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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The K&K SE hybrid phono stage: a report
Post Subject: What was Lost is Found (and Then Some...)Posted by Paul S on: 2/28/2010
This has been one hell of a ride!  The new caps had gotten so bad yesterday and this morning that I was almost convinced (again...) that my cartridge was finally, really shot this time; what else could it be?  The upper mids and lower treble had sucked out so badly that it affected everything from the way a mix sounded to the overall presentation, including absolutely terrible stereo, but all with the same "calm" background, clarity, fantastic extension, ambience, bass and dynamics as before.  I never heard before, nor could I even conceive of such a lop-sided fault in otherwise-excellent caps.  And since it had to be my cartridge, I was going to have to find and develop a replacement cartridge at the same time I was trying to break in new caps!  AArrggg...!!!

As all this transpired, I dimly remembered that Jeff (Sonic Craft) told me to wait at least 100 hrs on the 5 uF Gen 1s and at least 200 hrs on the .033 uF Platinum (Teflon) bypass caps.  I had gotten "hints" and "foreshadowings" of truly exellent "traits" from soon after I started listening with them in the circuit, but I admit that the overall turn for the worse had put a big knot in my stomach by late morning today!

I suppose I can assume that the electricity was excellent, but about 2 hours in today, the worm turned, and I am so glad I waited!  Not only did the upper-mids and lower-treble return to exactly where and how they should be, I wound up with everything I wanted, and more.  Pitch, timbre, weight, scale, texture, bass, ambience, dynamics, detail, clarity, inflection, expression, intent, drive  ---  everything.  These caps will not be for everyone, but I have tried to stay "literal" from the start, and these guys are so perfect electrically and so "not there" otherwise that they take my breath away.  And they were still getting better when I shut it down this afternoon.  I listened all afternoon at unprecedented levels, with drive, balance and power I never knew was available from my system.  Harmonics are so natural, it's uncanny.

How would I compare these to the big (and very expensive) Cardas caps?  Either I got a bad pair of Cardas, or...

These Sonic Caps are much better in terms of music AND sound (in this circuit...) than the high $$ Mundorf Ag or Ag/Au.

I will absolutely be putting the same combo into the ML2s.

Paul S

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