VH Audio Vcaps

First listening session with Vcaps in Cayin phono stage tonight. Within 15 minutes listening to music rather than analyzing sound.

Its not often I'm blown away by equipment and/or mods, this is an exception! I won't even go into detail on improvements in this post, suffice to say these caps are damn good! And I've heard a lot of caps. For all the modders out there, you've got to try these caps, they have a deservedly high reputation.
Thanks for the news/testimony. I've often wondered if the V-caps were hype. Chris has done a stellar job marketing them as the Holy Grail. What other caps have you evaluated? Have you had a chance to hear any Russian FT-3's? I wonder how they compare.
Mingles, I've evaluated in various components, the Auricaps, Hovland MusiCaps, Multicap PPMFX, Black Gate Rubycon, and various other cheaper caps. Will soon be evaluating Mundorf Silver/Oils in my DAC.

At this point the V-cap is noticeably superior to the others, price be damned. I don't think the law of diminishing returns holds here. The Mundorfs are supposedly strong competitors to the Vcaps, we shall see.

I have not heard the Russian caps, hear a lot of good things about them, perhaps some day I'll try.

Some interesting info for prospective modders can be found at http://www.high-endaudio.com/ This has some perspective on the why's of modding equipment, also much other valuable information.
I've used them as coupling caps in all my tube gear.

The initial few hours can be a little harsh, as it burns in it gets smoother, and more detailed. Most of the change is the first 100 hours or so, but noticable improvements at 3-400 hours as well.

Its an equivalent improvement to a component change.

Look for Humble Homemade Hifi's cap test for comparison to other well known caps.

John C.
The V-Caps are astounding! I replaced the coupling caps in my BAT VK-75SE and the increase in detail and articulation was just amazing right out of the gate. Yes, they are expensive, but IMHO they are also well worth it.

Any opinions on X-over caps....in this case for my Magnepan MG1.6s.......???
Keep in mind I am not rich!
Sns, While some complain that V-Cap TFT sounds awful without long break-in, I agree with you that this point is overstated. IME TFT surpasses most everything else almost immediately, and then progresses though a long break-in cycle to relax, open up, and gain warmth.

Magfan, I'm currently breaking in Claritycap MR in a higher capacitance value for xover. This has been a nice step up from stock Hovland, and according to Tony Gee's evaluation, MR ranks closely with other top xover caps such as Mundorf & Duelund. However they are physically very large.
I've tried many of the Teflon caps on the market. The V-CAP TFT are great but the Aura-Cap TFT is as good if not better. Third place I'd rate the REL TFT, a few steps further down would be appropriate for the Russian FT-3. And in absolute last place is the Russian K-72. Yes, there are other Teflon caps to explore but I have not tried them (Solen, Modwright etc. I did try the hybrid Cardas Teflon but this cap I did not like at all.
I agree with your rating of REL TFT several steps down from V-Cap TFT. I was surprised to hear freshly installed V-Caps immediately surpass well broken-in REL TFT in my preamp. I've not yet tried Russian FT-series teflon caps in coupling positions, but have had good luck with them in bypass positions. FT-3s are physically large. For a more compact .11uf bypass cap, I've had good results with .1uf/400uf K40Y9 PIO bypassed by .01uf/200V FT-1 teflon. The steel leads of K40 should be cut off and replaced with better wire.
My Art Audio Carissa Sig. uses the Cardas Golden Ratio coupling caps. Reportedly, these have a wonderful midrange, rolled on top. When I first got this amp I did notice a bit of roll-off, with time and insertion of silver cables in various locations, this became less noticeable. Now I'm wondering whether I've just gotten used to the sound, or am I still rolling highs?

The caps would be a big hassle to change in this amp, would have to dismantle much to get to them. I'm inclined to stay put as I'm enjoying the sound.

Any thoughts on roll-off of highs with these caps?

By the way, just installed the Mundorf Silver/Oils as coupling caps in DAC today. Tonight's listening session should be interesting.
My issue with the Cardas caps is that they lack coherency, fluidity and refinement. I tried to improve upon them by experimenting with bypassing to no avail. I'm sorry, but if it were my amp I'd immediately replace them. Another cap I've had great success with as couplers is the MIT RTX styrenes. These caps ofter a certain dimensionality/depth/tactility that the teflons just can't duplicate.

Did you break in these Vcaps before you put them in your phono stage? I put a pair of Vcap TFTFs in my 300B SET amp last year. The first 200 hours were simply horrible. It was much worse than before.

After 400 hours, it became much better. Great caps.
Reb 1208, wow, I don't hear those failings. Still, until I do a direct comparison (swap out) I won't really know. I'm considering the RTX as a replacement for the PPFMX currently in my Joule pre.

Vett93, the caps have over 100 hours on them in the Cayin. If these caps are horrible now, I guess I have a lot to look forward to! I would say there is a certain lack of refinement, that may be due to the Dynavector 20xl (will be moving up to Dynavector XX-2) or cartridge alignment (soon to be recified by MintLP tractor). It could also be the caps need further break in. I also have to replace the 4 .1uf coupling caps, so it could be the remaining stock caps. Lots of suspects here.
I told Chris at VH Audio that the V in Vcaps stands for reVealing. It reveals any issue your system has.

They are amazing caps. I put them on my Counterpoint NP100 Platinum too.
Sns, I am just curious. If you have the following suspect issues:: 1. Cart alignment / 2. inadequate Cart / 3. Remaining stock caps / 4. lack of break in of new caps..
How could you ascribe anything to a particular alteration?
IMO, you need to come up with a systemic approach. I don't change but one thing at a time and than wait. The shotgun approach is very confusing.
Magfan, I'm not using a shotgun approach, I am only changing one thing at a time. This is the very reason I still have the remaining stock caps, original cartridge, cartridge alignment. I started with what I thought the weakest link, the .47uf coupling caps, the next move will be cartridge alignment, then .1uf coupling caps.

Thus far, I would say my original suspicions are absolutely correct, the .47 caps improved things immensely. Having gained so much here, my next primary suspect becomes the .1 caps. Cartridge alignment is next simply because the MintLP tractor is arriving in the next few days. I already have a handle on the sound of the vcaps in this location, further listening sessions will illuminate the attributes of proper cartridge alignment. Once I get a handle on these two things, the .1 caps will go in.

While it would be nice to have only one issue at any one time, sometimes multiple issues raise their heads. Having recently added the analog setup to my system has created multiple issues. I expect much better than I'm getting, I know I have much work ahead of me in order to get there.

I also need to make clear I've been doing mods and tweaks since I can't remember. Perhaps I'm not making myself clear, there is a plan. If you look at my virtual system, that plan may become more clear.

The digital upgrades I'm concurently undertaking are quite seperate from the analog side of things. Speaking of such, the Mundorf Silver/Oils are going to take much more breaking in. 6 hours in and things are not so good. Lack of harmonic development, forward sound, overly warm bass are the downers. Nicely improved dynamics are the upside. I am concerned about the overly warm bass, hoping break in will help in articulation. Really much too soon to say anything definitive.
For those curious about sonic merits of various caps there is a very informative discussion at [url]http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?topic=54218.0[/url]
Well,after a long wait due to equip/mfgr reliability(and support)issues,I am finally going to have a system once again,this coming weekend!
One thing I did,to make something good from an "amazingly annoying" situation was to upgrade my pre/phonostage to V-Teflon caps.This upgraded unit will arrive this week,and "hopefully" I can enjoy the hobby again!....I DID read as much info on the cap surveys as possible,and decided that after all the aggravation I'd had,why not make something good of it.Hope this is the case....excellent info from you guys.
An interesting video giving possible explanation for sonic differences in capacitors. http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=6667
I've been reading Jon L's cap comparisons at Audio Circle. It's an incredible wealth of information with many caps mentioned in detail.
Yes, the Audio Circle thread touches almost everything, including sometimes overlooked Russian teflon/PIO/silver mica, Aura, Penta Labs, a close comparison between Mundorf SIO & Silver/Gold, and interesting experiments with bypass caps. The only caveat is that Jon L seems never to have met a cap he didn't like. But I like his analogy comparing coupling caps to speakers. He seems to prefer the clarity & control of stats over the warmth of cones, and by this measure teflon caps are generally the winners.


Perhaps somebody will lend him Claritycap MR or Duelund to evaluate. As the above video explains, the marketing buzz with these new caps is special construction to minimize internal resonance.
I agree. All in all, it's the best overview I've read. It was nice he included lesser known caps like FT-3, KY40 and Penta Labs. It would be great to see some info on Claritycap and Duelund. If you search the web, you'll find very little info about them. I haven't heard most of the caps he reviewed, but IMO, Dynamicaps are an excellent bang for the buck.
I'm about 50 hrs. into 6.1uf Clarity MR in tweeters of my Merlins, which is an advance over stock Hovland Musicap. More detail & air, better layering, wider & deeper soundstage, quieter background, & less strident.
I'm curious how these new Claritycap Mr caps might work as a substitute for a pair of 4.7uf Hovland Musicaps I currently have in the outputs of my linestage tube preamp. Any suggestions? I have considered the Dueland VSF, but those, for now, are a little too much for my budget.
If you have the space inside your LS for MR, they should easily surpass Hovland. I subsequently added a .01uf teflon bypass cap to MR.
At one point in this thread there was some discussion about capacitor breakin. A good way to break in caps would be to plug them into a power strip and let them cook at 120 VAC for a few days. No fancy cable burner required. That's how I do it.
Willster, duh, I totally forgot about that. I've previously burned in caps using that method, still only good for higher voltage rated caps. Duelunds don't need burn in, sound totally natural from the get go, I can't imagine a better cap.
Is VH Audio even in buisness?
I have sent several emails the past week with NO repley.
They're fine.
Bar81, Then why dont VH respond to email?
I hate companies that you have to chase to get information.
I will spend my money elsewhere.
ime, Chris is very good at replying to e-mail. However, as with any small business, when the owner is out of town for whatever reason then you get a delay in replies. It's your call but to be fair I would say see what happens this week.
My experience with Chris is that he is often slow in answering email, this seems to be a one man operation. I've often wished for more speedy replies and a phone number. Still, he has quality products which are worth the small delays.
And not too mention he's a very honest and trustworthy guy
Mr. Dgarretson,
Please describe the break-in characteristics you heard after installing the new Claritycap MR caps in your cross-overs. Thanks.
A couple more cap links:


Sherod, while MR sounds good cold, over 100 hrs soundstage opens & cap becomes supple, relaxed, airy, and natural. I have it in tweeter above 2200 hz. After 100 hours I made other changes to the system and lost track of MR development. I have another pair of MRs coming in for woofer and will track long break-in more closely on this go-round.
Thanks, Dave. My MR caps currently have about 50 hours on them in my preamp outputs. I have previously had Vcap OIMP and Hovland Musicaps in there and so far, the break-in seems to be much gentler with the MR caps than with the others. The Hovlands and Vcaps were like a giant roller coaster ride while the MR caps are like a little kiddie-ride. The extreme frequencies have extended somewhat so far and the mids are finally starting to open up and relax a bit. I'm hoping for a little better relaxing of the MR caps with the next 50 hours on them. We'll see. By the way, I look forward to reading your impressions of the sound of the MR caps on your woofer crossover.
I just had my JADIS JS1 date uopdated with Aura-Cap's and sthealth diodes. Right out of the DAC sound was exceptional. I guess it will continue to improve!
The vh audio caps are very good but the AuraT caps are just a little cleaner sounding and better low level detail
Myself and another DIY freind experimented with amps preamp and speaker Xover as bypass caps . They both take a lot of hours to runin the VH take some 500hrs the AuraT less since they go on a cooker before they go out .I am speaking in absolute terms a few %.