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  1. #1

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    Default Advice on fixing up Ultralinear speakers

    My brother-in-law asked me to do a restoration job on a pair of speakers of his from the late 70's called "Ultralinear". He was telling me how much he loved these speakers "back in the day" but they need an overhaul. One particular problem he is having is that they cut in and out on him a lot.

    I'm sure the cutting in and out is some sort of loose connection, which could be repaired easily enough. But if I'm going to start ripping into them, it's probably wise to pull the crossovers and replace the caps and resistors.

    From what I've read online these aren't really high end speakers, although they did seem to have a good following. From a value perspective, it doesn't seem like these are worth investing in boutique caps, so I'm looking for a recommendation on inexpensive caps to use instead of the typical Sonicaps and Clarity that we use on the Polks. Would Daytons fit the bill?
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  2. #2

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    Those were "Store Brand", and had simple crossovers. 2ways had just a cap for the tweeter. Dayton 1% or Clarity PX are about the same $$. Mundorf MOX are cheaper than Mills if any resistors are found. I did see one with an L-Pad, so that would need some DeoxIT if it has one. Also check for foam rot on the woofer.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


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  3. #3

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    Cool, thanks WMG!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  4. #4

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    Used Dayton on several cheep speakers with very good results.

  5. #5

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    Excellent. I'm getting hold of these speakers this weekend, I'll start pulling them apart and get a feel for what I'm dealing with. After reading up on these, part of me wants to tell my bro-in-law that these aren't worth the effort, and to go find some used Polk monitors on CL. But on the other hand, he's had these for 35 years and he's always loved them. I understand the sentimental attachment, so assuming it's not too high-budget for the parts and the foam on the woofers hasn't rotted out, then I'd be psyched to give them back to him singing the way he likes.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  6. #6

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    Keeping the value point of the project in mind I wouldn't be afraid to use the 5% Dayton "audio" grade caps that are dirt cheep and still take you way beyond the original electrolytic parts in those speakers.

  7. #7

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    They're the same caps, just binned for 1%, and the rest are marked 5%
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

  8. #8

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    Got hold of these on Easter Sunday and opened them up tonight. They're definitely a pain in the arse. First of all, they are stuffed to the brim with nasty fiberglass fill. Not much luck trying to remove it without shredding it, which I have no desire to do. My bet is the put the fill in and then glued the back of the cabinet in place. Also, the masonite board that the crossover is built on is glued to the back of the cabinet, I don't dare try to pull it out. So I had to lay the cabinet on it's back and spread the fiberglass enough to reach into the crossover and des older the components. Not too bad, but soldering the new stuff in will be definitely be a bitch.

    Fortunately, they are very simple, just three caps and a coil. Not touching the coil, so just need to worry about the caps. Each speaker has two 30's and a 12. The caps are rated +/- 20%, so I definitely will use the Dayton 5% caps, the 1% will cost a lot more and are obviously overkill. For the 5% Daytons, total cost will only be about $50. That works....

    I'll post here again whenim reassembling. Thanks again for the advice.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  9. #9

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    Meanwhile back with these speakers. The Dayton caps showed up from PE today, so my nephew and I are going to have a go at these tonight. I'm glad I didn't pay up for the 1% caps. I got the 5% MP's - four 30's and two 12's. All measure within 1%
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
    Meanwhile back with these speakers. The Dayton caps showed up from PE today, so my nephew and I are going to have a go at these tonight. I'm glad I didn't pay up for the 1% caps. I got the 5% MP's - four 30's and two 12's. All measure within 1%
    Sounds like a fun project with your nephew.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

  11. #11

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    Need to get these out of the way so we can focus on his M10's!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  12. #12

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    Talk about a PITA, Dave. These Ultralinears are brutal. The crossover is just a terminal with several tabs mounted on a small masonite board, and the masonite board is glued to the cabinet. I didn't want to try pulling the masonite board out, I figured there's better than even odds that I'd destroy it if I tried. So had to do the soldering with the thing still inside the cabinet. There was so much fiberglass fill in there, and the fiberglass was too big to pull through any of the holes from the driver, so just had to leave it in place and pull it apart to get to the crossover. I'm glad my nephew was helping me, this was definitely easier with two people. He was helping to hold back the fill and shine a flashlight into the cabinet while I was working the soldering iron.

    We got one speaker done, we're going to do the other one tomorrow night. Forgot to take pics of the XO after we put the Daytons in, I'll get a few off the second speaker tomorrow night. Here are a few pics of the XO with the stock caps, two 30's and a 12:

    IMG_0770.jpg

    IMG_0771.jpg

    IMG_0774.jpg


    We tested out the one we finished, came right up first try. As for the sound...... They ain't Polks!
    Attached Images  
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  13. #13

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    Also, the leads on the Daytons weren't long enough to reach the tabs on the terminal block, so I had to solder extensions on. Not the prettiest job ever, but $50 worth of caps and my bro-in-laws speakers will be back in business. Oh, and a case of Brooklyn Lager for my me and my nephew!
    1!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  14. #14

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    I'll bet you had fun though, and the 2nd one will go in like butta...
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

  15. #15

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    Well, I love it when a plan comes together. These are done. You were right Dave, pretty funny how much faster the second speaker went than the first. I have them hooked up to the amp I'm giving my nephew, with my Squeezebox playing Zeppelin II on repeat, and I put my GIK corner traps in front of them to keep things as quiet as I can. Letting the caps burn in for a few days, and then my bro-in-law is picking them up on Monday night.

    Here's a few pics of the Daytons:

    IMG_0827.jpg

    IMG_0828.jpg

    Thanks again for the advice Dave. Now we can focus all our attention on the M10's!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  16. #16

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    Looks good. How are the caps secured?
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

  17. #17

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    Hot glue. Same way the old ones were...
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  18. #18

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    Not my favorite method, but should hold.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

  19. #19

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    Agreed. But anything else would have required for more effort than the final product warrants. I like to mount to a board with double sided foam tape underneath, and tie down with cable ties. But these speakers don't even have a board to tie down to, and I wasn't going to start fabricating one.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  20. #20

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    My brother in law just picked these up, he's driving them home and hooking them up to give them a listen. I'm expecting to hear from him later that he's a happy camper. He paid me the $60 for the Daytons, and a case of Brooklyn Lager for the labor! I'll split the two 12-packs with my nephew...
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  21. #21

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    Just heard back from my bro in law, he's very happy. Says they sound better than they ever did before. $60 and a case of beer well spent for him!

    Thanks again for the advice!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  22. #22

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    Great to hear.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

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