- 1. The first thing I notice when I look at most commercial
high-end speakers is the lack of diffraction control. I can't
imagine designing a speaker with a tweeter and midrange that
do not have felt right up to their surrounds. Even speakers with
curved baffles can still benefit from felting. Sometimes when
you add felt around the midrange (woofer in a two way) and tweeter
the speaker actually may be slightly dull. This is because the
manufacturer tuned it for the extra highs that you get when you
don't properly kill all the splashing highs. Many tweeters (including
the Dynaudio Esotar) have screws on the face of the tweeter that
interfere and reflect extra highs that are not in time with the
original signal. All this diffraction results in a smeared bright
sound. Felt can be purchased very cheaply at a fabric store in
many colors. You can cut it to shape and apply it with double
stick cellophane tape that leaves no residue and allows very
- 2. The second thing I notice is the five-way binding posts.
As I said in the electronics tweaking section, these things have
got to go. Please read electronic tweaks for more details.
- 3. The third thing I notice is the lack of driver staggering.
Some speakers do stagger their drivers and some slant the baffle
back to accomplish this. Most speakers do not stagger and some
say it makes no difference. I have found that moving the drivers
relative to each other affects the sound noticeably. If you have
a relatively inexpensive speaker or are just daring like myself
then you might try removing the tweeter from its hole and putting
it on top of the speaker and moving it forward and backward and
with some experimentation you will find the right spot. Sometimes
it is where the voice coils of the speakers line up and sometimes
the tweeter needs to be back a little further.
- 4. Remove the crossover from the speaker. Hardwire super
wire to each driver and bring it out the back of the speaker
and connect it directly to the x-over parts-eliminate any circuit
board traces. Damp/isolate the x-over and hardwire your speaker
wire from the amp to it as well. By the way spades don't sound
good either. Bare wire is best.
- 5. Use Marigo green dots on the speaker cone and Marigo bands
on the speaker frame supports. These things make the driver sound
way cleaner and faster. Very "pistonic".
- 6. Use D-Flex material in the speaker cabinet, on the magnet
of the drivers and for speaker gasket material. This gooey stuff
eliminates the stuffing in the speaker and deadens the cabinet
wall for WAY cleaner sound. Get Michael Percy's audio parts catalog
by downloading at http://www.percyaudio.com.
- 7. Use the most simple x-over that will give you reasonably
flat response. All parts add coloration. That is one reason Lowther
speakers are so transparent. No x-over. Several speaker manufacturers
have been able to use the woofer or midrange with no x-over.
This is ideal, as it can give super see through sound (like a
super modified electrostatic can). Our own custom made speaker
uses no x-over on the midrange drivers (very clear!).
- 8. Try the no box thang (dipole) for the midrange drivers.
No box designs are a little tricky for the bass, but a midrange
cone can be mounted on an appropriate sized damped, braced and
dead baffle and can sound amazingly good this way. No box sound
and decay that goes on forever. A midrange driver on a baffle
(without the rest of the box ) will naturally roll off the bass
below about 300 hz. You can x-over your woofer at 300 Hz and
have a great speaker (especially if you can use no x-over on
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