Dear friends:I really need your helpwith first hand experiences with speaker crossover capacitors founded in next main experiences/tested premises: for a 3-way speaker design, high resolution audio systems, very low distortion audio systems, wide systems frequency range, " zero trade-offs ".
I know that the best capacitor is NO-capacitor, well I need your near to that full experiences with another desired premises from you: audio systems using SS electronics and mainly listening MUSIC through digital sources.
But I have to ask, a 3 way speaker system is 2x as difficult to make correctly than a 2-way, if this is your first speaker, I strongly recommend: 1 - Visit DIYaudio for help 2 - Learn your taste and build up your skills by making something inexpensive first or
3 - Make a kit
Also, consider a 2.5 way. Smaller, fewer parts, higher efficiency and the bass extension is such that it does really well in a lot of living rooms compared to super speakers.
Hi raul, you helped me pick the Jantzen alumen z's a while back. Have you changed your mind. I think it my be hard to find a boutique cap without a little flavor. Please understand I'm not very experienced with all caps out there only what I have used. I tried the Jantzen z's in a 2.5 crossover calling for 2 caps in the tweeter section. I ran across a couple used Clarity CMR and bought it for the hell of it to try in same crossover using a combination of CMR and Z's. I really like this combo. I did bypass it with a copper foil Jupiter and Miflex. I did prefer the Miflex so I settled on CMR, Z and Miflex combo. I did use the path resistors with nice results. I have used Duelund as bypass in Preamp as bypass with nice results also but not speakers.Parts Connextion is now having there 25% sale now. Good luck on your search please let us know if you find something better than Z's because I really like that cap.
and mno I still really like the true neutrality of the Jantzen Alumen Z that I listen through them by one year now.
But I want to up-grade my speaker crossover caps and in this forum exist several gentlemans with a lot first hand experiences on a variety of capacitors that I not have.
I know for sure that I can have a very good up-grade using Teflon caps through the tweeter/band-pass/midrange crossover but at an insane price.
I know too that I can buy for each crossover speakert 10 AlumenZ for the woofer it self but Jantzen designed the Alumen Z mainly for tweeters and Michael Jantzen told me that I could use it too in midrrange drivers and that's what I did it and I'm satisfied but ...? ? ? .
What I want is to invest for the " last " time in those crossover caps in my speakers. Maybe some of you could say: " hey, change your speakers for a today better speakers " and this can sound reasonable till you listen my " vintage " speakers: Believe me but not easy to bet it at a reasonable price that could can goes over 60+K dollars because the main issue in my system is exactly this: the whole room/system.
Other option that I already took in count is to go with the Alumen Z Cu but I already know is not enough for what I'm looking for.
The premises in my thread are because that's are what I'm listened from some years now. In the past I was a tube guy till I learned and in the premise of digital sources experiences from any one of you are due that even that I'm a LP lover ( over 7K LPs. ) digital already outperforms it and in the very first time that instead to fine tunning my room/system through the analog alternative and started to fine tunning tghrough the digital alternative the analog one improved as digital alternative too.
I appreciated truly all those 3 posts opinions and I hope other gentlemans can give me their advise for I can have choices good choices to decide about.
I'm sorry, it wasn't clear from your original post if you were building a new speaker set, or upgrading an existing. My advice was given for a new build, not an upgrade. The brand recommendations remain in either case. :)
Dear @erik_squires : I figure that you don't listened yet the Alumen Z by Jantzen. I had the opportunity to listen the CMR and as good as they are the Alumen is a " little " better with more neutral performance, transparency, better tonal balance and natural dynamics/effortless. As a fact the Alumen Z is really near of what I'm looking for but I know that exist other caps that can help me to arrive " there ".
Maybe I can use the CMR in the speaker woofers where I need a 100uf cap.
Dear friends: It's not weird that only one gentleman ( @erik_squires ) gave me his advice on caps and I say is not weird because like a years ago I came to this same forum and I posted in a thread already opened thread asking for help to all those experts that were posting in that tghread but that when I ask for their help only one of them told me that he needs to know my speaker description/system and when I answered to him unfortunatelly he never came back to me with his advice.
So with almost no help I decided to buy the Jantzen Alumen Z capacitors when no one spoke about it, all those experts were focus in Duelund, Jupiter, Mundorf and the like but no one mentioned the Jantzen ones.
Well seems to me that again I will have to take the decision by my self and nothing wrong with that.
Maybe some of you can ask why I decided for the Alumen Z when everyone was around the Duelund/Jupiter/etc, etc " party ". Answer is easy: I learned reading through the net and talking with caps manufacturers and from my past first hand experiences with caps and my first move was to fix my main target for those caps that was very similar of what I'm looking for in this thread.
I have not experiences with the Jupiter but I had with Duelund and mundorf and both are far away to be neutral but the other way around: full colored. Just does not goes with my target.
yes I know that the Humble......caps test comparison site told us that Duelund are fully neutral but the concept of " neutral " is different for that Humble..... gentleman whom made the comparisons and some of us and is easy to say it when we read the words he used to express his experiences with the different caps and my system audio units/devices are different too.
It's easy to take in count something is wrong in the experience tests description when speaks from neutrality but the description is full of adjectives that said are faraway from be neutral : smooth, organic, darkness, richer, deeper, mature, bigger, etc, etc. All those adjectives talking of caps characteristics. Why if are way " neutral " ?
From years now I know the critical main importance of the dielectric materiali caps , circuit boards in electronics, cables dielectric material and the like and nothing is near Teflon but contrary to scientific data that comes with the PTFE those very expensive caps with the higher grade evaluation from 12 to 15+ no one use PTFE but beewax over paper or oil and a lot of other dielectric materials with out any single scientific test of the dielectric material used by the caps manufacturers only : bla, bla, bla. Here some reviews that confirm about:
I know for sure by first hand experiences in electronics and speaker crossover that nothing beats Teflon, well not even near it. Unfortunatelly is way expensive but I'm looking for my last caps up-grade so one way or the other I must go with the PTFE caps and I will do it step by step due that I'm not a rich man and maybe I be obligated to take one additional step before the Teflon ones and this step could be the Jantzen Amber Z in the tweeter, band-pass and midrange. I need four 4.7uf and two 16.8uf for thopse drivers and following erik advise the CMR for the woofers.
I forgot, the other caps that could interest to me are the Audyn. Any first hand experiences(advise about will be appreciated.
Cu PTFE V-caps are something with all the atributes only the live MUSIC has, there are other Teflon caps that are very good too and all are expensive but worth to have it.
@rauliruegas Looks like I don't have the values you need, but I do have an extra pair of 2.0uF V-CAP TFTFs... would happily sell them to you as I ended up with Mundorf Supreme Silver/Gold/Oil's in my preamp.
Danny Richie (GR Research) is recommending and selling Sonicap and Miflex KPCU caps for his DIY speaker kits. He looks for resolution and transparency in loudspeaker components, as well as natural organic instrumental timbre and texture.
Dear @bdp24 : Thank's. I know very well GR because is one of my trusty caps source. I bougth from him ( really friendly gentleman. ) the Sonicaps Platinum that are down there my targets. As the V-caps are expensive devices and for midrange/tweeter I need it around 14 Platinum caps
I used in my phonolinepreamp in the passive inverse RIAA eq. and compared against the teflon V-caps and is a hard call. Both really good. We builded 7-8 units and that's why I have those experiences with both caps. No, I'm not an audio manufacturer.
Dear @andy2 : Thank's and as almost any music lover and audiophile building a room/system is a time life full of day by day learning lessons for we can get " there ", a very elusive " there " when you like to be " perfectionist ". The main target is to really enjoy MUSIC at home and to achieve real enjoyment we need a " perfect " hardware.
the higher the frequencies, the more the cap will affect the sound. At low frequencies, hm.... it... """
agree with you but even that I will try to achieve the best on that low frequency range. We have to remember that the low frequency harmonics ( some way or the other. ) " defines " the quality level in the midrange and even in the high frequency range.
The contenders I have for the bass range are the : Clarity CMR, the Auricaps XO and the Audyn Reference.
I was just wondering the cost of your turn tables? My guess is one may cost more than my entire system. I once compared a turn table side by side with a CD source and the most difference that jumped out is how the turn table sounds a lot more like "live" music vs. the CD which sounded somewhat processed and artificial. IMHO.
Like I said before I am new with modding with film caps but here is my caps I have tried, Jantzen alumen Z, Audyn copper max, Miflex copper foil, vcap, Sonicap platinum, Duelund, Jupiter copper, mundorf supreme silver gold, clarity cap CMR. The 2 that weren't for me were Vcap and mundorf. Jupiter is not neutral either but is a very nice cap. I liked the Miflex better than Audyn copper max. Between the Jupiter and Miflex the bass is bigger and tighter than Jupiter, Jupiter is a little smoother and colored than Miflex. The most neutral was the Jantzen Z and CMR. With Z being a little more neutral and CMR being a little more transparent. I have external crossover point to point and could flip caps pretty fast to see what they were doing. The Miflex bypass did make nice addition without feeling it threw off phase or lost a lot neutralality of Z or CMR's. I noticed your system is solid state mine is tube Preamp, tube CD player, solid state and tube phono pre's, solid state amps and tube amps so apples and oranges.
Dear @paulcreed : For years I used tube alternative but from some years now only solid state and for good reasons.
I would like to know from your first hand experiences two things: your opinion of the Platinum through the tweeter or midrange drivers ( not used as by-passing but as the filter cap. ) and which V-caps you experienced and where did you used?.
Dear @andy2 : As good analog/LP are the digital alternative already improved a lot in the last years and IMHO today is superior to the LP alternative.
Yesterday nigth I was listening the LP versions ( 33 and 45rpm. ) of Modern Cool by P. Barber that by coincidence I own too through a Blueray sample and the digital version ( 24/192 ) outperforms both LP versions.
If the recorded and mastering process are good/decent ones and everything else the same then 4xDSD OR 32/384 dac BEATS lpS but even a CDP can do it. Of course LP vs digital always is way controversial.
I used vcap TFTF in a tube Preamp as signal cap, it was nice but did not sound natural to me. It is a neutral cap but came across as sterile after spending time with it, sounded great at beginning after break in but that wore off. I use the Duelund silver as bypass in Preamp. Sonicap platinum bypass in a set of speakers.
Dear friends : """ bypass > 5uF with a 0.1 copper film..."""
that was an advise posted by erik_squires and for years I was a follower of other " expert " followers of by-pass caps in speaker crossovers to use small value top caps as by-pass ones. I used teflon ones, silver or cooper caps. Latest the teflon Cu that I use with my Alumen Z in the Tweeters/bandpass/midrange caps.
Well, I already posted that my room/system has a very good high resolution and very low distortion levels and today I unsoldered all the by-pass caps in the AlumenZ and not what a surprise but what a great discovery that after running 3 times in a row my self developed whole evaluation system process what I’m listening rigth now is something totally new for the better of what I was listened just yesterday ! !. and I say BETTER not just different.
No by-pass caps makes a paramount differences in quality overall room/system performance. I have no words to describe the levels of quality differences.
For me and in my system listening LP and digital probably my big mistake over my audio life other that listened to tubes is with out doubt the use of by-pass caps in my speakers crossover. Never again.
Dear friends: I forgot something where I was too a follower of " experts ".
Now as a fact been a follower is something that one way or the other all of us did or do it in some important audio subjects and been a follower is a really good way to LEARN when we finally LEARNED because it's the way to learn with first hand experiences. Other way to learn is that sometimes we can try to think " out of the box " on some audio issues and take actions about. This way is how I learned that pure silver cable is the best power cord you can achieve for any audio electronic items and in the same way I learned that the best fuse is not any fuse at all and it's that way how I use my system audio items.
Anyway, when I started to change the passive parts in my speakers crossover I read several times that a blend of caps could give me what I'm looking for and I did it for many years with some " good " results but latter on I learned that those " blended caps " diferent signatures was for me a wrong way to go: a mistake and started to stay using same cap manufacturer signature and the results are way better that the recomended " blended caps ".
I do it through the tweeter/bandpáss/midrange crossover caps and not with the woofers because normally I can't get same manufacturer quality level caps of 100uf value.
I learned that if I need to blend " something " in the audio system then something is wrong in the system chain and I need to identify in which system's link or links and make the changes to avoid the necessity of that " blend " recomendation.
Yes, that's me but audiophiles are singular human beens with different targets and approach.
When I added Duelund bypass caps to my speaker's crossover I thought I got a bit better tonality, but also some "smearing" in the imaging. In the end, I preferred without the bypass. I did like the bypass cap on a coupling capacitor in my amplifiers though...
Dear @cal3713 : Other that the speaker designer for an amateur person as me is way dificult trying to improve the speaker quality performance level.
The speaker drivers , especially tweeter and midrange, has its self signature where the designer adds the passive crossover parts to achieve the " tonal balance " he is looking for ( obviously that the box, wiring and other speakers design characteristics are way important too. ). With those passive parts he can " tame " his speaker targets and he knows a precise electrical parameters limits where each driver is more " confortable " to work. These information I just don't have it, I only have my ears and listening audio life experiences of MUSIC and audio systems.
Through the years just from the first time I " touched " my ADS crossover speakers I mantained all the passive parts at its original values.
I'm lucky enough that through so many times changing its passive parts I still have the original ADS tonal balance ( great one. ).
The changes in passive parts were and are not to " tame " or change the ADS signature but only to achieve a better way better quality response/Performance levels over the very wide frequency range where those speakers runs.
Like you I found out that those very expensive by-pass caps in the crossovers makes more harm than a true improvement.
As the speaker drivers all passive parts has its own signature and we have to live with but if my target is to preserve the ADS original tonal balance then what I need are the best harmless and signatureless/colorless passive parts and these is what I was and am doing till today.
Yes Dueleund are very good as many other expensive caps, things are that does not likes to my ADS drivers where the Alumen Z works really better not different but better.
I decided to delay a little the tweeter/band-pass/midrange caps and I will make a change with the woofer caps choosing between the CMR, Auricaps and Audyn. Of course I will need to test all those caps directly in the speakers mantaining the AlumenZ to decide which ones will stays " forever " on those woofers.
The first speakers I used to experiment with caps came with auricaps LSA statements towers with ribbon tweeters. I first tried to keep auricap family so I moved up to the Auricap XO in the tweeter the XO's are better, more refined better stage and not as tipped up. I do prefer the Jantzen Z's and CMR' that are in them now. The XO's are very nice can't go wrong with those either.
Dear @paulcreed and friends: I was and still am hunting hard for first hand experiences with caps at the bass frequency range, looking for opinions that could give me a " tiny " signs of quality differences on that frequency range and believe me just does not exist almost nothing in specific to that regards.
Almost everyone talks about mid-range/high frequency ranges.
Reading " between lines " on speaker caps tests/evaluations I think I will start with the Audyn Reference. Audyn Reference is more expensive than the XO or CMR but my amateur " instinct " tells me could be a little better than the other two names in that bass frequency range.
For me that frequency range is critical for the overall " true " of the MUSIC. Yes, normally we are more " impressed " by the midrange or high frequency ranges but the foundation and neutral tonal balance starts at the bass range. As " cleaner " this bass range as better the other two frequency ranges and obviously the whole speaker quality performance levels.
I really appreciated any opinion/first hand experiences for bass range caps.
Please let us know what you thought of Audyn ref. I am interested in changing bass caps in a pair of speakers. I never looked at the Audyn ref before only copper max and there large values are to rich for my blood. Parts conextion 25% off sale puts the CMR and Audyn ref at the same price in same values.
Dear @paulcreed and friends: Yesterday in the nigth came to my mind to look which kind of caps are using top today speakers and speakers that I already listened as Magico and YG. Both great performers and by coincidence both designers choosed Mundorf caps ( Mcapsupreme silver/gold model that is the Mundorf top of the line. ). YG use its own manufactured crossover inductors.
Now, I said at least two times in the thread that I'm a true amateuir looking for top quality performance and my technical knowledge levels are really low and I'm asking to so many gentlemans in the Agon forums that I know for sure have first rate technical levels their help:
the high Mundorf value in that cap model is 10uf where my speakers need 100uf along a 3.5mH inductor. My question is which could be the best way/road to take using those 10uf caps with a diferent inductor value: can I do that and if yes which must be the inductor value to stay in the original crossover frequency or which alternatives have I?
The additional information I have is that the crossover set at 450hz ( approx. 12db/octave. ) drivers 6ohms impedance and 95db efficiency in a sealed/acoustic suspension speaker design..
Appreciated the overall advise about and waiting for your valuable know-how.
Dear @paulcreed and friends: Yes, I will let you know my first hand experiences with the Audyn caps in my speakers when all will done.
Btw,this thread gave me the opportunity to go deeper in the overall speaker caps subject due that not only took the opinions here but in my hunting looking for the caps with the characteristics I'm looking for I really learned and still I'm learning several " issues " on the caps regardings.
Other than Magico and YG speakers I put in " touch " with Kharma, Sonus Faber, Focal, Evolution Acoustic, etc. and I found out that no one of them in its NO COST OBJECT speaker crossovers use not a single Duelund or Jupiter caps anthe like even that their top speaker designs goes from 80K to over 200K prices range.
I already said in other thread that those very expensive caps are more colored than neutral and maybe this could be a critical an important reason why the speaker designers just avoid/stays away to use it. The Duelund high price could be not a reasonable reason to not use those caps in a cost no object speaker design where whom pay for it are the customers not the manufacturers. Have any one of you an opinion about? or better yet: could be that all those speaker cost no object designers are just wrong about?. For me makes no sense that in those kind of speakers designs the designers don't " turn their face " for what for almost all audiophiles are the best caps ever. Makes sense to you?
Cost no object speaker design is a very competitive niche of market where each manufacturer wants that their speakers can shines at the tue ultimate quality performance levels and best that his competitors.
Seems to me that those " neutral " caps are for people like me that are looking for up-grades or just for audiophiles where what for me is coloration for other gentlemans is neutral and for other just non-accurated or really accurated. Perhaps what is happening with that is what happened with the " boutique " fuse types where we don't see it in top SS electronics but only with " audiophiles " as us.
MUSIC has a natural coloration, a natural tonal balance, natural agresiveness, natural brigthness, natural dynamic and obviously rythm.
Dear @imhififan : I have to say that I never heard yet Tidal speakers that I know are very good performers and that speaker crossover could be only a " grain in the sand of sea " that could confirm that " exeption confirm the rule " like the ones I mentioned that just don’t use those " boutique " caps. Maybe in the future things can change. Who knows?
It is " weird " that the fans of Duelund stay " dead silence " : why?
Yes the active filter for the woofer could be an option and could be a better alternative. Thank’s.
If you don't need audiophile names on your caps check out some of the surplus Russian caps. Teflon, glass sealed caps at a couple of bucks each, mil spec. Since they are Teflon they don't have paper to degrade and are a high quality cheap alternative. Billwojo
Dear @billwojo : "
If you don't need audiophile names on your caps....."
that's not the main subject . As a fact I use Duelund resistors in my speaker crossovers.
I can use Teflon caps in the midrange/high frequency drivers and my needs rigth now is cap for the woofers where I can't use teflon caps due that I need 100uf caps that is a very high capacitance for teflon units.
Dear @andy2 : The top Tidal is around 215K and the top Evolution even at higher price ! !
Other name I forgot is Acapella and I had the opportunity to listen ( twice. ) one of its top speaker in a first rate room/system with an audio friend in Houston. Well the top Acapella speaker weigths 600kg. each one, very expensive and no Duelund's down there.
Btw, something that let me with many questions is about Tidal speaker that use 5 diferent caps in the crossover: 2 Duelund models, 2 Mundorf models and Audyn reference and I wonder why all those diferent ( signature. ) capacitors in the crossover?. Yes the obvious answer could be to achieve the designer targets during the voicing of those speakers but the speaker use the very well regarded Accuton drivers. Can I think that needs a " lot " of effort to tame its kind of sound response? who knows,maybe yes. Of course that I'm ignorant of any Tidal design targets and the topology in its crossovers.
In the other side my conclusion along this thread ( what happened and what does not happened. ) is that does not exist a " best harmless/signatureless capacitor " for speaker crossovers.
I n theory well designed and well builded teflon caps are the ones nearer to that " title " till appears a true/real contender for.
Dear friends: Reading the information in the web sites of the capacitors manufacturers as Duelund, Mundorf, Jupiter, Clarity and the like no one has a single chart/diagram of capacitor tests whole electrical information about each one of their models.
No one can prove that ( example ) paper on wax measure a lot better that any other kind of design , the same for paper on oil and the like and seems to me that no one cares about not even the speaker manufacturers ! ! !
That is what the high end passive parts is. Really pity and in some senses a shame for the proponents of those parts and even for the ones that use it in their speaker design/manufacture that do not ask about or disclñose technical information. Seems to me that that information just does not exist.
So we buy at " blind ". Yes, I know what people say: " we do not need measurements but what the ears perceive ". For my first hand experiences I know that that statement is not enough for we can really be sure that what we are listening in reality is " rigth " because several times what we are listening in reality is wrong but ...? ? ?
I said that I use Duelund resistor in the crossover in my speakers that obviously I bougth " at blind ". Reading about in the Duelund site they have links to reviews/tests and I gone to one of them that touted the Duelund resistor and in the chart of that resistors evaluation the Duelund resistor tolerance measured a very high 4%. This confirm that no one cares about.
The next resistors I use in my electronics items and please look what is a true professional way to make " things " and to show what we are buying:
You can go to the Wima site and is just impressive and wima is a standard in the industry. Yes you can say that wima caps just can't compares against the boutique ones and certainly it can't but for other diferent reasons that the ones you are thinking about.
Btw, I have a bunch of wima caps and believe or not I will make some tests in my speakers tweeter crossovers and we will see what happen down there.
Some or many of you are really with a deep technical knowledge and maybe some of you already took measurements in the caps that could indicates why are really better/superior to the wima or vishays and if you have those kind of information I think that many of us will appreciated you can share with us in this or other thread.
For me was a true surprise that my Duelund resistors tolerance measured a very high 4% when Caddoks ( in that test ) measured 0.2%. I used Caddok, Vishay, Mills, etc etc and these has really tigth tolerances. That's the problem to buy " at blind " and for me it's a huge Duelund irresponsability.
This thread gave me the opportunity to make some research about and my findings are really bad. I don't feel good about.
Not the same application at all, so take it with a grain of salt, but within the week I'll have tried TFTF V-Cap, Mundorf Supreme Silver/Gold/Oil, and Duelund Tinned-Copper CAST as my preamp output coupler. So far I prefer the Mundorf. Burning in the Deulund as I type.
My experience is that everything sounds like something and the only way to know is to replace it. I have a Duelund preference (tinned-copper CAST in both my DAC and tweeter crossover), but like Tidal, I'm using ceramic drivers. I do believe that impressions are *highly* system dependent and things that may work beautifully in my system could sound horrible in others. That said, I do believe that drivers that tend toward analytic benefit from a high quality copper/film cap, and that Duelund will out perform its competitors in that role.
Dear @cal3713 : """
My experience is that everything sounds like something and the only way to know is to replace it. """
Agree, always is that way.
impressions are *highly* system dependent and things that may work beautifully in my system could sound horrible in others. """
almost all is syten dependent but maybe more critical and important than that is each one of us MUSIC/sound priorities. Nor mally our room/systems are fine tunned according those self priorities.
that may work beautifully in my system could sound horrible in others.""
well, I think you are to " dramatic " because if it's true that with diferent room/systems " things " sound diferent but normally ( if both room/systems are a decent ones and the changed and tested devices are good ones ) can't be " horrible " and if sounds that way then exist something truly wrong some where down there.
I'm following my " research " through the internet and learning every day on the whole capacitor subject. I don't take any decision yet because I'm way ignorant on the caps issue.
Dear friends: Next there are some interesting caps information I found out in the internet that for some experts like you is nothing " new " but for people like me could be of interest ( yes, I know the way of thinking of audiophiles: " I like what I'm listening no matters what. " ) :
The original paper capacitors in your radio will likely be in a brown paper tubular case (sometimes coated with wax).
Old paper/wax capacitors are one of the most unreliable parts in an old radio. Don't let "molded" paper capacitors fool you. They are just paper capacitors in plastic cases and are just as unreliable as the ones coated in wax . """
Paper-wax? is something used 70 long years ago. Go figure ! ! 70 years and we are really satisfied with the boutique caps that use those same characteristics and guess what: today we have ( for the audiophiles that touted almost everything. ) boutique fuses with bee-wax and I'm sure that the ones that bought or buy it will post somewhere that are something outstanding.