I recently purchased a used ARC SP6A pre amplifier.
The pre has the old caps etc and is unmodded.
I have noticed many variants of the "INFINICAP" caps by REL.
Can anyone out there please tell me which is the best REL cap in this range to tweek the SP6A with?
I have looked on the rel website and apparantly there are many types including exotica etc.
I had looked at the insides of modern ARC gear and noticed white coloured caps etc and geuss that these are the modern type.
Budget is not a problem as i consider the cap upgrade a very worthwhile tweek.
The InfiniCap is from TRT and not from REL. The TRT DynamiCap has for the most part replaced the InfiCap other than for some OEM stuff like what ARC uses in their current stuff. ARC seems to like the TRT caps in their current line. I put InfiniCaps in my SP 9 to replace the older TRT WonderCaps.I took it to a whole new level. I put DynamiCaps in a friends LS 7 with great results. It sounds much more transparent, has better harmonic richness, and better frequency extension and bass control than it did with the REL and WonderCaps caps that were there. Steve at Great Northern Sound seems very fond of the new Cardas Caps, might be worth checking out too. I am sure that the AuriCaps would not be a bad choice as others have mentioned. They do have good clarity and are quite reasonable in cost.
When you do mod the 6, get rid of the cheap stock 18 ga. power cord. It looks sort of difficult to install an IEC on a 6 due to the way it's laid out near the transformer. This was a huge leap forward on my 9 and on the other ARC pre amps I have done it to for friends. Another thing to look into while you are at it, is high speed soft recovery Hexfreds to replace the power supply diodes. They aren't a real expensive part and should be much better sounding than the dirt cheap ones used by ARC. I have to assume that the power supply caps could be getting near the end of their serviceable life by now too. This could cost a bundle depending on which version of the 6 you have. Check out this link,
It might help you identify which version you own.
I would also look into a new volume control like one from Goldpoint or DACT. It looks like it might be easy to do on any version of the 6 if there is room for one. Ypu just need to check the clearance of the PC board under the current control. The carbon based pot that comes in the 6 isn't real accurate or low in coloration.
Thankyou very much for the info and links.
I found out more this evening on Asylum than i did in over 4 years here in the UK,Amazing.
I have printed of all of your advice Keith and will deffinatly give this to the local hi fi shop engineer.
Its great that you modded the ARC line of pre amps Keith.
I will also look for a new volume pot,The ones from DACT look stunning.
Also i noticed all the switched outlets on the back of the pre,I guess that taking these out would beneffit?
Best tweek me and a freind tryed was taking out the balance and selector pots on his SP10.
The six looks quite easy to do aswell.
You might like that link anyway, lots of cool ARC history there.
Thanks for the post.
Only slight problem i have Yul is that i am based in the Uk.
I do however have access to a great hi fi dealer who is very good at modding etc.
It would be great to have the 6 shipped to ARC but my Country charges extorshinate rates for shipping and import duty.
To ship a product valued at say $600 and have it shipped back again would cost arond $400+.
Thanks very much,
I do lots of international shipping and the costs you're quoting really changes the approach for updating an older preamp from the US.
I've been quite successful working with ARC to provide me with update parts alone. If you've got a local tech, preferably an ARC dealer, then he's got a quick line into getting the parts needed if you'd like to stay close to the recommended ARC upgrade paths.
Otherwise, if you're like me and just love doing the upgrading, why not just call them and see how much the parts would cost?
BTW, I've just updated my Mac MX-110 with all new Solen/Auricaps in the audio chain and what a difference. I'm sure you'll have the same experience.
Thanks for the post,
I do have a local dealer here in the Uk David (midlands hi fi studio).
I know the 2 managers and they have been to ARC a few years back.
Will deffinatly take your advice David.
I do have 2 ARC SP6 at the moment,One has the same Auricaps that you mentioned David,the other the older ones.
Wsa wondering if the new "exotica" by wondercap beat the Auricaps,or maybe visa versa.
Had some Kimber Kaps and they really were extremely bad.
I am very happy that you were pleased with the information I gave you. The "Exotica" isn't from Wondercap/TRT but from Reliable Capacitors, otherwise known as Rel Cap. The Exotica is said to be a great sounding cap. Some say the best they have ever heard. The Exotica is also known as the RELCAP TFT, for teflon film and tin foil. Here are some more links. http://www.capacitors.com/
What you will see, is that the Exotica only comes in very small values, with 1.0uf being the largest I am aware of. The small ones, like a .01uf average around $20 U.S., as you will see from the link. These are pretty spendy. Now look at the price of a 1.0uf! $180 U.S. each!Ouch.
Check out this link. I have no affiliation with Alta Vista Audio and came to this information after coming to some of the same findings myself. At any rate, I don't agree with Mike's order in all cases, as I thought the InfiniCap was better sounding (i found the AuriCap dry and the InfiniCap much richer, anyway, Sorry McAttack)than the AuriCap and so on, but the part about the DynamiCap is dead on in my book!
I used to manage a shop that sold Mike's Counterpoint gear, we sadly, sent a letter to terminate our sales agreement due to severe and well known reliability issues. Mike, then fired us as the dealer. If anything, this tit for tat event could be seen to put me a bit at odds with Mr. Elliott from a standpoint of philosophy . Just some background to let you know that these are independant findings and I am not one to just parot what Mike has to say.
While I am enjoying my Mac gear with upgraded caps, I'm not one for spending lots of money for them or attempting to compare one against the other - you can quickly end up with far too much money in something like a preamp re-doing all of the both channels of the audio chain.
I'm just happy with the results I have gotten and would prefer to sit back and listen to what these old amps can do when properly restored.
I have read your most recent posts. I agree Auricaps are very good caps. ARC products are reknown to keep their value. You are better get in touch with ARC techs or dealers they can be very helpfull...
Thanks to you too,
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