The author is a very good friend of mine. I'm not sure why his name is not used in the article; he's only referred to in references like "him", etc. I'll ask him if he wanted things this way, or if it's OK for me to mention his name here on Audiogon.
Again, as he states, one should take the evaluation in the context it was performed - in a high end audio preamplifier. The capacitors used in other applications (such as a loudspeaker crossover) can yield different results.
Overall, I must state the obvious - it's probably the definitive guide to capacitors put forth in the hobby. He certainly deserves all the credit we can give him - BRAVO!!!
I love the way he describes his feelings about getting scooped by Salvatore! Is he the mad scientist type?
Great review!! I guess all the talk I heard about the V-cap is true.
Thanks for the link! outstanding !
Here are a few other good comparisions of caps. They deal with crossovers.
Nice review. I have saved it for when I might find some flex-time of my own to study it.
I thought the review was interesting, but honestly, when you look at the bottom line, TFTF V-caps are ridiculously expensive. A pair of 1.0 uF/600VDC will run you $440. A pair of 3.3 uF cost $1200. Yes, I know there are some people who can afford cost-no-object caps, but most of us can't - including manufacturers. Don't mistake the V-caps in this review for the cheaper line of oil impregnated metallized polypropylene (OIMP). They aren't the same. It would have been useful if the author reviewed them, but he didn't. The 10audio site (mentioned by Irish65) compares the OIMP V-caps, but the reviewer is different and so are the conditions.
Here's an excellent site for capacitor info and recommendations:
If you ever need an honest unbiased opinion about what cap to use for a given application, Jeff at Sonicap is an incredible resource. The guy knows more about caps than anyone I've talked to. He's very generous with his time and he's a super nice fellow to boot. Not once did he push Sonicaps on me while I was interested in other brands.
Given that my linestage uses the V-caps and my Audionote monoblocs use their silver caps, I should be in agreement with the ratings.
But, even if we could all agree on what constitutes "best" sonic results, which parts best achieve that result would depend entirely on particular design and implementation. I've heard the result of people pulling caps chosen by a particular designer and replacing them with supposedly superior Blackgates; it was not good.
This review does provide some support for the notion that parts are not just parts and the choice of particular parts make a difference. It also shows that in the particular design of linestage, certain specific parts were preferred by the reviewer. But this experience can hardly be generalized further.
However, what is useful if other designers and DIY folk chime in so that a whole body of experience can be evaluated. For this reason, I think this "review" is an interesting start.
Larry, I couldn't agree more. Capacitors can't be evaluated in a vacuum. This review is definitely a positive contribution to the community. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. The author had a task at hand. He outlined it clearly and added the usual caveats.
My gripe isn't with the review per se. My issue is with expensive components in general. I'd like to see more reviews deal with cost-to-performance ratios. I know this wasn't his objective, but I think the majority of audiophiles want this kind of information - even if it's subjective and opinionated. Tech specs will never be able to describe detail, spaciousness, transparency or soundstage. We will always rely on other people's perceptions to make our decisions. Very few people have the means to do the AB comparisons.
I also want to add that capacitors are something of a dark art. It's hard to understand them even when you have good information. This is true with most audio components, but it's particularly difficult when you're trying to identify the sound characteristics of a component so far upstream. The test conditions are critically important. The same person has to do the testing with the same system. This is why I wish he had evaluated the OIMP V-caps. It would have been incredibly useful to the larger audio community.
I must apologize for not submitting this post sooner, but I spoke to my friend in regards to this thread Sunday, and the fact that his name does not appear in this article was his choosing. He is a really busy person, and simply did not want the headaches associated with dealing with others suffering audiophilia nervosa.
On a personal level, he is definitely not the "mad scientist" type; but one always attracted by the road less traveled. Often, he'll complain that whatever his most recent obsession was (and looked terrific on paper) didn't turn out the way he hoped. That being said, I consistently tell him to view these experiences as positive ones, where his perspective has been broadened, as well as the depth of his knowledge and experience.
Well put, Joe.
I've been reading those reviews several times over recently, driving myself crazy. I've talked to some very smart people and all agree swapping out caps is far, far more system dependent than switching interconnects or even tube rolling.
My preamp uses the Mundorf Supreme Caps -- and a very large size, well above the max for the V-Cap. So does simply jumping up to the Mundorf Supreme Gold mean an improvement? Possibly.
John, I encourage you to talk to Jeff at Sonic Craft. He's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to capacitors and circuit design. You won't be disappointed.
I got some Mundorf silver/oil caps for my integrated amp and I just ordered some V-caps. I'm very anxious to hear the differences.
I received a favorable review of Mundorf Silver/Gold who compared them to V-Caps and preferred the Mundorfs as couplers. After chatting with Mundorf about the differences between Silver/Oil and Silver/Gold, I installed the Silver/Gold in the phono stage of my Atma-Sphere MP-1. These are fine coupling caps-- detailed, neutral, and extended, to my ears exhibiting no shortage of bass or dynamics as remarked upon in the 21 Cap review. Also the Silver/Gold may be preferred over the Silver/Oil in the hot climate of some tube amps (the Silver/Gold is rated to 85 degrees C as compared to 50 degrees C for the Silver/Oil.) In any case, there are lots of fine caps in this review, and while I'm as lunatic as the next 'goner I just couldn't justify the price of V-Caps.
Does anyone have experience with a V-cap OIMP( oil impregnated) as a preamp output cap and have you also tried bypassing that cap with a smaller V-cap teflon cap?
I have the OIMP's(4 ea)in my dac and was told by the designer to bypass with .01 TFTF's. Has anyone compared the TFTF to Jensen Four-pole to Mundorf's? I have six more caps to replace and was wondering what to choose.
Is it advisable to mix-n-match different brands of caps? I have Jensens' for the the PSU, OIMPS for tube output.
Wondering how the V-cap TFTF will perform in a XO tweeter circuit. Any experience anyone?
I would like to hear from users of the V-cap who have put in an OIMP version and bypassed that with a smaller V-cap teflon.