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Thread: JBL 43xx Charged Coupled Network Boards

  1. #16
    Member VinylGroove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattking52 View Post
    Always feel free to contact me via email (email address listed in the user manual) or through the contact page on the site, and I'll be happy to provide any guidance you need.
    I bought both boards so I could have the choice to bi-amp or just use 1 amp as I'm doing right now at home. Is there a way to switch back and forth between bi-amp and single amp connection with these?


    For those who have JBL 43xx's do you think biamp is worth the hassle?


    Right now I'm running a Parasound A21 amp which is a high bias Class A/AB and probably staying class A with these highly efficient 4343's at my listening levels.

  2. #17
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    Quote: ďFor those who have JBL 43xx's do you think biamp is worth the hassle?ď Speaking as a longtime OEM 4345 owner, donít waste any time getting them biamped. Massive improvement, IMHO.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinylGroove View Post
    For those who have JBL 43xx's do you think biamp is worth the hassle?
    The first upgrade youíll want to do with a 43xx monitor is to bi-amp and once done - youíll never go back.
    Beside the cost of components for the LF circuit can be up to 50% to 65% the cost of a good electronic cross-over. So why pay for something that in the end will may obsolete (i.e. unused). Iíve built three 43xx series crossovers and never built the LF circuit.

  4. #19
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by VinylGroove View Post
    I bought both boards so I could have the choice to bi-amp or just use 1 amp as I'm doing right now at home. Is there a way to switch back and forth between bi-amp and single amp connection with these?

    For those who have JBL 43xx's do you think biamp is worth the hassle?

    Right now I'm running a Parasound A21 amp which is a high bias Class A/AB and probably staying class A with these highly efficient 4343's at my listening levels.
    The Parasound A21 is a very good amp. I use Parasound.

    Question 1 answer :
    What l would say is ďultimatelyĒ yes it is. But thatís not where you are at right now.


    My recommendation :
    Build the full passive crossover and enjoy it before embarking on any other changes. You will notice improvements in the transparency and transient performance and the bass will be better without the bi amp switch in the circuit.


    Benefits of Bi amp mode :
    Improved damping of the woofer and an increase in the overall dynamic range of your system beyond the use of a single stereo power amplifier. Bass notes are rendered with improved definition generally. If you play your system at high levels you may notice improved dynamic headroom before clipping of the power amps.

    Bi amp mode removes the passive crossover on the woofer in the 3143 network. Those networks used iron core inductors which didnít have a low dcr resistance. Typically 0.5 ohms. The bi amp switch in the 3143 network added around 0.5 ohms of dc resistance across the wipers on the signal and ground side of the multipole switch. The bi amp switch was a marketing idea and spoilt the performance of these systems. The switch causes a loss in transient detail due to the voltage drop across the switch wipers are high currents.


    Alternatives to bi amp mode - A diy project :
    Upgrading the inductor in the 3143 woofer filter with a low dcr resistance of 0.2 ohms or less (ERSE Super Q type), thick copper loudspeaker cables and high quality spades / terminals may improve the performance of the passive network. This is an expensive route to implement but may prove a good compromise if you prefer not to accept the added complexity of bi amping. I recommend you bypass the bi amp switch completely/ or build a new passive network. The Mylar capacitors used in those legacy networks muffled the performance of these stock systems.


    Important considerings for bi amp mode :
    As far as bi amp mode goes you keep all the above improvements of the charge-coupled network if you can acquire a premium active crossover. Very transparent active crossovers are rare and expensive. Otherwise you will loose out on what your charge-coupled passive crossover and your nice Parasound amp are giving you. In this type of situation is like everything in ďaudioĒ.

    You wonít miss what you donít have until you experience the moment of truth. Then there is no going back. But try telling that to the hoards. They will call you out for heresy.


    Testing of a active crossovers :
    I have mentioned the following on numerous occasions over the years.

    Back in 2007 l built a high end active crossover which was tested in Porschedman system using Pass labs amps. It was a clone of the Pass Labs XVR1. At the time Ed confirmed that putting the prior active crossover he was using in the signal path did in fact detract from the fidelity of his system. If you do a search and you find those posts itís there in black and white.

    Question 2 answer :
    Switching back and forth from bi amp to full passive mode is not necessarily straight forward.

    The high amp used in bi amp mode is connected to the rear internal terminals of the 4343. These terminals are used for the full range amplifier in passive mode. You would need to select internal mode on the loudspeaker bi amp switch. Then reconnect the high power amp directly to your preamplifier so it functions as a full range amplifier.

    What l recommend is that you listen carefully to several familiar tunes and then change to bi amp mode and play the same tunes again after adjusting the levels of all the drivers so they are identical to the passive levels ( using a measurement mic).


    Edit: Added information.
    I have putting everything relating to the topic of bi amping in a single post to avoid a fragmented back and forth posts making the thread very difficult to follow. For this reason DO NOT quote and edit this post. Just as questions referring to this post.

    Not everyone viewing this post will accept or agree with what l have stated. The above comparison test was done systematically and under controlled conditions. It wasnít placebo or confirmation bias that lead to the findings.

    Those viewing this post who are or arenít bi amping their 43XX donít have to accept or agree with what l have stated in accordance with Forum Rules.

    Itís the choice of each individual to determine for a variety of reasons which brand / grade of equipment they use with their own systems. As an individual you are entitled to believe and voice what you believe or your opinions as long as no one gets hurt in the exchange.

    Copyright 2022 lan Mackenzie Audio

  5. #20
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    Here is a link to a 4343 system used a Jazz bar in Tokyo l visited in 2008.

    If you scroll through the pages there are two Aleph 2 class A SE mono blocks running these 4343s. It was an impressive system as l recall.


    https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bFhM4F...d=MDJmNzVkMjY=

    If anyone with a stock 4343 is interested l have a pair 2121 mid cone refoam kits.

  6. #21
    Member VinylGroove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Here is a link to a 4343 system used a Jazz bar in Tokyo l visited in 2008.
    If you scroll through the pages there are two Aleph 2 class A SE mono blocks running these 4343s. It was an impressive system as l recall.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bFhM4F...d=MDJmNzVkMjY=
    If anyone with a stock 4343 is interested l have a pair 2121 mid cone refoam kits.

    Thanks for the response and all of the detail on biamping. I was making a lot of assumptions that were incorrect. I had no idea I would need an active crossover, I thought if I had an active crossover it would replace my entire internal network of the speaker, not work in unison with it.

    Since I bought all of the components for full passive crossovers and have both boards, I think I will build them out and enjoy that for a while. Though I will keep my eye out for a deal on another Parasound amp and a good active crossover. (I'll do some searching here for recommendations, unless you have any?)

    ---

    It's interesting you mention that Jazz bar in Tokyo. The first 4343's I ever heard were in this "Salon Bar" in Tokyo and it was then I decided I would end up with a pair. Their setup was done by Kenrick Sound and as far as I know, they were running it off of the single Triode TRV-845SE amp on the counter (20W class A), but they could have been biamping and had another amp under the counter, I don't know. They controlled music via a tablet and were extremely kind people who ran the place. (I don't drink alcohol so they made me a ginger ale with real ginger, 100% from scratch and it was incredible)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O8N...83%B3%E3%83%89

    http://norainu.crayonsite.info/

    https://goo.gl/maps/AyxrAkkT7t9SZnHX9

  7. #22
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    Replying a little late here, so this response will be somewhat multi-faceted...

    I agree with all of the sentiments in the last few posts about bi-amping. It really does make a huge difference (my 4344s with our charge coupled crossover boards are biamped as well), but obviously the quality of the electronic crossover does play a huge part in how well it all pans out. I personally use a First Watt B4 (Nelson Pass design), with a 12dB/oct Linkwitz-Riley filter arrangement and crossover frequency of about 315 Hz, and it sounds great. I've tried another non-standard arrangements, frequency spreading (a la Douglas Self), etc., and always ended up coming back to the symmetrical LR12 arrangement. There are lots of threads on this forum about crossover choice... the Pass Labs XVR1 --pricier than the B4, but more adjustable in terms of filter Q-- is a great option (and has been used by Greg Timbers from JBL in the past). People seem to have had good experiences with the Bryston 10B as well, but I don't have any direct experience with those.

    As Chas said, it would certainly be a very valid approach to save the money from the passive woofer/mid filters (i.e., the stuff on the "Aux board" in the case of your Echo Mountain boards) and go straight into an active crossover setup with just the Main boards. However, I can confirm that going through the process in steps is really rewarding, as Ian pointed out. FWIW, my own progression with the 4344s (which were in their stock factory configuration when I bought them) was:
    1. Full passive mode (stock crossovers) with a Music Reference RM-10 mk2 Class A tube amp
    2. Same configuration, but removing the bi-amp selector switch (noted as one of the very weak points of the design) and hardwiring it - huge step up right there in terms of bass performance and control
    3. Stock crossover hard-wired into bi-amp mode, with the First Watt B4, the RM-10 mk2 driving the upper range, and a 130W solid state amplifier driving the woofer. Another huge leap, particularly in the midrange performance and bass clarity
    4. Same bi-amp configuration, but with the stock crossover replaced with the Echo Mountain charge-coupled crossover boards. Again, a big leap forward, mostly heard in the upper octaves of the audio band. Greg Timbers knew what he was doing with this charge-coupled/biased capacitor approach!

    Following a similar path to the above may be more expensive in the long run, and take more time, but again, it is quite rewarding, and you'll be able to subjectively link the audible improvements in performance with the modifications.

    VinylGroove - regarding your question on being able to switch back and forth with your boards: yes, you can; it will just require removal/replacement of a couple of connections, highlighted in Figure 5 of the user manual. We can surely talk more about it once you get things built. Figures 3 and 5 are block diagrams of the bi-amp and full passive configurations, respectively, including the active crossover.
    https://www.echomountainaudio.com
    Charge-Coupled Crossover PCBs

  8. #23
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    Hi Vinylgroo,

    Over on Diyaudio.com there is an active crossover kit. If you are diy oriented with electronics assembly this kit may be of interest to you.

    https://diyaudiostore.com/products/d...31765939322953

  9. #24
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    This is where it all started.

    Whether your already a charge coupled crossover user or just lurking there is some interesting information in these threads.

    https://www.audioheritage.org/vbulle...-on-the-Cheap&

    https://www.audioheritage.org/vbulle...o-4344-upgrade

    https://www.audioheritage.org/vbulle...l=1#post127646

  10. #25
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    EEK

    I hadnít realised it until l looked at the foreign exchange rate this morning but if you are planning to buy set of these next nice boards on a credit card or PayPal the AUD cost is $499.00 dollars for a full set of cards or $418.00 plus bank fees for a bi amp set. Just something to consider before you pull the trigger! Perhaps Echo Mountainaudio can look at prices for effected foreign markets.

  11. #26
    Member VinylGroove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    EEK

    I hadnít realised it until l looked at the foreign exchange rate this morning but if you are planning to buya set of these next nice boards on a credit card or PayPal the AUD cost is $499.00 dollars for a full set of cards and $418.00 plus bank fees for a bi amp set. Just something to consider before you pull the trigger! Perhaps Echo Mountainaudio can look at prices for effected foreign markets.
    I know right now even though the dollar is comparatively strong, our costs here have skyrocketed on everything. Manufacturing costs are up at least 30% in many areas here in the US. Raw materials, labor, shipping etc are all a problem.

    I finally have my components all ordered and have a good bit of sticker shock on those.

  12. #27
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    Cool

    To respond to your post please find below the US inflation over 2022. Inflation has come down since June and was the same in Nov 2022 as Nov 2021.

    Iím not asking you to advocate the pricing on the basis that you have purchased these nice pcbs.

    My purpose here is is to make people aware that they need to investigate the real cost of building these charge coupled networks before they go ahead with buying these pcbs. The foreign exchange rate is an important consideration in determining the overall cost of such a diy project.

    EBay is a market with global reach. It looks like a good idea at the time as often it is on Ebay and you go ahead. However, this isnít a full crossover kit. Thereís a parts list on the website. The buyer needs to go online and order all the parts which can take a while and they wonít know the cost until they go to the check out. They would do that once the boards arrive.

    I very much doubt the average diy person really knows the overall cost of these crossovers until itís finished! The cost of the parts, the pcb and hardware such as connectors and everything else really adds.

    I know this because l assisted numerous people remotely all over the world get these complicated four way networks together. Once they got to the shop checkout online at Parts Express or wherever they plan to buy the parts from they came back to me via email looking for alternatives.

    That is where l am coming from.

    Youíve come on the forums looking for help which is great and you now realise just how expensive it is.

    If people are looking at this thread and are interested in these boards itís about doing the right thing and letting people know just what this whole thing all about. Itís not like itís coupled hundred dollars. Its a real lot money.

    I have an acquaintance here locally who has asked me if l would help assemble those boards and l said well you had better go online and look at what this is going to cost l explained what else he needed to build external networks. His feedback was thanks lan for working it because l had no idea? Heís got three kid and itís Christmas so he wonít be doing it on his break.

    If it were me l would prepare an article on what building this thing is about and attach a parts list with prices in a thread. Then those who have decided to go ahead know the financial commitment and they proceed to buy the boards. They can also help each other assemble the boards. Thatís me and thatís the way l do business.

    This is ďwhyĒ people come here.


    Characteristic Inflation rate
    Nov '22 7.1%
    Oct '22 7.7%
    Sep '22 8.2%
    Aug '22 8.3%
    Jul '22 8.5%
    Jun '22 9.1%
    May '22 8.6%
    Apr '22 8.3%
    Mar '22 8.5%
    Feb '22 7.9%
    Jan '22 7.5%
    Dec '21 7%
    Nov '21

  13. #28
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    I went through to the best of my ability to document the parts, where I got them from and prices. I don't make any claims for this to be free of typos or errors and your parts selection, vendor and situation may differ from mine.
    I did not include shipping or taxes as that will vary from place to place, but did add very rough estimates at the bottom, to arrive at my final estimated cost of $1845.53 USD before crossover cases or wiring and misc connectors and supplies.

    So, they're cheaper than Kenrick's $11,000USD crossovers but not cheap by any means. Now I need to find a case/box worthy of the components and decide if I'm housing both PCBs in each speaker in 1 large case or in 2 smaller cases.

    (I've attached a screenshot of the spreadsheet and also a copy of the excel spreadsheet that is zipped to allow upload here)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Attached Files Attached Files

  14. #29
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    All valid points.

    I agree that this information would be useful in published form, and I do plan to put those cost estimates on my website in the upcoming FAQ pages. I applaud VinylGroove for posting the breakdown of the costs for his 4343 variant, as this is and also Ian for bringing this up. People should be informed, I completely agree. I would not advocate for anyone to purchase the boards if they were unaware and/or unprepared for the magnitude of the parts cost.

    I've had lots of folks who were on the fence about buying the boards reach out to me (via email, etc.) to get a sense of what the costs of the parts will be, and I've been very up front with everyone who has asked that it can cost in the neighborhood of $2k total for boards + parts on a full passive configuration, and about $1500 for a biamp configuration. That definitely jives with VinylGroove's breakdown below.

    The fact is that it's always been an expensive proposition to build a charge-coupled network, especially in a full passive configuration (and the current economic situation makes it more expensive, no doubt). As Greg Timbers said on this forum years ago, "It cost a bloody fortune to implement as it requires 4 times the capacitance and double the capacitor parts count. The network size gets huge as well. In spite of this, I have never heard a capacitor type that didn't improve (or change) including the nearly perfect teflon variety." The PCBs do add additional expense, but also save the user the hassle of point-to-point wiring, hot glue, and lessen the potential for wiring mistakes. That savings in time will justify the cost for some customers; I've certainly gotten this feedback from some folks who have finished or are in progress with their builds. At the end of the day, the cost of the upgraded charge-coupled networks (the success stories are well documented here on Lansing Heritage) is much smaller than the market value of the 43xx series monitors, but it is a non-trivial expense nonetheless.

    Irrespective of the month-to-month rates of inflation, the cost of manufacturing here in the U.S. is not dropping - the costs (and lead times) are actually increasing daily... I deal with it in my main job every day. Hi-Fi companies are continuing to hike their prices too; I just got an email the other day from a local hi-fi dealer saying that a number of their brands (including the Manley gear) are implementing 10-20% price increases across the board starting Jan 2023.

    Shipping is also expensive... everything's just expensive. Fabricating these boards was no exception, especially in the quantities that a small outfit can afford to order. I do include the cost of shipping with the purchase of the boards in an attempt to ease the burden on the international customers in particular.

    I am exploring some options for trying to offer kits of parts in a more economical way in the future, but we will see how that goes.
    https://www.echomountainaudio.com
    Charge-Coupled Crossover PCBs

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinylGroove View Post
    I went through to the best of my ability to document the parts, where I got them from and prices. I don't make any claims for this to be free of typos or errors and your parts selection, vendor and situation may differ from mine.
    I did not include shipping or taxes as that will vary from place to place, but did add very rough estimates at the bottom, to arrive at my final estimated cost of $2014.05 USD before crossover cases or wiring and misc connectors and supplies.

    So, they're cheaper than Kenrick's $11,000USD crossovers but not cheap by any means. Now I need to find a case/box worthy of the components and decide if I'm housing both PCBs in each speaker in 1 large case or in 2 smaller cases.

    (I've attached a screenshot of the spreadsheet and also a copy of the excel spreadsheet that is zipped to allow upload here)

    I am sure your disclosure will be much appreciated.

    FWIF l have provided the option of conventional capacitor of specific varieties where cost is price prohibitive. On this type of network a charge coupled crossover uses two capacitors with double the value. With large values itís prohibitive.

    What l have done and itís endorsed in some JBL networks is to use dual NPE bypassed back to back with 0.01uF PP bypass capacitors and change couple. The real deal on the UHF is where itís most beneficial.

    If you want to you can upgrade it later you and see if you can hear the difference. I give people a choice.

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