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  1. #1

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    Default Polk sanctioned crossover upgrades?

    Thinking that Polk might monitor these forums, or some other expert has insight, what might be the possibilty that Polk themselves would do the upgrade and certify crossovers on vintage speakers?

    I know it's not a big profit item but I sure would be willing to pay a premium to have them refurbish my SDA crossovers with new and improved components. Seems like there would be a decent, high profit market for this as well as a great customer service opportunity.

  2. #2

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    There are umpteen threads on upgrades to x-overs. Our very own Darqueknight has spent a lot of time working with Polk to determine what the original intent was for the parts used 20 some years ago and what changes they would make today. He has documented that info on the forum in various places as well as in a 1st and 2nd edition SDA Compendium, which is sadly no longer available.

    Also there have been more than a handful of very knowledgeable hobbyists who have documented tried and true methods of upgrades with various different types of capacitors, etc. Again all documented in threads here on the forum.

    There have been instances where knowledgeable members have done the work for others. So it's probably no necessary for Polk HQ to provide this service because beyond a few hard-core people I doubt there would be a huge market.

    Also keep in mind Polk has some of the most helpful customer service people on the planet including Matt Polk himself. So if you have questions or concerns or want advice straight from them give customer service a call.

    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!

  3. #3

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    I've read all the threads, have the Compendium v2 and appreciate the work done by all the enthusiasts. That said, I'd still be willing to pay to have the OEM do the upgrade. I have a higher comfort level with the people who actually developed the product doing the upgrade - and guaranteeing it meets or exceeds the original specifications and performance.

    While Darqueknight has done an excellent job explaining how he accomplished his upgrades, the fact remains that he is a electrical engineer and I suspect most vintage Polk owners are not. There are just too many variations and skills involved for the average guy to attempt this on their own. Certainly this is a niche service but I have a feeling many here would appreciate the service - as they appeciate Polk still offering tweeter replacements and poly switches.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    I've read all the threads, have the Compendium v2 and appreciate the work done by all the enthusiasts. That said, I'd still be willing to pay to have the OEM do the upgrade. I have a higher comfort level with the people who actually developed the product doing the upgrade - and guaranteeing it meets or exceeds the original specifications and performance.

    While Darqueknight has done an excellent job explaining how he accomplished his upgrades, the fact remains that he is a electrical engineer and I suspect most vintage Polk owners are not. There are just too many variations and skills involved for the average guy to attempt this on their own. Certainly this is a niche service but I have a feeling many here would appreciate the service - as they appeciate Polk still offering tweeter replacements and poly switches.
    I just recently upgraded my XOs with great success. Before attempting this, I read and asked lots of questions. Before this upgrade, the most I had ever done was replace a capacitor here and there and they were basically drop in replacements. Not much skill required. Once the process of upgrading started, I was surprised at how much easier it was to do that I had thought. During the process, there were a number of members here ready and willing to assist as needed.

    I'm no expert by any means. I just took my time and used the resources here and all went well. Gave me a great sense of accomplishment.
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    Where did you get a compendium v2?

    I am an average guy and I accomplished this task. It just takes some practice. It isn't rocket science. You just need to be careful. Or find someone that may do it for you.

    All you are doing is replacing old caps with new ones. Using the values on the caps or in the schematics posted here to purchase either a cap of the same value or two caps that will equal that value.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post
    Where did you get a compendium v2?

    I am an average guy and I accomplished this task. It just takes some practice. It isn't rocket science. You just need to be careful. Or find someone that may do it for you.

    All you are doing is replacing old caps with new ones. Using the values on the caps or in the schematics posted here to purchase either a cap of the same value or two caps that will equal that value.
    Exactly, it's not rocket science.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    I've read all the threads, have the Compendium v2 and appreciate the work done by all the enthusiasts. That said, I'd still be willing to pay to have the OEM do the upgrade. I have a higher comfort level with the people who actually developed the product doing the upgrade - and guaranteeing it meets or exceeds the original specifications and performance.

    While Darqueknight has done an excellent job explaining how he accomplished his upgrades, the fact remains that he is a electrical engineer and I suspect most vintage Polk owners are not. There are just too many variations and skills involved for the average guy to attempt this on their own. Certainly this is a niche service but I have a feeling many here would appreciate the service - as they appeciate Polk still offering tweeter replacements and poly switches.
    Excellent. I get where you are coming from, but again the low volume wouldn't support the time and resources for Polk to do it. A little bit of practice and information and "most" people should be able to do it without issue. I know in the past forum members have helped some out by doing the work for them with parts and xover provided by sender.

    It would be like taking your car to the dealer to have it modded with aftermarket performance parts. Very few manufacturer's provide in-house modification program and then they are costly, more costly than if you have a third party provide the parts and another third party or yourself do the actual work.
    "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!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post
    Where did you get a compendium v2?
    Unfortunately it's out of print.
    "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!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Exactly, it's not rocket science.
    Maybe not, but to quote DarqueKnight (the electrical engineer):

    "Modifications to SDA loudspeaker crossovers is not an undertaking for the inexperienced, impatient, or fainthearted individual. It is a task that requires the dexterity of a contortionist and the insight and patience developed through solving many difficult jigsaw puzzles."

    That's enough to give me pause.

  10. #10

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    I have updated four sets of Polk crossovers. I was inexperienced, VERY impatient, and I hate puzzles. Believe me, with very few skills and a little soldering practice you can do it.
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  11. #11

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    If there is a practiced Polk enthusiast in the eastern NH area (I'm about 15 miles west of Durham), or within reasonable driving distance who is willing to work with me to upgrade my 1C crossovers, please contact me.

    In advance, thanks 4 all replies. I note that I'm proficient in the kitchen, w/homebrewing, and in other areas but soldering is not one of my skill sets at this time. ;) I've got a mid-October wedding so I may need a bit of flexibility w/scheduling.

    Additionally, if said individual can set-up the 1Cs for bi-wiring, I'd like to give that a go as well.
    Last edited by dbnh; 09-12-2008 at 07:19 AM.

  12. #12

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    and guaranteeing it meets or exceeds the original specifications and performance.
    I guarantee that properly done with better components, crossover upgrades will far exceed the original specs.

    I am F1nut. I'm bad, I'm nationwide and I approve this message.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I guarantee that properly done with better components, crossover upgrades will far exceed the original specs.
    What about using equivilant parts such as the smaller electrolytic capacitors. Seems like the task would be easier with everything fitting nicely on the board. You may not have improved on the original spec but you've at least brought it back into line if your caps have degarded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    What about using equivilant parts such as the smaller electrolytic capacitors. Seems like the task would be easier with everything fitting nicely on the board. You may not have improved on the original spec but you've at least brought it back into line if your caps have degarded.
    Waste of time.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Waste of time.
    Why? They're cheaper, easier to install and bring the crossover back to the original spec. I understand one might be able to do better with film caps but why is this not a perfectly acceptable option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    Why? They're cheaper, easier to install and bring the crossover back to the original spec. I understand one might be able to do better with film caps but why is this not a perfectly acceptable option.
    It could be a perfectly acceptable option to you. Speaking for myself and myself only; I wouldn't bother replacing with the same cheapo parts. If I'm going to take the time and effort to do a project like this I want to improve upon what's already there. I take the same approach with my cars. When the shocks wear out I buy aftermarket performance parts. When the exhaust goes I buy after market performance stainless steel. If the carpet wears out when I replace it I buys something nicer.

    You can certainly do what you propose but it really isn't anymore difficult to buy nicer parts and fit them on the boards of most vintage Polks. The recent thread on the LSi 9's..........that gets a little dicey because of extreme space constraints. That's not an issue with SDA's or vintage Polk monitors.

    I suppose if the cost is an issue perhaps it's best to just leave things as is. Ben's a tweaker and little passionate so that's why he had such a definitive answer.

    Believe all who have performed the mods; it's well worth the extra cost and time to buy and install current technology. Polk engineers have said on more than one occasion they used the parts they did because of cost issues and lack of sufficient supply of higher end caps and resistors at the time.

    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!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    Why? They're cheaper, easier to install and bring the crossover back to the original spec. I understand one might be able to do better with film caps but why is this not a perfectly acceptable option.
    I'll throw my 2 cents into this......if you tried better caps, you'd know why.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  18. #18

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    OK guys,
    I am a believer.

    What started as a twenty year afterthought of owning a set of SDAs, I now have purchased a set with a bum tweeter and I'm already popping the plastic to buy a bag full off Sonicaps. Thats a little crazy I know, especially before fixing the tweeter.

    I forgot how serious the audio bug could be but I caught a slight case. I was tired of waiting on the replacement SL3000 to get in. So, I plugged up the good SDA 3.1TL and one of my LS90s that are in my much larger now listening room to just get a taste of what I was waiting on. I popped in Dire Straits "Private Investigation" and the stage on the 25' wall was very nice. The LS 90 was solid and tight but struggled to blossom like the 3.1TL. The LS90 was also a lot more directional and critical of sloppy placement. I did enjoy the depth and open sound of the 3.1s very much. I am anxiously waiting for the mailman tomorrow so I can hear the SDAs with the IC cable and tow good tweeters.

    So, I know I really should enjoy the stock 3.1TLs for a while and then take the upgrade plunge. I think Ill give it a week after the SL3000 gets in.;)

    DJ
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gij801 View Post
    Why? They're cheaper, easier to install and bring the crossover back to the original spec. I understand one might be able to do better with film caps but why is this not a perfectly acceptable option.
    Replacing cheap caps with cheap caps is like having sex with your sister. It's still sex, but just ain't right;) Seriously it's a waste of time. They are mass produced junk that does not deserve to be in vintage Polk's. Same with the resistors.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  20. #20

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    It's amazing what a set of good caps can do for a dull or mediocre speaker.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    ....I suppose if the cost is an issue perhaps it's best to just leave things as is. Ben's a tweaker and little passionate so that's why he had such a definitive answer.

    Believe all who have performed the mods; it's well worth the extra cost and time to buy and install current technology. Polk engineers have said on more than one occasion they used the parts they did because of cost issues and lack of sufficient supply of higher end caps and resistors at the time.

    H9
    To add to what H9 has said. I have tried different caps that were recommended, wasted a lot of time, and money to figure out that Sonicaps are worth every penny on the highs. I use Daytons on the lows. I am just about as poor as poor can be. Don't waste your time on cheap caps. It's not worth it.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

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