Hot-Rodding Tyler's Woodmeres- SEAS Be Tweeters
This summer I completed a couple of upgrade projects on my beloved Woodmere speakers, and I wanted to share my results. I suppose the tweeter swap project would apply to most any speaker using the SEAS Millennium Tweeter for owners who want to try Beryllium. Practically nothing is written about the SEAS Be tweeter, and I hope that this report might encourage anyone who is willing to take a shot at improving his system.
Let me say first, I backed into this whole project, as I have been quite pleased with Tyler's Woodmeres and was not really looking for an upgrade. But early in the summer I noticed a little spitting in the upper mids/lower highs and I thought I had perhaps blown my Millennium tweeters. That started me researching Madisound's website looking for replacements. There I noticed a new SEAS tweeter with Be diaphram, and it was offered at a reduced (although not inexpensive) price. It looked to be an exact swap for my original Millennium unit. While I researched the possibility of the swap, it occurred to me that the spitting might only be my cartridge needing a VTF adjustment. Turns out that was the only problem- my ZYX Universe is touchy with air conditioning humidity changes- whew!
But now I could not get out of my mind the possibility of trying this Be tweeter! Long story short: Easy swap, direct replacement. Only other thing was to increase the resistor value by about 4 Ohms. Very nice and significant improvement. Not monumental, but no way would I go back now. I already had the Mundorf Silver/Gold/Oil tweeter capacitor, and as the Be tweeter broke in, the Woodmeres simply woke up. Marked improvement in "Presence" is the best description. Significant improvements in high freq definition, air, separation of instruments. I can hear multiple HF instruments simultaneously playing now, with the separation and space of each. Very, very pleased.
So much pleased that it made me wish the midrange and especially the upper midrange would have more air and definition, such that it would blend better with the new tweeter. That led to my swapping out the single Solen midrange cap with (6) Mundorf M-Cap Supremes to arrive at the same capacitance. Slow break-in again, but it was worth it! The midrange now woke up in a similar way. Hard to say due to the slow break-in, and the fact that I listen only on weekends, but it seems that the center mids and lower mids are most markedly improved. Bigger, richer, fuller, more detailed sound now. I hear fingers on bass strings, more low freq concert hall ambiance in recordings. Overall, I am very pleased.
Most of all, the relaxed nature of the speakers has not been ruined. I have simply woken them up a bit and removed some veiling. I spent about $2K on these projects, and I cannot think of a better improvement.
I intentionally kept this report on the short side. If anyone wants more detailed information, please let me know, and I will try to help.