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Thread: Spire with External Crossovers & Electronics.

  1. #1
    Member Ps68's Avatar
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    Default Spire with External Crossovers & Electronics.

    Firstly i must say hi to all ML owners, i registered years ago when i bought my first pair,(Vantages), but clearly messed up my login as i never could get in. I re registered as i would like to share my latest project with my Spires.

    Essentially, i decided to re-house all of the electronics in a separate cabinet, to isolate them from the vibrations and magnetic effects of the bass driver. The work was fairly straightforward, taking around 3 hrs per side on top of making the new cabinets.

    Before the change i thought that they were a very good speaker anyway, my ancillary components should allow any change to be audible. After the work was complete i must say i'm surprised that ML don't offer this, though in their defence i think the extra box, complete with umbilical's, doesn't get the wife too exited..

    The clarity and detail is in my mind a significant improvement, i am hearing discs in a way that is more expressive, in a way i'm listening to the sound of a musician playing an instrument, rather than the sound of the instrument alone, there is a profound human presence to the recordings now, which i'm sure ive not felt so often before. Separation is better too though i'm not clear why this would be, i wasn't expecting that, perhaps a result of the new level of detail? The bass also i feel is tighter and more rhythmical, also deeper and adds a truly fundamental ingredient to the flow of the piece.

    I've attached some photo's, though i have since further modified the esl umbilical to a individually shielded design of 19 awg. (Photo's of new leads are now shown). I did make up the leads myself too. They are sliver plated copper, covered in cotton sheath, wrapped then shielded and wrapped again, the 3 sets are braided together. I treated these like an interconnect lead.

    Shown with the first set of leads..

    And the new set..




    WBT Spades are now used.


    The internals in their new cabinet.


    I have now added the updated photo's with the new umbilical's. I also posted this on uk based, as i am, HiFi Critic forum, here:
    http://www.hificritic.com/forum/defa...?g=posts&t=267
    There are more photo's of the work there.

    Regards to all,

    Ps
    Last edited by Ps68; 08-17-2009 at 02:08 PM. Reason: New Photo's added.
     

  2. #2
    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Paul, welcome....again ! Interesting undertaking you have there and it obviously has benefited your listening experience. Thanks for sharing and when you get a moment please post your system up in the 'members section' for all to enjoy !
    Dave

    System #79 - Analog is Alive and Well, if in doubt, click the link below !

    Click Here to see my System

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    Super User C.A.P's Avatar
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    Even though its not a lot of space maybe the tiny bit makes a difference in bass. That and there is less vibrations to muddle things up. Nice work.
    Martin Logan... Odyssey...Krell KSA 100s...Krell KRC3 Pre Amp...Krell Connect Media server/DAC
    My system here

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    Thanks Dave,

    I'll add the system soon!

    Regards

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    Brilliant setup. I wonder about doing a similar setup with my Purity's, or maybe upgrading the internal wiring at the same time. Any thoughts?

    Kyle

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    Kyle,

    Many thanks. I'm less certain of how the electronics are arranged in the purity, but from my experience with the Spire, there is real improvement to be had here. I think that the arrangement with the Spire was a compromise, also with the Summit x, though the extra boxes make this an unlikely route for ML to take. I have breifly heard the Summit x, and the CLX, and can honestly say that i would not part with my Spires!

    Re the internal wiring, the existing is fine, no need to change that.

    Regards,
    Paul.

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    Default Vantage to spire Xover

    Hello Paul that is a Brilliant Job ,I wanted to ask you if you could respond to me
    I have the factory layout and what capacitors would be best siuted to improve the panels sound .I like the Mundorf silver oil in the past. for the Big electrolytics the black cap Jantzenpoly caps look like a good replacement thank you, Paul .

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    Hello Dallas21,

    Many thanks for the comments and apologies for not replying sooner! I'm away from my Spires right now but will be back in around 10 days, Will check what caps are used in mine then, but I've left all electronics as standard, but just rehoused them. I'd be keen to know whether there are any sonic improvements to be had by replacing caps to something else?
    I'm about to do the granite base cabinet modification to mine, I've had 22 kgs on each recently and the improvement is pretty seductive, I'll post images once complete..
    Best Regards,
    Paul


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Member Ps68's Avatar
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    So, we decided to go ahead with the bass cabinet, on the basis that the speaker could really do with much more weight low level, this stabilises the panel better when the speaker is tilted forward to close to vertical, ( 88.4 degrees), and results in, to my ears, sharper focused images, and more detail as in texture and tone of instruments. Also i think the dynamics and speed have increased, but i know i cant just swap back and forth for comparisons. Bass, - simply better defined, gaining a solidity that surprised a few friends that were a bit dubious of hybrid's. Total weight of the stone panels are 25 kgs each speaker, so overall speaker weight now around 51 kgs. Stone selected is Black Granite with a natural almost riven finish, and Ceaserstone for the sides.

    Visually also i prefer them over the cherry, my wife also, which surprised me, she was not sure what to expect, but is happy..

    Here they are:











    Next up is the crossover, full rebuild with Clarity MR, Mundorf foil's, and Duelund CAST resistors.

    Best Regards,
    Paul.
    Last edited by Ps68; 12-18-2011 at 01:49 PM.

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    It has been 5 days since the additional stone panels were added, and i'm truly impressed with the bass response, just played a disc that ive been playing for about 7 years, and there is some very deep bass in one track that i simply didnt know was there, and it is not subtle, it was not loud as i'm meant to be working from home at the moment, but i felt it in my chest, very controlled deep deep bass. I'll get my ML dealer over to hear them again, this is more than i expected, as the improvement is top to bottom, definition, clarity, texture and tone, it is really worth doing..

    Edit: I have since tested in room with a signal generator and sound level meter, i have output at 18Hz, nothing below that, but very definite at 22Hz!
    Last edited by Ps68; 12-18-2011 at 01:52 PM.

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    Exceptional job! Very impressive!

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    Thanks Spectral.
    My ML dealer came over this week, with a colleague, they were both very impressed with what they heard, both in transparency and definition, top to bottom. Although not as much bass as the summit x in quantity terms, more in quality terms, i did hear a faint expletive when Charlie Haden kicked in on his birthday bash cd..

    So its crossover rebuild time now, parts have been trickling in, boards made from tufnol, and caps/inductors run on an Audiodharma at 5-6 days.

    This is the original crossover:



    This is a model of the new one: Updated 16/12/2011. Thermal Switch removed.


    The greyed out board in the above render is a 90v dc supply, biasing the dielectric of the umbilical between the step up transformer and the panel & woofer, this was a significant development, more than i was expecting. I use this on my interconnects, and is very worthwhile.

    Rear showing Mundorf copper foil 16 awg inductor placement.


    Caps Are Clarity MR, Inductors on the rear of the board are Mundorf, resistors are Duelund Cast. All values as per the ML schematic.

    Parts due in today, so getting close, should be built in time for the Xmas break..
    Last edited by Ps68; 12-16-2011 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Edit Model.

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    Caps and 4.3mH inductors arrived and went onto Audiodharma last night. Duelund resistors still not here though, i'm really hoping i get them before xmas as i have some time off work at last to complete and install this lot.

    Pic attached of the initial build and cooker..


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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Kudos on a a quality build-out of the analog crossover. I admire the effort.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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    Thanks Jon, the effort is easy when you enjoy the outcome..

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