You might discover thwt you hate what upgrading it did to the sound. Speakers are very very interactive items. Changing one part may destroy what you love about them! I would leave them alone, unless you have proven upgrade path. (ie: someone in the know experimented and found the stuff and adjustments that rally work)
I agree with Elizabeth on this one, with most dynamic type speakers its best just to leave them alone. Planer magnetic's/ribbon's and electrostat's are a different story but that is not the case here! Ask Albertporter about his old Snell speaker's and the "improvements" he tried to make.
In this case you're just playing with the chance.
If you just listen to speaker and like it, but after looking inside seing poor wires and poor parts you aim to upgrade, than probably you'll loose. Speaker CAN sound great no matter what parts are used depending on the design. It's essensial, that such speaker will sound best with it's original crossover parts no-matter how bad they are.
If you don't like how your speaker sounds or if it's not too expencive, than you probably loose nothing and you can try.
Upgrading crossover is much easier than upgrading components - so you can do it yourself by replacing electrolytic caps with large film ones from Solen, Aeion or Unlytic. Re-wire your speaker with solid core wires from Belden instead of stock stranded ones and many more depending on the brand of the speaker.
You can ask an advice from Michael Percy at www.percyaudio.com what parts are the best(you can mention budget as well) to upgrade the speaker that you don't like anymore.
The other way is to sell the speaker you don't like and buy the one you will definitely like. IMHO if I spot such thing as upgraded crossover I'd rather avoid that purchase.
thanks for the input people. Got a question though.
As long as I use the SAME VALUES for everything then how could the results be negative? I would just be using better quality components. I don't want them redesigned.
I re-did my Magnepan Xovers with GREAT success. They were easy and Magnepan faxed me a schematic. I sent Athena an email asking for a schematic and so far NO reply.
the stock crossovers look pretty weak. they are about 3 inches square and each contain 2 inductors, 2 caps, and 2 resistors!! Tiniest crossover parts I've ever seen.
I DO like the sound of these speakers, as did Stereophile. I just figured they would sound even better with quality Xovers, just as my Maggies Do.
You might want to try Rick of Selah Audio at email@example.com, to whom I'll be sending my speakers for a mod. Hope this helps.
I can't believe we go through this every time someone wants to upgrade their crossovers!
First, moving to better parts can and sometimes, dramatically, upgrade the sound. The danger area is in altering the topology of what has been built by the designer, but even then, I have seen some REALLY highly regarded loudspeakers use nothing but "by the book" values and schemes. Some audiophile loudspeakers are flat out embarrassing in the parts they use.
My one caveat is that in my experience, some of the expensive caps actually produce results that are not for everyone. They can provide a lot more detail and clarity, but at the expense of making the sound cold, bleached, and sometimes even fatiguing. My recommendations for caps are Solen, SCR, NorthCreek, and Wonder DynamiCaps - all of these caps will retain a nice richness in the sound, balanced by a wealth of detail and clarity.
Good resistors almost without question better the treble, often beyond even what a tweeter upgrade will accomplish.
Inductors using larger gauge and better copper do a whole lot. Dynamics and slam are what a lot of people talk about, but from my perspective, the sound just plain opens up. I have ALWAYS heard an improvement with an inductor upgrade, and recommend it highly.
If you are scared, get a dog, but if you feel your crossover is not so great, don't be afraid to make it better.
Upgrade the parts quality do not change the values.Are there any parts values you can determine...resistors are the cheapest and most bang for your buck...Ohmite non-inductive wire wound available from North Creek Music Systems.Tom
Theaudiotweak...I think that in some cases changing the design of the crossover, (break frequencies, slopes) can yield better performance, but you need to know what you are doing, and be prepared to tweek in your new design. The original designer probably didn't get what he really wanted. He did the best he could within a budget.
It happens that I am even now in the midst of replacing the very simple crossover in MG1.6. In addition to using top quality inductor and capacitor I have chosen to change the filter break frequencies very slightly. In a nutshell, I will roll the LF panel off (electrically) at 205 Hz instead of 180Hz, and shift the HF pannel up by 100 Hz. My reasoning is that the speakers were surely designed for full range use, whereas I cross them over to a subwoofer system. Accordingly, I feel that the LF panel can handle slightly higher sounds without problem. Giving my theory a try makes the whole exercise more interesting, and it would be really easy to go back to the original L and C values if appropriate.
I did not to want screw up the time arrival balance of the 5 drivers in my Dunlavy SC4's. I elected to change the mechanical and material makeup of the crossover only, all the values remained the same even as the crossover grew out of the enclosure and into its own separate chassis. The crossover components, chassis, and all ten, 10 ga. Sonoran cables wired directly to each driver weigh in at over 65 lbs each. The chassis is of 2024 aircraft aluminium, and of course direct coupled using Audiopoints.All interior walls of the Dunlavy speaker cabinet have been coated with Cascade VBloc, a water soluble product that is drawn into and seals the wood. All hardware was replaced with brass..nonferrous fasteners. The speaker cabinet resides on a Sistrum SP101 platform and leveled left to right as well as verticaly to achieve proper wavelaunch and arrival at the listening position. Tom
I neglected to also give AuriCaps my recommendation in terms of capacitors.
Thanks again guys. What about using a 2-way adjustable electronic crossover instead? I already have the amps to do it.
the speaker is a 2-way & has 2 8-inch drivers and a tweeter.
I'd run the crossovers high pass section to an amp then straight to the tweeter. run the low pass section to an amp then to the woofers. Would I hook both woofers up the same binding posts or run the wire to 1 woofer then branch off to the next? Right now both woofers are hooked up to the same leads on the speaker's passive Xover boards. the amps an crossover both have gain controls.
Draggcj...Connecting a tweeter up directly to a power amp is risky. Turnon and turnoff transients, and other disturbances with LF content can easily toast a tweeter.
The mid/tweeter crossover (typically in the range 1500-2500 Hz) is best done using a passive circuit. The necessary inductor and capacitor values are reasonably cheap, even for good quality parts. Electronic crossovers are superior for lower frequencies, and almost essential for a subwoofer.
I agree, tweeters can fry pretty easily.
If you want to do it simply, try a capacitor in series with the tweeter. This will give all the protection you need. However, depending on the sensitivity of the tweeter as compared to your woofer, you may have to pad it down with a resistor, or two in an L Pad arrangement.
You can upgrade components in a crossover yourself. If confused about the circuit, make a drawing of what it is now and carefully note values of components. You can easily get a portable test instrument that measures inductance. Plan on spending about $140 for it.
You don't really have to draw a schematic of the crossover, though I'd recommend that you do. This is not rocket science and not impossible. Find a local tech to help you if you need to.
The reward for upgrading cheap caps and inductors with something better will be better sound. You will not hurt the design if you stick to the values in the existing crossover.
Consider the whole project as a learning experience.
George at North Creek Music will measure all the values of the parts for you if you send him the whole crossover. He will return it in a few days and give you a list of parts He uses at several price points than you can choose to upgrade some or all of the parts [ inductors , resistors and caps ]. I do not know the cost of this service so call George and talk to Him about your needs