Improving Tannoy HPD-385 Arden SQ? - diyAudio
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Old 9th November 2007, 05:57 AM   #1
Face is offline Face  United States
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Default Improving Tannoy HPD-385 Arden SQ?

I picked up a set of re-coned Tannoy (15")HPD-385's in Arden cabs not too long ago. They sound good, but could be improved.

The Arden cabs aren't know to be the best cabinets. They appear to be 3/4" thick, with no obvious bracing. Since it's such a large cabinet, it really needs some help.

Midrange sounds a little "distant", and bass can be a little boomy at times. Otherwise they're very neutral and have plenty of bottom end, two things I really enjoy.

Where should I start? Should I attempt to add some bracing inside the cab? Glue plywood across on the back and on the sides? How about replacing what appears to be furniture foam with true acoustic foam and polyfill?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 9th November 2007, 06:08 AM   #2
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I suppose it would help if I posted the rest of my equipment. The amp is a McIntosh MC-7270, McIntosh MX-115 Pre/Tuner, Camelot ARTHUR v3.0 DAC, Goertz Sapphire I/C's, Signal Cable Ultra speaker cables, soon to be replaced my Goertz MI2 speaker cables.
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Old 9th November 2007, 06:58 AM   #3
BHTX is offline BHTX  United States
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Of course, keep in mind that any bracing added to the enclosure will decrease internal volume, although I personally think there's a high possibility that this might be a good thing in your situation. The "boomy" bass COULD be due to some kind of resonance going on that needs to be damped, but it's more than likely due to suboptimal tuning of the enclosure with that driver. The only way to be completely sure would be to obtain the exact T/S parameters of the coax driver, model it, make the necessary adjustments to the tuning, and measure response if necessary. If you aren't able to do any of that, first thing I'd try is simply placing large solid objects in the enclosure, mounting the driver back in place, hooking it back up, and then listening to the results. If it gets better, keep going in that direction until it's too much, and then reduce it until you think it sounds just right. Afterwards, if desired, attempt to calculate as best you can how much volume was subtracted from the addition of those objects inside the box (or whatever you put in there), remove the objects, and replace them with actual bracing. And if it's really just that cheap yellowish foam stuff hanging in there, you could try replacing it with a different type of foam, perhaps thicker, and lining a greater amount of surface area inside the enclosure with it. That should have a slight effect on the bass and midrange performance. Whether or not it's a good or bad effect, there's really no way to know until you try, especially without any real data to look at or go by.
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Old 9th November 2007, 02:00 PM   #4
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Do a lot a research, start with the above, then decide what to do.

Click the image to open in full size.

There is a lot that could be changed ......

/sreten.
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Old 9th November 2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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Ditch the cabs. I had a pair of Ardens and the cans were rubbish. New cabs made a world of difference. Then I sold them and moved on to horns so I didn't get to tweak the xovers or anything else.
http://www.44bx.com/tannoy/

I hear Peter's modded Tannoys some years ago and was vey impressed with the improvement over mine.
http://www.44bx.com/tannoy/mods.html

Hans Hilberink's site has a ton of info and possible mods too.
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Old 14th November 2007, 06:43 AM   #6
Face is offline Face  United States
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Well, it appears the speakers aren't as bad as I thought. I swapped cables and they sound MUCH better. :sigh of relief: I still plan on having a friend build new cabs over the winter.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 14th November 2007, 06:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Face
Well, it appears the speakers aren't as bad as I thought. I swapped cables and they sound MUCH better.
Hrmmm...
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Old 14th November 2007, 06:56 AM   #8
Face is offline Face  United States
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Another cable hater?

I had SignalCable Ultras in bi-wire config. Since the Tannoy's only have one pair of bindings posts, one pair of connectors were left off. Between that and going to a low impedance, silver cable, I don't know what exactly caused the change, but there is a big one.
I was starting to get worried and actually considered selling them already. But now they sound as they should and I'm content(for now).
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Old 10th January 2008, 05:08 PM   #9
Face is offline Face  United States
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Update.

I changed out all the original caps to Solen and resistors to Mills. It made a nice improvement.

I've read some negative things about Solen caps. Would it be worth it to swap them out for Hovland or Mundorf Supremes?

As for building new cabs, I acquired most of the tools needed, but injured my back a couple of months ago. So I'll have to wait till I heal up before starting the process.

Here's a rough idea of the dimensions:
48(45) tall 1.22
23 wide .582
11.5 deep .290
11902-195 liter

I may make them a little narrower and deeper instead to allow easier access to my audio rack, and will use WinISD to calculate what size and length ports I'll need.

Thanks for any feedback or input.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 08:05 AM   #10
Face is offline Face  United States
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Since I posted last, I changed my caps again, this time going to Sonic Caps. They have a warmer sound.

I also had 200 litre cabs built. NICE improvement in bass! Used 3/4" MDF all around with a 3/4" shelf and 1/2" piece on on the front, to make the driver appear recessed.
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