V-Cap CuTF .22 on Gain Tubes-- Primaluna Dialogue HP Integrated


I'm about a week into swapping out the Mundorf MCap EVO SilverGold capacitors located on the two innermost gain preamp tubes in a Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated.  

These were a bit above what I'd normally spend on such a tweak, but hey, we people spends hundreds and thousands on cables, treatments, etc.  And, I had ordered them for another project and decided to use MIFLEX (Polish caps) in that amp.  So, returning the V-Caps was too much work.  Confession--no it wasn't; I just wanted a $250 Christmas gift. 

One week into playing them and they are alive and dynamic.  They are clean, glowy, musical, and engaging.  They are smoother so I can push the volume up a bit with less fatigue.  They are bigger sounding in all respects.  They sound really together but not buttoned up.  I'm impressed. 

I'll spare all of us the audiophile descriptors, but instead I'll just say the words that kept popping in my head this week--"These are seductive...just keep drawing me back for more listening."  

Highly recommended. 30 minute tweak that is worth every penny. 

Now, the question is, do I go back in and upgrade the host of DuRoche caps linked to the power tube sockets and the two caps smoothing out the power supply side?  I cannot afford to do all V-Cap CuTFs throughout--nor will they fit in all places. 
jbhiller
jbhiller-
did you  get my PM with my email address? I'd like to see  a pic. Thanks.
This has been my experience as well- the V-Cap copper foil part is excellent and I've yet to encounter any annoying characteristics in it.

I would have no concerns other than space in placing them in any output section.
jbhiller-

this is encouraging info. I'd like hear for myself how  a few cap replacements can elevate an already solid amp that so many love to bash. I like to think the PL can play with the SERIOUS boxes with the right tweaks?


@tablejockey , yes, I'll try sending them again to your email.  

@atmasphere , to get that opinion from you means a lot.  You are very respected and I have learned so much from you on these forums!
https://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/20/29/20/99/img_0414.jpg
https://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/20/29/20/99/pl_dia10.jpg

The first link is the pic of the two V-Caps successfully installed. 

The second link is the pic of the PL Dialogue HP Integrated innards.  I've circled the caps that could use upgrades.  Here are the codes: 

Yellow Circles - 2 gain tubes
Pink Circles - 8 tubes linked to power tube sockets
Orange Circles - 2 tubes smoothing power side of things 
As the listening hours pass, these V-Caps sound better and better.   Perhaps, I should spring and put these on the power supply side of things too.  I know they will never fit on the tube side.  

I need to live with these for some time to assess whether it makes sense to hot rod this amp.  I'd never get the money out of it on sale, yet maybe I'd never sell it.  This is, either way, a heck of an upgrade. 
Be interesting to know if you could try the Audyn TruCopper caps. Far cheaper and they work great for me. 
I installed VCAP CuTF and OIMP in the cross overs for my Martin Logan CLX.  To say I have no complaints is an understatement.

I did burn them in for over 200hrs on my bench before installation. 
@erik_squires ,  Always good to see you here E!  

Yes, I was looking at those too.  The VCAP CuTF won't fit anywhere else--I don't think.  These were work themselves.  I'm going to see if the Audio True Copper fit.  


@erik_squires ,  

The VCAPs wouldn't fit elsewhere--other than linked to the two gain preamp tubes. So, I was looking at that Audio True Copper and AudioNote as these caps are smaller and would arguably fit.  

I ordered 8 Audyn True Copper .22uF that are linked to each power tube.  I also used 2 Audio True Copper .47uF and linked them to the massive Nichicon electrolytic caps on the power supply side.  

This was a surgery indeed!  While the Audyns are smaller than VCAPs they are still big.  I had to carefully attend to fitting them properly and I ran heat shrink over the leads where they had to be longer. 

All is good!  Whew.  Up and running.  About 2 hours in.  

Let's see if the 10 Audyns plus the 2 VCAPs can outdo the DuRoch caps that came out!

This was a ~$500 upgrade so it wasn't cheap. But, cheaper than new tube compliments and/or cables--arguably. 
All I can say so far (two hours in) is the Audyn’s have more texture on McCartney III. Let’s see how things improve.
Erik,  the Audyn True Copper are great caps.  Things are opening up quickly.  I really like what I'm hearing.  The PL is smoother and clearer than before.  It's closer to my 300B, which actually uses a touch of negative feedback and some describe as sounding clear like water.  These caps have moved things closer to that sound, but with more power, headroom and nice holographic stuff going on.  
The Vcap ODAM caps are outstanding and smaller. These should be on your radar.  I prefer them to Jupiter copper, Miflex copper and AN copper caps.  That is saying a lot! 
I'm using MiFlex copper in a preamp project I'm working on.  I haven't heard them yet.  I'm taking a chance on them.  
Those Miflex are good but ODAM are much better; realism and dimensionality are superb...
OP,
So glad you are liking the Audyns! I have toyed with the idea of a PrimaLuna integrated, and cap upgrades were high on my list.

@wig : Interesting! Their price structure is very interesting, they seem to get cheaper per uF at the high end of the spectrum, a good thing for me since I have been thinking of eventually upgrading from Clarity to Jupiter in my speakers. I may still. :)

Best,
E
A friend was producing a Valve Phonostage that was a evolving design and produced in Various Prototypes.

I supplied a set of ears to offer assessment on the SQ of the models as they evolved.

During the assessments, there was always a good impression to be on offer, and progressive alterations, such as, Power Supply Improvements and Boutique Components selectively placed, in most cases produced a
further perceivable improvement.

A later model Prototype showed a vast improvement when Z Foils were added, but as a result of a another Component Exchange, Jumped a major step forward in improved SQ. 
This happened when Miflex Copper Cap's were exchanged for
 Audyn Copper Cap's in the Circuit.
 


  
The ODAM caps after break in (100 hours is enough for most of it) make the Miflex caps sound too forward and aggressive. I use them in my customer mods now. They are much smaller in size and sound bettter! Great stuff.

They are more musically satisfying and just sound more right. 
Erik, I the topic of modifying a Primaluna, I think it’s a superb idea. You can pick up some models inexpensively and they are built like tanks.   The company did a wonderful job of layout abs features. The caps are an area that they likely had to deal with cost benefit analysis. 
I also put V-Cap CuTF between driver tube 6F6 an 300B output tube in my SET amplifier. Thank a lot to @zipost who recommended me to use V-Cap CuTF in this position. 
Even after just 30 hours they sound very good and sound is continue to improve.
I use Duelund Custom Cu between input and driver tubes in the same SET amplifier. So I try to get best from the both:
Duelund (a real, natural tone and vocals) and Vcap (bass, extensions, clarity, dynamic, transparency).
Regards,
Alex
Duelund tinned copper CAST caps are the best sounding caps ever made in my humble opinion. They are amazing. 
Does anybody try these capacitors?
Duelund JDM Tinned Copper Foil Capacitor
https://www.hificollective.co.uk/catalog/1-5uf-duelund-jdm-tinned-copper-600vdc.html
Are they sound close to Custom series or to RS series?
Looks like you're making some progress there, jbhiller.

I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions after you've completed the project. I'd like to know which make the most noticeable change. I will likely just change those 2 or whatever, rather than a change and lets see, approach. The power supply  supposedly has been addressed with the AC offset feature, so I'm wondering if replacing anything there is money well spent? 

$500-700 doesn't seem out of line, considering what we spend in this hobby. I just dumped $1500 on a set of wheels for my bicycle-they were the "budget" model! They replaced worn out, $2K +plus models with "fancy" bearings.

What would be nice is getting ahold of the schematic and someone knowledgeable to determine which areas are indeed "weak". I'd like to think just because a component is inexpensive, it doesn't mean it necessarily warrants replacing it with a pricey one.

The PL cant be that far off from "super amp" status. It just needs the right areas tweaked.