Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master

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ric

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #20 on: 15 Oct 2019, 02:37 pm »
I also thought the upper end of the Spatials were truncated musically, for about $70 you can try the Path Audio's and judge for yourself. I am assuming all speakers will benefit sonically from upgrades, given the correct values.

Audiophile58

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #21 on: 15 Oct 2019, 02:47 pm »
 No matter how good the Electronics theXover is the heart of the speaker, average parts
Is ok but hold the speaker back in imaging,soundstage depth and resolution .
I have been upgrading electronics and speakers for over 20 years now ,and everything
Is built to a price point ,on average less then 25% actually goes into the speaker itself
The rest markup  and overhead. Go look at  Humblehomemadehifi.com
There is a vast guide to premium capacitor parts. The stock clarity caps are their lower grade,  premium resistors, like Path Audio - the best, and Duelund cast  capacitirs are the best of the best that are Night and day better, but the Duelunds Waay over priced,and huge, the Audyn TrueCopper -Max are a exceptional cap ,very close to the Excellent Jupiter Copper foil ,and 1/2 the cost ,and better then even the best Mundorf
Silver,gold oil  capacitors and much less monies it all comes down to budget .

sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #22 on: 15 Oct 2019, 03:55 pm »
I may be speaking out of turn but after reading the much lauded Humble Homemade Hifi Capacitor test extensively and cross referencing it with other reviews I would say if you are looking for more budget minded caps look at the Clarity Cap CSA MKP 250VDC and them up from that the Jantzen Audio Superior Z-Cap. Even if buying from the states don't dismiss HiFi Collective because its in the UK. There pricing is universally better than Parts Express and Parts Connection and their stock appears to be way more flushed out. Take a look at Humble Homemade HiFi's Crossover design page and see what they are using on their crossovers. You will see both of these caps used extensively as well as the Jantzen C-Coil inductor. At least in the Triode Master there are two resistors in the signal path. From what I've read on the boards most crossover designers try to avoid capacitors in the signal path whenever possible however if you must use them everyone seems to agree the Path resistor is the way to go even when put up against the Dueland Cast resistors. For capacitors not in the signal path or parallel capacitors the Jantzen Crosscap or the Jantzen Standard Z are highly recommended by HHHiFi as well. If you cross reference their scores against Pricing from HiFi collective Jantzen really seems to be the value leader. Please keep in mind this is what my research has shown and is just an effort to save some people some time.

Tyson

Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #23 on: 15 Oct 2019, 04:04 pm »
Clarity Cap CSA MKP is an excellent cap as is the Jantzen. 

For the higher end caps, I've tried several teflon caps, the Jupiter copper caps, the Audyn True Copper caps and the Miflex copper caps.  All of these caps perform very well.  Mostly it'll come down to what you value.  The Teflon caps are universally 'faster' and more dynamic with more emphasis on the leading edge of notes and are exciting to listen to.  The Jupiter copper caps are at the opposite side of that spectrum - they are the warmest and most forgiving of all the caps and also allow through the most tonal information.  Audyn True copper caps lean much closer to the teflon caps in overall presentation, but with a touch more warmth and tone.  The Miflex caps are pretty much dead neutral from a tonal standpoint, and are as good (or better) in every area than any other cap I've tried.  For the $$, I think the Miflex caps are the best caps out there right now. 

Audiophile58

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #24 on: 15 Oct 2019, 04:50 pm »
The Millflex copper oil are very good I have these shared with Clarity CSA caps
The Audyn true copper max is their best foil cap and is slightly warmer and more defined
In every area. Either of these capacitors is excellent by any standard.

Dakotaconcrete

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #25 on: 18 Oct 2019, 12:13 am »


M4 Turbo S. Nothing elegant...just plugged it in to see if it works. Settling in as I type. I went with Miflex (the cheaper version) and an assortment of Intertechnik capacitors, kept everything else the same. Used terminal blocks for ease of future tweaks, if desired.

undertowogt1

Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #26 on: 20 Oct 2019, 12:22 am »
Very nice Dakotaconcrete. May I ask the Approximate Price for your Tweek / Upgrade? What if anything did you notice with the sound.

Dakotaconcrete

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #27 on: 20 Oct 2019, 03:21 pm »
As I mentioned, I decided to rebuild the crossover entirely, so I purchased all 6 components (1 resistor, 2 inductors, and 3 capacitors). I think that each crossover cost around $100 each, this includes the board, rubber feet for the board, zip ties, etc. The 3 components I changed were the capacitors, in the 6.8 uf spot I used an Audyn Cap Plus, in the 1.5 uf spot I used a Miflex KPAL, and in the 33 uf spot I used an Audyn Q4. The size of the capacitors necessitated external placement.

In addition, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Path resistors last night, and they're around $23, each.

For sound, I probably have less than 10 hours on them, and from what I've read, they're likely not at equilibrium. Regardless, I am terrible at describing sound and don't really trust my memory with the original crossover sound. I generally approach these changes skeptically with the outlook that it could be an improvement. I can say that it hasn't hurt the sound in any way. Part of me does feel like the soundstage improved in the x and z axis, and vocals have greater presence.

morganc

Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #28 on: 20 Oct 2019, 05:23 pm »
As I mentioned, I decided to rebuild the crossover entirely, so I purchased all 6 components (1 resistor, 2 inductors, and 3 capacitors). I think that each crossover cost around $100 each, this includes the board, rubber feet for the board, zip ties, etc. The 3 components I changed were the capacitors, in the 6.8 uf spot I used an Audyn Cap Plus, in the 1.5 uf spot I used a Miflex KPAL, and in the 33 uf spot I used an Audyn Q4. The size of the capacitors necessitated external placement.

In addition, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Path resistors last night, and they're around $23, each.

For sound, I probably have less than 10 hours on them, and from what I've read, they're likely not at equilibrium. Regardless, I am terrible at describing sound and don't really trust my memory with the original crossover sound. I generally approach these changes skeptically with the outlook that it could be an improvement. I can say that it hasn't hurt the sound in any way. Part of me does feel like the soundstage improved in the x and z axis, and vocals have greater presence.


Would you mind sharing where you found the best prices on those items?  This sounds like a middle road upgrade cost wise with likely huge benefits.

Dakotaconcrete

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #29 on: 20 Oct 2019, 05:43 pm »
I didn't spend too much energy trying to find the best price but I sourced the Intertechnik upgrade capacitors, original inductors, and original resistor from Parts Express, the Path resistor upgrade from HiFi Collective, and the Miflex upgrade capacitor from Sonic Craft.

morganc

Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #30 on: 21 Oct 2019, 10:43 am »
 :thumb:

undertowogt1

Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #31 on: 22 Oct 2019, 10:29 am »
Thanks for the info Morganc. Sounds like a fun project I will take on myself.

sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #32 on: 9 Nov 2019, 08:10 pm »
I have completed the rebuild of my crossover for my M3TM's. I may have gone a little overboard by replacing everything all at once but in the end I figured if I ever wanted to move up the Spatial Audio ladder I would want the original crossovers intact. The components are so tightly packed in there getting them out would really be a chore let alone the idea putting them all back in. The two components I did not upgrade but I did re purchase were the cap and resistor in the Zobel Network. Id like to share some picture first then ill share some measurements and impressions. Please note this is just a hobby of mine and like most of you out there the science behind it all escapes me. I welcome any and all input and observations.

sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #33 on: 9 Nov 2019, 08:22 pm »









sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #34 on: 9 Nov 2019, 08:29 pm »
My original idea was to have the crossovers sit in position like Dakotaconcrete did with his/her crossover hence the little tongue that comes out the front of the case. I even built a cork foam and wood platform for them to sit on. Even with the platform I noticed there was still quite a bit of vibration I could feel in the case. I'm still not 100 percent set on my speaker placement so I though the ability to move them around with the speaker would be nice. I have since move them onto the floor. Whether or not it makes any sonic difference I cannot tell you but the vibrations have been reduced dramatically. FYI I have also place my speakers on SVS isolation feet to help isolate them from my tubes.


sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #35 on: 9 Nov 2019, 09:00 pm »
The first image shows the left crossover upside down showing the Bass section and the Zobel Network. The right image is right side up showing the crossover section for the tweeter.

I put most of my money into the components in the signal path. In the bass section I went with the Jantzen C-Coil on Clayton's suggestion. For the tweeter I replaced both the resistors in the signal path with Path Audio resistors. These are highly recommended by just about everyone as the resistor to use if you have them in your signal path. In my research the Path resistors appear to favored over even the Deulands. For the main capacitor in the high section I went with the Jupiter Copper Wax Paper. This was the one I hemmed and hawed the most over. In the end it came down to a matter of Sonicraft having them on sale bringing their price closer to the Milflex which was my runner up choice.

The tweeter has a parallel notch filter in the first stage of the crossover. After reading up on this I learned that it creates a dip in the frequency response over a targeted range. Using XSIM it appears to create a 10db dip centered around 2.5khz.
Some of you may have noticed that the tweeter is wired out of phase. This means that the positive terminal of the tweeter is wired to the negative output on your amp. According to Clayton this helps to time align the tweeter which is attached to the back of the woofer.  If you place the the woofer in phase in XSIM you get a very respectable looking plot. When you reverse the phase all hell breaks loose. Perhaps some of you out there with real knowledge can comment.

sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #36 on: 9 Nov 2019, 09:06 pm »





sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #37 on: 9 Nov 2019, 09:17 pm »
The parallel notch filter confuses me a bit as I cant find any info on what components are actually in the signal path. I understand what each component does but I figured the resistor was the component the signal carries through while the cap and coil shape it. The Path resistor seemed like the best choice based on this assumption. I went with a mid level but highly regarded cap here and a slightly larger ga./lower ESR coil than the original. Would be curious to hear how some of the more knowledgeable members of the community feel about the importance of quality components in these positions is.

ric

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #38 on: 10 Nov 2019, 03:04 pm »
I had made comments in the past on my crossover upgrade of the M3TS--all positive. Have you talked to Clayton about the dip? I would imagine he's the one to talk to.
Regarding the box holding the crossover components and sound/vibration, I have to say I am nothing but impressed with IsoAcoustics products and use them on the M3's feet, under my turntable, amp, on top of my SpaceDeck motor wheel, and also added one in conjunction with a turntable weight.
In my experience, once you are hearing more detail from your system, the more you hear improvements in vibration control, and this includes the crossovers.
I have on order some of IsoAcoustic Orea's that are rated up to 4lbs, that I plan to put under the crossovers, and I know from experience that even putting Herbie's products under the crossovers show an improvement in sound quality. IMO the IsoAcoustics improve upon the Herbie's products and I figured, as long as I have this much invested in the crossover, isolating it further from vibration is a good thing.
Thanks for posting and happy listening!

sandston

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Re: Crossover Upgrades M3 Triode Master
« Reply #39 on: 10 Nov 2019, 09:54 pm »
So how does it sound? While it is still breaking in the first thing I noticed I did not expect. There was a decided drop off in the amount of deep bass. While this wasn't necessarily a bad thing it wasn't expected. I run my M3TM's with a pair of SVS 4000 subs. Before the crossover mods I had the subs turned down quiet a bit and dropped the crossover frequency down to 60hz. I have since turned them back up to 75hz and increased the vol about 10db or so. I am still playing around with these settings. What I am noticing that while the M3TM's are not reaching as low they seem to have a more authoritative grip in the mid bass region. The SVS subs are capable of a much tighter grip on the lowest octaves so ultimately this change albeit unexpected is a plus. I will post measurements I took with REW that support this finding.

The second thing I noticed is a wider sound stage and more space around the individual instruments. My girlfriend who couldn't care on lick about my system except that she knows it makes me happy was baffled by me buying these speakers to begin with freely admitted early on that in their stock form sounded amazing. When I decided to rework the crossovers she was even more perplexed. Sound familiar? On my first listening session she wandered into the room and sat down to listen with me. Within 20 minutes she said unprompted, " I feel like I can walk around the musicians!". I think that says it all as I would have to agree that the overall separation has become more defined and the detail retrieval has increased giving the presentation a greater sense of being there with the musicians. And this is something these speakers already have in spades.