Upgrade 20 years old crossovers

My last thread informed me that the best thing I can do for my great 20 year old speakers is replace speaker wire inside cabinet and replace capacitors etc. on the cross over circuit board. Please help me prioritize in what order to change components on an old cross over circuit board say electrolytes, plate capacitors, resistors etc. Obviously there is diminishing return. Thanks in advance for helping out.

I would suggest that you change one component at a time, listen to it for 14 days, then put back the old component and see if you like the old or new better.

I had a pair of old Tannoy dual concentric speakers. As I was unexperienced, I replaced all the parts at with really expensive stuff. I used the new crossover for some months, and then I decided to sell the speakers. Prior to the sale, I installed the old crossovers. And guess what, the speakers sounded better with the cheap old parts.

You can probably make your speaker sound better with exotic parts, but also worse.

What kind of speakers do you have?

I have Etude MP1. They are twenty years plus old and have compared favorably in my opinion to Talon Firebird and Coincident Total Victory.
You can spend a small fortune on capacitors and not achieve much. If you're looking for a dramatic change in sound, you should look elsewhere. If you're looking for a fun project to learn something new, then I highly recommend digging in. Remember though, upgrades like these don't add much (if any) to the resale value. These projects are definitely for DIY tinkerers.

I haven't found cap upgrades in crossovers to make a dramatic improvement. The change can be nice, but it's subtle. Others may disagree, but this has been my experience.

Theo's advice is good... go slow and be frugal. If I were in your shoes and wanted to experiment, I'd pull out one crossover and look at the caps. In particular, pay attention to the cap going to the tweeter. It's arguably the most important in a crossover b/c it passes high frequencies and filters the lows. This is how caps color the sound. Cheap caps like Bennic, Dayton, and Solen are often characterized as having a veiled sound when used in HF filters.

If you want to experiment, I'd start with the tweeter cap. I suggest a Dynamicap or an Auricap. If you want to go with a cheaper alternative, look at Sonicaps. They get glowing reviews:


I honestly don't think new wire will make much of a difference.

Best of luck,
No doubt in 20yr old speakers, the xovers and internals will need some TLC. I upgrade xovers for many brands of speakers and I'll recommend to you, exactly what I do.

Replace caps, resistors, internal wiring (silver coated copper), and inductors (inductors are case-by-case b/c if they are air core inductors, I just leave them alone or if they are in the woofer section of the circuit, I leave them alone)

Just by doing this, even using entry level brand caps like Kimber or Auricap, you'll take your speakers performance a very long way. This will cost you less than a pair of IC's or power cord. Not only does it cost less than an IC or power cord, you'll hear way more sonic improvement.

Another beauty of upgrading xovers, is (in my case) I don't have my customers ship their speakers, just the xovers themselves. This prevents damage to the speakers and keeps shipping costs very low.

Bottom line: no matter who does the xover upgrade, it takes the speakers performance a very long way.

Dcaudio, what did you decide to do? Did you upgrade anything?
i upgraded my B&W crossovers and it did a lot for those speakers. YMMV.
I have Dunlavy SC-V's. Although I wanted to get the crossovers modded using Duelund parts, I decided not to proceed after inspecting those big crossovers. The speakers are 4-way with seven(!) drivers in a d'Appolito configuration, so you have to have large and complicated crossovers. To remove them from the speakers and ship them for modification is a bit troublesome, so at the end I kept them in place. I think that if I had 2- or 3-way speakers with less drivers, I would go for the modification. If you want to see some pictures of the crossovers, these are the links: