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V-Cap OIMP Bypass Capacitor




While in the process of considering upgrades for an Aragon 18k MkII preamplifier, I finally came around to inspecting the output coupling capacitors, since I had a matched pair of premium 10uf V-Cap OIMP (Oil Impregnated Metalized Polypropylene) capacitors going to waste in my audio parts collection. Photos of both the 18k and the 18k MkII often show a pair of yellow MKP caps, but some show a pair of white MKP caps. From what I gather, the white MKP cap is considered highly desirable and labeled as a Mondial Designs Phi Beta Kap (manufactured by an unknown maker). It was nice to find my 18k MkII features the Mondial branded cap along with the desirable Penny + Giles volume pot, but I had to rub my eyes since the value of the caps are labeled 100uf, with no decimal point indicating "10.0uf" as one might expect.

But after contacting Chris VenHaus of VH Audio/V-Cap, I was told it's not so surprising that a solid state preamplifier design might involve such a large value output coupling capacitor. So I asked Chris if the 10uf V-Cap OIMP cap might serve well as a bypass cap for the stock 100uf MKP, and while I was told a 4.7uf OIMP cap might be a better option to consider, the 10uf OIMP should be a worthwhile thing to explore. I took that as a green light, since the modification simply involves soldering the bypass caps to the exposed leads of the base caps, rather than if I had to remove the PCB in order to entirely replace the stock caps.

My first impression of the modification indicated that the OIMP as a bypass cap for the particular application did no harm, which is an audiophile credo that tends to be a golden rule, IMO. As time passed during the burn-in process of the OIMP bypass caps, the influence of the MKP base caps seemed to be less readily apparent, with the beneficial characteristics of the superior OIMP bypass capacitor becoming a more dominant factor, especially a notable decrease in what I identified as dielectric coloration, if not a sense of a faster sounding signal purity. The betterment I'm finding is a gradual thing to observe, not something that hits it right off the bat, which is not an unusual thing when it comes to audiophile upgrades, especially issues having to do with high-performance parts that involve a dielectric affect.

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Topic - V-Cap OIMP Bypass Capacitor - Duster 14:32:52 03/06/17 (8)

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