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XLR8R22's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: Apr 20 2011 - 2:58pm
Thoughts on my recent upgrade

Well, no matter how many times I tell myself I'm done spending money on my system, I always find some way to manage it.  

I was bored the other night, and decided to take apart my Polk RTi70s (really bored), to see what I could see.  I was horrified to find (although I should have expected it) that the crossovers were constructed with non-polar electrolytic type capacitors.  "This just won't do," I thought.  Three hours later I had a shopping cart full of audio grade caps from Dayton, Solen, Audyn, and Jantzen.  I didn't want to spend a fortune on anything super nice, just wanted a simple upgrade from the NPEs.  I researched all of my choices and decided that while there were most certainly better caps out there, that these seemed the best value for the money.  I spent a grand total of $48 including shipping, and I'll say right now, hell of a deal.  

I just finished putting everything back together about 15 minutes ago, and also decided to stuff some eggcrate acoustic foam in the boxes that I had left over from a subwoofer project.  Saying the difference is "noticeable" is a gross understatement.  I'm not even an hour in to the burn in, and already there is a massive improvement across the spectrum.  Previously, while my imaging was great, it always sounded like the singer was standing behind my stereo rack, singing through it, and the soundsage was always slightly recessed.  Now everything is right where it should be.  The singer is standing right in front of the rack, and the soundstage has gotten significantly larger, deeper, and more open.  Center image seems slightly tighter, but more noticeable is off to the sides.  Far more air and openness to the sound.  I also turned the treble control on my preamp from +4 to +2, and may even just zero it if things continue to get better.  Bass has also improved significantly.  It has gotten deeper and cleaner, which I think is more due to the additional damping in the cabinet.  Overall, the music is smoother, clearer, and more coherent.  It actually sounds like a viel has been lifted from the highs, and the lows are deeper and stronger, while being slightly more balanced and controlled.  I almost don't need to use my subwoofers.  But of course I do! ;)

For the tweets I used a Dayton Metalized Polypropylene bypassed with a Dayton Film and Foil, and for the woofers, I eventually settled on a Jantzen Crosscap bypassed with a Solen Fastcap.  These have proved to be very cost-effective upgrades, and now I even have a few leftovers for my next project.

Anybody else have similar experiences with cap upgrades?

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