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Old 25th June 2015, 04:02 PM   #1
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Location: Waterford, CT
Default Just Bought Some Acoustat Model 3 Speakers

I got them at a local pawn shop for $500 plus CT sales tax, with a good return policy. They have the Medallion interface, black logo version. They look to be very well cared for. I have not got them home yet, probably won't till the weekend. In the meantime I am combing the Acoustat Answer Man thread. I must say I do not plan to do any of the big mods some of you guys do. I just want to make sure I have properly tensioned panels and good clean rattle free sound.

I owned the subwoofer models of the 1+1s way back and still consider them my favorite speaker, so I am hoping these at least equal my memory of those.

I am amplifying them with an old Acoustat TNT-120, which I still have from when I bought the 1+1 models. I have contacted Roy Esposito and am in line to have his services on the amp in August.

For those of you familiar with Roy, is the work he does on the transformers similarly worth it? I know capacitors in amps can definitely go out of spec, do the interfaces use capacitors, or anything else that can go out of "spec?"

Lastly, in looking for information on my new speakers I was saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Acoustat. I had pm'd with him several times on audio boards and he was a true gentleman, very willing to share his knowledge and experience.
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Old 26th June 2015, 03:21 AM   #2
blgtrio is offline blgtrio  United States
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Default I have a similar set up

I am using model 3's with Red Medallion interfaces with a TNT 120 amplifier. Along with my model 3's I also have 1+1's and 2+2's in the same room. I use a pair of Jeff Rowland model 6's on the 2+2's. I use an Innersound 300 amp on the 1+1's. I usually have two pair of speakers playing simultaneously. The bass is staggering. Incredibly quick and deep. Once you take delivery of your model 3's could you please post some pictures of your Black Medallion interfaces. I'm not familiar with those. I'll share some pictures of my sound room. First I had the 1+1's and 2+2's then I found a pair of model 3's which originally had the non Medallion interfaces. I found a guy on line that allowed me to trade my non Medallions for his Red Medallion interfaces for $150 for the pair. I'm anxious to hear your comments once you get the speakers set up and dialed in. In my room the model 3's have even deeper bass then the 2+2's. I've tried all three amps with all three pair of speakers and like the arrangement that I have described above. You made a great purchase, at some point send the Interfaces to Roy. His upgrades and modifications are well worth the money, they will sound better then new.
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Old 26th June 2015, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thanks, I will definitely post some pictures when I get them home.
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Old 26th June 2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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There is, imo, next to nothing to do to your Acoustat amp, unless there is something not working properly. Save ur money.

The main issues with these now older interfaces is in the B+ HV supply. The caps tend to break down and the HV diodes die. So the HV drops. They will likely work, but may not have the requisite sensitivity, or you may notice a slight channel imbalance.

Not all of them die, so no worries there, usually. But I have seen them where both channels have dropped by the same amount.
Someone with a meter and a HV probe would be a very good idea - they can be tested without the speakers.

The BIGGEST improvement that can be done to the interfaces, and so the speakers, is to replace the electrolytic cap that sits in front of the HF transformer with a polypropylene. This usually requires several in parallel to reach the requisite value.

Medallion switched from ~200ufd (the original value) to ~50ufd.
The latter value requires fewer caps to do the job.

It is well worth the change. The main effect is to pull the middle highs into the same place as the rest of the music.

There is no "crossover" in the usual sense in the Acoustats, the overlap between the LF and HF transformers is several octaves!
Also, the Medallion transformers used a different ratio for the HF iron, and (not certain here) maybe better laminations for the transformer.

The speakers will play immediately, but I think they sound a bit better after a day of charging, assuming they've been off for a time.

Enjoy!

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Last edited by bear; 26th June 2015 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 26th June 2015, 10:44 PM   #5
tyu is offline tyu  United States
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Acoustat Answer Man is here ............
this one post....is full up to the top.....great info...
Have fun with one of the best ESLs ever made.........
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Old 28th June 2015, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
There is, imo, next to nothing to do to your Acoustat amp, unless there is something not working properly. Save ur money.

The main issues with these now older interfaces is in the B+ HV supply. The caps tend to break down and the HV diodes die. So the HV drops. They will likely work, but may not have the requisite sensitivity, or you may notice a slight channel imbalance.

Not all of them die, so no worries there, usually. But I have seen them where both channels have dropped by the same amount.
Someone with a meter and a HV probe would be a very good idea - they can be tested without the speakers.

The BIGGEST improvement that can be done to the interfaces, and so the speakers, is to replace the electrolytic cap that sits in front of the HF transformer with a polypropylene. This usually requires several in parallel to reach the requisite value.

Medallion switched from ~200ufd (the original value) to ~50ufd.
The latter value requires fewer caps to do the job.

It is well worth the change. The main effect is to pull the middle highs into the same place as the rest of the music.

There is no "crossover" in the usual sense in the Acoustats, the overlap between the LF and HF transformers is several octaves!
Also, the Medallion transformers used a different ratio for the HF iron, and (not certain here) maybe better laminations for the transformer.

The speakers will play immediately, but I think they sound a bit better after a day of charging, assuming they've been off for a time.

Enjoy!

_-_-
Thanks for your thoughts. I set up the speakers at home and they sound beautiful, so in the short run I am more than happy.

In the long run, as I am not a DIY guy, do you feel that the services offered by Roy Esposito on the transformers will do what you recommend above?

Regarding the amp, I thought the capacitors in the amps could gradually go out of spec, although I admit the whole system is sounding great to me. Do the amp's capacitors not go out of spec over a long period of time? It is a 30 year plus old amp.
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Old 28th June 2015, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbeinct View Post
Thanks for your thoughts. I set up the speakers at home and they sound beautiful, so in the short run I am more than happy.

In the long run, as I am not a DIY guy, do you feel that the services offered by Roy Esposito on the transformers will do what you recommend above?

Regarding the amp, I thought the capacitors in the amps could gradually go out of spec, although I admit the whole system is sounding great to me. Do the amp's capacitors not go out of spec over a long period of time? It is a 30 year plus old amp.
In general, I am of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' camp. If you are happy with the performance of your amplifier, leave it alone. Yes, capacitors do degrade over time, especially electrolytics, but you'll know if there's a problem.

Same goes for the interfaces. Yes, many people have sung praise for the work of Roy Esposito, and I have nothing negative to say about him or his work. But he does charge a handsome fee, so unless you are having an issue, I would buy a bunch of new music instead.

Bear's recommendation to replace the interface's electrolytic with a film-type is a good one, but be sure to replace it with the same value as what you have now, unless you are also performing the C-Mod.
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Old 30th June 2015, 01:19 AM   #8
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exactly... new xfmrs are not the same thing as caps, and do nothing to check the HV.
He may do this, but I see not much need for "new xfmrs". Perhaps a new HF xfmr with an exotic core and sophisticated winding technique would yield some benefit, but before one does that, the rest of the signal chain had best be fairly extraordinary.

Just change out the caps, and listen.
Any local tech ought to be able to handle this and the HV check.
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Old 30th June 2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, guys. You have changed my mind about pursuing any "improvements" currently (that and my wife's eye on the budget, she did just okay the speaker purchase).

The speakers are sounding great, so I am going to enjoy them as they are and concentrate on getting the room cleaned up and placement optimized. I currently have them 63 inches out from the rear wall and 38 inches to the center from the side walls in a 15' x 24' x 7' room, no toe in. They sound pretty darn good to these old ears.
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Old 30th June 2015, 02:48 PM   #10
tyu is offline tyu  United States
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90 degrees....is almost straight up....I have mine 3s at about 80-75 degrees back ...this give more output...better upper mid-an highs...you may know this all ready...but it makes a big dif in sound....I have had the 1+1s an 2+2s an thay stay at 90 degrees.....I find it to be one of there down sides...if there is one...I gess it the luvers on the panes.....cant back the luvers lets the ear hear less smearing...i.... more open luver....get to the ear give better image...well to me...hehe...
have fun happy 4th to all
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