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avguytx

My Belle clones just not sounding right...

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Ever since I've built my Belle clones, I've never been 100% satisfied with them.  You can't say they aren't built right as they were done right off of plans taken from exact dimensions.  To my ears, it sounds like there's way too much going on in the 100hz to 500hz range, or so....maybe a tad higher.  Mid bass seems to be over emphasized.  In comparison, about 6 months ago I picked up a pair of ads L1230 speakers, which I've always liked that series, and moved the clones to another area of the room.  I sent the tweeters to Richard So in Phoenix, AZ., who had the last remaining parts inventory for ads, and they were rebuilt (just send the mid domes last week).  I've enjoyed the L1230 speakers far more than the Belles during that 4 months and they've not needed a sub, not had to change any equipment around, no messing with toe-in, etc.  They have just done most everything well and there's nothing really lacking in them.  I honestly wish I could find a pair of the larger L1530's.

 

I say all of that because I've pondered multiple things with these clones since I've had them including going to a larger mid horn, taking all the drivers out and making a pair of Cornwall inspired clones and, again, using a larger mid morn versus a K-600, etc.   Or, just sell them either as a whole or part them out.  My hearing is not that great at 54 and it sucks having tinnitus; some music sounds ok, some doesn't, and that's true on any speakers I use.  I just can't hear subtle differences like I used to and I really hate that.  My mind has to fill in the gaps that I can't hear anymore on music I know well. 

 

I don't know.  Maybe this is more of a rant than anything.  ha

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14 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

Have you measured them?

 

I used to have an Audio Control SA-3050A analyzer but sold  that maybe 11 years ago when I got out of the A/V industry.  I've used a few different apps on my phone, which I know is not the best, but they all support what I'm hearing.  I know these speakers start losing bass below 100hz and need to be augmented with a sub...which helps. Even the highs, what little range I hear now, seem more subdued with the CT120's than the ads soft dome tweeters.  My wife, who can hear quite well, said the clones sounded rather dull and lifeless in comparison.  It was that "what did you change up here" kind of question.

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Have you heard other sets of Belles? I really like mine (both sets) but I don't listen at concert levels and not listening to hard metal or anything like that.

Any time you are close to St. Louis, let me know and you can hear a fairly close to stock pair and fully tricked out pair to see what may or may not be missing. You may just not care for the sound of the Belles but I sure do. 

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What is the driver compliment, and what amps/sources are you using?

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7 hours ago, MookieStl said:

Have you heard other sets of Belles? I really like mine (both sets) but I don't listen at concert levels and not listening to hard metal or anything like that.

Any time you are close to St. Louis, let me know and you can hear a fairly close to stock pair and fully tricked out pair to see what may or may not be missing. You may just not care for the sound of the Belles but I sure do. 

 

Yes, I've heard a stock set a couple of times in the last few years.  Pretty similar on the results.  It's leading me to believe it more of my hearing changing for the worse...or different.  But in comparison, the ads L1230's sound awesome.

 

7 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

What is the driver compliment, and what amps/sources are you using?

 

Klipsch K-33-E woofers (bought brand new), K-500 horns with A-55G mids, CT120 tweeters and Type AA crossovers I built using new Autoformers, Audyn caps and Erse inductor for woofer (the better one).  They were all new drivers and parts.  I use the Onkyo Reference gear primarily; P-3000R preamp, M-5000R amp (80x2), C-7000R CD (rarely), Pioneer PL-518 T/T, and Amazon Music HD (mainly) & Spotify.

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Not sure what your expecting. Belles are good to the 50's. Also DIY crossovers are hard I don't care what anyone says.

 

 

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1 minute ago, seti said:

DIY crossovers are hard

Meaning what?

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I guess my take is this....Based on what you've said, I don't think there's anything "wrong" with your Belles, I just think that you like the other ADS much better, and they suit your hearing, so it's a comparison issue, not a problem/technical issue.  I would certainly sell the Belles, if you have any original drivers/crossovers I would put those back in and sell off the rest.  JMHO

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Try a UMIK-1 and REW.  It's a lot easier and much more effective than the analyzer that you mentioned.  It's actually amazing what can be measured nowadays, and will enable you to proceed directly to the core issue(s).  It's definitely worth the price of a UMIK-1.  The microphone is self calibrating after you download the serial-number-unique calibration file from the linked page that I posted.  The rest is very straightforward--and gives you a lot more than 1/3 octave SPL response.

 

Chris

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15 minutes ago, jimjimbo said:

I guess my take is this....Based on what you've said, I don't think there's anything "wrong" with your Belles, I just think that you like the other ADS much better, and they suit your hearing, so it's a comparison issue, not a problem/technical issue.  I would certainly sell the Belles, if you have any original drivers/crossovers I would put those back in and sell off the rest.  JMHO

 

Well, being Belle inspired clones, I do know that their resale value is a lot less and it's only fitting.  This might be that situation where the sum of the parts is worth more than the whole.  When the mids come back for the ads speakers, I'm going to put the Belles back on the short wall and hook them to the recently acquired and finished Dynakit ST-70 and listen again and give them another listen on a different setup.  I may just schedule an appointment with the audiologist and see how crappy/limited my hearing is now.  

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56 minutes ago, jimjimbo said:

Meaning what?

 

After watching Roy at the last Bonehead class discuss crossovers there is more to it than it seems.

 

You are using drivers with the A/AA that were never used with it. The drivers you are using are great but not exactly the same as what was used orginally. Then there is something to be said for Klipsch QC. Not trying to be a debbie downer just been there got the t'shirt.

 

I listen to Belles everyday and love them but are stock.

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Iain is correct: this is why I don't recommend DIY loudspeakers using passive crossovers--because those doing them usually don't do the measurements, then design the full network with balancing notch filters (using something like LspCAD or VitiuxCAD) and also ensuring that the minimum input impedance doesn't go below 3 to 4 ohms, etc. 

 

You also have to watch the phase alignment of the tweeter to midrange, and midrange to bass bin to ensure that there aren't dropouts or other severe lobing issues in the SPL response at the crossovers due to phase mismatches between the drivers brought on by the relative mounting distances (fore-and-aft, and vertically to each other within 1/4 inch for the tweeter and midrange and 1-2 inches for the midrange to bass bin), and the phase growth due to the electrical filters themselves (generally, 90 degrees of phase lag per order of the filters is induced on the lower frequency drivers).

 

All of the above issues are moot if using REW/UMIK-1 and a good DSP crossover, which can be dialed-in in minutes--instead of days or weeks of passive crossover design--and have outstanding resulting sound quality, to boot. 

 

And now the cost of the DSP crossovers and multi-amping are really not worth wringing one's hands over trying to use passive crossovers nowadays.  If you were going to produce many of the same loudspeaker configurations for a lot of people that can't do their own measurements and dialing-in in-room, then passive crossovers might make sense.  But most try to oversimplify the passive crossover design and implementation task and wind up unsatisfied., etc., eventually leading to getting rid of everything.

 

I'm sure that Roy discussed some of these issues in his class, as well as other issues that I haven't identified, above.  Copying Klipsch passive crossover designs just isn't good enough in my experience since almost no one is using the exact same drivers and box and driver mounting geometries as Klipsch. 

 

Chris

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I recently came across this Klipsch Blog article written by Trey Cannon with the following quote:

 

Quote

In 2001, 17 Klipsch fans contacted us for a plant tour in Hope. It was the first annual "Pilgrimage," which still occurs to this day. Check out the Klipsch Audio Forum for more information. Fans travel from all over to tour the plant, listen to speakers, meet Klipsch engineers and craftsmen, and back then, got to meet PWK in his home. We prepared a list of questions for Paul prior to the visit, so he had time to prepare. Keep in mind, Paul was in his 90’s at the time.

 

One of the questions set Paul off. “Does adding dampening (rope calk) on the back of the mid horn (K-401) help the Khorn not ring?" Paul got down right pissed. He asked me to get out of his house. He had perfected that speaker for 60 years. We "shouldn’t mess with things we don’t understand"...and so on. 

 

Let's just say Paul was an Army man. He said some words that I am sure his mother wouldn't approve of. Mrs. Klipsch came to my rescue, telling Paul "not to kill the messenger" and invited me to stay. After that, I suggested folks keep their questions to things about his life and not about changing his speakers…

 

I guess that I touched on some of the "why" of PWK's response in my comments on passive crossover design, above. 

 

I find that there is a general tendency to oversimplify the loudspeaker design/modification process--sometimes on the order of being 10x or more too simple.  PWK was clearly trying to convey what would happen without a proper approach and follow-through if trying to modify one of his designs. 

 

At the time (early 2000s), the DIY tools to do the job were still not really available at or near DIY levels (and costs).  It's only been in the past 10 or so years that the tools and the tutorials have appeared to do a credible job on DIY loudspeakers--especially horn loaded designs.  But the available tools need to be used correctly to achieve good results.

 

Chris

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4 hours ago, avguytx said:

 

Yes, I've heard a stock set a couple of times in the last few years.  Pretty similar on the results.  It's leading me to believe it more of my hearing changing for the worse...or different.  But in comparison, the ads L1230's sound awesome.

 

 

Klipsch K-55-K woofers (bought brand new), K-500 horns with A-55G mids, CT120 tweeters and Type AA crossovers I built using new Autoformers, Audyn caps and Erse inductor for woofer (the better one). 

K55k Woofers -------do you mean K33E

 

@seti   is dead on  , the crossover is not an AA ---and the rest of the parts are not klipsch parts either with the exception of the woofers -

-I would locate an original Klipsch AA   and re-test  , without touching anything else  , and if all is better ,  I would swap the Capacitors in the  AA to the klipsch OEM from JEM - as a startpoint  -

 

-if not happy , I would swap the A-55G  to the K55V  -finally , if you're still not happy ---Put in a set of K77 -

-you've created a new speaker with non-klipsch parts   and to sound like a Belle ,  the parts must be the same--

-k33-k55V-k55M-k77-k500-K501-AA or AB  Network-OEM klipsch capacitors from @JEM Performance--

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@RandyH000

 

I do understand that these parts make don't make them an original Belle but they are also parts that a great many swap out to with good results. If I try anything first, it would be the capacitors as I wouldn't think them to be very expensive.  I sold an original set of AA crossovers when I bought the upper motorboard and K-500 horns.

 

But, I probably won't go beyond the capacitors and swapping an amp around. I'm not out for perfection as I can't hear as well anymore.  I do appreciate the input! 

  

@JEM Performance  Can you PM me what the cost would be for the AA capacitors? It's (4) 2uf and (2) 13uf caps.  Thanks! 

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42 minutes ago, avguytx said:

If I try anything first, it would be the capacitors

great idea -

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Do you have any EQ adjustments capability in your system ..?  
 

If so I would suggest you experiment to see what it takes to get the system to sound closer to your preference before replacing or spending any money...

 

miketn

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On 4/13/2021 at 6:26 PM, mikebse2a3 said:

Do you have any EQ adjustments capability in your system ..?  

If so I would suggest you experiment to see what it takes to get the system to sound closer to your preference before replacing or spending any money...

miketn

 

No EQ anywhere...just the bass and treble controls from the preamp.  Yeah, I'm kind of out on spending a bunch of money trying to procure stock mids, tweeters, and crossovers just for testing.  Still deliberating on spending the money on those JEM caps "just to see".  

 

On 4/13/2021 at 7:02 PM, tigerwoodKhorns said:

Check polarity of the mids, if all is good, adjust the level of the mids. 

 

Everything is wired correctly that I have researched.  But it's worth looking at again although nothing has been disconnected...just slid around on carpet sliders.  lol

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