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A modification worthy of the Zen (Read 4835 times)
veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #50 - 03/10/07 at 18:30:02
 
Been busy (overly) and haven't kept up here.

Do we still have a living concern, or is it every s/he for her/himself?

Karl
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lightmaster
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #51 - 03/10/07 at 21:49:10
 
dunno
no response so far  :(
sure i am gettin' two anyway,

hei by the way while reading about the caps i found some info about the leads being fragile close to the contact with the cap, so take care when installing them to use  something to avoid pressure there.

f

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HABZ-FAN
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #52 - 03/15/07 at 02:31:52
 
Hey If I haven't missed the boat already I would like a pair,please and thanks Dan
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veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #53 - 03/15/07 at 06:43:08
 
Hi Dan,

Well, you'd like 2 x .1mf;  I'd like 2x .1mf, so all we need is one more person to make a mini group and save 40 bucks per pair of caps, not including shipping, which should be very little...

Karl
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lightmaster
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #54 - 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
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« Last Edit: 03/16/07 at 19:51:08 by lightmaster »  

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veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #55 - 03/22/07 at 00:53:47
 
For my own foul selfish purposes, I will note that Terry has started a group buy thread for .1uf V-caps, in the tube lover's forum.

Besides being impressed by Dave Dutill's comments; IIRC, these are the interstage caps that Eddie Vaughn raves about in his Carina as a step above the Mundorf oil-filled caps, where the greatest transparence is desired.

In the past I've compared teflon to polystyrene and polypropylene film caps in the signal path (in a line level filter) and there was absolutely NO comparison to the teflon.

I'm sorta anxious to do this thing, as I believe Terry is also, so we will eventually just go ahead even if it's only this mini-group of 4 caps.


Karl

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lightmaster
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #56 - 03/22/07 at 23:34:01
 
well guys
i waited and waited and then acted and bought 4 caps, two v-caps and 2 audio note silver foil (if you think v-caps are expensive have a look at the AN silver!!! crazy

bottom line they are both well worth the price (if your system is ready for them!).

love the v-caps in the amp (really special caps these v-cap, everything said about them is true!)
but the AN silver are the ticket in the dac, IMHO have an advantage on the v-cap in that position, tried both, AN silver have just magic HF exstension and musicality

ohh well took them out and they are now "cooking" in my radio for the required 300-400 hours before being definitely installed, i'll try both of them in the two positions to see if my preferences have changed at that stage.

f
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« Last Edit: 03/22/07 at 23:44:20 by lightmaster »  

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144cubits
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #57 - 04/07/07 at 07:33:51
 
Does anyone know if this will work in the Taboo and if so what are the values needed. Also any pix of the mod would be very helpful for those of us not perfectly versed in the art of modding.

Thanx!
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veryoldcat
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #58 - 04/07/07 at 09:11:18
 
mmm,

(Just to keep the idea floating, and not having looked under the Taboo hood), I'll offer an opinion that you could take the bottom off the Taboo chassis, and notice two film caps symmetrically placed between the driver tube and output tubes of similar value. It probably also is close to a .1uf signal cap like the se84cs, by statistics.

Again, I'm not a Taboo expert, so you gotta take a look in there to be sure.

Karl
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selmerdave
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #59 - 04/07/07 at 16:53:57
 
The Taboo schematic shows .15/600V coupling caps.  Don't poke around in there without grounding the PS caps first!

Dave
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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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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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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #75 - 03/24/08 at 15:16:52
 
Interesting... there has also been some good reviews on Russian PIOs and US Vitamin Qs.

JJ
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #76 - 03/24/08 at 18:37:25
 
I've tried Russian PIOs and Vitamin Qs as well on other kit amps thta I've built. They are not in the same league as the V-Cap. Russian PIOs that I bought from eBay do have warm sound, however, it is no where as clean and clear sounding as the V-cap. The highs are rolled off and overall presentation is a bit smeary.

I do think V-cap is a really good capacitor, the best (and the most expensive) I've tried in terms of performance. But I am not sure if I like the sound signature of Teflon caps so far (assuming v-cap is typical of teflon caps but better than the most).

According to Eddie, these takes quite a long to get the creamy mid range sound out of them. So I will wait until 200 hour mark.

Overall, this made the Zen select a very revealing amp. You would hear all sort of issues with your CD players and sources if they are not up to par. I am not sure if my Decware Sony 685 is up to par or not. We will wait and see.
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Doorman
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #77 - 03/24/08 at 21:30:57
 
I've not heard the Decware modded player, but I doubt Steve would have produced it had it not been "up to par"!
Looking forward to your report
                                                                                     Don
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #78 - 03/29/08 at 07:28:52
 
OK, I have about 100 hours on the V-CAP now. I don't think the signature changed too much from 50 hours to 100 hours (overall balance is the same), but the sound has mellowed out defintely. I don't cringe as much as I used to.  :o

At this point I can say it is defintely better than Musicap in every respect, except for the midrange. V-CAP sounds less forward (less mid) so far. The details and clean sound of V-CAP is really nice.

I will report back around 200 hours.
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #79 - 03/29/08 at 11:59:16
 
Thanks for keeping us posted.

I am waiting for my Tants and ASC cap (for PSU) to arrive and will mod this first.

Still in 2 minds on whether to go Jensens or V-caps...

JJ
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #80 - 03/29/08 at 20:27:22
 
Hey JonJin,

Have you read this review? http://www.vhaudio.com/21capacitorshootout.pdf

(note that the above review is hosted on V-CAP site, so don't take everything at face value, although the review was published by a Chinese hi-fi magazine and not V-CAP). According to the review, they were worried about Jensen's rated life as it is only a few hundred hours and going down from that point.

Class F (No Class ) - xicon, Solen PPE/SM, Jupiter BeesWax
Class E - Rusian teflon caps, North Creek Music/Crescendo
Class D - Mundorf/Supreme, Supreme/Gold/Silver, AuriCap and Musicap
Class C - Mundorf Supreme Silver/Oil, Jensen PIO Copper
Class B - REL/Exotica TFT
Class A - V-CAP TFTF and Audio Note Silver

I would wait for your current modification (ASC and Tantalium) first and see how it turns out. Let me know how that changes the sound on your system.  Mundorf Supreme Silver/Oil might be the one you want to try out rather than Jensen, if you want to go with PIO route.
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #81 - 03/31/08 at 15:17:00
 
Hello JJ,

johnyboy's advice about doing the cap and grid stopper changes first is sound advice. Get a good feel for how your amp will now sound ( I've done both mods and the differences from either are not subtle ), before going further. Please understand that the ASC's also benefit from breakin, but I found them to really smooth out after approx 15-20 hours.

From your post it appears you are changing one PS cap for an ASC. If that's true, which one is it. I've done all three, but changed them one at a time, starting w/ the filter cap, then the output stage decoupling cap, and finally the input stage decoupling cap ( 15uf ASC ). The sonics improved w/ each change, but when all of the electrolytics go, the difference is dramatic.

Someday you might want to think about getting the last electrolytic out of your amp, the cathode bypass cap on the output stage. First I simply removed mine and left the 100ohm resistor unbypassed. The sound changed. I lost a little gain; not much, but I did have to crank the volume control just a bit, and the noise increased a tad also. But the sound also changed, though very slightly, and I really had to concentrate on specific things to notice a difference. It seemed just a tad cleaner, but also drier, i.e., maybe just a tad more detailed. I preferred the amp w/ the bypass cap in place. But that's me, YMMV. Try it and see what you think.

I then put in a 100uf ASC cap in an Ultrapath connection instead of the bypass cap, and this baby's staying put. Noise did increase, but I knew it would. If I wasn't going to build a new amp w/ a much cleaner PS than the Zen, I would modify the stock Zen's PS configuration to make it quieter and keep the Ultrapath connection. That connection makes a very significant change to the character of the amp.

Well, have fun and be safe in there.

Cheers,               Crazy Bill                       Smiley

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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #82 - 04/01/08 at 01:07:59
 
Hi Crazy Eel, Smiley

I also fiddled with the cathode bypass cap on the output stage. Instead of taking it out right, I put a switch in it, so I can flip it back and forth to see how it differs. I’ve noticed that the non Select version also does not have this bypass cap.

When I remove the bypass cap, the sounds do get quieter, so I do have to turn it up a bit to compare it apples to apples. The sound gets a bit lighter and airier to me. It has less slam to the music, but more clear sounding. Slam changes in the similar ways the bias switch on the front of the select does. One gets more bass slam while the other less so.

However, I do like the sound with the bypass cap in the place. I wonder if I can upgrade the cap on this thing to something that is a bit better?
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #83 - 04/03/08 at 07:36:48
 
I am about 120 hours now. Big change, in a bad way  :(. It sounds a lot worse than when it had 100 hours on it. It sounds harsh, shouty and no bass. I can't listen to it right now...

Well the good news is that this means it is still breaking in.  :o  It didn't change too much from 50 to 100 hours, so I didn't expect to change alot, but it is still chaning. I will report back around 200 hours.
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #84 - 04/03/08 at 17:36:08
 
Sorry to hear that... hopefully it'll continue to improve.

I have now changed the 4 grid stoppers to Tantalums and the effects are not subtle. Here is what I wrote my regular UK hifi forum -

"But honestly, I put them in without expecting any or little difference, and when I turned it on for the first time, I thought... yup, more foo. But after running overnight, it's actually quite amazing. I can play my music much much louder now without any fatigability. I would say it has a more 'realistic' tone and improved my lower mid range (snare drums more realistic). The overall tone is warmer and much sweeter. Also it has improved the imaging. The music fills the room more, in particular front to back. It's like having good Mullard valves in..."

Thanks again for the tip... will now think of changing the PSU caps...

JJ
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #85 - 04/09/08 at 22:46:19
 
johnny_boy wrote on 04/01/08 at 01:07:59:
Hi Crazy Eel, Smiley

I also fiddled with the cathode bypass cap on the output stage. Instead of taking it out right, I put a switch in it, so I can flip it back and forth to see how it differs. I’ve noticed that the non Select version also does not have this bypass cap.

When I remove the bypass cap, the sounds do get quieter, so I do have to turn it up a bit to compare it apples to apples. The sound gets a bit lighter and airier to me. It has less slam to the music, but more clear sounding. Slam changes in the similar ways the bias switch on the front of the select does. One gets more bass slam while the other less so.

However, I do like the sound with the bypass cap in the place. I wonder if I can upgrade the cap on this thing to something that is a bit better?



the value of the cathode bypass cap pretty much restricts use to EL type caps ( 1000mF of film cap, even if you can find under 100V, would be simply huge), so the range of exotics is somewhat restricted ( i.e. Black Gates, and what else is there really? )  

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« Last Edit: 04/09/08 at 22:47:44 by chrisby »  

not so easy, this giving it up thing ...
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #86 - 04/09/08 at 23:02:28
 
Elna Cerafines? True, not much out there...

Still waiting to hear the latest update from johnny_boy  ;)

JJ
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #87 - 04/18/08 at 07:19:21
 
OK. 200 hour report. I belive the "bad sound" around 120 hours was my own fault, becasue I was fiddling around with the amp and made some other changes. I reverted that change, and as soon as I did that the sound became "normal".

I think the most of the changes came in at the first 50 hours and the rest of 150 hours being smaller changes. I am hearing conflicting things from different people. Some people say it takes up to 500 hours to break these in, and some people say that V-CAP changed the manucatruing process, so now it breaks in within the first 50 hours. I don't know which is true, but since I haven't seen a huge changes since the first 50 hours, I think second opinion might be true.

Now the sound. Again the V-CAP is very detailed, clean and fast sounding and very smooth. Probably the best there is. However, I don't think this is the cap for me. I like the mids that has some "honey" and "liquid" on them. These tend to sound more neutral, or what I call "sterile" (at least on my amp). I listen to tube amps becasue of its euphonic sound, and I feel like that is not what V-CAP is trying to achieve. It is trying to go for the most tranparency and details. If that is what you like, I think this is the cap for you.

I am going to give it 100 more hours on it so see if it is going to change some more. In the mean time, I am also going to put back the Musicaps so I can directly compare what the differences were (it is hard to remember what something sounded like after 200 hours /4 weeks). I will report back on that.

I think I am going to try out Mundorf Silver in Oil, or possibly Siver & Gold in Oil, if the mids on the V-CAP does not "bloom" after another 100 hours. I will report back after that as well.

(BTW, I am not trying to disuade you from getting V-Caps, but trying to make sure that that is the right sound you want. I am realizing that even "the best" cap might not be the sound you are looking for. I've been exchanging some private emails with few folks, and it is real fun to watch some poeple go from V-CAP to Mundorf and are very happy while some people went from Mundorf to V-Cap and are much happier. Pick you sound taste, before you pick the either or other caps.)
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« Last Edit: 04/18/08 at 07:27:59 by johnny_boy »  
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johnny_boy
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #88 - 05/05/08 at 07:22:24
 
This will be probably my last report. The net is I prefer Hovland Musicap over V-CAP.

I decded to put back Musicap to see how it would compare. Immeidately I could tell there is slight loss of focus, but a lot more musicallity. My "toes started to tap" again with the music which was completely lacking with the V-cap. Then I started to doubt myself again thinking just the change is what I think is better.

So I put both V-CAP and Musicap in place with a switch in between. I auditioned both with the same set of songs switching it back and forth. V-CAP mid sound is actually SMOOTHER than Musicap. I think it has slightly tighter bass, and it has a bit clearer focus and more air between the instruments. I don't think it has any more details, although it sounds harmonically cleaner, so it appears to have show details.

However, where Musicap wins is on shear musicality and realism. The acoustic instruments and voice sounds more real to me with Musicap vs. the V-Cap. It also sounds richer and more real. The cello that I mentioned in the previous thread sounds real again with Musicap. The Fender Strat on Twin Reverb souns like Strat/Twin Reverb, rather than sounding like a good recording of it.

I think it can be summarized this way - the Musicap is more harmonically richer sounding. It sounds lushier.

If you are familiar with how American pianos tend to sound vs. European pianos, you will get the distinction between Musicap and V-Caps.  Generally speaking American pianos such as Steinway tend to sound very harmonically rich sounding. It sounds full and powerful. On the other hand European pianos, such as Bosendorfer, tend to sound more focused, delicate and ring like a bell. Sepratons between the nots are easier to hear with the European pianos. Different pianists prefer different piano. In my case, I prefer Steinway sound.

In that samw way, I prefer Musicap over V-Cap. It being harmnically richer means it would also have less focus (like the piano example above), but it is the sound that I prefer. The sound is richer and more real especially on acoustic instruments  and vocals.

I am going to leave the V-CAP in place for a while, as some songs sounds better with it (more modern rock recordings) and the mids are more creamy and smother sounding. I think I am at about 250 hours. I will give it some more time, but I am not expecting too much change at this point.
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #89 - 05/05/08 at 12:24:55
 
Hmmm... if only everything in audio is so easy. You've made me have doubts about whether to slot in a v-cap or Hovland now.  :)

JJ
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sherod
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #90 - 05/09/08 at 04:41:31
 
If you are using the Teflon version of the V-cap, you will need at least 400 hours of continous burn-in, if not more, before it starts to smooth out. 250 hours is just past the half way mark, so you will continue to hear some bad stuff for a while longer. I also prefer in my Audio Horizons preamp the Hovland Musicap, although I am considering trying the Mundorf Silver Oil in the near future. The Musicap does have some issues, but it does have this "breath of life" that is very pleasing to the ear.   Smiley
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jonjin
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Re: A modification worthy of the Zen
Reply #91 - 05/09/08 at 18:45:09
 
Has anyone compared the Hovland Musicaps to the Jensen PIOs?

JJ
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