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Why mod Klipsch crossovers?


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On 10/7/2004 5:53:47 AM jerohm wrote:

A couple of years ago, Rotel put out two pieces of equipment, the RSP-1066 a 'separate' AV-preamp/processor and the RSX-1055 AV-Receiver (which was actually
). It soon became the general consensus that the DSP sections of each were virtually indistinguishable. Rotel retorted that the RSP-1066 used higher quality components! Kind of makes me, and
make everybody else, AT LEAST question the balance of 'good enough' components vs. design.

Take the current state of lossy digital audio compression techniques. Even the best of breed can be detected when directly A/B'd to the uncompressed PCM source. Without direct comparison however, few soles are consistently able to distinguish between the two (or maybe even care - its lossy - read:inferior - isn't it?).

When trying to audibly compare between
, best of breed, lossy techniques though, it is a far more daunting task... Test instruments don't tell the whole story - they can't figure in how the brain interprets sound or
may exist as personal preference (or heaven forbid,

My Conclusions...

Unless a person has gone though the efforts of setting up direct A/B testing, it impossible (or at least disingenuous) for them to make 'night and day' proclamations and testimonials - audio memory is just too short term. I am sure you (as well as other) have gone though the painstaking efforts and have convinced yourself of the benefits. But like test equipment, it doesn't always tell the whole story

(Punchline: I still bought the 1066)


The point of your Rotel analogy is a bit odd, especially since there was a buzz surrounding similar, if not identical DSPs. In this situation, Dean specifies what upgraded parts are used, and there has been no claim that I am aware of that his upgradable parts are not superior to the stock items. If your point was that often questioning upgrades or allegedly superior equipment is a healthy thing, pk, that is valid. But, this discussion has evolved into more than just a bit of healthy skepticism.

At our impasse, we have two camps. First, Group A are people who have heard Dean's upgrades, even on brand new (or newer)Klipsch crossovers. That group concludes that dramatic improvements resulted from the upgrade. Group B, on the other hand, have never actually heard the upgrades. Notwithstanding, they honestly believe that simply modding a crossover cannot have that dramatic of an effect- "Group A just thinks it sounds better because they spent the money." Unfortunately, that retort has been overused in audio for everything from interconnects to power conditioners.

Why? The main problem is that audio is often subjective and some aspects are hard to quantify/measure. Members of Group B will not be swayed from their position unless they hear it for themselves, regardless of the many people who have voiced their experiences.

Almost sounds like the current election and the respective parties. But, we won't go there.....


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On 10/7/2004 10:05:05 AM Piranha wrote:

Wait until you get tube monos


Funny you mention that. Speaking of hearing it with my own ears. My system finally has a really nice tube/SS synthesis right now that I think is the best of both worlds.

However, like most things in life, there is always some room for improvement. Don't get me wrong, I've been seriously thinking about it. However, I want to hear the audible differences first to justify that next step. I need to hear tube monoblocks in someone's setup. Given what I currently run, I would appreciate your thoughts and recommendations (by PM).

That way, we can continue the discussion about Dean's incredible mod. 1.gif


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There is a "Group C" as well, comprised out of those I have considerable respect for. This group says:

1) The differences in sound are due to the variations in tolerance. For example: I pull a 5uF cap from the board with an actual measured capacitance of 5.20uF. I replace it with a "superior" part with a measured value of 4.90uF. Both parts are within 5% of the target value, but they are not 5% within each other -- and the parts inserted are not exactly as the parts pulled off. Add up all the parts on a board, and you come out with something that is just a bit different. It's a bit different, so naturally you hear something that's a bit different. An "improvement"?

2) Loss is lower with polypropylene capacitors. There is less resistance through-out the circuit overall. The signature is shifted, or tilted forward a bit, and things "appear" to open up. An "improvement"?

3) Capacitors of different construction and dielectric are inserted into a "dual" circuit with switching capability. The switch is flipped back and forth, and whatever the audible difference -- it's so miniscule, it's non-detectable.

How do we reconcile #3 -- with #1 and #2? Hey folks, it can't be both ways.

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Thanks for reinserting a more refined, technical analysis back into the discussion.

Positions #1 and #2, while it can be debated whether the resultant sound is actually an improvement or is "better," there is no denying that the difference, good or bad, is very noticeable. You simply do not need an A/B test to tell the difference. I agree that #1 and #2 do not reconcile with #3.

BTW, Dean, since you and I have somewhat similar tastes in music, I will e-mail you later to get your thoughts on tube monoblocks. Especially given your prior experience with modded RF-7s.


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On 10/7/2004 8:03:58 AM Frzninvt wrote:

What gets me is how someone that has not done these mods/updates can run his gums relentlessly without having any direct experience relevant to the discussions at hand. Shut the hell up!


I re-read all (3!) of my posts on this subject, and I fail to detect anything more than a healthy dose of objectivity to the discussion. I never attacked anyone (certainly NOT Dean) or their work, but only questioned 'personal subjectivity' and the incremental benefit of part quality vs. design. I encouraged one's initiative to perform tests which would prove without doubt to oneself the benefits of any upgrade. I obviously hit on some hot buttons. Sorry - End of topic.

have to go and condition some capacitors now 3.gif!


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For those of you that want A/B testing here goes I have 2 klf 30s 2 klf 20s and two kjlf c7s the 30s and one c7 are crossover moded by Dean the other three are stock

Ok this is what I did I used ther 30s and c7 for one and the 20s and other c7 for the other I watched parts of T2 Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan also listened to music in stereo and multi channel. This is what I came up with

first I used the speakers with the upgraded crossovers I watched the movies and listened to music (Eagles DTS and Linkin Park)then swiched speakers.Their is definitly a difference. with movies there was more detail and everything was clearer the soundstage was also bigger now with the music when I listened to Linkin Park in srereo at loud volumes (over -15) with non upgraded speakers I started to get ear fatige it was a little harsh and grainy the other speakers sounded much better at these sound levels with little or no ear fatige no harshness or grain. At lower levels (-35) there wasn't as much of a difference a little more detail. I put in the Eagles I was really able to check the center with this much cleaner sounding and the soundstage was noticably bigger it had more depth

Now this wasn't true a/b testing as I was not able to switch back and forth but did take and afternoon listening to the same parts of the cds and movies with the different sets of speakers and there is a very noticable diference for the better with the speakers with the upgraded crossovers Just my 2 cents 10.gif Rich

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That's "cheating". You're using two different types of speakers! Of course they're going to sound different. What, you think just because they use the same midrange/horn and tweeter/horn that they actually sound anything alike?9.gif

The horns don't lie -- they can be brutal. I call it "The Cringe Factor". I think those who listen to movies and music at reference, or live levels -- are probably more sensitive to, or appreciate, of what the mods do.

I have it on good authority that all my customers are delusional and half deaf.2.gif

Jerohm, don't sweat it. I knew where you were coming from.

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"You'll need a data sheet on that driver to get the alignment right. You could call Fostex direct -- you might get lucky."

Yeah, possibly.

I have enough TS parameters from real-time testing. Though a data sheet would be nice, but it's not really necessary.

Thanks for the link, lotsa stuff in there.....

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On 10/3/2004 12:52:38 PM DeanG wrote:

I did an RF-7 network changeout in front of a dozen people in Arkansas a while back, and everyone "subjectively" agreed there was an improvement -- even Trey Cannon. There is always
agreement when the veil is lifted.

The RF-7 is a great sounding speaker right out of the box -- one of the best sounding speakers I have ever heard. Everyone knows I think that. I literally spent months on this forum beating back the Heritage bigots. It's a great speaker, period. It's like having to wear a condom while having sex with someone you love. There's no denying the sex is great, but let's not kid ourselves here -- it's better without the condom. A tacky analogy maybe, and I apologize -- but it's just what came to mind.



You may remember my post about auditioning the RF-7's under less than optimum conditions (a Denon receiver driving them) at my local dealer.

The RF-7's completely bowled me over in all areas save one. On female vocals there was an easily heard veil that ever so slightly obscured the clarity of female vocals.

I am still very interested in RF-7's (just don't have the money right now) and am wondering if your crossover mod mitigates this small 'hole'.

If I could get that straightened out I would literally beg, borrow and steal my way to a pair of RF-7's!

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I look forward to the next AR gathering, & all the controversy that is settled by the listening there.9.gif While an audible difference may only be a difference, and an improvement only to some, some changes are actual improvements. When a change results in lyrics being more discernable,for example, surely we can agree that the change is an improvement. I didn't spend any money that I need to justify, and I heard improvements in Jesse's RF7s with Dean's crossovers installed. I can't tell you whether it was a brand difference, or a value difference that was responsible for the alteration, but the sound was improved. If there was a problem with my ears or perception (like being used to hearing "rubbery" bass), then it was present both before & after installing the crossovers. It is an improvement that I would pay for if I had RF7s.


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  • 5 months later...

Well, Dean finished the crossover's for my 4.2's and I am very happy.

I've had these speaker's since new and just recently started noticing how mushy the bass was and how the treble was just a bit too much. At this time I thought about letting my little Brother have them.

Dean almost doubled the size of the crossover and it looks like a very clean job.

After listening for about a week and letting them play 24/7 the treble is much, much smoother and the bass is much, much tighter, not mushy like I said before.

During the re-installation I toasted the diaphrams with my torch, so I had them replaced with the titanium version by another Forum member.


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I've replaced the motor run caps on three sets of heratige speakers so far, k-horns, belles, and la scalas. Loosley translated, I'm new to this! I used laboratory grade metalized polypropalyne caps because I haven't been convinced about the differences between those with audio written on them and those without. Stated differently, I want an A/B test before spending an easy factor of 2 to 3 on the caps. That point asside, in each case, I changed the caps in one speaker and then listened to one at a time. Each time there was absoutely no question about shades of grey or which was the better sounding speaker. The 20+ year old motor run PIO caps always sound muddy compared to the polys. It's an instant in your face difference. Based on my lame 3 set experience, I whole heartedly agree with DeanG about the major difference the upgrades will make.

Please temper the above pontification with "IMHO" 1.gif

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Geeeesss. You didn't come to my house after I installed the new networks. Well, just as well, didn't want to swell your head up too much. And I use cheapo solid state amps too. I will say this though that the Cornwall is working better than when it was new. I also can drive the P--- out of the K-horns on the high end to make up for my hearing rolloff at 12.5 khz.


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