Listening results for the Re Capped speakers.
I listened to many tracks on a Sugden CD21 and on my Turntable, via a Sugden A21a Integrated Amp and also through a Croft Micro 25 Pre/Phono and Proton AA-1150 Power Amp.
As a starting point let me try and describe how the NS1000M sounded before any changes:
I found there was a tendency to favour the upper frequencies, with the midrange and tweeter sounding forward and slightly edgy with the lower frequencies sounding slightly detached and lacking a bit of energy. I used the level controls to compensate and for both upper drivers adjusted to ten to the hour; 12 o’clock being flat. This is what a lot of people end up doing and probably fuels the comments that careful amp matching is important with these speakers to avoid brightness. I would rate my kit as fairly neutral in presentation, so will not comment further on that, only to say that my gear/speakers seemed to fit this trend.
After the re cap compared to the original sound
The results were not as dramatic as when I re capped my Celestion 66’s, I think this is because the 66’s use quite a few electrolytics which would have deteriated to quite an extent, hence the big improvement. The NS1000M use film caps (metalized paper) apart from the large value Lytics used in parallel in the bass filter. These film caps have a long life so will not have deteriated to any great degree, but are not quite as good as modern Polyprops. I think this is what accounts for the smaller impact the changes made.
After 7 hours playing
The sound is generally slightly warmer now but the mids are edgy and timing is off which it never was previously. Listening to one of my killer tracks for timing, Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue by Pittsburgh Symphony/Previn on Philips, the fast percussive piano became a jumble of sound and the tune was almost lost. After 40 hours, maybe less the sound had smoothed out and timing had improved a lot. I didn’t listen in between so couldn’t say precisely at what point things improved or if it was gradual.
After 60 hours compared to the original sound
I now have both the level controls set to flat.
There is no longer any harshness in the treble or prevalence towards the upper frequencies.
The mid range is warmer/richer sounding than before.
Overall, a more balanced sound, with no area standing out or dominating.
Trumpet and Sax are notably sweeter with no sign of harshness.
Piano notes have better timber and seem more realistic.
Bass has a bit more of a punch and better grain/texture.
On the bass, I had read where one owner had taken all three sheets of wadding out from behind the bass driver and he thought it improved the sound. I took only one sheet out and found the upper bass level was slightly more elevated but it was a bit thin sounding to me. I put the sheet back in and felt it sounded richer/fuller so left it at that.
The improvements were not night and day but overall the presentation is slightly more even handed and I would say more musical, from what is basically a studio monitor, the later being a trait which monitors are not renowned for. I would speculate that they are also more amp friendly now, though they have lost none of that crisp top end, which the Beryllium drivers are capable of delivering. The Mundorf Supremes are doing a good job there and over all I would say the level of detail has improved slightly, but like I mentioned, nothing dramatic.
So a slight improvement in most areas with nothing negative to report.
I am very happy with the way this went and will not be tampering any further.
The following link details the parts I used in the re cap and also the measurements I took from the caps taken out, plus measurements from the stock inductors. These may be of use to anyone looking to attempt any x-over work:
Also this link for the Owners Manual may be of interest:
For the time being, that is job done, I will be doing some minor cosmetic touching up when time permits and that’s about it.
Great sounding speaker and the sound I have been searching for.