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In Reply to: RE: 3.6R crossover mods - Best I could do posted by Barry on December 31, 2022 at 12:15:17
Can you comment on the (Jupiter, Duelund and VCap) cap upgrades ?
Did you try any other combinations before you settled on this configuration ?
2022/03/30 Historical Records CENSORED
The passive tweeter/midrange changes focused $$$ primarily on the parts in series, but everything was changed. Duelunds 3 big issues are price, size, and break-in. I put the 17uF caps on a cable cooker for a week as they still hadn't broken in after over 250 hours of use. The Cast Copper & Inductors are both exceptional offering immediacy, natural tone, space, and excellent dynamics. I added a silver foil Duelund tweeter cap bypass as the very top end as the sound was still missing a little presence and air.
The stock XO is ok for the price. All of my changes cost as much as the speaker - not remotely cost effective, or sensible, but, WOW, what a difference.
Active is the only way to go on the T/M to bass panels on the 3.6s. However, every active crossover I've used has a sonic signature. The Pass Labs XVR-1-3 way XO has over 200 parts changes and was done in over 25 iterations from 2016-2020. The stock units were the best sounding actives I've heard, but a touch too warm, liquid, and opaque in my set up. If I knew what I was getting into, I would never have touched this - it's too complicated and took over 1,200 hours of listening and break-in. Some changes were just dreadful.
General comments on electronics in these mods:
1)You can't use all of 1 type of "best" part. Try it. Try again.
2) Jupiter and V-Caps are complementary in sound. Jupiter's are a touch too warm sounding. V-Cap (Copper) are a little too cool and lean. Multicap RTX polystyrene in the signal path - no. I like some polypropylenes.
3) Panasonic electrolytic caps are bettered by Elna Silmic IIs, but Black Gate FKs are still the best electrolytic (RIP). Not fond of newer AN Kaisei types.
4) Resistors matter and TX2575s (naked Vishays) are very transparent and noticeably lower in noise, but a little cool sounding if you use too many.
It's apples to oranges, but I'd say the modded passive XO closely rivals the modded active crossover in terms of sonics. I wouldn't gain anything if I went all active.
Properly done an active crossover is superior to a passive one. It eliminates most of the reactance an amp sees in a passive crossover. But a generic crossover, no matter how good, is not really properly done. A good crossover, passive or active, must take into account the anomalies of the drivers and all drivers have them. A good crossover is an equalizer for those anomalies which means it must be designed for each speaker design. Look at many passive crossovers such as the classic 4th order linkwitz/Reilly designs. They often are just 3rd or even 2nd order electrically. So in a generic electronic crossover if you want say 4th order you select that(or have it designed that way) and you easily may not end up with a 4th order acoustically. And that doesn't even take into account the shape of the roll off which is critical and may easily not be nice ending up with crossover ringing.
"However, every active crossover I've used has a sonic signature."
I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, and it's especially difficult to maintain utmost transparency while retaining dynamic slam.
You say stock Pass XVR-1 is "a touch too warm, liquid, and opaque," but was it more transparent than say the Krell or Bryston active crossovers?
I had always felt digital crossovers could never sound "good enough" compared to best analogue active crossovers, but have you tried some of the better digital crossovers?
My Bryston 10B STD active crossover has recently died. It was "good enough" for my use if I did not use its volume/level control. I'm messing around with dbx DriveRack PA2 digital crossover, and I must say it sounds surprisingly much better than I had expected, when asked to do the very minimum DSP processing (just crossover point and slope. No volume or any other dsp processing).
p.s. If anyone is looking to unload a Bryston 10B STD active crossover, please do let me know :)
I thought Brystons had a 20 year warranty.
"... but have you tried some of the better digital crossovers? ..."
What digital crossovers would those be ???
2022/03/30 Historical Records CENSORED
It actually is out of warranty, and repair costs quoted by Bryston are very high due to "very expensive switches" and the need to rebuild the whole unit. Repair/rebuild cost would be close to what a good used one goes for (well..when there is one on sale).
Repair your Bryston????
Exactly. I have had to bring my XM44 to a shop twice over the years.
Twice your XM-44 has failed????
In 2014 it was crackling upon powering up, and they replaced 4 relays. $40 in parts and $80 in labour.
In 2017 it wouldn't power up, and he found a break in the 15 VDC supply. $50. I wish he didn't retire.
Been good since.
I wasn't aware Phil had retired.
Regardless, there's nothing fancy in any of the Marchand electronic crossovers. Any of them can be fixed easily by a decent technician.
Sorry, I should have said more: I didn't mean Phil, I never sent it to Marchand for repair, just local electronics shops. The second fellow I found working out of a music supply store retired.
I compliment you on your perseverance and patience.
Are they finished? :) Or is there something else on your to do list?
I haven't commented here on the wiring changes, upgraded Mye stands and frame mods, Center Stage speaker footers, subwoofers, electrical balancing of the active XO channels, or use of REW for setting crossover points, slopes, Qs, and room placement or trials with DSP. There's not much left of consequence to experiment with on these 3.6s that I haven't already tried.
Time to stop fiddling and listen to music.
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