Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere Music Systems

V-Cap TFTF Fluoropolymer Capacitors
Atma-Sphere MP-3 Preamplifier

Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere Music Systems needs no introduction, but I'll try to sum up very quickly: There have been only three patents issued to OTL manufacturers since the 1950s. Two of the three were written by Mr. Karsten. His legendary status in the OTL world for his patented Circlotronic® circuitry, and Balanced Differential Design® is only exceeded by the sound you'll hear coming from his electronics. If you haven't heard an Atma-Sphere product yet, you are missing out on one of 10 wonders of the audiophile world.

Here's what Ralph Karsten has to say about his experience using V-Caps in his equipment:

"In my own system at home, I want the amps and preamp to be fully equipped with V-Caps. The system is easier to listen to, and a lot easier to do convincing demos with. As far as the V-Caps themselves- we've offered Teflon caps for close to 15 years now. But we offer the V-Caps because they are better than the Teflons we had been using, and they have the added advantage of being available in values that we could not get before.

I think the most telling thing though, is that somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of our production gets optioned with V-Caps. They are a very easy sell, because they are more audible as an update than the best resistors are and are less expensive.

Still the best coupling cap out there, by head and shoulders"

One indication of how well the V-Caps work is every MP-1 we've built in the last 7 or 8 years has been optioned with V-Caps. It one of the most cost effective upgrades we offer on any of our products.

Ralph Karsten - Atma-Sphere

In a forum post at Audiogon, Ralph also writes:

We've been using the V-Cap as an option for about the last year or year and a half. The Fluoropolymer part is one of the best coupling caps out there with no reservations. If you don't like what you hear with this cap its because it is revealing a weakness! Frankly, the part has very little break-in (despite claims to the contrary, although you *do* hear the breaking-in and resettling of wiring disturbed during updates and newly-built pieces quite easily). The part is very relaxed like a good paper and oil, but more detailed, with better bass and without the shelved highs that are paper and oil hallmarks. Overall very neutral and in a very good way.

They are well worth the cost of admission (more so than fancy NOS tubes and a variety of tweaks). Our preamp has a patented direct-coupled output balanced output and so avoids the classic issue of the output coupling cap (big cap=bad sound). So my comments are based on smaller parts, the biggest being 0.47 that we use in the phono section.  


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