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davemac

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About davemac

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  • Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland
  • My System
    Mac MX115 Tuner/Preamp
    Mac MC 2205
    Klipsch Cornwalls ('76 Dean G xovers) ('84 + '85 full Crites upgrades)
    Rega 3-24 (appropriately modded) Shelter 501-II Sutherland PH3D
    Arcam CD73 Onkyo C-7030

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  1. Just bought a barely used Shelter 501 MkII Moving Coil, $435 shipped. Checked US Audiomart just now - 1 in Canada for $750. Only places I've seen these used. New ones (Mk III) are $1400. Most of the items offered on AG are way beyond my needs and/or price range. I look and mostly shake my head.
  2. Ha! Really! That's interesting. In pics I've seen it looks like the K-400 has a longer throat than the 600. I assume (and we all know what that means!) because the cabinet is deeper than the Cornwall. Do you think the material is thinner in front of the driver because of the extra length and more prone to resonance? Are you going to try any damping around that part? Before I damped the 600s the whole horn rang like a bell when tapped with a fingernail. After my "half-damping" the undamped part just kind of "ticks." I just checked the pair I caulked today for my '85s and found that both mounting flanges ring when tapped, even after the damping and with 1/16" rubber gaskets stuck on them. And one flange rings with an obvious lower frequency than the other! Different densities in the castings I guess. I didn't think to check the flanges on the '84s but I really love their new sound so that's moot. (Or should I say "mute?")
  3. A little bit of recap there. And here we are again. OK, so I listened to the undamped drivers and horns and decided they did indeed need some damping. I went a little beyond the "hand-sized patch of caulk" and found what I believe is the sweet spot. But still, something was not . . . quite . . . right. A long time ago in what feels like a galaxy far, far away I drank the Equalizer Kool-Aid and never looked back. Until now. Back in those days any self proclaimed "stereo nut" (not "audiophile," that was a totally different galaxy) was almost required to have an equalizer. My (same) room was more crowded and overstuffed with . . .stuff . . . back then and it honestly benefited from a room EQ. Over time the room got less and less crowded and I just kept re-EQing. Didn't think twice about it. It was necessary. The other day, after I messed about with the damping (pull the backs, add some caulk, reattach the backs, pull the backs, add some caulk, reattach the backs, pull th-- you get the idea -- thank God for electric drills!) I fired things back up and GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY AND WOWIE ZOWIE, GIRL!! What the hell happened? That sounds so go-o-o-o-d! Well, it turns out that for some reason known only to the Gods up on Mount Stereo I inadvertently switched off the EQ! Bass extension and decay? Smooth and crisp mids and highs without a trace of harshness -- no matter how loud? Seems that my newest room configuration, though still kind of small, is open enough for the Corns to sing to (my) hearts' content all on their own without the need for any EQ life support. How come I never realized before how limiting the EQ really was? Button in, button out, button in, button out. Damn. The difference makes me feel like such a fool. "Ain't nothing like the real thing, bay-bee!" I'll still keep the unit hooked into the system if only to use the Real Time Analyzer to visually compare different records' studio EQ to what I'm hearing. Besides, the bouncing blue bars look kinda cool. I sat back and listened to Who's Next (UK Track,) Abbey Road (UK,) Dark Side (30th Ann.,) Roxy Avalon (UK,) and, well, gotta have me some Dave Edmunds! 5 albums -- 10 sides. I haven't done that in years. But you can bet your a** I'll be doing it again. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel! The combination of the new tweeters, A55 mid drivers, horn damping, and cutting out the now unnecessary EQ is truly nothing less than astounding to this re-energized listener. I think I can safely swear that my system has never sounded better. Finally, the true glory that is Mac and Klipsch. I'm not discounting maybe someday a new cartridge or whatever, but for now I ain't touchin' nuthin' else for fear of screwing it up. God, I can't wait for a bigger room. So this is where I ended up with the damping. Moray James and others suggested Dynamat (expensive!) Duct Seal and other stuff but honestly the rope caulk seems to work just fine for me. It will close to never dry out and at $5-$6 a box from Home Depot a couple boxes will do a set of Cornwalls or Heresys or whatever. And who knows, you could even use some on your windows! Both the A55 mid driver and the Crites tweeter are reported to have much smoother frequency response than the factory originals. Sounds pretty right to me. Even so, the horns on the tweeters feel like a cheap ABS type plastic and I'm sure they benefit from the damping. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. It's been an interesting few weeks messing around with this stuff and I'm really happy with the results. Especially the unexpected one! A big hearty handshake to everyone for your comments, insights, and the whole discussion. So, in the immortal words of Hound Dog Taylor, "les has some fun!" davemac
  4. Thanks MorayJames for all your comments and the vote of confidence. (Maybe I should start another thread on Damping instead of continuing this side-line here?) In my rambling and roundabout way I think I was agreeing with you. I've been listening to the same set of '76 Corns since, well, 1976. Even in all that time I haven't really hung with many people with much experience with high-end audio (I got some awesome speakers! They're 100 watts! You get the picture.) My music listening has always been a somewhat solitary pursuit - others just weren't into it the way I was. So, like many of us blissful ignorants I guess my subconscious just accepted that whatever it was coming out of my Cornwalls was simply what I was supposed to be hearing and I was content with that. A modest inheritance allowed me to upgrade some other components and I started checking out various forums where I began learning a little about tweaks and mods and such. I learned about Bob Crites and his parts upgrades and about the benefits of horn damping on the Steve Hoffman music forums. Having bought some crossovers from Dean G through this Forum some years ago I found myself checking back over here and started asking questions. And here we are. Side by side A/B-ing is not doable for me so my head-first leap into damping is modify, listen, modify, listen . . . . I went with rope caulk instead of researching further because it was suggested, it's cheap, and Home Depot is 10 minutes away. Baby steps. I really did like the fully damped sound but it felt like something was missing. (Again, maybe I'm just too used to the original brighter sound.) So tonight I pulled the caulked horns and installed the undamped ones to get back to square 1. Well, Square 2 -- new drivers. Re-EQ the room. It does sound very bright and frankly a bit harsh in the vocals on Abbey Road. OK, add a hand-sized patch of caulk to the top of the mid horn. Re-re-EQ the room (some subtle changes.) Hm-m-m-m. Sounds quite bit nicer. The Beatles' harmonies are much warmer. Side 1 of Dark Side Of The Moon sounds really good! Must be that little extra bit of distortion, eh? Tomorrow, Doc Watson. Respecting your advice I'll leave things where they are while I look for some Dynamat. Plus I have an excuse for some extended, long overdue listening sessions. I replied to "muel's" question earlier and closed with, "Are we having fun yet?" Yeah. I think we are. Later, Dave
  5. It seems to me that the Heritage lines were designed for, accepted, and released with their signature Klipsch sounds without the perceived need for flange gasketing, horn damping, changing crossover slopes, or whatever. A lot of folks bought 'em and love 'em. I'm vaguely remembering a comment where PWK himself seemed disdainful of any gaskets between the mounting flanges and the wood cabinet. But it's these older speakers with the metal horns and the "ringing" that some people complain about that those same people say benefit from some amount of horn damping. In my lurking around in various forums I don't recall many, if any, similar comments regarding the "newer" lines with the structurally reinforced-looking resin horns. Klipsch's suggested reasons for the various horn and driver changes in the '80s run from simple cost to actual sound improvements. Who really knows? I sure don't. Now that I'm retired I'm taking the time to "play" more aggressively with what has been my couch potato hobby. I'm reading the forums and trying as best I can to suss out the gold nuggets from the halfway believable BS and when I find myself somewhere around the middle I begin experimenting. Trying some recommended new crossovers and drivers was the beginning. "Smoothing" the horn insides (the original subject, remember that?) was an extension of that. A logical progression from there was trying the whole damping thing. Some people say I'm very trying but I'll keep trying reasonable things until my ears think I've finally got it right. I completely wrapped both the tweeter and metal mid horn lenses with rope caulk, installed lower distortion drivers, listened, and even though the sound was very smooth and clean I thought I probably went too far with the damping. It felt like the sound actually may have needed a little resonance or distortion. Or maybe I just wasn't used to the speakers sounding that kind of good. I literally grew up with the "signature" bright and maybe sometimes a little harsh sound of my '76 Corns, bought new, with the only change being a set of Dean's crossovers about 10 years ago. Maybe I've just accepted that some resonance and distortion is the norm. Over the years I've upgraded my TT/cartridge, preamp, and amp, so now I've turned my idle and questionable attention to my speakers. What's next for the '80s Corns? Remove the caulk and start again with bare horns like I should have done at the beginning. If my ears say it's too bright and I feel that compensating treble adjustments are too great then I'll add a little strategic damping. And then maybe a little more. Until it sounds right. My mistake was I upgraded the drivers and did the damping at the same time and right now I can't really say which had the greater effect. (I'll find out later today.) A lot of people sing the praises of Bob Crites' smoother T120 tweeter and A-55-G mid driver. There's also a definite effect from resonance damping. You can debate things all the live-long day but they're your speakers so you really have to try things and let your own ears decide what's best for you. Jeez, I think I've got diarrhea of the keyboard! Too much booze is bad for you, a little booze is good for you. I agree that extraneous vibration and resonance can add unwanted distortion. I'm just not sure that it's all bad. Later, folks. Dave
  6. Ha! Listen to me trying to advise you about woodworking! Well done. Dave
  7. For a prototype panel you could look for some 1/4" MDF with more of a golden brown color. Sometimes the 2X4 sheets have some faint sort of blotchy figuring in the surface that might look nice with some clear satin or semi-gloss polyurethane. The MinWax clear polyurethane actually dries with a slight golden cast. I used some on an oak record shelf I built and it looks pretty nice. Cut it to the size you want and use the horn flange to outline your cutout. If you're handy with an electric jigsaw cut the hole just inside the line and sand to exact size. That way you can accommodate the slightly rounded corners and sides of the flange. If that works out you can use the panel with the sanded-to-size horn opening as a template for whatever other wood or material you might prefer. You could even double-side tape the panel to the motorboard if you don't think it would vibrate or resonate. Maybe a matching 1/4" trim on the front cabinet perimeter. Just a thought.
  8. Huh, look at that. So, the tweeters don't necessarily need to be enclosed in the cabinet, just in a stable mounting surface? Not that I'm keen on trying that with the Cornwalls. Baby steps . . . . . baby steps.
  9. LaScalas, right? Would you need to move the tweeter forward to be on the same plane? (As long as it's not Delta! Ba-da-boom!) I don't know that my ears could hear a difference but I'm sure there's someone out there who'd comment about "timing" or some such. I really don't know enough about such things so forgive me for just throwing s*** out there. Doesn't Crites or someone offer brackets to flush mount tweeters and maybe even mids? Dave
  10. Hi Muel, It's a little hard to say at this point. (I just this minute replied to "ricktate" about it.) To recap: I kind of jumped in head first and installed the Crites tweeters and A55 mid drivers and caulked/damped the horn lenses. So my first audition the other night was with the combination of new drivers and damping. I really should have waited on the damping for a more fair comparison, but . . . . I re-EQ'd the room with the modded speakers and tried different records with different "sounds." I immediately felt that the overall sound was smoother and cleaner. I have pretty wide eclectic tastes but mostly I'm a 63 year-old rock-n-roller with music from the distorted in-your-face '60s up into some more recent better produced stuff. At first I wasn't completely happy with the highs - they seemed slightly attenuated - but I found that I could listen louder without getting up and dialing back the treble a bit. Harmonies on Abbey Road were really nice and warm. Doc Watson and his guitar? Wow, is he in the room? ELP's first album, Emerson's somewhat harsh organ in particular, benefited from the less fatiguing sound. That's it in a nutshell - warmer and less fatiguing. I do like a "crisp" sound and I still get that but I have to continue to play with things before a resounding final verdict. The "better" Crites drivers and the fully damped horns do sound really good. Which part has more impact? Don't know yet. Maybe I just need to get used to it. If you're not going with the smoother A55 mid driver you might benefit more from some damping. Of course everybody's ears are different and your mileage may vary. I also have four Cornwalls that I'm modding so next up is to switch out the caulked tweeters and mids for identicals without the caulk and see how good my audio memory really is. (I'm not able to A/B side by side either so thank God for drills with screwdriver bits.) Depending on how drastic a difference I hear I might try increasing amounts of caulk on the wide flare of the horns instead of totally covering them. It's a tedious job but someone's got to do it. Hopefully I can get into this over the next couple days. I'm retired but not exactly "out of work." It's all very subjective but I hope it helps. All I wanted to do was try some new midrange drivers and now I'm filing and caulking and who knows what else. Routing motorboard openings? Are we having fun yet? Dave
  11. Hey JJK, Yes, seems logical to my layman's mind, too. And a lot easier that trying to flush mount everything to the front of the motorboard. It's definitely going in the plan book for later when I can properly set up my dedicated listening room. Thanks for the input. Dave
  12. Looks good, Rick. I don't know enough about the science of horns and what actually happens to the sound waves with different reflective surfaces. A little smoothing of obvious rough areas such as I've found is probably beneficial where polishing to a slick mirror finish could prove to be drastically worse. I know that room treatments generally involve removing reflections (rugs on wood floors,etc.) so maybe something similar applies to the insides of horns? I have some aural testing of my own to do. I completely wrapped the metal mids and the plastic Crites tweeter horns with rope calk and things sound very smooth and clean but I'm thinking it might be a little too much damping. I'm going to re-swap the caulked mids and tweeters for the other two undamped ones and listen again. If I still think they could use some damping I'll add smaller squares of caulk to the wider areas, as you did, and maybe increase in stages. It'll be tedious but I have to learn this stuff by doing.
  13. Not sure. I'm trying it now. I'll take my time with a couple replies and see what happens. I try to get my posts "right" so I can get my points across without writing a book. I also have a mild dyslexia and sometimes I have to do a bit of editing. (Actually, I'm sure it's the keyboard's fault!) If 10-15 minutes go by without submitting the post gets archived and I have to sign back in before it will let me submit. EDIT: Hey, it looks like that may be working! Thanks, Mungkiman!
  14. Very nice. Do they sound any different with the smoother finish?
  15. Actually, I was just exploring your comment from last week about the sound waves coming through the curved horns and being somehow affected by funneling through the straight motorboard openings. I honestly don't know if rounding over those openings would have any real practical effect. It seems reasonable and logical to me that it would have some effect. I contemplated some time ago whether routing the openings to 45 degrees to essentially match the horn contours would be beneficial for soundstage and such and my Little Brother suggested rounding instead. If my speakers were in my dream room (which probably won't happen for at least a few more years) and more appropriately positioned than they are now in my too small room then it would be a more immediate issue. Right now I'm hoping this august body (that's you guys) can help me brainstorm ideas for the future that maybe I can get out of the way now. (One way or the other.) I don't want to do "CornScalas" and if I do anything more I would rather consider re-contouring the edges of the openings than countersinking them and remounting everything. Besides, I don't think countersinking would work with the tweeter where rounding or "45-ing" could be done with all three. So the question remains, with proper positioning in a good sized room would re-contouring the tweeter, mid, and woofer opening edges (and the bottom bass ports) have any practical beneficial effect on the sound? Or, again, is that a solution in search of a problem?
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