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Old 6th November 2012, 06:27 AM   #1
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Default Mods to Improve Andrew Jones Pioneer Speakers?

As many of you are aware, the Andrew Jones designed Pioneer speaker line is considered a giant killer for the price. Mr. Jones is an outstanding designer, very well regarded. However, these were obviously constrained by the very low final selling price.

I'm referring to the models SP-BS41-LR (reviewed by Stereophile with good results), SP-FS51-LR, SP-BS21-LR and the newer versions, SP-BS22-LR and SP-FS52.

Home Theater Speakers | Pioneer Electronics USA

These all have microwave formed curved wall cabinets of decent quality, making them a promising starting point for those who like to mod rather than starting from scratch.

Has anyone had a chance to look into modifying these with better parts/dampening to bring them into a yet higher realm of sonic quality?

The only mod I've seen so far is exchanging the tweeter for a Vifa BC25TG15-04. The fellow that did it (over on the PE forum) was very happy with the results and it looked like a very easy mod. Just swapping the original faceplate onto the Vifa.

Other ideas would be to line the cabinet walls with fiberglass or UltraTouch, or even some Acry-Tech Acoust-X or maybe a homebrew mix of latex based tile adhesive and playground sand (supposedly very good). The trick would be reaching in there! Small woofer hole.

Of course, there's always replacing the crossover components with something more 'audiophile approved.'

As far as appearance, I wonder how hard it would be to add some real wood veneer to the vinyl veneer that's on there.... might test the limits of a good contact adhesive to make that work.....

Any experimenters been playing around with these?

I'm sure Mr. Jones could give us some good pointers in terms of where he cut corners to meet the price point and thus the best places to focus on for improvements.... but he's not talking.

Last edited by Ben_Tech; 6th November 2012 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:59 PM   #2
Alethia is offline Alethia  United States
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Default The cabinet

Mr Jones disclosed that he had to cut corners in cabinet construction . . I'm toying with the idea of modifying the speaker with a new cabinet . . Something extra sturdy and well dampened . . I'm reaserching mitre-lock joinery à la totem.
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Old 20th December 2012, 01:39 AM   #3
Alethia is offline Alethia  United States
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Anybody know what kinda screwheads are used?
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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At the price point that these speakers sell at all manufacturing goals are to get something that sound good enough for most people and the lowest possible manufacturing cost.

In my opinion it doesn't make sense to spend much time modifying these speakers. Speakers like this are often engineered to get good sound from minimalist materials. Swapping drivers is not likely to yield too much improvement. Although often substituting a 25 dollar tweeter for the 3-5 dollar one in the speaker could easily be a cheap upgrade that would yield instant results.

Would be better to just build a good quality set of speakers. Though better speakers will not often yield an instant improvement because they often need better and more powerful electronics to drive them.

Actually, well designed inexpensive speakers can sound pretty good when driven by high quality electronics.

But, inexpensive speakers are usually designed to sound good with low power integrated amplifiers. They don't need much current to drive them.

If you are using modest electronics to drive the speakers and you want better sound without upgrading all those electronics you need to build at least a medium sized higher sensitivity speaker design. If so, then you need to get all ideas of really small size out of your mind.

Last edited by Hezz; 20th December 2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 1st September 2013, 03:38 PM   #5
schnurd is offline schnurd  United States
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Default Pioneer SP-BS41-LR tweeter mod: Vifa BC25TG15-04

Does Hezz have the URL for the "PE" forum?
I'm also wondering how he removed the grille from the front?
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Old 1st September 2013, 06:19 PM   #6
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If you pick one of this floorstanding pairs (Price: $137.79 each/$275.58 pair)
Amazon.com: Pioneer SP-FS52-LR Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing Loudspeaker (each): Electronics
and divide the price by 5 (4xdrivers+crossover) you get $27.56 for each driver. Then you end up with a "made in china" free enclosure + posts and grille... That' a difficult job for the looks. Hi AndrewJ,
Pioneer's Speaker Genius Hits Low Price Point - Page 6
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Old 2nd September 2013, 08:28 AM   #7
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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A quote from the last link above by A Jones:
"A vertical tube feeding out the bottom sucks away standing waves." this is misquoted. There is a vertical tube inside the speaker. It acts much like a quarter wave stub in antenna design. At the frequency of the main standing wave within the cabinet, it is tuned, by means of its length, internal absorption and location within the cabinet, to short circuit the standing wave and virtually eliminate it. Very neat trick!

I think it actually works, I believe! Nevere heard of this! It should be done more I guess, instead of various felt treatments in BR boxes. Also highly stuffed sealed boxes might benefit from this. Design, material choice and positioning requires lots of testing... I hope someone should have a look inside and tell us about the tube!
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Old 2nd September 2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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Have modeled this with LATL. By adding a ¼ wave resonant trap (stub) within the enclosure (if possible). Placement is critical and not easily done maintaining cross sectional area. Adding it externally reduces issues.

Here's an example of a dual trap ¼ wave MLTL...
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File Type: txt DualtrapMLTL.tlp.txt (2.1 KB, 61 views)
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Old 3rd September 2013, 02:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juhazi View Post
There is a vertical tube inside the speaker. It acts much like a quarter wave stub in antenna design. At the frequency of the main standing wave within the cabinet, it is tuned, by means of its length, internal absorption and location within the cabinet, to short circuit the standing wave and virtually eliminate it. Very neat trick!
... I hope someone should have a look inside and tell us about the tube!
Most likely it is something like what is shown in the attached Pioneer Patent #US6324292.

Another method(better in my experience) for eliminating standing waves in tall loudspeaker cabinets when you want to minimize use of internal damping material is to use an appropriately tuned perforated panel absorber spaced just above the bottom of the cabinet.

Based on this quote from a review of the YG Acoustics Carmel loudspeaker, it sounds like they are using this method or something similar:
"Interestingly, the main volume of the mid/bass driver enclosure uses no stuffing material at all, and according to YG none is needed. Down near the bottom of the enclosure, however, there is an internally vented, metal-walled chamber loaded with precise quantities of a proprietary damping material. YG’s larger speakers—the Anat and Kipod models—also use conceptually similar dedicated internal damping chambers, albeit ones that are implemented somewhat differently in the bigger speakers."
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File Type: jpg Perf_Absorber_box_res.jpg (58.7 KB, 460 views)
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File Type: pdf Pioneer Standing_Wave_Reduction_US6324292.pdf (199.3 KB, 48 views)
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Old 3rd September 2013, 12:30 PM   #10
Juhazi is offline Juhazi  Finland
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copy-paste from the document.

When done properly there are several (at least 3) tubes/traps inside the box to kill standing waves. The opening of the tube should be at the node of a wavefront - certaind distance from the boundary.

This one is for the diyer with Aspergers's syndrome!
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File Type: png pioneer tube patent.png (29.4 KB, 449 views)
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Last edited by Juhazi; 3rd September 2013 at 12:33 PM.
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