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Modifying speakers ? (crossovers/bi-wire etc.)

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by iwatkins, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. iwatkins

    iwatkins
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    (Moderators, not sure if this should be in Speakers or DIY so please feel free to move if necessary)

    I have a set of the Eltax Hollywood 5.0 speakers that were bought as a stop gap when I first set up my home cinema setup (I over spent on amp/DVD :rolleyes: ).

    Now I was looking to replace these with something of higher quality but I've two problems. 1) The missus likes the look of these speakers in beech and isn't happy with the idea of changing them now she is used to them (was hard enough initially) and 2) It looks as though we may be moving home in about a years time so would want to buy some new speakers then (with a decent budget) as I plan to have a dedicated home cinema (where anything goes :smoke: ).

    So, in the meantime I stuck with the Eltax jobbies, which are actually not bad when it comes to movies but let down stereo audio quite a bit.

    The two fronts are floor standers with the following components:

    Tweeter 25mm soft dome
    Mid-range 2 x 100mm
    Woofer 200 mm (side firing)

    Picture below:

    [​IMG]

    I was considering modifying these by doing the following:

    A) replacing internal wiring with the same higher quality wire I use to connect them to my amp.

    B) look at replacing the internal crossover.

    C) remove crossover altogether and bi-wire the speakers.

    Option A I'm going to do anyway I as understand the possible benefits.

    Option B I'm not so sure about. Would a cheap crossover really degrade the quality by a lot and hence worth looking at or would the drivers themselves benefit more from a bit of scrutiny ?

    Option C I also understand the benefits but I don't know how to convert these speakers to something that can be bi-wired. I.e. do I just remove the internal crossover altogether, fit a second set of binding posts and internally connect one set of posts to the mids/tweeter and the second of binding posts to the woofer ?

    I'm rambling, any advice would be gratefully received.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  2. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
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    You can get an external crossover quite easily from Maplin or CPC, but I'm not entirely sure how good they are. Converting a speaker with a one piece crossover board to bi-wiring will be difficult IMHO, because the internal links are usually solder tracks on a PCB.
    Whatever you do, don't take the crossover out and wire the amp directly to the speakers:nono: as this will probably result in a blown tweeter.
    HTH
     
  3. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Here' a few ideas for you to kick about.

    1. Replace the capacitors in the cross-over with higher quality polypropylene capacitors. You could replace the inductors as well but the change in DC resistance of the inductor will change the 'Q' of the circuit which would entail changing the value of the components to compensate.

    2. Ditch the cross-over and use 'active' cross-overs, something like the LEM DX26 which is a stereo 3 way cross-over. http://www.lemaudio.com/en/products/DX_series/

    3. Ditch the mid-range and tweeter and replace with higher quality speakers from the likes of SEAS. Here's some designs that use such speakers.

    https://secure.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/acatalog/Wilmslow_Audio_SEAS_EXCEL_LOUDSPEAKER_KITS_93.html

    http://users.classicfm.net/williamshart/speaker.htm

    Of all the options, option 3 will give you the best improvement. The Seas Millenium tweeter is very highly regarded as is the Seas H571 mid-range unit. If you don't feel confident with the work give Shaun Williams (ex technical director of Wilmslow Audio) a call to discuss him carrying out the work for you.
     
  4. iwatkins

    iwatkins
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at the options.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Just a couple of things...removing the crossovers altogether isnt a great idea,unless you fit active crossovers before your power amps.
    Active crossovers are all very well if properly designed and adjusted,and can result in great gains in efficiency and drive unit integration,but only if well designed.

    If you must,replacing the components of the existing crossovers can be a useful step,but be careful to use exactly the same component values.
    Upgrading the internal wiring can also be useful.

    As for changing the drive units,remember that the cabinet volume,crossover frequencies,phase,and drive units are all inter-related,and as GaryG advises,speaking to Wilmslow Audio or Shaun Williams would be very sensible before simply changing drive units.
     

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