I've got a pair of the PSB Gold i and think that the tweeter sounds pretty natural. It took me a while to get used to them after being used to Infinity emit tweeters. I admit that sometimes I think something sharply defined like the Nautilus 805 might be nice, but that's a different kind of sound. What kind of sound are you looking for?
I found that bi-wiring with a fast cable like Nordost and a source with clear highs like SACD can make the Gold's tweeters sound pretty good. The guy (Paul) who developed the Golds spent a fair amount of listening time when developing them, but I suppose this audio hobby is about getting out that last bit of performance if possible.
I'd like to hear how your changes turn out.
I think this is a great thing you are pursuing!
My recommendation is to check out the Vifa D27TG - 45. You will have to check the specs, but it may be a drop in for your Vifa metal dome(don't want to get your hopes up). It is a 1" silk dome tweeter, with a very smooth, detailed sound. In my opinion, it will greatly improve the higher frequencies of your speakers. The cost is under $50 for the pair(if you don't find it, drop me an e - mail), and I have always felt that to beat this tweeter, one needed to step up to the very high end products such as Dynaudio, Hiquphon, Morel, or ScanSpeak(same company). I think this tweeter is the best bargain in the speaker hobby, and is used in many highly regarded audiophile speakers.
By upgrading to this tweeter, you would be running the same drivers as the Coincident Triumph from about the midbass up, since you already have the Vifa 6.5" midwoofer. The D27TG - 45 will lend you a much more smooth, refined sound, with great detail. A big improvement will be in the ease of sound, reducing listener fatigue dramatically. You will also notice that the speaker will sound as if you bought a more expensive replacement, now that you are hearing what a high end tweeter sounds like. You now will realize the idea of the PSB Gold, integrating an audiophile monitor with a subwoofer.
My feelings have always been the weak points of the PSB Gold are the low end of the high end metal dome Vifa tweeter, the crossover(has to be at this price point), and the very demanding load its partnering amplifier faces. You will be solving one of the problems.
I submit that if you are going down the road of upgrading the tweeter, wire, and binding posts, the benefits you reap will not be so great unless you also upgrade the crossover components. This will turn your 10% improvement into a 50+% improvement. If you are not into reengineering the crossover itself, simply swap out the current parts for a much better grade(not so hard). The improvements that SCR capacitors(same factory as Solen, but much better sound via thicker polypropylene/aluminum and higher DC rating) and North Creek or Alpha Core Goertz inductors will provide are phenomenal. Much more of a dramatic improvement than wire at, unless you are using cheap or very cheap, about the same cost. The crossover upgrade would be well under $100, maybe even far less. You don't really need to put money into the woofer crossover elements, you will see far less benefit there. Spend you money where it will make the most improvement, midrange/treble(which you are already attacking with the tweeter).
And, the cheapest method of improving a speaker's sound is to replace the harsh sounding OEM resistors with Ohmite wirewounds. This $5 - $15 easily sounds like $1000+ in the increased smoothness, air, and refinement. Really gets rid of a lot of nasties.
I agree with Trelja. However, I should add that Solens, Axons, and SCRs are one and the same. The different companies would only have one believe different. Also, I prefer Mills to Ohmite. I think that you could do much better with caps than the SCRs. I must admit, I am a little partial. I have modified several of these speakers.
Jeff, thanks for your input. I have not listened to Mills, but take your word on them.
The SCR capacitors, while built in the same factory as the Solens, are a better capacitor. They use a 7 mil polypropylene film, with a thicker aluminum deposition than the Solen and their 5 mil film. As such, SCR specs a 630 VDC rating, against the Solen 400 VDC. I believe you are correct about the Axon caps, and they feature lines from both Solen and SCR.
Jeff, I have not looked into the Golds in a long time. Can you please bring me up to speed? I believe they feature a 2nd order crossover, with no air core coils. Is my memory correct? And, what about the caps, I think they used a mid level type, representative of their price. Maybe polyester, with some electrolytics in there as well.
I am curious to find out where you found the most bang for your buck in the crossover. Do you feel that reengineering of the crossover values is worthwhile, or is it best to simply upgrade the components?
Thanks so much!, Joe
Thanks for your comments;as always well thought out and well expressed. I have a lot of equipment and thought I would play around with these older speakers. I am going to upgrade the crossover,and wish to really step up the performance of the tweeter which I find shrill at times,a characteristic of many metal domes I think,especially inexpensive ones.
The issue of the impedence is an interesting one as the impedence of the PSB Gold's really drops at low frequencies. The answer? Bi-amp with a pair of Bryston 3BSST's using a Legacy Steradian processor.Opens up mid range as well as delivers a tighter bass. Thanks again.
Sharpe49, I think you are well on your way to making a very good speaker a great one.
Your impressions of the PSB Gold are spot on. The Vifa metal dome is harsh sounding, and a bit hashy. A good soft dome would solve this problem, and the Vifa D27TG - 45 would do it for about $50 for the pair.
You are wise to also ratchet up the crossover. As I stated earlier, you will improve the speakers with the tweeter upgrade, but most loudspeakers are really hamstrung in their crossovers. Even many expensive speakers. You would be surprised. The Solens we spoke about being inferior to the SCRs are about as good as one could ever hope for in a manufactured speaker except in rare instances.
Coils make a big difference in impact, detail, and clarity. For this speaker, I would go with 12 gauge or better.
Resistors are the easiest, cheapest way to improve a speaker, outside of proper setup.
The PSB Gold is a bear to drive. The sensitivity is actually much lower than specified, 83 db/2.83V. Add to that the brutish impedence/phase angle, and most amplifiers are simply not able to drive the speaker like it is meant to be driven. The Bryston you are using sounds like a good solution for the bottom. I found the Adcom 5802 to not be up to the task. The Carver Lightstar/Sunfire amp really awakens the sleeping giant. Otherwise, the speaker merely sounds good, when you partner it with an amp that can take charge of it, the results are awe inspiring. And, this comes from a person who is not easily impressed by most speakers.
Good luck to you!
I'm interested in a tweeter upgrade as well since I own a pair of PSB silvers which use the same Vifa metal dome as the PSB Golds.
Does anyone know if the Vifa D27TG - 45 soft dome that Trelja mentions will just "drop in" to the PSB speakers????
What Specs would I look for? Just diameter? or electrical specs as well?
Please e-mail me if anyone has info on this.
I have the Gold i's. Are the drivers your talking about for the Gold's or the Gold i's?
BTW, they are a bear to drive. I shut down my Outlaw model-755 which is rated at 300WPC RMS into a 4 ohm load, and although I was playing them loud, it was not unreasonably so. Fortunately the 755 has good protection circuits and it came back to life after a brief cool down period.
I've considered getting another two channel amp for my rear speakers and using four channels of the 755 to bi-amp these monsters. Do you guys think this would help?
I've also kicked around the idea of getting a sub and cutting the gold's at about 40Hz thinking this might make things easier as well?
I'm using run of the mill 12 gauge wire, any ecommendations in this area?
Allot of question here, but you guys are very knowledgable about these speakers so I'm tapping in if you don't mind.
Loved the Gold's, absolutely in love with the Goldi's. When I purchased my original Gold's I was not originally impressed, I found them quite shrill on the top end. Having been a long time fan of Acoustat's, I was certain the answer was to rid myself of these bright barbarians. My solution - Classe amplification. Originally driven with Aragon 4004 II amps the Gold's were too much to bear, tried Bryston and Krell, didn't work, tried Classe and have never looked back.
A number of responses have dealt with the load the Gold's can present an amplifier, the fact that the Classe's are renowned for their ability to drive very low impedance load's, and are very popular among electrostatic and ribbon users says they'll drive anything.
I like all the solutions, but amplification must always be a consideration when the top gets unbearable.
Audio39, Did you ever try a tubed pre in front of those barbarians? Low and behold no shrill. At least that has been my experience.
I would go with the focal's or morel mdt-33's- but then I prefer a soft dome tweeter over a metal dome any day. :)
btw I got mine here-->
Iam also an owner of these fine speakers and was thinking the same thing.going to purchase a set of vifa d27tg35 tweeters, and give them a shot? what the heck,I also have a tube preamp in front of these which helps alot but, still some harshness remaines.