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Old 6th March 2015, 11:20 PM   #1
Fitero is offline Fitero  Canada
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Default Hartley Concertmaster Crossover

A month or so ago, a pair of Hartley Concertmaster VI speakers came up for sale locally so I jumped on them. Long ago, I had read about the 24" poly bass driver and the Hartleys were instantly added to my "must listen to" list of speakers.

The veneer was torn and missing in areas, but as it turns out, the drivers are in perfect shape. At one point, the speaker wiring had been changed out to some custom made wiring by Wireworld too. Nice!
I repaired the veneer and polished the dried out finish a bit.
I hooked them up to a pair of amps and sat down for a listen. The mid range was veiled/subdued, but what I heard was awesomely musical!
I pulled off the wooden grill and grill cloth, saving them intact just in case. The original grills, although cool looking, occluded the mid-range and tweeter driver quite a bit with all of that wood with sharp corners. The thick grill clearly attenuated the highs.
I made a set of grills with thin, acoustically transparent cloth.
I measured the electrolytics in the crossovers, and of course found them way out of tolerance.

Here's the rub; I have no experience experimenting with different capacitors for crossovers and am immobilized by all of the diverse opinions that I read about on the web.
If I had a gazillion bucks, I would throw a ton of money at them with V-Caps or etal and be done, but that's not the case.
I sketched out the crossover schematic, and am flummoxed by seeing the signal going through a 150uf, then filtered by a 12uf cap.

I would like to access wiser minds and ask what the heck I should do!
I could install affordable Dayton 75uf caps in parallel and parallel a 1uf film/foil cap of pedigree for the mid-range. 150uf film caps are expensive!

I'm stumped. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
In the mean time, the attached photos should be of interest to some of you. The last photo shows what someone in Japan did with the crossovers, using the Dayton caps I mentioned.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG0083.jpg (509.0 KB, 159 views)
File Type: jpg 2015_0208_093534.JPG (393.0 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0100.jpg (411.3 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0187.jpg (465.3 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0186.jpg (513.5 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg Hartley Crossover.jpg (169.8 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg Hartley Crossover Caps.jpg (159.0 KB, 109 views)
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Old 7th March 2015, 12:15 AM   #2
sreten is online now sreten  United Kingdom
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FWIW the unusual inductor looks distinctly like
an auto transformer for level matching the drivers.
If not, its a very bizarre / poor layout of coils.
Do they all have a common iron core ?

The 150uF is high pass on the mid with L4.
The 12uF is low pass on the mid with L2.

rgds, sreten.

rgds, sreten.
There is nothing more practical than 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 7th March 2015, 03:58 AM   #3
Fitero is offline Fitero  Canada
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Thank you for the clarification Sreten.
My explanation and knowledge is poor quite obviously.
The coils are sealed together on a common axis, with no way to see if they have an iron core.
A powerful magnet passed along the sealed coil end caps shows no attraction.
I would assume they have no iron core, and that the parallel orientation of the coils was purely for expediency sake.

Any suggestions?

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Old 7th March 2015, 04:14 AM   #4
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Originally Posted by Fitero View Post
A powerful magnet passed along the sealed coil end caps shows no attraction.
the parallel orientation of the coils was purely for expediency sake.
I think you're right. Also, air core inductors won't saturate.
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Old 7th March 2015, 04:19 AM   #5
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Before you go crazy on mods you should consider that these are classic speakers with some collectable value. If the caps are well off their printed value (did you measure them in circuit or out?) then replacing the smaller ones with decent film caps and the larger with low ESR electrolytics will get the systems back to original performance.

The coils lined up as they are must have some cross coupling, but we have to assume that the designers knew what they were doing and the coupling was compensated for, so don't change it.

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Old 7th March 2015, 01:51 PM   #6
Fitero is offline Fitero  Canada
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Thank you for the comments and suggestions.

The electrolytics were measured out of circuit, and are far out of spec. The inductors don't have a value stamped on them, and won't be touched.
I don't want to hurt their value by carving up the crossover mount etc.

I have a good idea how to proceed now.
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Old 8th March 2015, 03:55 AM   #7
PB2 is offline PB2  United States
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Aren't the caps in your picture new Daytons?

I don't get it? You work fast?

The odd thing about the inductors is that the crossover design does not seem to
be a type that would need or work better with coupled coils - strange. Well, no
point in changing it for now. Listen to them, best would be if you could measure
the electrical transfer functions.

Nice find, I've also always wanted to hear them.
Pete Basel

Last edited by PB2; 8th March 2015 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 8th March 2015, 12:36 PM   #8
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What I would do is buy a Behringer digital crossover and pick up some second-hand amps and put the old crossover on my fireplace mantelpiece for my friends to admire. And some veneer restoration tools.

Now-a-days, if you were an upper-class manufacturer who had to sell speakers as integrated boxes of stuff, you'd be making a crossover with 10+ elements to shape the sound. You can't expect that kind of old-time crossover in your box to compare with the remarkable functionality you get with DSP crossovers.

Current projects: motional feedback woofing and large ESL panels, and getting a large music collection into a FileMaker music server. HiFi aspirations since 1956
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Old 8th March 2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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What an interesting crossover.

1) L2 feeds both the midrange, and the woofer. I have either never seen this before, or I've just never noticed it. I'm hoping someone can enlighten me.

2) I am confused with the wiring of the drivers. The tweeter appears to have a 2nd order filter, as does the midrange. Shouldn't they be wired out of phase?
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Old 8th March 2015, 05:47 PM   #10
Fitero is offline Fitero  Canada
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A couple of the later photos show the veneer already repaired. I guess my lame camera and photographer skills didn't make that too obvious eh?

The last photo shows the crossover of a pair of speakers that I found for sale in Japan. He used the Parts Express caps to rebuild his.

I have a geek friend who has lots of money and lots of digital crossovers that he loves to play with. To make a long story short, although he can get an admirably smooth response by tailoring the crossovers, he can't make his gear sound as musical as these, and some others that I have heard, with their antiquated analog crossovers. This of course, is only my own opinion.

I ordered a bunch of 10uf poly caps to gang up to make the big 150uf caps, and some small Clarity Caps and Solens to experiment with. I also ordered some MKP1837, 0.01uf to play with. I want to hear for myself the causal effect of bypassing on these speakers. Luckily, everything can easily be reversed and set back to stock.
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