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Dear all,

I am the proud owner of some nice KG 5.5's.

 

These are a REALLY great system and have given me a lot of enjoyment. As such this thread has become a little long!

 

So I've popped in a clickable index of sorts to help with navigation.

 

Phase 1: these are my 'beginners' improvements:

 

Phase 2: full crossover upgrade time - from here I get serious measuring equipment and get to the heart of making the KG's great:

 

I am in Australia and a long term AV addict. From what I can tell these are rare in Aus. I grabbed these fast when they popped up on Gumtree. 

 

My journey through AV addiction has been long and enjoyable (except for my long suffering wife) and led me to admiring the sound of PA speakers with high efficiency.

 

With a stretched spousal acceptance factor to manage, PA speakers were never going to be a viable adornment in our lounge so it is Klipsch to the rescue, so to speak.

 

Along the way I read with wonder a 100 plus page thread about the work done by VideoLady201and others on the venerable Realistic Mach 1's. One of the many mods suggested was to disassemble the mid range horn tweeter and attached felt pads to the pole piece. VideoLady201 measured the before and after effect of these here. The result was a much smoother response and lower Fs.  As a common mod to these tweeters is to improve performance with new Crites diaphragms (on my list soon) I figured I'd try the felt option (purchased from a local hardware - commonly used for applying to furniture feet with a self adhesive backing) first to see if I can hear the effect for myself. 

 

Other changes have been more straight forward; cabinet bracing front to back and side to side (mine didn't rattle but boy these are big boxes to not have any bracing - Stereophile would not approve!), treatment using acoustic semi-rigid fiberglass and butyl foam deadener applied to port, woofer spokes (inside and out) and tweeter horn.

 

Some pics for your enjoyment....

 

Tweeter pole piece pads...

 

IMG_5881.thumb.JPG.879276be00682109b8eb484cc6578122.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


22 years young, nearly ...

 

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Big empty boxes...

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P.R.I.D.E stuck to the inside of the box....

 

IMG_5877.thumb.JPG.b81ad26ffb9a64b71871b26420f7e0ad.JPG

 

Now with three braces glued in with PVA - one below tweeter, another between woofers and a third above the port with holes drilled to reduce weight and internal volume displaced ....

 

IMG_5879.thumb.JPG.fb36436104b90eb59c978ce6319638ca.JPG

 

Brace in lower section with a glimpse of the butyl foam wrapped port tube.....

 

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Tweeters being treated with foam backed butyl....

 

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Butyl on woofers (new foam seal also) ....

 

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Such a large enclosure will suffer from standing wave resonances. Insulation installed internally.....

 

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Back together again....

 

IMG_5896.thumb.JPG.90462fe354ef4eb8b9e5f5df6892ba2d.JPG

 

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OK so a bit of an update.

 

After reassembling my KG's I spent some time going back through my CD collection as you do with these kinds of changes and particularly I focused on any disk that got a high dynamic rating score as described here using the link to the database.

 

As Dire Straits Brothers in Arms gets an almost perfect DR score I grabbed this disk out and popped it on first. I have to admit the KG's sounded thin with this disk. The extension was all there, it was just recessed in loudness and the overall balance was hot on the top end. Compared to the more modern music I'd been using with my KG's since purchase, from this recent Hottest 100 album from 2016, I was underwhelmed. 

 

A before and after comparison using this modern music, with mods outlined above, showed that the changes had bought a modest tightening and cleaning up of the bass and mids. I assume the less resonant box and damping of back radiated mid frequencies from the woofers by the fiberglass help achieve this?

 

I kept working through my high DR collection (most of which are releases from prior to the mid 1990's) only to find this high end forwardness trait with most of these older disks. I'm assuming that older mixes generally have less bass content loudness? 

 

So this got me thinking about trying the some L-pads to reduce the output of the tweeter. I built three pairs of  "L-pad modules", at 3db, 2db and 1db of attenuation, that can easily be swapped in and out for a relatively quick comparison of the effect. I used this calculator and this page helps explain their effect and use. For me this has been a great educational site.

 

I popped in the 2db modules and did not change them out, yet!  Each module cost around $1.50 in parts.

 

The effect, to me, was highly pleasing! Dire Straits sounds balanced, mids are now all there but the high end sparkle of the KG's remains. The percussive attack evident in many of the tracks is in your chest now where as before things got too intense in the high freq's before this impact was achievable. Enya's Watermark has no upper limit on how loud I could listen in comfort - my 12 yr old daughter stormed in on me at 9pm however and proclaimed "I can't sleep with that on"! This disks' bass and mids gave me goosebumps.

 

Reverting to my modern disk showed that the 2db change had the same positive effect here on bass and mids too. I like lots of bass, its a big part of why I got the KG's, but perhaps others might not?

 

It would be great to hear if anyone thinks this approach is bad? I'm a complete novice and have zero electronics training, other than what I get on the web. Would also be great if anyone trying this might measure the effect and post some sweeps?

 

Some pic's of my modules.

 

Undressed....

 

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Dressed...

 

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Designed for a quick install...

 

IMG_5903.thumb.JPG.ee27933dfd6d6223e7559972e8269cd6.JPG

 

 

Edited by Maz4bz

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Welcome, Maz.  Always nice to hear from our mates down under!  :)

+++

It looks like you did a huge amount of work to those KG-5.5's.  I have never heard them, I don't know much about them, so forgive my ignorance.

 

We are all different, but I prefer to mod a speaker to correct a specific problem.  I have a pair of 22 year-old CF-4's to which I added some Fibrefil.  That pillow-fill material is not typically used in ported speakers, but it really helped to make my speakers more accurate.  I thought they were a bit nasal before.

 

When your speakers were new, Klipsch wanted them to sound a certain way, and the box was built and lined (or not lined) to achieve a characteristic sound.  I think once you own the speakers you can change them, or tune them to your taste.  I was afraid you might have dulled them a bit too much with all that damping, but if it sounds good to your ears, that is what is important.

 

It's always good to hear what mods other owners are doing to enjoy their speakers more.

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Thanks for the encouragement Dave. I'm really enjoying my KG's as they are handsomely rewarding my efforts! :D

 

A little update. After listening to the 2db Lpads for some weeks I've moved to the 3db Lpads and feel this has bought more of the mids into play. I am really enjoying their sound which has gotten smoother as I've stepped the tweeter output down.

 

In searching the web for information about the use of Lpads I came across this really interesting thread written by a fellow Aussie on how to build crossovers without measuring equipment. Of particular interest was the comment at post 15 that:

 

"Tweeter level:
Playing a tweeter louder than it is meant to be played may sound good for a while, but can become tiring. If you find that some recordings sound a little harsh or bright, and annoying, start by reducing the level of the tweeter. When a tweeter blends, you should only just hear it, and not specifically…it shouldn't stand out."

 

So this really resonated with me because:

  1. Firstly, I've read so many Klipsch owners describe a harsh or tiring top end; and
  2. Second, in my experience with my KG's I could hardly describe the tweeter as not standing out!

 

So this made me feel that what I am doing here with my tweeter Lpad modules was ok, and that this was a valid way for me to tone down my tweeters and achieve a blend with the rest of the system that suited my ears.

 

The other part of this for me was that, given so many comments about people experiencing a "harsh top end", it seems a shame that for such a cheap and simple mod too many people might be writing off their Klipsch when, with a little tweaking, can be an amazingly accomplished and enjoyable speaker.

 

The side benefit of bringing down the tweeter relative to the woofers is that as I do this the speaker seems to become more authoritative and powerful across the board with all kinds of music and far more pleasing and listenable at the same time. It makes me think of the effect of running a subwoofer too hot and the negative effect this can have on the overall sound of the system. I often find less subwoofer volume is more (to a point), where impact and clarity is enhanced by turning down the subs.

 

To me, the effect of turning down the tweeters seems to not only make the top end more balanced and easier on the ear, it also allows the mids and bass to play with more clarity and impact, with the speakers overall presentation and refinement improving as a consequence. The satisfaction I am having with this process is second to none in my hifi addiction experience - a few bucks on L-pad modules and a little work soldering - is really having an enormously beneficial effect on these grand old vintage speakers! :rolleyes:

 

At one point during the last two weeks after I had reassembled my left hand speakers woofers into their box I noticed that the this speaker sounded quieter, somehow, compared to the right speaker. I ignored this on the basis I was just imagining it. Within minutes however I started to feel fatigued and a strange headache coming on. I switched off at this point and went to bed. For the following few evenings of listening I experienced the same fatigue/headache phenomenon and became increasingly worried I'd done something to ruin my speakers somewhere along the way of all my mods. I initially tried to understand why the left hand speaker seemed lower in volume. I pulled the woofers and saw that I'd wired one with reversed polarity! Correcting this naturally resulted in a return of the speaker to normal levels and the fatigue was gone instantly!

 

With the woofer cancellation effect gone I wondered if I'd been compensating for this lack of bass by using the Lpads? So I removed my 2 db Lpads and listened for an evening without them. The next night I put the 2db Lpads back in. The following night I made up my 3db Lpads and have been enjoying these since. Suffice to say I still think at this setting the  tweeters are just a little hot and "noticeable" and so this weekend I plan on purchasing the parts for a pair of 4db modules.

 

During my 3db module install I decided to add another layer of felt to the tweeter chamber. I first removed the original felts and trimmed these to fit the bottom of the chamber. I then stuck these back down and added a new full size felt over the top of these. I can't be definitive if this made much of a difference, but to me my tweeters are sounding really smooth and highly enjoyable to listen to.

 

Some pics are attached for your enjoyment and information.

 

Chamber empty:

 

IMG_5968.thumb.JPG.90453e27f7d2ad080fdb9e3022389120.JPG

 

Trimmed felt in place:

 

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Second felt in place:

 

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I broke a tinsel lead and had to remove some glue with acetone to re-flow some solder to correct this. Caused by me being too rough removing a Lpad module :angry:

 

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And for giggles here's my KG's installed in their home:

 

IMG_5926.thumb.JPG.b8b3e5680d3ef7140e6ed0e4d82f460e.JPG

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A bit of an update, again!

 

Over the weekend I visited my local Jaycar store to grab additional resisters to make up some L-pad modules at -4db, -5db and -6db. I figured that I would like to see at what point I'd gone too far in attenuating my tweeter (to my own personal taste) and thought -6db should be far enough.

 

Trying to be systematic I first popped in my -4db modules and really enjoyed what I heard, running through my battery of reference disks which by this point I'd become quite familiar with on my lovely KG's....

 

2041054376_4dbmodule.thumb.jpg.3caecbd32266704d5ee1d5cb993e59da.jpg

 

I did notice however, the slightest, occasional emphasis on the treble and so after a day moved on to the -5db modules. These are really quite small steps in attenuation so moving one db at a time brings subtle changes that require some reasonably close back to back trial to notice. Suffice to say the -5db modules also sounded great and I enjoyed these for a day playing a wide range of music styles....

 

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Moving to the -6db modules on Sunday afternoon it really only took me perhaps a handful of my reference tracks to get a sense of the darkness that had emerged at this point in the overall balance and that the sparkle had been taken down just a bit too far that I reverted back to my -5bd modules which restored the previous balance of mid/bass to treble I had been enjoying up to this point.

 

On the way down to -6db it started to occur to me that perhaps I was beginning to become aware of the lack of extension the stock tweeter diaphragms. Bob and others have commented that the Crites titanium replacements bring increased top end extension.  It seems to me that as the stock tweeter diaphragm has been attenuated in outright loudness its lack of extension has become more apparent as the overall refinement of my KG's (achieved by balancing the tweeter with the rest of the spectrum) has been increased.

 

My previous speakers (now relegated to the workshop) are Dynaudio Audience floor stand speakers that have a very nicely extended high end. The KG's absolutely leave the Dyn's for dead in all respects I feel, however the Dyn's high end extension is certainly noticeable in comparison.

 

Another idea occurred to me in my listening over the weekend. Many people comment that the Crites Ti diaphragms result in a smoother, less fatiguing top end. I wondered if in part this is achieved by these diaphragms being a little less sensitive (efficient) and therefore achieving a similar result I have experienced by stepping down the level of my tweeters?

 

Either way I feel I've exhausted my process of stepping down my KG's tweeters. For me 5db (or thereabouts) seems the ideal level - with stock diaphragms.

 

Next step in the process now looks like making the investment in Crites diaphragms and replacement crossover capacitors. 

 

Cheers! :emotion-22:

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Some minor updates on my KG adventure.

 

I tidied up my 5db lpad's with some heat shrink wrapping and in the process it dawned on me that I'd used a slightly higher value series resister than I should have. I estimate that the 3.9ohm series resister is giving approximately 5.8db attenuation to the tweeter horn, not the 5db previously mentioned. I may go and build myself some truly 5db modules for a try at some stage but I'm guessing the difference is not going to be too significant or noticeable.

 

I wanted to go as far as I could with the tweeter felts in the diaphragm chamber. I decided to add an extra felt to the tweeters that was roughly half the diameter of the full size felts I originally used. I purchased these in the next smallest size and added them on top of the existing felts to really fill up the air space in behind the tweeter diaphragm. I shone a bright light through the side of the diaphragm to check that the additional felt wasn't touching the diaphragm and could see light all around the felts indicating I hadn't over filled the chamber.

 

I also took the chance to heat shrink wrap the tweeter female wire clips as I was worried about the legs of the lpad modules coming together too much and creating a short. Probably not much of a risk but the piece of mind is worth the small effort involved.

 

Finally I wanted to give an update on my listening experiences over the last few days. I have to say that I'm absolutely in love with the sound of the KG's. It is no exaggeration to say that a subwoofer is not needed with these speakers for music. They really have prodigious amounts of bass that is simultaneously tight and clear. Bass and midbass clarity is first class. These speakers are really able to convey the varied nature of the lower octaves in a way that I've not experienced previously in my home. No subwoofer I've yet heard has been able to compliment the less bass capable mains I've used over the years for music listening to achieve a result that is as integrated like the KG's are capable of. It's for this reason that I generally prefer to not use subs for music and was drawn to the KG's for their potential for great, truely full range music reproduction.

 

Over the last week I've worked from home on a couple of days with some music playing in the back ground. On a few occasions whilst absorbed in my work, tapping away on my pc at the dining room table, I was distracted by the amazing tunefulness of my KG's playing in the lounge, which is semi detached from the dining room. On these occasions I was compelled to get up and put myself on the lounge in front of my KG's to take in the moment and marvel at how refined these old ladies are sounding.

 

Naturally enough these speakers sound awesome with home theater also. For giggles I moved my pair of Behringer VP1800s subwoofers into the lounge to see if these would be any good at home theater duties. I purchased these a few years ago for my back yard system that plays out over my patio and pool area. These subs sound absolutely fabulous playing music outdoors, but you'd want to be on good terms with your neighbors before trying this at home yourself. Now I know these are about as cheap as you can go for passive PA subs, but for my outdoor application I am not very demanding in my requirements. Suffice to say they completely exceeded my expectations (and needs!) by being really efficient and having that great PA speaker tendency of having great midbass punch even at back ground listening levels. So I figured they might work well in the lounge too!

 

These are being driven with a Crown XLS 2500 (same as my KG's at the moment as I have a pair of these great amps) so they are getting about 440wrms each. So sure, they do not have extension much past the mid 30's in room I'd guess, but oh my, do they simply create a complete wall of sound up front that is frightening at reference levels and can shake the house in ways that does not seem structurally sustainable. Naturally the wife has said these can't be a long term fixture, but I do believe I'm going to enjoy them with my KG's for a few weeks to come. :D

 

Extra layer of felt applied. Looks off center in the pic but this is an illusion ...

 

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Dressed 5.8db lpads....

 

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heat shrunk tweeter clips....

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Behringer VP1800s in my lounge, only the sub up front is visable here. The second is against the back wall behind the lounge....

 

IMG_6076.thumb.JPG.c34fa953fe6ea5fe7b3f7fcf1cc9a770.JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by Maz4bz
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2 hours ago, Maz4bz said:

I tidied up my 5db lpad's with some heat shrink wrapping and in the process it dawned on me that I'd used a slightly higher value series resister than I should have. I estimate that the 3.9ohm series resister is giving approximately 5.8db attenuation to the tweeter horn, not the 5db previously mentioned. I may go and build myself some truly 5db modules for a try at some stage but I'm guessing the difference is not going to be too significant or noticeable.

 

Nice post Maz, as usual.  I enjoy reading how you have tweaked your speakers.  I think you may have come to understand what I have that when you do those mods it is better tuned to your listening environment and ears.  In other words, it sounds best to YOUR ears in YOUR living room with YOUR equipment. 

 

I like the wires with the insulation, great attention to detail.

 

I also agree with you that in using those L-pads to attenuate the HF you can't always hear the small incremental changes.  The rule of thumb says that you can't hear changes unless they are 3 db apart.  I'm sure some people can, but I can't.  Again, whatever sounds best to your ears is going to be 99% the right setting.

 

Good stuff.  B)

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Hi Dave! Again, really appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

 

Dear all,

just a minor update on my KG 5.5 love affair!

 

I was recently gifted a lovely early 90's system by a friend who's gone all modern and minimalist streaming. How boring!

 

Anyway the system comprises virtually mint Bose Interaudio 4000xl speakers, Yamaha AX-450 integrated amp and CDX-530 CD player. Minimalism 90's two channel hifi at its best, well nearly. :P

 

Now I have a soft spot for Bose as my first hifi experience included a pair of original 301's. I reckoned they sounded great and that adjustable tweeter vein was the bomb. Suffice to say my workshop system includes a mint pair of these I rescued from a curb side throw out and they really do sound the bomb - for background listening :rolleyes:.

 

So first up I unplugged the KG's and gave the 4000xl's a run in my main system. Generally very pleasing, but clearly these are not for critical listening. Shut in top end, not much bass extension. They lasted about 15 minutes before they got relegated. The KG's are so clear and spacious in comparison. Midrange is open and actually there. Bass bears no comparison. 

 

Next I cleaned up the CD and amp. Blew out 27 years of dust from the inside of the amp and cleaned up all the pots with a few squirts of Deoxit. I set these two handsome units on my cabinet and connected them to my KG's, but the CD player won't recognise anything. Problem! So back to the workshop, off with the lid and it seems the disk is not spinning up. So I pull the laser mechanism from the unit and Deoxit the spindle motor. Reassemble the mechanism and pop in a CD. Now we have spin and the laser is tracking, joy!

 

So now that we have life in the old girl and she's hooked back in I introduce these three classic pieces of 90's gear to each other with some Dire Straights for maximum dynamic range, and I'm instantly in heaven. This is a beautifully matched system. As I type this I've a huge smile on my dial, I'm in audio nirvana. The KG's just keep on giving, despite this modest and aging front end, it really does make me wonder why I bother with all my obsession for power amps, pre/pro's and surround sound.... There's something refreshing in this minimalist system. It just sounds so right - to me - and it took all of 3 minutes to hook up and enjoy.

 

A comment about the AX-450 - it has a variable loudness function, operated by a knob. It's a remarkable feature in that as you turn, it gradually adds emphasis in much the same way as a loudness button does but in this case you get to choose how much contour you want, and it delivers a really nice warmth that I have adjusted as I change CD's. I love it! 

 

And I love the KG's efficiency. As I listen now at 10pm at the loudest I dare for fear of my daughter doing her storm in routine, the volume knob on the little AX-450 sits at about the 8 o'clock position. Modestly powered amps just get to idle along delivering clean power with plenty in reserve for dynamic peaks allowing them to give and sound their best. Thank you Klipsch! 

 

 

image.jpeg

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Good reading. I bought KG 5.5s in 1994 and enjoyed them for many years. Now my friend has them and just had to have a second pair. Great speakers. Enjoy.

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Thanks for the encouragement gents. Time for a little update. :D

 

In the time that has past since my last ramblings I've had the chance to update my crossovers with new capacitors as suggested elsewhere as a logical area to address due to the affects of age. 

 

We are nowhere near as lucky in Australia as those in the Americas with cheap or free shipping so I try to source locally where possible. For new capacitors I went to The Loudspeaker Kit who stock Dayton products. For capacitors that are in the direct signal path with the tweeter I used their precision caps. For bypass duties on the woofers I used their regular caps. An affordable update project.  Some pictures are attached for your enjoyment.

 

Crossovers, before and after looking at the back side.....

 

Crossovers.thumb.jpg.3203f88863254443faccb9db7d1a992b.jpg

 

I had to add the woofer bypass capacitor to the backside due to space restrictions on the front side where it was originally located. I did this by inserting a jumper to an unused section of the crossover board which allowed the new caps' leads to reach.

 

This is the placement of the jumper to the unused area on the board ...

 

5a6ee08a98ee0_Jumper2.thumb.jpg.dd08462fca14c682689fc0761de6f6ae.jpg

 

 Now soldered in place...

 

5a6ee0bacabc0_Jumper1.thumb.jpg.342eed5549714a0181315fc1b82df36d.jpg

 

Now with the big 25uf cap in place....

 

5a6ee1a6393a0_BigCap.jpg.7ba672ce2df72b3a70bd9fad5c0073db.jpg

 

 

Here is the front side of the board - before and after. Notice the "C1" circle where the old green woofer bypass cap went, just visible are the new legs.....

 

5a6ee287c5da0_Frontside.thumb.jpg.be0ad4ab13f2d8278bdc7ff121c1858c.jpg

 

Just for giggles here are the old and new components side by side. I parallel wired the 2uf and 0.47 to get as close as possible to the original spec....

 

Components.thumb.jpg.5b4c3a9e7e3a877b588d059897628ec9.jpg

 

Here is the face of the terminal, just in case these fine gents happen to stumble upon their  good work here...

 

5a6ee45375300_Faceplate.thumb.jpg.ac704b3c7d2c74b7179ca08298a2de78.jpg

 

 

So I reassembled my KG's and moved them side by side for a listening session of stock versus updated crossovers....

 

5a6ee578c12a0_Sidebyside1.jpg.9df2001ab4082e0a26034d0febcc237c.jpg

 

5a6ee58c340d0_Sidebyside2.jpg.90bb9420389dfcf741999f48fa330da1.jpg

 

5a6ee59b89990_Sidebyside3.jpg.97b04cd9cd0a87a291180731d7bb8d07.jpg

 

Mmmmm, KG porn!

 

So what did I find - sorry, but there was no discernible difference in sound between updated and original. Not to my ears, in my system, in my room. I really tried hard to hear something. My 12 year old daughter, who helped with the balance switching agreed. Not to worry, I really enjoy the tinkering, and besides you'll never know if you never go there. I just kind of feel better for knowing that I've updated my lovely ladies networks and it was fun too. I am intrigued to perhaps try and update the inductors to air cores perhaps.....   :rolleyes:

 

On the subject of what did make a difference in sound quality....

 

In the time since my last post about the nice Yamaha AX-450 I was gifted, which I've now switched into my system as my KG's amp, I've been really enjoying their combined sound. Warm, rich, lush, heaps of bass, smooth treble. Simply awesome all round.

 

In my system I use the Onkyo PR-SC5509 pre-processor as volume controller for home theater and anytime I want to invoke my sub woofers. The Onkyo feeds the Yamaha's AUX input and I set the volume on it at -10 for a good match with the other amps in my system.

 

For critical listening from my SACD player, I have its analogue output plumbed straight into the Yamaha's CD input. This way all the rest of my system is out of the loop and can remain powered down. But, the lack of remote on the AX-450 was putting me off a bit.... So in this intervening period between posts I've been lucky enough to stumble across the legendary DSP-A1 and then a few months later the previous model DSP-A3090. Both of these amps are big at over 20 kgs. They are beautifully built and feel great to operate.

 

I was really excited when I got the DSP-A1 home. It's a legend and was Yamaha's first amp with DTS. But to me it was immediately a step backward from the AX-450. Yes it has a remote and that was handy, but the sound was hard and cold through the digital input, worse through the analogue inputs. It lasted all of one night hooked up to the KG's. The difference was just so stark to the AX-450. We are not talking subtle differences.

 

A really captivating strength of the AX-450 is its ability to allow my KG's to give a three dimensionality to the instruments in a track. On well recorded music, everything has a position in space with height and depth. The KG's are "airy" in their presentation, and you get the sense of all the different instruments having a position that you might be able to reach out and touch if they were really there in the room.

 

The DSP-A1 on the other hand transformed their presentation into a flat wall of sound, no air, no depth. No soul, perhaps. It was back on the market and gone the next day (at a handy profit B)). The DSP-A1 was in my home for so little time I have no pics of it....

 

Then came the DSP-A3090, the predecessor to the DSP-A1 and Yamaha's first amp with Dolby Digital (AC-3 - remember that!) .... 

 

Small.jpg.01c0b04a139b8f8f476379b66f54adcf.jpg

 

Now I got this for a price that was just too good to pass on, despite my experience with the A1, I jumped in. Looking internally they are almost identical. I had to do some work on the 3090. Its memory capacitor was gone ($3 part, 30 mins to replace) and the input select was playing up (common problem, is there nothing contract related Deoxit can't fix?).

 

But once it was cleaned up and in my system I was shocked at how different it sounded to the newer series DSP-A1! All I can put this down to is a different AD-DA section. But oh my its a very nice sounding amp in combination with my KG's. The difference between analogue and digital inputs this time was reversed, digital had a much larger sound stage, taller and wider, with extra treble output to boot. Both sounded nice, analogue inputs gave a smoother sound, digital bigger and brighter. A bit like some dac's I've experienced that have different filter options. Switching between each input was easy with the remote and the difference very noticeable.

 

Overall the 3090's sound is very much like the AX-450 - not completely like it mind you - not as three dimensional, not as much air, but still warm, rich, lush and with boundless headroom. Its power supply is massive in comparison. And with remote. But still not quite the match for the AX....

 

Intrigued by how good the 3090 sounded for two channel I re-plugged all my HT speakers and BD player into the Yamaha, moved my HDMI directly plugged in to my monitor and played some selected favorite movie moments. And boy, the old girl can really do HT too.

 

Now sure, it has no room correction - the PR-SC5509 has Audessy MultEQ XT32 and this really makes a huge difference in my room. For sub woofer integration particularly it is outstanding, really, I would never consider an upgrade to anything with less then the top rung XT32 or equivalent by another. But the Yamaha I would happily swap in and put up with vanilla Dolby Digital and no room correction happy with the lovely sounds this old girl can put out. So the DSP-A3090 is staying with me, now doing back yard duties/standby for when my Onkyo dies.

 

And the AX-450 lives on as my main stay amp for driving my lovely KG 5.5's. They are a wonderful combination.

 

Next stop, Crites diaphragms.....

 

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Maz4bz

 

Did you ever upgrade the diaphragms? I enjoyed reading your posts. I have owned a pair since '97. I recently had to re-glue the front panel.

 

 

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Edited by Steve C.
wrong photo
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Miss my near mint pair. Bet if he did get the titaniums and continued to listen, the new electronics mellowed in.

7 minutes ago, Steve C. said:

Maz4bz

 

Did you ever upgrade the diaphragms? I enjoyed reading your posts. I have owned a pair since '97. I recently had to re-glue the front panel.

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Welcome to the forum...

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Dear all,

I'm back to say I'm delighted to report that my Crites upgrade has gone very well indeed.

 

Billybob and Steve C. thanks for your encouragement. I really appreciate your support and am glad you found some value in my ramblings!

 

In the significant time since my last post I went ahead and had Mr Crites ship me a pair of his nice diaphragms all the way across the globe to Australia.

 

They came very well packaged. Each diaphragm comes in its own strong plastic box...

 

1853410588_Critesbox.jpg.1d867411634a9e5ad04b1a5f57a481bc.jpg

 

Upon opening you are welcomed by a gleaming lovely metal dome...

 

1898942878_Critesinbox.jpg.3cde3ed2f8a310b54820b3a389da36f0.jpg

 

Naturally these are identical to the original and fit over my existing felts...

 

1199926567_backsidebyside.jpg.841709a34abc1c6e8f593d756a9eefc9.jpg

 

142413907_frontsidebyside.jpg.d94d8bb9425469ed3076eaa1c1828d8b.jpg

 

I measured the new diaphrams resistance out of curiosity...

 

229438446_critesmeasuredresistance.jpg.f6f8464482bdc2c112a9bb9c638fd6dd.jpg

 

And for some inextricable reason was taken with terror at the way the process of mating the wave guide to the magnet assembly, I really thought the phase plug was going to dent the fragile Ti, but it didn't, of course!....

 

1683428198_installedcloseview.jpg.23f567919c81fcbd377d486dfeb29e64.jpg

 

I've had some fun recently using my Audyssey mic to measure my subwoofers.  The results of this have been outstanding for my setup.

 

So I figured that I'd try measuring my KG's too.

967922409_measuringrig.jpg.dd38dcdc849b406c349475ef76e3a14e.jpg

 

Now you need to know the Audyssey mic is great for measuring subs. But, if you read that microphone shoot out thread what I have done here is not recommended for full range. Notwithstanding I figured I'd post what I found but take all this with a  hefty grain of salt, it's not an accurate way to measure full range. To do that you need a calibrated microphone....

 

Here is the two KG's measured at the main listening position. Its a bit ragged, but if you mentally smooth this then you can see they have a nice downward tilting "house curve", I believe. I forgot to mention earlier that I'd gone back to the -4db Lpad modules and returned to these post my Crites upgrade. Ie, this measurement is with the horn attenuated 4db. For anyone interested the 4db modules look like this. Note black marking denotes negative.

 

2107023092_4dbmodule.thumb.jpg.d290905135a46fe9b4287323c79fff10.jpg

 

In regards to bass extension you can see that in my room the KG's play down to 20hz with authority! The big peaks and suck outs below 200hz are room modes and therefore are not what the speakers would measure like outside - ignore these then....

 

312700570_KG@MLPBoth.jpg.82625a887fe1deed4487ef298b3a4a6a.jpg

 

Here are a few limited to the 1k - 20k Hz range...

At 1'...

 

669791347_KG5.5Critesat1.thumb.jpg.c4d1106b942d36e1f3c3111077392214.jpg

 

At 2'...

 

1456400840_KG5.5Critesat2.thumb.jpg.9a48d9e065beff125f0e0c39354da412.jpg

 

At 3'...

 

1932162465_KG5.5Critesat3.thumb.jpg.3491390b956ba45ad870c521792967bc.jpg

 

At 4'...

 

94430649_KG5.5Critesat4.thumb.jpg.3cdf5391c7860e9657a6b3dcaef41e2c.jpg

 

BTW, these are all taken with 1/24th octave smoothing applied in REW.

 

So how do they sound? They sound terrific! If you have heard Ti horns before then these will sound similar. In my workshop I now have a pair of very nice EV ZX1 that have Ti loaded horns and I love these speakers. 

 

My KG's now have the same sound signature, or at least a very similar high frequency sound. I like this sound. It has more sparkle than the originals. More air. They don't seem to be any less efficient as I hypothesized previously so I can't use them without the 4db Lpad modules. I did try them without the Lpads, but not for long, too much top end for me, like that.

 

So is this a must have update to these epic speakers? No, not really. As I've explained previously these are very refined speakers, to my old ears. They really are quite astonishing. The individual parts aren't high-end by any means. But the sum of those parts is something much, much more. If you're satisfied with the original diaphragms then be happy.

 

For me though this has been a journey I'd wanted to take all the way I possibly could. Now that I have the Ti's installed I won't be going back. But in the same token I don't see the Ti's as an upgrade as such. More like a different flavour. Some people don't like the sound of Titanium loaded speakers. I've read many posts commenting on Ti's being harsh, shrill, ringing, piercing etc. But I happen to not agree with these generalisations. That's just me I guess.

 

What I would say is that the original diaphragms now seemed somewhat dark in comparison. Perhaps veiled in the uppermost frequencies. But therein lies the double edged sword of knowledge. It's why I refused to be shown the 4k TV when I went to purchase a new set. Not knowing the difference is bliss, as they say, 1080p is glorious to my eyes compared to the tubes we used to watch. Not that I'm saying you're only getting 480i with the original diaphragms. It's not that kind of difference. It's more like 720p vs 1080p at five meters. The eye has very limited resolution at distance. Can you spot the difference at that distance? Maybe, maybe not.  To me the original diaphragms are great, the Ti's give just a little more air and sparkle, it seems to me. I guess I'm just being cautious to not build unwarranted expectation that this is a night and day, must have upgrade. Because it's not really.

 

For me however it has been worthwhile. It's all part of a process. This audio addiction is exploration, trying the Crites diaphragms has been like a speaker holiday, that I get to enjoy everyday that I listen to my fantastic KG's.

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@Maz4bz Great thread! I have a pair of KG5.5 (KM6 the military version) I am going to bring them back into the music room and give them another listen. 

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Great thread! The KG 5.5s are a really fun Klipsch speaker. I did notice you have them very dampened with the Fiberglass. I initially tried that with mine but found them too 'dead' and decided to only line the back panel and something just clicked and they were perfect. I also did the Ti diaphragms and actually did not like them as much as the original phenolic ones. Unfortunately, I damaged one taking it out so I could not revert back and eventually my ears adjusted. The speakers just sounded more 'alive' with the originals. All in all these are great speakers and I found they sound best with Class D amps, especially since they are high efficiency 2 ways and have such an 'Open' sound. 

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Thanks for the comments gents.  I've really enjoyed my 5.5's. I say whatever works for you is good.

 

I think bracing and insulation for the cabinet and tweeter L-padding, for my ears, were all essential updates that this system deserves.

 

Enjoy!

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Hello Maz4bz.

 

English is not my native language, so please forgive me all the errors, in this and all the following posts, related to this.

 

The last few months, this community has been a great source of information for me. Being in the software business, tinkering around with hardware (other than wood) was not my world so far. I had no idea what a crossover does in a speaker, nor could i solder. Caps, inductors and resistors - well i have heard from them before, but had no idea that they would be part of my speakers;-) But i can tell you that i learned a lot and even soldering seems to work in the meantime.

 

So i would like to use my first post here to say thank you to you. Thank you for all the time you took to improve your KG's - and even more - thank you for sharing all the things you found out with us. This thread has been a huge inspiration for me to give my family of KG's a little bit back of what i have got from them the last 20+ years.

 

THANK YOU

 

Georg from Austria

 

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Maz4bz,

I hadn't seen this thread when you first posted, but followed it through today with all of your changes.

 

I really like the lpads you made for your tweeters. I have an old pair of La Scala beater cabinets that I have had for about five years (cabinets only), but I finally got all the parts and finished them up. Then, recently, I got a pair of huge 2 inch throat mid drivers and horns to use on another project. I thought I would try them in the LS, but of course, they are way to efficient with the crossovers I am using in the LS. So I also made some lpads to drop the levels to a listenable point. Since the new ones ae 8 ohm and the originals 16, my pads have a third resistor, to match the input/output impedance.

 

While the k400 horn is not really a bad horn, the larger horn and drivers makes it sound like a kazoo in comparison.

 

Very nice work on your updates.

 

Bruce

 

ps Where are you in Oz? I have friends in Tasmania.

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6 hours ago, Marvel said:

Where are you in Oz?

 

Haha!  About a half a globe away - you read in an extra "al".  :)

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1 hour ago, glens said:

 

Haha!  About a half a globe away - you read in an extra "al".  :)

 

Uh, no... Maz4bz is from Australia, oldman4u (Georg) is from Austria.

 

Bruce

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