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hifive 16th May 2008 04:07 PM

Best film capacitor
Hi all,

I'm thinking to change my VTL capacitor to something better but Vcap is too expensive for me. Anyone can recommend through their experience in using the capacitors?.

rating 0.47k 400v


AndrewT 16th May 2008 04:23 PM

look at the classD caps thread

pjpoes 18th May 2008 07:39 PM

Most people will argue that you should pick different caps for different jobs, and while I don't disagree, I have been finding that the Clarity Cap SA's improve everything I use them in. I also have enjoyed the sound of Sonicaps quite a bit. At .47uf, this shouldn't even be considered, but sometimes coupling or input caps can be somewhat larger in value, say 1uf, and people become tempted to bypass these with .1 or.01uf teflon caps. I highly recommend against this, as I find it negativly impacts the sound, especially with regard to sound staging. I was told the reason is differences in the time constant of the different value caps, but can't really say I know either way. I just know I didn't like the sound, and was told by a few more knowledgeable than I that was the reason.

As much as people don't seem to like to admit this, I do think that changing certain components in certain parts of the signal path is generally just changing the flavor of the unit. While some people love the V-caps, finding them very resolving, and offering very extended response (I find this ironic since they often are filtering in some way), while others find them too bright, cold, sterile, thin, etc. I'm not sure what sort of change you are looking for, but if you are looking for more of the V-cap sound, I would recomend something like the Claritycap SA. However, if you are looking for more of the classic tube sound, or greater warmth and depth to the image, I really like a good PIO or wax and paper capacitor. Some of the really good ones are easily as expensive as the V-caps, and often sound just as good, IMO, just in a different way. I don't think the V-cap is the perfect capacitor, nor do I think the PIO's are perfect, I think both are different flavors in the same continuum. I think that while perfection may be philisophicly possible, it would be good to recognize that parts choices is all about compromises, and not just in the wallet.

I just went on a spending spree on ebay and picked up a whole slew of nos capacitors to play around with in some projects. I just finished building a Hagtech Bugle phono stage with all (hand matched) PIO caps in the signal path, and Vishay S102K resistors I picked up surplus. I'm working on a second one using all Wima caps to use for comparisons. I'm also breadboarding some Phonoclone's with a mix of the PIO, Wima, and Vishay poly caps. I just need to get the rest of the resistors I need.

Another note, not sure what aspect of the sound you are trying to change, and in what way, but I find sometimes the problem isn't the caps, its the resistors. I like the sound of good wirewounds and carbon films, and selectively use film resistors in more precise areas, hence the S102K's. Vishay mil spec are quite good and very cheap, imo, compared with the more common audiophile choices like Caddock or S102k (Vishay nude, etc.).

Back to my earlier point about the PIO, don't be afraid of surplus, it can be your friend. I want to say I just picked up over 100 different types of capacitors, and well over 300 total capacitors, and didn't spend 75 dollars even after shipping. My favorite finds so far are the Ero poly caps with the blue outside and Sprague Vitamin Q with the red outside. I know the VItamin Q is kind of an old standard, but it really does sound decent, even by todays standards. Anyway, give em a shot if you are willing to experiment.

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