I guess this is the right page to post on this incredible kit. Been installed and powered up for two weeks now, and Mikes sales pitch on the website is no lie. Having enjoyed the benefits the 6H23N valves had bought for a few days, I couldn't resist taking it apart and warming up the soldering iron any longer!!! An hour or so later the x-can was back together and warming up......
First impressions were very favourable - a subtle but noticeable improvement right across the board which would have pleased me if it had stayed that way, but over time my reference tracks have taken on a whole new life form and right now as I listen to 'Time Flies' by Porcupine Tree for the first time in 10 days it's an absolute sonic pleasure!! ( Not saying this is anywhere near the best 'hi-fi' track I have, but I knew every nuance intimately before the x-can upgrades). The whole soundstage now feels twice as wide, the bass subharmonics rumble beautifully through the jaw, the acoustic guitars are individually identifiable, and the subtle percussion nuances now fly round the head left, right, and centre. I've also been digging through some old favourites that haven't been played for a while, and some of them to my ears have leapt forwards with almost the same improvements as CD was to cassettes (ahh nostalgia!!! And yes, I do still have a tape deck in the hifi system......)
All in all, if you have a decent source, quality phones and a stock X-can v3, then £100 for NOS valves and the capacitor kit is without doubt the best £ for £ upgrade you could ever wish to make.
Right, I'm off back to my sonic adventure...........!!!!!
I have been experimenting and here is a new idea for this unit I cobbled together. I purchased 100VA 12v+12v ANTEK toroidal transformer for a PSU, and I used 4x Caddock 15w power resistors instead of wirewound resistors (have to bend them to fit), and I replace the four 1500uf caps from the kit with Nichicon Fine Gold 1000UF 65V. I left everything else from the kit the same. The resistors are very important, and the 1000uf caps are very important, huge improvement in sound. The original 1500uf caps sound bloated in the low end and have unnatural dynamics. I might try all Fine Gold caps throughout the power section but right now it sounds good. Delicate but "all there". I also am using Genelex Gold Lion tubes.
"I replace the four 1500uf caps from the kit with Nichicon Fine Gold 1000UF 65V"
This question is a blind spot for me. Is it "enabled", is it "possible" to use a capacitor with a different capacitance? Obviously, a higher V value doesn’t hurt, but what happens when you use a higher / lower uF? I don't touch it at all, that's why I'm deliberating or asking you.