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Thread: Are these speakers worth refurbing?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Newbury

    Posts: 698
    I'm RichardbutpreferRich.

    Default Are these speakers worth refurbing?

    I have a pair of Audiomaster MLS4 Speakers which I bought in 1980 and I wondered how these would be considered in comparison to modern day speakers. They have seen little use in recent years and could seriously do with a refurb. I think the drive units are OK but the cabinets are water stained on top, the walnut veneer has faded on the top & sides and the grilles are in poor shape. I would guess that after 30 years the crossovers are also probably long overdue for a recap.

    I opened one up today and I think both the drive units may have been made by Audax, the woofer was marked HD20B25H and the tweeters HD100B but only the tweeter had an Audax sticker on it. From memory the speakers cost me around 200 at the time, which was about 5 weeks wages for a hard up teenager.



    Whilst I am willing to try and restore the cabinets and grilles myself, I would need to take the crossovers to an audio repair shop to get them recapped which is likely be expensive and so I would be pleased to here from those in the know whether they feel these speakers are worth spending money on? I appreciate that this question may be somewhat subjective.
    Rich

    Source: Squeezebox Touch, Pioneer PL-112D + Shure M75ED type2, Pioneer PD-7700
    Amp: Sansui AU-505 + Chinese 2496 (AK4396) CS8416 DAC
    Speakers: Ditton 44's

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Bolton, Lancs

    Posts: 1,589
    I'm Mike.

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    In my opinion i would referb them, 1st off if you bugger them up they haven't cost you anything but your time and some materials, and 2nd you may improve on the sound and make em look as good as new too, also if you liked them when you 1st got them there's no reason you can't get them to sound better by changing the caps and inductors as well as improving on the internal wiring. i referbed my speakers recently you can read about what i did here http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...?t=7023&page=5

    With regards to recapping, it's quite easy just take the crossover out of the cab make a note of the values for the caps and get some new ones ordered, i recently referbed my Castles and used Ansar polly's and was astounded at the difference they made, you can get em from here http://www.cricklewoodelectronics.co...=search&page=1

    also get yourself a good soldering iron as that will make the job a lot easier, desolder each cap at a time and replace with a new one, so you don't make any mistakes


    As the late Colonel Sanders once said
    "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!!"

  3. #3
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Yorks

    Posts: 16,649
    I'm Nobody.

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    Rich pop out the crossover board & take a good photo please

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Newbury

    Posts: 698
    I'm RichardbutpreferRich.

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    Andre, the Xover boards are bolted in place. Is this photo good enough? If not I'll try and remove one tomorrow.

    Rich

    Source: Squeezebox Touch, Pioneer PL-112D + Shure M75ED type2, Pioneer PD-7700
    Amp: Sansui AU-505 + Chinese 2496 (AK4396) CS8416 DAC
    Speakers: Ditton 44's

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Bolton, Lancs

    Posts: 1,589
    I'm Mike.

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    Is it bolted directly to the external speaker terminals?

    Also that looks like an easy job to replace the caps even for a novice, like i said before a good iron is the key.


    As the late Colonel Sanders once said
    "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!!"

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

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    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jac Hawk View Post
    Is it bolted directly to the external speaker terminals?
    Nope 3 sets of wires to the xover, 2 drivers & one set of input connections

    I agree, change the most important capacitors - those that feed the tweeter if you are hard up. Don't even attempt to change the inductors for anything fancy unless you have a really accurate ohm meter so you can measure the DC resistance as it's vital that this isn't different in the new inductors!
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Bolton, Lancs

    Posts: 1,589
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid Malenfant View Post
    Nope 3 sets of wires to the xover, 2 drivers & one set of input connections
    yes i see the 3 sets of wire, but one set doesn't go anywhere, that's why i asked, it could be bolted to the plastic surround, but the terminals connected via cables.


    As the late Colonel Sanders once said
    "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!!"

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 5,066
    I'm Dave.

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    It pre-dates the fashion for bolting the crossover direct to the speaker terminals. The red/black wires in the middle, go under the crossover to the terminals.

    Just replacing that bell wire with some decent wire will make a huge improvement.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,314
    I'm David.

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    RIGHT!!!!!

    Robin Marshall (later of Epos fame) designed these and worked bloody damned hard on the crossover to get it right with the drivers, which were very good at the time. The ONLY glitch in them was a dip at the crossover point, but it was benign in terms of being able to hear it..

    Those capacitors can definitely be improved on I reckon. The ones on the board (which was almost certainly assembled by a great chap named Roger, who probably wound the coils as well) were par for the course back then and a bank of reasonable polyprops there would certainly make an improvement I think. The internal wires should be fine, especially the ones to the drivers - remember, a foot or so of copper wire is nothing compared to the hundreds? of feet of wire in the coils, which determines the coil resistance.


    For those of you that don't know, the MLS4 was a goodie, cost around half the price of the likes of Spendor BC1's/KEF 104ab's/Rogers Export, yet sounded very nearly as good and were recommended in HiFi Choice. These are very well worth updating and restoring and I remember them (and the baby MLS1) with great affection These days, they'd sell for well over a grand the pair.
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me; Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me.....................

  10. #10
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Yorks

    Posts: 16,649
    I'm Nobody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothman View Post
    Andre, the Xover boards are bolted in place. Is this photo good enough? If not I'll try and remove one tomorrow.

    I forget now but i seem to remember those four bolts are the same fixing centres to the terminal pod sat on spacers, the two short wires are from the terminals to the board.

    You'll get all those caps in Ansar 'Supersound'

    Make a list of the cap values & body length & i'll give you a link to the cap replacement, honestly you can get a massive sound imp by swapping these.All you have to do is de-solder those 6 wires, take the 4 nutz/washes off it will come out, you can't get mixed up re soldering the wires as you have them pictured there. Mike did it with the Ansars in his Castles.

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