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A modification worthy of the Zen (Read 27732 times)
selmerdave
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #60 - 04/07/07 at 17:01:24
 
lightmaster wrote on 03/15/07 at 21:52:45:
these are back in production!: they look interesting

http://www.blackdahlia.com/tipindex/Tip_26/tip_26.html

you'll get them here:
http://www.vacuumtube.com/VTV%20Ultratonecaps.htm

anybody tried them?


f


Interesting that in the first link (article from 2001) they are priced at $20 for .1uf, and at the second link they are now priced at $65 for .1uf.  I wish my pay would have more than tripled in six years!

Dave
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hdrider
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #61 - 04/09/07 at 01:38:12
 
Upgrading the 0.1uf coupling cap in my SE84CS sounds like worthwhile investment. A couple of questions though:
1. Do the Vcaps even fit inside the amp, or is it a major re-orginization to get them in?
2. Is there a way to ''break them in'' before installing them, or should you just install them and slog thru the break in time? If they used so that they have 400 or so hours on them, do you discharge them before installation (I would think so) Yes, maybe dumb questions but this forum has always been a wealth of info and considerate to those less knowledgeable. Thanks, Chris.
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veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #62 - 04/10/07 at 00:56:23
 
I've heard of no issues with the vcaps fitting in (Dave Dutill started the thread, and quite a few others have installed them).

I have a nice shiny new pair of these sitting on the kitchen table and haven't gotten around to installing them, but I have as yet heard of no space or installation issues, except to be careful of bending the lead right at the entrance to the end of the cap, for fear of overstressing the lead to foil connection on the inside (the lead is pretty stiff)

I'm going *cold turkey* and just put em in there, and let em break themselves in au naturelle, as to having heard they aren't so bad fresh out of the box. I'm actually kinda curious to hear if there really IS such a huge break in issue.

Karl
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« Last Edit: 04/14/07 at 07:49:36 by veryoldcat »  

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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jaco03
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #63 - 08/27/07 at 10:30:59
 
hi dave
i am intrigued by this mod. i am using 0.1 uf hovland musicaps at the moment (which were recommended by joemac way back). easy enough to swap these in. any one using hovlands switched to v-caps? any difference?
my se84 starte life as a B went to C and is now a CS -- if you guys are convinced about this mod, guess it'll become a CS (v). i have recently acquired a HDT and now have a full decware set-up, i.e as soon as i get my CSP repaired. dunno what happened but when i turned it on, saw blue flame in bottom of the rectifier tube and quickly switched it off. replaced tube but no life after that!!! wonder if anyone else has experienced that on this forum and point out what likely happened?
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MAC_-_SteveH
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #64 - 08/31/07 at 02:33:35
 
A silly question - did you check the fuse?

That happened to me when a rectifier went.
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proud_indian
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #65 - 10/10/07 at 06:05:46
 
Chris just shipped my Vcaps and I should have them by next week. I am pretty excited based on the stuff, I  read it  does. Cool


shreekant Smiley
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davedutill
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #66 - 10/11/07 at 23:31:23
 
Hi Shreekant

Be prepared for good things to happen right from the start.  Good thing is, they get better and better with time.

A mod truly worthy of these fine lil amps!!
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MAC_-_SteveH
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #67 - 10/13/07 at 23:16:39
 
I did the V-Cap mod about 5 weeks ago. It took about 30 minutes. Now, after about 300+ hours - the sound is phenominal! It was great just turning the amp on. A little edgy for a while but settled in nicely.
Smooth, very detailed and revealing. You really need to have your system together upstream. (source)

Do it - no regrets.
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proud_indian
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #68 - 10/20/07 at 14:20:57
 
Got it fixed about 25 hours ago, and this stuff is impressive. Someone mentioned it is the best 100 $ tweek and I don't think anybody can dispute that. With the promise it shows after 25 hours , I can't wait for the 200 Grin For those who are still thinking about it, I feel you should just go ahead. Wink

Thanks Karl for all your help.


shreekant Smiley
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proud_indian
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #69 - 10/26/07 at 08:26:47
 
Two things happening at the same time for me. One is the Vcap break in and the other is the OPA 627 mod. This morning it is really sounding very good, and I am happy that I went in for these mods. I had sent Chris a mail on the burn in issue and he mentioned that he has modified the manufacturing process, so that the new Vcaps actually only need 20 to 60 hrs for the initial break in and then get better up 400 to 500 hrs. So the new buyers will have a better deal Wink

shreekant Smiley
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Young_SC
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #70 - 02/20/08 at 08:56:16
 
I have had the VCaps for a while now but I don't usually sit down to listen to music on a regular basis.  Therefore I have no idea how many hours they have one them.

Was listening last night and I have to say, the system sounds good.  The VCaps are obviously wearing in and are becoming quite smooth.

Simon
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #71 - 03/20/08 at 10:47:19
 
I've just installed a new set of V-caps and so far I am not impressed (for the price  :o). I had Hovland Musicaps before.

You have to remember that the V-caps are not broken in at all, since I've been playing music on it for only about 30 minutes. So take this as beginning of my review. I will report back once I have some time on them.

I could tell it does have slightly more details and slightly better high extension. And it defintely sounds cleaner (less smear) than before. However, right now it sounds relatively harsh, has no bass, and the mid is not warm at all. I hope all of this changes after the break-in.

For the incremental changes that I've seen, I can't say this was the best $100 that I've spent on zen so far. I've done some other mods on the Zen which made more difference for less money (i.e. switching out the two 20 uf with a single 15uf ASC motor run oil cap, chaning grid stoppers to Shinkoh tantalium resistors, changing the bias point of the input tubes and etc).

Hopefully these do get noticeably better after about 100 hours.


[Edit] OK, so I let it play all night while I was a sleep and went back to listen to it this morning. The bass has started to show up now. Not as strong as before yet, but I think it is a bit tighter. The mid range is still a bit mess and harsh. That will probably take a while to break in.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/08 at 21:43:04 by johnny_boy »  
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #72 - 03/21/08 at 17:30:27
 
Hmmm... you've made me doubt now. Was going to go for the V-cap but maybe my system can't take the extra clarity? FWIW, a dealer hear swears by Hovlands and even though some people think they can sound muddy, the are actually warmer and more musical. Would be interested in your thoughts...

Which ones the grid stoppers?

JJ
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #73 - 03/21/08 at 19:45:04
 
I would hold off the final judgement until I give 200 hours on it. I have heard that Teflons do take LONG time to brek in. (It is going to take me too long to do 200 hours.  :o Under my normal listening habit, that would be like 4-5 months)

A lot of people on this thread said that they heard the impovement immediately and it got better as it broke in. For me, it did not seem to be better immediately. It did bring more clarity right away, but it is less musical so far, and the mid range is very harsh and hard to listen to as it shouts too much at a decent volume. But within about 48 hours now, I think I am getting full specutrum now. The bass seems to be totally there. As strong as before and I think it might be a bit tighter.The high extension seems to be there, although I think it recessed a bit since the initial listen.

My Hovland caps probably had about 1000 hours on it (over I think like 2 years), and as you mentioned they seems a bit muddier than v-cap (of course I didn't know that it was muddlier until I put in the v-caps) but it had pretty smooth musical sound. However, I belive the Hovlands sounded pretty harsh at first as well. They all seem to have nasty mid range at first (except for PIO type capacitors which seem to have pretty smooth sounds from the begining, but no high extension at first)

How do you guys stand to listen to this thing until it breaks in? Would putting 5W 10 ohm resistors on the speaker connectors (and disconnect the speakers) do the same thing? I want to acclerate the break-in period by running it 24x7.

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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #74 - 03/24/08 at 09:42:55
 
OK, I think I have about 50 hours on the V-CAP now. I think it has broken in nicely so far. I am getting full spectrum from high to low frequency and overall shouting/harshness seems to be gone quite a bit.

However, it is a mixed bag expereince of sort for me so far.

Pros - very clear and clean sounding lik someone removed some layers of haze off the glass window. resolution is better with slightly more details coming out, and separation between the instrusments are easier to hear. Overall it really cleans up things which allows more details to come out.

Cons - the creamy mid range is not there, it is "too hi-fi" sounding for me, making my tube amp sounds more like a solid state. Tube "euphonic sound" is replaced with more "neutral sounds".

I think this is the cap to get if you want real clean sounding cap that extracts as much details out as possible. But I am not sure if this my cup of tea. I think I prefer Jensen and other PIO cap sounds that has smooth wonderful mids?

(Test Track - The Very Best of Diana Krall CD - Track 14 - Little Girl Blue - The cello on this track used to sound very real prior to the V-cap, but now it sounds cleaner, but it does not feel like the real instrument is being played in the room. Feels more like a really nice recording is being played very cleanly)

I will report back once there is discernable change happen moving forward. I am hoping the mid range will be warmer and nicer as it breaks in further.
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