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Thread: JBL 4430 Speakers

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    JBL 4430 Speakers

    Greetings,

    I am a new member here and I wanted to apologize up front for posting something that has probably been discussed many times already. Seems that I can't quite get the hang of the search engine on this forum. Basically, I bought a pair of 4430's and really have been enjoying them. They are not perfect but do a lot of things right, almost to the point of being magical. I have made some minor tweaks that seemed to make a difference (deoxing the bi amp switch on the crossover board and replacing the speaker wire terminals with gold plated binding posts) and now am contemplating upgrading some of the internal crossover components. Would it be worth it to upgrade the iron core 2.5 mH inductor for the woofer with a good air core inductor? I was able to find the network diagram here on this forum but the diagram does not list the DCR for any of the inductors. Anyone here know those values? I have replaced iron core inductors with air core inductors on other speakers and there was not a gigantic difference. I just wonder since the 4430's cross over at 1000 Hz. Also, I was thinking about replacing the .01 uF bypass caps with some sonicaps. I really don't want to go the route of bi amping, charge coupling or using external crossovers. The sound to my ears is actually very good, I just wanted to try some relatively inexpensive but effective ways to get them sounding even better. The real question is that after I post this, will I be able to find the responses (if any) in the forum!

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    Greetings,

    I am a new member here and I wanted to apologize up front for posting something that has probably been discussed many times already. Seems that I can't quite get the hang of the search engine on this forum.
    Welcome.

    Basically, it is better to use Google Advanced Search using "audioheritage.org" as the search domain.

    This thread might help you: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...ecapping-4430s
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    Thanks!

    Thank you for kindly directing me to the relevant posts with very good information. Geez, I had no idea the 4430 had mylar caps. After reading, I have decided that the best route is to go ahead and make a new network a bit at a time and leave the stock one in in case I ever sell. The charged coupled crossover has me very interested and I will probably go that route. I believe I read somewhere that when charge coupling, you can get by with less expensive poly caps with good results. Dayton makes a 1 % tolerance poly cap that I have had good results with in the past. I guess Hovland's are no longer available and Sonicaps can get a bit expensive. Would it be correct to assume that bypass capacitors are not needed when charge coupling? And then there is still the question of the DC resistance for the inductors. Perhaps it is not a big deal but I remember reading an article by Gregg Timbers at this site discussing improving the network for the 4345 and he mentioned it would be best to match the DCR of the existing inductors if replacing. The same logic would apply to the 4430's. I am assuming someone has posted a network diagram with charge coupled caps somewhere and hopefully bypassing the L-pads.

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    Wow, This Forum is Really Helpful!

    I love my JBL 4430 speakers. All I wanted to do is try to improve them if possible. All the post about charge coupled crossovers or anything are really just arguments. Really hard to discern if there is any useful information to be found here. If anything, I asked just one question if anyone here knew the DCR of a 2.6 mH iron core inductor in a 4430 crossover (revision H), and nobody responded or nobody cares or nobody knows. I guess this information is proprietary or something and you have to go to an outside source to get suggestions on what works or not. Or I guess that the 4430's are subpar to the whole JBL crowd. Thanks again for all your help.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    ..and nobody responded or nobody cares or nobody knows.
    There are probably folks here that do know or could find out, but unfortunately the two folks who would have had that info burned into their brains are no longer posting, one passed away and the other has moved on to other interests.

    Be patient and perhaps someone else will be able to step up.


    Widget

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    Some regulars might not even see this thread > since it's so misplaced and visually buried down in the roll-call .

    Normally when one owns the actual part needing a spec ( like the 2.6mH coil in question here ) it's best to simply measure it for ones-self ( un-solder one end first to take it out of the circuit ).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    Thank you for kindly directing me to the relevant posts with very good information. Geez, I had no idea the 4430 had mylar caps. After reading, I have decided that the best route is to go ahead and make a new network a bit at a time and leave the stock one in in case I ever sell. The charged coupled crossover has me very interested and I will probably go that route. I believe I read somewhere that when charge coupling, you can get by with less expensive poly caps with good results. Dayton makes a 1 % tolerance poly cap that I have had good results with in the past. I guess Hovland's are no longer available and Sonicaps can get a bit expensive. Would it be correct to assume that bypass capacitors are not needed when charge coupling? And then there is still the question of the DC resistance for the inductors. Perhaps it is not a big deal but I remember reading an article by Gregg Timbers at this site discussing improving the network for the 4345 and he mentioned it would be best to match the DCR of the existing inductors if replacing. The same logic would apply to the 4430's. I am assuming someone has posted a network diagram with charge coupled caps somewhere and hopefully bypassing the L-pads.
    https://audiokarma.org/forums/index....pgrade.537606/

    Jbl don’t bypass the Solen 250v Fast Caps in the charge coupled crossovers. I would not recommend other caps without experimentation.

    The woofer coil dcr is 0.5 ohms or less.
    The horn crossover coil is 0.5 ohms. The small coil is 0.2 ohms.

    I recommend you use air core inductor.

    The Lpads are required for adjustment of the horn midrange level and HT is extension.

    Simply double the capacitors values and wire them in series for charge coupled operation. Use 3 Meg ohm resistor from the junction of the two capacitors to a 9 volt battery and return the crossover ground to the negative terminal of the battery.

    I have used Hovland capacitors quite successfully in this design. The caveat is your power amplifier, preamp and source need to be of premium quality such as a Parasound to experience the benefits of these capacitors.



    There are other modifications such as removing the 2235H mass ring and re optimising the passive network for improved midrange clarity and some electrical bass boost at 30 hertz. The mass ring as the name suggests adds mass to the cone of about 35 grams to optimise the bass performance in small enclosures. However this impacts on the midrange clarity above 500 hertz. It’s quite audible wh we n compared to the larger 4435 which used the 2234H driver variant without the mass ring.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl K View Post
    Some regulars might not even see this thread > since it's so misplaced and visually buried down in the roll-call .
    Good point... I didn't even pay attention to that. I'll move it.


    Widget

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    Awesome!

    Thanks Ian, Mr. Widget and Earl for you response. As mentioned earlier, I really love the sound of the 4430's. I am powering with Emotiva XPA -1 Generation 2 600 watt mono blocks and Direc Live room correction software. Not even close to being on the higher end of amplification but they measure well and sound pretty good to my ear. I spoke with a the owner of Sonic Craft, Jeff, and he wanted me to send him the crossover board, do his own measurements and then recommend what would sound best. He said foil inductors would be best for the woofers, but I mentioned that the dcr would not match and would change the sonic signature of the speaker. He got really angry when I asked him to give me a ballpark figure and asked how he could fine tune a crossover without having the actual speaker and drivers. He also said he started making Sonicaps years ago because he said "Solen" caps are terrible. Anyway, I have recapped many speakers and replaced many resistors and inductors in my day sometimes with good effect, some times not so good. I know for a fact that I will never buy another sonicap in my life or anything from Sonic Craft! I actually found them to be a bit on the grainy etchy, critical side of things anyway. So Solens it is since they come recommended by JBL fans. I guess I still have a few questions remaining before I take the plunge and start work on the new crossover. One is, I actually think I like the sound of the existing caps which I have read on this forum are mylar. Percussion, triangles, high hats etc have a holographic "3D" presentation that just hang in the air. I really like that. If I go to a poly cap, I am worried that that effect will disappear. The other question being, air core or foil inductors. And if air core, should I go with a 16 gauge for the 2.5 mH, 18 gauge for the 1.6 and 22 gauge for the .04? I noticed that the existing .04 mH has some very thin wire. Also, I am planning on using a new board and bypassing the internal/external switch. If I do that, then is it correct that I can omit C7 and C8 from the high pass circuit? And one final thing for today. I had to replace the woofer cones. I checked into replacing with original C8R2235H oem JBL cones and they wanted $250 each. I was not able to do that. So instead I got some replacement cones (I can see someone cringe) from simplyspeakers and did the re cone myself (another cringe). What I noticed is that the cone, voice coil & voice coil former were lighter than the original. I still added the mass ring to make up for the weight loss. Being that is the case, would you still recommend removing the mass ring at this point? I actually think the cones sound very good for not being the originals. Thanks for not leaving me out in the dark, it is good to have speaker friends!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    I guess I still have a few questions remaining before I take the plunge and start work on the new crossover. One is, I actually think I like the sound of the existing caps which I have read on this forum are mylar. Percussion, triangles, high hats etc have a holographic "3D" presentation that just hang in the air. I really like that. If I go to a poly cap, I am worried that that effect will disappear. The other question being, air core or foil inductors. And if air core, should I go with a 16 gauge for the 2.5 mH, 18 gauge for the 1.6 and 22 gauge for the .04? I noticed that the existing .04 mH has some very thin wire. Also, I am planning on using a new board and bypassing the internal/external switch. If I do that, then is it correct that I can omit C7 and C8 from the high pass circuit? And one final thing for today. I had to replace the woofer cones. I checked into replacing with original C8R2235H oem JBL cones and they wanted $250 each. I was not able to do that. So instead I got some replacement cones (I can see someone cringe) from simplyspeakers and did the re cone myself (another cringe). What I noticed is that the cone, voice coil & voice coil former were lighter than the original. I still added the mass ring to make up for the weight loss. Being that is the case, would you still recommend removing the mass ring at this point? I actually think the cones sound very good for not being the originals. Thanks for not leaving me out in the dark, it is good to have speaker friends!
    1. Modern polypropylene caps are more transparent but they vary in price and quality. Mylar caps can sound muffled by comparison. Jbl bypassed the Mylar caps with small polypropylene caps to help reduce this effect back in the day.

    If you decide on charge coupled use the Solen 250v fast caps. Do not bypass these caps in a charge coupled configuration.

    If you decide on a single polypropylene capacitor steer clear of the bright sounding variety as you have titanium diaphragms and a modern digital amplifier. The Mundorf Evo Oil variety or the new Hovland caps or a Clarity Cap SA bypassed with a 0.01 uF Auricap. This works very well if you have a budget in mind.

    Alternatively if you can do it use Auricaps on the woofer and ask Auricap with their chemically enhanced caps on the high pass filter and the compensation circuit.

    2. On the inductors looking at the Parts Express online catalogue l suggest either of these for the woofer. The lower the dcr the better in this kind of low pass filter to help mitigate the voltage drop on the inductor during the box resonance and the upper impedance peak on the woofer in the bass reflex tuned enclosure. This puts a kink in the voltage drive below 100 hertz which is not ideal but is a consequence of passive networks. The difference in the dcr to the stock parts in the low pass woofer filter is negligible as this is swamped by the RC conjugate network.

    The ERSE Super Q inductor has a very low dcr and won’t saturate.

    https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton...ductor-257-332

    https://www.parts-express.com/ERSE-S...ductor-266-908

    Go with the 18 gauge grade level for the 2.5 mH inductor and 20 gauge for the 0.04mH inductor.

    3. Yes omit C7 and C8. These part are applicable to bi amp mode only.

    4. Leave the mass rings in.

    5. Other thoughts. Get some descent binding posts with plenty of surface area and replace the JBL posts on the rear terminal plate. In my experience a good binding termination with a quality spade is money well spent. The reliability of a termination is important as it it’s capacity to pass high current with even a small voltage drop. Your amplifiers are quite good and undoubtedly very dynamic and this is where l would spend some money. Use the ERSE Super Q inductor mentioned above to that effect. You should hear a tighter firmer bass.

    Once you are satisfied with the balance obtained after adjustment of the Lpads. Take some measurements with the crossover disconnected with a multi meter and replace the Lpads with fixed resister values. They won’t necessarily charge the sonically but fixed resisters are more reliable.

    Enjoy your project.

    Ian

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    Alright!

    Thanks Ian! The first thing I did was replace the binding posts with bigger gold plated ones. If I remember correctly, the stock posts were trying to pass all that voltage through a tiny aluminum screw connecting the posts with the internal wire loop connector. All I could think of was "skin effect" and current restriction. And yes, I noticed a fairly substantial difference after doing this. Where would you recommend I find Hovland caps? I am not a big fan of Sonic Craft which leaves Madison Sound and Parts Express. I know Parts Express has Solen's and they used to be fairly affordable. Any other places that you could recommend would be greatly appreciated. Also, I did not check your link for the Erse super Q inductors yet, (have used them before to good effect) but I don't think they make a 2.6 mH value. Would a 2.5 mH suffice? And where did you get the the cool 9 volt battery holder/connector? Sorry for all the questions, bit I am getting psyched about doing this!

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    You wil need to hunt around.

    If you can’t find them use one of the other options l listed such as the Clarity cap SA bypassed with Auricap 0.01 uF. That is a proven combo.

    2.5 mH is close enough.

    You can buy direct from Solen.

    You can Google the 9 volt battery holder

    Mouser have them and possibly Parts Express.

    What l suggest is you load up the parts list in Excel with some prices alternatives capacitors.

    Then make a call on the way you wish to go.

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    Thanks Ian

    Sorry, I just have a few more questions. I ordered the inductors from parts express yesterday and I had to improvise with 18 gauge for the smallest inductor. Also, thanks for suggesting putting together a spread sheet to keep tabs on material cost! Is there a schematic anywhere that shows a charge coupled layout? I am assuming that each charge coupled capacitor circuit can be run back to one single 9v battery? Also would a 3.3 k ohm resistor work instead of the 3k ohm you recommended? https://www.parts-express.com/3.3K-O...-Pcs.-003-3.3K.

    I am getting very excited about this project and thanks again for all of you time and help with this!

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    The original suggestion was for a 3 Megaohm resistor as in three million ohms. 3k would be three thousand. DigiKey or Mouser will have carbon film resistors that will work. If they don't have that value you can series connect three one megaohm resistors to achieve 3M.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    ... Also would a 3.3 k ohm resistor work instead of the 3k ohm you recommended? https://www.parts-express.com/3.3K-O...-Pcs.-003-3.3K.

    I am getting very excited about this project and thanks again for all of you time and help with this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave 2021 View Post
    Sorry, I just have a few more questions. I ordered the inductors from parts express yesterday and I had to improvise with 18 gauge for the smallest inductor. Also, thanks for suggesting putting together a spread sheet to keep tabs on material cost! Is there a schematic anywhere that shows a charge coupled layout? I am assuming that each charge coupled capacitor circuit can be run back to one single 9v battery? Also would a 3.3 k ohm resistor work instead of the 3k ohm you recommended? https://www.parts-express.com/3.3K-O...-Pcs.-003-3.3K.

    I am getting very excited about this project and thanks again for all of you time and help with this!

    More questions? Seriously 😳.
    I don’t think there is a schematic.
    The 18 gauge is fine.
    Only one 9 volt battery is required.

    If you can arrange a bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon l will sort out a schematic and a wiring layout…Lol
    I attended a Bourbon festival in Bardstown a few years back.

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