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

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kingnubian

Yeah. What he said!  :lol:

I still want to know what the deal is w/ the Valab caps though, if they're really PIO or not.

I fired off an Email to the Valab folks & will report back when I get an answer.

wushuliu

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I fired off an Email to the Valab folks & will report back when I get an answer.

Needn't bother. Found this on pinkfish:

"I emailed that ebay seller about the 'PIO' caps and the reply was,
"Dear Sir:
No, it is not PIO. So sorry for the misleading. PIO was used for keyword searching. This cap is MKP capacitor."


kingnubian

Needn't bother. Found this on pinkfish:

"I emailed that ebay seller about the 'PIO' caps and the reply was,
"Dear Sir:
No, it is not PIO. So sorry for the misleading. PIO was used for keyword searching. This cap is MKP capacitor."


HHHmmm, well they seem ripe for testing is someone is up to it.

On another note, do you use both the 1uf & 10uf PETP caps in your build or is this actually recommended? I've got both ordered.

wushuliu

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HHHmmm, well they seem ripe for testing is someone is up to it.

On another note, do you use both the 1uf & 10uf PETP caps in your build or is this actually recommended? I've got both ordered.

Only used the 10uf because thats what I had.


Jon L

V-Cap CuTF (Copper Foil Teflon Film) Capacitor



This is the new “reference” capacitor from VH Audio, utilizing cryo’d oxygen-Free high conductivity copper foil in Teflon film, finished with 18 AWG solid core high purity OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) copper with VH Audio’s AirLok insulation.  The description spells “expensive,” and indeed the new CuTF capacitor is about 50% more expensive than the V-Cap TFTF (tin foil Teflon).
 
Obviously, people would like to know if the CuTF is worth the surcharge over TFTF, and the short answer would be a resounding “it depends.”

First of all, these new V Caps sound nothing like any other capacitors I have tested so far, and I spent a lot of time comparing them to some of the best of the crop, including Aura-T teflons and V-Cap TFTF. 

There are two things that strike me the most about the new caps. 

Their sound has significantly more robust body compared to Aura-T or VCap TFT, giving you a more of an anchor around the mid-midrange, as opposed to more of upper-midrange/treble anchoring of Aura-T or TFT.  I know there are some people who feel  Teflon caps are "lean" in low-midrange/upper-bass area, which I don't really agree with.  However, with the new caps, one tends to realize how much more music resides in this area.  However, this does not mean this area is exaggerated or bloated like overcompensated  bass-reflex 2-way bookshelf speakers because linearity and transparency are excellent throughout all the ranges. 

The other thing that makes an impression is just how DETAILED these capacitors are.  Once again, combined with robust density, detail resolution is unparalleled, especially in the mid-midrange region.  Other capacitors that I love, including Mundorf silver-in-oil and AmpOhm PIO, just cannot compete with the amount of detail in these areas.  The good oils types tend to "massage" out recordings' rough edges slightly for beauty, but bad recordings have nowhere to hide with the new caps.  This also means top-notch recordings with top-notch equipment WILL show you things you've never heard before, so be careful with where you use these new caps.  With power comes responsibility, as they say.

There's no need to mention other usual parameters such as bass, dynamics, imaging, soundstaging, etc because these aspects are in line with what's best out there.  It's just that the special combination of extraordinary  body and resolution just does not exist anywhere else.  Another quality to note  is that unlike certain teflons and "audiophile" caps, there does not seem to be any *extra* sheen or highlighting of the uppermost frequencies to flatter dull recording/systems.  If your system has been tuned to sound just right around these more "flashy" caps, you may need to re-tune your system with the new VCaps in place, but the effort would be worth it.
 
So should you rush out and throw out your previously favorite caps, perhaps even V-Cap TFTF, to use the CuTF?  Well, if you don’t mind the expenditure and are curious, by all means try them.  However, all the caps discussed before, including TFTF, are still just as good and rewarding today as they were before, and the availability of CuTF does not diminish those other great caps. As with all things in audio, just realize that everything depends on overall system/room synergy and personal tastes. 
« Last Edit: 23 Nov 2010, 09:53 pm by Jon L »

Jon L

I must also mention the addition of Stax Omega II electrostats to my stable that has further widened my evaluative capacity.




« Last Edit: 23 Nov 2010, 09:54 pm by Jon L »

Jon L

AmpOhm Aluminum Foil Paper In Wax Capacitor



Jupiter beewax capacitors have impressed me positively in the past, leading the way for the comeback of beewax capacitors in modern times.  However, Jupiters were notoriously susceptible to heat, and if they were installed near hot resistors or tubes, they were prone to failures.  As I have written before, they have recently come out with a “High Temperature” (HT) version, and they are designed to be much more resistant to heat. 

I was somewhat surprised to see that AmpOhm also made paper-in-wax capacitors, and at $12.75, they were much cheaper than Jupiters, which are around $35.  I was hoping to find another great budget capacitor, so in they went after the usual burn-in.

The overall sound of AmpOhm paper-in-wax was even and pleasant, with no part of the spectrum jumping out and biting off your ears.  This is a great capacitor for tweaking an overly-bright or analytical system to more forgiving side, allowing one to enjoy a larger portion of poorly-recorded albums.  The flipside was that great recordings could not reach the heights that tweaked Teflon caps can achieve; there just seemed to be a finite limit on how much resolution and transparency was available.  It’s not really fair to compare any cap’s resolution to teflons, but that’s how it goes around here.

Just to make sure my ears had not gone sour, I popped in my old Jupiter beewax caps, and yes, I still liked them very much.  At almost triple the AmpOhm’s price, Jupiters had a more forward, detailed stance with more “obvious” high treble twinkle and midbass energy.  Still not in teflon territory in resolution, but this didn’t detract me from enjoying the music.  For headphone fans, Jupiters really reminded me of Grado headphones, especially the new PS1000, in presentation while AmpOhm reminded me somewhat of Sennheiser HD6xx series powered by a polite headamp.  Still, if you want a forgiving paper-in-wax cap that costs much less than Jupiter, AmpOhm is the only game in town, and it’s built like a tank just like the paper-in-oil caps, not feeling like a soft candlestick like Jupiter caps, the older version anyway.   

rollo

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 John, I'm using V-cap teflons as coulping caps for my 211 amp. Curious to know if you or anyone has tried using the new Cu V-caps to bypass the Tin in teflon ?

thanks
charles

Jon L

John, I'm using V-cap teflons as coulping caps for my 211 amp. Curious to know if you or anyone has tried using the new Cu V-caps to bypass the Tin in teflon ?

thanks
charles

I would actually use the Cu V-Cap as the main cap and bypass with smaller V-Cap tins.  Despite the Cu V-Cap's formidable strengths in the midrange and all the other stuff I mentioned, I still believe the tin version has more apparent "air" that audiofools crave..

rollo

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I would actually use the Cu V-Cap as the main cap and bypass with smaller V-Cap tins.  Despite the Cu V-Cap's formidable strengths in the midrange and all the other stuff I mentioned, I still believe the tin version has more apparent "air" that audiofools crave..

  Thank you for the response and recco. Yes they do have air but perhaps a tad dry or lean. OK then cu it tis.


charles


« Last Edit: 29 Dec 2010, 08:51 pm by rollo »

marknoir

Hello Jon

Excellent comparisons. But, unexpected result for me.

Based on your review, I bought a pair of Mundorf Silver-in-oil caps. My Luminescence calls for 5.6 uF. After a long break in, during which they sounded somewhat closed-in, they did open up, but too much, if I may say so. Compared to all other caps I've tried, their sound character is very different. Yes, they provide louder output, liquidity, smoothness, and gobs of detail, but at the unexpected cost of an upward-shifted frequency response! In my application they lack bass, lower mids, some of the mid-mids and upper mids, and have very pronounced treble. I'd say, they changed the tonal balance of my preamp to practically unlistenable to me, because I sort of liked what it sounded like before. I put in regular Mundorf Supremes that I had lying around - everything went back to normal. I did some digging around on the net and found some very similar results from different people. Do you think they are:

1) VERY system dependent?
2) Need more burning in?
3) Over-rated?

Thanks again for all your work and Happy New Year!

madisonears

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Mark,

Your experience with Mundorf SIO is similar to mine.  I used them as DC blocking caps at the inputof my monoblocks and, even after several frustrating weeks (200+ hours?) of break in where the sound changed almost daily, found them to be very detailed with excellent high frequency response, but at the expense of bass and the flesh of lower mids, with a slight flattening of soundstage.  These are excellent caps for a tweeter crossover, but they do not accurately pass a full range signal.

My favorites of the many caps I've tried are Fostex and Sonicap Gen I, with Mundorf Zn (very slight high frequency emphasis) close behind.  These are all smooth and detailed, with amazing portrayal of depth and space.  Tonal qualities of instruments are very realistic through the Sonicap and Fostex.  Bass is accurate and controlled, and the midrange is nicely full and rounded.

Peace,
Tom E


marknoir

Thank you for your reply! I need higher voltage than Sonicaps, so I guess I'm limited to my Mundorf Supremes and other options. But now I'm out $170 for the Silver Oils...

oncle_tom

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What's about PPS-Caps? Does anyone have tried them? I like them in solid state applications better then most MKP-Caps.

Peter

(PPS=Polyphenylsulfide)

Tyson

I liked the sonicap gen 1 and the Gen 2's as good bang for the buck caps, but I recently tried the Obbligato Gold caps and they are MUCH better sounding, across the board.

jtwrace

I liked the sonicap gen 1 and the Gen 2's as good bang for the buck caps, but I recently tried the Obbligato Gold caps and they are MUCH better sounding, across the board.

WOW!  That was in the GR V-2 right?

Jon L

Mundorf Silver-in-oil caps. My Luminescence calls for 5.6 uF. After a long break in, during which they sounded somewhat closed-in, they did open up, but too much
1) VERY system dependent?


System dependence is the bane of capacitor rolling, since you can also find many people who love their Mundorf SIO's.  After a looong break in, if something is off, I do try reasonable adjustments with tube rolling, cable change, footer/damping change, but if that doesn't work, it's time to move on.  Luckily, you can probably sell your Mundorfs at a great price on eBay, Agon, forums like these.

The other possible issue is that Mundorf SIO's I tested were in 0.1 to 0.22 uF range, and 5.6 uF certainly has tons more conductor and dielectric, which I wonder if amplifies the Mundorf effect...

madisonears

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Jon,

Or perhaps you can't completely hear the "tilt" effect of SIO through headphones, which don't usually have such great bass response.  Those Stax electro's are beautiful (I owned the equivalent model 30 years ago and learned a lot about how things should sound) and are a great diagnostic tool, but they just don't pump out powerful bass like a full range speaker system.  Sometimes you need to get out from under those cans, no matter how good they are.

Tyson, are the Obbligato Gold much better than their Copper model?  I tried the Copper in this same application and heard a very objectionable coloration of the sound--a sort of false spaciousness, almost like reverb!  Their frequency response was accurate and they produced a warm, rounded sound which was very impressive at first.  Eventually, I realized that everything I listened to, from symphonic to small ensemble jazz had the same sort of huge space around it, that everything sounded bigger than life, with a fake echo effect.

Yes, the Sonicaps Gen I qualify as best in the "budget" class.  There are certainly better caps, but only for much more money.

Peace,
Tom E
« Last Edit: 29 Dec 2010, 10:26 pm by madisonears »

carusoracer

Great thread as always to read. :thumb:

Has anyone had similar "Mundorf" issues with the Non Oil, Silver/Gold Caps?

I'm interested in putting them into a pair of Dodd 120 Monoblocs. I believe these are a revised Ist gen as they have the chrome front faceplate and the two transformers on each chassis.
« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2010, 03:53 am by carusoracer »

BobM

I put a pair of Mundorf Silvers into Dodd monoblocks for Tubeluvr. The sound was very nice as they were breaking in, but as others have reported, once broken in the sound wasn't so good anymore. It seems that in many cases the Mundorf's initial impression, while nice, doesn't hold up over time. I would look elsewhere.