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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Upgrading B&W 683 crossover
Upgrading B&W 683 crossover
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Old 18th September 2019, 02:46 PM   #11
Lojzek is offline Lojzek  Croatia
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5th is absolutely correct in suggesting a filter redesign. I am afraid though that audiophiles will probably have some doubts, generally not understanding how could a manufacturer like B&W ever make a bad filter design solution while doing the rest od the loudspeaker in a truly remarkable fashion. It does not sound logical the DIYers would "know" better than the manufacturer, still they do in this very particular case.
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Old 18th September 2019, 10:49 PM   #12
Michael F is offline Michael F  Canada
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It would appear that the general consensus here is that a network re design would be the ultimate solution and that merely changing the components using the existing values probably wouldnt be worth the effort.
That raises a question: why do these expensive high end components even exist?
It seems the lowly 683 isnt the only model that suffers from questionable filter design, I`ve seen similar references being made in higher end B&Ws which all incorporate "better" quality components.
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Old 19th September 2019, 03:55 AM   #13
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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Hey Michael,

There's ultimate, and there's better.

I wouldn't say it's not worth it. I think for $30 you could do some upgrades and learn some cool stuff.

However, if you start to spend real money, a speaker analysis is sometimes in order.

I once spent a lot of money on coils and caps, and yeah, it all sounded better, but then I did a thorough analysis and realized the bass section was a mess, and that for half of what i spent in fancy upgrades, I should have just rethought the low pass filter and I would have had something much much better.


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Old 19th September 2019, 09:30 AM   #14
Lojzek is offline Lojzek  Croatia
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Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
That raises a question: why do these expensive high end components even exist?

They exist because there will always be buyers of such products. Why miss a chance of profiting from it?
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Old 20th September 2019, 05:38 AM   #15
rhapsodee is offline rhapsodee  Malaysia
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Hi all, you may find the information here very relevant to the discussion.
www.audioexcite.com >> Bowers & Wilkins 685 review part 1
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Old 20th September 2019, 12:00 PM   #16
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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^ +1. This review even makes its own crossover changes.

I want to say that there is a real following for non-complexity in a crossover and it derives from actual observations when tweaking by ear.
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Old 20th September 2019, 08:00 PM   #17
system7 is offline system7  United Kingdom
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Every speaker is different, so we must do the homework:
Floorstanding Speaker Reviews:
Bowers & Wilkins 683 Loudspeaker Reviewed

OK, 2 metal basses in parallel, doubtless giving a low 4 ohm load. Third order filter. Nothing wrong with that.

Kevlar Mid, slightly notorious for harsh breakup around 4-5kHz. But a competent looking, fairly standard 4 element midrange crossover with a couple of ohms of attenuation in front.

A metal tweeter on a first order 4.7uF crossover, with some tiny 0.5R attenuation resistor. Ooh, don't like that much! Doesn't go loud comfortably.

If I haven't lost my touch, B&W cross quite high from the mid to the tweeter. 4kHz?

Excellent documentation from B&W as usual: B&W Group North America Service & Support - Home.

Like everyone is saying, I don't think the shortcomings are down to capacitor quality. Kevlar breakup from the mid, and that first-order tweeter crossover are going to add distortion at high volume.

As a diy project, I would work on the tweeter filter, and take the beating from the mid breakup. Make it higher 3rd. order, like (guesses...), 0.5R + 3.3uF, 0.15mH, 10uF, plus a 10R + 0.68uF Zobel across the tweeter terminals to take away the usual metallic brightness. Based on B&W's usual low impedance 4R tweeter. Probably swap polarity to negative and hope it comes in around 4kHz.

Otherwise, leave them as they are!
"Per ardua, ad astra." Best Regards from Steve in Portsmouth, UK.
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Old 20th September 2019, 08:13 PM   #18
5th element is offline 5th element  United Kingdom
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B&W have actually managed to tame most of the issues with Kevlar and their drivers tend not to have severe breakup at all plus excellent motors and low distortion.

The only issues their speakers have is the high crossover points and simple crossovers with drivers that result in big issue both on and off axis.

Some people like the B&W sound but their design philosophy hardly results in a neutral sound.
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