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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!