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Thread: Recapping 4430s?

  1. #1
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    Recapping 4430s?

    It's been about ten days now since I drove home with a minty, original owner, mirror-imaged pair of 4430s. Except for refoamed woofers, they are bone-stock and perfectly original. Now, being me, I must have read 25+ threads on these speakers, and no one seems to agree on the best approach to the crossovers. I have seen recommended everything from leaving them alone, to biamping or charge-coupling them.

    I am probably not inclined to do anything as drastic as reconfiguring the crossovers, biamping them or constructing charge-coupled crossovers. I would, however, consider upgrading the capacitors, and so I have pored over various vendor sites for hours looking at film caps of various types, thinking about whether to mess with the stock caps and the bypass caps.

    I found one thread where Zilch basically said that the only thing worth doing was to replace the bypass caps with Audiocap Thetas. I like that advice because it's so cheap and easy. But that would leave the factory Mylar main caps in place, and I know they're relatively low grade.

    Does anyone have a firm opinion about replacing the caps (as compared to building new crossovers, etc.)? At this point, I'm torn between (1) doing nothing; (2) upgrading the main Mylar caps to polypropylene film caps and omitting bypass caps as superfluous; and (3) just replacing the bypass caps with Thetas.

    I'm curious to hear from someone who's tried one or more of the second two options. Thanks.
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    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I think it depends to some extent on the calibre of the rest of your system?

    I am of the view that linear quality across the system will provide the best value for money.

    You also need to decide if the 4430 are keepers?

    If so do as you wish.

    Updating capacitors will improve transparency but also show up warts and all up stream in your system.

    I don't think there are any half measures and you are going to have more flexibility with parts size by building new charge coupled
    crossovers from scratch and keeping the stock crossovers.

    Some may disagree but the 2234 version of the 2235 woofer is far superior in the midrange (aka 4435with a faster driver)) and it is possible to add low end boost to the 2234 to provide a similar extended bass.

    Adding a pair of 380 sub bins would make a killer 4430 system with the 2234 drivers and be a singificant upgrade on the 4430 stock system.

    The 2234 is a 2235 without the mass ring.

    I have compared the 4343 and LRS 6332 to the 4435 bi amped at John Nebels and the 4435 was the most impressive.

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    Ian, thanks for all that excellent information. I am delighted with these speakers and keeping them original is a high priority for me, so I doubt I'll change the woofers. (They're so minty and original.) I also have a nice Velodyne sub that covers the lowest octave well.

    I think that I will build outboard charge-coupled crossovers for them one of these days, and in the meantime keep the factory crossovers stock. Outboard crossovers would be easy to mount on the backs of the cabinets, using the factory threaded (soffit-mounting?) holes.

    I appreciate it!

    Eric

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    My two cents: I use mine in HDtv service with a mid level Sony ES surround receiver and they were greatly improved with replacement of caps with Hovland Musicaps. The zobels got a Solen. In a nutshell, easy to do....well worth a little effort.

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    Thanks, Chas. For some reason I have seen several people suggest Hovlands for these speakers, and they would seem like a good choice since they came in the right values (2, 6, 12 (10+2), and 14 (10+4)). But sadly, they are no more:http://www.stereophile.com/content/h...calls-it-quits
    Less than 10 full years after its incorporation, the manufacturer of highly coveted Hovland Musicap propylene-film and aluminum-foil capacitors and visually striking electronic components has dismissed its staff and closed the doors of its manufacturing facility and headquarters in Los Angeles.
    Would you say that C3 is "in the signal path?"
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    To me series or shunt is in the path. Dialectric Absorption is an issue either way. I also used Hovlands in my 4345's to good effect. Try Parts Connexion, they had some last time I checked.

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    Thanks, Chas. They no longer carry Hovands, although they do carry a successor brand, albeit one that goes up to only 2.2uF:

    http://www.partsconnexion.com/capaci..._supercap.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker92 View Post
    Thanks, Chas. They no longer carry Hovands, although they do carry a successor brand, albeit one that goes up to only 2.2uF:
    Well, that just sucks....

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    Yeah, it does.

    Say, how do you guys position your 4430s? They seem to sound excellent no matter how I place them, but I'm wondering if they're better hard up against the back wall, or out a bit; close together or farther apart. Right now I have mine about one foot from the back wall, eight feet apart on center, and about 14.5 feet from my listening position. (I'd lose the far sofa and glass table, but my wife would not appreciate that.)
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    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Rooms and preferences vary greatly, but I've had good 4430 luck in making the triangle closer to equilateral (spatial cues) and in getting the center of the horn closer to ear-listening height (better sounding bass and top-to-bottom integration). A bit of toe-in might help also (lessen splatter off of side walls, get horn throats pointed toward listening position)... I did this with mine, but some like a more diffuse sound... and my listening space width is one seat wide.

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    Thanks, Grumpy. So that would mean moving the 4430s out farther and raising them up a bit. I also recall Zilch (maybe) mentioning some toe-in as an option.

    I'll experiment. How about the distance to the wall behind them?

    EDIT: OK, I pushed them out near the corners of the room and that not only opened up the sound stage, but seemed to make the image much deeper and more three-dimensional. A little toe-in also seemed to help the image.

    I'll keep playing with them; thanks.

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    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    I have mine just a little further into the room, but what you find visually acceptable and listenable may limit options. I also have media racks behind them... a poor man's diffusion panel , and a wider back wall.

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    Yeah, I had the 250s way out by the sofa, but my wife really didn't dig that. They have rear ports, so they're supposed to be four feet from the wall behind them, but I'm not convinced I could hear any difference.

    I'll keep moving the 4430s around, anyway. I want to settle on a good position before cutting my cables to length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I think it depends to some extent on the calibre of the rest of your system?

    I am of the view that linear quality across the system will provide the best value for money.

    You also need to decide if the 4430 are keepers?

    If so do as you wish.

    Updating capacitors will improve transparency but also show up warts and all up stream in your system.

    I don't think there are any half measures and you are going to have more flexibility with parts size by building new charge coupled
    crossovers from scratch and keeping the stock crossovers.

    Some may disagree but the 2234 version of the 2235 woofer is far superior in the midrange (aka 4435with a faster driver)) and it is possible to add low end boost to the 2234 to provide a similar extended bass.

    Adding a pair of 380 sub bins would make a killer 4430 system with the 2234 drivers and be a singificant upgrade on the 4430 stock system.

    The 2234 is a 2235 without the mass ring.

    I have compared the 4343 and LRS 6332 to the 4435 bi amped at John Nebels and the 4435 was the most impressive.
    Hi Ian,

    I always wondered about the effect of 2234s and 2235s because I use my 4430s in a bass managed system where they are set to small. Since I don't need the lower bass range maybe I will try to find a 2234 to put into my spare 4430 and see how it sounds. Are there other changes necessary?

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