Upgrading / tweaks - crossover, wiring, support

Hi all,

I own an old pair of B&W DM6 loudspeakers that have had a crossover rebuild to allow for triamplification - separate amplification of high, mid, and bass.

Since my system has since evolved considerably, was wandering whether it would be a good path to take if I upgrade the internal stuff of the speaker rather than change to a better speaker. I don't think I will change the design of the crossover itself, but things like changing the compoents to better quality ones, the internal wiring to better copper or even silver, better damping of the cabinet, better coupling to the ground and sturdier support, etc, etc.

I actually like these speakers very much, and I have bought my power amps to take advantage of the triamp capabilities that have been implemented into this DM6 pair. Currently, I am driving the high with Audion Golden Nights, the mid with Cary CAD-300se, and the bass with EAR 509mkII. With these driving the DM6's, they are pretty good.

I feel that with a few cost frienlier tweaks rather than a completely new set of higher spec'd speakers, I could improve the sound considerably.

My first thought would be to remove the stock cast alloy legs and sit the speaker directly onto a heavy plinth or base coupled using spikes of some sort, and have the plinth coupled to the floor again with spikes. Plinths need to be about 125mm thick + spike height to keep the speakers more or less the same height as stock. I'm cosidering whether the plinths should be in the form of a "sandbox" where the speaker would be sitting on the top platform wich is resting only on sand, or solid timbre lamination. Timbre used would be White Canadian Oak. Or I could cast it from concrete. Or would a sturdy timbre frame (or steel tube/angle frame) structure be a better option? With the spike coupling the plinths to the ground, was thinking of turning them myself out of stainless steel and buying the spikes to couple the speaker to the plinth - BDR cones or similar.

With the crossover, how much improvment would I get by replacing the resistors and capacitors with high grade audio ones? I'm not sure what the original ones are but I have photos of the entire circuit if one would care to ID some bits for me. For those that have modded crossover components, what volatge caps would suit crossovers? Would V-cap OIMP/Teflons or Mundorf M-caps be good for a solid bass with tansparent mids and pristine highs? And reistors?

Now with internal wiring of speakers - where does one start with an endless sea of cable and prices!?!?! And what about silver vs copper for internal wiring? 0.5mm diameter silver Audio Note wire and Mundorf Silver/Gold wire is available for ok pricing, but wouldn't that be toooo thin considering the size of speaker cables these days?

I plan to get started on the plints soonish, so any feedback and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

David - just might work =)

A better plinth cannot hurt - lots of info out there, a significant driver will be what kind of floor you have - for instance sand filled plinth on concrete but perhaps spikes on hardwood. Definitely some experimentation to be done. You could also consider using 2 or 4" maple blocks under the speakers.

If you are looking at rewiring, it probably makes sense to start by improving the binding posts themselves. Cardas copper, Eichmann pods, WBT - lots of good choices

Internal wiring usually runs from terminal to tweeter or cross over. 18ga OHNO copper is popular and very smooth though some folks like to use all silver on the internals. Point being no heavy stuff required or wanted

In addition to the V-Caps and M-Caps, check out the SonicCap Platinums.

Suggested next steps:

1) search the DIY and Audio Asylum sites to see what's been written and put up a question on each

2) talk to the good folks at Sonic Craft and or Parts Connexion to see what they recommend in terms of bits and pieces

3) see if you can find a friendly type in service or engineering at B&W or the US distributor

One thing I can tell you - you will spend more then you imagined. And you will never recoup it if/when you go to sell the speakers. I have learned the hard way that most mods don't add much money.

Still if it is something you would enjoy doing and you like the speakers now, you are bound to learn something, have some fun and improve them by some percentage TBD
You have done the major upgrade (triamping). Your DM6's must be dancing like "Happy Feet".

I am not sure if it is worth going any further than the caps (unless you enjoy the fun of soldering).

Before tackling stands, have you considered room acoustics? If you haven't yet installed a bunch of acoustic panels and traps then I'd bet that this would be the next most worthy sonic value for DIY effort...
Thanks for your responses.

Ckorody: The binding posts have already been upgraded to WBT's. You mentioned that no heavy stuff is required for internal wiring. Why is this? Even for the bass? I have heard suggestions of paralleling thin guauge wire for bass drivers and just single runs for the less demanding high or mid. I don't mind not recouping cost back as I don't think I will ever be selling these, even if I do upgrade.

Shadorne: I don't mind soldering - kinda fun acutally, but I do need some reassurance that I will get better sound. No fun if it costs heaps, and not much better in sound. At the moment, it's not my ideal room anyways so have not bothered with room acoustics. With plan to move soon, I thought I would not touch on room acoustics as it won't be coming with me when I go. I'll definitely get room acoustics sorted when I move to an ideal place and have an actual proper symmetric room for listening.

You know, I am not enough of an engineer to know why the thin wiring - but I can tell you from observation that all the leading edge solutions involve thin wire not battery cables so there must be something to it.

I've got to second Shadorne here. A pair of bass traps behind the speakers will make an immediate, obvious and portable difference. Then maybe add some tri-corner traps. I went with ASC but if you like DIY check out the Asylum for the Jon Risch threads. Its not nearly as fun as new hardware but the nice thing is that a tuned room stays in place even if the gear comes and goes.
Oh, and by the way, the floor is carpet on concrete. Thus I thought the spikes would be good to get down to the solid foundation beneath the fluffy carpet.