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Sevenfeet
OK, another update...

I went down to my basement to check on the unopened AV123 box from all those years ago.  Turns out it's a UFW-12 Hot Rod upgrade package....driver, amp, parts, everything.  This means I should have everything I need to get to this beast back into form.  All I need now is some time to take the old unit apart.

Any other tips, tricks or traps I need to know before I start (won't be until this weekend at the earliest).

And from what I'm reading in the other threads, I may want to just fix the broken 1000W amp rather than go with the new 500 Watt amp.  Thoughts?
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sandbagger
I hate to say it but its not if but simply when will that 500W HR amp die!

At this point I would be very supprised if there are more than 10 of them still working.

But it will get you up and running now

Sevenfeet wrote:
OK, another update...

I went down to my basement to check on the unopened AV123 box from all those years ago.  Turns out it's a UFW-12 Hot Rod upgrade package....driver, amp, parts, everything.  This means I should have everything I need to get to this beast back into form.  All I need now is some time to take the old unit apart.

Any other tips, tricks or traps I need to know before I start (won't be until this weekend at the earliest).

And from what I'm reading in the other threads, I may want to just fix the broken 1000W amp rather than go with the new 500 Watt amp.  Thoughts?
Kevin
Motor City Custom Audio
http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/
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Mark_Seaton

Sevenfeet wrote:
OK, another update...

I went down to my basement to check on the unopened AV123 box from all those years ago.  Turns out it's a UFW-12 Hot Rod upgrade package....driver, amp, parts, everything.  This means I should have everything I need to get to this beast back into form.  All I need now is some time to take the old unit apart.

Any other tips, tricks or traps I need to know before I start (won't be until this weekend at the earliest).

And from what I'm reading in the other threads, I may want to just fix the broken 1000W amp rather than go with the new 500 Watt amp.  Thoughts?



Hi Sevenfeet, I remember the screen name and good to see you found your way over here...

I would have Kevin get you the 1000W amp for the driver you want to use.  We worked up mods for both drivers, and ours is much better matched to the Hot Rod driver than the one they shipped = sounds smoother, better, and extends deeper in room.  If you wanted to still move one to the other room, I believe Kevin still has a couple UFW-12 cabinets you could load the HR driver into so you would have two subs rather than just one.

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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Sevenfeet
Mark_Seaton wrote:

Sevenfeet wrote:
OK, another update...

I went down to my basement to check on the unopened AV123 box from all those years ago.  Turns out it's a UFW-12 Hot Rod upgrade package....driver, amp, parts, everything.  This means I should have everything I need to get to this beast back into form.  All I need now is some time to take the old unit apart.

Any other tips, tricks or traps I need to know before I start (won't be until this weekend at the earliest).

And from what I'm reading in the other threads, I may want to just fix the broken 1000W amp rather than go with the new 500 Watt amp.  Thoughts?



Hi Sevenfeet, I remember the screen name and good to see you found your way over here...

I would have Kevin get you the 1000W amp for the driver you want to use.  We worked up mods for both drivers, and ours is much better matched to the Hot Rod driver than the one they shipped = sounds smoother, better, and extends deeper in room.  If you wanted to still move one to the other room, I believe Kevin still has a couple UFW-12 cabinets you could load the HR driver into so you would have two subs rather than just one.



Hi Mark, great to hear from you again.  And it was great to hear from Kevin (sandbagger) on the phone earlier today.

That's actually not a bad idea.  I have three music/theater rooms in my house.  The first is my main theater that the RS750s are and the UFW-12.  I have an adjacent room with ELT towers and the matching center channel.  The satellites are Rocket Tykes (remember those?).  There used to be the cheap Tyke sub in this room but my son damaged it years ago and it finally died recently (and not worth fixing).  My two channel living room has the SoundWave Grand Soliloquys powered by an Audible Illusions Modulus 3 tube pre-amp and a McCormick DNA 0.5 100wpc amp.  There is no sub in this room but the GS towers are full range and don't really need a sub (there were designed to run without them).  Still, a sealed music sub may be a minor upgrade for the performance of this system.

At some point I still want a proper ported sub in my theater room and have had my heart set on a SVS sub of some kind for a while.  My latest upgrade money budget was already spoken for since I was going to order a Oppo BDP-105D real soon.  And then the UFW-12 sub died unexpectedly.

Given the conversation that Kevin and I had, I'm not looking to put the HR amp into service since he thinks that it probably won't last long and has performance issues anyway.  Heck, it could be dead now!  Kevin thinks I may have a stuck relay so I'll pull the amp and try examine the relay to see if I can get it operational.  If not, I'll send it back to Kevin to see if he can get it working again.

If we went the "creating a second sub from parts" solution, that would allow me to put a UFW-12 in the room with the ELTs.  The problem is that this room doesn't have a lot of room and the UFW-12 is kind of a big box.  I had actually looked at a SVS PC12 NSD for this application.  And it still may make more sense, especially since it will be only $750 to get into one and getting a parts UFW-12 going will require a new amp and new cabinet.  By the time I get everything together and working, I may be within earshot of the SVS and a warranty.

I will pull the existing amp in the next few days and see what I can find.  I'll post some pictures of my work.
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Sevenfeet
Well, here's the patient.  When I discovered it last week from a trip, it was making loud clicking sounds like a relay switch going on and off a few times a second.  When I gave it power today, it began with no noise, and then after 30 second began making a buzzing sound (like a 60hz buzz but less clean) that got louder and louder.  After a minute I discontinued power.  At no point during the test did it ever play any of the test patterns I had going.  I'll remove the amp later today and try to see what's going on.

IMG_4995.jpg 
IMG_4997.jpg
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Sevenfeet
The amp was removed with 12 screws and is contained in a sealed box.  I'm assuming that some of the screws on the faceplate of the amp will free the cover.  The original UFW-12 HR upgrade instructions talk about cutting the wires to the driver at this point since the wires are soldered at the driver's connection points.  But I imagine that if I crack the amp box open, I'd probably have access to the wires on that side (which are probably also soldered).

So my question for sandbagger is what do you want me to do next?  Cut the wires, put the whole thing in a box and send it back to you?  Or crack open the amp and start looking for problems (like the relay we discussed earlier)?  My soldering iron is at the ready. [smile]

IMG_4999.jpg
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sandbagger
remove the 4 screws in the corners and the box will open up, there is a molex conector wraped in foam tape that you can disconect to get the amp free from the sub.

once you get it open and if you find anything give me a call
Kevin
Motor City Custom Audio
http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/
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Sevenfeet
OK, the amp is now opened and I disconnected the molex (although the foam tape did not want to come off in a nice single piece...oh well).  On first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything obviously wrong with it.  No peaking caps or anything else that my limited experience with electronic circuit boards would instantly recognize.  Pictures includes below.  I could plug it back in and listen for where the noise was coming from and try to isolate further.

IMG_5004.jpg  IMG_5006.jpg  IMG_5007.jpg  IMG_5005.jpg 
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Sevenfeet
OK, after a talk with sandbagger on the phone, it looks like we found our bad part.  As Kevin suspected earlier, the buzz is coming from the relay circuit on the power supply board.  You can see it as a blue box in the photo above underneath two huge capacitors, but here's a closeup below.  If I give this unit power, over about 30 seconds you start to hear a louder and louder buzz coming from this board.  If I put the plastic end of my screwdriver carefully (!) against the relay box, it vibrates back at you through the barrel of the screwdriver.  Problem identified.  There's a molex plug connection to this board shown in the photo.  If I disconnect this and hotwire it straight to the driver wire, I will most likely get the driver to work again (bypassing the relay).

So I'll send it back to Kevin early next week and let him replace the power supply board and make the necessary mods to improve its performance.  Thanks Kevin for spending time with me on the phone discussing this.

IMG_5010.jpg
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Sevenfeet
I wanted to give the forum a follow-up on my experience getting my UFW-12 repaired.  In short, Sandbagger rocks!

My UFW-12 has a relay circuit on the power supply fail, causing the unit not to perform.  On Sandbagger's (Kevin) direction, I removed the amp and sent it back to him for repair and his mods to improve the performance of the unit.  The UFW-12 is never going to have the bass extension of a MFW-12 or other ported subs, but I was looking forward to seeing if the UFW-12 wouldn't roll off like a cliff under 30 hz as it had been known to do.  I got the unit back weeks ago but due to family commitments, I haven't been able to do any real testing with an SPL meter until now.  My tester is the old tried and true Radio Shack analog SPL meter, purchased over a decade ago.  It needs a few tweaks to account for its own errors, but it's close enough for the purposes of this test.

I used track 16 from the venerable Stereophile "Test 2" CD that sends a test tone measured in 1/3rd octaves from 200 hz down to 20 hz.  Since my family is in the house, I decided to keep the volume in the 70-75 db range.  What I found was that on the low end, the UFW-12 is now capable of reproducing a test tone at about 72 db at 25 hz, the same as I was getting from my system at 160 hz-200 hz (+/- 3 db).  At 20 hz, the pressure rolls off to about 63 db, but that's still much better than I was seeing before.  What I wasn't expecting was a big spike in the middle range.  Between 40-63 hz I was seeing volumes in the 82-84 db range.  I was hoping that Audyssey on my Denon X2000 would have smoothed out this spike more, but my experience tells me that this is a fantasy.  The UFW-12 allows for some tweaking, but I'm going to have to go back to the manual and check to see exactly what I can try to manage with the rear controls.  (Any suggestions would be appreciated).

One other thing I did was do some measurements on my two channel rig, which consists of a Audible Illusions Modulus 3 tube pre-amp (recently back from major repairs and new tubes), a McCormack DNA 0.5 amp, and SoundWave Grand Soliloquy towers (all of this equipment is circa 1994).  I had purchased this equipment from a friend who had purchased it from another friend over a decade ago.  The measurements of the Soundwaves was interesting....everything was more or less level from 200 hz downward to 63 hz where at 50 hz the measurements dropped 10 dbs to the 62-64 db range.  Accounting for the measurement errors in the Radio Shack meter, the speakers keep this volume steady down to about 25 db's where it drops again a bit at 20 hz.  In many ways, these are good numbers for 20 year old analog equipment, but a sub coming in at the 60 hz mark might do some good augmenting the sound.

And the UFW-12 is the obvious choice for the application, given it's ability to now extend properly under 32 hz (low C on a pipe organ).  The problem is going to be that since this is a true analog system, bass management is pretty much nonexistent so I'm going to have to calibrate carefully.  The Modulus 3 has two sets of amp outputs, so I don't need the ability to pass through a signal to an amp (which the UFW-12 can't do anyway).  Since the SPL levels under 63 hz are pretty consistent, it may be easier to match a sub to fill in what the mains cannot do at the same level of amplification.

But if I can repurpose the UFW-12 toward a strict music application, I can replace it in the home theater room with a proper ported sub to rock movies, so there is some incentive for the project.
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Mark_Seaton
Sevenfeet wrote:
I wanted to give the forum a follow-up on my experience getting my UFW-12 repaired.  In short, Sandbagger rocks!

My UFW-12 has a relay circuit on the power supply fail, causing the unit not to perform.  On Sandbagger's (Kevin) direction, I removed the amp and sent it back to him for repair and his mods to improve the performance of the unit.  The UFW-12 is never going to have the bass extension of a MFW-12 or other ported subs, but I was looking forward to seeing if the UFW-12 wouldn't roll off like a cliff under 30 hz as it had been known to do.  I got the unit back weeks ago but due to family commitments, I haven't been able to do any real testing with an SPL meter until now.  My tester is the old tried and true Radio Shack analog SPL meter, purchased over a decade ago.  It needs a few tweaks to account for its own errors, but it's close enough for the purposes of this test.

I used track 16 from the venerable Stereophile "Test 2" CD that sends a test tone measured in 1/3rd octaves from 200 hz down to 20 hz.  Since my family is in the house, I decided to keep the volume in the 70-75 db range.  What I found was that on the low end, the UFW-12 is now capable of reproducing a test tone at about 72 db at 25 hz, the same as I was getting from my system at 160 hz-200 hz (+/- 3 db).  At 20 hz, the pressure rolls off to about 63 db, but that's still much better than I was seeing before.  What I wasn't expecting was a big spike in the middle range.  Between 40-63 hz I was seeing volumes in the 82-84 db range.  I was hoping that Audyssey on my Denon X2000 would have smoothed out this spike more, but my experience tells me that this is a fantasy.  The UFW-12 allows for some tweaking, but I'm going to have to go back to the manual and check to see exactly what I can try to manage with the rear controls.  (Any suggestions would be appreciated).


Hi Sevenfeet,

Don't underestimate the extension of the UFW-12.  In most rooms the modified version will extend lower than a standard MFW-15, while giving up some in max output, and a bit more vs. the Turbo version.  A few points...  Are the numbers you mention above directly read from the meter?  If so, it sounds like you may have little to no roll off down low, as the C-Weighting purposely applies a significant roll off on the lowest frequencies.  There are some spreadsheets & charts available to compensate if you do some quick searching.  Secondly, you will need to re-run Audyssey with the updated UFW-12.  The response is plenty different from the stock unit.  You also need to go back into the speaker setup menu after running Audyssey to check what it did to the crossovers and small/large settings.

Finally, double check the PEQ filter is set near 0dB, which is at some middle range of the dial, not either extreme.


One other thing I did was do some measurements on my two channel rig, which consists of a Audible Illusions Modulus 3 tube pre-amp (recently back from major repairs and new tubes), a McCormack DNA 0.5 amp, and SoundWave Grand Soliloquy towers (all of this equipment is circa 1994).  I had purchased this equipment from a friend who had purchased it from another friend over a decade ago.  The measurements of the Soundwaves was interesting....everything was more or less level from 200 hz downward to 63 hz where at 50 hz the measurements dropped 10 dbs to the 62-64 db range.  Accounting for the measurement errors in the Radio Shack meter, the speakers keep this volume steady down to about 25 db's where it drops again a bit at 20 hz.  In many ways, these are good numbers for 20 year old analog equipment, but a sub coming in at the 60 hz mark might do some good augmenting the sound.

And the UFW-12 is the obvious choice for the application, given it's ability to now extend properly under 32 hz (low C on a pipe organ).  The problem is going to be that since this is a true analog system, bass management is pretty much nonexistent so I'm going to have to calibrate carefully.  The Modulus 3 has two sets of amp outputs, so I don't need the ability to pass through a signal to an amp (which the UFW-12 can't do anyway).  Since the SPL levels under 63 hz are pretty consistent, it may be easier to match a sub to fill in what the mains cannot do at the same level of amplification.

But if I can repurpose the UFW-12 toward a strict music application, I can replace it in the home theater room with a proper ported sub to rock movies, so there is some incentive for the project.


Placement of speaker & subwoofer has a huge impact on the response.  As you note, it does sound like the UFW-12 could really help augment the bottom of your speakers.  Experiment with lowering the crossover to ~30-65Hz and play with the level a good bit.  Even better would be to grab one of the USB mic's and get REW working for less than $100.

Enjoy!
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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Sevenfeet
Mark_Seaton wrote:

Hi Sevenfeet,

Don't underestimate the extension of the UFW-12.  In most rooms the modified version will extend lower than a standard MFW-15, while giving up some in max output, and a bit more vs. the Turbo version.  A few points...  Are the numbers you mention above directly read from the meter?  If so, it sounds like you may have little to no roll off down low, as the C-Weighting purposely applies a significant roll off on the lowest frequencies.  There are some spreadsheets & charts available to compensate if you do some quick searching.  Secondly, you will need to re-run Audyssey with the updated UFW-12.  The response is plenty different from the stock unit.  You also need to go back into the speaker setup menu after running Audyssey to check what it did to the crossovers and small/large settings.

Finally, double check the PEQ filter is set near 0dB, which is at some middle range of the dial, not either extreme.



I'm aware of the issues concerning the Radio Shack SPL meter although it's even years since I cared about the details.  I did find some of the compensation documents (but I have to download the spreadsheet out there somewhere).  I wasn't trying to be absolutely precise today since I don't have a quiet house to myself.  I had thought I'd rerun Audyssey when the sub amp came but I'll run it again, just to be sure.  Nevertheless, I'm pleased since the UFW-12 without mods clearly couldn't handle some lows quite like this.

Mark_Seaton wrote:


Placement of speaker & subwoofer has a huge impact on the response.  As you note, it does sound like the UFW-12 could really help augment the bottom of your speakers.  Experiment with lowering the crossover to ~30-65Hz and play with the level a good bit.  Even better would be to grab one of the USB mic's and get REW working for less than $100.

Enjoy!


Placement of the sub is a big deal.  I should note that when I was doing all this, I was measuring not at the primary listening point but at a point about a meter away.  So now I'm thinking all my stuff today was a bit of a crock [smile]  Anyway, I went back and remeasured at the primary seating position.  I'm still seeing a bump in the sub's performance between 40 and 63 hz, (but not as loud as before) which will need some more investigation.  Most of the other measurements were within a +4 range of 70 dbs.  That means I'm not seeing a much of a rolloff until under 25hz, and even at 20hz it's within reason (mid 60's, adjusted) for what I would expect of a sealed sub.  Not bad at all. [smile]

I've gone ahead and downloaded REW (the latest version finally seems gets past the Java sound library issues on the Mac).  In lieu of spending money on a new mic, I'll use the Radio Shack SPL for the time being and let the program correct.  That will be "close enough" for the time being.

I'll let you know what I find.


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Klong
Hello all. I was recently at Axpona and was blown away by some of the setups I saw last weekend. It inspired my to fix my two dead sub amps.

I was hoping someone could assist me. Not having the funds right now for a new sub, I needed to replace two of my UFW-10 amps. I purchased 2 dayton SA-250 plate amps from parts express. The first sub install in sub #1 went fine as the binding posts were positioned out of the way of the cabinet bracing and was easy to access.

Sub #2 however, has its binding posts positioned at 6:00, almost dead center behind the cabinet bracing. My hands are too big to get back there to depress the binding post and insert the respective + and - wires.

I've tried almost every way i could think of to bend my wrist to get to the &$?!" binding post but i can' t. I've even tried rotating the driver, but it seems glued in place. I think rotating the driver may be my best bet, but it seems stuck. Anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks,
Karl
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sandbagger
you might be able to use a screw driver or ruler to push the binding posts down and get the wire in.

To get the driver out take all the screws out the front and give it a smack on the back from inside.  there should not be anything really sticking it in, but the cabinet finish might have not been dry/cured?   if you really have to hit it hard I would use a long screw driver and place it as close to the cutout as possible.
Kevin
Motor City Custom Audio
http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/
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Klong
A long screwdriver and a couple of light taps with a rubber mallet was all I needed to push out the driver. I'm back in business. Thanks for the suggestion Kevin!
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jewel942

Hi I found today that my daughter has pushed in both of my RS150 tweeters.  Are these still available?  The RS150s are serial numbers 00253/00254.

If not, does anyone have a couple used for sale?  Or is there an upgrade tweet available, like the Vifa ring radiator (with requisite crossover adjustments)?

I also have an RSC200 'Bigfoot' center channel that I am not using if anyone might be interested.  Has very low hours, just too big for my theater setup and has been sitting in a closet.

Thanks!

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Stereodude
Have you tried the vacuum trick or tape yet?
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Hondo5
I own a set of Rocket RS 850s that I purchased just as the company was starting to head south.  I bought them because of their excellent reviews, but had no idea that Mark was designing them with Chinese drivers.

So it's now 2017, and I have one speaker that has a low-frequency driver that has given up the ghost and is now buzzing badly at certain frequencies.  I'm wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what it will cost to replace that single driver on the bottom of the array, or whether it can be replaced at all.

Everything was going swimmingly with AV123 until just after I purchased my 850s and HT set-up.  Then it all started heading south.  I was promised some bookshelf speakers when I made my purchase, but never got them, and instead was offered a small sub-woofer as a switch, which didn't please me.  So it goes.

What I need right now is a low-frequency driver for my right speaker.  Can someone help?
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sandbagger
I am just going to post this here as every now and then I get an email about 850 drivers.  Same goes for the 1000's and 750

AV123 basicly copied the HiVi  MxN series drivers for most of their speakers, but some have a crazy impedence and cant be matched with anything stock.
a Vifa tweeter listed below was also used in most of the speakers.

 

The 4 woofers are the same https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-m5n-5-aluminum---magnesium-midbass--297-436

The only difference is the cone color(paint if you want) and these are magneticly shielded, but no sonic differences

 

This is your mid https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-m4n-4-aluminum---magnesium-midbass--297-434

 

And tweeters are https://www.parts-express.com/peerless-by-tymphany-xt25tg30-04-1-dual-ring-radiator-tweeter--264-1016

Kevin
Motor City Custom Audio
http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/
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Hondo5
Kevin -

THANK YOU so much for this information.  I have ordered two drivers - one to repair my RS850, and one as a backup.  Out of curiosity, do you have a recommended upgrade to the RS850 tweeters that provides better performance than the existing Viva tweeters installed?
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jewel942

The stock ring radiator is a very good tweeter, not sure what you would gain in a Rocket design by changing, but here goes.

Upgrade options in similar design would be in the line of Scan Speak ring radiators, the Discovery being similar in appearance and the lowest cost ($50-60 at Madisound), although still made in Europe (Denmark). I haven't compared directly to the Vifa so no idea if you would find an improvement.    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/ring-radiator-tweeters/scanspeak-discovery-r2604/8320-1-tweeter-ring-radiator/ https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/ring-radiator-tweeters/scanspeak-discovery-r2604/8330-tweeter-dual-ring-radiator/ (dual magnet, higher sensitivity) 

The Illuminator (~$140) and Revelator (you don't want to know but a lot more) are really good albeit pricey. Illuminator is small diameter mount so would have to rig up an adapter plate or something in the Rockets. I have tried the Revelator in an open baffle speaker I worked on with a friend, worked great although we ended up with an AMT type as the flush appearance was preferred in our application.

These might be interesting to try as they come on a round plate mount, didn't check the diameter versus the Vifa- I'll leave that to you. http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-amt2-4-air-motion-transformer-tweeter-4-ohm--275-092 http://www.parts-express.com/fountek-neocd10-ribbon-tweeter--296-701 http://www.parts-express.com/aurum-cantus-g2si-ribbon-tweeter--276-400 https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-rt13we-isodynamic-tweeter--297-421 http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/ribbon-tweeters/hi-vi-rt1.3we-isodynamic-tweeter/

Metal dome option? https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/horn-tweeters/seas-prestige-27tbcd/gb-dxt-h1499-tweeter/

Or maybe... http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/diamond-dome-tweeters/seas-excel-t29d001-diamond-dome-tweeter-matched-pair/  [smile]

 

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sandbagger
The biggest problem is any change to the tweeter is going to require a new crossover network.    if you just bolt in a new tweeter there is no idea what you might get
Kevin
Motor City Custom Audio
http://motorcitycustomaudio.com/
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jewel942
Agree of course. There are some with characteristics pretty close to the Vifa, which might be workable with minimal changes. Others not so much. YMMV
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Hondo5
Hondo5 wrote:
Kevin -

THANK YOU so much for this information.  I have ordered two drivers - one to repair my RS850, and one as a backup.  Out of curiosity, do you have a recommended upgrade to the RS850 tweeters that provides better performance than the existing Viva tweeters installed?


Thanks all for your information.  I received and installed the bass driver yesterday and it appears to be doing the job.  Interesting that the flange that fits into the slot on the front of the speaker cabinet is just a smidge smaller on the replacement driver than the original, but it fit.

The Vifa is okay, but my preference is for something a little brighter and more forward.  I'll probably leave it as is because it's a good match to the other speakers, but if I have some spare change rolling around on the car floor one day, might decide to experiment with an upgrade.  The RS850s are very laid back by nature, but throw a large, three dimensional sound stage.  I was listening to Beethoven Symphony No. 8 conducted by Blunier of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn (a SACD) last night on the Oppo, and kept wanted to turn it off and go to bed, but couldn't.
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jewel942
The Vifa tweeter isn't laid back by nature. The frequency response of the Rockets was intentionally shelved downward on top by the designer. As the tweeter is more efficient than the woofer, there should be a resistor network in front of the tweeter to reduce the level. You can experiment with lower value in the series resistor and correspondingly higher value in the parallel resistor, or put in an L pad, to raise the tweeter level to your liking.
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