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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Stock Crossovers
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Old 15th January 2006, 12:24 AM   #1
bjackson is offline bjackson  United States
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I have been opening up some commerical speakers I own, the nicest of which are NHT1.3a's, which retailed for around 450 a pair US. They have a very nice piano gloss finish and they came with rather hefty audiophile grade stands filled with lead shot (might have been aftermarket), anyway.

I looked inside and I was expecting a decent crossover, however, I was shocked to find nonpolar Electrolytic caps and the main woofer inductor is iron core. Well, I guess not shocked, as manufacturers will do anything to save money, but, wow. There are no notch or zobel networks.

I have some polk R30s that I bought for 100 a pair (floorstanding) that have almost the exact same crossover, but I wasn't too shocked about that.

What do other store bought speakers have in them, in terms of x-over?
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Old 15th January 2006, 12:33 AM   #2
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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A great many will have just what you described. The more expensive it is, the more likely you are to have air core and poly caps. I'm yet to see a commercial speaker that uses foil chokes.
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Old 15th January 2006, 12:36 AM   #3
bjackson is offline bjackson  United States
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Follow up question:
How much audibility would there be if I did a direct replacement with higher quality components, without measuring the drivers and making custom networks?
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Old 15th January 2006, 12:57 AM   #4
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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Sometime you'll hear a difference, sometimes you won't. All the parts have a tolerance and if the new components are similar in actual rating, it's sometimes hard to hear. If the new components are rated the same but different because of the variations, they will sound different. Not necessarily better but different. It also depends on whether or not the originals were made for 8 ohm nominal, like an off the shelf type or the actual impedances at XO.

I think we've all made speakers with electrolytics and iron core at one time, haven't we? I think a properly designed XO with iron core and cheap caps will sound better than one with good components and a lack or regard for actual impedance. In fact there's no doubt but you get the idea.

Just my thoughts.
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