Excellent capacitors?

I’m working on a phono pre upgrade and am looking for the best capacitors.

I’m searching for (2) 0.1uF/400V and (6) 1uF/400V caps. I have the DigiKey references, etc. but am not sure of which products to consider outside of the specs. Is anybody hip to this kind of stuff? Thanks!

A large number of manufacturers of high quality audio in recent years utilize WIMA as their choice. I use them as well for a number of signal path and decoupling purposes.

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http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cap.html

I recently rebuilt my speaker crossover with Sonicaps Gen 1 and Miflex KPCU-01 600VDC bypass on the tweeter. Very nice!

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What Pre are you upgrading, and what is in it?


Just upgraded my Auralic server with a 3rd-party mod board, and most of them are Panasonic. I have it on good authority that for this sort, they are “the best”. That same authority replaced the WIMAs in my VTL pre with RELs. Significant improvement. The fact that a lot of manufacturers use WIMA is more a function of the cost to them relative to what they can charge for the unit they are making, than that they think they are the best available.

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It’s a DIY phono tube stage kit…here is a shot of one that is identical to mine, but has better caps. I’ve recently invested in better valves, and just want to keep going with the project a little bit further…I’m solid state outside of this.

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Ummm, anything? :cowboy_hat_face:

Sorry. Part of the deal is that the best thing would be to try different ones if you can afford it. It’s a bit like putting different components into a system - they may both be “good”, and you may like both - but you may end up liking one Clearly over the other in the context of the application. Best way to know.

I haven’t gotten the sense over time that swapping out parts or drivers of the same spec/values always works, especially if the designer Knew What He Was Doing. Sometimes a better part was not chosen - not because it was more costly - but because the first one just worked better, and/or the difference wasn’t worth it.

Having blathered on about that - with regard to Caps in particular - whether they are the best sonic choice or not, usually better sounds “better”. :man_shrugging:t2: or at least Different.

Thanks, Mr. badbeef. I do appreciate it, and agree with everything you’ve said. I need to crack mine open and take a look at the variety of caps installed. I don’t seem to have a record of those parts from many years ago.

I do think that if possible, it is best not to get precious about it, and try stuff. Especially if it is not a central piece in your system.

Soldering technique and solder also potentially matters.

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Little Cardas tents for my gear.

First, are the caps in a coupling role (signal through and blocking DC) or filtering AC/noise as part of the power supply?
Second, are the existing caps electrolytic or film? Film are generally more costly, but in a power supply, they can improve the dynamics of the music due to lower ESR.
When you say “excellent caps” are you prepared to spend $50 each (roughly) on Audio Note or Mundorf? I have used them in DACs and a phono stage, all in kits from ANK Kits.

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Consider Modwright Truth-M and Truth-T. Truth-M in particular is available in 1uF. The difference is metallized polypropylene vs. teflon. Dan developed these specifically for the Modwright reference series. They are so good he sells them separately. I own a Modwright PH 150 phono stage that utilizes his Truth caps and it sounds terrific.

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Thanks for the feedback, gents. I’m looking into your suggestions.

It turns out that my phono pre is a Hagerman DIY kit called the Cornet2. It’s like 10+ years old.

The suggestions from the builder for cap upgrades are Audience Auricap XO .1µF / 400V and the Audience Auricap XO 1µF / 400V.

I think the Auricap XO are a great suggestion. I’ve used their previous versions as coupling caps in a DIY tube amp and still have a pair in my speaker crossovers, in parallel with the tweeters. I just bought a pair of the XO caps (2.2 mF @200v) to replace the older Auricaps. I’m almost finished a “somewhat extreme” rebuild of the crossovers (numerous phases) and can assure you that capacitors are another important element in changing/improving the sound quality. As @brett66 pointed out, the capacitor test info is great and has helped me for many years. A final point - break-in/burn-in is a factor, especially with better parts and systems, so be patient for hearing changes if you proceed.

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How much are you willing to pay for caps? You can look at sites such as PartsExpress; PartsConnexion (has full price ranges); Madisound (look at on sale page); Triode Electronics; Meniscus Audio; or the big on line guys.

Take a look at Michael Percy.com