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  1. #1

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    Lightbulb SDA 2.3TL Owners and Information

    Looks like I am going to purchase a set of these soon from a fellow Polkie!

    I was hoping to gather a wealth of information from owners and previous owners. Feel free to post your opinions and also links to crossover upgrades, pictures, modifications and other helpful hints. I respect the insight from first hand experience.

    In the past I have owned a few SDA's:
    1. SDA-2B Standard version with upgraded tweeters
    2. SDA-1C Standard version with crossover upgrades, Larry's rings and a few other mods
    3. SDA-2B Studio version (Currently run these in stock form in my H/T rig)

    So I am hip to the general rules but never owned any of the "Big Boyz".

    All comments and help are greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Eric.

  2. #2

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    Are the xovers rebuilt? The only things I can think of is to make sure they are well sealed and in phase. I was going to ad a eq to mine until I realized they were out of sync. Switched the wires and they were fine. They are quite musical when they are set up right! Enjoy and congrats!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim 249 View Post
    Are the xovers rebuilt?
    Nope these are stock. But the crossover upgrade is a "must do" in the future.

  4. #4

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    All you need to know is in the sticky.

    I absolutely love mine, but only after I built a decent interconnect cable, rebuilt the crossovers, got the right room for them, installed Larry's Rings, and (no joke) switched the preamp out from mono mode & tone bypass (so goes life with little kids).

  5. #5

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    I've had mine since June 2011 and performed all (I think) mods. The following all had a major impact on the sound, though some were pretty inexpensive, others not so much

    Xover rebuild - a no brainer! Presently there is a debate here on CP over which is better, Sonicap and Clarity Cap. You have choices - "you pays your money and takes your chances."

    Replace tweeters with RD-0198's - ditto!

    Build a dreadnought (AI-1 interface) - ditto! this was a substantial improvement even when I was running a common ground amp. A must if you're planning to use mono blocks.

    Blackhole 5 - cheap ($67 for the one sheet needed) and really cleaned up the midrange congestion that I wasn't aware was there. Made it sound like I had upgraded my amp - more power!

    New IC cable and binding post - I used a Cardas BP and built my own cable and the improved clarity/soundstage was easy to hear

    I was a little disappointed in these speaks until I did these mods. Now, I can't imagine upgrading to anything else. They're totally satisfying!

    Good luck - hope you get 'em!
    Last edited by drumminman; 01-03-2013 at 07:05 AM.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    Blackhole 5 - cheap ($67 for the one sheet needed) and really cleaned up the midrange congestion that I wasn't aware was there. Made it sound like I had upgraded my amp - more power!
    Thanks I will search and get some info about this one!

  7. #7

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    My 2.3TL's have sonicaps/mills, RDO's, larry's rings, Gimpod's XO boards and upgraded IC. I imagine I'll do a few of the other tweaks to them at some point but they certainly sound excellent now with the upgrades. I also had 1C studios with the upgrades and while for some reason they seemed to have a bit wider soundstage (might have been some tube amp goodness in there at the time), they didn't have the tall soundstage or deep satisfying bass that the 2.3's have.

    I too will look into the blackhole 5 now that I know about it.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  8. #8

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    How's Sunday looking Eric?

  9. #9

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    Just offering another perspective and option over BH 5, check out norez.

    http://gr-research.com/norez24x27sheet.aspx

    I choose norez for its design for speaker enclosures vs BH 5 being made for subwoofers. Below is a c&p from a site describing the uses of both. YMMV

    Products like Black Hole 5 (BH5) and NoRez do take up space. At least the damping and barrier layers do, but the foam layer counters that and the end result is that the woofer sees about the same air space as it did before. Now BH5 has a damper and a suspended barrier layer. The damper controls the resonance of the panel that it is stuck to as it is a very inert and non-resonant material. It also has a barrier layer suspended in the middle to convert pressure into heat. It is a sound barrier and it helps to keep sound waves from passing from one side to the other. This works great for applications like subwoofers. However, it can have some negative effects when used with small drivers and used with heavy coverage as the suspended barrier layer can start to mass load the driver just like a port or passive radiator and this can have some negative impact on the midrange. Because of this effect NoRez was developed.

    For subwoofers, Black Hole 5 is the way to go. You will find that your efforts are well worth the investment, including your time, as your sub will sound cleaner and tighter than you ever thought it could.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  10. #10

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    So I am hip to the general rules but never owned any of the "Big Boyz".
    The same rules apply to all SDA's including spiking them.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    Thanks I will search and get some info about this one!
    I bought mine at Sonicraft: http://www.soniccraft.com/products/d...blackhole5.htm
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNHNDYMAN View Post
    How's Sunday looking Eric?
    Good! Will call to work out details...

  13. #13

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    Now BH5 has a damper and a suspended barrier layer. The damper controls the resonance of the panel that it is stuck to as it is a very inert and non-resonant material. It also has a barrier layer suspended in the middle to convert pressure into heat. It is a sound barrier and it helps to keep sound waves from passing from one side to the other. This works great for applications like subwoofers. However, it can have some negative effects when used with small drivers and used with heavy coverage as the suspended barrier layer can start to mass load the driver just like a port or passive radiator and this can have some negative impact on the midrange. Because of this effect NoRez was developed.

    I believe that other CP members experienced this when they used too much BH 5. However, it works very well when the proper amount is used. I found the 3-4" vertical strips on the back interior wall from the top of the cabinet to the bottom of the mw's, and horizontal strips behind the tweeters works wonders.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  14. #14

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    I thought about using some of this NoRez product but decided against it. I felt there was sufficient fill in each speaker. everything filled 80% minus PR area.

    And dare I say it sounds so damn good the mid range. Mind you, there was a lot of research put into the 3.1's so I'm riding it out. Crossover upgrades will change that first.

  15. #15

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    Got my SDA 2.3TL's home and set-up properly. Big thanks to Travis (TNHNDYMAN) for the trade.
    These sound fantastic! The sound stage is soooo huge. I am going to enjoy them stock for a while and my next purchase will be a power amp.

    It is amazing that 20+ year old speakers can still hang with (and sometimes stomp) current offerings I hear at audio shops.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    Got my SDA 2.3TL's home and set-up properly. Big thanks to Travis (TNHNDYMAN) for the trade.
    These sound fantastic! The sound stage is soooo huge. I am going to enjoy them stock for a while and my next purchase will be a power amp.

    It is amazing that 20+ year old speakers can still hang with (and sometimes stomp) current offerings I hear at audio shops.
    Congrats! Gotta say though, if they're stock you're in for quite a ride re: mods. If you like them now you're gonna love 'em after. . . . . . . . . . . (see above)
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  17. #17

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    Congrats !
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  18. #18

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    It was a very sad day for me to see them go. I know Eric will enjoy them and remember I have first dibs if you decide to let them go. They are amazing stock- and I'd love to hear a fully modded set in a proper setup. My living space for the forseable future will not allow that and a car with a dying transmission necessitated the sale.

    After experiencing the 2.3TL's, it is hard to go downstream per say. Now using a pair of modded Monitor 7's (part of the trade) as my front stage and must confess that the result is depressing. I am thrilled I got to enjoy them for almost a year and now have a true benchmark to compare future choices. Even so, the demo of the Polk 703's opened my eyes to other options. Down the road I will audition some of the LsiM floorstanders. Not sure how to afford them but they are definately on my radar when finances improve.

    On a more upbeat note- it was really nice to spend a little time with a fellow Polkie with similar family values and having a prayer before eating was great. I enjoyed having you over to my home and letting you see my almost hoardish mismash of vintage gear in every nook and cranny. When you get the proper amp to drive them and the family is gone- turn them up to 11 occasionally for me. They like that.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNHNDYMAN View Post
    Down the road I will audition some of the LsiM floorstanders. Not sure how to afford them but they are definately on my radar when finances improve.
    Be sure to audition the LSiM's so that you have proper reference but having demo'd them myself, I ended up going back to the SDA's. The LSiM's are very picky when it comes to gear and, especially room conditions so an in-house demo is the only way to know if you'll like them. They didn't like my house. Sorry to hear you had to let them go but I'm sure you'll end up with another great pair some day.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    Got my SDA 2.3TL's home and set-up properly. Big thanks to Travis (TNHNDYMAN) for the trade.
    These sound fantastic! The sound stage is soooo huge. I am going to enjoy them stock for a while and my next purchase will be a power amp.

    It is amazing that 20+ year old speakers can still hang with (and sometimes stomp) current offerings I hear at audio shops.
    Congrats. I was going to get a regular set of 2.3's but decided they were too big for my room. If I ever do get a set, they will be the 2.3TL's for sure!
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it!!"
    *****************************

  21. #21

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    Well I have spent some time with these stock so now in the next week upgrades will begin.

    Next step is to decide what to power them with. I really liked the tube int amp a polkie let me borrow. B&K separates are also on the radar. Then I read many folks like a tube pre and ss amp. Decisions.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    Then I read many folks like a tube pre and ss amp. Decisions.
    This ^^^^^^^^
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    Xover rebuild - a no brainer! Presently there is a debate here on CP over which is better, Sonicap and Clarity Cap. You have choices - "you pays your money and takes your chances."
    I don't think there's much debate among those that have heard both. Claritycap wins hands down. I have ESA series in my crossovers, and they beat the pants off the SDAs I have that were rebuilt with Sonicaps.
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    now bh5 has a damper and a suspended barrier layer. The damper controls the resonance of the panel that it is stuck to as it is a very inert and non-resonant material. It also has a barrier layer suspended in the middle to convert pressure into heat. It is a sound barrier and it helps to keep sound waves from passing from one side to the other. This works great for applications like subwoofers. However, it can have some negative effects when used with small drivers and used with heavy coverage as the suspended barrier layer can start to mass load the driver just like a port or passive radiator and this can have some negative impact on the midrange. because of this effect norez was developed.

    i believe that other cp members experienced this when they used too much bh 5. However, it works very well when the proper amount is used. I found the 3-4" vertical strips on the back interior wall from the top of the cabinet to the bottom of the mw's, and horizontal strips behind the tweeters works wonders.

    this^^^^^
    Hot Rodded SDA 1.2TL's, SDA 1C's, SDA CRS+'s...
    Powered By Wyred 4 Sound, STP-SE, SX-1000...
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    I don't think there's much debate among those that have heard both. Claritycap wins hands down. I have ESA series in my crossovers, and they beat the pants off the SDAs I have that were rebuilt with Sonicaps.
    +1 to this statement!! Along with Duelund Cast resistors.
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

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  26. #26

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    So I spiked these speakers the other day and the improvement in sound is nothing short of amazing. Shocked to say the least, with the improvement of the mid-range clarity. They were a bit muddy, but I thought it was the small NAD amp causing this to happen.

    In the past I have spiked speakers, but never noticed this degree of improvement. Still hard to imagine what I gained. Bass is of course much tighter and hits deeper. Sound-stage and instrument placement is better too.

    These SDA-2.3TL have to be one of the best all around speakers you can buy for the dollar. "Stupid good" as we say in the south.

    Many here have "been there and done that" with SDA's, and I have as well.
    I'm back at the "been there" part now.

  27. #27

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    Glad you are still enjoying them. I was going to do the speaks and even had them purchased, but I never got around to seeing what the change would be. Impressed you felt such a big change. I still miss those 2.3's. I'll have another pair in the future or those again if you ever decide to sell and I have the cash. Take care-

  28. #28

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    I'm always surprised on what spikes do to the sound, its a must IMO for any of my speakers at this point.

    Which NAD amp are you using to run the 2.3's?

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    I don't think there's much debate among those that have heard both. Claritycap wins hands down. I have ESA series in my crossovers, and they beat the pants off the SDAs I have that were rebuilt with Sonicaps.
    Well if you don't mind blood dripping from your eardrums after extended listening, by all means go with ESAs, however, if you want a truly MUSICAL Cap that's silky smooth and never disappoints, go with Sonicaps.
    Yes I've heard both, side by side, in Monitors, and SDAs, for extended periods, and the Sonicaps win every time.
    If you insist on ESAs, some Mills Resistors will mellow them out a bit, but just a bit.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
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  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by westmassguy View Post
    Well if you don't mind blood dripping from your eardrums after extended listening, by all means go with ESAs, however, if you want a truly MUSICAL Cap that's silky smooth and never disappoints, go with Sonicaps.
    Yes I've heard both, side by side, in Monitors, and SDAs, for extended periods, and the Sonicaps win every time.
    If you insist on ESAs, some Mills Resistors will mellow them out a bit, but just a bit.
    You need to get your ear on the 250v series of ESA caps. No blood from these ears...yet

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