Maxgain, my experience is not exactly applicable as it was not a test on Audio Research, but may help you.
When Counterpoint was still in business I owned the Elliott Magnum Opus Phono, an evolved version of the Counterpoint SA9. It came from the factory with the older WonderCaps with the white wrapper.
I was offered the chance to do a little experimentation for them and returned the unit three times for cap upgrades.
End result was that the newest InfiniCaps (the ones that have the rough textured surface near the lead exit), was by far the best sound.
When Aesthetix was experimenting with caps I mentioned the InfiniCap to Jim White and after experimenting this was the cap chosen for the Signature version of the Io and Callisto.
This cap and the other Aesthetix upgrades are responsible for my moving out of my old Io (and soon), my Callisto, to purchase the Signature versions.
Perhaps you already know this, but this is another Peter Moncrief design, like the TRT Wonder solder. I consider it one of the finest caps in use in high end audio.
Thanks Albert, I have always thought that of anyone out there reviewing audio, I have tended to agree with Peter Moncrief more often than not.
I was aware that this cap is his creation, which seems to follow my patern. I am thrilled with the sound of the 9(not mkII or III) with these caps installed. I did it about 4 years ago and may take it a bit further at some point. A friend has a Mk III(which uses the MultiCap) version that I will at some point compare mine to just a benchmark.
There must be more of you out there that have done some upgrades or experimentation. Anyone put them in an SP15?, an LS7? a Classic 60? VT60???
Hello, I have an SP 9 MKIII modified by Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound. The difference between the stock version and mine is night and day. He did all the mods available to mine and I'm embarassed to say that I didn't bother to find out the names of all the parts.I suggest that you go to his web site and there you will be able to contact him and get the truth about how a SP 9 can sound and what it takes. He also did mods on my Music Reference RM 9 MK II. Now I can listen to music and forget about the system almost. I say almost because I love the hobby and want to stay abreast of whats out there. Thanks audiogon.
I have the ls 7 with the infinicap upgrade.. I switched from another ls7 for 2 reasons,, the caps and the silver face i wanted. The sound is much more 3 dimensional and the bottom end became much more accurate..
I have yet to switch the pc on the unit yet... but it is in the works..
The ARC gear works well with the infinicaps...
I also upgraded the tubes to a set of 1970 sovteks from upscale audio..
again, a wonderful upgrade.
I love the preamp..
Par3n1, thanks. The web site says very little but I understand the Steve does great work. Please tell me, if you are able or willing, every think you can about what was done and If I may ask what it cost? I love the sound of mine now but am sure that there is more I can get from it. The sound with the InfiniCaps is more realistic in many ways. But as I mentioned there is still the matter of the stock fixed power cord for starters. I have liked the sound of the CPCC units and can envision what that may do for the system.
Can you give me a list of the InfiniCap values and voltages in your LS7, if I remember right there are only 4 of them on the board. A friend of mine has an LS7 and is interested in trying the InfiniCaps in his. Thanks for the reply.
Re: Steve Huntley...... he is the type of person who likes to talk with his potential customers.
Give him a call. He will be more than happy to discuss his work and how it can improve your specific unit.
First was the power supply and an iec connection. The power supply mod took away what I thought was the brightness with the sp9 while leaving the incredible detail. I know caps were replaced and I am not sure where. Steve could give you all this info. I only use the phono section of the preamp and I know he did some mods in that area and finally he did the attenuator. That made a huge difference with the openess and three dimentionality. MOre air also. As far as cost I suggest that you talk to Steve about that as I did this work piece meal, cost me shipping up the ----- but that is the way it is. Steve is a great guy to deal with and the results are worth every penny. Oh the very last thing I did was to put 7308 tubes , nos Siemens and Steve set the voltage to match the tubes. Good choice of tubes.
Hope this helps and I strongly suggest that you talk to Steve if you have a serious interest in mods to your SP9.
I finnaly got around to putting an iec on my 9 today. What a nerve wracking procedure. Cutting strange holes in the back of your gear can give you sweaty palms. I did some initial listening with a better cord(I used the cord from my CD player and listened to the turntable) and I think the results are going to be real good.
Thanks for your responces!
The Infiniti caps are very good, but you might find you can get more out of the ARC unit by rewiring the signal paths as well as I did years ago with some ARC units. The new caps will likely be smoother and you can go with internal wiring that will allow more information through as well....
Please give me more impressions on your 9 after you got the iec installed. I've been contemplating installing one on my CA50, but the procedure seems like a pain in the arse. Is the stock cord bottlenecking the performance of your system compared to after you got the iec? I might ship it to Steve Shuntely to get it done along with upgrading the amp. But his mods are a bit mucho dinero for my blood...
Cresendo caps from North Creek Music Systems are my favorites in most applications, including speakers, and tube equipement..
Rcrump. What hookup wire did you try?
Viggen, I am not done evaluating it yet but initially I think that the IEC is going to let me take the unit to a new level. As I only have one aftermarket cord right now, I use it on my CD2, I put it on the 9 and I listened to the TT. It did everything that the cord did for my CD player. It has better extension as well as smoothness and a more realistic presentation of space. The sound seems to just flow in a more relaxed way and it does seem to be spooky quiet now. Yes cutting a hole is a major stress event. It starts when you cut the power cord off, man you are commited to doing something now! What does Great Northern charge for an IEC? I will know more about the potential when I get an even better cord for the CD and use my current one for the 9. By the way, Viggen how did it turn out with your CA50? Did the dumb ass that sold it to you with EL-34's help you out on the repair? As I said before that CA did belong to a friend of mine who sold it to the dufas you bought it from. I am not done with the 9 yet, TRT has a brand new cap called the DynamiCap that I am trying to find out more about. Could get even more interesting. It is suposed to be even better that the InfiniCap. I may be trying a few hear and there.
That Dufus is missing in action. I don't even see him on Audiogon anymore, and he used to be an avid contributor. The CA is in perfect shape now. Gary Garfield of Musical Fidelity did a great job restoring it to as new condition. He is adamant against me using NOS tubes tho. And, I asked him to install an IEC on it, but he didn't really want to do it unless I REALLY want to. Apparently it is a pain in the arse as you know. I talked to Steve at GNS a few times, but I never approached him regarding the IEC. We just talked about his packaged modification for the CA which includes lots and lots of stuff. But the price is a bit steep for my blood...
Was there a reason you didn't have ARC do the repair to the CA? The iec thing took me most of the day to complete. It looks like it came from the factory with it. I can see why it might be expensive or why some might not want to get involved. It is possible to just end up with a big ugly hole in the back of what would be otherwise a nice amp. Did you try to contact Bobgates thru member look up?
Maxgain, it has been a while and just visited the garage and the old SP3A-1 and see I used Wonder Wire for signal grounds, 22awg 99.9999 silver/w teflon for signal and some aircraft quality 18ga silver plated OFC w/special teflon (the kind that doesn't get brittle at low temps in aircraft) for DC, filaments and B+.....Had SP6s, SP-11s and SP-15s and they went away whereas the old SP3A-1 stays here as a reference.....Nice old piece that will beat up most anything made today in a number of ways.....
My brother still has a 3a1. I used it in my system for a while years ago back in the 70's. It's a classic is every sense of the word. I have had the SP5, 8 and 9.
I just rather have someone local do the job. Also, Gary is an ARC certified technician. The only one I know of in LA. Regarding dufus, I did look him up, but I gave up on pursuing it.
Let me know how the aftermarket powercords work out in the future k?
I have been told by a respected Audio Research repair expert that infinicaps were used as opposed to oil based caps. or other choices partly because of size consideratiions. That being said, I have had Classic 150 monos upgraded to infinicaps by ARC. I am pleased with the results. It is not a radical difference, but the music sounds more dynamic. I still prefer this unit to newer models.
Jwin are the VT series amps less tube like to your ear? I have a VT50 but have never heard the Classic60. The VT works very well in my system(uses 1/2 the output tubes as well) and I like the SS like bass controll. I have a med size room with a speaker system that can generate alot of bass energy. I had a VT60 prior to this amp amd it had a bit of an overly warm mid bass hump that didn't work as well for the combo. The bass is very layered and smooth with the VT. ARC has made many great sounding units over the years and if you have something you like keep it and enjoy, as I have done with my SP9, I just tweek it here and there along the way as you did with the 150's.
Maxgain, the Classic 150s have fet inputs and 6550C outputs. The solid state inputs help provide for considerably enhanced base compared to most other tube amplifiers. I haven't looked into updating the imput fets.
Hi everyone, With all the good press I'm reading on the Infini Caps would someone steer me in the direction on purchasing them. I went to a link via stereophile but alas no connection. I plan on upgrading my AE-3 from the stock kimbers. Thanks to all.
South43, www.partsconnexion.com, they seem like good guys, but before you buy InfiniCaps check into the new and said to be improved DynamiCap also made by TRT. parts conneXion carries both. You can get 25% off on the InfiniCaps right now which will save you some cash, but if the DynamiCap is even better I would love to hear them in some of my gear.
Thanks Max, I usally get email from them once and awhile. I check them out to see what's hot. Thanks again
I have the Infinicaps mod in my VT130 and it seems to be faster and more transparent. I would never sell mine.
Captpenny, did you install them yourself?