Replacing drivers.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Philip Hamm, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If you click the little green house above this post and scroll down you can see my bedroom home theater. Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    Ha ha already out of date, the DVD player is a Proscan 8680Z DIVX machine now.

    In my living room I've got a stereo only system that I use for "dinner music" and very casual, distinctly uncritical listening. That system has a pair of Wharfedale Modus 1.6 tower speakers. I've decided that since the bedroom theater gets used 30 times as much as the dinner music system, I'm going to move the Wharfedale speakers up to the bedroom. They're not any great speakers or anything, but they are surely much better than the Sonys in the bedroom now.

    I was thinking of replacing the drivers in the Pioneer center channel speaker you see in this picture with some higher quality drivers from Parts Express. The center cost me $12 years ago "refurbished" (though I don't think it was really "refurbished" at all). It has a 4" woofer and a small 1.5" paper tweeter. I was thinking an upgrade could make it a lot better (though I have very little to complain about now - it's a good enough sounding speaker for what I'm using it for) for just $20-30.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    What you may have to do, is gut out the existing crossover. Then (with help) choose 2 parts express drivers that will fit in the enclosure, and then make a very simple crossover to suit the new center.

    So basically you will be re-using the cabinet and speaker terminal.

    It is doubtful you'll get a good center channel by just replacing the drivers. The crossover needs to match the drivers as well.
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    That's pretty much the plan. I'm sure the "crossover" consists of nothing but a capacitor. The drivers are almost unbelievably cheap though, remember the speaker cost $12.

    I mean take a look at this thing:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's a 16 ohm tweeter and a 5 ohm (?) midbass.
     
  4. Rob Formica

    Rob Formica Stunt Coordinator

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    I would tend to just hunt down a used Wharfedale bookself with similar components as your Modus 1.6... It's just my opinion as i find the center channel is so critical when watching movies or listening to multichannel music... especially timber matching for those "pans" . You can also hunt down the parts for your mains on Ebay, and then build a matching custom center if you have the itch to build... [​IMG]

    I have been phantom-ing mine as i found it sounded better than a mis-matched unit.

    just my 2 cents...
    Rob
     
  5. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Yea, with a fixed (I assume) listening position, why bother with a center channel at all?

    Pete
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I like having a center in the bedroom, particularly for news in the morning or something like that. Setting up a phantom is a very interesting proposition.

    I'm not looking for anything fantastic here, and I don't care if pans don't sound even. I'm just thinking that maybe for a very low cost investment of a couple drivers I can get better dialog. The Wharfedales have a bit of a midrange hole I don't know how well a phantom's going to work.
     
  7. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  9. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Philip if I sounded elitist. I take woodworking for granted; to me that's the easiest part of DIY speakers. Click on the "DIY speakers" at the top of this website for a look.

    You can indeed improve the sound of your speaker with new drivers, but it will take some work. Without doing some design/modeling first, there's a chance that you will end up with something that sounds worse, even though you installed better drivers.

    Perhaps you can post the dimensions of the cabinet (including the size of the holes and the thickness of the baffle) and the value of that orange crossover capacitor, and we can try to provide some guidance. If you can, also include the frequency of your receiver's crossover and the power it sends to the center channel.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'll see what I can come up with.....
     
  11. Rob Formica

    Rob Formica Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't want to sound elitist either... but i think Dave hit it on the nose with:

    quote:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    but it will take some work. Without doing some design/modeling first, there's a chance that you will end up with something that sounds worse, even though you installed better drivers.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With mostly time and some money you can make it sound better... but i guess there no magical tweek.

    Rob
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I switched out the Sonys for the Wharfedales (see updated picture at top of screen) and they are nice. That Pioneer center actually matched well with the Sonys which also had cheap paper drivers. However, it matches terribly with the Wharfedales. The Wharfs sounded great with center turned off, and as suggested earlier in this thread, since the listening position is for the most part lying in bed, that will work just fine.

    Strangely enough, the big Sony speakers had a little sign on the back of them that said "Made In USA". Cool!
     

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