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Calling All Audiophiles/Speaker Guru's


hedgerley

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I have been running a pair of Mission 733s for around 15 years now. Despite numerous system upgrades and various surround sound set-ups etc. I have never felt the need to replace these excellent floor standers. I currently have an Arcam 280 surround processor/amp and have no plans to replace it.

 

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago the sound from the speakers began to 'weaken' and then all of a sudden they sound like a badly tuned, very tinny radio playing in the next room. No matter what I do to the set-up and volume I have lost all stereo imaging, for both CD's and L/R Dolby 5.1 effects. The fact they have not packed up all together is a bit mystifying.

 

Having checked the amp and all connections it is definitely the speakers - this morning I hooked up my excellent B&W centre speaker to the left and then the right speaker cables and all was fine, reminding me just how good the amp is and how much I like the Arcam sound.

 

No-one in the household will admit to over driving them - I play my music very loud and they have never peaked or distorted in any way so I am pretty sure they can handle the amp even when its wound up very high. So I don't think they are 'blown' as such.

 

So, before I open up the speakers can anyone out there enlighten me?

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Have you taken the front grill off yet, many years ago my much loved JBL's suffered from cone edge material rot the good news is you can get them re-coned very cheaply 

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Thanks David but no, the cones are fine. The grilles have been off for years and the speakers well looked after. I would have expected a gradual deterioration but both both went at the same time, and have exactly the same symptom, a very tinny, 'distant' sound. Most odd.

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Maybe the cross overs have had it, unusual, but possible.

I wouldn't really bother trying to find replacements, speakers or cross overs for speakers this old, you can pick up some decent speakers on fleaBay.

 

Just read, both went at the same time.... Most odd unless the speakers have really been overdriven.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mission-773-Main-Stereo-Speakers-/281036585335?_trksid=p2047675.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D11%26meid%3D4200536757826464349%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D1005%26rk%3D2%26sd%3D281012885312%26

Edited by lrg_machine

Jez

Mean Green S4s

I think therefore I am - Descartes

I'm pink therefore I'm spam - Eric Idle

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Ah, just had to check that back of the pair near me, 752 Freedoms, really old, I remember purchasing those when I lived in Hertfordshire, I think they came from Empire Direct (that's going back some).

Haven't fired my HiFi up in quite some time, now that's a good prompt.

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The grills do offer a certain amount of protection against UV breakdown. If you have any other speakers around the house it might be worth wiring one of those to just check. Just seems strange to suddenly both go. Mind you my daughter when she was young poked a titanium dome speaker with her finger took me ages to figure out the loss on one side.

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As I said in my post David, I hooked up my centre speaker to first the left and the the right channel speaker cables - both were perfect. I guess the good news is its not my amp!

 

I think the cross-overs have gone and its just an amazing coincidence that both speakers have gone at the same time. As I mentioned, I have rarely skimped on the volume, for either music or movies and the speakers have been absolutely fine. In fact, I've been playing my Sky box through my hi-fi for donkeys years so the speakers have been in constant use, especially when HD came along with Dolby 5.1.

 

Maybe they just got tired.....

Edited by hedgerley
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Mark,

 

As you must be mechanically handy (Lotus Owner), I'd advise the following; First, while the speakers are  "operating", I'd lightly push in on the centers of the cones.  If the speaker(s) suddenly work, the voile coils have been damaged.  Next, remove the woofers from the cabinets.  Take a "D" cell battery and touch the speaker leads to the battery.  In all probability, the woofer voice coils have failed.  Having owned B & W's for quite a while (custom built 1991 Matrix 804's), sold B & W at retail and represented B & W as a msnufacturers representative for five years, I'd visit your local dealer.  You are obviously satisfied with your center channel.  Go the distance and replace the Missions (represented them as well for a while).  Good luck.

 

Lyn

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Agreed. B&Ws in the New Year. Good excuse to bi-amp at last - the twin L/R cables that have been hidden in my walls for the past couple of years will finally get used!

 

Thanks all.

Edited by hedgerley
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I've had mixed results with B&W, and found they sounded terrible with some amps e.g. naim and audiolab, but okay-ish with others.

Take your arcam delta with you when you go for a look at a new set and try them with your intended speakers before handing over your cash.

 

Ebay has some cracking speakers. I have arcam delta kit and I've found the better celestion kit works well. SL6's or anything fromt he A range are terrific. But the obvious downside of ebay is you generally don't get to try before you buy....

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Agreed. B&Ws in the New Year. Good excuse to bi-amp at last - the twin L/R cables that have been hidden in my walls for the past couple of years will finally get used!

 

Thanks all.

Mark,

 

I've used Audioquest audio and speaker cables for years.  They are somewhat of an overkill as the 804's have a rather high crossover point.  Midnight on the bass / midrange and Emerald on the tweeters.  All audio cables are AQ Diamond.  Remember, i worked in the industry for 38 years.  Not rich by any means!  Agree with Duncan.  Take your amp with you for a final listen before purchasing.  As the differences are small, keep your first "interview" as simple as possible.  Compare all the speakers with the same source material and amplification.  Most importantly, enjoy!

 

Lyn

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I have the AVR280 processor/amp Duncan. I've 'auditioned' most Arcam kit over the years with various speakers and the B&Ws seem particularly well matched. Interestingly I was in my local dealer on Saturday and without hesitation both guys recommended them for the AVR280 if I was to change out the Missions.

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My experiences of various B&W speakers was with other pre/power combo's which pre-dated the current array of arcam boxes I downgraded to in an attempt to stop my wife complaining about mis matched boxes and huge post box sized obelisks in the living room.

 

I've never tried B&W with arcam. They might work really well.... it's just that I found B&W to be a bit fussy on partnering. They don't like audiolab at all, and sounded terrible on the end of a quite pricey Naim rig I had that seemed to drive every other speaker I tried really well. Weirdly, the big B&W's I had on loan sounded quite good with a humble technics integrated, better still with a creek and pretty decent on an Aura Evolution VA100.

 

Let your ears decide. :dj:

 

Picking new hifi is almost as much fun as Lotus shopping.

 

I really like the upper end celestion kit...I've owned dozens of them over the years.  (I used to buy and sell)

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Try THIS!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

A Victor auxetophone-gramophone was demonstrated to the public in November 1906 at a Trade Exhibition at Earl's Court. Mr S H Sheard recalled that the correct operating pressure had not yet been determined:

"We used about six or seven pounds to the square inch, with the rather amusing result that those of the audience who took the front rows of chairs very quickly clapped their hands to their ears and made their way to the back of the building. It was subsequently found that a pressure of not more than two-and-a-half pounds to the square inch was adequate."

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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My recommendation?...Do whatever Lyn says. He's my guru next time I upgrade my paltry Yamaha/Polk system.

 

And just FYI, he can apparently also whip my ass (and yours...and anyone else's) at pool, so when I get a chance to bring my cue to his new second story poolroom digs, I'm preparing myself for utter humiliation. I think the only way to beat him is to use a cue carved from a single unicorn horn and blessed by the Dalai Lama. 

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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So, I had the chance of a pair of second B&W DM603s, and took it. Picked them up last night, plugged them in tonight. There is still some fine tuning to do for the surround sound and I haven't bi-amped them yet, but  what a great sound. A lot more detail and separation than my Missions, a much wider soundstage and boy do they fill my large lounge. Nice, pure, bottom end as well. They seem quite mellow and very smooth, not to bright at the top end, just as I like it. With the better resolved bass I don't think I'll bother with the sub I was thinking of buying. 

 

And they cost me £200 and a 20 minute drive. Result (as far as I'm concerned anyway. Even SWMBO is pleased)

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A bit late now, but have a look at these, I have them and wouldn't swap.

 

http://www.lowtherloudspeakers.com/index.html

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Nice one Mark. I have a pair of 603 S2 for the front and a pair of 601 S2 at the back.

 

I have a CC6 S2 centre speaker going spare if you are interested? It is designed to match the 603's. It is black ash. I had to use a different speaker when I wall mounted the plasma screen.

 

PM me if you are interested.

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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JBL man all the way. S8R's are very old but very good. Measure using Ohm Meter looking for 2.5 - 8 ohms on each driver with one lead disconnected from each. If not in that range, voice coil is done, then measure input terminals to any crossovers looking for same resistance values. Then look at crossovers themselves looking for large capacitors and their condition and perhaps any internal fuses. Let me know status and can go from there. MikieP

post-13088-29410_thumb.jpg

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Wow Mike, haven't seen a S8R in over forty years!  Remember the 075 ring radiator and the LE 15a woofer.  Had a 15" passive radiator paired with the LE 15.  Don't remember the midrange unit number.  Getting old I guess.  Sold quite a few of those when I first got into the "high end" audio business.  Our store also sold Altec Voice of the Theater's.  Surprised yours have lasted this long.  The rubber woofer surrounds used to fail do to UV radiation.  Started to crack if I remember correctly.

 

Lyn

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Lyn,

The LE15A's went back to JBL and became LE15H's (8 ohm'ers) a while back with new second-to-last-in-stock factory surrounds and were re-magnetized, the mid-ranges are the 2440's (375) and the UHF is now the 077 with the PR15 in each box. ALthough I do not use the X-Overs, they were upgraded with caps from JBL and now cross at 800 Hz instead of the 500 Hz original which really did not get into the 375/2440 curve properly.

The rears (I use a Fosgate Tate II 4 ch decoder/synthesizer as I could never afford a 576) are L200 cabinets with LE15B's, 2441 Mids and 075 UHF drivers using Rane low-level three variable pass-band X-overs (originally were the passive LX5 and N7000 X-Overs).

Subs are the very old Cerwin-Vega 320B Commodes front and rear center.

All woofers/subs are driven via three Phase Linear D-500's (boxes themselves are Tri-Amp'ed). The Mid-range drivers are all run by two Phase Linear 700 II's and the UHF compression drivers are driven by one Rane 6 ch amp. I have never burned out a voice coil even though I have actually clipped the D-500's often. I use inline slo-blow 1/4A fuses.

See here for my complete setup including electronics: http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=jbler

Edited by MikieP
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All I can say is ............WOW!!!!  My one and only horn drive loudspeakers were Altec 604E in Valencia cabinets.  Around 1968 or 69.  My first speakers were a pair of AR 4x in 1966 or 67.  Followed by a second pair in parallel.  Then off to twenty wonderful years of KLH Model Nine full range electrostatics.  First one pair then a second was added.     Ran out of room.  Sold them and replaced with a pair of Rogers LS 3/5a!  The lack of bottom end and my new career as the Bowers  & Wilkins representative lead me to the 1991 Matrix 804 which I still have.  Two different routes to aural nirvana.

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Lyn,

 

I can't afford to go through what this guy did -- 

-- but I would at least like to tune the system to the extent I can via the built in graphic EQ, but using stock components, and fine tuning the woofer and rest of the system. What gear do I need to rent and what process should we be using to optimize the base system?

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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