Oct 292016
 

Like usual, I’ve been up since 4 a.m. this Saturday morning writing like a crazed man so I can get the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA premium tinned-copper cable article finished up for the November-December issue of Positive Feedback.

I’m done with the article and it will appear on November 1st. I think (I hope) you’ll find my discussion interesting, insightful, and relevant.

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST Sn-Cu capacitor.

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST Sn-Cu capacitor.

After finishing the article my interests turned to the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors that Frederik sent me to put through their paces.

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors.

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors.

I’ve got one pair on my Cooker™ getting some conditioning time in for a test run in my vintage McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier in the first stage cathode follower of the high level input.

Prototype Duelund's on the Cable Cooker.

Prototype Duelund’s on the Cable Cooker.

Frederik sent me 10 of the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors, and 2 were on the Cooker™ so that left me 8 for further experimentation.

altec-a5-crossover-rev-0

That got me to thinking about the 0.83uF C3 capacitor position in my Hiraga-inspired crossovers for my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, as 4 of the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors in parallel give a capacitance of 0.88uF, which is reasonably close to the specified 0.83uF, and I remembered Pete Riggle telling me that small variations in capacitance made almost no difference in the SPICE calculations he had done for the crossovers.

So with 8 prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors at my disposal, that meant I could make up a bundle of 4 paralleled capacitors of 0.88uF for C3 in each crossover.

C3 0.88uF bundle of 4 paralleled

C3 0.88uF bundle of 4 paralleled prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors.

I tore the plastic baggies off the 8 prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors with the enthusiasm of a kid tearing wrappers of Halloween candy, and set to work.

Given it was just a trial run, I didn’t solder anything in place, I just used alligator clips to connect everything. It looks like the dog’s breakfast, but is a great way to give components a quick listen when you’re breadboarding crossovers.

Duelund capacitor bundle for C3 shown with other C3 test cap bundles.

Duelund capacitor bundle for C3 shown with other C3 test cap bundles.

I had first started with paralleled cap bundles for C3 made up of  the 0.47uF Arizona Capacitor Blue Cactus / 0.33uF Arizona Capacitors Green Cactus / 0.022uF SPEC ruby-mica combination, but that combination proved to be too lean, forward, and aggressive in the high-frequency circuit of the crossover, and I quickly tired of them. You can see that C3 capacitor bundle in the lower left of the photo above.

Looking for a solution that was a better match for my tastes in my high-frequency crossover circuit, I bought a couple of 0.33uF Jupiter Condenser Red Astron tinfoil capacitors (noted for their warmth and naturalness), and made up a 0.47uF Arizona Capacitor Blue Cactus / 0.33uF Jupiter Condenser Red Astron / 0.022uF SPEC ruby-mica combination, which proved to be a huge improvement over the previous bundle, with a much more natural tonal balance, better timbral realism, and just better musicality all the way around. The ‘Red Astron’ bundle is to the right of the previous bundle in the photo above.

The Blue Cactus / Red Astron / SPEC ruby-mica combination is what I’ve been listening with for a while now in the C3 positions of the Hiraga-style high-frequency circuit in my crossovers, and I’ve been very happy with their overall performance and level of musicality.

The Alternate Blues

The Alternate Blues

I’ve listened to The Alternate Blues so much lately that I’ve become intimately familiar with it, so I thought it would make a great comparator for the Duelund cap bundles I had built up for testing in C3 in comparison to the Red Astron cap bundles described above.

So out came the Red Astron cap bundles for C3, and in went the Duelund tinned-copper capacitor bundles.

I started back up the system and let it warm up for a bit, then dropped the stylus on The Alternate Blues, and sat back in my listening spot.

C3 0.88uF Duelund tinned-copper capacitor bundle.

C3 0.88uF Duelund tinned-copper capacitor bundle.

What I heard from the Duelund tinned copper capacitor bundles so dramatically improved my crossovers high-frequency circuit that I was simply stunned. Stunned.

It was amazing in the same sort of way as the first time I heard the full Duelund CAST crossovers that we built to replace the crossovers in my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers for the Duelund-WRSE project.

In this application, the C3 0.88uF capacitor bundle I made up of the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors so far outperformed the Blue Cactus / Red Astron / SPEC ruby-mica combination, that the comparison that came to my mind was difference in performance one might experience driving a 789-hp V-12 LaFerrari around Nürburgring compared to my daily commuter Nissan Leaf electric car.

Think about this: This little experiment was with exactly zero run-in time on the C3 0.88uF capacitor bundles I made up of the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors, and they’ll only get better with more time on them. It boggles my mind!

Ok, I’m going to keep this brief so I can get back to listening to music, as I’m just so blown away by what I’m hearing.

Since I’ve start writing this post I’ve listened through The Alternate Blues, Chet, Rickie Lee Jones (first album), Let No Man Write My Epitaph, and now Ellington Indigoes, and every album completely blew me away!

The prototype Duelund’s riveted my attention after only a few notes with their astonishing transparency combined with their utter naturalness. The level of imaging presence this allowed for in my room was beyond spooky, it felt so real and tangible it was eerie. Very high resolution, but with utter naturalness, which turns out to be an intoxicating combination.

Another thing the prototype Duelund’s did was to allow me to hear unprecedented artistic nuance from the musicians as they played. This was a real ear opener, and along with their superb portrayal of overtones and timbral  nuance, I was absolutely riveted by what I was hearing.

The prototype Duelund’s have vivid tone color, a dramatic and life-like rendering of tempo, dynamics, melody, beat, and rhythm, and I’m still marveling at the effect of hearing all this is having on me.

The prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors are the epitome of what the guitar guys refer to as ‘tone caps’, and they’re ravishingly captivating musically, and make the music so incredibly interesting, it’s hard to articulate, you just sort of have ‘feel’ it.

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitor!

Prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitor!

The first ever listening impressions of the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors on Planet Earth have been a complete success, they are beyond amazing, and all I can say is that Frederik has done it again!.

Even from this preliminary listening session in the high-frequency section of my crossovers, I think these are likely to be the finest ‘tone caps’ on Planet Earth.

Ok, I’m so exited by all of this that I think I need to conclude this post and go listen to some more music!

Thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 3:19 pm

  12 Responses to “A Duelund Coherent Audio Saturday at Jeff’s Place! OMG!!!”

  1. Hi, Jeff….an amazing experience, no doubt. Note that you can daisy-chain the new Dueland’s on your Anniversary Edition….just make certain they are connected in-series (output to input) in the identical fashion you plan to installed them in the crossover. I’d give them at least 4 days of conditioning….6 days is probably best. Let me know how it goes.

    • Howdy Alan,

      Actually they would be installed in parallel in the circuit for a total capacitance of 0.88uF. I think the Cooker should be able to handle that much capacitance with no problem, don’t you think?

      Best,

      Jeff

  2. Duelund has no marking of inner and outer foil
    i don’t no why ?
    I always hear which way sounds best sometimes i hear it and on some applications not.
    It is possible that you have one signal input on the outer foil and the other on the inner foil in a stereo amp
    a marking was better .
    that take the hesitate away
    Regards Robert

    • Hi Robert,

      On Duelund caps one leadout is closer to the center than the other. This signals the “inner” foil.

      Best regards,

      Frederik

      • OK thanks Frederik
        i didnt know that i ask it my supplier a year ago and he mailed you with that question
        and a few days later he reported that there was no direction.
        but no problem its good info now thanks

        • Hi Robert,

          This may be a lapse in communication. Direction in a cap and which foil is the inner foil, are two different questions.

          To wit – there is no “direction” in the cap – i.e. it will work either way. However, if you (as an audiophile) want the caps oriented in the same way, you can determine the inner foil, the way I described.

          • Ok he say that direction of inner and outer foil in signal doesn’t matter with Duelund
            but i like it when i have it in the same direction when i build something
            its good that i know it now

  3. Wow Jeff,

    Great news! I read your post at high speed! Great post.

    Today Bert (friend of my with the Tannoy 15 DMT mk2) made today his Duelund DCA 16 GA ready for listening. His first impression is…….stunning! There must something very special in the copper/tin combination. Perhaps, one day we will discovr what this is!

    Nice greetings!

    Siedy

    • Hi Siedy!

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, my friend! I really do think there is something special about the tinned-copper combination, and all of the tinned-copper cables I have heard have sounded very good musically & sonically.

      The new Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors are wonderful too, and I hope there is enough interest in them that they make it past the prototype stage!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. Hi Jeff
    You are lucky to have Frederik ( and others ) around you with such talent. Wile you are on a Duelund roll , you should try there silver silk oil wire ( 1.0 , 2.0 , 3.0 ) in the crossover seeming the DCA 16 GA was not as good as the WE wire . MMMmmm.
    Thanks for a great site.

    cheers Lance

  5. yes Duelund are always better then anything else
    i use them often as coupling cap and every time amazed when i put them in

    • The Duelund caps are remarkable, for sure. I don’t know what the pricing is on the new tinned-copper caps, but they sure are nice!

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