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April 06, 2020, 11:57:07 PM

Author Topic: What to upgrade AFTER capacitors  (Read 184 times)

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Offline Loquah

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What to upgrade AFTER capacitors
« on: February 25, 2020, 10:35:31 AM »
Hi all, my recent review process showed me (again) just how incredible the Mainline is. But it also got me thinking... having already installed some nice Jantzen SuperCaps, what would be the next thing to upgrade in the circuit to push the amp to even greater heights? Is there anything given how good it already is?

I've previously tried some Russian teflon caps in the circuit as well (I can't recall their exact role but it's a commonly discussed addition), but was not convinced that they improved the sound. I might add them back in as part of this process, but I'm exploring to see if there is anything else I should tinker with for super ultra maximum sound quality  :D
Check out my reviews on YouTube - https://youtube.com/c/passionforsound

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: What to upgrade AFTER capacitors
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 11:01:31 AM »
You could explore different output transformers.  There are many that I would consider a downgrade from what we provide.  I believe you could ask Sowter for a custom unit and I would specify a full nickel stack since power handling wouldn't be an issue.  On the downside, maintaining the impedance and balance switching with an aftermarket transformer would be a total pain.  I'm sure it's doable, but I'm not sure I'd want to have to figure out how.  Their tiny mu metal headphone output transformer is a little on the small side, but the big gapped stuff is a little on the big side.  You'd want something in the "D" size.  It would end up being over $500 USD I'm sure for the pair, and I wouldn't be certain that there would be a giant difference in performance. 

You could perform serious surgery and use the 8608 instead of the 6C45P.  Again, nobody will really know if it's any better or worse until someone tries it. 

That's my long list of strange ideas.  None of them are sufficiently compelling for me to spend much time on them. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Doc B.

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Re: What to upgrade AFTER capacitors
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 12:44:30 PM »
The parts we put in there are pretty optimal for the job they do. That is to say we didn't really cut corners on this one to keep the cost down. I would be inclined to work on optimizing the performance within your environment.

1) clean all the switch contacts, jacks, tube pins and sockets
2) try wrapping the 6C45pis in copper tape and grounding the tape
3) try some form of isolation feet like Herbie's Tenderfeet
4) make sure your source has a low output impedance and experiment with different interconnects from source to Mainline
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Loquah

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Re: What to upgrade AFTER capacitors
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2020, 09:09:28 PM »
Great answers, thanks guys! I say great because it sounds like there's no need to spend crazy money (with no guaranteed improvements) and the other subtle options are really interesting to tinker with. Thanks again!
Check out my reviews on YouTube - https://youtube.com/c/passionforsound