Year 2014 could be an interesting year for DIY audio. I just came across Audio Note website and found that Audio Note planned to launch a new electrolytic capacitor. More in here.
I think Audio Note has same problem with me: we are lacking of good or reference electrolytic capacitor. I might have my own solution here. But it seems Audio Note is also working on their own electrolytic capacitor as shown below.
Their first line will be available around September 2014 which will be named as “Audio Note (UK)™ Electrolytic Audio Capacitor”. Closely after that, on October 2014, they are planning to release higher grade model which named “Audio Note (UK)™ KAISEI Audio Capacitor“.
Kaisei in Japanese sometime pronounced as “改正” (Gǎizhèng) or ” 海星” (Hǎixīng). The second one means a “Starfish”, while the first one means “Update/Revision”. If I could read Peter Qvortrup’s head, then I think the idea of the name should come from the first one.
The “K” signature reminds me of the ancient Black Gate capacitor – which is closely related with Audio Note and Peter Qvortrup.
Based on the information from Audio Note itself, the KAISEI was developed with the collaboration of the Rubycon’s engineering team (this should ring the bell of Black Gate capacitor). It took 4 years of collaboration to create this KAISEI lineup.
And I think that’s not all. Audio Note also plans to release the top of the line Black Gate replacements. So this will be a higher grade than the KAISEI lineup. The interesting thing is, the KAISEI will use all the same construction and material with the new Black Gate replacements, except the Graphite impregnated paper. KAISEI will use standard paper, not the Graphite one.
Graphite technology is well known as the “secret” of Black Gate capacitor. It seems this one is still very expensive technology and hard to make stuff, therefore its existence is kept at the top level in terms of pricing and sound quality. This new replacement is expected to hit the street on the second half of 2015.
Now it’s gonna be interesting to see the comparison of these electrolytic capacitors! 🙂
Below is the current values available and the pricing. More value will be added soon. I would say that this is quite affordable and interesting to hear the different vs the existing competitors.
The Standard Audio Note (UK)™ Electrolytic Capacitor Range starts with 2 values only:
22uF/500 volt —— £2.50 each (excluding VAT)
100uF/500 volt —— £6.50 each (excluding VAT)
The Audio Note KAISEI range will be available from late September – early October 2014 and will start with 4 values:
5uF/500 volt —— £8.00 each (excluding VAT)
22uF/500 volt —— £16.00 each (excluding VAT)
50uF/500 volt —— £30.00 each (excluding VAT)
100uF/500 volt —— £40.00 each (excluding VAT)