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aussievintage

Fine tuning the sound, quality caps, and pot, where and what to buy?

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Just now, Muon N' said:

They feel smooth as you rotate them, but of course the channel balance means you want to try and get one that is matched well in this regard. Hificollective stopped stocking the stereo ones as the manufacturer, in Japan I believe, couldn't guarantee them all closely matched, or that's what they have on their web site anyway.

 

Nines a Linear one, and I may get myself a Log' one to replace it with.

I always use log.  

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1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

I always use log.  

At the time I could only see a Linear on available in 50k, so that's what I ended up with.

Meh, Linear works for me in my amp, so I may just leave it as is.

 

Most people do prefer a Logarithmic type :thumb:

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I wonder if channel balance is more often better with one type or the other, in regards to the Cosmos and Linear and Log'.

 

Eh, I may be over thinking it now :D

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If you want a good pot then look at TKD. Cost a bit but sound good.

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2 hours ago, Gryffles said:

If you want a good pot then look at TKD. Cost a bit but sound good.

I saw them mentioned in a comparison article, yes.

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More preamp surgery surgery today. 

 

Added an ALPS pot and cheaper polyprop caps (for now).  I replaced the hobby grade polyester caps because I keep reading that they are the worst type.  

 

Tweaks on the preamp so far ...

  1. removed tone controls and converted last gain stage 12AU7 to cathode follower as extra gain not required. Gives preamp the ability to drive lower impedance power amps
  2. Chose 12AZ7 as a cathode follower valve for lowest output impedance.
  3. Psvane 12AX7 T MkII valves chosen for phono stages
  4. Tried many 12AU7 valves in gain stage before the cathode follower.  Settled on smooth plate AWV 12AU7 or 12BH7A (both sound very nice)
  5. Rubber damper rings put on 12AX7 phono stage valves
  6. ALPS pot fitted for main volume control
  7. Polypropylene caps substituted for Polyester on output.  Still deciding which audiophile caps I might try.

 

Still to do (maybe).  Upgrade caps in phono stage eq network and coupling.  Most other caps in the circuit are sprague orange drops, so maybe they're OK.

 

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Oh, and those cheap polyprop caps have produced a quite noticeable improvement.  OK, I did put them in at the same time as the ALPS pot, but the pot was more a reliability tweak, and I am attributing the SQ improvement to the caps.

 

So, the caps are from a Hong Kong company.  Jaycar happen to be selling them as crossover caps.  Jaycar's web site picture shows generic unbranded caps, so maybe they have substituted these since then.   The 2.2uF were about $6.

 

 

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They will sound better in ways (transparency ect'), but wait till you can compare them to something really good ;)

Edited by Muon N'

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IME as far as capacitors and resistors are concerned you really need to consider the design and what other components are in the circuit.  There is an arguable case for rapidly diminishing returns on your $ investment.  IMHO it's more about choosing the right type of capacitor or resistor for the application rather than paying hundreds of dollars on esoteric (perhaps even "snake oil") audiophile branded components.

 

Yes, better quality components from major established manufacturers are more like to provide consistent and reliable performance than the buy of the day el cheapo WunHungLo brand from the Shenzhen markets.  At the other end of the scale some DIYers are paying ridiculous amounts for "audiophile" components of questionable merit. 

 

Now I can hear the assembled masses already screaming "Moderators where are you?  Remove the post.  Words of a heathen." 

 

Well folks I am constantly amused by the lack of technical information provided by some of these purveyors and manufacturers of audiophile components.  Hardly if any information about the reliability (expected operational life), warranties (expressed or implied), surge voltage ratings, ripple current ratings, ESR, tolerance ratings, operating temperature range, dissipation factor, leakage current, etc, etc.  Instead I see lots of lovely subjective information of how the compressed paper outer layer - "strengthens the damping properties of the design helping music flow effortlessly."; "... nuances with such detail that  you can hear a snowflake land...." ; "musical ", "warm tone" and almost any other subjective claim that is likely to be just as difficult to prove as it would be to disprove.  

 

Now I recognise that some people can actually hear the difference between a $5 metalised polypropylene capacitor and a $250 paper in oil capacitor.  Maybe they have super hearing or could it be that they replaced all the capacitors in their speaker crossover networks and didn't notice any night vs day improvement but truthfully they aren't going to admit that they didn't really get good value for money with the capacitors costing 50 times more, are they????

 

Anyhow, the bottom line is just use quality parts with a verifiable lineage from reputable suppliers / manufacturers and most importantly the right type of part for its intended application.  I usually avoid Chinese based eBay garbage.  The eBay market is full of fakes and audiophoolery.  Some counterfeit parts looking more and more like the genuine article every week, but alas fail the performance measurement tests when compared to the genuine component.

 

Cheers,

Alan R.

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5 minutes ago, Monkeyboi said:

IME as far as capacitors and resistors are concerned you really need to consider the design and what other components are in the circuit.  There is an arguable case for rapidly diminishing returns on your $ investment.  IMHO it's more about choosing the right type of capacitor or resistor for the application rather than paying hundreds of dollars on esoteric (perhaps even "snake oil") audiophile branded components.

 

Yes, better quality components from major established manufacturers are more like to provide consistent and reliable performance than the buy of the day el cheapo WunHungLo brand from the Shenzhen markets.  At the other end of the scale some DIYers are paying ridiculous amounts for "audiophile" components of questionable merit. 

Trust me, I will not be paying those huge amounts for a capacitor ever!

 

7 minutes ago, Monkeyboi said:

Instead I see lots of lovely subjective information of how the compressed paper outer layer - "strengthens the damping properties of the design helping music flow effortlessly."; "... nuances with such detail that  you can hear a snowflake land...." ; "musical ", "warm tone" and almost any other subjective claim that is likely to be just as difficult to prove as it would be to disprove.  

That kind of advertisement works negatively on me.

 

7 minutes ago, Monkeyboi said:

Now I recognise that some people can actually hear the difference between a $5 metalised polypropylene capacitor and a $250 paper in oil capacitor.  Maybe they have super hearing or could it be that they replaced all the capacitors in their speaker crossover networks and didn't notice any night vs day improvement but truthfully they aren't going to admit that they didn't really get good value for money with the capacitors costing 50 times more, are they????

I believe fixing the source is MUCH more likely to have an audible effect.     Crossovers are NOT the first place I would ever start tweaking.

 

9 minutes ago, Monkeyboi said:

Anyhow, the bottom line is just use quality parts with a verifiable lineage from reputable suppliers / manufacturers and most importantly the right type of part for its intended application.

At least these caps come from a company with a web site,  that publishes some proper specifications, that makes a range of capacitors.

 

I intend to try some of the cheaper , but actual "audiophile" caps in as coupling caps in my preamp, as much to satisfy my curiosity as anything.   But even these Suntan caps, and other things I have done, have made me want to listen to my system more.  I am liking the improvement.

 

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There are different types of snake oil.

 

There is snake oil, and anti snake oil...... snake oil ;)

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2 hours ago, aussievintage said:

At least these caps come from a company with a web site,  that publishes some proper specifications, that makes a range of capacitors

Look at Miflex. very large capacitor manufacturer, and the KPCU-01 are very much of similar materials as used by the likes of Jupiter, Duelund, ect'.

 

Snake oil?

http://www.miflex.com.pl/en/products/audio-capacitors-and-filters/

Edited by Muon N'

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Every component is voiced in part through parts selection, even what some people call neutral is voiced that way, it is really not neutral in real terms....It's just a perception of an idea of neutral.

 

I agree with MB that selection needs to be done with care, the whole is comprised of the parts.

Edited by Muon N'
typos

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2 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

Every component is voiced in part through parts selection, even what some people call neutral is voiced that way, it is really not neutral in real terms....It's just a perception of an idea of neutral.

 

I agree with MB that selection needs to be done with care, the whole is comprised of the parts.

Yep, I have a host of capacitors from Mundorf and others that I didn't like in my crossovers just sitting on the shelf. The cost of experimentation... but then I was originally planning to productionise my speakers. That idea's long gone now though.

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Yep, I have a host of capacitors from Mundorf and others that I didn't like in my crossovers just sitting on the shelf. The cost of experimentation... but then I was originally planning to productionise my speakers. That idea's long gone now though.

:thumb:It's good to be familiar with the sound of various components, It's like the chef, if he doesn't know what this and that tastes like and what it is like when blended together, well....bon appatit :sick:  ;)

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