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Old 4th December 2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Perreaux SM2 Custom

Hello,

Did a cap change and IEC receptacle change to a Perreaux SM2 preamp and thought I would share results. Simply put I'm a novice at slinging solder so I love tweaking previously built gear. Took out a total of 10 Wima capacitors and replaced with 6 GEN 1 Sonicaps totaling equal value, only difference was a slightly higher voltage rating. I've had this Perreaux for about 4 years and used it as a backup for when I wasn't using other preamps such as an Audible Illusions 3A. Also, I had a Perreaux SM3 and compared it too the SM2 years back and thought that if I could change stock cable on SM2 it might sound better in stock form minus hardwired stock cable. Needless to say it did, cut a hole in back with a plasma cutter where existing cable was and fitted IEC. Then, I finally got around to changing the stock Wima caps at the coupling stages in line and phono stages and what a dramatic turnaround. At some point I will go after power supply electrolytic's as this will likely have a bigger impact than filter caps, but for now I am really enjoying listening to it.

One other important note is that these units often get a bum rap for sounding anemic, thin and grainy. Take the old dried up Wima caps out! These units were built very well in a slimline style and are still quite elegant and solid. Once you do the simple task of changing a few caps and stock cable you will be surprised at its performance. Detailed with fast transients, neutrality without sounding etched, deeper soundstage with better bass , solid imaging, and a beautiful midband. I paid $225 for this unit off Ebay years ago and IMO it sounds as good as anything costing $2,500 and up in today's market, IMHO.

Ramon
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Old 4th December 2011, 07:33 PM   #2
hifiboy is offline hifiboy  Germany
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Nice work! As you said you should also change the power supply caps. This will make a huge difference according to my experience! Do you own a remote control for the SM2?
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Old 4th December 2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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Does not come with remote, this unit was an answer to the Spectral DMC 10 back in the early 80's.
Finding power supply caps that fit may become an issue with such a slimline design, I will do my best!
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Old 12th December 2011, 09:17 PM   #4
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Default Perreaux SM2 Customizing usefull

Hello Raimon,

I'm on the edge of upgrading a SM2, but want to be sure it is worth the time and money. For a long time I didn't used the unit and even was thinking of selling it but because the reputation of the SM2 isn't great, I would not earn more than 250-300euro's for it which is to low.

The unit is in reasonable shape and wasn't not used often the last 5 years, I bought it in the mid 90's. Obviously it would benefit from replacing all the Elco's and also replacing the WIMA with Sonicaps.

My question is very simple. Because you own(ed) an Audible Illusions 3A, you know how things can sound. If you would rate the SM2 Line-Amp part to e.g. nowadays popular Pre-Dac like the Benchmark DAC1 or Burson HA160D, would you think it would stand a chance when modified?
My music preferences is Jazz and Vocals so the mids are important for me.

Note: I also replaced the 220 connection which was an improvement.

Thx,
Jeroen
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Old 13th December 2011, 08:48 AM   #5
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Try building a soft recovery diode bridge for rectifiers and Elna Silmic II for small electrolytics.
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Old 18th February 2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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I'm about to finally replace power supply caps with some Panasonic electrolytics, I 'll report soon about impressions. Previous filter cap changes produced the following.
"Detailed with fast transients, neutrality without sounding etched, deeper soundstage with better bass , solid imaging, and a beautiful midband."


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeroen de waard View Post
Hello Raimon,

I'm on the edge of upgrading a SM2, but want to be sure it is worth the time and money. For a long time I didn't used the unit and even was thinking of selling it but because the reputation of the SM2 isn't great, I would not earn more than 250-300euro's for it which is to low.

The unit is in reasonable shape and wasn't not used often the last 5 years, I bought it in the mid 90's. Obviously it would benefit from replacing all the Elco's and also replacing the WIMA with Sonicaps.

My question is very simple. Because you own(ed) an Audible Illusions 3A, you know how things can sound. If you would rate the SM2 Line-Amp part to e.g. nowadays popular Pre-Dac like the Benchmark DAC1 or Burson HA160D, would you think it would stand a chance when modified?
My music preferences is Jazz and Vocals so the mids are important for me.

Note: I also replaced the 220 connection which was an improvement.

Thx,
Jeroen
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Old 11th May 2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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Replaced power supply caps a while back. I don't think they are in signal path, for one thing sound changes were minor. More importantly change Wimas as I stated earlier, PSC's will improve response speed and give a more relaxed sound.
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Old 14th October 2012, 08:24 AM   #8
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Default SM3 Upgrade

Good day everybody

My SM3 is old and I love it, even if a little less transparent and dynamic than my AR SP16.
I wish to change at least the output caps for VCap ones (or to suppress simply them). But reading your posts, I'll follow your traces and I'm going to make the complete cap upgrade ...

Does someone has the schematics or caps list, and some advise for the correct caps choice ?

Regards,
Mathieu
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Old 3rd February 2013, 09:23 AM   #9
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Ramon, Thanks for sharing this excellent work! I have an SM2 that needs some TLC, so I think I will try your cap mods. I've had good results with Sonicaps, also - In a high power passive crossover. My SM2 has intermittant distorted audio on one channel. Do you think the old caps may be the cause? Seems like if I turn the volume up and wait, the problem resolves. Any chance of getting a schematic?
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Old 2nd June 2014, 05:08 PM   #10
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To Zolof911 : to get a schematics, it is very simple: you just have to email directly to Perreaux and you receive the schematics the day after !

I have recently got the SM3 schematics just by sending an email to Perreaux.

And I am going to follow the same route than explained in order to upgrade my SM3 ...
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