Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s

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SET Man

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #20 on: 22 Jan 2022, 09:59 pm »
Background
I am an inveterate upgrader of gear.  I tend to buy the very best basic design I can find and then upgrade it with premium parts throughout in order to really let that particular design shine.  I do it with DAC’s, Preamps, Amps, Music Servers and Speakers.  Nothing escapes my soldering iron!  :thumb: :lol:
....

Hey!

     Yeah, the curse of being audio DIYer  :lol: I totally understand that. The hard part is know when to stop before you take it too far :icon_lol:

Buddy

Tyson

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #21 on: 1 Feb 2022, 08:50 pm »
Time for some more changes.  Over the past weekend I created a crossover box using this box:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/253045671485

And these connectors:

https://gr-research.com/product/electra-cable-tube-connectors/

A friend of mine punched out some holes in his machine shop so everything looks nice and clean. 

Here's what my living space looked like on Saturday, haha:




Closeup of the boxes with just the holes punched:



Some of the Electra Tube connectors in place.  Yes, hammering was necessary:



All assembled (with crossover now in place):



And here's the back of the speakers, with the crossover box in place.  I also changed out the VH Audio OCC copper wire with Nimak audio 16ga pure silver, hand polished with beeswax wire, you can see it here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/123738204587

And installed on the speaker:


Tomy2Tone

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #22 on: 1 Feb 2022, 08:57 pm »
Have you used that Nimak pure silver wire before on other speakers or amps? Curious how it compares to the VH Audio wire as I like it very much.

dflee

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #23 on: 1 Feb 2022, 09:08 pm »
Tyson:
You just can't seem to leave well enough alone can ya?
Some of us (well ok, just me) think that an expensive piece of equipment wouldn't need
monkey f%#king with. But not you, no you have to take it to the next extreme. I almost
feel bad for you with your condition but on the other hand am way jealous of you abilities
and the knowledge to do the things you are doing. So I guess I'll just say "carry on my good man"

Signed
One Jealous Bastard

Tyson

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #24 on: 1 Feb 2022, 09:55 pm »
Have you used that Nimak pure silver wire before on other speakers or amps? Curious how it compares to the VH Audio wire as I like it very much.

Yes, I've used the Nimak silver speaker cable in my downstairs system, replacing the VH Audio Chela speaker cable.  I liked it so much, I eventually re-wired my downstairs speakers with the Nimak silver hookup wire I linked above.  Normally I am a person that hates silver wire because I'm ultra-sensitive to brightness, but the Nimak silver wire is smoooooooooth.  And, at the same time it reveals a metric ton more detail than any copper wire I've ever heard.  It's kind of the bargain of the century, IMO.

Tyson:
You just can't seem to leave well enough alone can ya?
Some of us (well ok, just me) think that an expensive piece of equipment wouldn't need
monkey f%#king with. But not you, no you have to take it to the next extreme. I almost
feel bad for you with your condition but on the other hand am way jealous of you abilities
and the knowledge to do the things you are doing. So I guess I'll just say "carry on my good man"

Signed
One Jealous Bastard

Haha, in some ways I feel it might actually be better for my mental health if I could just leave well enough alone.  But I can't  :lol:

geerock

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #25 on: 1 Feb 2022, 11:02 pm »


Haha, in some ways I feel it might actually be better for my mental health if I could just leave well enough alone.  But I can't  :lol:

I dont think I've ever not found the need to crack open a piece of audio equipment, car, motorcycle,.....you name it.  Always something that can be improved on.  I know the Cornwall IV's I modded with the guidance of some very knowledgeable folks out there was a good 20% increase in performance over what is already a very fine speaker.  As for mental health?  For me I would be more fugged up if I didnt try to mod something.  Keep on tinkering Tyson.
 : :lol:

Desertpilot

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #26 on: 1 Feb 2022, 11:39 pm »
Well, dang Tyson.  You left out the best part:  How does it sound with the new crossovers?

Daryl Zero

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #27 on: 1 Feb 2022, 11:47 pm »
I sure hope that was an audiophile rated mallet.

MichaelHiFi

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #28 on: 7 Feb 2022, 08:52 pm »
I wish I didn't see this post.

I know how I am. Mr. upgrade everything till its broken or I'm having to serve alcoholic beverages to the musicians in my room.

Tyson

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #29 on: 9 Feb 2022, 05:50 am »
Well, dang Tyson.  You left out the best part:  How does it sound with the new crossovers?

I'd actually typed up a long answer to this question a week ago but it got lost when I got banned from AC.  Now that my ban from AC has been lifted, I can finally answer this question!  And it's probably for the best as it gave me an extra week for the changes to fully cook and for me to acclimate to the changes. 

Here's what I'd say, overall.  The speakers were already world class before I made any changes.  Even bone-stock, they had very few weaknesses.  And the weaknesses they had were all rather minor.  So any changes I've made have been built upon that very solid foundation that Clayton created in the first place. 

Having said that, I'd also note that the bass and lower mids didn't change much, before and after.  It was amazing before the upgrades and is about the same level now.  Upper mids are better now, as is the mids/highs integration.  They were good before but phenomenal now.  Ah, there is one area that DID improve across the board - detail and resolution.

Was it worth the time/money/effort?  For me, absolutely.  Even though in absolute terms the speakers are only moderately better than before, when you take such a great speaker and elevate it, even a little bit, the results are stunning.  As for my own level of satisfaction, it took these speakers from the level of "I'm happy with them" to "I'll probably own these speakers for life". 

If I could only keep 1 set of speakers, it'd still be the Super 7's in my downstairs system, but the last round of changes to the X3's closed that gap, a LOT.  If my Super 7's got destroyed in a flood or something, I'd actually be able to live with the X3's in that system now. 

And again, kudos to Clayton for making such a great speaker and for not charging $30k for them.  Because the stock X3's spank most $30k speakers I've heard. 

Desertpilot

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #30 on: 10 Feb 2022, 12:28 am »
Tyson, this is great news.  Thank you for updating us.

Me?  No way I would attempt a crossover change (although you found a simple solution).  Before I purchased the X3s, I did the SVS Ultra Bookshelf and Center channel crossover upgrade offered by Danny at GR Research.  It was an adventure but I learned my limitations.  Build, twist & solder wire, no-rez and manipulate the dang thing into the speaker box caused my 70 year old hands to endure cramps, bad cramps.  I'm no good at carpentry either.  So, the experience ruled out buying a speaker kit from Danny.  Luckily, my search brought me to Spatial Audio.  This was the perfect choice for me and I couldn't be more satisfied.

Marcus

MichaelHiFi

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #31 on: 10 Feb 2022, 02:57 pm »
Thanks Tyson for your detailed upgrade path to push the envelope on an already great speaker.

Guess I'll be doing the same although with some hesitation. I built a pair of GR- Research Studio Monitors and while it was fun I also had issues. A driver stopped driving  :o It was replaced by GR but was uncomfortable with that whole process.

Like Marcus I'm no good at carpentry but very good at soldering and have a OK understanding of electronics. I put $2K of upgrades in my Usher Towers!

I did build a pair of Super V's that came out fantastic.

Having an open baffle speaker makes upgrading FAR easier than a box speaker so.. here we go.

Tyson

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #32 on: 11 Feb 2022, 11:20 pm »
Oh yummy, look what just showed up in the mail today, the Duelund silver foil bypass caps for my X3's:





Time to open up the crossover and replace my Duelund copper foil caps with the silver foil caps:




nlitworld

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #33 on: 11 Feb 2022, 11:53 pm »

Tyson

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #34 on: 12 Feb 2022, 06:38 pm »
First impressions - well there's WAY more detail now.  But also a shift in tone toward brightness.  Honestly not unexpected.  If past experience is anything to go by, the caps will smooth out over time but will never be slightly warm like the copper caps were.  We'll see.

doggie

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #35 on: 12 Feb 2022, 08:49 pm »
First impressions - well there's WAY more detail now.  But also a shift in tone toward brightness.  Honestly not unexpected.  If past experience is anything to go by, the caps will smooth out over time but will never be slightly warm like the copper caps were.  We'll see.

For years I either built equipment, both tube and SS, or did a lot of parts upgrades, especially with signal path parts. I have two thoughts. I have always found silver to be overly "bright", especially in cables. Second. Bypass caps usually being low value(.1 or .01)and high quality caps tend to promote high frequencies, often causing them to be more forward and to seem brighter, with more apparent detail. Sometimes it can be just what was needed but for me more often not.

SET Man

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #36 on: 13 Feb 2022, 02:00 am »
For years I either built equipment, both tube and SS, or did a lot of parts upgrades, especially with signal path parts. I have two thoughts. I have always found silver to be overly "bright", especially in cables. Second. Bypass caps usually being low value(.1 or .01)and high quality caps tend to promote high frequencies, often causing them to be more forward and to seem brighter, with more apparent detail. Sometimes it can be just what was needed but for me more often not.

Hey!

     That's pretty much how I feel about silver cables also. Tried some silver hookup wires sometime ago, after a short while I went back to copper wire. I prefer high purity 6N long/single crystal copper wire. Good thing when I bought my tube amp I didn't go for silver output transformer option... luckily I couldn't afford that back then :icon_lol:

Buddy

sjsfiveo

Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #37 on: 13 Feb 2022, 05:39 am »
Did you make or by your power cords?

DBT AUDIO

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #38 on: 13 Feb 2022, 06:47 am »
If I could only keep 1 set of speakers, it'd still be the Super 7's in my downstairs system, but the last round of changes to the X3's closed that gap, a LOT.  If my Super 7's got destroyed in a flood or something, I'd actually be able to live with the X3's in that system now. 

And again, kudos to Clayton for making such a great speaker and for not charging $30k for them.  Because the stock X3's spank most $30k speakers I've heard.
Hey Tyson, have you ever auditioned your X3s in the same room that houses your Super 7s?  I was curious if you conducted the speaker shootout in the same room before you concluded the Super 7s sound quality edged out the X3s?

Thanks for sharing your X3 upgrade adventure!
« Last Edit: 14 Feb 2022, 04:03 am by DBT AUDIO »

mkrawcz

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Re: Tyson’s Adventures Upgrading the X3’s
« Reply #39 on: 16 Feb 2022, 10:30 am »
First impressions - well there's WAY more detail now.  But also a shift in tone toward brightness.  Honestly not unexpected.  If past experience is anything to go by, the caps will smooth out over time but will never be slightly warm like the copper caps were.  We'll see.
They will smooth out a lot. Mine took several hundred hours to get there.