Elac B6 upgrade

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Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #100 on: 23 Nov 2015, 03:09 pm »
Hello Danny, I have a question, to be able to execute this upgrade I have to measure the drivers by myself?

Nope, you need not measure anything. I've done all of that for you.

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #101 on: 25 Nov 2015, 07:53 pm »
I burned these in for several days then did some listening test on them yesterday.

I was very impressed with how these speakers responded to the upgrades. These are now very good sounding speakers.

I made some A/B comparisons to some old A/V-1's that I had still in stock. They are now a real similar speaker. Woofer wise I wouldn't trade the Elac woofer for the M-130 used in the A/V-1, but the difference between the two was pretty minor. The Elac woofer sounded really good. Too good really for no more than these things cost. And now lined with No Rez the bass response is nice and clean with no more residual buzz.

In the top end I began to think, the more I listened, that the Elac actually sounded a little cleaner in the highs. This perplexed me a little as the tweeters are similarly made with no real advantage to the Elac tweeter. Both were using Sonicaps too. But the old A/V-1's were built long before tube connectors came along. I know the tube connectors are an advantage, but could they be doing that much I wondered? So I moved the speaker cables from the tube connectors to the binding posts on the back of the Elac's and the advantage that the Elac's had in the upper ranges and better clarity went away. They then sounded pretty equal to the A/V-1's. And that is still quite a compliment to the Elac's. After that I really wanted to go through all of my older demo speakers and upgrade them with tube connectors. Those tube connectors rule!

No more rolled off top end now either. It sounds very extended and balanced. And not even a hint of brightness or aggressiveness in the top end. They still sound really smooth. Imaging is really good as well.

The mods really transformed them. I'd feel real good about putting these up against any mini-monitor and I think they will really beat up on most of the mini-monitors in the $2,000 and under range.


ketcham

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #102 on: 26 Nov 2015, 09:45 pm »
I just finished up the level 2 mod and figured I'd post some pics of it.

Here is the all new crossover.



For those of you that ordered this upgrade please see the way the parts are laid out.





The tube connectors installed easily. I also added a jumper from the tube connectors down to the old binding posts so that either or can be used. What I like about this is that it allows you to A/B the difference between the connectors so that you can hear how much difference the tube connectors make.



And here is how it looks with them installed.



And here is a shot of the crossovers installed and the cabinets lined with No Rez.



I also laid in just a little bit of fiberglass insulation on the back wall and over the crossover.



They are now together and burning in. I'll give listening impressions in a few days.

Danny.  Really neat you posted pictures.  Very helpful. 
Did the board you mount the cross over to included in the kit?  If not.  What size board do you use to fit into the speaker. 

Super excited on this project.

Pictures very helpful. 

Kind regards.

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #103 on: 26 Nov 2015, 10:11 pm »
Quote
Danny.  Really neat you posted pictures.  Very helpful. 
Did the board you mount the cross over to included in the kit?  If not.  What size board do you use to fit into the speaker. 

Super excited on this project.

Pictures very helpful. 

When I made those two boards I cut two extras so I would have a pattern for future reference.

The boards are 6.5" by 5.25".

Zerogravity

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #104 on: 8 Dec 2015, 06:56 pm »
This is an extremely interesting article, so thank you both Andrew and Danny for your contributions to this!


   I was thinking about upgrading these due to the performance to price ratio. Remember the BIC Venturi and Ed Frias? I know you do Dannny!


   I have a few questions regarding the upgrade. Can anything be done to correct the sheer ugliness from removing the rings? Could a new baffle with the correct cut outs be made. What about making a completely new cabinet. I remember reading that Andrew mentioned, to keep the price point down he opted to not design a curved cabinet. Would a curved cabinet be a noticeable improvement or are the current changes enough? I may build these for my brother in law? I don't honestly think he would like the way the cabinet looks with removed beauty rings!


   By the way Andrew is a true Gentleman and answered my concerns about playing his speakers with a low watt tube amp. I listen very near field so the efficiency isn't a concern, but I was concerned with impedance. Andrew assured me impedance would be good!


Thanks


Jim

bdp24

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #105 on: 8 Dec 2015, 07:53 pm »
This is an extremely interesting article, so thank you both Andrew and Danny for your contributions to this!


   I was thinking about upgrading these due to the performance to price ratio. Remember the BIC Venturi and Ed Frias? I know you do Dannny!


   I have a few questions regarding the upgrade. Can anything be done to correct the sheer ugliness from removing the rings? Could a new baffle with the correct cut outs be made. What about making a completely new cabinet. I remember reading that Andrew mentioned, to keep the price point down he opted to not design a curved cabinet. Would a curved cabinet be a noticeable improvement or are the current changes enough? I may build these for my brother in law? I don't honestly think he would like the way the cabinet looks with removed beauty rings!


   By the way Andrew is a true Gentleman and answered my concerns about playing his speakers with a low watt tube amp. I listen very near field so the efficiency isn't a concern, but I was concerned with impedance. Andrew assured me impedance would be good!


Thanks


Jim

A different way to go would be to replace the grill fabric with something more acoustically transparent, and use the speakers with them installed, thereby concealing the baffle. Or do the grill frames themselves cause diffraction?

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #106 on: 8 Dec 2015, 08:02 pm »
If it were me then I would remove the beauty ring then put the grill back on for casual listening and daily use. Then remove the grills and pull them further out into the room for critical listening.

Zerogravity

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #107 on: 8 Dec 2015, 10:55 pm »
Right, I hear you! For critical listening, it's the sound that trumps everything else, including aesthetics. So a curved cabinet design wouldn't be noticably improved, even with current BSC? I know it hikes up the cost of and otherwise great sounding and affordable unit. All things being equal, he might prefer a pretty cabinet! He could always build the cabinet himself!


Thanks Guy's!

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #108 on: 8 Dec 2015, 11:07 pm »
Right, I hear you! For critical listening, it's the sound that trumps everything else, including aesthetics. So a curved cabinet design wouldn't be noticably improved, even with current BSC? I know it hikes up the cost of and otherwise great sounding and affordable unit. All things being equal, he might prefer a pretty cabinet! He could always build the cabinet himself!


Thanks Guy's!

If you are going to build your own cabinets then there are better options.

srb

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #109 on: 8 Dec 2015, 11:07 pm »
If you're replacing the crossover AND the cabinet it would seem that it might make sense to possibly look at a different speaker.

Kind of reminds me of

"This is George Washington's original axe.  The handle and head have both been replaced but it essentially occupies the same space";)

Steve

jmc207

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #110 on: 8 Dec 2015, 11:39 pm »
I have a pair of the B6's. To help make the exposed trim ring area look a bit nicer I'm going to try painting it with either a semi-gloss or flat black paint. Possibly 2 coats to make it thicker and even things out some. I'll have to see how well the first coat works out.

Removing the tweeter grill and the trim rings sure seemed to help out the high end. Hear more sparkle and detail now.

 

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #111 on: 8 Dec 2015, 11:55 pm »
I have a pair of the B6's. To help make the exposed trim ring area look a bit nicer I'm going to try painting it with either a semi-gloss or flat black paint. Possibly 2 coats to make it thicker and even things out some. I'll have to see how well the first coat works out.

Removing the tweeter grill and the trim rings sure seemed to help out the high end. Hear more sparkle and detail now.

You haven't heard anything yet. At least try the level 1 upgrade. You'll hear a lot more detail and sparkle.

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #112 on: 9 Dec 2015, 12:59 am »
Danny, on the issue with the look with the trim rings removed, is duratex thick enough when you apply it to fill in the holes left behind in one pass?  If someone used the trim ring and the posts for the grills with a piece of cardboard as a template, it looks like it would only take a little bit to cover the exposed area without messing up the rest of the outer material?

The other thought that came to mind is if anyone knows somebody who does signs, that looks like a pretty easy shape to get done in peel and stick vinyl, and if you had it made with a thick enough vinyl stock it should sit flush with the rest of the veneer/wrap.  Pretty cheap and would be a quick and easy install.

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #113 on: 9 Dec 2015, 01:24 am »
Danny, on the issue with the look with the trim rings removed, is duratex thick enough when you apply it to fill in the holes left behind in one pass?  If someone used the trim ring and the posts for the grills with a piece of cardboard as a template, it looks like it would only take a little bit to cover the exposed area without messing up the rest of the outer material?

Sounds a bit tricky, but the bare wood areas could be painted in.

Quote
The other thought that came to mind is if anyone knows somebody who does signs, that looks like a pretty easy shape to get done in peel and stick vinyl, and if you had it made with a thick enough vinyl stock it should sit flush with the rest of the veneer/wrap.  Pretty cheap and would be a quick and easy install.

Not a bad idea.

Zerogravity

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #114 on: 9 Dec 2015, 02:15 pm »
JMC207, thank you for the tip! That is rather encouraging and great idea to boot! I have also wondered about Jim's Diffraction B Gone or any type Wool, taking the same dimensional shape of the Beauty Rings?


   Danny, I figured it wouldn't make much sense to go overboard for the sake of affordability, I was just curious. I have actually told my Brother in Law to get your N3 kit or the Standmount MTM version, which I think you designed for center channel duties. He has actually heard my N3s and loved them, but has to stay in the B6 price range. He could splurge a little more for the upgrades. Not sure if the Neo3 is still available? Hopefully someone else can make a similar design. It was an amazing design, even at CNO! I haven't heard most of the Raals though, not that I could afford them!


   


mlundy57

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #115 on: 9 Dec 2015, 10:01 pm »
JMC207, thank you for the tip! That is rather encouraging and great idea to boot! I have also wondered about Jim's Diffraction B Gone or any type Wool, taking the same dimensional shape of the Beauty Rings?


   Danny, I figured it wouldn't make much sense to go overboard for the sake of affordability, I was just curious. I have actually told my Brother in Law to get your N3 kit or the Standmount MTM version, which I think you designed for center channel duties. He has actually heard my N3s and loved them, but has to stay in the B6 price range. He could splurge a little more for the upgrades. Not sure if the Neo3 is still available? Hopefully someone else can make a similar design. It was an amazing design, even at CNO! I haven't heard most of the Raals though, not that I could afford them!

A good alternative to the N3 or the N3S would be the X-MTM Encore or X-CS Encore respectively.  If you upgrade the Encore's crossovers, especially if you point to point wire the boards like the N3/N3S, the Encores are exceptional.

The people I have built the X-MTM and X-CS Encores for have been very pleased with them.  I'm sure your brother-in-law would be also.

Mike

corndog71

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #116 on: 9 Dec 2015, 10:58 pm »
A good alternative to the N3 or the N3S would be the X-MTM Encore or X-CS Encore respectively.  If you upgrade the Encore's crossovers, especially if you point to point wire the boards like the N3/N3S, the Encores are exceptional.

The people I have built the X-MTM and X-CS Encores for have been very pleased with them.  I'm sure your brother-in-law would be also.

Mike

Agreed!  I sometimes miss my pair of X-CS Encores.  They're big, need stands, but sound crazy good with upgraded crossovers.  Surprising amount of bass from a sealed cabinet.


Zerogravity

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #117 on: 10 Dec 2015, 01:06 am »
Mike,


   I will definitely tell him about the Encore builds! I was looking at Encore before I considered the N3, but the Neo3 tweeter easily persuaded me. I was already familier with Neo3 having them in another design. However Danny's design is considerably better in sound quality! I'm curious how the JET tweeter from ELAC compares?


Thanks


Jim

mlundy57

Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #118 on: 10 Dec 2015, 02:04 am »
Mike,


   I will definitely tell him about the Encore builds! I was looking at Encore before I considered the N3, but the Neo3 tweeter easily persuaded me. I was already familier with Neo3 having them in another design. However Danny's design is considerably better in sound quality! I'm curious how the JET tweeter from ELAC compares?


Thanks


Jim

Jim,

I've never heard the ELAC's so I cannot comment on their tweeters. I definately agree about Danny's use of the Neo3 PDR tweeters, that's probably why I have three pairs of his speakers with them, N1-X, N3 and Wedgies.

That does not mean the Peerless tweeter is a slouch or inferior. The sound is different but I would not say inferior. when I built the X-LS Encores I built the crossovers exactly as an upgraded N1-X i.e. Sonicaps, Mills resistors, Erse XQ inductors and point-to-point wired. I did this on purpose so that crossover component quality and build method would not be a factor when comparing the N1-X and the X-LS Encore. 

I spent almost a year listening to both speakers and the bottom line was that I could never say I liked one better than the other. The N1-X's with the Neo3 had the edge in clarity and detail while the X-LS Encore with the Peerless was a little smoother and richer. It really came down to the mood I was in because my mood would dictate what type of music I wanted to listen to. With detail rich symphonies and orchestral music I preferred the the clarity and detail of the N1-X but with jazz, folk, pop/rock and chamber music I preferred the smooth richness of the Encores.

Mike

Danny Richie

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Re: Elac B6 upgrade
« Reply #119 on: 10 Dec 2015, 02:04 am »
I will definitely tell him about the Encore builds! I was looking at Encore before I considered the N3, but the Neo3 tweeter easily persuaded me. I was already familier with Neo3 having them in another design. However Danny's design is considerably better in sound quality! I'm curious how the JET tweeter from ELAC compares?

It's no planar magnetic tweeter. And I wouldn't take it over the T26SG used in the Encore kits, but it is very comparable to our GR-T3 dome tweeter. It really does sound very good.