynamics and all the other benefits a copper cap provide.   On bypass caps you can go up to 0.33uf size to stay within the margin of factory specs for caps. The vcap cutf i would use as a bypass cap as they get expensive once you hit 1uf sizes and above.

here is a link to several hundred caps tested out only on speaker crossovers so the info will be accurate and its a highly regarded site. I used the info to upgrade my caps on a different speaker.

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cap.html

Thanks for your input! I have seen that site - very good!! I wish they had vcap odams.

I have seen a user bypass a sonic cap gen 1 with odam and then bypass that with cutf and said it was pretty incredible so I might go down that road to try.

Also - can you expand on how you came up with 0.33uF? Tolerances of 5% will change on value size depending on the cap you are bypassing. Danny said he likes 0.1 or less to prevent smearing (depending on cap size you are bypassing.) I am following the general rule of ~1-4% cap value to use as bypass cap

willief23

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #15 on: 28 Jul 2021, 06:12 am »
quite a few of the people that actually make caps will suggest anywhere from 0.1 to 0.22uf on the safe side to stay within the 1-4% factory spec of cap values. Chris from vhaudio which is the one that made the vcaps said you can go as high as 0.33 or 0.47uf for bypass caps to stay within the factory specs of caps. its up to you to decide who is right. I would say 0.22uf is safe and 0.33uf should still be fine as well. for example on a 2.2uf cap i believe 2.5uf would still fall under the safe tolerance of staying within spec. a 0.22uf would give more of the sound or benefits from that bypass cap compared to say a 0.1uf cap.  0.22uf is my choice for bypass cap size. if i needed to lean out a slightly bright cap (say silver) than using a copper 0.33uf or 0.47uf would mellow out some of its brightness.

Badd99

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #16 on: 28 Jul 2021, 04:33 pm »
quite a few of the people that actually make caps will suggest anywhere from 0.1 to 0.22uf on the safe side to stay within the 1-4% factory spec of cap values. Chris from vhaudio which is the one that made the vcaps said you can go as high as 0.33 or 0.47uf for bypass caps to stay within the factory specs of caps. its up to you to decide who is right. I would say 0.22uf is safe and 0.33uf should still be fine as well. for example on a 2.2uf cap i believe 2.5uf would still fall under the safe tolerance of staying within spec. a 0.22uf would give more of the sound or benefits from that bypass cap compared to say a 0.1uf cap.  0.22uf is my choice for bypass cap size. if i needed to lean out a slightly bright cap (say silver) than using a copper 0.33uf or 0.47uf would mellow out some of its brightness.

Thank you, really appreciate your write up.

DannyBadorine

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #17 on: 29 Jul 2021, 01:58 am »
Many good suggestions here and lots of options.  My input is to remind you that caps need break in time.  Some need more time than others so you won't really know what they sound like until you put many hours on them.

mkrawcz

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #18 on: 29 Jul 2021, 09:34 am »
I think I am going to try the vcap ODAM on the tweeter as the main cap then and add another vcap odam with it in parallel to get close to the stock value of the crossover.
I now have two odams in parallel on my NX Otica tweeters to get them back in balance and it’s perfect. The overall value is about .15uf over the value on the schematic which is not much at all. The improvement these caps bring to this speaker is amazing. There are spatial cues floating around the room that I have never heard out of these speakers before and the vocal center image is scary real.

Fltguy

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Re: Help with NX Otica crossover mods
« Reply #19 on: 30 Jul 2021, 01:06 pm »
What to do if VCAP ODAM uF value is not the same as a uF value on a Sonicap? I would order VCAP, but I want a replacement with the same value as my GR provided Sonicap.  Presently, I want to improve my NX Studio crossover.