Do not replace the tweeters. A better tweeter won't necessarily give better performance; loudspeakers are systems. You might get a few things better with the new tweeter, but you'll probably sacrifice a whole lot of other things because that tweeter isn't being used in an optimized condition (crossover freq. may be off, etc.)
Wire a resistor on the tweeter leg to tame the irritability. May have a resistor now, but I have found most cheap speakers have REALLY simple crossovers(bereft of components). A good, wire wound from a company like Ohmite(better than what's in 99% of the speakers) will not degrade the sound(in fact, I have found they get rid of much of the brightness and glare - even when the same value as an original is used). The value needed would be from one to three ohms(depending on your current crossover - and how bright the speaker really is). Cost would be about $2(assuming you wire it yourself). If you want to do it temporarily, remove the positive lead, wrap the lead of the resistor into that connection, and use electrical tape to connect the resistor to the cable. Play it for a week or so before you make a conclusion. If you are happy with that, fine. If not, go ahead and buy a Vifa or Seas($15 - $25 each, depending on model - get one of the cheaper ones) tweeter that will hopefully drop right in. You won't need a Dynaudio, a driver is only as good as the crossover behind it(and the crossover in your Infinity won't be the best ever). Use it without the previously installed resistor(unless your speakers came with a resistor - then use the Ohmite). Some may say don't change the tweeter, but at this point, what's the difference? You are unhappy, and will replace them at some point if you continue to feel this way. So why not take the chance? Good luck!
You are obviously not happy with the speakers as they are now, so what have you got to lose by experimenting! Try and get as much information on the specifications of the existing tweeter (there must be some somewhere on the web) and then see if you can match as closely as possible to this with a fabric dome tweeter for starters - as Trelja suggests try SEAS, etc. The specification you will need to look at closely is the impedence, resonant frequency, crossover frequency, etc. Have fun! Richard, vantageaudio.com
Wire a resistor to the tweeter leg? I am new to modifying components - could you be more specific? The tweeter is an infintity EMIT-R type. Thanks for the help!
Just splice the resistor into one of the leads to the tweeter; positive or negative won't matter. You could use an 8 ohm pot temporarily to get the exact value you like, then buy a fixed resistor of that value. If you still can't get it right I'll sell you my nice pair of 19mm Seas plastic-dome tweeters cheap. (I'm through with speaker building!) Good Luck.
Subaruguru:why are you giving up speaker building?
Yo Shabbadoo, I doubt that you can find a replacement for the EMIT tweeter that will sound half as good. They really are superior to most of the dome tweeters out there. That EMIT tweeter is just complaining about the cheap capacitor Infinity used in the crossover. Try bypassing the last cap (closest to the tweeter) in the crossover with a Crescendo cap of a .1 mf value ($7.45 ea.). Solder it in parallel with the existing cap. Or if you feel flush replace it with the same value in a cascade bypass arrangement. Read all about it at: http://www.northcreekmusic.com/Bypassing.html. By all means discuss the idea with George at North Creek before you try inserting resistors in series with the EMITs. The other thing that will help is if you treat the room with acoustic foam treatments to minimize early reflections off of the side walls, front and back walls and ESPECIALLY THE UPPER CORNERS.
While i hope that nobody takes this personally, but "just inserting" a resistor into a speaker circuit is NOT a good idea. Outside of lowering the output level, it will alter the crossover frequency, change damping and tonal characteristics, etc... The ENGINEERS at Infinity didn't just throw parts into a box and hope that it worked out okay. Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement in any design though and this is especially true of mass market brands and speakers in specific. Your best bet is to look elsewhere in the chain to see what may be aggravating the problem. As someone mentioned, the use of low grade crossover components INSIDE the speaker may also be causing problems. You really have to look at the system AS A SYSTEM and NOT cast the blame on just one component. Unless you have changed things around enough and substituted other components in their places, you can't be sure exactly what is causing the problem. You might be surprised at what can cause "less than stellar" performance out of a system. My suggestion is to look at the source components and then work your way back. Is the problem only with one source ( cd's ) or when listening to any source ? This will give you an idea as to whether the problem is SYSTEM based or COMPONENT based. From there, the path to take will be much clearer. Sean >
Sean, you are partially correct about what happens when a resistor is inserted into the speaker circuit. Output is lowered, tonal characteristics are changed. THAT IS THE POINT!!! Crossover frequency is left UNAFFECTED by resistors. Resistors merely attenuate the output. Here we want to tame a bright speaker. MANY, if not most speaker companies wire a 1 to 3 ohm speaker in series with the tweeter, on purpose. They want the speaker to be 3 db down at 15K. Why? Because most people complain the same speaker without that resistor is too bright. Crossover frequency IS determined by capacitors AND inductors. A capacitor in series limits a lower frequency being passed to a driver. And inductor in series limits a higher frequency being passed to a driver. A first order crossover has a capacitor on the positive side on the tweeter leg, and an inductor on the positive side of the woofer leg. If you had a midrange, it would have both a capacitor and an inductor in series(again, on the positive side) with that driver. Rolloff would be 6 db/octave, depending on the component values used. Adding an inductor in parallel to the tweeter, and a capacitor in parallel to the woofer(and both in parallel to the midrange) is a second order crossover(12 db/octave), and so on. Alternating these components in series and in parallel(maybe confusing, but no need to explain in detail here) takes us up to 4th order(normally). Resistors don't factor into this crossover equation AT ALL. Their purpose. To attenuate drivers. Say a tweeter with 91 db/2.83 V sensitivity is used in a speaker with an 89 db/2.83 V sensitive woofer. The tweeter needs to be quieted down a bit(we can't increase the woofer output), for the speaker to be balanced(I still listen before inserting the resistor - just to get a baseline feel). We may also need other things in the circuit(won't discuss them here), but they come later.
Audiopath..... you think I should try your stuff first? I am not sure about how to do room treatments, how do i treat the first and upper corner reflections?
also, the freq response is quoted as going to very high, like 35Khz or 45Khz, i forget... is it worth me using a high pass to cut it off at 20khz??
Trelja...I couldn't have said it better. Bryhifi...I spent two grand on power tools, bought 3 or 4 20 foot sections of PVC water pipe, and built a pretty cool cylindrical 3-way using SEAS 5 mid and 0.75 plastic dome, with Peerless 8 down-firing woofer. I had built a similar cylindrical speaker as a kid using 3 foot clay sewer pipes, mounting a coaxial Jensen or Utah (remember them?) driver upward-firing into a plaster-filled kitchen funnel for 360 dispersion. What a hoot! So I decided to revisit that idea with modern materials. Well, no-one seemed excited about a cylindrical shape, so I never built the second side. Sound was pretty good, although woofer/mid crossover was problematic. Got good at voicing crossovers, and noticed that I could hear 1/3 dB changes over 1.5 octaves in the upper crossover region. After seeing that raw driver sensitivity tolerances are typically +/- 5-10 times that level I quickly realized that it would be impossible to make speaker systems consistently without customizing each crossover, or spending a fortune to get tight-tolerance drivers. I built with others 20 pair of a nice 6.5/1 two-way a few years back that ALMOST got into production as a reinforcement system for a digital piano mnaufacturer. A local high-end dealer liked them A LOT, but we couldn't get the cabinet maker to take a repeat order at a reasonable price. Voicing a matched-pair of speakers is a labor of love, and I have great appreciation for those who do it well. I preferred these two-ways to many commercial designs for a long time, but after I heard what Bruno Pelchat et al at Verity Audio accomplished with their Parsifal Encores, in my living room, my jaw dropped! Had to have 'em! So I'm done...for now. (PS. Want a good deal on Seas 5" 'bullet' dustcap, or those tweeters? How about the Peerless CC line 8"? A nice router...or maybe a belt-sander? Oh well, it was fun. It's all about the process, anyway, right?) Shabbado...you mean "low-pass", and no, that's NOT what you want to do. Room treatment, upstream components, maybe 1-2 ohms on the tweeter: try 'em all, and have fun!
As has been mentioned your speaker system is the sum of it'parts.The drivers,box and crossover values were designed to work as a unit.I contemplated and did exactly what your thinking of doing.I had an average pair of small monitors that became test subjects.I disected the little guys and in the process with alot of other research learned a great deal about what constitutes a good sounding speaker.Trying to replace your tweeters involves alot more than just buying better ones.First off even if you had the specs for your existing pair don't forget that the new ones would not only have to match electrically but physically as well.Finding replacements with the same mounting flange diameter,bolt pattern ect. is the real challenge.If your determined to improve your speakers I'd go with the earlier suggestion of installing better crossover parts and again thats only if you can get a schematic with the exact values of the existing crossover parts.I have had excellent results with this approach.Generally you'll find that the major difference between an average speaker and a great one is the quality of the coils,caps and resistors.
To add to my thoughts above I forgot to mention that the easiest and most cost effective improvement is to replace the existing internal wiring with high quality wire from Cardas,Kimber,XLO ect. The upper frequencies are particularly suseptable to changes in the wire used.
Do you think that my cables/interconnects may be my problem? I have kimber cables running them, the grey and black ones, the 4VS model. Is there any speaker cable that might be better for about the same money? my interconnects are not that flash.. any reccomendations?
I hate to have to say it again, but changing the impedance of the driver ( or the load that the passive crossover sees ) WILL affect crossover frequency. If you don't believe me, try asking on the Madisound board. Calculate the crossover for a 4 ohm driver and then substitute an 8 ohm driver in its place. BAD NEWS, guaranteed. Nothing will work as you expected. That's why most quality speakers use impedance compensated L-pads or factor in the attenuators in the first place. Otherwise the hinge points would change as you varied the level of attenuation by altering the impedance of the circuit. I think that either Parts Express or MCM even covers this with charts for the various impedance drivers in one of their catalogues. Wiring a resistor that matches the tweeters impedance in parallel and then placing one that was rated for half its impedance in series would reduce the output while maintaining the same load / crossover point. Another "side effect / benefit" to doing this would be increased power handling in the high frequency section. Sean >
Opinions on speaker crossover theory are as varied as the colors of the world. Disagreements regarding how to design/modify/tweak a speaker are a dime a dozen(1000X more so than any other area of audio). The only thing that can be absolutely said is that you cannot follow all the rules. Everything that you do, breaks at least 25% of them(and wait till you compound them all together...). If anyone disagrees with that they have never done anything in the world of speakers. I believe in simple crossovers(I don't say that others don't work), and simple solutions(wiring a resistor in series to attenuate a driver). My current speakers(Coincident) have exactly TWO components in the crossover(a capacitor on the tweeter, and an inductor on the coil). Some may say that's ludicrous, "what about notch filters, Zobel networks, attenuation circuits, etc. - you NEED those". NO, you don't. My speakers sound fabulous. And Israel Blume is revered by an increasing amount of people every day. Bud Fried had his business(when it still was in business) 5 minutes from my home. Most of what he said directly contradicted what the "experts" said, and vice versa. He would(and still will) get into violent arguments(with ANYONE) regarding what he believed in(transmission line bass loading, series crossover networks, driver selection, how he didn't care about how rock sounded on his speakers - it was only the music of drug addicts, etc.). Despite this, Fried speakers are legendary(and even sound good with rock music despite Bud's discounting it), as are the products of many other companies(basically almost every other speaker company). My opinions are based on the personal experience of building and listening to many speakers. Along the way, I came across many a person who would use the suggested technique, foremost would be Joe D'Appolito. Obviously, others have differing views. If someone disagrees with this technique, fine. Try an alternate route. But I KNOW this works.
I didn't say that it WOULD NOT attenuate the high frequency response. It's pretty obvious that it would do that. I simply stated that it could also effect other parameters of the speakers design. Making a suggestion to one's own beliefs without noting the possibility for known side effects is both reckless and irresponsible. Experimenting with ones' own equipment and wallet is one thing, but making "generic" recommendations can lead inexperienced tinkerers into bad situations. Just because something "works" when you put it back together doesn't mean that it's working optimally or what you did was necessarily good for the unit as a whole. It might achieve what you were looking to do, but at what expense ??? Do you find out that "it wasn't such a good idea" when the unit fails or develops problems ??? Keep in mind my comments pertain to ALL electronics, not just the conversation ( speakers ) at hand. I am an electronics tech by trade and get to deal with "homebrew remedies" and "mods" on a daily basis. The "right" way to "mod" something is the way that gives you what you were looking for with the least amount of side effects and minimal potential for damage to the unit on a long term basis. If a speaker ( for example ) had a tweeter or mid that was running very close to its' resonance, altering its' crossover point by just a bit could alter performance and reliability by a drastic margin. Depending on how / what was done would determine whether or not it was a "good" or "bad" modification. People doing internal mods should NOT take advice for granted because "it worked on brand XYZ" unless they know the specifics of what they are dealing with. While i am no Bud Fried, Israel Blume or Joe D'Appolitto when it comes to audio, i am well respected in my specific field of electronics. I think that Bud, Israel and Joe would agree with the cautions that i made mention of and that altering the impedance that the crossover sees WILL affect it's hinge frequency. Whether or not it is detrimental would be up to the specific situation and speakers in question. Sean > PS.... This was not meant as a personal attack on Trelja and i hope it was not construed as such. It was simply meant to defend and explain my original statements and point of view.
Let's not overcomplicate this, guys....SPECIFICALLY: adding a small resistance in series with the tweeter will possibly slightly RAISE the system's crossover frequency, which would allow the tweeter to run even further away from its primary resonance. That fact, plus its lowered sensitivity via the added 1-2 ohms, should protect it rather than endanger it or the system, no? The effect upon system total impedence would likewise be sufficiently small enough to ignore. "Padding" the tweeter in this way is a whole lot more predictable than round after round of cable experiments, and a lot quicker. I don't mean to step on any toes, either, but padding a tweeter lightly IS a relatively easy, simple thing to try. Isn't this why some manufacturers provide switched tweeter levels via in-line resistors as part of their designs?...Let's let the thread-head have his fun, and get the benefits of a more pleasing spectral balance, eh? He's probably not gonna blow up his speaker, nor destroy its response. Cheers.
No one is suggesting going through one's electronics and replacing parts willy nilly. This is a specific fix, based on experience and SUCCESS. To lead people to believe that inserting a resistor in series with a tweeter will cauuse the walls to come tumbling down is irresponsible. To many, it shows a lack of REAL knowledge(not the kind that magazine readers espouse) and/or experience in working with loudspeakers. I do not doubt a person's expertise in electronics, skills which I readily admit I do not possess. However, in working with hundreds of loudspeakers over a 20 year period, I know what I am talking about. I do not pretend to be able to predict the opinions of anyone, but I do know how they feel when they explicitly say something. Joe D'Appolito's advice(in almost every instance of the many I have heard him)for the taming of a harsh tweeter is insertion of a series resistor, as a first step. It works, and I have NEVER seen or heard things go wrong. As stated before, there are alternate routes to solving this problem. Other speaker designers will take different roads. No problem. I would like to see more of them in this thread. But, I respect Joe more than anyone in this field. He does not BS people. Nor is he out for fame(although he cannot avoid it) or fortune. He offers free, PERSONAL advice on all areas of the speaker hobby. And while his tastes are not the same as everyone out there(how could they possibly be?), he is genuinely interested in providing people with the satisfaction and answers they ultimately seek. He is out there, on the front lines, freely sharing his knowledge for the betterment of the hobby.
"To many, it shows a lack of REAL knowledge(not the kind that magazine readers espouse) and/or experience in working with loudspeakers." I beg your pardon. I have designed / built / modified dozens upon dozens of speakers systems with references available to support this. This includes both consumer and professional models, as i used to do Pro Sound for a living. If you searched around a little bit on various audio related websites ( Audio Asylum, Audio Review, Klipsch's home page, etc..), you'd find references to "mods" that i've developed on various speaker models and other individuals that have followed them with great success. I currently have over a half dozen different speaker pairs in my basement brought over by local audiophiles for repairs and modifications. These range from La Scala's & Heresy's to Genesis and some custom built pieces by Kinetic Audio. I even have some sound reinforcement cabinets originally made by Peavey that i'm re-doing. Besides that, my brothers' speaker system, which we designed and are still working on, consists of 14 drivers in a total of 12 "cabinets" with active crossovers and is quad-amped (appr. 850 wpc). My main system is tri-amped using speakers that we designed and built with some outside help from Jon Risch on the subwoofer design. It will soon be totally revamped with a total of 6 amplifiers running multiple banks of electrostatic tweeters, multiple mid's and a quartet of woofers per channel. Power output will be somewhere in the range of 1800 wpc. The speaker system that is in my bedroom consists of some small two way stamd mounted satellites (picture Sequerra's MET 7's and you'd be pretty close) and two sealed downloaded subs. I built and designed these also. For my HT system, i'm currently building a center channel speaker. It will consist of a 3/4" dome, a 1 1/2" dome, two eights and a 12" woofer. I purchased identical drivers to what the manufacturer used for my mains and surrounds. By the way, i modified / upgraded those too. The speakers in my computer room system have also been modified ( rewired, re-tuned, braced, upgraded components, etc..). The speakers in my basement system have been completely redesigned and bare little resemblance to the factory produced models, both internally and externally. Needless to say, I think your barking up the wrong tree. I like my music and my electronics. I also have enough knowledge to design and repair most of the equipment if need be. As to inserting a series resistor with a tweeter to reduce its output, yes, it will work. This does not mean that it is the best method to use. It is a quick and dirty approach used or suggested when know-how, skill and money are all at a minimum. Someone that finds themselves in that position would be better off NOT going into ANY piece of audio gear and looking for alternative methods to deal with the problem. An inexpensive ( below $20) set of well chosen interconnects would probably take care of the problem in this specific situation. This would require a lot less effort, no soldering and even less thought as to how to do it. Then again, knowing which interconnects to use would require experimentation and experience. This is something that someone giving advice as a "magazine reader" would probably never know. Sean >
Well thank you for providing your eulogy to us all. I do not frequent other sites, so I am relying on this thread for you to add something meaningful to both this person's problem, and my general knowledge. I would go along with the cable suggestion as something to investigate. Especially in light of the zippy low end Kimber currently being used. But, let's be specific. Could you be so kind as to enlighten me as to what "inexpensive( below $20) set of well chosen interconnects" are capable of getting this person some real results, without hurting other areas? Yes, the resistor is quick and dirty. Is that something to be ashamed of? I don't propose that the guy begin a research campaign. He wants a problem solved. And in your own words regarding the $2 resistor, "it will work".
The cables in question are marketed by a company called "MobileSpec" and come with a limited lifetime warranty. As to the specific model name or number, i don't have that handy. If someone was truly interested in these, they can email me and i will find out the specifics. I can also provide testimonials / references from people that have used them with great results in terms of "taming" a bright / sibilant system and converting it into something that is far more musical and enjoyable. As to your comments pertaining to me being a "magazine reader" and limited in my scope of things audio related, you might want to broaden your own horizons before throwing stones at others. Sean >
The real problem is when i am listening to CD's and when they sing high frequencies such as S or T it comes accross very harsh and seems to linger for a while rather than stop[ping immediately. you know what im talking about? thanks for the input guys
Drop me an email. I've got something that will take care of that problem at no risk to your wallet. Sean >
$64K question: How could you ever ascertain where my horizons are, or aren't??? You know almost nothing about me... It does cause me to wonder that from your overly defensive and sensitive reaction to the comment, you may indeed be one of those magazine readers. But hey, if the shoe fits, wear it. Regarding the $20 interconnects, there is always a roster spot on my cable revolution team. However, testimonials and references mean little without knowing who and where they are coming from. Too much BS out there. I have an extremely low tolerance for BS artists. Information is only as good as the source. If it comes from someone I know from this site, then I put great stock in it. I trust these people immensely. Their record speaks for itself. We are blessed with incredibly diverse, intelligent, and in-tune Audiogon members.
I don't come here to flame. Between what you posted about not visiting other audio sites and then looking at your Audiogon "feedback" file, it appeared that you were not an active tweaker / experimenter / gear-head. That's not a problem with me, as everybody has different priorities in life and their systems. If i jumped to conclusions, i appologize. As it is, I'm out of this thread. It has gone nowhere for quite a while now. Shabadoo will have some interconnects probably sometime late next week. We'll let him pass judgement as to whether or not it will take care of his problem. Hopefully, it will do what he's looking for. Best wishes and good listening. Sean >
Again I am at a loss over you passing judgement about me. What would having feedback on this site have to do with anything(other than the fact that I buy a lot/not much through Audiogon)? I have completed two transactions on this site(and I don't peter around e-mailing people about equipment for sale unless I am seriously interested in pursuing it - waste of time for them and me). Neither of which garnered any feedback, but I can assure you that those people would do business with me again(they got their money within a day - with a smile). I don't change components on a frequent basis. I buy stuff I fall in love with(Jadis, Coincident, Sansui, silver cabling), and then happily live with it for a LONG time. I almost without exception buy my components from dealers in person. Even if I have to drive 3 or 4 hours to get to the dealer. I buy based on a rigorous audition. That precludes having feedback on this site as the transaction is not over the net, and many of those dealers are not a part of this site. I have visited other sites, but now stay on this one for the most part. I do that because I find the discussions and people here most interesting to me. Not sure what conclusions you'll jump to on that statement. And I also fail to grasp how you determined that I am not an active tweaker/experimenter/gear-head. As I said, I have been active in the speaker building hobby for approximately 20 years. Designing, building, modifying, and tweaking more speakers than you may believe(but not as much as I would have liked to in the past 3 years). I buy parts from speaker building resources such as Orca Design(via Madisound and Zalytron), North Creek, Solen NA, and local and national electronic parts supply houses. None of these vendors would list any feedback about me here. Shouldn't the fact that I discussed Ohmite, Dynaudio, Vifa, and Seas in this thread tell you I am active in the hobby??? I am getting off here also. Reiterating something I opined earlier in the thread, loudspeaker theory is the one area of audio most filled with disagreement, opinion, and all that goes along with it. Good luck Shabadoo. I sincerely hope the solution you wish for is close at hand.
Shabbaddoo (sp?). Got an extra pair of 2 ohm resistors I'll mail ya for free. If the treble drops a little too much just use them both in parallel to get 1 ohm, and then buy another one at Radio Shack. Send me your address, and I'll pop 'em in the mail. Happy Thanksgiving!