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

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Maritan

Hi Maritan,

V-cap OIMP's, Auricap, Sonicap, and AudioCap Theta's should fit the same space as MultiCaps or Rel-caps.

You may want to double check the sizes on the Jantzen Z-Superior, Z-Silver and Mundorf Supreme's. I pretty sure those are a lot bigger than Multicaps or Rel-caps.
WireNut,

The Rel-Cap PPMFs in the amp right now are roughly 15mmX30mm (oval in cross section), but there is enough space to shove a slightly bigger cap in there. The distance between the solder points is 45mm, and they have some room to spare on the sides.

The Jantzen Z-Superior and Z-Silver check in at 16mmX43mm according to Parts Express.

Unfortunately, the V-cap OIMP and AudioCap Thetas are not available in the value that I need. The Auricap is apparently 28mmX30mm, and has to be excluded because of the larger diameter. The Sonicap Gen II is actually within the size range I require at 16mmX30.5mm. Good call. Thanks WireNut. How would you compare the Jantzen to the Sonicap Gen II?

The Z-Superior has been my cap of choice for the last few years.  To my ears it strikes the right balance between articulation and musical flow.  <snip>

On the other hand, the more expensive Z-Silver sucks.  Makes everything sound like a buzzsaw.

Another cap to consider is the Clarity MR.  If you're looking to maximize resolution and transparency, it will take you further than the Z-Superior without getting too analytical.  It's also 4X the price of the Z-Sup and 3x the size.  Make sure they'll fit under the hood before pulling the trigger on these.

Also, if you can get hold of a cable cooker and run your new caps for a week before installing them, your amp will get up to sound much quicker and save your vacuum tubes from a lot of break-in hours.

Russ

Russ,

Thank you for your detailed response. I can rig something up to "cook" the capacitors before I put them in the amp. Thanks for the suggestion. As far as the Clarity MR, while I have heard many positives about it, size-wise I can't shoehorn them in to the amp. Hence the reason for the exclusion from the list. Also, you make a great point about cost adding up quickly. I do need 8 caps, and at roughly $36 per, that is one expensive upgrade.

It seems like my contenders are now the Jantzen Z-Superior vs. the Sonicap Gen II... Any inputs on how these two compare?

WireNut


It seems like my contenders are now the Jantzen Z-Superior vs. the Sonicap Gen II


Hi Maritan,

My bad, I didn't realize your max size was 21x45. I thought that was your current caps size. Seems like you have three choices. Jantzen, Sonicap and Mundorf. All nice caps, and won't make your decision any easier.

In my older LS7 preamp Mundorf SIO out performed Auricaps bypassed with V-cap TFTF. The Mundorf highs and spaciousness were better right off the bat and I wasn't about to wait 400 hours for the TFTF caps to brake in.

I'm sure you've read many folks like Mundorf and Sonicaps and the Jantzens are very popular in loudspeaker crossovers. You're in the same boat I am with my preamp and that's size restriction. Something I've thought about is stacking two smaller caps on top of each other. That might open up some other cap options but your cost will also go up.

I'm currently building a B1 passive preamp and that thing should really give me a good idea how one caps sounds compared to another. I have 5 Sonicaps sitting here waiting for me to get busy. My plan over the next year or so is to compare Sonicaps, Mundorf, Clarity Cap MRs in the B1. Wish I could help you more at this time.

WN
 

face

So, I am working on a new RIAA phono preamplifier.  It is doing very well, easily outperforming most others we have heard here at rational prices.

It is DC coupled from input to output so I have no coupling capacitors to worry about at all.

However there are two capacitors to ground in passive filter circuits.  One needs to be 0.15uF/50V and the other either 0.015uF/50V or possibly 0.0082uF/50V depending upon the impedance we want for that part of the second passive filter.  We know we have overkill drive current to charge and discharge these parts without stressing the active devices.

The capacitors must be physically small, none microphonic, none inductive, free of thermal drift, and available at tight and consistent tolerances at rational prices.  There seem to be two recommended choices of parts type, either polypropylene or COG ceramic.  Audio Precision seems to suggest NPO/COG ceramics as a superior choice.

Any suggestions or recommendations around here?

Thanks,

Frank Van Alstine
AMTRANS AMCH Series: http://www.partsconnexion.com/capacitor_film_amtrans_amch.html

Maritan


I'm currently building a B1 passive preamp and that thing should really give me a good idea how one caps sounds compared to another. I have 5 Sonicaps sitting here waiting for me to get busy. My plan over the next year or so is to compare Sonicaps, Mundorf, Clarity Cap MRs in the B1. Wish I could help you more at this time.

WN

That would be a great comparison and I for one am very interested. Hopefully this thread will stay alive and kicking till then. Anyway, I already picked up a pair of Duelund CAST Cu to go as the output coupling capacitors in my preamp. So, I'm good with the eventual upgrade for my preamp for a long, long time.  :thumb:

Now, as far as the VTL goes, my plan is to put it back together over the next couple days, make sure everything runs ok and then buy the coupling capacitors. As of now, when I cross-reference Humble Hi Fi, Jon L's findings, Russ's and your input and various other experiences, the Jantzen Z-Superior seems universally praised while the Sonicaps and the Jantzen Z-Silver have their occasional detractors. So, for the 0.68uF/ 450V cap, I think the Jantzen is the clear choice. I wish I could fit the Mundorf S(/G)IO in the amp, but there's no way I can stuff them in there. I'm going to check once more and hope against hope, but I'm not holding my breath.

Like I said, I will be keeping the original RelCaps after desoldering them just in case I don't like the sound with the Jantzen for whatever reason.

By the way, I'm curious, how was the bass response of the Mundorf SIO? I have heard that the SIOs might accentuate the treble a little, but there's little mention of their bass response in the reading I've done (or it didn't register in my brain). I'm guessing that's a good thing, but wanted to check.

face



I'm currently building a B1 passive preamp and that thing should really give me a good idea how one caps sounds compared to another. I have 5 Sonicaps sitting here waiting for me to get busy. My plan over the next year or so is to compare Sonicaps, Mundorf, Clarity Cap MRs in the B1. Wish I could help you more at this time.

WN
Just skip to the MR's, you'll be glad you did. 

Russtafarian

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Quote
So, for the 0.68uF/ 450V cap, I think the Jantzen is the clear choice.

I think you'll be pleased with the results. 

With the Jantzen's, be careful not to pull on the leads too hard or the end cap will pop off.  They are not fragile, but will come apart if stressed too much.  I learned this the hard way.  I was cleaning the leads with steel wool prior to Caig Pro treatment and pulled the end cap off.  I was able to reseat it and the cap still measured correctly, so no loss on my part.  But it sure freaked me out when it happened!

Russ

Maritan

That's a great tip. Thank you for the heads up. I would have lost my marbles too if I pulled the ends off accidentally. Yikes.  :o

The next set of coupling caps I need for the VTL (a total of four) are 0.22uF, 400V caps. My choices, again are limited by space (absolute max of 20mmX40mm). These caps are connected to the input stage (one each for a 12AT7 and a 6350 on each side).

Since I need only 4, I have a little more leeway with the budget and I'm considered the following:

1. Rike Audio Capacitors (have to ship from UK, unless someone knows of a source in the US)
2. Mundorf Silver/ Oil
3. Mundorf Silver/ Gold/ Oil
4. Jupiter HT beeswax paper cryo

I want something that pairs well with the Jantzen Z-Superior that I'll be using in the output stages. From Jantzen's website (emphasis added by me):
Quote
Even the finest nuances can be heard.The sound never gets over-edged, really superb naturalness with a somewhat bright top-end.

I don't think pairing either of the Mundorfs will work very well. Both Mundorfs are apparently known for their top end emphasis too, and pairing two caps with similar characteristics could spell trouble in a system that's very revealing. Am I correct in my train of thought? Anybody have any feedback on this?

DaveC113

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I've been very happy with these, RelCap PCU copper foil... out of the few high end caps I've tried, I like it better than Mundorf SIO. The .22 400V is 20.8mm diameter though  :o

http://www.partsconnexion.com/capacitor_film_reliablecap_pcu.html

Maritan

Hey now! It's actually 20.828 mm!  :lol: I'm glad you didn't suggest the TFT line - they'll easily fit, but at $105 per, that's out of the price range.

Thanks for the feedback. I might be able to stuff it in there, but 20mm was already being extremely generous. I'll add it to the list in my head. Would you be able to expand on what you like about it?

Does it provide good soundstage and depth? My current image depth is a little lacking and that was one of the reasons I was thinking about the Mundorf S/G/iO because they're supposed to provide excellent depth.

DaveC113

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Hey now! It's actually 20.828 mm!  :lol: I'm glad you didn't suggest the TFT line - they'll easily fit, but at $105 per, that's out of the price range.

Thanks for the feedback. I might be able to stuff it in there, but 20mm was already being extremely generous. I'll add it to the list in my head. Would you be able to expand on what you like about it?

Does it provide good soundstage and depth? My current image depth is a little lacking and that was one of the reasons I was thinking about the Mundorf S/G/iO because they're supposed to provide excellent depth.

What I noticed most of all is excellent tone and harmonics. Instruments sound very real. I did not test it back to back with the SIO, so cannot give an extremely thorough comparison of those two. I do think it is a significant improvement over the SIO in terms of tone though. I did compare it back to back with a cheap Solen MKP just for kicks and there was a night and day difference, the MKP wasn't even close but it is a very cheap film cap. I also won a pair of Feastrex Urushi caps at RMAF last year and posted my impressions here and on Feastrex's forum at diyaudio. The Urushis are a great deal for the money, very fast, clear and neutral but without the harmonic richness of the PCU copper foil cap. The Urushis are 1/2 the price of the PCUs though, and a great option for the money... better than Mundorf SIO in my system but those two are very close. The PCUs are kind of pricey, but much less than VCaps or Duelund...

WireNut


I have a new champion cap, Intertechnik Audyn True Copper, at least in my system.

Peace,
Tom E


I forgot about these, thanks for the reminder  :thumb:








 

« Last Edit: 12 Sep 2013, 09:12 pm by WireNut »

Ric Schultz

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Have you guys tried the JB JFX caps yet?  Excellent and super cheap.  You can buy them from Just Radios.com in Canada.  There is some buzz on the Audiogon speaker forum about them (the thread is the "Capacitor log Mundorf silver and oil" thread).  The first mention was April 11th of this year (page 39).  I am now using them as my output cap for my Oppo 105 mods.  I use a WA Quantum dot on it (what, you have not tried these?) and then bypass with modified .33 Wima polyprop.  Pretty sweet sounding.  Several of the guys on the Audiogon thread use the copper cast Duelands and think these things are really good.  They are not marked for outside foil so you will need to test and mark each one.   Chinese caps for everyone!!!!

Bye the way, Jupiter Condenser will have copper foil caps in a month or so.  The latest prototypes (he has been working with copper foil over a year now) are suppose to be better than Dueland cast copper.  These caps will be available in all the same values and voltages as the current caps but they will cost more.......but less than Dueland.  So, we may have a new World's best cap coming.

randytsuch

Have you guys tried the JB JFX caps yet?  Excellent and super cheap.  You can buy them from Just Radios.com in Canada.  There is some buzz on the Audiogon speaker forum about them (the thread is the "Capacitor log Mundorf silver and oil" thread).  The first mention was April 11th of this year (page 39).  I am now using them as my output cap for my Oppo 105 mods.  I use a WA Quantum dot on it (what, you have not tried these?) and then bypass with modified .33 Wima polyprop.  Pretty sweet sounding.  Several of the guys on the Audiogon thread use the copper cast Duelands and think these things are really good.  They are not marked for outside foil so you will need to test and mark each one.   Chinese caps for everyone!!!!

Bye the way, Jupiter Condenser will have copper foil caps in a month or so.  The latest prototypes (he has been working with copper foil over a year now) are suppose to be better than Dueland cast copper.  These caps will be available in all the same values and voltages as the current caps but they will cost more.......but less than Dueland.  So, we may have a new World's best cap coming.

I was just looking at the justradios.com website, those caps are really cheap.  Have to figure out how to hit the $20 min buy.

WireNut

I'm drooling for the chance to buy a copper foil cap at a decent price. Come on Jupiter, we're all counting on you.






jtwrace

I'm drooling for the chance to buy a copper foil cap at a decent price. Come on Jupiter, we're all counting on you.
I just wonder what the actual cost will be though.  Half of a Dueland? 

Quiet Earth

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I'm drooling for the chance to buy a copper foil cap at a decent price.

The latest Audio Note coppers are very nice sounding caps. Plenty of detail and finesse, with no fatigue. Very natural sounding and musical capacitors. I think the price is fair too, considering the long term upgrade in sound quality and a possible cure for capacitor acquisition syndrome (CAS?). Their physical size may be a little large though. They do need a little more breathing room than some other caps. They are also heavy, so a tie wrap is a good idea.

I bought some AN caps here a few years ago : http://www.hificollective.co.uk/components/copper_foils.html

The lead in/out orientation is explained here : http://www.hificollective.co.uk/components/paper_in_oils.html

If you really like your amp/ pre/ or whatever they are going into, they are a nice purchase for the long term. The good stuff doesn't come cheap. Ante up!

 :D

Captainhemo

Took the plunge a couple weeks ago and upgraded the coupling and signal ground  caps in my Jolida JD302CRC  to  Clarity MR (4 .22 uF and 2 .47 uF).
Probably  have 75 hrs on them now and wow,  they sound wonderful.    Very detailed,  very  clear, and very  smooth, quite the improvement  over  the stock caps.    Everything I'm listening to seems more dynamic too.  As others have mentioned, they seem very neutral
Had my doubts about   doing this upgrade due to the cost but  I'm glad I followed through.  Well worth it   :thumb:

-jay

rollo

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   Audience Aura "T" is the new Kid on the block IMO. Check them out, neutral, dynamic with body and weight. IMO more neutral than the CAST used in my gear.



charles

fralippo

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I need a 1.8uF - very - high quality cap for my horns. I'd like to try those K72 russian teflons. Although I'm not a parallel cap fan the only possible solution is to use 1+0.47+0.33uF with a little bypass. What do you think? Also, did someone try to de-case these bigger teflons? Thanks!
« Last Edit: 27 Nov 2013, 05:20 pm by fralippo »

doctorcilantro

Took the plunge a couple weeks ago and upgraded the coupling and signal ground  caps in my Jolida JD302CRC  to  Clarity MR (4 .22 uF and 2 .47 uF).
Probably  have 75 hrs on them now and wow,  they sound wonderful.    Very detailed,  very  clear, and very  smooth, quite the improvement  over  the stock caps.    Everything I'm listening to seems more dynamic too.  As others have mentioned, they seem very neutral
Had my doubts about   doing this upgrade due to the cost but  I'm glad I followed through.  Well worth it   :thumb:

-jay
I have Clarity MR 1uF 600vdc in my Zu Union Cubes, they were purchased with upgrade.

I'm not much of a tweaker but I'm thinking about changing the wiring harness inside with some extra JW Audio Cryonova wire I have here, and maybe trying a different cap. Was looking at Jupiter Flats. Anything over 50vdc will work according to Zu as long as it is 1uF. Any thoughts? Maybe it's pointless to upgrade cap just for tweeter that comes in at 14kHz...and they sound great right now. :scratch: