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A modification worthy of the Zen (Read 28411 times)
davedutill
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A modification worthy of the Zen
02/17/07 at 04:54:54
 
Hi all

Just thought I'd share what will most likely be the last mod of many to my Lil Zen amp.

I have done more than a few mods to this jewel,  this latest mod indeed makes the biggest improvement.  I am certain many have read about the V Caps.  Well, I have had them playing in the amp for a couple of weeks now.  Words are hard to come by when trying to describe the listening experience.  

The caps bring out the last little bit of information that the Zens are so well known for.  The caps also,  for lack of a better term, get out of the way.  The previous bypass caps were Relcaps.  Very highly regarded at the time.  After direct comparison to the new Vcaps, well, there is in fact no comparison.  The V Caps just do everything "right",  warmth, weight, speed, liquid.....whereas the Rels could have a tendency to get a bit on the shrill side with some material.  

The Caps are on the pricey side, but then again the gains in listening pleasure are worth much more than what the caps cost.  

These take the Already incredible amps to an even more incredible level of realism.

Definately worth getting out the soldering iron for!!

Dave
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Brett
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #1 - 02/17/07 at 09:36:35
 
I've also upgraded to the v-caps and totally agree. These caps are amazing and completely worth the price.

Here's a good review of all the major caps including the super pricey AN Silver cap. (Spoiler.. the V-Caps win)

http://www.vhaudio.com/21capacitorshootout.pdf

Dave, I've been listening through your parkers for four years now and want to take this time to thank you for building them. I had no problem hearing the difference between coupling caps among many more subtle tweaks. They're terrific speakers.

-Brett

PS. What would happen if I replaced the Hovland with V-Caps for the tweeter high pass.
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« Last Edit: 02/17/07 at 09:43:36 by Brett »  
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veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #2 - 02/17/07 at 17:59:22
 
Brett wrote on 02/17/07 at 09:36:35:
PS. What would happen if I replaced the Hovland with V-Caps for the tweeter high pass.


You may wish to price a 2mf v-cap before getting excited about changing out the Hovlands in your Parkers.

I think you'll be out around $600 bucks for the pleasure of a pair of those babies Smiley

Karl
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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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Brett
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #3 - 02/17/07 at 19:43:25
 
I've got the 95MK2, which have a much smaller value. Still the price is crazy. I haven't read much about using v-caps in the crossover, other than that the manufacturer claims they work well.
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« Last Edit: 02/17/07 at 19:45:13 by Brett »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #4 - 02/19/07 at 04:12:36
 
Dave,

Can you be more specific about the caps?  Are we talking about coupling caps or the cathode resistor bypass cap?  

Got a picture?

Steve
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davedutill
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #5 - 02/19/07 at 05:35:10
 
Hi all

Yep, i am sure you could use some of the Vcaps in the speakers.  The price would most definately put a massive hurt on ya.
(95's need 4uf)

Steve,

The V caps under discussion were put to use in the coupling cap circuit.  

To burn them in I have been racking up mass hours through a Denon POJ (piece of junk) 5 disc dvd changer on repeat, coming Digital out into my DAC.  Running some junk russian tubes labeled RCA.  I sat down after about 350 hours or so, with this setup....and was amazed!!!!  I am really looking forward to getting the main transport and fav tube compliment back in "THE" machine.  This may very well be a depends moment in the making!!!  Gonna give it a lil more time so as the caps can get their mojo going.

Steve, I have said it before and am once again in the same boat, I cant say enough good things about the amazing Zen.

An awesome amp!!!
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Steve Deckert
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #6 - 02/20/07 at 15:28:26
 
Dave,

I like your tag line!   Smiley
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #7 - 02/23/07 at 18:14:57
 
I have been using the Mundorf Silver PIO coupling caps in my Select for quite a while now ..... they sound very good.

UPS delivered a pair of .1 uf V-Caps to my home yesterday and I popped them into the Select last night.  Despite the inevitable trace of "break in harshness", I was not able to leave my listening seat until 2:30 AM and was late for work this morning .....  :-?

The Mundorfs are well broken in (several hundred hours) ..... but, IMHO, there is NO comparison between these caps as to detail, focus and air.  Vocals and instruments with the V-Caps are absolutely locked in space ..... the lead vocals noticeably so.  While the Mundorfs are excellent sounding caps, I am forced to use the well worn phrase that it was like pulling a blanket off of my speakers when the V-Caps were installed.

It is quite possible that a harsh sounding front end would be a bit painful through these caps (especially during break-in) but I am hearing none of it.  If the word on the street about the 400 hour break-in is true, I can only imagine how good these puppies will sound at that time.  The detail is scary good with none of the downsides that normally come with extremely revealing components.

In addition to the fine qualities described above, the bass is easily the most articulate I have heard in my system.  No "wooliness" here.  Dave Dutill tells me that the bass gets even better and more powerful with break-in.

Chris VenHaus at VH Audio is a pleasure to deal with and I received a UPS tracking number the same day I placed the order .....  8-)

I have spent $100.00 on a lot of audio related items that can't sniff at the goodness that the V-Caps add to my system.  

Highly recommended ....

Randy
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« Last Edit: 02/23/07 at 22:00:20 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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Joel
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #8 - 02/23/07 at 19:57:32
 
Randy -
Sent a message to Dave about specifics and maybe making a "semi" group buy. Haven't heard from him. Guess I should have sent it to you.
Always looking to save a buck  [smiley=grngreedy.gif]
Joel
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Corey
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #9 - 02/24/07 at 02:52:55
 
I enjoyed reading the asian magazines capacitor shootout, thanks.
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MikeW
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #10 - 02/24/07 at 03:17:59
 
Corey wrote on 02/24/07 at 02:52:55:
I enjoyed reading the asian magazines capacitor shootout, thanks.


???????????????????????
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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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Brett
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #11 - 02/24/07 at 03:24:05
 
Randy,

It was Eddie that first turned me on to these caps, and the way he described them I thought it would be unlistenable at first. Of course this is not the case, and amazingly they do get better and smoother without any loss of the goods. I'm pleased to hear that you prefer the v-caps over the mundorfs as I haven't had a chance to compare them myself. Detail and neutrality is definitely my bag, and these caps fit the bill nicely.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/07 at 07:12:01 by Brett »  
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Brett
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #12 - 02/24/07 at 03:25:33
 
MikeW wrote on 02/24/07 at 03:17:59:
???????????????????????


Corey is referring to the link I posted above. It's a cap review from a Chinese rag.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/07 at 03:26:34 by Brett »  
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #13 - 02/24/07 at 06:02:37
 
Brett wrote on 02/24/07 at 03:24:05:
Randy,

It was Eddie that first turned me on to these caps, and the way he described them I thought it would unlistenable at first. Of course this is not the case, and amazingly they do get better and smoother without any loss of the goods. I'm pleased to hear that you prefer the v-caps over the mundorfs as I haven't had a chance to compare them myself. Detail and neutrality is definitely my bag, and these caps fit the bill nicely.


Howdy Brett,

I have had many discussions with Eddie about the Mundorfs and V-Caps.  Eddie would probably be the first to admit that personal preference is everything in audio.  He makes no secret about liking his sound "with some meat on the bones", having a special place in his heart for DH-SET amplifiers such as 2A3s and 300Bs.  So, it's not too surprising that Eddie cautions folks about anything that has a potential for a thin or bright sound.  He knows that most of the front ends in use are digital ..... and of less than world class quality ..... so the Mundorfs are probably a safer recommendation for the majority.  I would guess that if there was anything nasty upstream, the V-Caps would make it painfully obvious.  From our conversations, Eddie has no problem recommending the V-Caps to someone who has an analog or "civilized" digital front end.

I just finished another 3 hour listening session and am even more amazed than I was last night.  Nothing can hide from these capacitors.  Dave isn't just woofin' about how good they are.  They give you everything that is on the CD or LP and yet do it with liquidity and refinement ..... there is so much "going on" in the music that it makes listening an adventure .....  8-)

Honestly ..... the "400 hour break-in thing" has me drooling with anticipation .....  :)

Best wishes,

Randy
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« Last Edit: 02/24/07 at 06:14:25 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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MikeW
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #14 - 02/24/07 at 09:46:53
 
Brett wrote on 02/24/07 at 03:25:33:
Corey is referring to the link I posted above. It's a cap review from a Chinese rag.

Thanks Smiley
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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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