Have you replaced the batteries inside Vandy 5?

We all know that the Model 5 has a battery biased crossover inside. Since the batteries last a long time, we might have forgotten about them. But don't underestimate how important they are, well, I had until my system started sounding flat and edgy in the past couple of months.

There are three 9V batteries in each speaker. They are soldered together in series to make a 27V pack. The battery pack was soldered on the circuit board and secured with double-side mounting tape and cable ties. It took me a whole afternoon yesterday, maybe 5 hours or so, to replace the batteries in both speakers. The first one took longer because I wasn't sure what I was dealing with. Once I figured out all the steps, I did the second one in about an hour. I also took this opportunity to clean the connectors inside, total 24 in each speaker.

I have never used the phase "day-and-night" in any of my post before, but in this case it is rather appropriate. Now the edginess is gone. Every instrument pops out in 3D. The drums in track 1 (Poem Of Drum) of the Master of Chinese Percussion HDCD exploded with a commanding and effortless quality. And when I cue up the 45rpm Here's to Ben, Jacintha's voice in the Danny Boy track was unbelievably pure and transparent; I could hear every nuance of her voice followed by the reflection off the studio wall. It was staggering.

I was listening track after track, CD after CD, LP after LP, deep into the morning hour. My system has never sounded better. I attribute this to the fact that I have upgraded some components - new preamp, DAC, SACD players, etc..., a few years after the purchase of the Model-5 which already degraded somewhat. Those upgrades have never had a chance to fully reveal themselves until now.

So my friends, if your Model-5 are more than 4-5 years old and they don't quite capture your soul anymore, I urge you to replace the batteries first before spending any money on other component.
Thanks for the reminder... I presume you thought it worthwhile to do it yourself... A dealer can usually do it, but you certainly can send it to Vandersteen for it to be done there as well.
My dealer is over 100 miles away and he didn't even come to set up the sub. It
will take a while and probably cost me a fortune to have him do it.

I know I can send them to Vandersteen but taking the pair of crossovers out of
the speaker is already half the work and I don't want to risk damaging them
during shipping, they are quite heavy. I used to be a DIYer, soldering is no big
deal. But if you are not comfortable around soldering iron, don't take any risk,
call your dealer.

Thanks for your post. I have a pair of 5s and it's well past time to replace the crossover batteries. I am looking forward to hearing the results.

Yesterday I replaced the batteries in the external low pass-filters. The boxes needed complete disassembly to complete the job properly. The job wasn't hard, except that the battery terminals are right next to one of the red WIMA capacitors and I had to go very slowly to make sure the soldering iron tip didn't damage the soft plastic exterior of the WIMAs.

I haven't looked at the crossover yet. Hopefully the replacement can be accomplished without too much precision work.

One thing I resolved after doing the low-pass filters: I will order the 9 volt lithium batteries for the crossover as their life expectancy is 11 years.
I second Ljs fin's recommendation for using 9v lithium batteries...I picked up 6 for the internal crossovers at Radio Shack.