NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene

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Julf

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Or you can switch to a Job 225 amp and never buy another Class D amp. No Class D amp made today has the transparency of a Job.

What hypex modules does the Job 225 use?

*Scotty*

References to the Job 225 are off topic. See review at 6Moons  http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/job/1.html
also http://www.jobsys.com/
Scotty

cab

Since this is the Hypex circle, you would expect that it did indeed use Hypex modules. Truth be told, it isn't class d. Just an off topic, gratuitous plug....

Julf

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Truth be told, it isn't class d. Just an off topic, gratuitous plug....

Kind of what I was noticing. But I am sure we can squeeze a few more off topic, gratuitous plug links in...

OzarkTom

References to the Job 225 are off topic. See review at 6Moons  http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/job/1.html
also http://www.jobsys.com/
Scotty

 :duh: Oops, forgot.

I still see anybody modding their NC 400's is off-topic here also. I feel sorry for revelinhifi whom is getting bashed for just modding his to make them sound better.

jtwrace

OK.


Time to get back to the thread of modding the NC400.

Julf

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I still see anybody modding their NC 400's is off-topic here also.

If you say so.

Quote
I feel sorry for revelinhifi whom is getting bashed for just modding his to make them sound better.

Bashed? I think all we said was "good if it works for you, but there is no evidence it would work for anyone else". Is that a factually false statement?

Folsom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #87 on: 18 Oct 2013, 03:23 pm »
I just had a thought, is it possible to use fewer capacitors? Maybe even just on? The performance may improve slightly for audio signal (this wouldn't be advisable for power sections)


Ric Schultz

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #88 on: 23 Oct 2013, 02:25 am »
I tried listening to the amp with just two caps in parallel (1.36uf total)...sounded thin and wirey.....a no go.  Did measure a little wider bandwidth, but not much.

Folsom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #89 on: 24 Oct 2013, 03:32 pm »
I wouldn't lower capacitance, but in the audio signal higher ESR might perform better and the obvious is one big cap, maybe a small bypass one but I dunno if it'd be needed.

barrows

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #90 on: 26 Oct 2013, 02:11 am »
Know it all engineer types here who seem to imply that Bruno Putzeys relies only on "book learning" and measurements need to read his responses at DIY audio.  He designs both by measurements and confirms by listening.  If things do not sound right he goes back and does revisions.
Not only that, he is well aware that different capacitors do affect the sonic performance of his Ncore amplifier designs.  A specific example is the Mola Mola amplifiers.  Mola Mola's own website mentions specifically that the output filter capacitors for the amps were carefully chosen monolithic types for best performance.  (Note that these are different than the caps included on the OEM NC-1200 modules).
Often parts are chosen not for the best sound quality possible, but for other reasons: ease of manufacture, form factor, availability, cost, etc...  anyone who thinks a cost no object design process was applied to the NC-400 modules needs a wake up call...

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #91 on: 26 Oct 2013, 02:53 am »
Certainly not a cost no object process, more a max performance process.

Rclark

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #92 on: 26 Oct 2013, 06:34 am »
A wake up call? That's exactly what the nc400 was.

barrows

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #93 on: 26 Oct 2013, 03:36 pm »
Rclark:  I'll bite, in what way?  Measured performance?  I have a NC-400 amplifier here, so I am experienced with it.

Cab: If the NC-400 parts were chosen for maximum performance, how would you explain why the Mola Mola amplifiers use a completely different type of capacitor in their output filters (and completely different from that used on the NC-1200 OEM modules)?  Are you suggesting that Mr. Putzeys has used a worse performing part in his flagship amplifier design?  As Mola Mola notes this capacitor choice in their marketing, it certainly appears to me that they feel the different capacitor offers better performance.

IMO, the use of a different type of cap on the flagship Mola Mola amps indicates that Bruno Putzeys is well aware that different caps do effect the performance of the amps, and that, additionally, the caps on the NC-400 are not the best possible ones to use.

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #94 on: 26 Oct 2013, 03:57 pm »
Look at the specs and tell me how a cap change would make a meaningful (i.e. audible) improvement in the measured performance.

Different cap might make it sound different, maybe better to some, but that is a subjective change that might not be interpreted by all listeners as an "improvement".

If you want to know why they use something different in the Mola Mola, why don't you go to the source and ask them instead of speculating here? Speculation is rather pointless, but perhaps you hit the nail on the head when you used the word "marketing"...In that vein, perhaps those that spend $15K on an amp would find comfort in knowing they are getting something "special" that sets it apart when paying 10x as much....

Folsom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #95 on: 26 Oct 2013, 04:13 pm »
The industry is based on subjectivity. There are capacitors people greatly prefer that are expensive, but perform on paper just like cheap ones.

Thing is our ears are sensitive in the terabytes worth of information, every second. While our frequency and sound level sensitivity isn't that high, we can read the subtle differences in sonic qualities very well. We are sensitive to types of distortion we don't know we are hearing; we can hear the difference in capacitors.

Maybe I overlooked something, I'd only refer to input caps the signal goes through. If the output caps are parralel to the load then I doubt there is a big difference. But in that case the more smaller overall caps with low ESR/ESL the better. If signal passes the opposite will likely be best.

undertow

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #96 on: 26 Oct 2013, 04:17 pm »
Alright Kids... Lets get to the brass tacks.

I actually was one of the first to ever build and purchase this DIY KIT.

That's the point its a DIY KIT!

First off remember a few things. They buy 10,000 caps at a time, and guess what at that point 23 cents more PER cap adds maybe 5 dollars to an entire unit, but multiply it by hundreds of units and yes you end up with the cheapest possible

"SMD" mounted materials vs. trying to one up everything.

So do I believe in fact simply "Steel" Leads vs. "Copper" Leads can make a pretty significant difference in such a precise and accurate designed circuit... HELL YEAH!

No question. For example I have worked around Steve McCormack’s gear for years. Modified and not modified. Well guess what when he came back with his Revision series for DNA amps, and several other:

"TWEAKS"

These amps virtually sound nothing like the other. Everything improves period.

Why would these companies NOT do this in the first place then?

Well a set of standard Nichicon industrial production caps in an amp might cost you something like 1.50 each... No big deal right? The Equivalent "ELNA" or "Nichicon Muse, Gold Tune" caps only cost about 4.50 to 6.50 each...

Why not use the Gold caps? Well literally now if you do that to every part in the amp including better resistors, caps, wire adds up to 5 times the price in parts to build that amp!

So on an individual basis it’s much easier to sell the masses on 2000.00 worth of part upgrades years later when they realize they want it and the design is solid vs. trying to charge 7000.00 for an amp you guys right now are building instead for 2000.00.

You have to remember these companies make no more money on selling you on the better “Chinese” part. They only make money on the design from the beginning.  All the extras would just put these designs well out of reach for most and posters on this forum would never even consider these kits at those prices.

So be happy you can go out and simply spend a couple hundred on your own to upgrade, besides your handy already and built these items in the first place.

So I commend the attempts on both sides of the "Snake oil" believers, and those that think they can debunk the "Snake oil" with their "fundamental" measurements and you need to prove it to me stance.

Bottom line you can measure anything with a copper wire, and it’s a good conductor for most applications, but believe me if you go PURE SILVER in that same spot your measurement won’t  necessarily change it, but you will HEAR IT trust me.

I want to make very clear none of this reflects directly on this “Mod” in contention here for the NC400, just simply don’t believe the hype, but also don’t believe that you cannot make significant improvements using better materials in any circuit plain and simple.

By the way another thing that was fought over for months on the SM600 power supplies was they did not run hot enough to effect performance.

Well I had one fail, they replaced immediately with great customer service, however I went steps further not only improving the heat dissipation, but in fact making the unit perform and sound better as a whole.

I no longer own the NC400, but that has nothing to do with any of it.

There is nothing wrong with this amp... It does just as it should. Is it the most refined most powerful do it all amp on the planet?

Bottom line its efficient, compact, and a good design for you to put in your own case. It meets the requirements the market demands, but its not the last word and really even if it was marketed by some as being so that's for you to decide.

Lets just get one idea straight :

Sound is the key, tone, quality, musical capability with consistent results. Sometimes this takes more than a measurement showing a difference between materials, thats all I want to contribute to that.

Maybe this goal is met by a paper graph to many, maybe its met by pure enjoyment in listening to one unit over the other.

Regardless which is better than the other, bottom line things do sound different, if they did not you would not be in this crazy hobby still searching!
 

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #97 on: 26 Oct 2013, 04:29 pm »
Bruno has gone on the record repeatedly as saying his goal when designing an amp is to make it as neutral as possible, that is, with no "sound" of its own. No doubt come parts may sound different, but "better" is in the mind of the listener. Claiming a mod or tweak has improved the amp is valid for you and your tastes but it means nothing in an absolute, objective sense and as such, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone would agree. If you like it, good for you.

barrows

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #98 on: 26 Oct 2013, 05:45 pm »
Bruno has gone on the record repeatedly as saying his goal when designing an amp is to make it as neutral as possible, that is, with no "sound" of its own. No doubt come parts may sound different, but "better" is in the mind of the listener. Claiming a mod or tweak has improved the amp is valid for you and your tastes but it means nothing in an absolute, objective sense and as such, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone would agree. If you like it, good for you.

What?  Absolutely untrue.  First, let's accept the premise that neutral/transparent performance is the goal.
OK, now, if you change the output capacitors (they are in parallel, this is a low pass filter L/C), and the amplifier becomes more neutral/transparent, then that is an improvement in performance, not a "different flavor" sound.  First, understand how a capacitor degrades sonic performance: the dialectric absorbs some signal, and then releases it in a delayed fashion.  This time delayed release of the signal smears the sound, degrading it from absolute transparency.  The closer the capacitor comes to "perfect" performance, the less smearing of the input signal,  and the closer the amp is to absolute transparency.

It is a mistake to assume that changing an output filter capacitor cannot impove the perfromance in an absolute sense (improved transparency).

undertow

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #99 on: 26 Oct 2013, 05:55 pm »
Agreed...

If it sounds better @ "neutral" with one part over the other its still "neutral"  and it just still sounds better. Whether it just has a better quality, balance, or "Transparency" about it whatever the case may be; it can be an improvement with more of the same thing.

Plus this is never about what you gain putting in a different part or wire -

It's more about what you have no idea your losing until sometimes putting in a better part!

You can never add better sound which is simply there if the parts, and wiring allow it in the design without causing further damage to the delicate signal.

This in general can only be recognized via true listening with experience on what a unit is doing in the first place and this is a PERFECT example of what the original poster is trying to illustrate in this case.

The conversation simply went beyond that.