Are Hoveland caps really worth the price?

Ouch! I'm pricing parts for upgrading the cossovers in my Hammer Dynamics Super 12's via the Super 12's tweeks page recommendations on the Single Driver forum.

The Hovland caps are REALLY expensive! Are they really worth their cost? Do they make THAT much difference over other less expensive caps? Are there any other caps that come close for much less?

4 - 0.1 uF Hovland 600V @10.50 $42.00
2 - 0.47 uF Hoveland 400V @11.50 $23.00
2 - 8.0 uF Hoveland 100V @38.50 $77.00

thanks, -Brad-
 
notch filter for Super 12

What value(s) and voltage(s) did you use when comparing Hovlands and PPMFs? And what was the equipment you used for auditioning?

I'm looking at upgrading the notch filter in my Hammer Dynamics Super 12's which would be paralleled

7.5 AudioCap PPMF 200v
1.0 Solen 600v
0.1 AudioCap Theta 600v

I'm trying to keep costs down :)
 
Hi Baker,

I got together with two of my audio mates and we compared the caps. in the output of my Tjoeb 4000 and in the tweeter circuit of my Eton 11.2 'speakers.

We used 6.8uf and 5.6uf.

The PPMF gave a less HiFi presentation than the Hovland, actually smoother to my ears while maintaining a high level of detail etc. The PPMF are very musical caps.

I made some posts on the Mad. forum about this, we also compared the PPMF and Hovland to the Solen and the differences between the Solen and the other caps. were pretty obvious, eyes closed or open.

I hope others will chime in on this but IMO using high quality caps. in the notch filter may be a waste, you are more likely to gain by replacing the series capacitors.


Tony D.
 
I have the same opinion about Solen caps, although I saw them in some speakers (from Dynaudio) selling for $80,000. I didn't try Audiocaps, use mostly Hovlands in my crossovers. I prefer Hovlands to MIT RTX, I didn't like Wonder caps and Ultima caps. I got the best results with paralleling 4u Hovland and 1u MIT RTX and 0.01 MIT or Jensen or Hovland. The chosen type of small value cap (0.01u) depended on location in crossover and ea. one was better than the others in certain locations. Even for shunt caps Hovlands made a difference. Although I used mostly Hovlands I'm not saying they are perfect, they just did IMO least "damage" to the sound, but I'm still looking for more neutral caps.
I also think that the choice of the caps is dependant on the whole system and its tonal balance as well your ears and taste. The best way is to experiment.
 
Capacitors

I agree with Tony D. The PPMF capacitors are darn good. They are a big step up from the Solen capacitor.

Presumably you are a tube guy. You might try them for coupling capaictors in your amp.

If the correct value (i.e. very small) isn't available you could go for the Audio Cap Theta. Small values in the Audio Cap Theta aren't very expensive, and I believe the Theta is the best.

Dave
 
The Multicap

Your decision on for the Multi-Cap is likely based on an article by Richard Marsh. I read the article and it almost seem to promulgate the superiority of the Multi-Cap. It did indeed make sense.

However, Richard Marsh's own preamps use the Audio Cap PPMF. The hood's were off at CES, and there it was.

I think that if the PPMF is Richard Marsh's choice for his own stuff, then it is probably better than the Multi-Cap.

The issue of bypassing certainly has merit, but the PPMF is pretty darn cheap.

And I have corresponded with a few folks that compared the PPMF to the Hovland. All found the PPMF superior. One swapped them in his preamp/CD player (I don't remember). The other swapped the OEM PPMF in his Norh 9.0's for a Hovland. The Hovland didn't remain.

Dave
 
Hovilands use stranded wire which when twisted, as it is, creates inductance and restricts the bandwidth, so my logic tells me. To go to all the trouble using solid wire in an amp and then use these caps for coupling is kind of crazy. How they do in crossovers is something I can't tell you, but twisted strands are something I keep out of my speaks too. Besides that they cost almost as much as the drivers.
Thatch
 
Stranded v.s. twisted

I agree that there IS a theoretical difference between stranded and twisted. I am not a EE though, and do not understand ALL of the differences, but do understand some, and believe they are present.

However, there are two reasons why I think stranded wire is just fine for practical application.

1. The Ray Kimber wire has a bunch of strands. Heck, he even weaves those strands into other strands. This is also quite popular with the followers of Chris V. and the Cat 5 cult.

2. I really can't hear any difference when using stranded or solid wire for internal speaker wire.

There is one glaring example of the superiority of solid wire. It is Goertz foil speaker wire. This stuff has an incredibly low characteristic impedance. I can hear a slight improvement on my tweeter circuit when using Goertz for internal wiring. The superiority of the Goertz probably has more to do with the configuration though. The Goertz stuff is clearly superior when used full-length for speaker wire.

Back to the Hovland. Someone told me that the problem with the Hovland capacitor is the internal termination of the lead. I don't remember the intimacies, but when explained, it did make sense. I think (??) it had something to do with dissimilar materials and a poor connection, but am not sure.

I like solid leads on capacitors just because they are easier to work with.

Can you actually hear an improvement between stranded and twisted wire internally??

If so, I'll have to do this test again.

Dave
 
If you look closely at the Kimber wire, you will notice that their are fairly small number of larger guage strands and the strands are of different sizes. This seems quite different from the large amount of very small gauage wires in the Hoveland leads, which resemble cheap speaker wire like Monster cable except they are silver coated strands I believe.