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Discussion Starter #1
There are those that have been lead to believe that wire is wire and parts are parts and that if it measures the same then it sounds the same. And the objective verse subjective aspects have been debated to death.

But, how would you like to find out for yourself?

This is challenge that I put together a year or more ago over on AC. And I guess it ran its coarse over there.

Here is what we did. We took a commercially available speaker that measured reasonably well then went into an replicated the stock crossover with an identically measuring crossover using much higher quality parts. And switches were put on the back of the speaker, as well as a separate set of inputs, for fast A/B comparisons.

The speakers chosen was the Behringer B2031P "The truth!" The real truth was that it needed some help.

Here is where you can find some info on them: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/B2031P.aspx

Okay, the new crossovers that are identical to the stock crossovers use Sonicaps, a Mills resistor and an Erse XQ air core inductor. We also used our high purity OFC wire that uses a solid core in polyethylene. Both networks measure exactly the same.



One main switch is used to switch the crossover components in or out of the circuit from each network being used or not used. I later added a switch to each woofer circuit of each network to switch each entire circuit in or out. The crossovers are mounted inside and the three switches are mounted on the binding post cup.

As you can see the cabinets have also been lined with No Rez to remove some of the coloration of the cabinet resonances that were masking some of the bass and lower mid-range. Some additional fiberglass insolation was used as well and install behind the woofer.



There are tube connectors used for the upgraded network and the stock binding post are used for the stock network.

Flip all of the switches up towards the stock binding post, and the stock binding posts and stock crossover is used. Flip all switches down, and the lower tube connectors are used with the higher quality crossover parts.

Here is a pic of the back.



I figured it would be better if the speakers were at least not being held back by zip cord speaker cables. The bummer is that the cables cost more than the speakers. :lol: So I had my good friends at Electra Cable make a nice set of speaker cables with dual ends. It has standard banana plugs for the stock crossover and the male studs that fit the tube connectors. Here is the custom made, 10 foot long pair of cables from Electra Cable.



So you use one set of plugs or the other and not both at the same time. So switching is pretty quick. Move some connectors form one to the other and flick three switches.

See Electra Cable tube connectors here: http://www.electracable.com/tubeconnector.htm

I am willing to let these be sent all over the country to various listening groups. Whoever is receiving them must be responsible for them though. So whoever that person is will need to contact me with credit card information needed for securing them while they have them.

The next person or group in line will need to contact me to do the same.

I will then forward shipping information to whoever has them and they (or that group) will be responsible for shipping them to the next auditioning person or group.

So who would like to give them a try?
 

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So a widely known name in the studio monitor field is selling something with noticeable cabinet resonance, insufficient dampening and a cheap crossover network? That's a bit disconcerting, to be completely honest. I'm not really in the position to take you up on the challenge, but I do find the particulars that led you to this point somewhat disturbing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So a widely known name in the studio monitor field is selling something with noticeable cabinet resonance, insufficient dampening and a cheap crossover network? That's a bit disconcerting, to be completely honest.
Actually that's very typical, especially in these low price points.

but I do find the particulars that led you to this point somewhat disturbing.
That's odd. I did not post the particulars that lead to this happening. What about this seems disturbing to you?
 

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That's odd. I did not post the particulars that lead to this happening. What about this seems disturbing to you?
The particulars, from my vantage point, were a a resonating cabinet, lack of dampening and a low-budget crossover. There was more?
 

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I am not sure I understand your point either, Jim. Danny is offering up a chance to make a comparison and do an easy blind test. If the parts don't make any difference, and the response measures the same, why would it be disturbing? Now I do see too many variables to conclude where any differences are coming from, but his challenge seems reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The particulars, from my vantage point, were a a resonating cabinet, lack of dampening and a low-budget crossover. There was more?
Where it all started was back on AC with a fellow deep in the objective camp. By that I mean a guy that believes that if something measures the same then it sounds the same. And expensive capacitors and wire is all snake oil... I am sure you guys have seen the on line debates on this stuff.

So I said okay, let's take an inexpensive, commonly available speaker, and use it as a base for comparisons. And this particular guy also owned a pair of these same Behringer speakers and thought that they had to be as great as great can be because they had a pretty good on axis response. So they looked like a good choice.

Then a buddy of mine, Rich Hollis, bought the speakers and sent them to me. And the whole comparison thing was set up.

You can see one of the original threads on it here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=87808.0 It had a provocative title to get everyone's attention. :gulp: There was also some bantering and carrying on as if everyone in the discussion had something to loose. Some people get real worked up over this stuff. I don't really get too worked up over any of that stuff. Most of the guys that get the most worked up and that are most assured that all that stuff makes no difference are usually the same guys that have never listened for themselves. So it only seemed right that they at least have the opportunity to listen for themselves.

And so what it did was allow a lot of people to hear for themselves what type of difference things like this can make. Granted a lot of things were changed besides the crossover including upgraded connectors, and wire. But most in what the so called "Nay Sayer's" camp didn't believe that any of that stuff made a difference anyway.

So it was a bit of a learning exercise.
 

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I am not sure I understand your point either, Jim. Danny is offering up a chance to make a comparison and do an easy blind test. If the parts don't make any difference, and the response measures the same, why would it be disturbing? Now I do see too many variables to conclude where any differences are coming from, but his challenge seems reasonable.
Actually, I don't think anything about his challenge is the least bit unreasonable - it's rather generous of him to do something like that. I suspect the outcome is preordained though, otherwise I'm not sure he would be doing it. I could certainly be wrong, but my guess is the audible differences will be rather obvious, and that his modifications wound up making the speakers sound better. My point was just one of surprise, that a few modifications like what Danny did could potentially lead to noticeable improvements in overall sound quality. I've always found Behringer to have a pretty solid reputation.

Of course that's purely conjecture on my part, because I've never heard those speakers, but it's pretty apparent he knows a thing or two about how to design them. :TT I'm certainly not attempting to refute anything, so don't think that. Truth be told, I'd strongly encourage anyone who has even the slightest bit of curiosity to take Danny up on his offer. It's certainly a very unique opportunity, one not likely to come along too often (if ever again).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Actually Jim the outcome of the A/B listening test did have some variables that effected the results.

I'd say that about 98% reported differences from subtle to immediate night and day.

The system has a lot to do with it. One guy with a inexpensive CD player and receiver using cheap wiring noticed no difference. And that is not unexpected. If the rest of the system is coloring the signal that much then it just makes hearing differences in things like this much harder.

The guys that reported hearing difference in the first few seconds of switching had fairly high end systems. No surprises there.

Another factor is how one listens when comparing. I have conducted A/B listening test several times. And it is easy to skew the results by how the comparisons are made. For instance if I play an entire song for a small group of people using a system that they have never heard and a song that they are not real familiar with, then the memory retention is just not great enough to recall differences for that long of a sample. But if I play an intro over and over a few times and let everyone really memorize the subtle details. Then switch... Well then the differences are readily apparent, and apparent to everyone.

So some people giving this a try could be learning more about their own system than anything else.
 

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i defo think the quality of crossover parts.can have a direct impact on the quality of the sound.i know this from recapping vintage speaker crossovers.
 

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I'm using 2030p's for my LCR speakers and I would love to hear the difference in sound quality between the standard crossover and high end crossover..But I'm on the other side of the world so it wouldn't be practical..

I did a similar test decades ago, just replacing the ferrite core inductors in a commercial speaker with air core inductors..The difference was noticeable immediately..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did a similar test decades ago, just replacing the ferrite core inductors in a commercial speaker with air core inductors..The difference was noticeable immediately..
Yep, that can make a very noticeable difference. That's nothing compared to the differences in capacitors though. That is where the biggest differences come from.
 

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I can imagine that there would be some improvement with high capacitance capacitors..those related to bass crossovers.. but would the higher capacitance non-polarized capacitors make any difference?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can imagine that there would be some improvement with high capacitance capacitors..those related to bass crossovers.. but would the higher capacitance non-polarized capacitors make any difference?
When doing an upgrade like this the capacitance doesn't get any higher. If it did then it would change the transfer function of the crossover. The values are left the same. And capacitance remains the same.

Of all the things one can change, or the one thing with the greatest amount of variance to the performance or sound, is the capacitor. By far.

Inductors, resistors, and wire can also have a dramatic effect too, but not as dramatic as the capacitor.
 

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Yeah..Sorry I didn't put that very well! :R
What I meant to say was the BIGGER uF capacitors in the bass / midrange crossover..They can make a big difference in the sound quality..depending on the quality of the capacitors..but I wouldn't have thought that the different quality non-polarized capacitors would have made much difference!..Live and learn! :D
 

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Yeah..Sorry I didn't put that very well! :R
What I meant to say was the BIGGER uF capacitors in the bass / midrange crossover..They can make a big difference in the sound quality..depending on the quality of the capacitors..but I wouldn't have thought that the different quality non-polarized capacitors would have made much difference!..Live and learn! :D
Yes, even the larger value caps used in lower frequency ranges can have a dramatic effect on the sound. Most of those larger caps are slower discharging by their size alone. So by-passing them with a smaller cap can have a dramatic effect as well.
 

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I agree with Danny that the type of wire, capacitors, and resistors used do make an audible difference. I have built quite a few GR Research speakers over the years using the stock crossover parts and with
Sonicap and Mills resistors which are performance upgrades. In my opinion the performance upgrades do indeed
make an audible improvement especially when using the Neo 3 PDR magnetic planer tweeter. The upgrades allow for a cleaner, more detailed, and transparent sound quality. Also, the solid core high purity copper wire that Danny provides makes the sound cleaner in my opinion. I normally use the performance upgrade parts on all the GR Research speakers I presently build as well as Non-Rez sound danping treatment for the cabinet internal walls. These performance upgrades cost a little more but if you want the best performance from
your speakers it is worth.

Ron
 
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