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Cardas Caps
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Author:  mwhouston [ 24 Jun 2008, 20:30 ]
Post subject:  Cardas Caps

I'm about to build another valve preamp this time the amp will be in a wood box like my CMoy headphone amp. I wanted to use quality signal caps. In the past I have used Sprague orange drops and have always been pleased with the sound. In my headphone amp (OP amp based) I used local $0.95 polypropylene metal film caps with surprisingly good results. But I like the thought of exotics caps and may go for the Cardas. Look good, not over priced though pricey.

Has any builder used these caps or other premium caps and make some comments to help with my decision.

Author:  RiGuy [ 26 Jun 2008, 17:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

In the K502 I had replaced the (ceramic?) caps that came standard with paper in oil caps. Russian military surplus from ebay. I was a BIG skeptic and am still NOT convinced that I will be anything but upset about having BlackGates or such in my amp. But I must say that the PIO caps made a nice difference. It was instantly noticeable but not instantly impactful. When it really made a difference was when I realized I could listen to the amp much longer without that "listening fatigue." Basically it removed some barely perceptible HF noise sitting ontop of the already high frequencies. But, without the PIO I would not be so pleased with my tube amp.
There is an amp getting lots of attention called the HRII. I have been building it for months. Dont know why I have not finished it. Anyway its by a guy in Brazil named Carlos. He claims all caps are same and resistors as well. Very vehemently. This amp is intended for use with ANY brand or style of cap/resistors.
Ri

Author:  Gio [ 26 Jun 2008, 20:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

The Stock capacitors for the K-502 are polyester. Yes, upgrading them does make some improvement.

I find that Dayton, Bennic and Solen caps provide good bang for the buck. The boutique caps are so much money and I would rather invest the money elsewhere.

Author:  mwhouston [ 23 Aug 2008, 03:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps and life.

gmilitano wrote:
The Stock capacitors for the K-502 are polyester. Yes, upgrading them does make some improvement.

I find that Dayton, Bennic and Solen caps provide good bang for the buck. The boutique caps are so much money and I would rather invest the money elsewhere.


Yes it's your old Australian buddy. It is well known around expert and in-experienced builders a-like that polypropylene caps are far superior to polyester equivalents. Sprague have made a fortune on this simple fact without being expensive or using "exotics". Metalized polyprop. is common, easy to produce has low production spread and sounds good from an audio-sonics point of view. I pay around $AU7 each for my Spragues. This is shocking cheap compared to what I am now paying for Cardas and Jupiters.

I built a few SS preamps and a few valve amps using locally available and very in-expensive prolyprop. metlized caps with excellent results. They cannot be beaten for the price. Sound great. But since I have used Cardas and now Jupiter beeswax and paper hand made caps I have discovered a whole new world of sonic pleasure (not to mention debt). I have just ordered a lot more Jupiters for projects and they will take the place of Sprague for "cap of choice" for my future constructions. I have come to this revelation since using 1uf Jupiters in my latest SS preamp. There is a massive difference in the final sound!! Jupiters will carry my signature sound. And think of the bragging rights when you claim your "newly born" gear carries hand made caps of beeswax and paper in its gene pool! And "their's" is plastic!

Caps are like inter-connects and speaker cables, or even SS verses valve power amps. Taste is everything.

Author:  Gio [ 23 Aug 2008, 10:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

Hi Mark,

I have also have had very good results with the inexpensive / generic polypropylene caps. Quite honestly, I don't think there is a discernible difference between the different brands.

To me, paper caps seem to be the best. I have not tried the Jupiter paper / foil and likely won't given their cost. Paper caps are hard to find and the ones I have found are of tiny capacitance. NOS PIO can often be found on eBay at very reasonable prices.

How they sound and which sounds best is going to be up to the individual.

Here is a great article on how capacitors measure up
http://diyaudioprojects.com/mirror/memb ... /caps.html
Note: this is a mirror of Steve's site which went down 31 October 2008

Cheers,
Gio

Author:  billp [ 23 Aug 2008, 13:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

The major brand names have always been fine for me. Don't buy into the snake oil that these boutique companies peddle.

Paper in Oil is my personal favorite.

Author:  mwhouston [ 28 Aug 2008, 18:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

billp wrote:
The major brand names have always been fine for me. Don't buy into the snake oil that these boutique companies peddle.

Paper in Oil is my personal favorite.


From the two SS preamps I have built using low cost metalized polypropylene and then the Jupiter beeswax, paper and Al foil I could notice a huge difference. But this was not a apples for apples comparison with me increasing the capacity from 0.47uF to 1uF and attenuator from cheap carbon track to Alps blue velvets. Also many other case and construction upgrades
Image
http://diyaudioprojects.com/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-224.

I still felt the caps was a big contributor. The bass was deeper and much more weight and detail in the overall sound.

Author:  RiGuy [ 31 Aug 2008, 22:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/diy/0708/capacitor1.htm

Author:  CrazzyAbtTubes [ 22 Oct 2008, 17:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

For my next tube amp project I plan on using Jupiter caps but not sure if its really worth the money, although I have heard good reviews on them so I think I will hear for my self, if there as good as people say they are.

Author:  RiGuy [ 07 Nov 2008, 12:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Cardas Caps

Sprague Atoms? I found some 60cent 2uf 200v caps and have heard their name thrown around. How do you guys feel about the Atoms? When would you use a 2uf cap?
Ri

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