Crossover Tweaking

Tweaking the tweeter corner frequency on my beloved Richard Allen Pavanes.
1972 vintage :slight_smile:
Not my main speakers but a labour of love for over 30 years nonetheless.


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I’m in the process of doing the same on my Tannoy Westminster’s. I am using all Duelund CAST Silver and Graphite resistors, Mundorf copper foil inductors, and Miflex KPCU capacitors.

Is that the stock crossover in your pic or the upgraded?

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Will you change the cables?

It is this year’s crossover variant, version 3 :wink:
(I have the original crossover in a box but it is a very simple affair with cheap (and of course old) components).
I’d love to replace all the wires, but have resisted the urge so far - those drivers are nearly 50 years old and re-soldering the lugs risks damaging the spider.
I have done the woofer with heavier gauge (red and black in the pic) but I’ve left the others alone.

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Yet another crossover variant for my beloved Pavanes :slight_smile:
Soldered up, I’ll install them after a few more hours sleep…

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Looking good… Your usual highest standard of workmanship…

Are you still changing the internal wiring with the Siltech Emperor Crown cables I posted down to you!

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I have home built speakers from 1975, Kef Kit 3s in Bailey-style transmission line enclosures. About 4 years ago it was apparent that the crossover capacitors had aged. Instead of re-capping I bought new Radford crossovers from Falcon Acoustics (cost more than the original speakers - inflation is a wonderful thing), did some rewiring and fitted better binding posts. It is the only time I have experienced something resembling a night & day change.

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I did the same thing.

I overhauled my elderly LS3/5a speakers a few years back. I picked up a pair of new old stock Kef B110 – SP1003 drivers at a HiFi/Audio bazaar on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I bought the rest of the parts from Falcon Acoustics. Last year I overhauled my MK1 Linn Kans that I bought new in 1981 - and once again I bought from Falcon - changed the whole caboodle bar the cabinets… Massive improvement to sound quality in both instances!

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Ha - nice thought :slight_smile:

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These are a joy to work on, factory assembled I think (though shoddily, they are a late period 1972 pair).
Richard Allen made a lot of kits though, some very similar to the Pavanes.
The drivers are all “natural” materials, that are still fine, unlike a lot of slightly later “old British Speakers”, where the rubber and/or foam used doesn’t last well…

I’ve heard a few pairs of the KEF kits over the years, some of them sounded wonderful :slight_smile:

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These ones are pretty good. Because the TL cabinets are so large, and strong, I have them on their sides in alcoves with squab cushions so that they double as window seats. Not good for stereo imaging or treble, but it is the only way I can get away with big speakers in a small Georgian sitting room. The ‘TV table and equipment rack’ is a 16th century monk’s stool. Needless to say I have taken the all-in-one route!

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They sound most excellent - I’d love to come across a pair of something similar, but alas I think all such bargains and “discoveries” are long gone (and I don’t get out of the house so unlikely to stumble across a pair).
My wife would think that a good thing though :smiley:
(she puts up with it, and actually encourages me sometimes to go for it, I think she secretly likes that there is a cool hifi in the back room, even though she moans about “that damn hifi I can’t even turn on”.
I’ve offered to train her in its usage but she refused, mostly so she could continue to moan I suspect!)

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Spent the day getting the Rosewood finish 105/3’s setup correctly. The Crossover’s Electrolytic Capacitors are all new (given to me with the Speakers). The great thing was I have a lot of high Voltage Solen Metallized Polypropylene Cap’s in my junk bin. They all measure fine. I used the 100nF to bypass most of the big value Cap’s and was able to replace some of the smaller value Electrolytics with the Solen’s stacked to create the correct value or just by chance (7uF), I had the correct value in my junk bin.

How effective is bypassing the Electrolytic’s with the Solen’s ? I have no clue but this little project gave me an excuse to get rid of those parts… :joy:

The solder splatter on the top right of the board was picked away before re-installing in the cabinet.

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Nice job - I too am unsure if bypassing with the low value polyprops helps, but it might, and it’s easily done :slight_smile:

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Ironically enough I am considering replacing the mid-range caps on the Pavane crossovers - they are currently cheapish polyprops - a 10 and a 15 uF to make 25, with an alcap 25 uF, recently bought a pair new, as I am dubious of the quality of the cheap polyprops, they may be contributing to a bit of an excessive presence peak around 7 kHz, and the original crossovers had polyprop on the tweeters, but non polar electrolytic on the mid-range, so I’d be closer to the original “voicing” (allegedly).
It’s an experiment I guess, and if it failed I’d probably replace those with some Clarity caps 25s or some such better polyprops.
Haven’t had a chance to do the swap yet - it’s 16 screws per speaker to get the backs off, in old (and overly dry now) MDF type wood.
Maybe next week…

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Hi John,

Honestly, I’ve been using Solen Capacitors for 26 years with no issues (a few of those Caps in the picture are 20 and 26 years old) ! Between the Alcaps that my friend gave me and the Solen bypass Caps. These Speakers should be good for another 30 years (if the Drivers don’t fail).

I’m going to “Frankenstein” the black pair of 105/3’s since the Uni-Q’s mid and separate Tweeter are no good anymore. I’ll rework the Crossover for the two Midwoofers. My friend gave me a pair of the Morel replacement Tweeters for the 104/2’s. Since the Tweeter ferrofluid replacement was a success on those Speakers, the Morels will be Frankensteined onto the black 105/3’s with an adapter plate my Son is making for me on his 3D/Thermal Printer. I stole one of the 8" Woofers from it for the Rosewood 105/3’s since one of it’s Woofers has voice coil rub. I’ll save the remaining 3 Woofers for parts for the Rosewood 105/3’s in case they ever get blown. Dayton Audio (Parts Express) has some nice 8" Drivers that would easily drop right in. The Funky Metal rod will be gone but that shouldn’t affect it (I think it’s a gimmick).

Yes, I put a couple of the more expensive SoniCaps only because they were in my Junk Bin. I didn’t change the resistors but that’s on my future “to do” list. I’m looking at the more expensive Mills resistors. More of a longevity thing. The Bennic resistors are actually in good shape for 30 years old (haven’t removed them to measure though).

Check out pricing on the Solen’s in our your neck of the woods for your Pavane’s

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yes i have too, i may use Solen if the Alcaps don’t work out rather than Claritycaps, the price isn’t too different anyway (clarity slightly more) for the larger ones :slight_smile:

sorry, was sleep typing before so not clear :wink:
i have used the solens before, found them to be fine, i used a clarity cap on the treble on the last iteration of pavane crossover for a change, but the cheaper yellow Convair caps on the midrange are my target for replacement. i’ll try the alcaps first as i’ve just bought a pair new, and the original factory xover had non polar electrolytic in midrange, then if i’m not happy i’ll try some clarity or solen on midrange too. not always possible to get 25uF solens in the uk but i’ll hold out until i can. solen usually around the same price as the clarity caps so not a lot in it really but i wanted to try the alcaps first :slight_smile:

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btw one advantage to the pavane is the low order crossovers - cheaper than those presumably higher order crossovers you have for the KEFs!

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I replaced the original Solen caps with VCaps in my old Bruce Moore Companion III and the difference in sound is not just better, the VCaps completely crushes the the Solens. More resolution and much clearer sounding.

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