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Crossover Roadshow


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I already did. :blush2:

I installed Duracell Lithium batteries. Dean said they weren't necessary, but I had sorta kinda already purchased them before I asked. So I shouldn't have to swap batteries until 2021.

Good call! Everyone knows Duracell sounds better than Eveready.

Oh yeah, I said it... take that Robert Conrad.

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Immediately I notice a better balance between the drivers. Keep in mind the difference in ALK's was due to my laziness and not any inherent design flaw, but by removing that element of choice from the equation makes it very very evident. Everything seems really really tight and precise. Drum taps, bass thumps, guitar strums. Similar to what I heard in the last pairing, but exponentially greater than the original factory crossovers. Horns are bright and cheery. It's almost ear piercingly clear. Ugh, I feel like XYZ audiophile magazine reviewer with all of these ridiculous adjectives to describe sound.

No noise is audible, except that which is very clearly part of the recording. The high noise floor issues I previously heard with the original factory crossovers is gone. I'll let Dean speak to the technical reasons behind differences I'm hearing. There's definitely some good synergy with this new amp, which is the $11 Sure TPA3110 board w/upgraded caps. Playing directly from my iPad Mini.


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So no one is particularly interested in knowing anything about the one method compared to the other?

How about why I wrap the capacitors in cold shrink tape?

Something to do with thermal activity? Keeping them insulated so they maintain thermal equilibrium?

Just a wild guess... :)

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A long time ago I used to use the following part, along with zip ties, to mount my capacitors. I've gone back to them on some builds out of convenience.


One day, I accidentally hit the outside of a cap with my soldering iron, and melted the tape on the outside. After inspecting, I noticed it went down into the film layer, so I had to replace the capacitor. When I removed the cap and put in on the bench, it rolled a bit, enough so that it stopped with the bottom facing me. I noticed some indentations, which I thought was weird because I knew they weren't there when I mounted it. The bottom of the mount has some hard/sharp edges. When you torque down on the zip tie, the hard sections of the mount dig into the bottom of the capacitor. Even if it doesn't leave an indentation, it's still more pressure than I'm comfortable with. Now that I've gone back to using them, when they get used for something I know isn't going inside of a speaker, I usually put a little piece of foam under the cap to protect it, and then just enough on the zip tie to keep it from moving. For stuff that goes inside the speaker, my OCD gets the better of me. I have to torque down on the ties pretty good, but also protect the caps -- so I lay down about a 1/16" on an inch of the rubberized cold shrink tape around the caps. Yeah I know ... but I can't help it.

We'll talk batteries tomorrow. I'm tired.

Edited by DeanG
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It was fun doing this for you, I'm glad you're happy, and thanks for donating your loudspeakers for this experiment -- I'm probably going to get more out of this than you are. Your feedback is indispensible -- my entire business model is based on customer feedback, and I can't survive without it.

So, now that your ears have adjusted, do you have a clear preference between what you heard last week and what you're hearing now? Tell the truth, sparing my feelings doesn't make my crossovers better.

I was bothered by your use of the word "piercing". I should have added the coils like I did on Schu's, but I was down to one pair and they were slated for another job. Is this new amplifier of yours Tripath based? I don't know a lot about all of these different varients.

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Piercing was the best way to describe how incredibly clear and precise certain instruments and notes sound. Crisp. So far, there's nothing unpleasant about the HF - just very very clear. I'm not used to that, even from my reference series. Much better balance between the drivers, but again, ALK's networks were imbalanced only because I didn't want to keep unscrewing/screwing my back panels for jumper changes when I knew I'd be sending them out in a week's time.

I'm hoping to spend more time with them tonight. So far they are very pleasant and consistent with the "blanket removed from my speakers" phenomenon.

The amp is a chip amp, but based on a TI chip and not Tripath. You were concerned that the crossovers paired with a T-amp would create excess noise; that doesn't appear to be the case so far. Details and brief comparisons against the tripath amps can be found here:


and then again here:


edit: no preference yet. give me a week or so to make that decision.

Edited by Thaddeus Smith
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