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ERR modifications (Read 592 times)
Dominick
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ERR modifications
11/02/21 at 15:18:36
 
I have recently decided to start exploring ways to improve my ERR speakers.  While they have always sounded great out of the box… The biggest complaint I have heard over the years and have experienced myself, was that there was a recessed portion of the mid range depending on the type of music you listen to as well as on certain recordings.  Most of the time it’s not that noticeable… And then there are other times when it is very noticeable.

After talking with ZYGI And a few other for members, I am getting close to narrowing down a capacitor change. While I am not there yet,  I will post an update when I have made a final decision on what caps I will go with.

With the recommendation of Will, I decided to purchase Marigo 3 mm green tuning dots.  These little dots help to dampen the mid range cone to help improve focus, clarity, and detail.  I have to admit I was a bit unsure of the outcome, but everywhere I read on the Internet forums they were such a huge positive feedback that I decided to take the plunge.  Will’s thought was that adding the dots could allow more of the higher mid bass  to push through into the mid range and fill the gap.

The idea is to place the dots around the cone just inside the rubber gaskets one by one, and spaced out in a certain pattern ( 11 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and 7 o’clock).  They recommend to keep adding dots until you hear A loss of peace and timing in the music.  

While I was going to add the dots one by one in a single listening session… I read somewhere that a guy only added one dot at a time over the course of several listening sessions.  I decided to take that route and utilize music I was very familiar with….such as some piano accompaniment from Gene Harris, Ahmad Jamal, Tyner McCoy, and Oscar Peterson;  some sax work from Barney Wilen, Dexter Gordon, and Houston Person; and and some bass work from Ray Brown, Ron Carter, and Charlie Hayden.  

When I added the first dot I could barely hear any changes, but something was happening in the detail of the music.  It was when I added the second dot  that I was able to hear a clear change in certain instruments. Saxophones while having that nice open sound, we’re just a bit less echoed and more clear.  The plucking of bass strings while having that nice twang, we’re more focused and not as harsh ( if that makes sense), and piano notes were more crisp and clean. If I had to give a more general description… I would say that there was greater detail in the music and instruments now seemed more lifelike.  

I know I need to add at least one more dot…probably 2,  but I really want to get a handle on what I’m listening to now before I do so.  I have not messed around with any vocal work and have yet to try some harpsichord music, but so far the Marigo dots have really made a believer out of me. I’ll report back once I add the 3rd dot.  

Will…Once again you were spot on!!  Thank you!!

Dom


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piezoman
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #1 - 11/03/21 at 18:25:15
 
That's really great news Dom!

You're in good hands with Will.....he's one of the precious few here who is dedicated in the pursuit of better sound, never accepting the status quo in the equipment purchased by digging in there and fixing limitations in parts selections.
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Dominick
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #2 - 11/05/21 at 08:43:34
 
Thanks Brad!    Yes Will has really given me inspiration to constantly explore ways to improve the sound of my system.  Soon I will be purchasing new capacitors to experiment with; which is exciting and completely new to me.  Both Will and Bob (ZYGI) have been super helpful and very informative.  

I’ll report back as things progress.

Dom
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will
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #3 - 11/07/21 at 22:57:55
 
Interesting story and impressions Dom. For me, the dots were really cheap for what they can do, and likely the most cost effective tuning tool I have come across (at least for the speakers I use).

I have used them so long, I don't know the current discussion, but I think of these dots as basically resonance tuning tools. And when effective, with good balance, by the way I hear and interpret it, less resonance can equal less smearing, so more articulation of all the musical information...  I first tried them hoping to clean and tighten bass some, a particularly vulnerable area to smearing/muddle to me. But I gladly found with more ideal resonance tuning, everything comes more into focus without apparently changing what was available from the recordings. When it works, replacing smear with more refined information and space, the information left is clearer and faster with better edges. So as long as resonance is an issue, the dots can cause perceived increases in clarity, articulation and speed.

My thought with the way I heard you wanting to refine your sound, the mids recessed in the balance, from my own experience, I figured this could be in part from a strong, but somewhat softish/thickish bass being a little dominant. And speculating about the ERRs, with a bass/mid driver and tweeter, a strong but somewhat thickish bass, and very clear highs, could cause either end of the spectrum to be strongish in the balance. So hopefully, if you added a few of these dots to the radial driver, the bass would tighten and grow more musically complex... bringing out all that is there in bass more completely with more hit and discernible musical information. And the bass tighter and clearer, it would no longer contrast as much with the mids, so integrate better with the mids... but also, clearer, faster bass, can leave more room for the mids, making the mids more present in the overall balance.

Perhaps especially in the case of a driver that is doing both bass and mids, like your radial, I found the dots effect the mids specifically also. So beyond clearing some bass thickness that might be bleeding into the mids and somewhat overwhelming them, the dots can bring more clarity to all that is there in the mids as well.... more complexity, more speed and focus, more presence.

The tweeter, already fast, clear and complete, it stays about the same, but the bass and mids having come closer in clarity, complexity, and speed, then especially the mids can sound like they come up in the overall balance, blending better with the highs and lows... the ideal scenario anyway.

So finally, this seems to me to be a lot about reducing smearing more than actually increasing anything, but the effects can be like increases in musical complexity and balance....  and Marigo dots being "tuning dots," and not extreme, we can find a nice balance adding one by one...
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Dominick
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #4 - 11/19/21 at 07:06:22
 
Will,

I am definitely noticing less smearing in the upper bass  region which has brought about more clarity and detail coming through in the midrange more focused.  The highs are already, fast, clear, and detailed…so the tuning dots have essentially closed the gap in the midrange area that was recessed.

As a side note….I am holding off on buying the HR2’s for the time being.  With the home construction project moving along nicely, I have run into areas that have gone over budget, so I need to be somewhat conservative on where I spend my money.  

I will probably add my third tuning dot this upcoming weekend.… So I will see how the sound changes.  Plus I have always wanted to play with the crossover network on my ERR speakers, so I’m going to make a capacitor purchase for them in the upcoming week. From what I have read… a capacitor upgrade for these speakers are  well deserved, so this will be a new area of exploration that I am looking forward to.  

Dom
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will
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #5 - 11/19/21 at 08:05:21
 
Sounds really good Dom, though sorry about house building costs going up. I was hoping the dots would even your speaker's balance in ways you wanted, make them fit a little better with more recordings more to your preferences, and perhaps fit in for the longer run. Looking forward to your continued impressions. And yes, in my HR-1s, carefully playing with caps and resistors has been pretty profound, as have wires, posts, internal damping, plinth space adjustments, and feet... and a few green dots early on made all the other tuning adjustments more clear and easier... I can't remember if I ever used three on the radials when I had them in mine, but seems like a good idea to try.

Also, I am guessing, the ERRs being Bob's creations also, that like Steve's designs, he has given the speakers so much care in design, build and voicing that they start out revealing and musical...but also, due to such care and experimentation, there is room left for us to take them further if we are inspired to do that, also helping us to hear tuning changes well enough to make good choices.
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Dominick
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #6 - 11/20/21 at 07:57:49
 
Will,

Yes unfortunately there are certain aspects of the project that have gone up that were unavoidable with doing new construction.  So for the time being my ERR’s will be in it for the long haul.  No complaints because they are already great speakers.  

I see this as a great opportunity to allow me to explore capacitor and resistor tuning.  I would have tried this years ago, but I wanted to wait until I had played them through my Decware amp as opposed to my old (SS) amp.  

Bob had suggested to try the Miflex KPCU copper foil 3.3 cap.  He indicated that someone from Sonicraft indicated the the Miflex capacitor was a bit difficult to listen to for the first 1000 hours, but after that it was the holy grail.  

I was originally going to try the Mundorf Supreme Silver Gold Oil, but with my Torii built with the new Miflex capacitors, I figured that the Miflex sound would really shine through with using them in the speakers as well as the amp.  I’m going to bypass them with the .1 Duelund JDM-Cu Pure Copper Foil Capacitor.  

The capacitor order will be placed this week,  so I am hoping to try and mess with them when I have some time around the holidays.  I will keep you posted as things progress.

Dom
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will
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #7 - 11/21/21 at 01:34:14
 
Uhoh, this is a big area of interest for me, so here goes!

I think that the KPCU and Duelund copper bypass would be a very nice cap combo. And as to burnin, I have only used smaller Miflex Copper Oil caps, but found them more like Jupiters... taking a lot of hours to get really complete, but tending to sound pretty good right off, so not as painful as some. I suppose a larger cap like the 3.3 you are looking at may contribute to the longer burnin Bob had heard about from soniccraft?

This reminds me.... it was a while ago, but my first few batches of Miflex Copper Oils were ordered from HiFiCollective in England, the only place I had seen them early on. And some leaked oil in the heat of the amps, so I had to clean and reseal them. Later when Jeff at soniccraft started carrying them, I had known he was careful about trying to make sure he got really good parts quality from companies, and he had said he was not getting reports of leaking. So I bought them mainly from him after that. And I can say, the batches I got from Jeff have not leaked. So it seems his method of buying worked, or Miflex solved the issue. I don't think leaking would be an issue in speakers anyway, but thought I would mention it, because I can recommend buying parts from Jeff at soniccraft if he has what you need. You can also get serious matching done there if needed or wanted.

But caps. I am blown away at the potential for great synergy from mixing caps in the right combinations. Though it can take some pretty serious experimenting at first, mixing and matching complimentary traits, I pretty much always prefer the sound complexity and all other aspects of musical beauty from mixing caps. With the right balance, I find it can give a much better sounding "cap," and often for less money. And bigger Miflex copper/oils are to me pretty costly, where smaller values are pretty inexpensive for the qualities they can impart on other caps, so I have not tried bigger Miflex Copper/Oils.

With the same tweeter (I think the HR1 and MG 944s use the same as your ERRS anyway?) I have been using Miflex KPCUs in a double bypass setup, with a Jantzen Alumen Z foundation, a nicely musical and complex sound, but more clear/fast feeling. With this tweeter and my resolving and revealing system/room, the Jantzen was quite compelling, but a little hot to me before the Miflex bypasses. Different, but having similarities with the White Miflex poly/coppers, which also tend a little clear on their own in my setup without balancing them in carefully. But I do find the White Miflex really good, especially as mixers, and both caps can create a really nice foundation for the smoother, warmer and sweeter KPCUs. And of course, this is within my system balances, how well a good part works depending on everything else it is balanced with...but my impressions here.

Also, as I recall from earlier threads, it was some ERR guys that caused me to look at 3.7 uF over the stock value 3.3s in ERRs then, and in my HR-1s tweeter setup. And having experimented with 3.4-3.5 from adding bypasses to the warm Jupiter VT 3.3 I was using, though they were relatively lively if put in with the ground marked side on the + speaker wire side, they were a little warm, slower, and less complex compared to their sound after adding some pretty nice bypasses to them.

In recent years I have been using a combined value of ±3.6 to ±3.8 uF for the HR-1 tweeters. And I am always impressed at how complimentary bypasses that are not necessarily that costly can make a good foundation cap much better... more fast, resolving and spacious. And a higher conglomerate value, like 3.7 over 3.3, can do similar, allowing the higher information to play a little lower in the spectral balance. So the combination can bring nice complexity, space and speed to the whole, including more sense of space and fine detail all the way down. Especially with the right combinations of nice bypasses and a nice base cap, a little higher overall value can contribute to a more complete balance with more liveliness and immediacy, more complex textures, longer and more complete decays, and more resolved mids and bass if all else is OK...

The highest value KPCU I have used in 0.33 having used them mainly for coupling caps and bypassing. And they have repeatedly proven to be my favorite cap overall in these uses, contributing very similar traits in any application, amp or speakers. And my love of them is in part that you can hear the oiled paper and paper based case damping effects, how nicely they smooth and balance the cap, and part of what makes the cap so magical. And I would not call the effect veiling or notably slower like some oil caps... but more smoothing and sweetening while retaining or enhancing complexity. But I think the damping does effect the spectral balance a little, the very fine top information there, but a little softened, so feeling slightly rolled off if you are picky like me. Not sure how this would translate to the higher value Miflex KPCU, but guessing it would. And generally Duelund bypasses to me tend a little this way as well, while being more overtly about everything than Miflex except the very nice finer detail of KPCUs. I find Duelund's magic sauce makes them a little forceful and domineering in imparting their sound. And I think they are really well conceived if you like or need that sound... spatially very clear, with nice overall balances for the most part. But somehow their flavor of damping, combined with their powerful sound and extra clear space, textures and other complex detail tend to sound concentrated for my tastes. And nearer the top, this somehow causes them to sound slightly rolled off to me. So something to think about, both caps tending subtly toward less apparent very top complexity in different ways.

Even with my mixing penchant, after a lot of practice, usually able to fairly articulately mix sonic traits from different caps for better sound, though I have tried many, many times as the system improves, I have never quite loved Duelund bypasses. They sound like they do most right, but to me, most of them sound a little too contrived and over stated, at least in my system....  Where the KPCU to me have no overt qualities... just really good sound and balance. Especially with really complimentary bypasses to bring up the finest detail and speed just a little, I just really love them.

Anyway, for my HR1 tweeter, I have come to prefer using a little more clear and fast cap as a foundation for the Miflex to sweeten. The KPCU is resolving and smooth, with great harmonic information... nice solid attack, beautiful textures and decays, but I think part of this beauty is from the slight "softening" effects from their very tasteful damping. In comparison to very copper clear and nicely balanced family member, the Miflex KFPM (Copper Polys with a plastic case and without oiled paper), the Copper/Oils give a smoother resolution that also seems more complex. With complete, but softer, more complex seeming edge articulation, they still beautifully retain definition, but with more fine detail resolution, they are more relaxing and sweeter to me. But as mentioned, I think the damping shifts the balance a little away from the top, softening fine info up top, so I generally bypass a little with either the smallest value Copper/Oils, or other low value bypasses.

For example, in my amp, my first Miflex Oils were for coupling caps, and I loved how they balanced more neutrally and musically, in part from resolving the bottom ranges better than the slower/thicker bottoms of Jupiter Coppers they replaced... so not contrasting top to bottom like the Jupiters here. But I eventually missed a little high resolution. So I played a lot with bypassing the 0.082 KPCUs, which I had chosen imagining a little lower value would be less overtly bass oriented than 0.1 Jupiters. And this was probably true, but the caps are so different it is hard to identify exactly what is what. And now, several years later, the carefully bypassed 0.082s do stay in, to me basically disappearing into beauty.

For bypasses first I ended up with a 0.010 Mallory 150M, then a 0.0047, and finally, as all else in my system became more easy flowing and resolving, I now use a 0.0022! They are crazy inexpensive, yet they complete the Miflex beautifully and transparently.... that is, if the base cap, or other bypass if used, have nice balances, and as long as the Mallory value is very low. And since it does not take much adjustment to get the most from the Copper/Oils anyway, a very small cap brings out the fine information just enough, to me making a world class cap that is generally pretty flawless... not in your face, or receded, and beautifully slightly warm and smooth, complex and resolving... and all at a cost that is absurd for the sound quality. The current price from HiFiCollective who carries 0.082 Miflex, is $18, and the little Mallorys there are 1.54 to 1.40 for these values. (BTW, partsconnexion is now carrying the little 150Ms if anyone is wanting check them out.)

So for me, to get the best sound from the Miflex using Mallory bypasses, the Mallorys need to be really low value. Whereas bypassing KPCUs with much higher value 0.022 KPCU bypasses (the smallest they make), can be really, really good too, offering a different, sweeter character of resolving beauty. More value with these bypasses can very nicely bring out fine detail, speed and space with the sort of indescribable subtle but notable sweet musicality this cap can give. So if I want more fluidity and subtle sweetness along with excellent complex detail, I tend to use these.

I think this is one reason I love the Miflex on Mifex bypasses on the HR-1s. With that super clear tweeter, and a clearer base cap, the Miflex mix in a touch of sweet warmth, pretty solid hit, and smooth but complex resolution... making the whole really revealing, but also friendly. The base 3.3 Jantzen Alumen Z, is musically clear and fast, with pretty impressive complexity, but alone, with the also clear tweeter, for me they are a little too vivid, except on top where these particular Jantzens are designed to be smoother and a little less tippy. To balance this core clarity, a 0.33 KPCU bypass, bypassed by a 0.022 KPCU, works beautifully here. A Duelund Silver Graphite 2.2 ohm resistor is before the caps, to me the most "not there" resistor I have heard. I find this combination really amazing in my setting, much better than either cap on their own... and in my system/room pretty well right in terms of relatively unaffected musicality and really nice speed, hit, resolution and space across the spectrum... It is quite resolving, but without hardness up higher, and with nice bottom speed and complexity.

Speaking of resistors, they really matter once you work into a better cap sound. If you are using those boxy ceramic ones, or about any of the the others out there, and try this Duelund, you will hear what I mean right away.... Compared to the Ceramic resistors I had, the Duelunds are more smooth in space and fine detail, and less fragile/tinselly sounding. And I prefer the less costly brown Duelunds myself (often on sale at partsconnexion), finding the flagship Black Casts I got some years ago to be overstated... almost like they have a little capacitance as well as transparent resistance... more of the Duelund "flavor" which I am not a great fan of. But obviously many are!

Anyway, I find the Brown Silvers the most transparent and resolving I have heard, though I suppose if the system and/or speakers are a little flatter or leaner than mine, the others might be really good. On another hand, I am happily using the Brown Duelund tinned copper resistors in my internal mid crossover, to me, Duelund being good at the enlivening vibe that well done tinned copper can give.

To recheck myself, as I often do as my system evolves, I just tried some 0.01 Duelund bypasses on my tweeters, added on top of the current Jantzen 3.3, Miflex 0.33, Miflex 0.022. And they sound good, more complete to me than I have ever heard them. I liked the tinned copper bypasses the best, more lively, and less forceful feeling than the others, whether old style bypasses or JDM. Interestingly, the old type silvers were very clear and balanced by appearances, impressive and more complete, balanced and less forceful to me than in earlier attempts. I think this is a lot due to the parallel Miflex 0.022, and 0.33 bypasses under it being complimentary. But I did hear that Duelund forcefulness, and to me, probably a hyper spaciousness with this cap... sounding like it is smear free, but overly smoothing/integrating the fine information... feeling like it is combining/solidifying some of the textural information and leaving too little articulated very fine detail for me. Nice sound if you like that concentration, power, and clear space in a warmish base, but when I pulled it, and listened to only the Miflex bypassing the Miflex and Jantzen, I was amazed at how much the 0.01 Duelund had concentrated textural complexity and overwhelmed the mysterious Miflex KPCU sweet touches. I much prefer this set without. The Copper JDM, was nice too, also better than ever with this combo, and less forceful than the old bypasses. But I think I still prefer the tinned copper Duelunds myself... more complex and disappearing into music better at least in this setup.  

Finally, for me... though impressive, and the tinned coppers close for me, so far, I still can't quite use the Duelunds. And I have tried them in lots of places, in components and in different speaker cap arrangements, on the tweeter and on the mid crossover. Fine differences in some senses, but pretty meaningful to me for more ultimate fine-tuned musical balances.

My take anyway, and I hope this does not confuse matters, rather being of some use. And conceptually, I would imagine your original plan would be really good, both caps really well loved and likely doing really good things together.... and I may be wrong about whether I would fall for them or not... not having tried. And this is me, and in my system, so go figure!

All that said, it sounds to me like you are on a good track that will end up to be a very enlivening step in your speaker tuning!

Will
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will
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #8 - 11/21/21 at 17:58:07
 
Dom,

Sorry, I forgot to mention a few practical things. Wherever you end up with cap choices, the resistor value might be better if different than you are using now... or maybe not. And I think I got this from Bob, so you may have already done this, but trying a small range of the less costly ceramic cast resistors can be a nice way to find your fav sound.

Then if playing with tonier resistors is interesting, your chances are higher that you won't want/need to roll the more costly resistors. But for me, not always. I guess I am pretty particular, but I have found that resistor's sound characteristics can have a strong enough effect on the feel of clarity and flow, that the same resistance with two resistors does not necessarily translate. I think I ended up with a 3.3 ohm ceramic cast resistor as preferred in my initial tests of my HR-1s. Then, the first more audiophile resistor I tried was a Mundorf M-Resist Supreme 20W, the leads replaced with pure, soft silver wire. And it was pretty nice, but a little warm colored and if I recall, overly smoothing to me... a bit slow/veiled.

But liking the resistor qualities for the most part, I thought to try to increase how much signal gets through to the tweeter. So I got a 2.7 and put silver leads on, and with less resistance, more signal at the tweeter brought up the top information pretty nicely, the overall balance feeling more like the 3.3 cast ceramic resistor, but smoother, a little warmer, and more solid. I used that resistor for a long time. But then wanting to try a Duelund, I had read the Silver Graphites were quite transparent so I went up to a 3.0 ohm, between the low cost but quite clear ceramic resistor and the Mundorf... lucky again, this translated well balance-wise and I used that resistor for many years... It was with Bob's HR-1 driver and crossover upgrade, and my related cap sets, that I ended up with a 2.2 Duelund Graphite Silvers. Some of my experience anyway.

The other thing I meant to mention were the challenges of fitting a resistor and multiple caps in place nicely, and needing to fit more wires together on the tweeter cap connections. Especially with really big caps with shortish leads for the job, like the Miflex KPAL Oil 3.3s I have, the fit and connection is tricky. They are heavy, and take a lot of space, so in my setup, are hard to connect without adding a little to the leads, but just possible with the caps I have.


I had not explored this cap much, having them on my burnin machine for 6-7 weeks, and liking my more usual set a little better on first impressions... but they sounded promising, and I had planned on trying the big Miflex on the mid crossover, so after several days of listening on the tweeter, they have been sitting for some months.

But I decided to put them in today and see what they sound like with my overall favorite of the Duelund bypasses, Tinned Copper. I also hoped I could show you pics to give a clearer frame of reference. And once secure and a little warmed up, the combo sounds really good to me, especially on less complex recordings! Warm, sweet, complex clarity, but a bit overly slow and warm for me, and a little too bold and concentrated mids-up detail...but nicely detailed and spacious overall... though balancing a little weak for the very finest detail for me.... But they will change with re-burnin, probably becoming more relaxed, faster, and complex.

And there is no doubt to me, this is a good sounding cap set, with a seductive, lively, and sweet midrange, and having especially nice midrange spacial information.... Overall with nice hit and balances, I am getting a nice solid body that is warm and smooth, and the low end seeming to be one of the last things to come with full burnin, a little soft and full low mids down for me, but mainly with enough texture and clarity there to not be overly thick... Also not ultra fast (or should I say a touch slow for me), but not by much having good overall dynamics... and the mild slowness at this stage of play contributes to a sweet but revealing euphonic feel, so could be felt as an advantage.... And they are already becoming more complete after just four records, so fingers crossed all these traits will just get better with more music time.

So, first impressions, it seems the powerful Duelund bypass sound is pretty seamlessly integrating with the big Miflex sound, imparting its spacious and focused character, but I don't hear it as separate here. And this is a fun change-up so I will enjoy playing more this week and see how they change with more music and likely some tuning. For me, I imagine adding a little more capacitance by adding some Milfex KPCU and/or perhaps a Mallory 150 bypasses, both to pull a little more micro detail and speed complexity... expanding on the already nice textures, space and decays... Also a little more fine detail clarity will likely liven up low end attacks while increasing complex articulation and inner detail, so resolving an already pretty seductive warmth further. I can imagine this set could be really good for my system and tastes, but likely needing some bypass adjustments and time to tell.

And I suspect if you go with the Miflex Copper Oils, they will be more richly complex and beautiful.



But back to setup. With my usual cap set, three caps, and a resistor, with smaller base caps, it is less tricky space-wise, but harder wire-wise, more of them to compress together on the posts, tricky to get all the wires fitted in place and tightened well together, while also coming up with a nice arrangement that fits the areas above and below the top binding post set. And though I have connected this many wires with posts many times, I ended up soldering these established bypasses together to make it easier.

For the big Miflex caps I use a strip of Herbie's grungebuster damping material to protect the caps from vibrations with the bottom posts while still being supported a little by the bottom posts. If the ERR setup has more room that could be nice.

In the pics you will see my experiment to eliminate binding post sound for the most part... For the outside to inside connections, I used a few inches of 18 gauge UPOCC silver run through slightly oversized teflon that I sealed into a small hole I drilled through the Crossover plate. Inside the speaker, the silver wire is soldered directly to the crossover parts. And on the outside, first I coated the bronze posts I fashioned with teflon tape in the areas the connections would be to avoid metal to metal contact with the posts. Also I used teflon washers backed by bronze washers and nuts for this reason. Around the posts, I bent a loose expanding coil of the silver wire, separated from the post a little. So outside connections are silver wire to silver plate spades, and where cap and resistor wires meet, the connection is wire to wire compressed between the teflon washers. It is a bit of a pain as I have it, but the sound change was pretty amazing to me, so a really good experiment. Sorry the pics are not real clear, not great light, but hopefully they tell the tale. I am looking forward to hearing about your decisions and impressions in your new adventure!

Will




[img][/img]



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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #9 - 11/24/21 at 05:07:15
 
Will,

I have to keep this one short, but I’ll send in a more proper reply tomorrow when I have time.  My speakers came stock with a 3.9 Clarity cap.  My build was the last year before the ERRx.  I believe years prior to my build were shipped stock with a 3.3 Clarity cap.  Bob has said to not go higher than 3.9 in some notes I have.  

So a bit of a dilemma..do I go with a 3.3 Milfex and bypass with like a .1 Duelund or a bit higher,  or do I just go with the 3.9 Miflex and keep the value stock with what my speakers shipped with, and bypass with like a .01 Duelund .  I figured that playing around with the  3.3 cap, it will give me more wiggle room for bypassing. I’m not  totally sold on the Duelunds for bypassing….though I know they are good.  I’m tempted to try bypassing with an Arizona Red cactus, but I need to do more reading online on impressions.  The humble HiFi has no info on tha  Arizona’s.   At Decfest I had talked with an Err speaker owner who used the  Arizona’s and did like them.  I know that’s a bit subjective, and in my notes I never wrote down where the Arizona’s took the sound, so it’s a bit of a shortcoming.  

More to come…..
Dom

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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #10 - 11/25/21 at 22:07:31
 
Hey Dom,

I see the dilemma, starting with a 3.9 limiting flexibility beyond a very low value bypass. But I suspect this could sound really good with the KPCU base. If you went with a 0.01 Duelund and it ended up too vivid and hot for your setting seems there are not a whole lot of higher tone alternatives, but likely enough to work nicely....  a Miflex 0.022 would be the purist fit, and likely really good, bringing out the finest detail and space with the same basic cap sound. Some others I know of that may work are a Hovland SuperCap 0.01, and Rike S-Cap 2, 0.01, some caps I have liked in some mod settings, both clear, complex, dynamic and different flavors of warm body. A little colored warm overall for me, but good for tuning coloration that does not veil detail. I do have several that might work that are low cost, ones I know work well with smaller Miflex, but have not checked with larger caps.... I will let you know my opinions once I get a chance to test them. More high end ones off hand are Rike Q-Cap coppers, or Mundorf Supreme silver/gold Oil which I have not tried, but I think the S-Cap 2 by Rike is a pretty nice cap, and I have tried and used a lot of Mundorfs... Supremes, Sliver Oil Supremes, ZNs, and a number of Evos... I think they are nice caps, but eventually, I found caps I preferred, having less obvious signatures. Mundorfs still in use here are a few Evo Silver Gold Oil small bypasses, and a Supreme EVO Oil 3.3, part of my mid crossover, and a 0.33 Sliver Oil Supreme is really good as an AC filter in my Balanced Power Supply. I liked it at first as speaker or amp bypasses, but it didn't last for me having a sort of compressed warmth that regular Supremes seem to have, creating a subtle slowish veil to me, and that basis making the notable detail from this cap a little separate for me...a little too much self sound in this system.

A long time ago, I think the 1st cap "upgrade" I tried was 3.3 Mundorf Supremes on the HR-1 tweeter. And in that case, it was a nice upgrade to me, rich and smooth. It took a long time to come in as I recall, but finally it never went quite far enough. Still waiting for more burnin clarification, I realized it was just the way the cap sounded...Not way off, but enough to wish for more. I think this may have been what got me into bypassing, trying a lot of popular value caps to refine the Supreme and learn. And they helped make the Supreme more clear and less colored/veiled. I liked a Russian Oil bypass warm and smooth, but also some nice subtle clarifying effect as a bypass. I also tried bypassing with Mundorf ZNs, Obbligatos, NOS Russian Teflons, Auricaps, and more. Then I was only using one bypass at a time, and I may have ended up with Supremes with ZN bypasses, the ZN pretty articulate/clear and a nice mix with the more warm Supreme, or was it the Russian Oil? But when I got Jupiter VT base caps (put in backwards to open them up) it  was also warm, but more sophisticated to me with greater nuance and complexity that was less "behind" something. They needed bypasses for me also, leading to checking out better bypasses.

Then, having all those older test caps, and having been inspired by Vyokyong's ZMA modifications, I started to explore working in the amps with power supply bypassing. The first one let me know this would be an illuminating and exciting arena, and led to lots of bypass experiments, then to resistors, pots, wires and connectors..... That 1st amp bypass was more than 5 years ago now, with a steady stream of experiments ever since....still learning and experimenting... so much more to learn! Very compelling!

If you decide on a 3.3 base cap to get to 3.9, I guess a 0.47 KPCU might be a good to start for a bypass series, then a 0.1 something, and a 0.022 or 0.01 small bypass... close to 3.9, and with quite a lot of tuning ability. Probably a good progression for getting all you can from bypassing... but man, especially if you use these big Miflex 3.3, that is a lot of caps to hang on there, functionally and visually. And using mostly Miflex Copper Oils, cost-wise, they are no doubt good for what you get, but getting a bit more costly for a big set. Not a lot more than to a 3.9 with the same low value bypass cap though...  

I got a 3.3 Miflex KPAL for a base cap knowing I could use it on the tweeter, or in the internal crossover with other mixers, or in one position in the Torii power supply with small bypasses, so it made sense to me. And I am OK with a lot of caps hanging off the back of the speakers. But my next project is going to be to get rid of posts and caps on and in the speakers altogether, setting up crossover boxes that separate the caps from speaker vibrations, and make them easy to change, while being tucked away in a nice box. Loving the flexibility for shaping the sound, this will be nice, and I have a lot of interesting caps around now, so the smaller base caps made sense for me.

The 3.3 KPAL at the moment is like $44 on sale and a KPCU 3.3 on sale is ±$179. The KPAL I suspect is still improving, but turning out to be quite a nice cap having opened up nicely in a few days of playing them again... no longer obviously tending slow or dark, it sounds more like I would expect a nice aluminum foil PIO cap to sound, clear upper mids and highs and really good body, all with seductive space... warm, but not into dark/veiled here... and the bass is tightening up nicely... and the right bypass combo can really help these things, but I am hoping for a little more refinement on top and a little more speed way, way down. They have gotten pretty fast in general, and subtle refinements and the bass always seem last in burnin, so I am imagining less or no reservations soon. The KPCU is very likely to be more complex and refined, being good copper instead of aluminum foil. But I am thinking now that the KPAL with the right bypasses and more burnin may dig quite deeply into entrancing beauty. I mean, it is now! Just hoping for a little more. Fingers crossed.

To show more clearly the demanding setup with the base cap being giant, here is another pic. A 3.3 KPAL, a .33 KPCU, a .1 Arizona Red, and a 0.01 Duelund tinned copper bypass, not very secure for moving without adding some sort of strap, and looking like a science project. Total value 3.64.

And it looks like a Miflex Oil 3.9 is ±7/16" bigger in diameter.




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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #11 - 11/29/21 at 08:08:50
 
Will,

For the past two days I have been consistently reading and cross-referencing your responses in addition to the old ERR speaker modification posts, as well as your personal emails and Bob’s as well.  Yes I’ve been really digging in deep.  My binding posts are vertical, As opposed to yours which are horizontal.  This is definitely going to make the install a bit more challenging.  I believe soldering the bypass cap to the main cap is the only way to go.  I then will need to figure out a way to hang that large-cap vertically without putting too much stress on the lead wires.  I need to also factor in vibration control as well.  Creating a permanent ledge and/or someway to hold them to the cabinet is going to be challenging.  If I find it too challenging with the vertical install of these huge caps, I just may take your advice and build the crossover boxes that would make it easier to mess with in the long run.

I’m thinking for aesthetics, it would be better to build a set of speaker platforms that would house the crossovers.  That way you would only see a set of wires coming out of the back of the platforms.  I think I’m going to work on a mock up drawing tonight at work to start messing with the design.

Out of curiosity…if my wiring from the speaker posts that goes down into the platform is like 1.5 to 2 feet…what size gauge wire would you use?   The copper leads coming off the Miflex KCPU’s is 20 AWG.  I was thinking of keeping it the same size and using some DH Labs silver plated continuous crystal copper hook up wire.  

https://www.partsconnexion.com/DHLABS-54496.html#36096

I have decided to go with the 3.3 Miflex and a .47 bypass for now.  In a recent email, Bob had advised me to only perform one bypass….probably because of simplicity but with others like yourself having great success with multiple bypasses, I feel compelled to explore and hear what it sounds like.  I am also tempted  to try a pair of Duelund Standard Graphite 5W  .75 ohm resistors that i will wire in series to bring me to 1.5 ohms.  An old post from an ERR owner felt in that was a great place to start.  Any thoughts on the resistor values?  

Dom
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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #12 - 12/04/21 at 00:51:50
 
Hey Dom,

Sorry it took while to get back. Your setup does seem challenging, especially for these big caps. And yes there are lots of concepts about caps and bypassing.

I wonder if some of these came from when less caps were as refined as they can be now, or from using nice, but not “really nice” caps that don’t mix as well? Don’t know, but I find  nicer caps can mix well, though not all pure shoe-ins. So I know it can be tricky to try to conceptualize an ideal blend for a given speaker and system without actually trying some different caps, which I can do, but that is sort of unusual.

I think most cap “rules” have real basis, but not necessarily in all cases…ideas like: "no bypasses can integrate properly" "bypasses of the same cap type/bandwidth are needed to really work together," "caps are directional and must be put in with the outer winding closest to ground," or, "bypasses should be 10% or less of the cap value below," etc.

There can be truth to all of these and more, but when the goal is integration toward a holistic total cap sound that makes our system sound more real, I want to find any ways I can for improving natural extension and spectral balance; completeness from the finest detail to the most macro detail; immediacy, micro and macro dynamics bottom to top; spatial clarity and complete decays throughout; smooth and sweet inner detail and space that make it all alive and complex… I think concepts can be useful toward these ends, but if too rigid, they can also be barriers to discovery.

Trying to integrate Miflex KPAL Oil, Duelund bypasses with other bypasses, I was reminded how particular I have become as my system refines, and how much each cap matters… especially when they have notable signature characteristics like Duelund bypasses and this pretty distinctive warm but also very clear and spacious KPAL. With different bypasses and values between these two characterful caps it has been trickier to find the deep magic, even when all is relatively burnt in.

The big Miflex KPAL seem good now, the relatively full bass in the balance creating a warm feel without masking complex detail. Bass is faster, probably just a little slow for my tastes on its own, but there is something ingratiating about the slight lag in immediacy that is growing on me and I suspect contributes to the cap's tendency to a lively euphonic sound, while still having a pretty nice hit here. Enlivened by a notably clear and now more complex aluminum foil feel mids-up, the inner space and fine detail has gotten really good. And not surprisingly, everything works easier with the base cap more sweet and balanced. But good bypasses reflect/accentuate base cap balances…and with clearer bypasses, overall detail with the KPAL tends toward too crisp and bold for me. But the cap is quite compelling, so I have been working on bringing out the finer info with warmer yet resolving helpers, while building on the beautiful clear detail and ambient space qualities from the cap.

I first was settling with a 3.3 KPAL, with a 0.33 and 0.022 KPCU, and a 0.0022 Mallory 150… really, really nice here. Then I started adding more KPAL to see where I could take its sound. Now, down to refining two sets that have some nice flexibility and would likely translate pretty, well, I am relieved. I am a little worn out from trying so many cap for days, and listening this “hard” with a critical criteria that they enhance most recordings, so I am glad to simplify using mostly Miflex Oils for now.

Overall, in all tests I preferred 2-4 caps per tweeter, three and four cap sets sounding more complete and musical to me...

I had been trying to use a 0.1 knowing you might need one to reach a full 3.9 uF starting with a 3.3, and that extra cap fit into what it sounds like you got from Bob’s email… Adding different layers of caps can be challenging depending on the caps, perhaps taking work to find the really deep beauty. In my system, and a lot of nice cap choices, it seemed good either way, but for now I am back to what I was using before these tests, about 3.65 uF, and I agree that simplicity is easier when it works. Even so, I found a lot of good sounds using a 0.1 in the mix, and once “there,” pretty amazing, and in a different league for me than the stock caps that came with my HR-1+ upgrades, caps that sounded pretty good for small sizes that take little room, but not like these. And really, why would we even try if we didn’t hear possibilities for refining what is there?

More close to the set you are considering now, 3.3 and 0.47 KPCUs, I wanted to see what I thought with just on and two caps. Not the same, but a 3.3 KPAL alone sounded quite good, and adding a 0.33 KPCU it sounded quite good also, both nicely complex for having no high bypasses and indicating how good these Miflex oils are.

Then I added a 0.022 KPCU, harmonically enriching with more smooth/complex copper mixed with the KPAL, more fine information transparently and pleasantly integrated. Still, I liked this set better with a 0.0022 Mallory 150 bypassing the 0.022 Miflex Copper Oil, clearer, more spacious and articulate, while giving a little smooth warmth with increased fine detail, livelier, but staying relatively relaxed. The whole has a “trippy” soundstage loaded with ambience. Bending into “euphonic,” listening to caps so much slipped away….making me feel like I was more part of the music.

It is amazing what the right little cap can do with complimentary caps underneath. Divide 3.65 uF by .0022, the little bypass looks like it is 1/1659th of the whole. And I tried a .0047 first, then a .0033, before arriving at .0022, clear choices here. Your room with your speakers might well end up different, but I would not be surprised if you ended up preferring adding a 0.022 KPCU at least, and perhaps one of the Mallorys. And if you try this you will know how powerful small bypass can be, and not much $ risk, the small Miflex being low cost for the sound, and very small value Mallorys ridiculously so for what they can do with the .022 Miflex if "right" there. Though not always my choice, in this set, all caps were in the “right” direction, the ground line near the negative post, though I am not sure how the Mallory is supposed to go, and I find they can be “better” either way. One is milder and more spacious, and the other fuller/warmer with a bit more of everything — probably the “right” way, with the letters heading toward the negative post.

Now I am learning to utilize the spacious clarity of KPALs, a 3.3 KPAL, a 0.33 KPCU, a 0.022 KPAL, with a warm/smooth, but still clarifying (in this set) 0.01 Mundorf Silver/Gold Oil Evo. Changing from the 0.022 Copper Oil to 0.022 Aluminum Oil brought the KPAL detail and ambient qualities up, and with just the 0.022 high bypass, a nice complex balance. But wanting a little more fine detail and space, it got too hot on hotter recordings with a number of small bypasses I have. Then I remembered the warmer Mundorf Silver Gold Oil Evo, and so far it seems really good… allowing the sweet open clarity of the KPAL with the fine detail enlivened with a little warmth and solidity throughout, and without sacrificing complexity in any serious ways. So far it sounds really, really good. The little Mundorf I had found a little off-balance in more neutral settings a bit too much disparity between fine detail and thickish warmth and solidity. But now, it has a magical balancer with this KPAL/KPCU set, pulling the Aluminum Oil potential really nicely on first impressions. Now I can tune the CSP3 and ZRock fairly high if needed to bring it all together, tightening and enhancing bass, and lifting lucidity without concern for it getting too crisp, yet retaining a nice complex detail enhancement. Also the KPAL's slight bass slowness seems to have become pretty unnoticable, at least with the recordings I have heard so far. Looks like having done so much avoidance of compensation, my foundation is good enough for me to branch out and to start compensating more here and there!

I suspect that if I had a 3.3 KPCU, that I would not have had to work at it near this much, but I probably would not have found this particular beauty either. And though it was challenging to get it to work “just-so,” where each part together makes the whole better than the parts, it now sounds pretty right and quite beautiful in most every way… Not as richly complex and relaxed and "trippy" as the more copper set, but sounding more “accurate” and live, also having nice speed and solid hit, while being complexly and musically detailed and spacious …at least here, without hard edges that can easily come with clarity. Finally looking like a nice shift for me, I can't say this is "better" than the more copper set, which is closer to the set I have been using. But this more clear set so far looks like a nice alternative that is as good on first impressions, but different and exciting in its own ways. I never know with initial excitement, needing time to really "get" these things, but with any luck, I will be ready to fix up these connections without clips after a few days of digesting the sound with more music!

How these basic arrangements might translate into your setup, can’t know, but I can say they work nicely here, and there is a fair bit of flexibility with 4 caps, allowing trying more and less bypasses, and trying caps in different directions… so a nice variety to play with… and it would likely be even easier using all KPCU, a 3.3, 0.47, and 0.022 before a little Mallory.







Interestingly, the more refined my system/room has become, pretty much one part at a time required to be an improvement, I can say, that if all is done with care for complete balances, especially with some value changes here and there when needed, each “addition” amazingly continues to make the whole better. And the deep beauty needs parts that can go there, but perhaps it has been less about parts and wires doing this or that, than parts and wires not doing this or that. If they are complete and balanced in most ways, little or nothing left out, and little or nothing getting in the way, I am thinking it is a lot about synergistically eliminating inhibitors to unrestricted and relatively uncolored musical beauty.

This seems about the same as saying greater and greater resolution, in balance, allows us to hear all that is there in the recording, including unclouded space with relatively discrete complex detail — the base sounds feathering into and contrasted by beautiful clear space... where a lot of the magic lives.

I am probably just scraping the surface, but more and more I think this pattern is leading to euphonic beauty, which in one sense does not make much sense. My conditioned view of “euphonic” has been associated with pleasantly syrupy and colored sound that holds space and detail really well, making it sweet when not overstated. But the more every part together supports complexity, balance and space, I am thinking that less colored harmonic complexity and spatial beauty can create a “euphonic” beauty beyond this… a sound that we trust as natural, so more easily pulling us into an immersive experience.

And layers of well put together bypasses can clearly effect all of this, whether in an amp, or DAC, or speakers.… finally coming down to the caps used and how they compliment one another and the system. And the more I try, the more I find that if each cap layer, or wire, or resistor does what it does more-or-less without compromise or exaggeration, including not having exaggerated detail consolidation and hardness, this has been the easiest way to get deeper beauty for me.



As to Duelund bypasses, I think I have learned that if caps under the Duelunds are a little warm and complex and harmonically rich, then the powerfully stated Duelunds reflect the richness of the caps below, integrating better, even beautifully… especially if part of a higher value cap set, the bigger caps taking up more of the sound space. I previously had not figured this out, many of my Duelund experiences with smaller value cap positions or sets, or with bigger value that were already pretty well articulated and clearly stated, so the Duelunds were too much. That said, though they can sound amazing, they still tend to put me a little on edge in many settings, but at least they have become a realer choice lately, which is a shift for me.

So I think with this expressive cap, context really matters. And considering all the work I have done to make my speakers, amps, and all faster, more resolving, spacious and complex, what shows up as a little exaggerated here could be a welcome addition in many settings depending on the speakers and system and room. I don’t have a lot in the way anymore, so the system/room shows traits of parts quite clearly for better or worse. Where 4-5 years ago, with also highly resolving tuning, but a less resolving system and room, the Duelunds instead of being a bit consolidated and powerfully stated, might have helped cut through subtle masks and slowness enough that I would have fallen for their traits, heightening beauty rather than tending to over-stated. I can imagine this especially since I was able to get the tinned copper to more-or-less integrate with beauty in a few of these tests sets in my present setup. Also, my fav tinned copper is the old handmade type, and the JDMs I have tried seem a little milder overall. So though I don’t have a 0.01 JDM tinned copper for direct comparison, I am guessing the JDM tinned copper might be a little easier for me to use?

That said, and back to simplicity, the bigger 3.9 KPCU, known to be a highly evolved cap, might carry and utilize the Duelund quite well as a two cap set. Back to your beginning consideration. Or, a Duelund might be really good in your setting with your latest idea of starting with a 3.3 and 0.47.

I will write some thoughts on resistors in a little bit, but I hope this helps!

And having been writing this over some days as I experimented and learned, I just noticed your new thoughts on crossover platforms and wires after posting, an inventive idea that I will think about and get back on as well. Off hand though a pertinent potential issue would be raising the speakers and changing how you hear their balance. So maybe worth playing with some sort of minimally resonant risers to see what those effects might be before going too far into planning. This is part of why I am planning on a nice crossover box that will be a foot or so behind the speakers.

Will

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Re: ERR modifications
Reply #13 - 12/04/21 at 19:02:46
 
For resistors, I wonder why use 2 x 5 watt series connected Duelunds? Maybe space plays into it, but then with the smaller 5 watt, why two in series over one with teh total value. I have have not compared the same value, but the 5 and 10s I have used both seemed to have the good sound here. There may be a  difference I didn’t notice, but clearly hearing value changes, I don’t recall registering sound quality of the parts changes. I have heard notable differences with wattage changes with the same resistors and values in direct comparisons in the amps though, so I may be off on this with the Duelunds. But in amps, unlike some, I don’t necessarily find bigger better… seems to depend on the resistor and the application for me, often the lower wattage resistor sounding more natural and lively to me with nice resistors… or sometimes I have preferred a higher wattage…. depends on the resistor and use, but wattage can matter in the amps... so not sure on these Duelunds.

I use 10 watt Duelunds mostly on my speakers because I know I like them, and they are usually about the same price as 5s with partsconnexion sales. But as much, there have in the past typically been so many more value choices with the 10s. partsconnexion also carries the little Mallory 150s if interested when ordering with resistors.

For the best resistor values in your speakers and setup, I can't guess.... but if you think of the resistor as a volume control for the tweeter, and if it is close but not fully optimal in relation to the rest of the speaker balances, it might sound really good. But with a just-so value, it might slip into a more magical balance, and more completely disappear into the beauty. Here, with my front mid driver, I have liked no resistor using a solid soft silver wire, a 0.8, 2.2, a 2.7, and a 3.3, for quite a while using a 2.2 Standard Silver Graphite. But maybe it is time to recheck that?

Without a mid driver in your speakers, I am guessing this “volume adjustment” is more critical to an optimal balance and sound, including the resistor sound itself.... And the caps used do matter for the resistor value… If the cap set is more clear, powerful, and less warm, a resistor that attenuates the set a little more might be better for balancing with the rest of the speaker sound… and visa versa, if the cap sound is on the less resolving, darker, and less powerful side, it might feel quieter in the balance, so perhaps a little less resistance would be better for bringing it up a bit.

This is why I might start with whatever value you are using, and get a number of inexpensive 5 watt cast ceramic resistors that include that value, and a few a little higher and lower to compare once your caps are burnt in some. Then I might give your favorite some time while your caps burn in more completely to be sure you are close to optimal. Or if you really like your current resistor value with your new caps, you may be able to guess with some success…. lowering the tweeter volume in the balance a little by adding a little resistance, or if it feels a little too under the rest, needing more presence in the balance, lower the resistor value a bit.

For cross checking how this works, I don’t know what your parameters might be, but you may be able to find a sort of “formula” that fits with your speakers and room to somewhat analytically tune the tweeters. With my speakers, the tweeter and mid driver in front, and the top with no crossover, I have found that if I try to  balance what I hear standing between the speakers, hearing more of the crossover-less top drivers more directly, if it is really close to what I hear out in front of the speakers in clarity, power, and balances, I am in range for a good balance here. I can’t quite work out in my imagination how something similar might work with your radial up, and only the tweeter forward, may not be a relevant idea…. but it might be worth experimenting and see if there is an easy method that is sort of repeatable and simple for a baseline???

My secondary and equally important method that I use regularly with tube tuning and pre-stage baseline gain tuning, is too check the speaker/room sound. I check the balance from “the seat,” and from different parts of the music room, listening for roughly the same balances. Then I see how the balance sounds from an adjacent space, for me down the open hall and listening from the bath room and tub, there hearing the speaker/room sound in part reflected off the solid wood door with a mirror livening it up just so. No direct signal at all, in my system and house, this a really great tool. The sound is great from the tub, my main references there teh solo violin Bach recordings I love to "listen to" while sweating... clearing my head, circulatory systems, and aches and pains. With these recordings I easily hear imbalances from the tub if I did not get it right before. And with a little tuning to sound more-or-less complete and beautiful from back there, it sounds better everywhere else. … Not sure if you have tried anything like this, but if not, you may be able to discover and use similar tuning tools in your house?

And BTW, the wire connections on these resistors are weak links, so I like to hot glue or 2 part epoxy a little blob on the wire-to-case connection to restrict bending in this vulnerable place, the small twisted wires prone to breaking there over years of hanging on posts. With some digging away at the case connection to expose the internal wire after a break, and careful soldering, I have put them back together, but the glue blob seems to help avoid this. Probably a good idea on the bigger cap wire connections too. Especially with Jupiter caps and the soft/thin wires, this has really helped here, and even though the Miflex wires are heavier, relaxing the bend at the wire-cap connection makes sense to me with all that weight.

Hope this helps….

Will
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Dominick
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Posts: 603
Re: ERR modifications
Reply #14 - 12/05/21 at 07:42:51
 
Hey Will,

As always I truly appreciate your time and effort into your replies. I have to keep in mind that a lot of the research that I was reading on the ERR forums were  dated several years back.  An excellent source of information regarding really good caps… But these new Miflex caps seem to be yet another notch above.   Since capacitor tuning is a new area for me, I am taking an open minded approach.  There are no failures … Just degrees of success.  That was part of the reason why I decided to start with a 3.3 capacitor as opposed to a 3.9 capacitor.  I want to have the ability to explore.  Since Bob is the speaker designer and has put a lot of time into tuning them… I feel that while the 3.9 value is not an absolute, it could be towards the top of the threshold.

I do realize that the capacitors need to burn in, so I feel that starting with a 3.3 and a .47 Miflex is a good starting point.  Once these two caps  are burned in a bit,  I will then start to add the higher bypass values.  For the price… The Mallory’s seem like a great choice since I have already spent a good amount of money on the KPCU capacitors.  Right now the temporary set up in my parents basement is a good place for evaluation.  It’s a fairly square room with a drop-down ceiling.  I want to try and optimize the sound for the speakers themselves now, because I know when I move into the house my set up will be more challenging. I will be dealing with an 18 foot vaulted ceiling along with a bowed  window on the left side and an open Archway that leads into my kitchen and dining room on the right side. Needless to say I will be doing ALOT of room tuning once I am settled in.  Curtains will be placed in front of the left window and I will take on building a series of foam panels to place in the Archway when I am doing critical listening.  

I will probably start with mounting the capacitors with the ground wire near the negative post.  I had already played with raising the speakers off the floor 4 inches and the added height has helped with the chair I am currently sitting in, since it’s higher than my couch.  

With my thoughts on building a new set of platforms to house the capacitors, I have already played around with a few simple designs. I think I want to take my time with that  build to not only make them functional but aesthetically pleasing as well.  Especially since I need to take into account vibration control.   This is probably going to need more time than I can afford to do right now with my busy work and family schedule.  With that being said I think building an external crossover box may be the way to go for the time being.

When I was looking at your pictures… I noticed all the clips you have holding the wires together. I think that’s a great solution for temporary set up in order to allow you to play and swap out different capacitors.  I think I’m going to try that approach to make it easier to start breaking in the caps without getting into making more permanent connections with soldering.

While the soldering the wires in my scenario is not a big deal, I think I would rather save that for when I make a final decision on whether I decide to buildi my capacitor platforms, or if I go with the crossover boxes like you have thought about as more permanent solution.

Interesting thoughts on your experience with the Duelund bypasses with adding them to capacitors that are a little warm, complex, and harmonically rich.  I have read elsewhere ( humblehifi maybe) that the JDM bypasses I just as good as the originals and end some.  

In terms of the resistors there was a former member that utilized two 5 watt resistors wired in series with good results. (Reference posts #56 and 70 in the topic “which ERR capacitor”).  I know you are using and like the 10W resistor, but I figured I would try the 5 W since our speakers are different.  Correct me if I am wrong, but   I thought by wiring them and series… It does not change them into a 10 W but keeps them at 5W.   Parts connexion was having a sale on them so I decided to purchase them along with the Miflex caps.  I actually just received the order yesterday and will probably start messing with it on Tuesday when I have a few days off and some more time.  

In terms of room tuning, I have experimented a little bit with checking the speaker/room sound by moving around the room and hearing the difference. A lot of times I will even go into a different room to hear how the sound travels and echoes.  I have noticed on simple recordings with only a few instruments it’s easier  to pick up the difference, as opposed to full multi instrument recordings with vocals.  

Thank you for the information on the weak links of the resistor wires.  I will definitely keep that in mind.  I currently have on hand, museum gel that I plan to use.  This will allow me to float the resistors on to the speaker cabinet neatly tucked away onto the black plate.   I had initially thought to use the museum gel and try them with the capacitors… But I do believe that they will be too heavy for a vertical mount.  I may give them a try, but I think I would first need to stick some  painters tape onto the cabinets to protect the finish before trying the museum gel.  If that trick works, then it would make the cap install a breeze.  

Also… I didn’t forget about replying back to your recent personal email. I will work on that next.  

Once again thank you for your insight… it has been very helpful and inspirational.  

Dom
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will
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Posts: 2476
Re: ERR modifications
Reply #15 - 12/05/21 at 20:42:31
 
Yes it is hard to figure foreign stuff out, especially in a world pretty full of opinions that are often given with minimal, or even no, backup explanation. And with personal experience teaching us that this sort of information, depending on the person or institution can be useful in some contexts, and less than complete in others... I know it gets tricky. Related, it is interesting that we are cultured to "believe" in "authorities," specialized in an area, and therefore "felt" to be "there" with the knowledge. Yet one of our most highly respected authorities as defined by cultural conditioning, medical doctors, are part of a system where statistically, preventable medical mistakes have been counted as our number three cause of death in some recent years after heart disease and cancer... and the whole framework of this devoted group is to save lives! Though dealing with complex and difficult challenges, how does our conditioned ideology about authority and specialization add up in this case... and how close is this to our "feelings" about medical authority?

I figure, with luck, our specialists who can stimulate and discover advancement don't "normalize" this sort of statistic as "the way it is," and are always still learning, still students. And in audio, clearly if everyone really good at this home audio thing were "there," we would have repeatable systems for doing our rooms right (whatever that might be?), and also, if "there," we could have perfect systems in these really good rooms that were repeatable.

But we aren't "there," and even the "best" and most innovative designers and users are always getting better, which means that we are not "there." This is part of why I started experimenting myself, experimenting with trying to refine really good equipment and advice, and through experience becoming better able to dig into finding deeper refinements. For me this seems unending....always learning and the knowledge always evolving... lots of narrowing down and fine tuning as more experiments reveal more results and information, but nothing truly absolute except change.

I could not find the ERR post you were talking about from searching "which ERR capacitor" but, yes, resistors in series increase value, not wattage. Knowing I had liked some caps better mixed, I stumbled into the potential benefit of mixing resistor sounds from putting some nice ones I had on hand together to reach a needed value I did not have on hand for the Torii. Having grown used to the sounds of a number of resistors at that point, it was noticeable that the two together were nicer to me than either one of them alone.... Not always the case, but an interesting discovery that I follow up on now and then. So I can get the idea of series resistors for exploring mixes as sound choices.

But without more info, I don't see the point of adding a solder joint and doubling the number of Duelund resistors and costs from using two of the same resistor in series rather than one that is the full value....I don't know, maybe the person you are following bought those resistors to use singly and found the low value too hot sounding, so tried them in series to calm the tweeter some, and liking doubling the resistance better, got another pair to match? Got me, but that said, even if there is no sonic advantage, I think you will be fine if the combined value is right for your speakers and setting.

On my tweeters, last night I put in a 0.8, 5 watt Duelund, in the place of a 2.2, 10 watt I had been using. And it was compelling to raise the tweeter in the mix on complex and full recordings... increasing finer definitions and attacks and decays. But, playing solo violin, or solo Shakuhachi this AM, first impressions implied that the lower value resistor created a little too much signal focus for my tastes, sounding like the tweeter higher in the mix consolidated/sharpened complex detail a bit much for these instruments and recordings... Likely recording compression plays into it, but that makes this type of recording good for testing to me. And if I did not have different value comparisons with the same resistor type, I may have found these 0.8 resistors really good overall. But they are just a bit too hot to go across recordings in initial tests in my current setup, especially when I know it can be just as resolving, but a little less focused, and more relaxed and complex with a little higher value... making the instruments sound less forced especially on hard and high notes. I will next try a 3 ohm I have and see how that works.

Sorry I misinterpreted or made it up, but I was working on the idea that a 3.9 was a goal for your caps. And I like the 3.3 and 0.47 idea, but preferring layering of values better so far, while leaving room for more capacitance and high bypasses if needed.

The clips I use are pretty strong and work well for playing with small bypasses, but I can't imagine they can sound as good as a tighter, more complete connection without the clip metal. If you are just using two caps, I think you could easily enough combine them on the posts with the little resistor wires while you work out your box ideas, that compression connection more complete.

I can't say what the Mallory 150s would do on top of the 0.47 caps... I always use them as very small bypasses on already small bypasses (like 0.022s - 0.047s) that are bypassing bigger caps. I think the biggest cap I have used them on is a 0.1 and that was good, but don't know from experience about the 0.47. And if you ever decide to try them, the current listing at partsconnecxion is confusing to me, a different cap on the film cap page saying only "Mallory," and another saying Cornell Dublier/Mallory and 150M.... the one I am talking about, little yellow caps.

I have not used museum gel, but can say that almost every damping material I have used has a sound, and more of it, more of the sound, so worth considering as you explore. And the levels of damping with fairly transparent material can be a big deal, at some point no longer just refining the signal or power, but going past that, and dulling the sound, especially suspect if the material damps certain ranges of frequency more than others.

For the crossover boxes, I started going there knowing how much eliminating the stock binding posts did, and wanting to take it further by removing in-speaker vibration from the cap sound, and making less connections. So I am planning on doing mine with the speaker cables going into the box, and splitting into three paths, the tweeter caps, mid driver crossover, and the top drivers with no crossover — good wires direct from each out of the box, and to the drivers. I will probably run the driver wires through the old binding post holes, sealing them somehow after. So in my case, out of the box will be a wire pair for each of the three drivers, just like in the cabinet. Not sure how I will approach this with geometry, damping, and aesthetically until I dig in I suspect.

I don't know if your speakers have an internal crossover, or is the radial full range? And I am guessing your are planning on your box for mainly aesthetic reasons continuing to use the ERR binding posts between the box and drivers??? If this is correct, I am guessing you are going to run your normal cable connections as they are, speaker cables to the binding posts... and then run a wire from the + post to the tweeter resistor/cap setup in the box, and the outlet wire from the box back to the tweeter connected binding post on the speakers???

If so, your wire addition being pretty short and only for the tweeter, and though Bob's stock wire is probably a bigger wire, maybe 16, I would think the 20 gauge of good wire might be fine, a fairly short run, and only running the tweeter. Right now, inside from my "post" wires to my tweeter, I am using a few feet of 24 gauge Neotech Copper Cotton, a UPOCC litz that is very fast, resolving, transparent and quiet here, and it sounds good to me. That wire takes some effort and practice to use well though, each of the tiny wires coated, so burning off the insulation and setting them up for soldering can be tricky even with a solder pot. The super thin wires, if over worked with heat, they grow weak, and if the insulation is not fully burnt off, you get a lesser connection...

I have not tried this DHLabs wire and it sounds conceptually like it could be good. After lots of tries, personally, I have for the most part given up trying silver plate in seeking an ultimate path for signal at this point. They can be really good in many ways, and definitely some mix the copper and silver better than others. But once I began to notice that so many I have tried did not fully integrate the metals, I lost steam. It seems the "silvery" part can contrast with the copper, sounding a little sharp and separate by contrast, also overall a little too hard/clear compared to more complexity that sweetens edges from extra good wires that are not plated. But no doubt they can be really good in most ways, and they are really variable with the qualities of the copper and plate.... plate thicknesses, base copper gauges, and electrolytics and geometry all play into it ...so a lot of wild cards to pull together for seamless sound.

One of the more seamless of these I have heard were "Nordost Odam" ICs with "WBT" silver ends from a Chinese seller, looking to me like Nordost and WBT in most every way. So I don't know if they were made with OEM Nordost parts, or copies, or fell off a truck. But the wires, are UPOCC copper, UP being ultra pure, and OCC being Ohno Cast Continuous, Ohno being the one who seems to have brought us continuous cast. And these use super pure 6-7N silver plate, the safest bet conceptually to me, better metals and dielectric making for better mixing and transmission with less issues. I think a lot of attitude about silver and silver plate is in part because the silver was not UP or OCC silver. And without giving them enough time for me "to fully get them," I did like these cables from China, not necessarily hearing the silver/copper blend per se. But I did not like them nearly as much as a blend of independent copper, silver and silver/gold UP-OCC teflon wires I use in my ICs. Mine were less thick and forceful, faster, more resolving/complex and transparent, more nuanced and a touch sweet to me. But the "Nordosts" are shielded, which I try to avoid, shielding potentially leading to some dulling or over damped-like sound. And without having the same gauges, geometry and damping as my mixed wire cables, I can't say how much of this was the silver plate on UPOCC copper...but the silver plate did seem to integrate pretty well with these.

Anyway, as far as I know "continuous crystal" as the DHLabs site calls the copper wire in the one like you got, is another name for OCC or similar, that is good conceptually to me... how they integrate the silver, I can't guess but you will soon find out! I hope it is really great.

Good Luck Dom,

Will
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