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  1. #1

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    Default Advice on Cap upgrades in tube preamp

    I just received my Dared MC-7P tube preamp. Out of the box, the thing is excellent. I'm really very happy with this purchase. However, I've gotten my read on about this piece, and there's much to be gained with upgrading the coupling caps. Even spoke to Dared and they recommend a cap upgrade if you want to invest a little dosh. Dared recommended using Auricaps.

    There are a total of ten caps that Dared told me to upgrade. Six are 1uF, two are 0.47uF, and two are 0.047uF. I had been talking to Trey about using Clarity caps, however I want to stick with one brand (otherwise things start to get very confusing....) and Clarity doesn't make anything as small as 0.047uF, and they don't do custom sizes. So that ruled out Clarity.

    I had also considered trying Sonicaps, except Soniccraft appears to be closed for a couple of weeks, and to wait would require patience, of which I have very little!

    So I went ahead and ordered the Auricaps from thetubestore.com, they should arrive on Friday. The upgrade should be fairly straightforward, that's not the bit I'm looking for help with.

    The part I have a question about is bypass caps. I know that in our crossover mods, we tend to stay away from them. However, I've read from people doing the cap upgrades to this preamp that bypassing has shown very positive results. So I'm interested in trying this.

    Couple of questions:

    1) Thinking about Sonicap Gen II's as the bypass caps. Any comments on using the Gen II's to bypass Auricaps? If not, any suggestions?
    2) What value should I use? They make as small as a 0.001uF Sonicap Gen II.
    3) Which caps should I bypass? All ten of them? Is there a reason to bypass something as small as a 0.047uF?

    Sorry for the amateur questions, but I'm not really technical enough to understand what a bypass cap even does. I've just read very positive reviews of bypassing these coupling caps, and ten of these .001 Gen II's would run $44, which is an amount I'm completely willing to gamble with to experiment.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  2. #2

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    The Auricaps are great, but they have gotten pricey. I wouldn't use a bypass cap with the level of caps you are talking about or the size of caps. Don't bypass it's not necessary. The Auricaps are very, very nice. I have them in all my Dared pieces.

    So you aren't really looking for a cap recommendation since you bought the Auricaps?

    I was going to say Mundorf or Obbligato.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  3. #3

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    I also notice the tubestore carries the old line of Auricaps that Partsconnexion just closed out. Partsconnexion carries the newer "XO" version.

    It appears the "XO" version is about 30% more $$$.

    Obbligato's would have been my choice and they carry the exact values.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 08-29-2012 at 11:22 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  4. #4

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    Mundorf is very expensive, that's the problem there.

    Didn't realize there's a new version of the Auricaps. Maybe that explains why tubestores prices were considerably cheaper than what Soniccraft sells them for.

    Reason I'm curious about bypassing is there are posts on diyaudio raving about how good the MC-7P sounds with the coupling caps bypassed, and it's a cheap enough experiment to try.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  5. #5

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    The Mundorf M-cap's aren't expensive. But I'd choose Auricap over the M-Caps. Don't get me wrong I think the Auricaps are an excellent choice. The Obbligato's are as nice for less money. But they are physically larger at 630V rating.

    You will notice a nice improvement with the Auricaps and they should be physically a better fit. I wanted Auricaps when I recapped my Adcom DAC but they didn't make a couple of the smaller values, so I went with Multi-Caps.

    Try bypassing if you want, it's not favored here and especially in SDA's. I would assume the same sorts of issues as are experienced by many here with SDA's. I don't get why people take a really nice cap and bypass it. I can see bypassing a cheap cap. Not sure how it will work on such small value caps anyway.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  6. #6

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    I guess for now I'll just do the Auricaps, see how things sound, and evaluate from there.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  7. #7

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    Just fyi, I ordered from Sonicraft on Friday and had my stuff shipped on Monday. I did get that notice as well but my order was still processed.

  8. #8

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    If you call them now, though, it's just a recording that they're closed.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
    If you call them now, though, it's just a recording that they're closed.
    Ahh okay. I must have lucked out ordering on Friday.

  10. #10

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    What pre did you have before the Dared spindel? I've been looking at the Dared SL2000 for a long time but like the idea of having a phono input. The MC-7P looks incredible and the reviews I've seen have been stellar.

  11. #11

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    I was using an Eddie Current Balancing Act as my preamp. Then I tried out the sl2000a. It's great, but once you introduce a turntable it just doesn't make sense. For the cost of the sl2000a, a good phono stage, a power supply for the phono stage, and interconnects, you've spent more than the MC-7P. So I sold the sl2000a, very happy with the MC-7P.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
    I was using an Eddie Current Balancing Act as my preamp. Then I tried out the sl2000a. It's great, but once you introduce a turntable it just doesn't make sense. For the cost of the sl2000a, a good phono stage, a power supply for the phono stage, and interconnects, you've spent more than the MC-7P. So I sold the sl2000a, very happy with the MC-7P.
    I'm sold. I think it could be the piece that completes my electronics.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    I'm sold. I think it could be the piece that completes my electronics.
    Why do i doubt that highly???
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  14. #14

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    Ok, the auricaps arrived today. First question I have is that the leads are shielded red and black. I thought film caps are not polarized? I haven't opened the amp up yet, but if the stock caps aren't marked +/-, how do I determine which end goes where? I've got a multimeter, but that's about it.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  15. #15

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    If you check the Auricap documentation @ http://www.audience-av.com/capacitor...plications.php
    you will see what the manufacturer recommends: Quote...

    " LEADS

    In signal path applications the black lead is "in" and the red lead is "out."

    In power supplies the black lead should be connected to ground and the red lead to the + or – voltage.

    In loudspeaker crossovers the red lead should be connected toward the + terminal on the drive unit."

    I use them on a lot of my tube and speaker re-builds, like them.

  16. #16

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    I believe that this "Polarity" applies to several different brands of caps. While the leads are not colored, the print is oriented with the in on the left and the out on the right as you read the print. Same rules apply as above. If they are installed incorrectly, they will not destruct like polarized caps, just not sound optimum.

  17. #17

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    Ok, thanks guys. Now I just need to figure out which way is in and which way is out!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

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