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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up Monitor 5b's x-over upgrade w/pics

    I decided to start a new thread in the appropriate forum as a reference for those who want to see how it's done. This upgrade was very simple if only a bit time consuming. No special tools needed and anyone with a steady hand and basic soldering knowledge can do this. There is a minimum of dis-assembly required. I do however recommend pulling the drivers and the passive radiator, especially if you want to upgrade the internal wiring. It also gives you a chance to visually inspect the drivers for damage and/or correct parts. However there is enough length of wire to pull just the x-over out for upgrading.

    These pictures and the basic procedure can be used as a reference for all the Monitor series x-over upgrades. Look here for a Polk schematic: http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38755. It's also a good idea to pull the x-over and compare it to the schematic because Polk changed things on the fly many times. If you are in doubt or have any questions call Ken Swauger at Polk customer service and he will answer any questions.

    I also recommend doing one x-over at a time so if you get confused or forget where something goes you have an unmolested one for reference. Polk used Black and Green for positive (+) and white for negative (-). I also wrote the polarity on the back of each tweet so as not to get confused upon reinstallation.

    Also you will need to contour the leads on the caps and resistors to get them to fit properly. Be gentle especially where the leads exit the body of the part. They can be damaged but you really have to apply some pressure to damage them. Just a note of caution.

    Once the x-over has been removed from the cabinet there are 4 plastic compression clips that attach the pcb to the terminal cup. Gently compress the tabs with pliers (needle nose work best) and detach the pcb from the terminal cup. The pcb can be folded over to work on removing and reinstalling the parts.

    The new caps are substantially larger than the older ones so I removed the 2 original caps by snipping the leads close to the pcb. I did however make notes on a piece of paper. It appears some of the caps originally use were polarized, this makes no difference whatsoever and the new caps are (and should be) non-polarized.

    Then I un-soldered the remaining part of the leads from the pcb. I did it in this order to do a mock up of the new caps because they are substantially larger and you need to think it out a bit for best fit.. The larger cap can hang over the pcb a bit w/o having any concerns about the terminal cup fit back into the cabinet. If it protrudes a lot you will have to angle the terminal cup a bit to get it to clear the cabinet. However there are no other clearance issues.

    Removing and reinstalling the resistor is simple. The new resistor is longer than the original (if you are using Mills) so you need to contour the leads a little bit to get it to fit snuggly.

    Here are the pics.

    1-2) Old x-over with new red and black wiring
    3) New parts from Parts Express
    4) I left the wiring alone from the terminal cup to the pcb. Note: the gloppy glue from the factory. This is used to seal holes etc., since the cabinet needs to be absolutely air tight.
    5) Action shot
    6) Setting the new caps. See how huge they are?
    7) New caps installed Note: The original resistor still in place
    8) You can unclip the pcb, fold it over, and work the magic
    9) You can let the large cap protrude over the side of the pcb w/o any difficulty refitting the terminal cup into the cabinet.
    10) Newer generation 5b original x-over w/poly switch (small blue square part). I bought a single 5b for parts if I needed them.
    11) New vs. Old x-over parts.
    12-13) New and New x-over parts
    14) a shot thru the passive radiator cut-out of the upgraded x-over re-installed in the cabinet.

    The end
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    Last edited by heiney9; 04-07-2007 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Better clarity
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  2. #2

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    Great job H9. Does your 5b's have peerless? If so...some think the peerless is too bright...in the 7's, 10's, and 5's. I found replacing the 2.7ohm with a 4.5ohm to be the best solution for me in my 10's (center) and 7's (mains). Do this only if you feel the speaker is not warm enough.

    The trickiest part of the whole project, I found, is unsoldering and soldering back the copper wire coming from the underside of the xover from the main coil. But I see you dont have that same coil. So the 5's upgrade is even easier.

    But that is an excellent write up, way to go H9.:D :)
    Last edited by jakelm; 04-07-2007 at 10:54 AM.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    Great job H9. Does your 5b's have peerless? If so...some think the peerless is too bright...in the 7's, 10's, and 5's. I found replacing the 2.7ohm with a 4.5ohm to be the best solution for me in my 10's (center) and 7's (mains). Do this only if you feel the speaker is not warm enough.

    The trickiest part of the whole project, I found, is unsoldering and soldering back the copper wire coming from the underside of the xover from the main coil.

    But that is an excellent write up, way to go H9.:D :)
    No, I have the sl2000 which is way to forward. I've never heard anyone comment that the peerless was bright. The peerless has a black cloth like dome with a hole in the center, correct? Be sure you aren't talking about the sl1000 which has a silver/alum bezel and many feel those are worse than the sl2000 (slightly).

    I am looking for a way to make the tweeter a lot less forward. I know I can't fix the freq spike of the tweet, but if I could get it to sound less forward by using a different value resistor, I'm all ears.

    I also had no reason to unsolder any of the copper inductor leads.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    No, I have the sl2000 which is way to forward. I've never heard anyone comment that the peerless was bright. The peerless has a black cloth like dome with a hole in the center, correct? Be sure you aren't talking about the sl1000 which has a silver/alum bezel and many feel those are worse than the sl2000 (slightly).

    I am looking for a way to make the tweeter a lot less forward. I know I can't fix the freq spike of the tweet, but if I could get it to sound less forward by using a different value resistor, I'm all ears.

    I also had no reason to unsolder any of the copper inductor leads.

    H9

    I know what the peerless are. And the harshness was only in my center channel with peerless, I custom built with a 10a xover that had the 2.7ohm for the tweeter (which I replaced with a 4.5ohm). My 7b's with peerless already had the 4.5ohm and were much softer, so I rebuilt the 10a crossover with the 4.5ohm, it made a wonderfull difference, much more relaxed sound.

    I dont think the harshness has as much to do with the tweeter used, rather the xover design.

    Try my mod with the 4.5ohm. It will back off the tweeter and correct the spike. Try the mod, if you dont like it , you can always go back to original specs.

    I'm just saying what worked for me.
    Last edited by jakelm; 04-07-2007 at 11:29 AM.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    I dont think the harshness has as much to do with the tweeter used, rather the xover design.
    .
    The sl2000 has a +6 dB spike at approx 13 kHz. This is know and admitted fact by Polk. It's the design of the tweeter. This is the reason the sl2500 and sl3000 were introduced in later Polk models to correct the problem with the sl2000.

    I will experiment with your mod and I appreciate the advise. :)

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  6. #6

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    In my center design with the 10a xover, I had a similar spike with the peerless. Thats the only reason I dont think it had much to do with the tweeter. Once I changed the resistor value, spike with away.

    When I first looked at the 10a xover, I wondered to myself why polk (when using the same tweeter) change the value of the resistor? I found it much brighter and harder to listen to compared to my 7's. So I did my experiment, and found it to work.
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

  7. #7

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    Nice work H9! I love these threads to see people's experience doing these mods. The mod's are challenging, fun and exciting. It give's you a sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of how the speaker works.

    Did you install new binding posts? The Vampire's are about $20 per stereo pair. They are much more solid compared to the cheapo original Polk terminals.

    Congrats and thanks for the pic's!
    Carl

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    Nice Work

    engtaz
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw View Post
    Nice work H9! I love these threads to see people's experience doing these mods. The mod's are challenging, fun and exciting. It give's you a sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of how the speaker works.

    Did you install new binding posts? The Vampire's are about $20 per stereo pair. They are much more solid compared to the cheapo original Polk terminals.

    Congrats and thanks for the pic's!
    Carl,, where are you getting/finding the vampires for twenty a pair?
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    h-9,,is that a mills 12 watt? I ordered 2.7 ohm/5 watt .
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    h-9,,is that a mills 12 watt? I ordered 2.7 ohm/5 watt .
    The 12W is what I was able to get form PE, they don't carry the 5W. The schematic and the original are 5W so what you ordered for me is just perfect.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Just wanted to be sure,,upgrading crossovers,,kinda fun,,isn't it :)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Very nice heiney, thanks. Great pics. I am thinking I'll pull my x-overs before buying anything. I can't seem to nail which schematic applies and I think I've heard you reference the fact that the peerless in the 7b had an additional part somewhere. Thanks again for the documentation of your project.

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    Those Solen caps are so big, the tuning of the box has probably been altered 'cause of the volume they displace.

    ;-)
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    Carl,, where are you getting/finding the vampires for twenty a pair?
    George,

    I bought them from the Parts Connexion. I looked on their website and they are now $28.72 a stereo set. I checked my receipts, and the last pair I bought was 14 months ago (time flies). Since the we all know what happened to the price of copper. Sorry to mislead you:( . Still, at $28.75 they are a good value. I've never read any testimony as to the sonic differences of the Vampires, or say Cardas. The Cardas are heftier, and a precision build, but they cost a lot more.

    Here's the link for Parts Connexion
    Carl

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    Thanks Carl,, i ordered a few sets--george
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Parts Connexion does have the gold plated Connex brand on sale for $19.95 a stereo pair.

    Carl
    Carl

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    Nice job, Brock.
    '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."

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    I have the x-overs with the safety switches. Where can you get these and what value? Also I noticed the RTA 11T schematics have an extra 12uf mylar cap. what do you replace those with.

    Thanks Jockos

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    By safety switches, I assume that you are talking about the "polyswitch",,free from polk for the asking,,ask nicely:)

    Good question about the mylar cap,, I noticed that also,, I'm replacing mine with sonicaps
    Last edited by george daniel; 04-08-2007 at 02:49 PM.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Exactly, Thanks george. Without taking my RTA 11t x-over out, is the mylar cap one of those thin disc like cap's? If you have a pic of your x-over out can you please post. I'm just trying to get a mental picture of the layout. Also if you were to go with a different brand of caps and they only have 30uf and 40uf and the original is 34uf, which value is better and how does it affect the sound. Thanks

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    here you go,the disc on the lower right is the polyswitch, r-1 and r-2 are resistors,,hope this helps
    Last edited by george daniel; 03-17-2008 at 06:47 PM.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    also, if I were to go with something other than sonicaps, my choice would be solen pb series,,I believe that they have caps to match the polks,given the tolerance specs,,try partsconnexion.com,,
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Thanks george, when you redo yours maybe you can post pics of it.

    Happy easter Jockos

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    i kinda have a habit of posting crossover pic's:o I just can't keep my hands off em,
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockos View Post
    I have the x-overs with the safety switches. Where can you get these and what value? Also I noticed the RTA 11T schematics have an extra 12uf mylar cap. what do you replace those with.

    Thanks Jockos
    The 11's since they are a true D'appolito array have an extra 12uF cap. Which ever brand you choose I would use the same for each.

    Solen (to my recollection) doesn't make a 34uF so I used a 33uF which is well within tolerance of the original.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I just got off the phone with Ken and I said 'eff it and ordered the RD0194-1 replacement silk dome tweeters. They should be here mid-week and hopefully the combo of the upgraded x-overs and RD0's will give me the sound I'm looking for. I am still going to experiement with the 2.0 and 2.7 ohm resistor.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
    Very nice heiney, thanks. Great pics. I am thinking I'll pull my x-overs before buying anything. I can't seem to nail which schematic applies and I think I've heard you reference the fact that the peerless in the 7b had an additional part somewhere. Thanks again for the documentation of your project.

    Jonesy, I was the one who noticed an additional resistor for the midbass in my 7b's. There are no schematics for our 7's. Polk used a 2.7ohm in line with the 34uf cap for midbass and a 4.5ohm in line with the 12uf cap for tweeter.

    I went with Solens caps accross the board, a 33uf and a 12uf and Mills 12watt resistors 2.5 and 4.5.

    I have pics here somewhere of the original and modified 7b xover
    Monitor 7b's front
    Monitor 4's surround
    Frankinpolk Center (2 mw6503's with peerless tweeter)
    M10's back surround
    Hafler-200 driving patio Daytons
    Tempest-X 15" DIY sub w/ Rythmik 350A plate amp
    Dayton 12" DVC w/ Rythmik 350a plate amp
    Harman/Kardon AVR-635
    Oppo 981hd
    Denon upconvert DVD player
    Jennings Research (vintage and rare)
    Mit RPTV WS-55513
    Tosh HD-XA1
    B&K AV5000


    Dont BAN me Bro!!!!

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    Also if you ever have any questions or just want to bounce some idea's around you could call Ken Swauger.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    Jonesy, I was the one who noticed an additional resistor for the midbass in my 7b's. There are no schematics for our 7's. Polk used a 2.7ohm in line with the 34uf cap for midbass and a 4.5ohm in line with the 12uf cap for tweeter.

    I went with Solens caps accross the board, a 33uf and a 12uf and Mills 12watt resistors 2.5 and 4.5.

    I have pics here somewhere of the original and modified 7b xover
    I was just squinting at your pics last night trying to figure out what resistors you had where. Thanks alot (you saved me a PM) :p

    If I haven't said it yet. I'll say it now.....you da man! Of course heiney could be the man too.....and then there are the others here that I've pawned advice from....they would also have to be considered the man as well. I guess yer all a bunch of men :D

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