I thought that I had remembered Dannie Ritchie doing some mods on this speaker... He is a solid designer. I went and looked it up. I hope this helps you guys out.
jayctoy, to directly answer your question...I haven't heard the mod that you posted about, but I can look at curves and tell you what something will sound like... the mods that I posted above will be noticeably better... even the 1st mod listed which would cost you very little....The difference will be a livelier top end with a bit of added detail. Good luck with this guys, this is an easy modification and well worth the money. By the way on the link that I posted above Andrew Jones chimes in about the mods on his speaker... worth the read.
The enclosure is not only very lightly (to put it charitably) braced, the MFD it is made of is the less dense and stiff variety. But hey, it's a budget product built to a price point, providing sound quality above what you'd expect for that price. The parts quality is also rather low, but Danny Richies mod replaces them with higher quality ones, while also improving the speakers frequency response. Whether the mod is worth it's price is for the Elac owner to decide. That topic has been discussed on the AudioCircle GR Research Forum, where Danny provides info on the ELAC mods he offers.
"I think it better to upgrade speaker budget"
I know that everyone could not do these changes, but these are fairly simple. I could even give suggestions for even simpler changes that would make a real difference.... For instance, Danny tells you to switch out the 22 ohm resistor with a higher quality 20 ohm. I like that change too, but If you like the current sound of the B6, but wanted to just add some upper frequency definition, you could simply put the .47 bypass cap that Danny suggest on the current resistor without going through changing the resistor out and it will raise the falling off frequency without raising the entire tweeter sensitivity. This is a $5 part and one very simple mod that is quite audible...
If there is a real interest, I will list out the mods by ease of doing and sound quality... Some of you guys would get a kick out of doing a few changes. I hope this helps, Tim
Andrew has his pride in the way... Its natural for not wanting someone messing with your design... but Andrew does in someway acknowledge that the modifications are better, but weren't done in the original design for budgets sake...
Of course no one has to do these mods or any mods at all. The question on the thread was "would you even consider the mod"
So my answer at $295 is NO, but at $5 to $50 bucks for clear improvements, you bet.
I too, if not already owning Elac’s, would add the cost of modding Elacs to my budget and buy better speakers outright. But if I already owned a pair, and like their basic character enough to spend a little dough to improved them, I would look into the GR Research Elac mods. One of them is free---just remove the cosmetic plastic woofer surround. It is there to hide the drivers mounting frame, gasket, and screws, but creates diffraction and frequency aberrations---removing it costs nothing, and improves the sound of the speaker.
Danny Richies Level 1 Mod is relatively cheap, improving the Elacs out of proportion to it’s price. The Level 2 Mod is considerably more money, and is a more ambitious re-engineering of the Elacs. Andrew Jones is a talented designer, but he needed to meet a parts cost that allows the speakers to be sold at certain price points. Danny Richie, a renown speaker designer himself (hired by other companies to design their speaker products), an expert especially in crossover design, has a customer base of more enthusiast/audiophile/perfectionist DIYers who usually buy Danny’s Mod kits and install them themselves, making the mods more cost effective. Anyone possessing basic soldering skills can do the same, and improve the sound of the Elacs considerably for relatively little $. For anyone who doesn't, a local tech should be able to perform the mod in an hour, costing the Elac owner only whatever the tech charges for his time. Or maybe a 12-pack for a friend who can solder!
"I'd b willing to bet that a stock UB5 would kill any modified B6"
That wouldn't be a safe bet, it depends on your taste... I've compared the curves and know the materials in both. The UB5 has a dip at 5 to 8k, then rise to a peak at 10k or so....Some people would like that, others would really hear that dip followed by the peak... The cabinets on the UB5 are better materials and better braced than the B6 and the stiffer coned drivers should produce a bit more detail... normally, I would like the detail, but with a dip followed by that peak on the top end, I'd probably prefer the B6... I would also add a thin t brace to the B6 that would help its cabinet resonances... I'm sure that I'll be challenged and that's fine, but I've been at this speaker game for along time, I try to separate fact from opinion... curves can be a bit deceiving depending on cone material, but they really don't lie.... Curves, cabinet, crossover parts quality, driver material, they do tell a story...... But, clearly, the UB5 is a Great speaker and for the Abundance of people that want nothing to do with modifying a speaker, it would be a no brainer to get the UB5... For someone like me, that has all the parts here at home, my cost to upgrade a B6 is bupkis, I fire up my soldering iron several times a week and have built countless speakers, I'd do the mod.
Not trying to convince anyone to buy these or even do the mod. Its just a simple reply to a single line stated earlier..... Also as mentioned in another thread about great speakers under $500... there are a lot of great speakers out there.
The B6 is a great speaker. Hands down a bargain. I agree with the philosophy that once you change the values of the original design, you're not really listening to the speaker anymore but if you simply upgrade the parts quality and reinforce the cabinet your'e doing what Andrew Jones probably would like to have done but didn't make sense to meet the price point. That's just economics. Keep the same values, I'm going with Mundorf caps and Ohmite and better inductors (I measure the stock ones and make sure I match the replacements exactly). That way I know I'm listening to what was designed by the designer, I'm just getting a better quality version. It's funny how so many folks on audio threads feel that they just can't bring themselves to like a product that gets great reviews and is popular. It's like they have something to prove. Here's my take- don't buy it if you don't want to but I celebrate when someone hits a benchmark at a price point because that's what a designer's biggest challenge is when designing in the lower regions of true quality hifi. Of course there's the other end where price is literally not an object, just performance.
Danny suggested the mods in a forum and AJ basically told Danny that he didn’t know what he was talking about and if folks wanted an upgrade they should wait for his next speaker (UB5). Now Danny is doing this to troll AJ and get some publicity is my guess. The drivers and cabinets of the B6 are not special or deserving of a $300 mod.
GR Research (Danny Richies' company) offers speaker kits (which include the drivers, x/o parts, etc. Everything you need but the enclosure, which can be gotten from Parts Express) priced below, at, and above the price of the Elac speakers. Of course, you have to put them together (or have a friend who can solder and assemble a x/o), and you won't know what they sound like, and if you like them, until after you've bought them. Very few normal audiophiles, much less mere music lovers, are gonna do that.
To be honest, I've changed my mind on modding the B6. As my pair breaks in I'm quite happy with it and although I tend to mod just about everything I have in my chain, some things like the B6 which is sleighted to become a classic, deserve being left alone. I did, however, remove the tweeter grill because that tweet is one of the coolest eyeball looking things I've ever seen on a speaker. I might end up going with Mundorf Evo Oil on the tweeter cap (same value) once I've gotten used to the speaker enough to know exactly what the mod did but I really don't feel like there's a whole lot missing from this speaker that wouldn't be better gotten by switching to a completely different speaker up the chain. You can take a Volkswagen bug and hot rod it to hell but somehow the stock bug is such a classic that it's cool just in its original design. A lot of older tube amps like Altecs also retain far more value if they are stock although I'm not claiming that the B6 will ever have that happen. Speakers are probably the one piece of the hifi chain where technology advances at the fastest rate and it's pretty cool to hear speakers getting better all the time while the affordability becomes better for the average guy.