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    Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

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    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:42 am

    I'm thinking over two parts issues before I begin building my M-125 amps.

    One issue is the octal tube sockets. I have some NOS octal sockets that were made by Cinch and Meissner. They seem to fit perfectly in the chassis blank. They used a pumpkin/tan color material, and the soldering lugs seem to be somewhat stronger looking. Would it be better to just used the provided sockets or is there a benefit to using these NOS American made sockets? They just seem a little stronger for lack of a better explanation.

    And the Russian PIO caps. Could I use Solen Fast capacitors in place of these Russian caps? I guess I'm a little concerned about the life span these might have. I'm used to restoring radios and replacing any paper type capacitors. Even some that are sealed oil in tubs. I've replace some that had leakage.

    I would appreciate opinions on this. I'm honestly not sure which way to go with these two issues.

    Thanks!
    Frank.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1310
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by sKiZo on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:03 pm

    The NOS Russian PIOs Bob supplies are military grade and very durable. Not heard of any failures. Main thing is to make sure you don't short the metal bodies. Lot of folk insulate them with heat shrink prior to installation just to avoid that.

    It's not all about durability either ... with these, it's all about the sound. They can take forever to break in completely (several hundred hours) but you should be able to hear some serious difference right away.

    Can't help you on the sockets. I do know that some of the older plastics would go brittle with age - maybe not so much if they're new and haven't had a bunch of hot/cold cycles applied. Ceramic is another story - those tend to hold up very well to most anything you can throw at them.

    zx

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2011-08-05

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by zx on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:13 pm

    Solen Fast capacitors .....I use these caps all the time....I lot of people don't care for there sound...
    But I find in amps an preamps ....Speakers like Magnepan An MartinLogans...an menny others use these caps..... for years tried all the caps I can find....I must have 200 diff caps...the V-caps sound is not for me but ....
    I gess we all hear a little diff....so thay say hehe....as long as you use the right V 630 what I use...... any bipolar cap can be used......

    tube sockets....I like the sound of the older plastics....

    thanks for the site.............

    PeterCapo

    Posts : 386
    Join date : 2008-12-05

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by PeterCapo on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:41 pm

    sKiZo wrote:The NOS Russian PIOs ... They can take forever to break in completely (several hundred hours) but you should be able to hear some serious difference right away.

    sKiZo,

    How would you characterize the change in sound as the K40Y-9 breaks-in?  Before and after?

    Thanks
    - P

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:44 pm

    sKiZo wrote:The NOS Russian PIOs Bob supplies are military grade and very durable. Not heard of any failures. Main thing is to make sure you don't short the metal bodies. Lot of folk insulate them with heat shrink prior to installation just to avoid that.

    It's not all about durability either ... with these, it's all about the sound. They can take forever to break in completely (several hundred hours) but you should be able to hear some serious difference right away.

    Can't help you on the sockets. I do know that some of the older plastics would go brittle with age - maybe not so much if they're new and haven't had a bunch of hot/cold cycles applied. Ceramic is another story - those tend to hold up very well to most anything you can throw at them.
    Yeah, what sKiZo said about the Russkie PIOs. They stink for their first 20 hours or so -- literally. Keep the windows open to vent all the volatile PCBs. Then when your house quits smelling like a Chinese chemical factory, they'll burn in right nicely and you can close the windows.
    They are sweet caps when broken in. Even a shotgun wouldn't hurt them after that.

    corndog71

    Posts : 451
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by corndog71 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:26 pm

    The Russian caps are definitely better than Solen caps. I don't even think they sound bad at first. They start off very warm and luscious but eventually the lushness fades away and they settle on the warm side of neutral. I definitely like them in amps. Not as much in a preamp where I prefer Clarity Cap MR.

    zx

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2011-08-05

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by zx on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:07 pm

    The Russian caps are definitely better than Solen caps................
    Boy I see this every day....well ok
    Now I gess well can go down that street....
    Better would be... to your ears....hehe
    Same thing thay said about the $200. V-caps...Not!
    But I can only speak for my self
    Good luck...have fun with tubes an Caps



    Thanks for the site Bob.....

    Brap

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    Join date : 2013-11-28
    Age : 61
    Location : Lisle, Illinois

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by Brap on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:28 pm

    Mundorf SGO Rule Exclamation

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:59 pm

    Doesn't sound like anyone has had any problems with the tube sockets or PIO caps.  I guess I should just use them in the build. Doesn't hurt to ask!

    corndog71

    Posts : 451
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by corndog71 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:25 pm

    zx wrote:The Russian caps are definitely better than Solen caps................
    Boy I see this every day....well ok
    Now I gess well can go down that street....
    Better would be... to your ears....hehe
    Same thing thay said about the $200. V-caps...Not!
    But I can only speak for my self
    Good luck...have fun with tubes an Caps



    Thanks for the site Bob.....

    You make a good point. These are my observations and opinions. We all have our preferences. He could always try the Solens and listen for himself. You never know. He might prefer them. And why not? They cost pocket change.

    I like V-Caps too but they take a long time to break in and in my experience do sound like crap for the first couple hundred hours or so. They are ridiculously expensive which is why I prefer the Clarity caps. They do just as good a job for a lot less and don't take as long to break in.

    The great thing about DIY is the ability to do it however you want and experiment with various parts.

    zx

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2011-08-05

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by zx on Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:28 am

    I like V-Caps too but they take a long time to break in and in my experience do sound like crap for the first couple hundred hours or so....................
    Maybe the Solens..............take 5000-10000 hr to break in......I bet you never gave them time......time is tuff for most of us..
    So we go to others for input....but in the end if we still don't like the sound...........are thay wrong?....if so to who?....do we then just pass there thinking on by.....for me after time....I am only left with my ears.....So in most things Audio.. if you don't go....you well never know!


    I had a MC 2205 sand Amp in the 1980....
    To me something about the sound just was not right.....from what others had said about the Great sound of MC..........so I pulled it a part....what did I find???
    A 2cent Bipolar electrolytic capacitors right at the Amps inputs ...Not at the RCAs...deep in side...
    I was in the audio Bizz an we sold Mc...
    So I called ... Mcintoshs tec.  he said.. it was a stock part, that thay used in all there amps inputs an in most there preamps!
    let me say this cap had 50,000 or more hr.....hehe
    I put a No name poly 2mf cap in.....needless to say it changed the sound .....I thought it souned much better!.....But ever to day with all these better caps most ....not even Diyers well open up there Old MC amps.....it was a lot of work to get to the cap....but!
    Most are vary happy with the sound of the Mc 2205 to day with the old stock cap in.....hehe .....or not... maybe thay just say ...my new amp sounds better.....we see this all the time.

    .What I think...we know what that's worth...hehe...
    Youll break in...... to the sound before most parts chang.............
    Yes after playing anything .......when your are happy,sad,sexy,unsexy, bad day...then a good day. sunny,rainy..hehe .......
    An time passes you may feel diff about the sound.....or anything.....

    all just one manes finding




    Thanks for the site Bob........................

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:12 am

    Frank111,
    Again, I'd stick with the Russian PIOs. Once they've fumed off -- you WILL smell them for a few days -- they start to age like a fine wine.
    On the octal tube sockets: the ones Bob supplies out of the box are great but they do need to be re-tensioned if you're going to be tube-rolling. Tube pins vary ever so slightly in diameter; I have taken a micrometer to them. i.e. Russian KT-120 pins are fatter than original Tung-Sol 6550s, so if you're using the Russkies then switch to some antiques, you'll have to re-tension each socket hole. I learned that the hard way, although got quite a light show.

    And yes, zx, it's amazing the junk you find inside of some "high end" audio gear.

    rustybutt

    Posts : 40
    Join date : 2015-01-12
    Location : Alameda, California

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by rustybutt on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:35 pm

    I recently took delivery of a new SP13 preamp, built by Troy. He used Russian PIO coupling caps. My first impression was "Wow..." Amazing detail and imaging. And then I played some things for my wife.... She's a lovely woman and has better hearing than I do. She's a professional violinist playing for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. When I told her I was dropping $1500 on a new preamp, she looked at me funny but said "OK". Of course she was happy with my old preamp, a Bryston .5B, which does sound pretty good. I'm sure she didn't see the need, but she loves me and wants to see me happy. That, and the fact that with all my stereo equipment, my horns (I'm a trumpet player), it still adds up to less than we paid for her violin bow. Not the violin. The bow...

    Anyway the first time she heard the preamp, it had about 6 hours of use on it, so it was pretty much minty fresh new. I played a recording of the Tokyo String Quartet doing a Beethoven piece her quartet is working on. Her words were, "I'm sorry but I don't like it. All of the strings all sound like they're new and have to be broken in."

    Once she pointed this out, I heard what she was saying. There was a pronounced emphasis on the upper midrange (2khz - 6khz). For the most part I play my digital content off of a Linux laptop, so I fired up a digital equalizer and tried pulling it down a bit in the upper midrange and she calmed down. But I didn't...

    Troy suggested that the Russian PIO caps might well need 50 to 100 hours of break-in. So I fired up the preamp and fed it a signal from my laptop and let it run for 4 days and turned off my power amp. After about 100 hours of burn-in I turned on my power amp and did some serious listening. Wow... It was like a different piece of gear. The upper midrange harshness was gone and my wife gave it her stamp of approval.

    So chances are you can expect there to be something of a burn-in period needed to make this sound as you hope it will. Fire it up, take a listen, then let it run for 4 days or more and listen again.

    Tube Nube

    Posts : 641
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by Tube Nube on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:49 pm

    That's a great story!

    After replaced the tone arm and subchassis on my record player, I put on my Jazz at the Pawnshop, vol. 2 record. My son said immediately "that's worse!"

    What?

    Also a musician, he said he could hear so much more clearly that it was a bad performance. One of the players was out of key, among other complaints.

    I breathed a sigh of relief!

    zx

    Posts : 194
    Join date : 2011-08-05

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by zx on Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:10 am

    Out of All the parts in the NEw preamp......you realy think it was Just the Caps?.....an you know this how?
    IF I had to {gess} it would be the tubes....No the res.....No it all the parts togather ...No it the transfourmers.....or the pot an switches...or..or even the air..
    But one thing we do know.. woman dose hears better than man............how do we know this...thay have tested this!
    Cap Sound not so much...
    .But you did say that the fisher at over 50 years young .....with all the stock OLD parts sounded close.... or even better..right...
    Would you say it was the Old caps....

    This brings me back to the Dynaco Mk3  stock input board...with the 6AN8/7199 type tube ....being chep an cost little....an that's why it was used....but in the 50s tubes were all chep!
    An Dynaco could make a killer tranfourm for the time...but could not comeup with a drive tube that sounded good....hehe..right!
    I gess it all up to people that take the time & money.. to put these caps an wire an tubes in there preamps an amps an see if thay hear these diff......for them self....
    I say...hehe...if today a cap are tube can do anything but sound diff
    than one another....an sound diff for diff sake....it dose not mean much!..........

    Look I have over 200 cupling cups here an some that cost over $100ea.So I get it..an yes most can sound diff..but so dose the wire.res....an all things in the path.....But to say anyone can know it just One thing......well ok...if [you] are others say so..

    My point about the Mc was I though the socalled better caps made a BIG diff in the Sound....To other who had owen a lot of Mc gear ....Not so much.....To the Mc tec...the stock caps were not junk..why.... thay took the cap as just one part of a hole!...
    In test my better cap an the so called junk cap came out the same!
    who new....hehe
    this is all just one mans O-Pine



    thanks for the site Bob..................

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts : 1291
    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Tube socket and PIO Cap questions.

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:59 pm

    my 2c added to this . . .
    a $2 Solen is a decent cap, and the big OJ 716P are very good (about twice the size).
    for $5 you can NOT beat a Russian K40Y until you get up in the $20 per cap range.
    for $10 the Clarity MR caps are not any better than the K40Ys.
    for $40 the Mundorf silver-oil PIO is absolutely wonderful, and worth the price if you've got the ears and speakers to enjoy it.
    Haven't heard the V-Caps, but NO way would I pay $250 for each capacitor. I'd rather spend an extra $2000 on better speakers and enjoy the Mundorfs.

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