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Old 28th November 2012, 12:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Preston, Lancs
Default Leak 600 3 way studio monitor conversion

Hi all. I've read a fair bit here and elsewhere - enough to know I'm out of my depth in a number of ways concerning how best to approach the task at hand, which is;

Converting the 600s into full range reference monitors for studio use.
This will be my first build/ retrofit, so I'd like to keep things as simple (and inexpensive) as possible, which from my reading suggests keeping the original crossovers.
I also plan on building on Bon's project - Leak Sandwich 600 project
as much as possible (adding a modern 12 inch, later if prohibitively expensive).

I suppose my first question is - can it be done? I'd like them to reach down to 30 - 35 if poss - is it possible with a 12 inch in just over 2 cubic feet of sealed cabinet?

And secondly (since I have little knowledge on driver quality), can I afford it? In the Peerless range for expample, the 12 inchers jump from about 80 pounds (just about affordable) to twice that (no chance).

Are the drivers in what appears to be low-mid price (about 125 a speaker) going to get me what I'm after?

As a reference point, they'll be competing with Acoustic Energy AE22
these my mains, and these; Monitor Audio Silver 9i loudspeaker | Stereophile.com
as my living room mains. I'd like to build something that can hold it's own against these, if not quite surpass - a different flavour is no bad thing when checking mixes.

Thanks in advance,
Andy

Last edited by strawmanaudio; 5th December 2012 at 04:52 AM. Reason: less obnoxious title
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:20 AM   #2
Bon is offline Bon  Australia
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by strawmanaudio View Post
Converting the 600s into full range reference monitors for studio use.
This will be my first build/ retrofit, so I'd like to keep things as simple (and inexpensive) as possible, which from my reading suggests keeping the original crossovers.
I also plan on building on Bon's project - Leak Sandwich 600 project
as much as possible (adding a modern 12 inch, later if prohibitively expensive).

I suppose my first question is - can it be done? I'd like them to reach down to 30 - 35 if poss - is it possible with a 12 inch in just over 2 cubic feet of sealed cabinet?

And secondly (since I have little knowledge on driver quality), can I afford it? In the Peerless range for expample, the 12 inchers jump from about 80 pounds (just about affordable) to twice that (no chance).

Are the drivers in what appears to be low-mid price (about 125 a speaker) going to get me what I'm after?

As a reference point, they'll be competing with Acoustic Energy AE22
these my mains, and these; Monitor Audio Silver 9i loudspeaker | Stereophile.com
as my living room mains. I'd like to build something that can hold it's own against these, if not quite surpass - a different flavour is no bad thing when checking mixes.
Andy
The Leak sandwich woofer is a very nice sounding woofer in the 600 box. I would try and keep it if in good condition. I replaced the perished foam surround when it would have been possibly cheaper to install a new woofer. Bear in mind that the original power handling was 50 watts rms, hardly outstanding. A suitable modern alternative woofer is
The Madisound Speaker Store
I think 40 Hz lower cut-off is more realistic for a sealed 2 cu ft enclosure. Fortunately a sealed box falls off more gradually than a ported box and with care in placement the low bass can be actually stronger than the same box ported. The mid and treble are only fit for the bin IMO. If you are replacing all the drivers (and crossover), it won't be cost effective. You will be doing it just for the challenge. Still, the sandwich woofer in a sealed 2 cu ft box, has a punch that is rare in modern loudspeakers. It is also small enough for a monitor application. In fact many were used in ABC control rooms here in Australia.
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Old 6th December 2012, 10:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Preston, Lancs
Default Mid and tweeter replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bon View Post
The Leak sandwich woofer is a very nice sounding woofer in the 600 box. I would try and keep it if in good condition....
Thanks for that Bon, and apols for the late reply - I'm rather busy of late.
I've decided, as this is my first such project, to endeavor with a "proven design" namely yours (and probably try to upgrade at a later date).

Could you go into more detail on how you retrofitted your drivers?
Did you make any changes to the crossover? (other than replacing the elcaps as previously stated).

This is as close to your tweeter I could find;
Peerless Vifa XT25BG60-04 Tweeter

Do you think I'd be able to pop this one in instead without too much trouble? I note the impedance difference, would this require padding down IYO?;
Peerless Vifa XT25BG60-04 Tweeter

I have a ring radiator w.spike type waveguide in my nearfields already, and I'm very pleased with the results...
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Old 6th December 2012, 10:46 PM   #4
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Location: Brighton UK
Hi,

Planning on eventually replacing all 3 drivers means a complete redesign.

Planning on keeping the original bass unit and x/o's with new mid and treble
units and possible L-pad tweaks to the mid and treble using budget new
mid and treble drivers makes sense, if you never change the bass units.

I'd suggest sourcing your budget drivers from here :
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/willys-hifi-loudspeaker-spares

But don't even think about competing with modern designs, just make them
better at minimal cost as a learning experience, it makes far more sense.

For good modern value and viable 3-way designs look at :
Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5 and
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/tarkus
https://sites.google.com/site/undefi...diy-sunflowers

rgds, sreten.
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When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail - Abraham Maslow

Last edited by sreten; 6th December 2012 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 6th December 2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Preston, Lancs
Thank you sreten, you make perfect sense. At this point I'd like to - as you say - improve these as best I can (with bonus points for value).

I've been reading lots, and have considered an active build, looked at many designs, but I fear I'm getting ahead of, if not confusing myself

Are you suggesting it may not be worth spending the ~ 65 pounds for the peerless mid and vifa tweeter (as referenced in Bon's build)?
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Old 7th December 2012, 08:30 AM   #6
Bon is offline Bon  Australia
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by strawmanaudio View Post
Thanks for that Bon, and apols for the late reply - I'm rather busy of late.
I've decided, as this is my first such project, to endeavor with a "proven design" namely yours (and probably try to upgrade at a later date).

Could you go into more detail on how you retrofitted your drivers?
Did you make any changes to the crossover? (other than replacing the elcaps as previously stated).

This is as close to your tweeter I could find;
Peerless Vifa XT25BG60-04 Tweeter

Do you think I'd be able to pop this one in instead without too much trouble? I note the impedance difference, would this require padding down IYO?;
Peerless Vifa XT25BG60-04 Tweeter

I have a ring radiator w.spike type waveguide in my nearfields already, and I'm very pleased with the results...
Just by coincidence, yesterday I dropped in on the folks who now own the modified Leak 600 and was very happy with how they sounded in a vinyl based system consisting of Thorens TD125, Shure 97xE, Rega RB300 and a refurbished Sansui integrated.
Getting back to the Leak, the Peerless mid was chosen because it is a perfect fit for the cardboard mid isolation tube as well as being part of a well respected series. There are several versions of this mid with different cone materials (nomex, poly and fibreglass from memory), so there is plenty of leeway for experimenting. I preferred the poly to the nomex. I have not heard the fibreglass. The tweeter was something laying around from an earlier project but I knew it well. The main thing was it fit vertically in line with the mid. The sensitivities turned out to be a good match for the woofer and I did not alter the crossover apart from replacing the elcaps. The main improvement is in isolating the woofer vibration from the mid and tweeter by attaching a super-baffle to the existing baffle with a 3 mm thick layer of glazing silicone. The super-baffle has the usual flush mounted drivers and a bass cut-out which is approx 6 mm larger than the woofer frame. Thus the woofer sits inside the super baffle cut-out and makes no direct contact with it. If you look carefully at the attached picture, the aluminium grille frame is reversed to give a better clearance to the main enclosure.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF1446.jpg (511.5 KB, 126 views)
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Old 7th December 2012, 12:11 PM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brighton UK
Hi,

The Peerless 5" bass/mid unit is a fine unit but in some respects
an overkill for such a project. There are tweeter choices aplently.
(You don't really need a good excursion bass/mid for midrange.)

From a DIY perspective there are other drivers you could use
and various ways of sourcing them, e.g. used speakers from
local classifieds for their drive units can be very good value.

rgds, sreten.
__________________
There is nothing so practical as a really good theory - Ludwig Boltzmann
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail - Abraham Maslow
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Old 17th January 2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Preston, Lancs
Default Donor speaker question.

Hi again.
This project lives again (!) due to student loan arrival.

I have decided to follow your suggestion sreten, and as such my question is as follows...

There appear to be broadly two choices (based on internet classified research) for low budget donor speakers - relatively new/ brand new bookshelves such as Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 and Tannoy Mercury series, or older (but more expensive new) pairs such as these;
Acoustic Energy Aegis One Speakers | eBay

and these;
KEF Cresta 2 Speakers (SP3303) | eBay

What would provide me with better/ more appropriate drivers for this project?
Does driver technology "trickle down" as with other technologies?
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