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Each capacitor is hand built and sold in very small quantities.
I have been very lucky and have been privy to capacitor comparisons done at a speaker maker I know. He has 4 levels in his speakers - Erse - Erse bypassed with Duelund VSF Copper - VSF Copper and Cast. You can easily hear the difference with each level - its an increase in speed, clarity and naturalness.
I heard comparisons of two speakers both exactly the same except one used Mundorf SIO and the other Duelund VSF Copper. I listened to Patti Smith - Gloria with the Mundorf's - her voice was low, arresting and guttural - you go wow - but it did not sound like a normal female voice. Then the Duelund - it was not as arresting or as guttural, it sounded more recessed, you think its not as good as the Mundorf - but you notice its more natural and faster - things sound more life like. You go back to the Mundorf and you realize its false.
Forget the Silver - its a personal preference thing - some love Silver others like me don't like it - unless you really love what Silver does save your money and get copper. The speaker maker I know has checked it all out and doesn't even offer silver as an option - if you asked him he would build you one as a special order but at a much greater cost and you may not even like it - many, possibly even most, don't.
Regarding cost the Cast version of the speaker the manufacturer I know costs $13.5k. Expensive - yes - but there are many many much more expensive speakers out there. Personally I have not heard a speaker even close to that speaker regardless of cost.
I love my silver IC and speaker cables, excellent tone and resolution. The
copper CAST is an extention of this quality. They are utterly natural and
realistic just as bill said.They took my speaker and DAC from very good to
simply a superb level of sound quality with their installation.You can't go
wrong with this wonderful capacitor. I see no problem using the copper
version with silver wired component s what so ever.Seems a good
combination to me.The silver CAST may be better but I''ll say the copper
CAST will likely out perform any other capacitor.
I have been using Duelund products since 2006. In that time I have tried VSF Cu, VSF Black Cu, Cast Cu, and Cast SIlver. Each time I moved up the Duelund line the sonics improved. When I finally tried the Silver Cast it was hard for me to get my head around the price.
When I finally took the leap I was well rewarded. Going from the VSF Cu to Cast Cu is a very obvious improvement. Going from a Cast Cu to a Cast Ag is as obvious.
Most associate silver with being thin or bright. My experience confirms this if it is stranded silver wire in a teflon dielectric. Duelund uses silver foil, this is why the cost is high because foil is expensive to manufacture, and it does not have any of these traits. I used Dulund silver on the LF first and the improvement was more definition in the bass, greater weight, and more speed. Notes do not hang longer than they should and have a natural decay. Going back to copper it almost seems the bass is bloated after using the silver.
I use Duelund Ag wire inside the speaker and this was a substantial upgrade. Check in with Volleyguy as I instructed him what I did and he did the same regarding the internal wiring. Our findings were almost identical.
I have Scan Speak Revelator drivers in my speakers. With the Duelund Xover and internal wiring they pair very well together. I call them the Denmark connection.
The one area that is not discussed that much is Duelund inductors. For me they are the real value in the Duelund lineup. You have not heard a black background until you try them. You will hear more ambient infomation with them in. They improve all frequencies. However, in the LF in series with the bass driver you will hear things that you never did.
The caveat with Duelund is their size. They are BIG ASS. If you are interested I have numerous Duelund caps lying around and can send a photo of them compared to a V Cap, Clarity MR, Jupiter HT, Mundorf Supreme Siler/Gold.
These caps are dwarfed next to the Duelund.
I agree. The Cast Cu are an exceptional cap. I mentioned Ag because the question was asked concerning the silver.
The question I did not answer was will Cast Cu mate well with Ag wire. That depends on the silver wire. I have never used dc10audio silver wire so I have no comment.
I went to dc10audio website and read that they design their speakers like musical instruments. To the point that they use tonewood. They believe in a resonating speaker box but choose, as their top cap choice, a Duelund Cast that has been designed to do the opposite. Staying with the theme of material used (tonewood) for musical instruments, the Duelunds uses the metal (copper and silver alloy) of musical instruments. It seems odd they did not choose a cap that resonated to go along with their speaker.
I'm not deliberately trying to be antagonistic. The two seem contrary to one another and from my experience this is where you start to throw more money into a system than what is needed.
Thanks for your detailed write-up. Strange your experience with Silver is different to the maker I know. I don't really know why - maybe its the ribbon speaker wire he makes and uses internally - just a thought.
He has tried their inductor's as well - very good - but finds the inductor's he hand winds from 10 or even 8 gauge wire has the edge. Evidently he was mentored in his early speaker building days by George Short who impressed on him the need for loose hand winding from thick gauge copper wire and has found nothing better.
The much under appreciated product in the Duelund range he reckons is the Cast resistor and I have been fortunate to hear why. He had some late prototype speakers where one speaker had the Cast resistor and another a Mundorf because he was waiting on delivery of some more Cast. It was a joke - the speaker with the Mundorf sounded muffled - as if a blanket had been placed over the speaker. I asked why - he attributes it to their negative temperature coefficient. In fact I couldn't listen to the pair and asked if I could come back when they both had the Cast. When I returned a few days later it was like I was listening to an entirely different setup - it was no longer disjointed with one speaker sounding muffled.
Regarding size they are HUGE. The speaker the guy I know is building for me will have external crossovers and they are nearly as big as the speaker - in fact he has plans for an Isobaric 5.5 inch mini monitor and the external crossover will be a lot bigger than the speaker with Duelund Cast and 8 gauge loose wound inductor's - wild - can hardly wait to hear them.
That is what makes this hobby so interesting. It is not so much what we agree upon, based on our personal experience. Instead it is the different views and experiences we have.
There are so many variables with silver and copper that effects the outcome. Most of the ribbon copper or silver I have experienced is spring temper. Using an H02 soft annealed would be a good place to start. I am not a metallurgist but having the right material to start with is essential.
I have had my own custom silver ribbon wire made to my spec's. With a little supervision of course.
I have used 8 awg North Creek (George Short) inductors on numerous occasions. I still have some laying around. However, they were noisy compared to the Duelunds. I have custom wound 8awg Cast Duelund inductors that were the same value as the North Creek 8 awg. Comparing them side by side all four of us who were evaluating chose the Duelund.
North Creek inductors are my second choice.
I agree with your comment regarding the Cast resistors and yes they are the best value. I was mentioning the inductors because they bring so much to the table and yet there is hardly any ink about them.
I love custom speaker projects. You have no limitations but your imagination and ability. When you have it build please send me some photos.
I will send off some audio porn when time permits.
Actually the combination makes sense to me.It seems the speaker designer wants to voice his cabinet(similar to say Ocellia or Tonian Lab approach).The choice of various wood(spruce or cedar) and its generous use indicates this is what they want to be heard. You`d want no competing(interference) resonant signature from your capacitor to mess things up with this carfully planned cabinet construction. If that`s the case then the CAST would be ideal as it would have minimal interfering resonance and be near inert in character(remain natural).The chosen tonewood is then allowed to be 'heard' as intended.My guess anyway.I have the copper CAST capacitors in my speaker crossover and also in my Yamamoto DAC. The undeniable sonic character that improved was even a more natural-organic presentation.The sound simply became more life-like real and emotionally involving.The tonal reproduction of human voice and acoustic instruments is breathtaking.Prior to the CAST installation it was merely "very good".I imagine this designer did extensive listening to many different capacitors and realized the CAST was better than the rest.He probably did the same for wire selection(silver would be my top option also).I`d guess this speaker sounds really good.
Easy choice for us!
Duelund makes such beautiful products we are so proud to offer them and they are such a natural fit for us...you can tell that every capacitor is hand made with incredible care and skill. The fast clean inert nature of them make them perfect for us we've tried every cap made and usually find that going up in price nets you zero to a point..Not the case with the Duelund CAST you pay they deliver!
PS: The silver though very expensive is even better provided you couple it with the very best drivers and system.
That was my initial thought but thinking upon it further I interpreted their design philosophy to be literal. That led me to think if you want the wood to resonate, then like musical instruments, the metal must also.
An appropriate analogy would be if a chef was going to create a dessert to be like a Reese's peanut butter cup. Once the chef stated his objection, the expectations of those who are to sample/taste the dessert are already formed before they sample.
If the chef chose to leave out peanut butter, then the dessert is not going to meet the expectations of those who sample or taste it. If the chef simply stated he would make a dessert for them and used chocolate, as the main ingredient, then most likely those who sample it will like it.
As chocolate and peanut butter are to Reese's, tonewood and copper alloy are to musical instruments. You remove one it negates the whole.
Most likely I'm over thinking it but you get where I am coming from.
Hi Again Jeffrey
I didn't want to give any links to the speakers I was talking about since I don't want any accusation of spruiking, schilling or anything like that.
But they are Lenehan Audio on the Gold Coast in Australia and are close to where I live. I go down there all the time to hear their gear and own quite a bit of it. Of course that makes me biased so when I talk about their stuff I like full disclosure.
The custom speaker I am getting made is a variant of the following:
The difference is mine will use HD3 instead of MDF, have external crossovers, have even more bracing and a special star grounding wiring harness that will dock straight onto monoblocks at the rear of the speaker.
Here is some pictures of the crossover in my current speakers: