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Thread: Renovation of Celestion 66 Studio Monitors

  1. #331
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,129
    I'm Martin.


    Quote Originally Posted by rodthebod View Post

    ). I always think if a speaker can paint an aural picture where the cabinets seem to disappear things are working properly.
    Sounds like you are on the right track if that's happening.

    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *

    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  2. #332
    Join Date: Nov 2016

    Location: Malta

    Posts: 47
    I'm Rod.

    Default New battery powered digital front end to help with crossover improvements

    Been a while since my last posting, just to keep you updated on progress I've been listening to the 66's with the crossovers externally mounted tri-wired to the drivers and the original wiring which went to the terminals inside the cabs to the Leak TL12+ power amps. I've not touched the components on the actual crossovers yet, all original apart from taking out some of the HF (brown coated electrolytic cans) caps to bering the values closer to what they should be (6 and 4uf) These caps were the worst effected by age being way over tolerance eg. 1.5uf measuring 4uf!.

    I've left the speakers so I could to get used to them since building new cabinets and to be honest because they sound so good. I have all the new components ready as per Ken's spec (Alcaps/Mundorf e-caps/Ansars for the HF and strapping the 72uf midrange by 5% - see previous postings)

    I would have started surgery sooner had it been for the fact I had a bit of an enjoyable revelation when visiting Victor Angelo (of Terminator arm/Salvation TT fame) place a few weeks ago. He was using a digital front end using a custom media PC powered by a good DC linear power supply and an external DAC which was based on a Texas Instruments PCM5102 DAC (battery powered) and it sounded very good indeed playing CD redbook ripped recordings. So I've been on a mission for the past weeks to get a decent DAC and digital source. Vic has all his kit listed on his web site TransFi.

    My Macbook Pro has a decent Cirrus logic DAC fitted and using Audirvana bit perfect output it has always sounded OK but nothing special driving a passive preamp to my efficient Leak TL12+'s power amps. I took the plunge and got a Chord Mojo DAC having read so many good things about their products. It's another league completely to the Macbook DAC way more musical and far more detailed but it's the presentation that wins me over. I read about PC's and laptops being noisey especially with switch mode power supplies etc. and the fact Vic was using a good LPS certainly proved their worth when listening.

    So having read about the excellent dedicated audiophile software available tailored for the Pi - Moode/Rune/Volumio I wanted to try 'pure' battery power - no mains problems to worry about, and hear! What's the simplest solution......a very low power PC so I went for a raspberry Pi3 fitted with a Digi HAT spdif taking the digital signal direct from the I2s bus of the CPU (dedicated transformer and clocks with galvanic isolation). Hardwired the spdif from the PCB board bypassing the flimsy spdif connector then into a mini jack to the Chord Mojo. Powered the whole thing with a decent lithium-ion powerbank 5v battery and WOW!!! Once you've tweaked the configuration (I use Moode player) to everything highest possible quality you are in for a real treat, tracks become a real music feast - only having experienced on vinyl previously. I'm spending hours listening getting completely lost in time.....

    I tried a R core transformer driven linear 5v power supply to the Pi, it sounds good, but doesn't have the cleanness of sound and there is a slight noise behind everything. Trying high current LiPo batteries, as used in drones and model cars etc. seems to give more dynamics - you have to use at least 7v 2.5a output with a variable voltage regulator to give the 5v required for the Pi.
    Just thinking of a way to power the spdif board independently to see if that improves things further. You have to hear some of the high bitrate tracks 24/96+ and DSD - wonderful stuff.

    Anyway, I've gone off topic, but am now ready to start changing crossover components to hear the improvements, with my new front end this should be easier to tell how things change. BTW elevating the 66's by a good 12 inches really helps clean up the bass and makes the cabinets even more transparent - even though it does make them look even more imposing - thank goodness I have my own room.......
    Last edited by rodthebod; 24-04-2017 at 17:14.

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