Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade

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rbbert

Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« on: 8 Apr 2022, 02:56 pm »
In addition to the all new larger midrange version, there is a new 4.5" midrange driver available for Apollo, Ulysses, etc. since early 2021.  I have had it (along with the newest tweeters and the Stability Bases) on my Ulysses since it was first introduced and it sounds great in them.  More recently Lou had his engineer figure out new Xover pieces to upgrade the Apollo 11 as well, but he is so swamped with work that he doesn't really have time to promote this upgrade.  However, he was willing to let me try an in-the-field upgrade to mine.

First, let me say that if you have experience as an electronics technician and are handy with tools this is something you could manage, although replacing the drivers is easier with another person to help.  Lou's availability to troubleshoot is invaluable, BUT...  there are a lot of potential pitfalls to this process and it would be easy to get into it and find yourself in over your head.  That said, I was able to complete this in about 7-8 hours total.  How much the sound improves will have to wait for a few days for the new parts to break in, but "out of the box" it is at least as good as before.

For me, this was far far better than the option of sending the speakers back to Lou, not even allowing for the fact that he doesn't really have the time to do this himself.  He really wants me to emphasize that this is not a project to undertake unless you are quite confident in your skills and experience.

mresseguie

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #1 on: 8 Apr 2022, 04:12 pm »
Thanks for the update.

Question: You stated, "In addition to the all new larger midrange version, there is a new 4.5" midrange driver available for Apollo, Ulysses, etc. since early 2021."

Do you mean there is another new midrange driver available? Are you saying there are two midrange drivers - one 4.5" and one larger than 4.5"?

Thank you.

Michael

rbbert

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #2 on: 8 Apr 2022, 05:28 pm »
The latest versions of Apollo's and Zeus use a 6.5" midrange driver; one in the Apollo and Apollo 11 and 2 in the Zeus.  I don't know how many have been built

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=179660.0

advanced101

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #3 on: 8 Apr 2022, 07:01 pm »
What were the changes to the crossover?

rbbert

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #4 on: 8 Apr 2022, 07:33 pm »
Replacing 2 inductors and adding a capacitor.  The physical layout of the crossover network makes access a little difficult, and there are some potentially delicate areas (the Dueland resistor leads and the foil busses on the board.)

audiotom

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #5 on: 25 May 2022, 11:24 pm »
It’s been a while since I’ve been on the board

HI Lou and Company

All the best on the show and your latest work

I was going to suggest to Lou if the midrange upgrade could be done by the customer or technicians locally rather than sending the speakers back in this “totally reliable” shipping world we now live in.

RBBERT
thanks for investigating this and working through the upgrade.
Really looking forward to your comments on the  sonic upgrade and the assembly

I have two friends - one an electronics guru and the other a wood craftsman and speaker cabinet  builder who also does his fair share of wiring.  I am in very good hands.

I have Apollo 11s

Doesn’t the access panel on the back of the speaKer make it a lot easier to modify the crossover?
Is the soldering of the wiring to the driver done through the front?

Thanks

Really looking forward to this

Tom

audiotom

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #6 on: 25 May 2022, 11:48 pm »


Here was the info on the new 6.5 “ driver for Zues and Apollo 11 and the smaller improved 4.5” replacement upgrade 4.5 driver for existing models.

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=178229.0

Really looking forward to your comments on the sound

rbbert

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #7 on: 26 May 2022, 12:14 am »
I would say the improvement is small but worthwhile (especially if the price is still $750-800).  I think the frequency response is more balanced (or perhaps smoother, I'm not sure about the vocabulary here) - not that I noticed any problem before. Something a little surprising is that I found my new preferred speaker positions about 4" different than before (diagonal movement, mostly back and a little closer together).

The crossover is really crammed into a tight space, with a fair amount of dampening foam and hot glue.  Most of it needs to be carefully removed before even starting (and then of course replaced during reassembly).  I should probably have taken some pictures during the process.

Yes, the drivers remove from the front, they are in their own isolated enclosure.  I'm pretty sure these have a heavier magnet although I didn't weigh them.  When you reinstall them it is worth checking and tightening all the other speaker bolts in case any of them have loosened over time.

dodgealum

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #8 on: 26 May 2022, 06:25 pm »
I did the midrange upgrade to my Apollos with Lou at LTA right before CAF last fall. The process was straightforward but I am grateful that Lou was at the wheel throughout. I agree that one should check the fixing bolts on all drivers periodically as we did this on mine as a final step and all required a bit of torque after two years of action. I did not perceive a significant sonic upgrade with the new midrange—the speakers already sounded phenomenal so not much was anticipated. I did feel that strings were more realistically portrayed and went on a Haydn and Mozart bender for a few weeks after break in was finished! All in all worthwhile but maybe not worth the risk of shipping to Ferndale under present conditions.

rbbert

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #9 on: 26 May 2022, 07:16 pm »
All in all worthwhile but maybe not worth the risk of shipping to Ferndale under present conditions.

Definitely not; I would not have done this if shipping the speakers had been involved.  Tom seems prepared to do the work himself.

It sounds as if you had the same impression of the difference/improvement as I did, although you put in more musical language  :D

audiotom

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #10 on: 27 May 2022, 01:50 am »
I am definitely interested

I would not be if I had to ship the speakers.

Was the back access on the Apollo helpful to do the cross-over set up?

Does Lou provide any pics or diagrams

Thanks

audiotom

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Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #11 on: 27 May 2022, 01:52 am »

Interesting that the new Apollo 11s only have one midrange

Any pics out on those

rbbert

Re: Apollo 11 version 1 midrange upgrade
« Reply #12 on: 27 May 2022, 12:12 pm »
Lou gave me a schematic only, but was available to talk me through things, even with some Facetime when necessary.  By now he may have some more detailed instructions and/or pictures.

The back cover accesses only the small, dedicated Xover enclosure.