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  1. #1

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    Default Sonicaps that much better than Solen???

    I finally got a response from Jeff at Soniccraft; busy holidays....

    Long story short, to rebuild the 3.1's with Sonicaps (All generation 1 except for the Platinum bypass), the total in parts is $352.

    I can do it with Solens for less than $90

    So here goes to you guys that have used Sonicaps (Jesse, Carl, George...).

    I need some words from you....words that can convince me that the sound is going to be so much better that it will be worth the huge upcharge.

    :)
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  2. #2

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    Do the highs with Sonicaps, low sections with Solens. Best bang for the buck. Personally, I do not think the Solen's are that much better than the stock HF section caps in the SDA's.

  3. #3

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    After much trial and error, forget the bypass caps, they are not needed when you use high grade caps. That'll save you money right there.

    Solen's are not a good HF cap, go with Sonicap there. I prefer the Sonicap's all around, but you could try Anonymouse's suggestion.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut
    After much trial and error, forget the bypass caps, they are not needed when you use high grade caps. That'll save you money right there.

    Solen's are not a good HF cap, go with Sonicap there. I prefer the Sonicap's all around, but you could try Anonymouse's suggestion.
    My sentiments exactly. I don't think the bypass is needed. I like the sound of the Sonicaps. The knock on the Solens is that they can be a little harsh.

    I would like to try the Mundorf Silver Oil Supremes or the Audio Note caps. Both are about 5 times the cost of Sonicaps. Clarity caps may also be a good choice.
    Carl

  5. #5

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    I've been trying to justify the cost of the Mundorf's myself......probably have to do it or I'll never know.

    Real estate is another issue with them. I know I'd have to remote mount them.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut
    Real estate is another issue with them. I know I'd have to remote mount them.
    You got that right! I built a set of mock up Mundorfs to see if they'll fit inside my CDP case. It will be tight.

    Inside a speaker, it would probably be easier to start with a whole new board and do point to point wiring. My 2.3's have Sonicaps floating up off the side of the board, above the board I even considered mounting them to the speaker cabinet LOL!
    Last edited by schwarcw; 01-03-2007 at 12:59 AM.
    Carl

  7. #7

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    Any one try dayton 1% caps?

  8. #8

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    Default M10

    I was looking at this as well and decided to go with clarity caps for my monitor 10. I just have to get them broken in to see how much improvement there was, I still have them up with the poly drying... 300 is too much, IMO, YMMV :D

  9. #9

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    Default Depends On What Your Goals Are

    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    I need some words from you....words that can convince me that the sound is going to be so much better that it will be worth the huge upcharge.
    As with anything else, some idea of your performance goals, and some idea of the location of your personal point of diminishing returns helps a great deal.

    In my SDA mods, I have used Solens, RelCaps, AudioCaps, ICW Clarity Caps, Sonicaps, MultiCaps, etc. I have been thrilled with the performance of all of them. The higher cost film caps provided higher performance where the application required it.

    To give you some perspective, when I did the mod for my SDA SRS's, I used nothing but Solens and the improvement over the stock electrolytic and mylar caps was spectacular. Since the SRS's would be used in my home theater system with amps and source components of moderate resolution, it did not make sonic or financial sense to use higher resolution parts.

    When I did the the mod for the SRS 1.2TL's used in my two-channel system, I used AudioCaps which cost 5X the cost of the Solens. This made sense as the amps and source components in the two-channel system were of higher resolution. Furthermore, I was planning an upgrade path to amps and source components of even higher resolution.

    When I visited Dunlavy Audio Labs factory, I asked John Dunlavy why he used Solen capacitors in his speakers, (the most expensive of which cost over $35,000), rather than some of the higher quality film capacitors available. He said that for the vast majority of the recording studios and audio enthusiasts who purchased his speakers, the Solens were more than adequate. This was verified by Dunlavy's laboratory measurements as well as double blind listening evaluations.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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  10. #10

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    I don't know, maybe it's just me, but for $35K I'd expect Mundorf's regardless of lab specs and those worthless DB tests.

    BTW, I like your Audio Asylum Member quote. Obviously, someone rather clueless.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  11. #11

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    From my somewhat limited perspective, the sonicaps offer a smoother high end with a more seamless transition from mid to highs.A tad more clarity if you please,somewhat airy and open. The one thing that I noticed with both brands,(especially with the solens) was the bass extension was improved to the point of erasing any notions that a sub would be needed. If you plan on keeping the 3.1's(for a looooong period) and you do alot of 2ch listening, I would use the sonicaps, if not, then go with the solens.Either way,I don't think that you'll be disappointed. Have fun.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all your comments; I really appreciate your input guys.

    Ok; so bypass is already off the list (talk about "blind" trust..); that will save $58 right there.....exactly what does a bypass cap do????

    Combining Solen and Sonicaps might also be a good idea; I did the 1.2's with Solen and the improvement was VERY good and noticeable....but I need more.... so here comes my goal; strictly 2 channel; I am swapping the 3.1's with the Carver AL-III's; I love the SDA's, but the truth is that the Carver's get a lot more listening time.....the last time I put the 3.1's in I was "bored" very quickly.... If I can get the SDA's to provide just a little more detail in the mids/highs, I think they will stay longer. My components are not crazy high end, but they are not that bad either; decent tubed CDP, AES tube preamp and a Belles SS amp.
    So, lows is not a concern and I know the Solens are good for that; The low section has a 24uF and a 55uF; If I could for sure know which impacts the lows and which the mids, I could decide which to get a Sonicap for...but I don't know if this "separation" is possible.

    I'll wait to see if anyone can help on determining which would be the "mids" cap; if that's not possible, then I guess I'll go with Sonicaps all around; $58 saved is not bad, and if I don't get those mids details improved, I think these 3.1's will be in the FM not too far in the future...I've thought of getting a second amp for biamping the AL-III's...there's a nice one on the FM right now;)



    Thanks!!
    Last edited by Ricardo; 01-03-2007 at 08:20 AM.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670
    Any one try dayton 1% caps?
    A friend of mine build a pair of speakers from an award winning DIY design. He initially used the Daytons. After a couple of days, he ordered some Sonicaps and Mundorfs, tore out all the Daytons and rebuilt the crossovers. He said it was the best thing he did after trying to tweak the speakers with an active crossover.

    I suspect for many applications the Daytons would do fine. I wouldn't put them in my SDA's or Monitor 7's

    Carl
    Carl

  14. #14

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    Well, I hope that Sonicaps are that much better; I placed the order for all Sonicaps, INCLUDING the 0.1uF Platinum.....these are Jeff's words:

    "The Platinum bypass does not just sharpen detail like most bypasses.
    It will impart a large dose of its character onto the tweeter. The
    highs will be smooth, richer harmonics, more open, faster, and convey
    much more emotion"

    I guess this could very well be just a sales pitch, but what can I say...I bit :(

    Also ordered some Cardas binding posts so upgrade will be complete. Have some fun project to do this weekend; will post impressions in a week or so.

    Thanks again for all the input.
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  15. #15

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    Yeah, I talked with Jeff at long length about bypass caps, he told me about the same thing. At first they seem to sound wonderful, but after awhile I removed them because what they impart are artifacts, which becomes very annoying. Try them, it's the only way you'll know. However, at some point down the road, remove them. I think you'll like the sound better without them.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw
    A friend of mine build a pair of speakers from an award winning DIY design. He initially used the Daytons. After a couple of days, he ordered some Sonicaps and Mundorfs, tore out all the Daytons and rebuilt the crossovers. He said it was the best thing he did after trying to tweak the speakers with an active crossover.

    I suspect for many applications the Daytons would do fine. I wouldn't put them in my SDA's or Monitor 7's

    Carl
    Thanks SCHWARCW I was looking pretty hard at them because of price/tolerence. but I think I'll hold off till I can afford better.

    Ben

  17. #17

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    I'm speaking only from my experiences with home-built speakers, but, try as I might, I can't hear any difference in Solen, Dayton, or Jantzen polyproplyene caps. I CAN hear a difference in the above capacitors versus the cheap electrolytics, but even that difference is not night and day to me, provided that the caps are all closely matched in value. That's one area where the tighter tolerence parts are advantageous, especially if you don't have a way to measure them.

    I'm not saying that there IS NO difference, just that I've tried repeatedly to hear a difference (trying to make some of my DIY stuff sound better, LOL!) and I just can't hear it. Also, not to get into the whole "if you can't measure it, it ain't there" syndrome, but there ARE measureable electrical differences between cheap NP electrolytic caps and metalized film capacitors, and between metalized polypropylene or mylar capacitors and film and foil types, but very little difference between brands of caps of similar construction.

    Same thing with resistors: I can hear no difference whatsoever between cheapo wirewound resistors and "non-inductive" types like Dayton, or high-end types like Mills. I generally use the "mid grade" just because they don't cost much more and they say "audio grade", but I can't hear any difference.

    Perhaps it's my ears or the speakers I'm testing with, or both. I wouldn't try to talk anyone out of Solens or Sonicaps, especially for their SDA's. That's what I'll use if I do mine. At least on the highpass side..

    Jason

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    .....these are Jeff's words:

    "The Platinum bypass does not just sharpen detail like most bypasses. It will impart a large dose of its character onto the tweeter. The highs will be smooth, richer harmonics, more open, faster, and convey much more emotion"
    If you could only say that with Jeff's Texas twang!:D

    Jeff has given me nothing but solid advice. However, I think Jeff would put a 0.1 uF bypass cap on a slab of ribs.

    One thing you could do Ricardo is attach the 0.1 uF cap to the base cap leads (carefully) using an alligator clip. This would make it pretty easy to do an A/B test without getting out the soldering gun. If you like the sounds of the bypass cap, then solder it in. I think you will hear a difference, it's just a matter of taste sometimes. Or as Jeff says, maybe it's a matter of character LOL!

    BTW, those caps need at least 100 to 200 hours to burn in.

    Carl
    Carl

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw
    My sentiments exactly. I don't think the bypass is needed. I like the sound of the Sonicaps. The knock on the Solens is that they can be a little harsh.

    I would like to try the Mundorf Silver Oil Supremes or the Audio Note caps. Both are about 5 times the cost of Sonicaps. Clarity caps may also be a good choice.
    I have tried for the hell of it and have for sale with a pair of 70's X-overs (in the FM) the Mundorfs you mentioned on my Rti-70 and can say that at first they were extremly bright but calmed down and went straight to detail after they started to break in. They are extremely fast.
    If you or anybody is intersted let me know via PM.

    Dave

  20. #20

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    I'll get the 0.1 bypass caps in, and see how they sound; I might take them out after breaking in as Jesse suggests, to see difference with/without (that is if I can hear any difference...:)).

    Luckily the 3.1's crossover are easily removed...if they were the 1.2's after getting all those overzised caps. in, removing the crossovers requires magic.
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