I did. Can't tell a difference.
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Installing these was one of the first tweaks I tried along with isolation and power conditioning. Not to mention the interconnect and speaker cable changes I've gone through. Possibly 10 to 20 upgrades in the last two months. And you know what? There have been so many, I can't even tell what difference most of them made.
The only difference I can be sure of was the change my new speaker cables and speakers made. And the best I can say is that the cummulative effects have been very good. I just wish I knew which products actually helped. Now I'll have to take them out one by one just to be sure.
The only contribution I can be sure the Cardas Caps have given me is "peace-of-mind", and "Oooh, those are cool looking". Or maybe that should be "delusion-of-mind".
In Discover Magazine they once ran an article on the reason why pizzas stay hot so long. They said it was because the tomato sauce was good at trapping and retaining heat. Maybe I'll stick a couple slices on my amp.
Gunbei, I like your response. The scientific method is too much for me too. I think a lot of it is just "peace of mind". I had a $1000 Essense Power Distributer at one time. I still don't know if there was an audible difference with it. I did like knowing, however, that all that RFI wasn't getting into my system.
It would be somewhat surprising if the caps made a large sonic difference in any system. It would imply that you live in a horrendous RF polluted environment. I use the product and I cannot honestly say I heard a positive sonic difference. At the same time I can say that the Cardas caps did not screw up the sound of my system -- which is more than I can say about some other tweaks I've recently tried. At a little over $2 a cap, if the only thing they do is keep the unused connectors free of dust, I think they're a reasonable value.
The homemade version helps. It reduces noise level tremendously. Yes, I live in a horrendous RF polluted environment, NYC. Even when people walking in the room, the noise level changed, NOT ANYMORE!
It all began 3 months ago when I installed my preamplifier into my system. The annoy HUM jumped out from speakers! Moved cable TV to the other room and cheated all, except one, plugs, the noise was reduced but still noticeable. Last week, tried to cover all unused RCA connectors with surplus interconnect cables without connecting to anything. I AM PACIFIED AT LAST.
I am open to any suggestion(s). But if you have the same problem as I did, try inexpensive surplus interconnect cables that come with TV set or DVD player for temporary solution first before spending money on Cardas RCA cap.
Hi Dekay, maybe you should buy one set at a time as I did. I only need one more to be complete. It is nice to know that no gunk can get in those rca connections, and the slight hum I still have in my system was reduced about 50%, so I considered that a bonus. Maybe the last set will make a difference. I'll post back here when I get them. I just ordered them, and expect them in about 5 days. I know that if I took the say... $150 total cost of 4 sets that I could probably get something that makes a more obvious difference, but purchasing them one set at a time, I hardly notice the expenditure. That Musical Fidelity amp is a class piece. Treat it to a nice, new, shiny new cap.
They are a nice cosmetic detail (visual aid comment is good), should do no sonic harm - possibly some tiny bit of good. I never expected to hear a difference and they didn't provide any. Usually the backside of audio gear sucks both from a RFI design and looks point of view. For me, it's more like the satisfaction I get in detailing something own to make it look just a lttle better and more mine. Hey, I love detailing my car too. These are impluse expendatures - like candy - too much is bad for you.
When I take off two caps and insert a new component it is still nice to know that there is no extra dust and grime build up inside. Since my rack is 2 feet from a window in NYC I have come to appreciate anything that I don't have to dust or polish twice a week.These things are very easily removed, and don't fall off when brushed by. Perhaps those of us who didn't hear any, or much difference already have a reasonably low RFI problem, and these caps may still help those that have more severe problems, as in a few cases here.
Bmpnyc: Yes, I live in the LA area. We keep an open place (no air conditioning) and the air gunk covers everything (even dishes in closed cupboards). I never thought of putting anything on the unused inputs/outputs until I heard of the Caps. I cannot even see the back of any of my components, but feel better knowing that sticky air stuff is not coating the unused connections (it just makes sense, no matter what you use). Clean contacts are a must for good sound. I cannot believe the improvement in sound when I clean the pins on signal tubes (I have had noisy tubes become silent again, just from this).
Thanks Dekay, I hadn't thought of cleaning tubes since I don't have any at the moment, but my friend just moved and his tubes for his VAV amp desperately need cleaning. How do you clean tours? Should I clean them the same way as the tips of an interconnect, or just a little alcohol rub? I have been using the little handy wipe type cleaner that XLO makes, and an air gun. It seems to do a good job. Haven't been to L.A. for a while now, but always have a good time when I do get there. I guess it comes down to price. I think most everyone would prefer the caps to other home grown methods if they were say...$6 a dozen.
I just use electrician's alcohol and cotton swabs if the pins are in good condition (also clean the globe with the alcohol). If the the pins are not in good shape I lightly use very fine emery cloth (think that's the name of it) and then follow up with the alcohol. Be very carefull if the pins are gold plated. I would like to try out the Kontak, but still have not purchased it. I just had my amp cleaned and spec'd, but will need to get some brushes (or maybe pipe cleaners?) for the tube sockets as I change tubes quite often.
Cornfed have you read in your Accuphase manual where it tells you to NOT use contact cleaner on interior jack connections? They advise that cleaning solvents could deteriorate pc board resins at the connection point. This being the case, it's certainly nice that those plastic dust caps are at least included. While I can see their point regarding RCA center-pins bonded directly to board traces, this doesn't seem to be such an issue with XLR in's & out's. I Kontact only my cable's connectors, XLR pins & RCA ground sleeves (on the pre, when connecting to RCA inputs) & the IEC power prongs. I haven't read any such cautions regarding possible deterioration of board-resins within any other manufacturer's gear, but certainly this could be an issue & takes the utilization of dust caps from 'tweak' to 'necessity' regardless of their material composition.