I have personally experienced the AudioCap stuff,
and found a very noticeable improvement with the PPMF (highly recommended for
the $), and another (slightly smaller improvement) with the Theta. The
Solen/Axon/Bennec stuff have some individual nuances, but sound very similar.
I have never tried Jensen capacitors, but have heard they have a very smooth
sound while losing some detail. Following are further remarks about
capacitors in no specific order.
One well respected gentlemen made the following comments, "
But as for the caps...I will say this. The
Bennic poly isn't worth the electricity it would take to grind them up in the
garbage disposal. They really stink. I noticed more sound difference between the
Bennics and Solens/Axons than I did between the axon/Solens and the Hovland/Thetas.
Just my subjective opinion." This gentlemen uses primarily upper end
I recently corresponded with two gentlemen who
compared the Hovland to the Audio Cap PPMF. One of them performed
the comparison in a Norh 9.0. The other performed the comparison in the
output stage of his Tojeb CD player. Both gentlemen preferred the Audio
Cap PPMF over the Hovland. I cannot explain this. I don't know what
"guts" are inside a capacitor, but the Metallized Propylene PPMF beat the film
and foil Hovland. Hence, their type of construction method isn't the only
thing that makes a capacitor better or worse.
There is also something to be said for the Jensen capacitors.
Jensen has a very good reputation for making the very best paper in oil
capacitors! People are eager to embrace the warm sound these capacitors
present. Everyone seems to eagerly remark that the Jensen has a very tubey
sound. A few folks have reluctantly remarked that their substantial $
investment also resulted in loss of detail. This would seem to follow with
the warm sound everyone experiences. I will not likely try these
capacitors myself. They are too expensive for their reputation.
When you purchase any kit, ask what kind of
components are used. "No Compromise" crossover components can mean many
things. It might mean good design. It might mean
good/better/outstanding component quality. Most likely the components will
be of the Bennec/Solen/Axon variety. These are fine, but there is better
stuff. If you equipment is decent, and your ears are decent, you will
notice an improvement directly proportional to the void in your wallet. I
highly recommend the AudioCap products
from Jeff Glowacki at Sonic Craft.
There are only a few people who can speak
intelligibly about the guts of a capacitor and explain them. Jeff Glowacki
is one of these people. I have tested Jeff's voodoo magic and found that
it really does hold water. His components are very good. His site,
like mine, is void of hoopla about this or that. His stuff is good, his
words are true. Jeff told me that he listened/tested everything and
decided on Audio Cap because it is the best in its class. I highly
encourage anyone interested in getting a better capacitor to call
Jeff Glowacki. He can address any form of question concerning this
I recently performed an a/b comparison with an AuriCap and
Sonicap behind my OW1 tweeters. I learned why the AuriCap indeed has a very
solid following. It's a good capacitor. It has a nice lush midrange,
but lacks some detail compared to the Sonicap. Overall, I found these two
capacitors very good, and equal in quality. If they were the same price,
the implementation decision would be a toss-up. However, the Sonicap is
less expensive and the same quality - IMO. I'll keep using the Sonicap.
There seems to be less hoopla about inductors.
Nonetheless, Dave Elledge has tested
various "better" crossover components, including North Creek, Solen and Goertz
inductors and found the Goertz Foil Inductors superior, when tested against the
others in comparable sizes. I believe this sentiment will become more
pervasively agreed upon by those experiencing these components in high-end
systems. I use the Goertz inductors and found a slight increase in clarity along
with some tightening of the bass. The difference among the Solen and
Goertz inducors is, however, very slight. Either could be implemented with
very positive results in the very best hifi systems. I have a slight
preference for Goertz, and they are slightly more expensive.
The components used are equal to the weakest link
in your system. If are listening to a $100 CD player through a $100
receiver don't expect the Audio Cap Theta to make a huge impact on your Cerwin
Vega speakers. Improvements might be heard, but they will be slight.