Phil using Jensens

I had an earlier model with the panel tabs in the front of the speakers, and I chose to go with the external xo and built boxes out of #2 pine and painted them black This was covered by several coats of polyurethane. I utilized peanut packing chips to place the inductor and caps on. After reviewing the options whether to cut holes in the sock, or remove the sock completely, I decided I wanted to avoid cutting the socks so I could return everything back exactly the way it was. So I opted to remove the staples at the bottom, and removed the side trim up to 6 inches or so, to gain access to the panel tabs. I then replaced the sock back, but to have access while rewiring, etc, I pulled the socks over the metal stands after screwing them in place. I replaced the nails on the trim with one screw on each side to have access quickly. I used the existing connector plate and placed them on the external xo boxes, and made a covering out of thin plywood to replace the connector plate on the speaker with a hole of for the xo wiring. The xo wiring coming out the speakers was then covered by black cable wrapping. The xo boxes were placed on Vibrapods, which were in turn placed on the rear metal legs of the stands.

I initially replaced the stock binding posts with Cardas Rh plated copper ones, and simultaneously bypassed the fuse. This resulted in noticeable improvements.

After acquiring the Alpha Core 3.5 mh inductor, I ordered the Jensen PIO caps for the tweeters, and the Jensen metallized paper shunt cap. For the internal wiring, I initially used Jena Labs 18 ga cryogenically treated Ultra wire; 1 run for the tweeter, and 2 for the bass panel. This produced outstanding results. Timbre, resolution, soundstage depth (front and back) all dramatically improved. SACD’s sounded very nice, cd’s sounded, well, I guess about as good as they can, but as MikeCh reported before, LP’s were absolutely outstanding! To put the Lp playback improvements into perspective, the xo upgrade was much, much greater than going from my old integrated Rotel 70 watt amp to the NuVista amplification.

I was curious to try using the Goertz wire, and avoid using the male tabs on the panels, and having the xo wires crimped to female quick connect leads. So I removed the Jena Labs wire, and installed the Goertz after 1 month. This resulted in the sound becoming somewhat hard and cold. I also felt that the music was not as “pretty” and the timbre along with the midrange took a definite step backward. So I ordered about 25 feet of the Jena Labs wire, and ran 1 run for the tweeter, and this time ran 3 runs of wire in a braid for the bass. I went back to using the male panel tabs, and the crimped female quick connects counterparts. The glorious sound returned, and the Jena Labs wire definitely worked out best for me in my room, on my equipment, etc. Of course, the Jena Labs wire is about twice the cost of the Goertz.

In summary, I am very, very pleased with this modification and recommend it highly. Now, my next project: room treatment.

Other equipment: Amplification: Musical Fidelity NuVista, Digital: Sony Super Audio cdp 777es, Analog: VPI/Audioquest Pt8/Benz Glider. DIY equipment rack, dedicated circuits for all componets. Room is about 18’by 23’ DIY room treatment on wall behind speakers.

Jeff the Racer

First, I must mention that when first installed, the changes were enough to cause me to
go through the painstaking placement process again. Thanks to those who helped in
previous exchanges. They are not far from where they were before but less toed in.
Also, I moved some absorption treatment from the wall behind the speakers to behind
my listening position.

Second, break in! At first, the treble sounded like there was a ringing effect, some kind
of high freq resonances. This has gone away now. It took probably 60-80 hours of
operation.

Now on with the show. Acoustic music is just wonderful. The timbres or texture of
instruments and vocals are beautiful. I really find myself just enjoying the music. But to
fall back into all the usual verbage ... Clarity, transarency, detail are significantly
improved. The speakers are close to the light, airy, delicate beauty you get with good
true ribbons. The only instrument that seems not quite perfect is the piano. I'm just
trying to determine if tweeking to get things a little better is worth it. I somewhat
suspect recording tachniques more than my system. The piano sounds a bit different on
every Diana Krall recording I have.

The air and space that the 1.6's do so well is better. Probably not bigger, just more
real.

The bass response is a subject to itself. I find bass on 1.6's to be excetional ON THE
RIGHT MUSIC. Anything with a well recorded acoustic double bass would be hard to
beat with any other speaker. Pitch definition, purity of overtones and harmonics, no
bass freq boost all add up to a perfect blend. I've heard some very highly regarded and
outrageously expensive speakers that were really not good in this area. The upgrades
have just made all these qualities that much better. The overall SPL or output may be a
tad better, certainly not reduced. Still, the speakers are not transformed into thumpers
for those who may want a bit of thunder.

I have always felt that the 1.6's however are not the speaker for everyone. They do not
sound good to me on pop or electronic music. I tried Joe Jackson, Night and Day. This
has always been an old favorite. Quite frankly, it sounded bad. Really thin sounding. I
have experienced this effect on other music as well.

But this is not a 1.6 review, it is a review of the x-over upgrades. As near as I can tell
the bad recording effect is no worse on the upgraded 1.6, it just seems worse in
comparison to just how much better well recorded acoustic music now is.

When I got my 1.6's I found myself listening to a different blend of music, more purely
acoustic recordings. Now with the upgrades, the enjoyment of this portion of my
collection is much enhanced.

Mike from Washington (Listening room has absorbing panels on the front and rear walls)

1st report

The system sounds really, really nice.  The best it's ever sounded!   Everything is improved over the stock XO --  Timbre is better across the board - I no longer have a sense that two panels are reproducing sound.  Voices, woodwind instruments, piano, etc sound much more life-like.  Transients are vastly improved w/o sounding edgy at all.  There's also much more detail (w/o harshness).  Bass is tighter and less "boomy" sounding.  Imaging is more three dimensional and spacial details now extend farther past the sides of the panels.

As good as my CD's sound, the turntable sounds mind-boggling good.  There is so much more "air" to the sound.  Voices sound like they are actually in the room on a good recording.  I can actually hear breath tones that I didn't know existed before.

I really wish I hadn't got myself into the loose binding post/shunt cap dilemma.  I'm sure that it has clouded my perception of the improvement to some degree.  With that said, the improvement between the stock XO and the mod is quite dramatic.  I'd say that it eclipses the Power Plant by a factor of *at least* two.  My wife is in complete agreement with me on this.

Summary Report

rating scale: 1=Bose (damaged or functional); 10=Wilson WAMM (yes, I have
heard them)

Timbre: Vastly improved. The two panels now sound as if it were only one.
Voices and woodwinds are much more realistic sounding.
stock=6 modified=8

Resolution: Background details and spatial information that were once
unnoticed is now audible. Delineation of individual instruments has
improved. Reproduction of spatial cues is almost scary.
stock=7 modified=9

Clarity: Very good. Vocals are superb. Bass definition is surprisingly
improved - very taut and strong.
stock=7 modified=8

Transient: Outstanding! The initial attack of a cymbal crash or bass drum
whack is vastly improved. Absolutely no sign of increased brightness.
stock=7 modified=9

General Comment: Well worth the cost of the parts and labor. This mod truely
turns a great speaker into a cost-no-object contender. I highly recommend
that full-frame support stands be used along with the XO mods.

Vikram from California (Listening room has room lenses behind speakers and bass traps / helmholtz radiators)

Initial Report

Sonics, like Mike said, unbeleivable.

The top end, much more extended and transparent.

The soundstage, defintely more tall and more depth. Imaging, good....detail...more.

Vocals, much better especially on male vocals.

Now, here's the interesting part, I think the bass has reduced a little, but earlier it used to be thick and muddy on some of my recordings ( Dreamtheater, and some other hard rock CD') but now its much much better.    

The timbre on the percussion sets is better, like Mike said, they sound tighter. A slight adjustment on my REL and I was back in business. So, I am one happy MAGGIE user.

Update

I thought I was suffering from less bass, but over time, I think due to burn in, the Maggie's bass has improved tremendously.  I think the bass extension has actually improved. I have been recalibrating my sub to match that.  I did have some critical listening sessions with fellow audiophiles, I converted a current Proac fan !...and impressed another with an all tube AR and Theil setup.

Mark from Minnesota (wood floor with rug, room treated with Sonex foam)

The sonic results have far exceeded my expectations of improvement. I have spent a lot of money over the last 3 years in this hobby of ours and this upgrade is as good a value as the 1.6's are themselves. In my initial conversation with Ed, I told him I wanted my HT system to be more musical. He basically said, that is almost like an oxymoron. Well, my system sounds more musical than it ever has. I have officially shut off my sub for 2-channel listening. I am still in the burn phase, about 6 hrs left +/-. Hope to do a more in-depth review soon after some quality listening.

First impressions are the soundstage has broadened dramatically, detail has virtually increased by 40%, the highs have found the transparency that they were lacking, midrange has developed a smoothness/natural quality about it, the bottom has tightened, rounded, punched it's way out to be felt deeply in my loins at about an 80 dB range which never happened before. In other words, if you have not done this yet, do it. You will take some large steps towards sonic bliss.

Larry from California

Have done extended listening last two nights (I seem to like to listen better in the evening).

Major impressions are:

1. It is very CLEAN. Perhaps that's what is meant by "lifting veils." Other words that come to mind are PRECISE and EXACT.

2. I feel I am being DRILLED -- in the right way -- with material that has quality transient content.

3. Bass has more IMPACT. Subs are still in -- but I think the mid- and upper-bass are tighter. Anyhow, I like it.

4. I have always been a soundstage freak. In my room, with my placement/setup, I get more WIDTH (to a bit outside my 1.6s), and also -- surprisingly on well miked recordings (e.g., Weavers at CH), clearly more DEPTH. Also -- and this ties into 1. above -- things sit very specifically within the sound field/stage.

5. All the above is kaka. The big deal is that it is RIVETTING, INVOLVING and GRABBING. It is REAL (of course, it isn't -- but the jump in that direction is really noticeable).

6. During the day, I think about listening (before, I thought about how I could improve the sound, and recently, doing the mod). Now I think about listening. And want to get home to do it!

P-Bear

I finished my 1.6 crossovers 4 days ago. I wanted to let you guys know what I thought
of the change. The improvement is monumental. The most dramatic difference to me is
the greater immediacy, transparecy, presence or what ever you want to call it. The
"lifting of the veil" makes the music seem more life like, more like it is being played in
my room.

The improvement is pretty much across the board. Bass, dynamics, detail, tonal quality
all better. This is not the kind of "improvement" that is difficult to hear. It is huge.

I used Hovland caps and Alpha-core inductors except the woofer shunt caps which are
Hovland and Solen. I wonder if using one 25mfd Ansar woofer shunt cap would be an
improvement? I have no fuses or binding posts. I used a total of 4 pieces of 7"
Analysis Plus Oval 12 wire for each speaker.

My equipment is listed under inmate systems.