V-Cap ODAM Oil Damped Advanced Metalized Audio Capacitors
Oil Damped Advanced Metalized

V-Cap ODAM series comments / reviews from Audiophiles

The comments below were submitted by testers of the prototype V-Cap ODAM capacitors (also referred to as ‘beta’) as well as recent users of the final production version of the ODAM series V-Caps. These comments are unedited, except to remove specific capacitor manufacturer's names, as a professional courtesy. Edits are highlighted <like this>

V-Cap ODAM series capacitors in ARC-17SE Preamp
V-Cap ODAM series capacitors installed
in modified Audio Research LS17 SE preamplifier

These are something special out of the box.
Congratulations....you have a great product here.
It transformed my ARC 17se into a reference product...
Very musical with substantially better timbre, natural, richer textures, greater focus with more air.
Smooth and detailed.... with better bass.
Stage has greater focus with images more life like with greater air and separation.
Musical and free from grain and glare.
Greater decay and natural timbre of the piano keys...just delicious.
I listen to pure music now ... ODAMs are simply "SUPERB"
Congratulations, Chris.

Excellent! Overall, I am super pleased, and find myself listening much more than analyzing.

Initial impression is a bit more texture in the treble, ambient air, space, great attack.  Overall, smoother without any compromises.

My system's background has never been blacker. Images are more dimensional and more detailed. ODAM cleans up distortion like no other.

I notice I can turn up the Plasma significantly AND "NOT hear" THE Plasma tweeter.  The notes seem to sustain better, hearing the instruments resonate (acoustic guitar).  Listening before was the plasma at 9:00.  Now at 1200 with no overload in the treble.  Significant....

First the "beta" capacitor <ODAM Prototype>, then the OIMP as we have those at baseline perceptions.  I was able to turn up the Plasma to "full smoke"  with (beta) cap and no harshness.  With the OIMP, 12:00/halfway, and then it overloads. My speakers are 89dB, Plasma tweeter is 95dB. 

I am in "audio shock"... sound could not be more different.   Classical guitar is exquisite.  Body, attack, wood resonance.  Going to listen more....

Very transparent and musical overall. Seamless transition tonally.  Female vocals were just magical...

A league of its own.  More.....no, a lot "more" resolution than any other cap used. Once heard, if a system is resolving enough, a breakthough product. 

Just so fast, with great clarity that is just startling.  One piece, a dvd concert, the drummer just lightly brushes a triangle.... Very clear with the Beta cap, but so delicate, no exaggeration. With the <well-known brand> film/foil, the Triangle is virtually absent...the drummer brushes it....nothing is heard......no contest....

It is just so coherent and the top end is just so complete with musical nuance and focus.  Cymbals are pinpoint with great ringing overtones.  Sheer magic.  Visualizing the contact is easy.  Very believable.  So much better than <well-known brands X & Y) they barely get a glimpse of <beta cap’s>  taillights..... a knockout....

V-Cap ODAM series capacitors in Preamplifier
V-Cap ODAM series capacitors installed in preamp

My friends who visited are fresh back from the Newport Show and remarked the top end I am getting exceeded everything at the show with the exception of the MBL, and it was close, but mine did focus and image better overall.  One is a drummer, the other a long time audiophile who has a grand piano in his house, and surrounded with musical talent. They were amazed at the resolution and information with no hint of being aggressive.  They loved the sound....

The beta cap just continues to sound more smooth, textured, and detailed and refinement still intact.  The <well-known brand> was "splashy" and Beta is so focused, and real sounding.  Cymbals sound like a small stick striking an object.... <well-known brand> more like several sticks...just not believable. 

They seem to be evolving to more textural purity, and less grain, in spite of the low level to start with.  <comment pertains to additional burn-in>

Haze / grain is gone, quieter background, focused / solid images, all elements of the music are better separated, bass has a solid image in the sound stage, a veil was lifted which makes the music seem louder, a lot of detail is revealed similar to CuTF; very enchanting, sound stage is 3 dimensional. 

Every improvement that has been noted is similar to having added a pair of CuTF <V-Caps> into my system.
For their size, they will be a dream for speaker manufacturers.

First impression from Jim.....
Fwd:......Wow!!!!!!!!! Freaking amazing...
I spoke with Jim, and he is in a bit of shock.  He has tried so many different caps, he is familiar with their character in a direct coupled configuration. He said "this has the highest resolution of any cap, ever, he has heard, and the most believable texture...just amazing".  He is smitten, seduced, and downright in love with these caps.....

He used it for his plasma tweeter.  He had the new <other well-known brand>, and really liked it.... until he tried the new cap...no contest

V-Cap ODAM audio capacitors
Top terms used to describe ODAM capacitors in Audiophile tester's systems.

<OEM speaker manufacturer’s comments>: Just have to say these new caps are mind blowing. They are so much better on the plasma tweeters than anything I have tried, and I have tried a lot. You have a real winner here.

....so pristine clean, uncolored....stunning...
The caps still amaze me with the focused clarity without an edge to the music.....Very real and brilliantly organic.  I just heard the Pete Escovedo band at Yoshis....stunning dynamics of live horns, but I thought of the caps on how they get out of the way of "live, real" sound reproduction, while there.  Just getting a few steps closer to the main event....

I just had a friend over last night who is 1st trumpeter in a jazz band.  He brought over 5 albums, we played all of them....A/B sides. After we finished, he said "it was the first time he heard what he hears playing live.  The trumpet extension on top was very lifelike, all the energy, space, but no edge"....he was bowled over.....

There is magic in those caps.  I believe that until now, due to size/space limitations, cost, etc., the tweeter cap has not been given the priority it should have.  The entire note is shaped by that leading edge.  Speaker manufacturers are going to line up to hear these, and put them in all speakers worthy......

The component tested/Beta evaluated was to be a capacitor, 2.0uf in my tweeter.  My situation is unique in that I use Dukane Plasma Tweeters, which require only a 2.0uf cap in line on the (+) speaker lead, effectively rolling things off at approximately 3.5khz, and open on top.  I use it as a Super tweeter, even though it is starting in the upper midrange area  and going up.  I use an L Pad to match with the rest of the speaker.  I have used them to great effect with Aerial 10T, Magnepan 1.7, Legacy Whisper, Nestorovic 5AS MK IV, and my JBL 1400 Synthesis Array. 
I set up a system of quick disconnects so I could mute the preamp, change the cap, and be listening again in 1 minute as the cap is in the power supply, not in a cabinet. 

I have tried many capacitors in this position, and am still amazed by how uncolored the "Beta" tweeters are...they just "tell it like it is" and are honest, and so musical.  I had my tweeters mic tested, and they tracked the microphone curve from 5k up to 28k, the mic limit, to within 1/10 of a dB......Very accurate.  They likely go up to 50k, but hard finding mics that go up that far.

I have used European Silver caps, German caps, caps known for clarity, Oil caps, even in metallized propylene, copper with wax, Oil caps, and on. Where am I leading, you ask....

Well, those Beta caps I reviewed came in "A" form, which were very good, forgiving, grainless, and easy to live with.  They removed any glare and were highly musical.  The equal of the best qualities of all the caps I listened to.....until....I got version "B"......and something happened....something unusual.....the capacitor disappeared, got out of the way, leaving me speechless, this after a mere 20 hours listening, (they did get 300 hrs. machine break in first I should note).  The detail was smooth, full, informative, lifelike, and mesmerizing with an abundance of information.  I cannot impress on you enough, the amount of information, micro-detail, space,  these caps release.  Song after song, the newly discovered sense of space, attack, focus, bass articulation... yes, bass was captivating, taking me down the "I cannot go back" path.  Comparing with other caps on video concerts allowed me to see and hear what was happening.  Some details were completely omitted by some caps.

The leading edge of the note, if slow, dull, or lifeless, will pollute the entire sonic picture, if not by sins of commission, then by omission.  If the leading edge  is intact, the whole note frame remains intact, the emotion, transient attack, jump factor is present,  and what a joy it is to listen to.  If by now, you want some,  well, good and bad news...

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V-Cap ODAM capacitors

I do not know how the rest of these caps were used in the beta testing, as we are all blind to application, and results, but I can say that if they are the same with other tweeters, midranges, and circuits,  as they were with my tweeters. Audio just took one giant step forward.  I feel they are revolutionary.  They are the size of a small cap, but sound like a great film cap.  They are 25% -50% of the size the other 2.0 caps are I used.  I typically like copper or Silver caps but a 2.0 is the size of a beer can, and cost a small fortune.  New choices are coming, fellow audiophiles.  Above all, trust your ears.

The resolution and "completeness" to the music at low volume levels was the big surprise.  A lot of dynamics, and nuance were present at very low levels.  Just a plethora of information.   AJA is so full and textured now, it is like tubes in texture, but speed and control of good SS.  Not sounding like SS or tubes.  I anticipate this can be listened to at much lower listening levels and not feel the need for louder music in search of dynamics.  The stage depth is crazy deep and instruments laid out very precise with air and space.   Very positive initial impressions. .. fun......

Musical textures and colors are abundant. A beautiful way of getting out of the music's path. 

Magical, forgiving, like the OIMP, but more texture and bloom.  Bloom, without the loss of detail.  Seductive in many ways.

These will make a very big splash. They can make a modest piece of equipment sound like something 4-5 times the price with a simple part change, providing no major flaws elsewhere.  These reveal a real bottleneck in sound reproduction.  A breakthrough product in every way.  

Companies like <several well known, ultra high-end speaker manufacturers> will just freak out when they hear how much better their speaker can sound.  This should justify a Mk II version, and a 25k upgrade price....and for once, worth it.  The improvement is profound......

Now that the "Beta" caps are in, they clearly are special.  They took a while to get settled in, but are very complete.  The biggest difference is the focus of instruments is so good.  Small cymbal strikes sound focused, delicate, have an authentic ring, that, on lesser reproductions sound like a diffuse splash, with little delicacy.  The stage is grand, wide, deep, and spacious.  Will listen further....

Actually hard to hear the cap sound.  Each recording is so different now.  The "Beta" caps just leave so few clues to a sonic print..
I am now listening to more non-evaluation music,.... music,  which I do not want to ruin with repeated plays.  Up is the old war horse, MOFI Jackson Brown,  "The Pretender".  This is a very unusual sounding recording with a thin vocal EQ, and sibilance, almost over the edge, but great instruments.  Any drift/lean to the thin side there, and it is unlistenable.  A very tough test to be sure.  

Sibilance is not gone, but the rough edges are gone on the vocals, and there is some body now, very tight focus, and quite believable, and quite extraordinary.  The harp in the background "Linda paloma",  is pristine clean, every pluck clear, dynamic, and sounding like a real harp, with great space.  The instruments sound world class, the vocals could have used a better mic, or different EQ, but in spite of this, still stunning.  Strings are silky, sweet, very real sounding.  Superb in so many ways.  Like going from a 1k phono to a 10k phono preamp.  Really, that big of a jump.

The EAR 834P truly deserves a great place in phono preamp standing for MM/47k loading.  Only after hearing the V-Capped CJ can one appreciate the improvement.   The CJ was 50-60% of the EAR pre "Beta" caps.  Post "Beta" caps, the roles are nearly reversed...the 834 is only 50-60% of the CJ.  With the "A" caps the EAR IS 80% of the CJ, with "A" caps. 

V-Cap ODAM series capacitors in crossover
V-Cap ODAM series capacitors installed
in speaker crossover

The "Beta" capped CJ is just stellar in every regard...space, speed, detail, nuance,  and just so very close to the "real thing" ...it is just spooky.....

Not just a big leap forward are these caps,  but also amazing is what lesser caps can do to a signal....and it's not pretty....a bigger bottleneck than one would imagine.  Lesser caps can be very much the bottleneck philes fear.

The ability of these caps to disappear, and leave very little trace of their sonic print is a very big deal....for all of audio.....hopefully they have the level of resolution to appreciate these.  These will clean the window...hopefully the view is a pretty one.  Modest quality of components may not fare well....

About  the preamps and caps, the difference was so obvious, an untrained ear would have no difficulty hearing the difference.  It was that profound.

Cap update, there is subtle refinement and improved delicacy, just adding more instrumental 3D presence.  Very wonderful at this point.....a league of their own.......

There has never been a high-quality cap this compact.  Very cool....

Also comparing my CJ SS oil - capped VCAPS (B) and the..... SS just beats my superb tube phono.  I thought the warmth and texture of tubes would nose ahead, but they were texturally very close, with the bottom end and top end extension going the VCAP Beta way.  Just more "alive" jump factor, delicious texture, superb low end control and body.  Note separation is magical.  No smearing at all.  The tubes leave less space between instruments.  Magical phono......

After installing the Beta caps, I noticed that the sound became more dynamic and 3 dimensional. I get a sense of a 3D image even though my chair sits in front of the left speaker about 3 meters away.

Manufacturers and the DIY scene will no longer have to sacrifice internal cabinet volume or use outboard crossovers to achieve high quality sound.

Haze / grain is gone, quieter background, focused / solid images, all elements of the music are better separated, bass has a solid image in the sound stage, a veil was lifted which makes the music seem louder, a lot of detail is revealed similar to the CuTF V-Cap; very enchanting, sound stage is 3 dimensional. 

These caps are going to shock a lot of people.  So much texture and body, with the detail and resolution...everyone's dream combo
The caps keep getting better.  Very liquid now, but no sacrifice in resolution.  Very detailed, micro-detailed, spacious, just hard to give a sound to them.  They are, what the recording is...

The mid-range is now, very textured, more space around performers, deeper stage, more articulation, and upper extension on up spot on.   Overall, a very live performance feel with vocals just glorious.  This 1600.00 preamp just hosed my 3500.00 preamp from top to bottom, and reminds me of the 24k CJ GAT that was just in my system.  

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V-Cap ODAM capacitors

An upgrade of very significant proportions.  This little preamp equals or exceeds everything I have heard below 10k....and more above that.  
I have to admit that I am still impressed by them.

Curiosity got the best of me and I installed the 1uF pair in my A/C conditioner. The first thing that I noticed was the noise floor...what noise floor? Where did it go? It seemed as if my listening chair was floating in outer space exposing the black background of the cosmos. The stage became well layered. Imaging gained focus and was slightly enlarged. This is only the beginning because the caps should still require more burn-in time which will bring improvements or changes to the sound.

We tested many different “hi-end” capacitors on the rebuilt Dukane plasma tweeters, and the ODAM were not only the best for the money but the best period. The level of resolution was simply not matched by any other cap. There was no loss of musicality- just a clearer window into the amazing capabilities of the plasma tweeters. The results were the same with ribbon tweeters, just more natural resolution than any other capacitors. There also seems to be a sonic signature with most every cap but the ODAM series seems to transparently pass the music through adding very little of its own sound.

Compared to lesser capacitors they simply sounded more present and real.

The ODAM series has been a revelation and they are physically small and priced well below their performance level which is just icing on the cake! Thank you for all your efforts the ODAM capacitors have made all of my speakers better.

These ODAM caps seem to take the individual qualities of the <several well-known capacitor manufacturers'’ best series> styrene, and a few others, gelling them into one musical presentation.  They are certain to challenge any cap at any price for musical authenticity.  Hearing is believing.  My advice ...buyer beware...once heard, there is no going back.  We have been doing it all wrong for many years...parts matter...not only equipment swapping.  I just capped a modest QS preamp, taking it way above its price point.  In fact, my 5k plus Class "A" preamp sounded mechanical in comparison.  They are that good.....

A compelling combination of palpable performers, incredible resolution, and space galore.  A big slice of the real thing....

I want to give you a follow up of thoughts and comments regarding the ODAM series. The 2.2uf ODAM caps were installed as bypass caps to a 100uF cap in a crossover network of my Ellam Flex 3-Way speakers. In fact, the Beta <original prototype> were previously installed in the same location. There was a night that my son was watching an episode of Stranger Things listening through the Ellam Flex 3W.  There's a scene where someone knocks on a door. My girlfriend gasps and said, "Oh my god! It sounded like someone knocked on the actual TV." I responded, "Those are great speakers," and she just stared at them in amazement. The dynamics and dimensional imaging made that knock sound so real. I was so happy to learn that my girlfriend is not completely oblivious to this hobby.

In direct comparison to the Beta, the ODAM is even more dimensional and more transparent in the sense that sounds are more impactful when the recording calls for it. Just like the Beta, the ODAM doesn't impart a particular flavor in the way copper foil caps, for example, can be slightly warm or slightly "rich" .

My new speakers are finally complete as you can see in the pictures. These monitors use the new Scanspeak Ellipticor tweeters and they are incredibly revealing. Having 3.3uF ODAMs in the tweeter circuit is a dream come true. The sound stage is immersive and dynamic. I find it difficult to turn off my system and get errands done even though my system has a lot of burning in to do. My system has a new High Fidelity CT2 SPDIF cable, a new DAC, and new speakers so I'm not yet hearing what the system is really capable of. I will have to update these comments when the new components settle. 

The more I listen to my system, the more glued I am to the chair. There is no "lack of emotion". I feel more connected to the music than I've ever been. The ODAM capacitors are simply the most audibly transparent capacitors that I have ever experienced. People who expect a certain sound from oil filled capacitors will not expect this much transparency. 

I can't wait to hear the reactions from the audiophile world when you release these products.

One feature of the ODAM (initially experienced in the Betas) that I don't think I have mentioned to you is the ODAM's ability to place images to the far edges of the sound stage. I first witnessed this in a song where the female voice appears off center to the left and her echo appears off center to the right. The ODAM presents her initial voice in the same location but her echo is placed way far right. I thought that the Beta 50s might have malfunctioned because the imaging to this song was always similar no matter what component was upgraded or modified. I quickly realized that the Beta 50s broke the chains restraining the sound stage and a revelation to stereophonic sound was achieved. That day I experienced a true sound stage and it really is an experience. The panoramic imaging allows the stage to appear vast and unlimited. Details are true to life. The ODAM have brought this hobby into the 21st century. I would like to purchase a pair of 4.7uf if you have any available. 

The ODAM will indeed be seismic, and have many manufacturers playing catchup, others not even trying.  They are so much better, the gap is not narrow.  Could have been called the Seismic cap as well.......but ODAM is perfect. When OEM's like <well-known ultra-high end speaker manufacturers> try the cap, they will be just blown away....

Preamp update.  The differences are a top to bottom improvement in texture, transparency, and image dimensions and spatially placed instruments.  Very life like.  More information without any peaks.  Metallic rings ring with a realistic decay, not the common abrupt end to ringing.  And still smooth.  Very vividly beautiful. 

The only thing I would add is that until now, we have just accepted what we could get in a high value capacitor, in that great film caps in a 3.3, 2.0, that could handle 600v were beer can size....until now.......and the redefining  what detail is available now with the ODAM has to be experienced.  Detail now, is a very different definition as this version of detail is .....ironically....smoother, no edges to the notes, silky frames to the notes, yet exceptionally informative.  More transient attack, but longer rings on cymbal strikes, and texture to the whole frequency.  A more complete musical envelope.  The ambient sound of a recording Hall is very easily heard, providing more relevant musical information.  After using the ODAM, I realized how much of an imprint my old caps were making on the music.  These caps must be heard by those seeking all they can get from their music....a new Reference.

The ODAM that are used as output coupling caps for the DAC are approximately 70% of the capacitance of the DAC’s original caps. The change from 6.8uF <well known capacitor manufacturer> to 4.7uF ODAM gained so much in soundstaging and imaging, with no loss in bass response. My system now utilizes 3 pairs of ODAM. With each ODAM installation that I've performed, the soundstage increases in width and depth, the imaging becomes more dense and 3 dimensional, and the most stunning feature on the ODAM capacitors is it's instrument separation. It feels as if I can swim in the soundstage because it sounds so real and layered with the soundstage wrapped around me. My system is so exciting to listen to now. 

It is imperative that every new ODAM user must re-evaluate their speakers toe-in angle to truly experience their system's newfound level of transparency. Face the speakers forward to experience a vast soundstage as if a panoramic photograph came to life. Angle the speakers inward and you'll experience 3-dimensional imaging and density that will leave you glued to your chair. Nevertheless, the detail unleashed by the ODAM is startling. 

We've been using the new ODAM's for some time now in our preamp buffer and after a few days of break-in these caps open up and reveal a level of detail, bloom, dynamics and musicality that is a pure joy to listen to. Wonderful caps. Highly recommended.

ODAMs are simply glorious. I played Norah Jones, "Nightingale" 10 times repeatedly I never got sick of it, yet I hadn't played her for over 5 years...

Short update. I combined my ODAM Quicksilver preamp, and ODAM grid to ground amp, and ODAM phono preamp. I played several DG records, Dance of the Hours, with some Verdi, Borodin, and Faust. Simply superb in the presentation of orchestral layers, deep saturation of instrumental tones, and staggering transients. I followed this with a Steely Dan, Aja, Gaucho, and the inner layers of instrumental work with different musicians was so interesting. The drummer styles whether Gadd or Pocoro, guitarist work by Knopfler and Carlton, and many others were so easy to follow and be immersed with their contribution. Then on went the MOFI, "The Pretender" which can be a bit crisp around vocals, and thin texturally. That was still there but a bit more forgiving now, and the resolution, still stunning, but in a slightly more focused, forgiving and rich balance. Simply addictive.....I fear many overly bright audio gear heard by audiophiles, may be hearing cap crimes...... With so many recordings eqd a bit hot in the mids to project excitement, there is little real estate left to work with. These caps are the real deal....and get the best from each recording.

<ODAM's> ... an oil cap with oil magic.....without the sacrifice of bottom end control, and upper end space and detail. Oil cap fans will, once hearing these, feel a visit with Nirvana has been achieved.....provided the rest of their mix is up to the task. Faults...? None yet. The sound changes with recordings, and these may be more space reactive in that spatial width, depth, air, changes greatly with different recordings. Very interesting, fascinating now to hear new recordings ......is not that the reason we sit down with open ears ..?

Initial impression is, well hard to verbalize adequately.  Other than that they just are smoking good...getting out of the way, fabulous....Dynamics released from the bondage of lesser caps, not constrained to soft transients, blurred midbass notes, and orchestral shrinking syndrome.  These allow the analog to flow with all the organic, dimensional, lush life analog is supposed to have, with a firm grip on the bottom end......as it should be.....just fantastic......and they are still settling in....hang on.....

Since this was a stay home weekend, and the caps are very stable <after install / burn-in>, time for REAL listening   I hooked up the plasma tweeters, they have been off this whole time for a baseline listening establishment.  Armed with them, they really show what these caps abilities are.....just mind blowing transients, speed,  start/stop agility, and resolution so high, the previous standards of resolution are very outdated.  On classical music, the stage extended so much deeper, extending far behind the speakers, and far lateral, virtually making them disappear.  On even ho hum music, Lincoln Mayorga/Sheffield labs "Distinguished Colleagues.....", the bells could be heard with startling clarity, each strike distinct, resonating overtones off the walls of the venue, were simply lifelike.  Bass guitar and kick drum both had a very dynamic pulse which I find missing in so many systems, and never heard before with this level of dynamic jump, at a modest level of volume.....very unique...like live music....the resolution was exciting, even with dated music.....
Just f-----g unbelievable.....

If there were one phrase to describe the ODAM caps, and the way they just get out of the way of the music and offer an uncolored view of the musical event, it would be that many may not have heard how good their own electronics are until they remove the bottlenecks and let the music flow with the "ODAM", "I can't believe they are singing ...here...." experience....
Two thumbs up, 5 stars, 10/10....

If the ODAM caps were able to speak words, they would utter "We will rock you"....and mean every word.  They have rocked my musical world and have me listening to components with new awareness of just how important every single link is.  Just 1 weak link is all it takes to bring everything down.  I am afraid now, this will be the strongest link and I have to bring every thing else up to this standard.  Not easy.....Realizing the full potential of the ODAM are ......well in the future.  They have just started sending a shock wave through the audio world.  A legend is being born.....  Be ready....

As my ODAM phono preamp which is breaking in, and now very stable, all the improvements mentioned before have subtle improvements with the bass seemingly to improve the most with just explosive Dynamics, full, solid bass notes, kettle drum shots during "Capricco Italian" direct disc, sounding so startling dynamic that the rise time will shock those unprepared.  And this dynamic quality is present at low to moderate volume levels. The ability of loud to soft just got wider....way wider.  There is no 1-note bass here.  Each bass guitar pluck, each kick drum pulse, Tom Tom whack, are separated with their own note structure.  Very informative....

Your factory break in seems to do about 80-85% of the work.  The next 50 hours does about 10% , the next 25-50 finishes the last 5-10%. The final changes are a tighter, more dimensional focus of images, with the stage reaching deeper and wider.  A palpable texture is present in vocals giving a flesh and blood realism unlike anything but live music..... correction, very good live music. Just musical to the core...

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Manley Stingray with ODAM series V-Caps

>>>> Below is an E-mail sent by an audiophile who had his Manley Stingray modded to use the ODAM series V-Caps <<<<<

Hello Chris,

A little background. I know extremely well how my system sounds . Over the years, I have done very few "tweaks" or adjustments to my equipment and have not changed out major components for years. I bought the first generation Stingray  over 15 years ago and it has never been modified until we put your ODAM V-caps in. I have had Aerial 7 speakers for the same length of time.  Two months ago I replaced the caps in them, which produced a modest change in the sound of the system. (A bit more clarity, a bit improved sound stage, noticeable but subtle). My Omega Mikro Cables RCA interconnects were replaced about a year ago to Hovland G3 cables, and again I got a subtle improvement to the system imho. My Micromega T-dac and Rega Planar 3 table/grado cartridge have been in the system for the same length of time as all else described. My point is, my equipment has sounded pretty much the same FOREVER, and I am listening to LP's that have been in my collection for over 40 years (primarily jazz) and CD's I've had for over 25 years (primarily classical). 

Your caps completely altered the sound signature of my system. The sound is noticeably more engaging, and more musical sounding and there is a new immediacy to it. There is more information and more nuances. There is a more of a 'live' - instruments- being- played experience than a  recording- of-instruments- being- reproduced experience. The amp is definitely brighter and everything is more of the moment, but not harsh or in your face. The change does not produce what I call listeners fatigue. It's almost as if before the change out, the amp was strangling or muffling the music, and yet I did not know it until the modification was done. In jazz, the drums,cymbals and reed instruments are the most strikingly different. Also, bass is tighter,and all string instruments and piano a bit more correct sounding.

I have used the amp, at most, for 15 to 20 hours thus far with the new caps. I have been told that there will be improvements over time. < Industry professional who performed the modification > says that everything should even out when I commented that the drums seem a bit overpowering, particularly on lots of 60's and early 70's Impulse and Blue Note albums. Maybe the recording engineer's approach...who knows. < Note from Chris VenHaus:Yes, the burn-in process will yield further improvements as he moves towards the 100-200 hr mark. The new burn-in process helps get the ODAM series sounding better, sooner, but there is no substitute ofr in situ burn-in the rest of the way... >

I am not one to exaggerate. The difference is dramatic. The biggest, most positive change to this system I have ever heard. Whatever you're doing, keep it up. Well done and I thank you.

>>>> Series of E-mails sent by an audiophile who installed ODAM series V-Caps in his 45 tube amp, and compared to his 2A3 tube amp, with a similar circuit <<<<

The caps are still breaking in (at least the CuTF). I've been playing around with mods to 3 different amps and only run 1-2 at a time. So I'd say I have another 100 hrs or so before I can comment. Having already used the CuTF, I know they are superb. New to me are the ODAMs, which based on your estimate of 50 hrs burn in are likely fully burned in, but I have installed them in parallel with new 0.1 CuTF caps that haven't fully burned in. So it's impossible to judge the ODAMs at this point.  Need to wait for the CuTFs to stabilize, and until they do, the sound will be all over the map (Listening during the break-in of my first set of CuTF's was a wild ride, with the sound signature varying wildly day-to-day).

Because I keep switching from amp to amp, and am slowly burning in some new EML tubes, it may be a couple of weeks or more before I can do any critical listening.

>>> Follow-up:

Chris - After a further 30 hours of burn in (including 12 hrs of heavy bass and sub-bass), the bass has finally come in and the caps are starting to really open up. I misstated the parafeed cap configuration in the 45 amp. I installed 2 X 2.2uF ODAMs (new), 1 X 0.22uF CUTF (already broken in) and 1 X 0.1uF CuTF (new) to hit my target of 4.7uF.  Prior to installing the ODAMs, I was using a 4.7uF < highly-regarded competitor #1 metallized film cap > in parallel with a 0.1uF CuTF (which is now doing duty as interstage coupling cap (where I previously had the already broken in 0.22uF CuTF -- if that all makes sense). The < highly-regarded competitor #1 metallized film cap > strikes me as a very neutral cap, not shifting the sound one way or the other, and with no particular emphasis. It is fairly detailed, but to my ears, sterile and lifeless sounding.

I want to give the new ODAM caps another couple of days before drawing any conclusions, but here are my preliminary impressions. They are excellent. The best description I can think of is "effortless detail and emotion" - they haven't changed the sound signature of the 45 amp, they just made it better in every way. And here's my true test: bow and strings. Prior to installing the ODAMs, I preferred my 45 amp over my 2A3 for everything except  bow and string instruments. The 45 beautifully captured the string resonance and emotion, but the friction sound of bow on string was off. The 2A3 amp (in which I have < highly-regarded competitor #2 copper foil & film cap > as parafeed, bypassed by a 0.01uF  < highly-regarded competitor #3 pure silver foil & film cap >, with 0.1uF CuTF as interstage coupling cap) sounded better. No longer. With ODAMs, the 45 is equal to the 2A3 in string "realism", but with more emotion and depth. And the caps are still opening up.

More to report in a couple of days ...

>>> Here is a followup by same user, about a week later:

Chris - a quick follow-up about the ODAMS. They are truly superb.  The 45 amp in which they're installed has improved significantly since I last wrote. This may be the new CuTFs breaking in, and not the ODAMs, but in any event I am now in a position to draw some conclusions. They are supremely "clear" -- but in a expansive sense: they let all the emotion, texture, dynamics etc. shine through -- but, and here is where they are unique in my experience, the resulting music is coherent and immersive, rather than broken up into separated component parts.

I repeated the test against my 2A3 amp -- the circuit of which is essentially identical to my 45. But the 2A3 has a tube advantage: EML 2A3 mesh versus EML 45 solid plate.  The mesh are special and really are, to my ears, superior to solid plates. As detailed before, the 2A3 amp has < highly-regarded competitor #2 copper foil & film cap > 3.3 uF parallel feed caps, bypassed by < highly-regarded competitor #3 pure silver foil & film cap > 0.01 uF bypass caps, and 0.1 uF CuTF coupling caps. The < highly-regarded competitor #2 and #3 brands' copper foil and silver foil & film caps > are no slouches, but the 45 with ODAMs and CuTFs blows the 2A3 away.

I have to say, I am almost a bit disappointed that they are so good. I'm sitting on two gigantic < highly-regarded competitor #4 film/foil cap > 10uF 600VDC copper foil caps for my upcoming 300B build, and I seriously doubt that they are going sound better than 3 X 3.3 uF ODAMS bypassed by a 0.1 CuTF.  Know anyone looking for some enormous copper foil caps? :)

>>>> E-mail chain sent by an audiophile who invited a well-known band manager over to his home to listen to his ODAM V-Capped audio system

I had the manager of < very well-known Latin Jazz band that’s played at the Monterey Jazz festival, the White House, and many world venues > over to hear some music on vinyl with the ODAM phono preamp < CJ EF1, and custom point to point version of the EAR 834 Signature with ODAM caps >, my CJ premier 18 went down for the count.  I used my Quicksilver line stage (latest version) which was just a bit overly warm with the Tchida amp, .....but not now.  A little more break-in and there is real synergy now, a very neutral presentation.  He commented that the band would be blown away if they heard it.  He said it was just like being in a jazz club. The trumpet attacks, percussion... all life like. He listened to vinyl for 4 hours and loved it.

He attends their pre-concert sound checks, and is present for the pre-concert tweaking on mics, etc., and knows room sounds, and their goals for room/sound integration.  They try to achieve a room integration while avoiding sounding detached, but not in your face.  Very tough in some venues.

Follow-up: Once I get my CJ back from CJ, I am going to cap it with the ODAM.  The Quicksilver Pre is so good now, and the slight midbass warmth/blurr I felt was there, is gone.  Just needed more hours.  About 150-200 now.  Just superb sound.  The CJ should be very receptive to the caps if it is like the phono.

>>>> Comments from an audiophile who has ODAM V-Caps installed in his MHDT Orchid DAC, w / WE396a tube.

Click image for larger version
V-Cap ODAM capacitors
ODAM V-Caps
in MHDT Orchid DAC

The caps are installed and sounding great! I'm surprised how good they sound right off the bat!  I'm noticing greater low level detail, better separation, and bigger sound stage.  I may have to try these in other locations too!

I'm finally enjoying digital as much or maybe even more than playing LPs.  I recently got a Cambridge CXC transport to upgrade an old once TOTL JVC.  I couldn't believe the difference in how real the music sounds with that change.  The ODAM are taking it another step higher for sure,  I'll keep playing them and keep you posted. 

 

>>>> Comments from an audiophile who has ODAM V-Caps installed in his several of his components

I’ve had difficulty accurately articulating the ODAM caps on some levels < when describing to others >. Then it came to me at the California Audio Show. Warm systems were pleasant, musical, but the highs were softer than life, spatially vague, even if recessed phony depth presented, and lacked the jump, dynamic impacts, and startling sound changes with real dynamics.  Systems capable of this latter issue could have a "soul deficiency" and be a bit sterile.

With the ODAM V-Caps in the mix, I get both qualities, articulation, human texture, and large defined space, with no thinning out of vocal or instrumental texture.  Very uncanny, but magic when heard...

>>>> E-mail comments from an audiophile who installed ODAM V-Caps into his Audio Research LS-17se:

Hi Chris, Just to let you know. Friend of mine Rick has ARC Ref2 mk2 and wanted a shootout against my modified LS-17SE. My ARC LS-17se with Odams+ CuFTs blew it out of the water. We also tried it against the New ARC LS-28 and it beat it easily. Next we ran it against the Ref 6 and overall we preferred LS-17se. I was a closer contest but overall we thought ODAMS did the job superbly and won the contest. Friend of mine immediately put his Ref2 mk2 for sale and will be buying LS-17SE. In the meantime, over next few days he will be putting an order for ODAMS and CuTF just like I did....congratulations Chris... My other hifi friends are now keen to hear my modifications or should I say; to hear the ODAMS.

>>>> E-mail comments from an audiophile who installed ODAM V-Caps into his preamp, and reported back after 100 hrs, and then again at 200 hrs. These follow-up comments are at the 200 hr mark:

ODAM update: While I mentioned 100 hours as a good time to consider things broken in, at the end of the next 100, there are still a few small changes to note. The emotional soul of music, the chesty, human sound of vocals, becomes fully fleshed out. Digital moves closer to analog, DVD recordings previously with a bit of harshness now have more flesh on the bone. This without appearing colored, smeared, or editing the music. This is unchartered cap territory. Never before have I heard this much informative emotion, saturated in colors of humanity. The music breathes....

>>>> E-mail comments from an audiophile who installed ODAM V-Caps into his speaker crossover and reported back after 100 hrs:

I was blown away by the initial presentation. Although the cap had not burned in at all - the soundstage was mind blowing! Instruments reached out from the sides and the stage is very impressive. The details and coherence were not completely there but I instinctively knew what to expect when burned in. Burn in took nearly 100+ hours. The caps took quite a downturn at about 15 hours. At no point however did I feel that the underlying potential was gone. After the burn in the soundstage, coherence, bass, timing, timbre, instrument separation all improved dramatically. I was swimming in music again. Completely sucked in. Instrument timbres were as good as Tapes along with the LP high end clarity.

All the music I remembered listening on tapes that I did not enjoy on CD - I could now enjoy. Turning up the volume made the soundstage bigger and the music louder like is supposed to.

Earlier - increase in volume would beyond a point would make me cringe on certain passages. The main thing that I found very impressive is ODAM ability to convey the music realistically. It is a very good cross between a good tape and LP.

Mundorf SIO, Jupiter etc (in speakers) always leave me wanting for more but that want just disappeared with ODAMs. There was no want to make anymore changes. There was no grain so to speak of. There was no sibilance. Crash symbols were never crushed out even in the most complex passages and never sounded warbly or like grocery bags. Bass was taut and accurate and blended completely. No more wandering soundstage. There we no holes in the soundstange. Low volume listening was more than satisfying. I could easily tell how old the guitar string was. Literally - there was an improvement all across the board - period.

Final Thoughts: At this point I am more than satisfied with the system. I am not even able to comprehend what any further improvements would even sound like. I am not able imagine my system beyond this. Anyhow - ODAMs are the next leap in audio.

All efforts this far for 30 plus years to make music sound as it should have been (prior to digital reproduction), were all good and all us audiophile came to the very last mile. ODAMs simply crossed the threshold and now I can truly say - my LP and Tapes are beaten!!

 

V-Cap ODAM Dimensions and Pricing

uF Value +/- 5%
Voltage (DC)
Dimensions (inches)
Qty 1
Qty 2 - 24
Qty 25+
0.1 
630V
.40 X 1.1
$67.18
53.74
48.37
0.22 
630V
.40 X 1.1
$75.58
60.46
54.42
0.47 
630V
.65 X 1.1
$83.98
67.18
60.46
1.0 
400V
.50 X 1.55
$90.28
72.22
65.00
1.0 
630V
.75 X 1.90
$113.38
90.70
81.63
1.5
400V
.67 X 1.58
$102.88
82.30
74.07
2.2
400V
.67 X 1.58
$104.98
83.98
75.58
2.2
630V
.75 X 1.90
$125.98
100.78
90.70
2.7
400V
.75 X 1.65
$109.18
87.34
78.61
3.3
400V
.75 X 1.65
$111.28
89.02
80.12
3.3
630V
1.0 X 1.90
$136.48
109.18
98.26
4.0
400V
1.0 X 1.65
$117.58
94.06
84.66
4.7
400V
1.0 X 1.65
$119.68
95.74
86.17
5.6
400V
1.0 X 1.65
$121.78
97.42
87.68

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Prices are in U.S. dollars, and based on total pieces of an individual value/voltage.

If you are an OEM or component modification professional, please contact us for pricing

"V-Cap", "CuTF", "ODAM", "TFTF", "OIMP", "Reference Grade", "Elite Reference" and "Variable Stage Quadrant Dielectric" are trademarks of VH Audio, Inc.