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Beginners Guide: Hifi Speaker Upgrade

In this new series Nick will show us the basics of DIY hifi upgrading. In this video we take the first steps by replacing a couple of capacitors and a resistor in the crossover of a pair of three-way speakers. The speakers, whilst suspiciously labelled "M-Audio" were purchased by Elliot on the side of the road whilst he was at university, and have been tucked away unused since (asides from adding weight to four moves....) So, we wanted to see if we could get them sounding great without spending an arm-and-a-leg!

 

 

Consisting of two 6" woofers and a tweeter we kept one speaker unmodified for a week to hear the difference. Unsure of what to expect from my (Elliot) first personal delve in hifi modification, the difference was pleasantly surprising. Now, a couple of caps and a resistor can only be expected to do so much, but the difference between the pre and post-modified speakers was clear, with a blind test identifying the upgraded speaker as more desireable. Fairly little of note happened overall to the sound quality, except a tightening of the low-mid/bass range; the kick drum "kicked" a bit more, and didn't disappear into a mush with the bass guitar quite so often - they may not sound like the speakers they're pretending to be, but after years thinking of these cumbersome cabinets as a waste of storage space for the first time I stood enjoying their sweet sound, wandering what we could upgrade next.

To see the products used in this video please click:

  • Jantzen Cross Capacitors here.
  • Mills Resistors here.

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