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Old

Radio Shack Linaeum measurements

Posted 14th March 2014 at 10:40 PM by hbc

I bought a pair of these in about '95 and modified them a bit. I blocked up the ports, stuffed them with fluff, replaced the inductor with an air cored type, and rewired with CAT5. I also removed the top cages and grills which subsequently got lost, and also removed the rubber from the woofer voice coil, and put in a phase plug fashioned from some dowel.

I lived happily with these for about 10 years, ending up with an 18" subwoofer which used an equalised bass guitar speaker. The advantage of this equalisation was a degree of cancellation between the sub and the little woofers, resulting in a very smooth lump free transition in the listening position.

I found them to be an excellent tool in the development of audio stuff, it was quite easy to discern the difference between different types of cables, for me and friends, etc etc.

I bought another pair but I was wondering if the tweeters were fried as they sounded a bit dull compared to my modded...
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hbc
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Old

Goodmans Magnum SL woofer distortion

Posted 5th March 2014 at 03:17 PM by hbc

I have a pair of tired Goodmans Magnum SLs. They are in reasonable condition, but one mid is blown, and they have no front covers. I tried grafting a new mid on to the broken one, expecting I would need to do some crossover work, but it really did not sound good. A very unpleasant sound that I found quite fatiguing and unpleasant to listen to coming from the upper bass lower mid area, quite a relief to turn it off actually. I put bigger and bigger choke on the woofer to try and filter it away, but that didn't work. I took of the dust cap in case that was causing it but no.


I am thinking of re-purposing the boxes now, but first did just check the woofer to make sure it has a problem. Below are some distortion plots, for a good one, the bad one and also for a Wharfedale Dovedale 3 woofer, with fixed rubber (Note the different scale). These plots were done at quite low level, like normal neighbour friendly listening levels.
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hbc
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Old

Heretical 834p mods

Posted 9th December 2013 at 12:00 AM by hbc
Updated 14th December 2013 at 05:23 PM by hbc

The EAR 834p, is a marvellous and clever circuit, in its various optimisations and design features that are often not really understood... I acquired my second one a while ago, my first one was tweaked quite successfully to make very acceptable sound by adjusting the 10pf to 5pf and changing output CF to ECC81, and removing some surplus output potential dividers, and careful valve selection. Lowest noise first, and highest gain second.

However, it went away...

The problem I have seen with these is that they sometimes suffer muddy woolly sound in the bass which tends to spoil the over all effect. The new phono box I recently got suffers this way. Now I am suspicious of feedback loops, and how they work. I suspected that the 834p was maybe running a little short of gain in the lower registers. As I enjoy heresy, and after much consideration, I decided that bootstrapping the second stage ought to give me some more gain for the feedback loop to work. See circuit...
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hbc
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Old

Wharfedale Dovedale cone rubber repair

Posted 10th October 2013 at 11:28 PM by hbc

After the Magisters went I started missing them. Much irrational thought later I decided that I needed some Dovedales. It may be some left over residual memory of some super 8s I had when I was young, they were very nice despite the lack of tweeter (retrospective young thought). The big Dovedale woofers look similar with the green felt, bit nervous of those strange pink domes though... Anyway, eventually "won" some with mint drivers slightly tatty boxes. Long story short the rubber had got stiff, but not yet brittle.

Sulk, got the Magnums... (must have bass now). After much research and thought, the Dovedales don't seem to be a standard size for foam, and I had got to the point of contemplating cutting away some of the cone to fit a flat foam. I was tidying up the garden when I found a 700 inner tube I had changed recently.
At this point I thought what have I got to loose, so gave it a good wash, (lots of washing up liquid applied neat), chopped out the valve...
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hbc
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Old

Goodmans Magnum and the Valve sound...

Posted 30th September 2013 at 11:07 PM by hbc

To try to recreate the Magister experience I hooked up the Magnums to the little ECL86 amp mentioned previously. I was greeted again with enormous deep bass, but not as happy over all, a rather lumpy frequency response, and a big question, what's going on... So I hooked up my Hybrid amp and the Magnums sounded a bit more normal, but the bass was considerably reigned in, disappointingly.

I think the Magnums like being back against the wall, they seem happy there and the in room response is now quite civilised with a nice boom free sound and bass is only there when it should be.

Still confused, had the ECL86 on the bench to measure to try and find out what's up. The frequency response looks a bit rolled off to the bottom, so no help there, but the treble peak is looking quite promising, explaining the "prominent" treble. After some wriggling the little amp surrendered its output impedance, all be it with significant 50Hz artefacts.

The output...
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hbc
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Old

Goodmans Magnum K2 - SL cone rescue

Posted 26th September 2013 at 11:04 PM by hbc

I recently got some Goodmans Magnums K2, and SLs, in my quest for lovely bass, experienced when I had some Magisters, 6 months ago, but in a smaller box. Like the Magisters the plastic cover of the woofer had started to de-laminate. The K2 had suffered more, so embolden by having 2 pairs of speakers with apparently identical woofers, I decided to have a go at fixing them.

For whatever reason I decided to attack them with my hot air gun. The black material is softened quickly but so did the dust cap glue, so I took that off, and then I just tried to push the soft plastic back on to the cone, and it stuck, a bit at a time with my finger. I then put some hotmelt glue around the edge of the lamination to try to give it some more support. Then I heated up the edge of the lamination and around the back of the dome and put it back on... No idea if it will hold but it was quite easy to do.

The woofers between these K2s and SLs are different, the resonance of the SL...
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hbc
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Old

The non passive pre becomes interesting

Posted 3rd August 2013 at 09:03 AM by hbc

Lots going on, my making things mojo has been busy. I have been reading 6 moons, and was interested by the idea of the directly heated triode preamp which sounds quite well apparently, and also repelled by the thought of using a huge output tube, slightly. So after some thought, I realised that the old battery radios used the directly heated ones, so a few weeks later some 3A5s were winging them selves to me.

Oh, (sigh) I had spent some time tweaking it first (the not passive pre) the most exciting feature was that the copied guru circuit pulled the output cathode to the HT rail when the heater is turned off! (I have big reservoir caps and small bleed). To be fair guru circuit is direct coupled so things are all over the place, but Anyway.

I decided to graft in the 3A5 in to this circuit, which was simple in principle, but ended up with a complete redesign of the power supply several times, as the addition of that one little tube hugely increased the heat generated...
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hbc
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Old

Current output...

Posted 15th November 2012 at 09:05 PM by hbc

I think I may be getting it..?? (well something anyway). I have been living happily with the 3w ECL86 amp (current output reigned in by feedback) for some months, and am accustomed to its sound now. A friend has recently returned my Class A hybrid digital amp and I thought I would try it out again. I instantly noticed a sort of grungy ness and colder “transistory” sound, even though this is a no feedback design with a transistor emitter follower output. It is curious how the little IB two way speakers don’t like transistor amps.

I got to thinking about current output amplifiers, I was intrigued a few months ago by some comments on an article in the EE times Consumer audio: Is accurate sound overrated? where the poster "Cookie Jar"  stated “One day on a whim, I hooked up my distortion meters to the actual speaker terminals of my living room stereo, and I was in for a rude awakening. The distortion readings were a couple of orders higher than for...
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hbc
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Old

3 watt ECL86 SE amp!!

Posted 12th May 2012 at 08:44 PM by hbc

It seems that random acquisitions seem to precede the direction of my inspirations. This has come in the form of a Technics SU-9011 pre amp and a pair of small infinite baffle 2 way speakers. I have no idea what they are, so please share if you do.

The active sony’s, to be honest have been getting me down, they still have a mushy quality to them. The SU-9011 seems to work but was not the happy match with them either. Enter the little 2 ways and my gain clone. Bad.

So I decided to try and power up a little EL86 record player amp which I acquired a few months ago from a friend. This seems to be a close relation to the Mullard economical 3 watt amplifier. To my slight surprise it is in good working order, so with a bit of drilling fitted some 4mm posts and some phono inputs.

With the little 2 ways and the Technics is a lovely combination, real bloom, very enjoyable, and some nice bass.
Technics has “opamps” in, so that gets...
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hbc
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Old

The Not Passive Pre

Posted 16th February 2012 at 06:31 AM by hbc

Had this running for a few weeks now, and the sound coming from the Sonys altogether better, now just a bit bass heavy rather than treble shy. The speakers are mounted right next to the ceiling in the room corners, so not really a surprise.

I have simulated the crossover and equalisation circuit of the preamp section, and realised that I can add a variable resistor to adjust the amount of bass boost the circuit gives, not a horrible mod, just one pot, and a new cap, just need some time to do it.


The not passive pre has no muting circuit in at present, so power sequencing is required. I intend to make it direct coupled at the output. To do this I am planing to do a micro controller servo loop. When I made the Class A digital amplifier, mentioned earlier I used an opamp servo, and I can state that this circuit does definitely have an effect on the sound.


In the interests of minimalism the Not Passive Pre II is already being...
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hbc
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