I have no experience with either of those brands, but if you love the speakers, and you can afford them, check out the Mundorf silver oil caps. They are 20% off at Sonic Craft right now, and they are great.
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The Mundorfs are slightly better than the Clarity CAP SA.. The SA's are a little flat, and exagerrated in some balance details, more compressed sound... This will totally depend on the application, some equipment can be better with one or the other, but in this case the mundorf Silver/oil is a bit better, but at a cost obviously.
The best cap out of all of them and nearly equal to the best duelunds are the Clarity cap MR's.. However they are even more expensive than the Mundorfs best, but they are better than any of the mundorfs if you want solid dynamics, super smooth distortion free, and the best bass.
Auricaps the yellow ones I believe are just copies of the kimber caps, same manufacture, they both are not good to me from past uses, and are now overpriced, 5 years ago you could get them for 3 to 10 bucks a cap, they are like 5 times the price now just from popularity created over the name and being in a few hi end companies components pushing them as a "Upgrade"...
Any further updates on the Claritycap MR performance characteristics? I now have about 350 hours on mine in the outputs of my preamp and they seem to continue to relax, open up and allow the music to flow through. As close to sounding like "no cap" that I've yet heard in this position. I am very impressed and pleased with this new Claritycap MR line. That 2-year research and development program ICW did on these was well worth their time and financial investment, imho. (O:
Thats the exact same application I first heard them in.. A Tube Pre output cap, 1 uF stereo pair. Excellent from day one, trounced the Auricaps originally in the unit, and all that followed, the Jantzens, the top line Mundorfs etc... Nothing wrong with them, and the bass(low frequency) foundation of these in a full range application like that is just scary!
I have sinced put them in for a friend similar application, same excellent results, and re-fitted a cheap MC phono stage with them that made it go from a 300 dollar sounding unit to a 5000 dollar sounding unit! I mean in a phono and simple tube preamp there is not much else there accept the absolute quality of the tube and caps, so you can really work wonders with these simple designs.
Regarding frequency response to the "stratosphere", I will add that when I went back in to make further mods to my crossover, I removed a .01uf/200V Russian teflon bypass cap that I had been using across Claritycap MR in the tweeter section-- and noticed slightly less HF extension & air. I'm going to run in the solder some more and then try reintroducing that small teflon bypass cap.
Actually it was the .015uf/200V FT-1 that I was using to bypass MR in tweeter. From what I can tell, the 1/2/3 suffixes in the NOS Russian FT- series are used to distinguish between voltage and capacitance values. In construction and performance the three models in the series seem about the same. There is also a lesser teflon series(K-72?).
"I've yet to hear a single output coupling cap that beats out a well experimented combination of caps."
Reb1208 (Threads | Answers)
On the other hand, in my preamp outputs, I've yet to hear any combination of caps that beats out a single cap of equal performance. (O:)
My mistake. I just checked, indeed the .015uf cap I am using in signal path is a FT-1 .015uf/200v(not FT-2-no such thing) Interesting is that I also have these FT-1 in .022uf/200v but prefer the .015uf.
In fact I prefer the Russian FT-1 .01uf Teflon caps to other Teflon caps: AuraT, V-Cap, Rel-Cap, Pentacap and Cardas Hybrid.
The K-72 Teflon I found to be too sharp/mechanical and unrefined sounding. Even after removing the metal case and replacing leads.
The FT-3 Teflon is fantastic in the power supply.
I have several values of the k-71 Russian polystyrene caps but have yet to find a use for them. Not impressed with the results.
Sherod, I understand that some folks have more time than others to spend on experimenting. Perhaps when you log more time, you will "hear" what is possible when the right combo is found. I'll be happy to share more with you if you are open to this "art". It is an art, but some folks just go by conventional wisdom.
Tony Gee/Humble HiFi seems to be the only widely read reviewer of exotic caps who also tests caps for benefits accruing from .01uf bypass. In most cases he finds bypassing preferable(particular in crossover), and for this purpose he likes cheap Vishay MKP caps. I have not compared these Vishays to Russian FT-1, but I doubt that the Vishays can equal NOS Russian teflon in such applications. However, one cannot use bypass caps to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. In my crossover, Claritycap MR without bypass easily surpassed stock cryoed Hovland with teflon bypass.
Reb, .1uf K-71 styrenes bypassed with .01uf FT-1 teflon sound damn good in PS around DAC and analog section of my CDP. However I have not compared this arrangement to much else.
I agree with Tom's assessment. Maybe bypassed caps can work in a speaker cross-over or in a power supply when properly done, but in a signal path, used full range, as in a preamp output coupler, I also hear these time and phase errors. In initial listening tests, your brain can be fooled into thinking you're getting better sound with usually an appearance of better highs, but ultimately my ears tell my brain that something isn't natural with this bypass arrangement and when the single cap is alone, my ear thanks me for getting rid of this annoying phase and time shift phenomenon. YMMV and IMHO, as usual.
Again, it is an art as to avoid the perception of time/phase shift when bypassing signal path. In fact, in my pre-amp I use 3 output caps. The art is to make the sound that passes thru them come out as whole. One trick I use is to make a mechanical connection between very short(1/4") capacitor leads and then solder. For the .015UF Teflon bypass cap, I use a longer length Auric copper lead. I have never been successful with .01UF bypass caps in the signal path ( .01uf was a typo in previous post). The combination I use in my preamp is base cap 5.0UF, second cap .22UF, third cap .015UF. In my cd player I use base cap 2.0UF bypassed with .015UF FT-1 Teflon.
In conclusion, not only have I heard phase time shift from bypassing signal path capacitors, I've also learned how to eliminate it.
BTW, I've read every single capacitor blog on the internet. Including Tony G, Tempo electric, V-Cap test, Capacitor Orgy etc.
I'm kinda like the guy you scratch your head in bewhilderment at. You know, the one that makes his own interconnects and power cords. Fixes his own cars, has the greenest lawn, sides his own house etc etc etc. All by myself, self taught.