PSU caps

Dear Colin, PSU caps. There are two (2) large rectangular caps at the ac inlet of the PSU of my DIY amp. They are labeled as such; 0.1uF 250V~X2. What does the X2 mean? Yeah I know, stupid question, but I’m at least looking for a intelligent answer and seeing all the past Colin’s Clinic […]

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DIY INTERCONNECTS: Using Teflon braided hose

Hi Colin. I love your ‘clinic’. Neil promised that you might be offering education for us novices. So may I ask – have you ever thought about using braided hose to run your interconnects. I am talking about type usually found as brake lines on motorbikes and car braking systems, i was messing around with […]

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AUDIOPHILE FUSES: Nonsense or what?

Hello experts. I have used audiophile fuses for years in various equipment without problem, generally appreciative of sound quality improvement. Recently, I’ve encountered problems with audiophile fuses blowing in my Coincident Turbo 845SE amplifier. At this point I’ve had two failures of Synergistic Red Quantum 6.3a 250v sloblo fuses in this amp. Recently I discovered […]

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CROSSOVERS: Types of resistors for crossovers?

Dear Colin, I have just fitted stock 2R7 Panasonic 0.1% metal film resistors to replace the “green” 2R2 wirewounds in series with the Millennium tweeters in my WD25Tex speakers. I expected a change ( a bit warmer) but was not prepared for such a drastic change – is this due to the 0,5R increase or […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: QUAD – what wire for rewiring their power amps please?

Dear Colin, I’ve just picked up a Quad 405 ready for service. When I serviced my previous 405 I used the Dada kit which came with the necessary wire. Can you tell me please what size / gauge wire I should use to replace the existing power wires? Would this be suitable? http://www.rapidonline.com/design-te…0m-reels-62317 or could […]

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THE ART OF ELECTRONICS (Horowitz & Hill) 3rd ed: Still the best?

Dear Colin, The Art of Electronics (Horowitz & Hill) 3rd ed… … as DIYers probably already know is now out, only 25 years after the 2nd ed. My copy arrived today. I’m not trained in electronics and make no claim to more than a passing knowledge, but have enjoyed these authors’ style of presentation since […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / STEP DOWN CONVERTERS: Do they degrade the sound?

  Dear Colin, I recently saw a 240v integrated amp from the UK and was wondering if it is ok to use with a Step Down Converter? What are the pros and cons of using a step down device? Does it affect the sound and am I in jeopardy of blowing the transformer or ruining […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Do slow blow t2 250v fuses blow for no reason?

Hi Colin. Just had a crackle in a left channel (nothing you’ve built by the way), fade to nothing, then that stench of death. Took the lid off my Crimson mono (a simple oblong) and all looks healthy in fact like new, the only thing that’s gone is the fuse. Could it be a mains […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / Tubes and that elusive sound?

Hello Colin, please be patient with me because although I am an experienced listener I’m not very conversant with the technology that is available today. By this I mean I really just plug in and just listen. However recently I started to think about some of the units I use, In particular a Musical Fidelity […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: What really are computer grade parts?

Dear Colin, Computer grade parts? What are computer grade parts.. such as Computer grade power-supply caps? Are these type of parts an upgrade and/or better than audiophile grade parts? For example, I’ve heard some people say, “I’ve upgraded my power supply caps in my amp to computer grade caps”. I don’t think I’d want computer […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: The value of mains regeneration?

Hello Colin and may I congratulate you on your resurrection. My question is this. As it is generally agreed that as a consequence of the variation of the mains waveform systems sound different at different times of any twenty four hours, do you do your fine-tuning at a similar time each day for continuity? Or […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Impedance – match of pre / power amps

Dear Colin, impedance match of preamp and main amp. I am considering mating a McIntosh Mc602 with a Bat Vk 51se. I noticed the input impedance on the Mc602 is 10K. While most Bat amps are much higher. Do you see a problem with this? It seems I remember at Stereophile I used to know […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: To what extent – if any – can exceptional interconnects compensate for a mediocre CD player?

Dear Colin, An audiophile friend made the following argument to me: “Stop looking for a new CD player. With a very good to excellent high-end interconnect you will not only improve the performance of the CD, but other downstream components.” I had to disagree with my friend claiming a $400 or $500 IC is not […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / SANSUI: Capacitor replacement in vintage units

  Q: I know vintage gear isn’t your business of course but, hey, I trust your expertise and so I wonder if you can help with a component issue please? I’m doing a Sansui restoration and the main caps are Nichicon & Elna. There are many differing capacitor ranges, do you have any specific recommendations? […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / QUAD: 4-Pin DIN plugs to construct an interconnect for 33/303

Dear Colin, I’ve ordered a pair of 4-Pin DIN plugs to construct an interconnect for a Quad 33/303 system. Do both the channels need to be individually shielded, or is crosstalk not an issue here, and one could use something like this with just an overall shield? http://www.van-damme.com/14.html Failing that, can you recommend a really […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / BI-WIRING: A daft idea or what?

Gentlemen – what is this ‘thing’ called bi-wiring and will Elsdon Wonfor Audio be making speaker cables that use this tecnique? Thanks. Ron McQueen. {Colin} Dear Ron, bi-wiring is used to stop the reflection signal of one or more transducers affecting the movement or control of another. This can happen and it is caused by […]

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ON or OFF: How often do we have to turn off our equipment?

Dear Colin, power supply question. How often do we have to turn off our equipment such as power amp, pre amp. cd player , power conditioner ……? Can we leave them on for days while listening on and off or do we have to turn them off after every session of listening? As a general […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Transformer noise through speakers … when switched off!

Dear Colin, step up transformer noise. I purchased an amp from Europe that needs 240v [ I am on north American voltage].. I bought a step up/step down transformer to equalize the voltage. it works, but the transformer produces noise through the speakers, even when the amp is turned off. the transformer I bought was […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Audiophile industry heroes

Hi Colin. Who if any are your audio designers heroes and why? Thanks. Nigel Beethoven (no jokes please) Hello Nigel. Heroes is a bad thing to have as it puts normal humans on a dais and yet they are human. But the gents and ladies in this complex industry that I put up with; the […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Is material now the limiting factor perhaps?

Hello Colin. From reading your very cogent and helpful answers to those questions here I appreciate that you take the design of power supplies very seriously. I’m writing here out of ignorance of the design process and indeed materials used but I wonder if it’s coming to the point where the next set of advances […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Why sell an under-optimized item that can be easily improved upon by the owner or a modder?

Dear Colin, If audiophile grade feet, power cords, and fuses can really improve sound quality, why don’t high end designers/manufacturers just incorporate these audiophile grade components at the time of build? Why sell an under-optimized item that can be easily improved upon by the owner or a modder? I guess you don’t do that at […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Marketing as an influence on audiophile design?

Hi Colin. To what extent – if any – does marketing influence your designs? It has ….. for a few things. I’ve not really taken much notice of marketing and to be honest, if an audio business is run by money grabbing twits like those I’ve met in the past then … no thanks. I […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / ELSDON – WONFOR: Boutique brand, or mass-market?

Hi Colin. First. Congratulations on rising phoenix-like from a difficult time with difficult people! From what I have read my impression is that you are intent on keeping Elsdon Wonfor Audio small; a boutique-brand if you will. However for the sake of conversation, or curiosity or whatever, if you wanted to, could the company be […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Equipment break-in. Fact or fiction or a combination of both?

Hi guys. Is there or will there be an ‘official’ Elsdon Wonfor Audio policy on this. Here’s my view. I’m an adherent to the psychological theory of so-called break-in; it’s simply one’s brain adjusting to a new piece of audio equipment. I also like to compare it to the ancient therapy of acupuncture; break-in apparently […]

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