Dennis Murphy Pioneer SP-BS22-LR DIY Modifications

Discussion in 'DIY' started by MCM_Fan, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    Introduction (Credit where Credit is Due):

    The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers, designed by Andrew Jones, have been very well received, with many positive reviews:

    Stereophile – Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Loudspeaker by Robert J. Reina
    The Absolute Sound – Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Loudspeaker by Neil Gader
    The Wirecutter – A Great Bookshelf Speaker by Geoff Morrison
    Digital Audio Review – Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Standmount Loudspeaker by John H. Darko

    They have also received much attention and many favorable comments in the various audio forums:

    Audiokarma.org – Speakers – Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, the real deal or hype?
    Audio Circle – Cheap and Cheerful HiFi – Pioneer SP-BS2-LR are really nice

    With an MSRP of $129.99, Andrew Jones has succeeded in bringing an excellent sounding set of speakers to the masses at a very affordable price. Better still, these speakers are carried by many major retailers, both online (Amazon, Newegg, etc.) and brick and mortar stores (Best Buy, Frye’s, etc.) and are often on sale for less than $100. I have two sets. I purchased the first pair in August, 2013 for $79.99 and then a second pair in June, 2014 for $65.00. In both cases, they were on sale at amazon.com and I purchased them at my local Best Buy through their price matching program. There is a Best Buy less than 3 miles from my house. So, I went for the instant gratification of picking them up locally over ordering them through Amazon. These speakers go on sale often, usually on weekends, but the sales don’t last long. The $65.00 price at Amazon was only listed on their web site for about 24 hours. To get the best price, you need to check the online retailers regularly and act quickly when the price drops. At $130, these speakers are a great value. At $65 - $80, they are an absolute steal.

    Note: After I completed this article, in August 2014, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers went on sale at Amazon for a new low price of $59.90/pair. Again, they were only offered at this special low price for less than 24 hours. What a tremendous value for anyone who was able to take advantage of this sale.

    The complete manufacturer’s data sheet, in PDF format can be found here. And here’s the relevant specs:

    Specifications:
    • Enclosure............................Bass-reflex Bookshelf
    • Configuration........................2-way
    • Frequency Range......................55Hz-20kHz
    • Nominal Impedance....................6 Ohms
    • Sensitivity (2.83V)..................85dB
    • Maximum Input Power..................80W
    • Cross-Over Frequency.................3kHz
    • Magnetically Shielded................No
    • Dimensions(WxHxD)....................7-1/8”x12-9/16”x8-7/16”
    • Weight(each).........................9lbs 2oz
    • Woofer...............................4”
    • Tweeter..............................1”
    • UPC..................................012562906119

    Budget audiophiles owe Pioneer and Andrew Jones a great debt of gratitude for producing a speaker that sounds so good at a price anyone can afford. Mr. Jones did an amazing job of designing an excellent sounding speaker within a very tight budget. The little 4” woofer is an amazing driver that produces surprising bass for such a small driver. The curved cabinet is also excellent quality, especially in this price range. To use a popular metaphor, these two elements allow the SP-BS22-LR speakers to punch way above their class. The SP-BS22-LR speakers also have a better, more complex, crossover network than most other speakers in this price range. Of course, when working within a very tight budget, compromises must be made. The stock tweeter is decent, but not great. I’m sure it’s the best Mr. Jones could do and still stay within his allocated budget. In any design, there are cost/performance trade-offs. Andrew Jones did an amazing job within his budget and made the right trade-offs to get the best possible sound for the least amount of money. The popularity of these speakers and the countless positive reviews are a testimony to the outstanding work Mr. Jones did designing these speakers.

    However, because cost/performance trade-offs were necessary to get these speakers to market at a very affordable price, it leaves the door open for improvements. Enter Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio. Dennis is another highly talented designer who has always been a big supporter of the DIY community. Dennis replaced the stock tweeter of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers with a much nicer Vifa 1” silk dome tweeter from Parts Express and then designed a new crossover to match this improved tweeter to the stock 4” woofer. Dennis offers speakers with these modifications installed and tested. He sells them, in limited production quantities, as his Affordable Accuracy Monitors at the bargain price of $165.00/pair.

    Dennis graciously shared his design with me. Due to the complexity, and risk of damage, he was reluctant to share these modifications with the general public. In an effort to make these mods more accessible to those with the necessary skills and tools, I further refined the implementation of Dennis’ design. The mods can be accomplished by an experienced Do-It-Yourselfer, but there is some risk of irreparable damage. So, if you are not 100% confident in your abilities, do not attempt these mods. If you do decide to proceed, you do so at you own risk. As soon as you open up your speakers, you void the manufacturer’s warranty. If you screw up and ruin your speakers, no one else is responsible for your actions.

    Of course, these improvements are not free. As you will see below, with a BOM cost of over $82, the cost of materials alone doubled my investment in these speakers. Since Dennis sells these speakers professionally modified and tested at only $165.00, it only makes sense to attempt these mods if:

    • You already have these speakers and are a competent, experienced DIYer
    or
    • You get lucky and snag a pair at $65.00, are a competent, experienced DIYer and place little or no value on your time
    or
    • Dennis stops selling his modified speakers​

    The Details:

    You will need the following materials to perform these modifications to your stock Pioneer SP-BS2-LR speakers:

    Bill of Materials: Dennis Murphy Modifications for Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Photo 1. The BOM Components

    As shown in the table, most of the parts are available from Parts Express. The prices shown are current as of July, 2014 and are subject to change. These are single quantity pricing and do not represent any discounts (in other words, the most you will pay at the time of this article). I actually paid less as I bought my items when Parts Express was having a 20% off sale, and I also purchased enough materials to modify four speakers. So, I got additional quantity discounts on some items. The cost of the Jantzen 0.5mH air core inductor has also gone up since I made my purchase. One sheet of Sonic Barrier was enough for four speakers and the 100 pack of #6x3/4” pan head screws is enough to modify eight speakers. So, after all discounts and free shipping my total materials cost came out to $115.97 for the parts required to modify four speakers. That’s $57.99 per pair. Since I paid $79.99 and $65.00 for my two pair of speakers, that makes my total net cost $260.96 for four speakers, or $130.48 per pair after modifications. That’s only $0.49/pair more than the $129.99 MSRP for the stock speakers.

    Tools:
    • 2.5mm Hex Key
    • #2 Phillips Screw Driver
    • Electric Drill or Drill Press
    • 1/8” Drill Bit
    • 7/64” Drill Bit
    • Wire Stripper/Cutter
    • Solder Iron
    • Desoldering Wick/Braid
    • Glue Gun
    • Scissors
    • Dremel Tool with small sanding drum (optional: could also use a file or small handsaw)
    Miscellaneous Supplies:
    • Solder
    • Hot Glue Sticks
    • 22 AWG Hook Up Wire
    • Small Zip Ties​
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    dsidney and MacNoob like this.
  2. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    Note: Performing the following modifications voids your manufacturer’s warranty. Proceed at your own risk. If you screw up, you could potentially damage your speakers beyond repair. If you damage your speakers, no one else, not Pioneer Electronics, not Andrew Jones, not Dennis Murphy and not me (who shall remain nameless) is responsible for your loss.

    Step 1 – Disassembly:

    [​IMG]
    Photo 2. 2.5mm Hex Key for Removing Driver Mounting Screws

    Using a 2.5mm hex key, remove the screws holding the tweeter and woofer in the cabinet. You MUST use the correct 2.5mm hex key. If you don’t, you will strip out the hex sockets in the head of the screws. As simple as this step sounds, it is susceptible to risk. The stock mounting screws are very low quality made from very soft metal. They were intended to be screwed in once, for the life of the product, not repeatedly removed and re-installed by an ambitious Do-It-Yourselfer. For this reason, I recommend throwing these screws away and not attempting to reuse them. Use the #6 x ¾” Phillips pan head screws instead. Remove the drivers from the cabinet. Unhook the wires from the back of the drivers (to do so, slide the clear plastic insulators back from the terminals and press down on the small retention tabs with your fingernail). Set aside the woofer for later use.

    Carefully remove the gasket from the back of the tweeter. It will be reused on the new Vifa tweeter. Use a single sided razor blade, Exacto knife or small pocket knife to get under the gasket material and gently pull it away from the tweeter. Once the gasket is removed, set the original tweeter aside. It is no longer needed. Install the gasket on the new Vifa tweeter. Make sure there is no gasket material extending beyond the edge of the tweeter plastic frame. The new tweeter is a very tight fit in the opening in the cabinet. If there is any gasket material extending beyond the edge of the tweeter, trim it back with the razor blade or knife. Set the new tweeter aside for future use.

    Using the #2 Phillips screw driver, remove the four screws that hold the terminal cup in the cabinet. Set the screws aside for later reuse. Remove the terminal cup, with the attached crossover, from the cabinet. Again, using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the four screws that mount the crossover PCB onto the terminal cup. You can toss these screws. They will not be needed for reassembly. When it comes time, you’ll use four of the longer #6 x ¾” pan head screws instead. Set the terminal cup aside for now.

    Step 2 – Preparing the Cabinet:

    The new Vifa tweeter has terminals on opposite sides, 180 degrees apart. This is different than the original tweeter, which has both terminals on the bottom, side-by-side. You will need to cut a small notch in the top, center of the tweeter opening to accommodate the TW- lead. You can use a file or a small hand saw to cut this notch. I used a Dremel tool with a small sanding drum to make this notch in my speaker cabinets (see Photo 3).

    [​IMG]
    Photo 3. Notch in Tweeter Opening for TW- Lead

    The stock speaker has a sheet of white acoustic batting glued to the inside of the cabinet behind the woofer opening. This next step is optional, but highly recommended. Gently remove the acoustic batting from the inside of the cabinet. Try not to tear it as it will be reinstalled in the top half of the cabinet, behind the tweeter opening. Set it aside for now.

    Cut four pieces of the Sonic Barrier acoustic foam to install in the bottom half of the cabinet. The two side pieces are 7” x 4 ½”. I recommend making a template for the bottom piece. If you plan your cuts carefully, you will actually have enough for four speakers.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 4. Sonic Barrier for Sides and Bottom of Cabinet

    Install the Sonic Barrier in the cabinet.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 5. The Sonic Barrier Installed in the Cabinet

    Using the glue gun and hot glue sticks, install the original batting in the top half of the cabinet behind the tweeter opening. Position the batting so that the notch that originally wrapped around the crossover now wraps around the port tube. Note: if you don’t already have a glue gun, the cheap little one from Michael’s ($2.79) works great for this. It is small enough to get inside the cabinet and maneuver into place. That’s it for the cabinets, for now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  3. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    Step 3 – The Crossover:

    [​IMG]
    Figure 1. The New Crossover Circuit – Dennis Murphy Design

    Building the new crossover is the heart of this DIY project. Using desoldering wick/braid, you will need to remove some parts from the existing crossover. You will install some of those parts, as well as the new crossover parts, onto the Radio Shack 276-168 PC Board. Finally, you will sandwich the old crossover board and the new PC Board together and mount them back on the terminal cup.

    Notes on the schematic:
    • Components without Parts Express part numbers are part of the original crossover. Where possible these components are reused to keep the cost of the new crossover as low as possible.
    • The design of the woofer circuit calls for a 1.5mH inductor. To keep the cost low, 0.5mH air core inductor L2 is placed in series with existing 1.0 mH iron core inductor L1.​

    Start by removing the following components from the original crossover PCB:

    • C1 - 10uF NP – Top Side, Retain for Reuse
    • C2 – 2.2 uF – Top Side, Retain for Reuse
    • L2 – 0.4mH Air Core – Top Side - Discard
    • R2 – 6.8 Ohm, 10W – Bottom Side, Retain for Reuse
    Use the soldering iron and desoldering braid to unsolder the components from the board. The components are also adhered to the board using some type of hot glue or rubber cement. I recommend removing this glue residue from the board with your fingernail and then cleaning the board with something like Goo Gone. You don’t want to get that stuff on your soldering iron. It will gum up the tip. Same for the black silicon adhesive that was globbed over the mounting screws at the corners of the board.

    Inductor L2, the 0.4mH air core is the hardest to get off the board. You can use a screw driver in the center hole to help pry it off the board. Take your time and make sure you get all the solder off the component leads before trying to remove them. Other than the 0.4mH air core inductor, you will be reusing all the other components. So, you don’t want to damage them.

    Remove the tweeter wires (TW+ and TW-) from the stock crossover. Remove the adhesive over the solder connections BEFORE attempting to unsolder these wires. Set the wires aside for reuse. You will also need to remove the IN+ lead (red wire) from the PCB and pull it apart from the IN- lead. Set it aside for reuse.

    At this point, the only items remaining attached to the original crossover PCB are L1, R1 the W+/W- leads and the IN- lead.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 6. The Stock Crossover PCB, Top Side View, after Removing Components and Wires

    [​IMG]
    Photo 7. The Stock Crossover PCB, Bottom Side View, after Removing Components and Wires

    Install 10uF NP electrolytic cap C1 on the bottom side of the original crossover PCB. Moving this large capacitor to the bottom side of the PCB is necessary to allow the new Radio Shack PC board to be sandwiched on top of the original PCB. Don’t worry about the cap polarity, this is a non-polarized electrolytic capacitor (unlike the polarized electrolytics used as decoupling caps in DC power supply circuits).

    Note: When mounting this, and all other components on the original crossover PCB and the new Radio Shack PC Board, use the glue gun and hot glue to firmly adhere the components on the circuit board. This provides a solid mechanical connection between the component and circuit board.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 8. 10uF Non-Polarized Electrolytic Capacitor L1 Installed on the Bottom Side of the Original Crossover PCB

    It’s now time to drill the mounting holes in the new Radio Shack PC Board. This PC Board is laid out in a grid with the x-axis numbered A1 – A5, B1 - B5, C1 – C5, D1 – D5, E1 – E5, F1 and the y-axis numbered 1 – 30. There are silk screened lines located at five hole intervals in both the horizontal and vertical axes. There are two types of mounting holes: 1/8” holes for attaching the new Radio Shack PC Board to the original crossover PCB and the terminal cup standoffs; 7/64” for the wire ties that will be used to mechanically restrain the two 0.5mH air core inductors. You will use the two of the factory drilled mounting holes at the bottom left and bottom right corners of the PC Board. So, only two new 1/8’ mounting holes are required. There will be a total of six 7/64” mounting holes, four for inductor L2 and two for inductor L3.

    [​IMG]
    Table 1. Mounting Hole Locations

    I used 7/64” mounting holes for the small wire ties I used to attach the inductors to the PC Board. If you have different size wire ties, or don’t have a 7/64” drill bit, you can use a 1/8” drill bit for all mounting holes.

    Be careful when drilling the 1/8” mounting hole at location A1.5, 15.5. You don’t want to completely sever the copper trace on the back side of the PC Board at location A1. This is the GND trace. If you do completely sever this trace, you can install a jumper wire to bridge the gap.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 9. The New Radio Shack PC Board with all Mounting Holes Drilled

    Install 22 AWG jumper wires between the following locations:

    [​IMG]
    Table 2. Jumper Wire Locations

    Solder all wires in place on the back side of the PC Board. After soldering, trim all leads as short as possible on the back side of the PCB. There will only be a 1/8” gap between the new PC Board and the original crossover PCB. The leads should be clipped short enough to prevent creating a short circuit between the two PCBs.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 10. The New Radio Shack PC Board with Jumper Wires Installed

    Install crossover components L2, L3, C2, C3, C5 and R2 on the PC Board at the following locations:

    [​IMG]
    Table 3. Crossover Component Locations

    Use a generous amount of hot glue to attach these components to the PC Board. Install wire ties to help mechanically restrain the inductors and cut off the excess length of the wire ties. Solder all leads to the back side of the PCB and trim all leads, except L2, Pin1 as short as possible. Leave the L2, Pin1 lead longer (See Photo12: anything between ½: and 1” is fine for now). This lead will also be soldered to the original crossover PCB when sandwiching the two boards together.

    Solder the tweeter lead wires and input lead wire IN+ at the following locations:

    [​IMG]
    Table 4. Lead Wire Locations

    [​IMG]
    Photo 11. The New Radio Shack PC Board with All Components Installed

    [​IMG]
    Photo 12. The New Radio Shack PC Board with all Leads Trimmed – Except for L2 Lead at Location A2, 20

    It’s now time to sandwich the old, original crossover board and the new Radio Shack PC Board together. You will need to install one short jumper wire to connect the GND signals of the two boards. This wire connects to the IN- location on the original crossover and the ground trace on the Radio Shack PC Board. I connected this wired to location A1, 27 on my boards, but it can be connected to any A1 location. I looped this wire around the bottom of the boards, rather than the side, to make it easier to get the new crossover through the terminal cup opening when reinstalling it into the cabinet. This is the black wire shown near the bottom left of the board in Photos 13, 14 and 15.

    Sandwich the two boards together, with the 1/8” nylon spacers between them. Doing so will require the long inductor L2 lead to pass through the IN+ via on the original crossover board. Solder this lead to the bottom side of the via and then trim the excess lead as short as possible. Connect the IN+ and IN- leads to the appropriate terminals on the terminal cup.

    That completes the electrical assembly of the new crossover. It’s now time to complete the mechanical assembly. Again with the 1/8” nylon spacers between the two boards, install #6 x ¾” mounting screws at the four 1/8” mounting hole locations. Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, drive these screws into the four plastic mounting posts on the terminal cup. Once these screws are tightened the mechanical assembly of the crossover network is complete and your crossover should look similar to the one shown in Photos 13, 14 and 15.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 13. The Assembled Crossover – Top View

    [​IMG]
    Photo 14. The Assembled Crossover – Left ¾ View

    [​IMG]
    Photo 15. The Assembled Crossover – Right ¾ View
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  4. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    Step 4 – Reassembly:

    Insert the crossover through the terminal cup opening in the rear of the speaker cabinet. Install the four original terminal cup mounting screws and tighten them with the #2 Phillips screwdriver.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 16. The New Crossover Mounted in the Speaker Cabinet

    Connect the TW+ and TW- leads to the appropriate tabs on the new Vifa tweeter and install the tweeter in the cabinet. Before installing the tweeter mounting screws, reach in through the woofer opening and check to make sure the TW+ lead did not slide off its terminal. It’s a bit of a tight fit getting the new tweeter into the opening and that can cause the TW+ lead to become disconnected. If the TW+ lead did come off its terminal, reconnect it at this time. Install and tighten four #6 x ¾” screws to secure the tweeter to the cabinet.

    Connect the W+ and W- leads to the appropriate terminals on the woofer and install the woofer in the cabinet using four of the #6 x ¾” mounting screws. Photo 17 shows the front view of an original, unmodified Pioneer SP-BS22-LR side-by-side with a modified speaker. The only outwardly visible differences are the new tweeter and the Phillips head driver mounting screws.

    [​IMG]
    Photo 17. Before (Left) and After (Right).

    Congratulations, your modification is complete. Hook it up and give it a listen. If all sounds well, repeat the process for the second speaker. When both speakers are complete, hook them up to your electronics and enjoy them. If you completed all the steps successfully, you should now have a very awesome sounding set of speakers at a bargain price.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  5. slpcorner

    slpcorner AudioPhan - On the Cheap

    Excellent! Well done... I haven't finished reading the entire thing, but it looks great and I'm sure everyone will appreciate the work you put into it. :thmbsp:
     
  6. keilau

    keilau AK Member

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  7. deltalight

    deltalight AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Although perf-board works, I would simply layout a separate board. Piece of cake. I'd maybe add 1/4" Faston terminals as well to speed-up assy and for repairs if necessary.

    I wish someone would come up with enhancement mods to Klipsch RB-61 II or Polk TRi6 speakers. I like the front ports.
     
  8. keilau

    keilau AK Member

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    Circuit card for crossover

    I also like the idea of a PC circuit board, but do not like doing the itching myself. Parts Express has a number of bland circuit cards at very good price, but they lack the provision for added components that are typical in most designs. I found an easy way to modify the PE #260-132, a 2nd order, 3-way, for use as a 2-way card.

    http://www.parts-express.com/crossover-pc-board-3-way-12-db-small-4-x-7--260-132

    The first picture below is the original design. The second picture is the mod I did to accommondate a 2-way design with zobel circuit. You need to drill 2 holes for one patch wire. For less than $4 each if you get 4 cards. It is a very cost effective approach.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. MacNoob

    MacNoob dazed and confused

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    Wow. Awesome job - a lot of work went into both the design and the documentation of it. Thank you!
     
  10. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    The Sonic Barrier I used is listed in the BOM in my first post above. It is Sonic Barrier 1/2" Acoustic Sound Damping Foam with PSA 18" x 24" (Parts Express 260-520).

    This is the dampening material recommended by Dennis Murphy. The 1/2" thickness works well for getting into the small, tight places inside the SP-BS22-LR cabinets.
     
  11. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    PCBs are always nice, but I wanted to make this mod as accessible as possible to the most number of people. So, I used readily available, off the shelf parts. I also kept with Dennis' philosophy of keeping the cost down by reusing as many of the original crossover parts as possible.
     
  12. drtool

    drtool It might get loud In Houston Subscriber

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    Thanks for posting. With the low price a diy person can really have some fun with these and not break the bank.
     
  13. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    This is just one implementation. Others are encouraged to experiment to determine what works best for them.

    However, that Parts Express crossover board is 4" x 7", way too big to fit through the terminal cup opening and fit in the original location in the SP-BS22-LR cabinets. By comparison, the Radio Shack 276-168 perf board is only 2 13/16" x 3 3/4". It fits in the original crossover mounting location and easily fits through the terminal cup mounting hole. This makes reassembling the cabinet and hooking up the speaker leads a breeze.

    I'm traveling right now, and don''t have access to my speakers, but with a minimum dimension of 4", I don't think there is anyway to even get that Parts Express crossover board inside the SP-BS22-LR cabinet. The woofer opening is the largest opening in the cabinet, and since it's a nominal 4" driver, I believe the cut out is less than 4" in diameter. Even if you could get it inside the cabinet, you'd need to figure out where and how to mount it.
     
  14. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    To all of those who own these Pioneer speakers, either the stock or modified versions how do they compare or stand up against other highly regarded bookshelf speakers? I'm thinking, new, maybe anything $1,000 and under. I'm just trying to wrap my head around how good these really are. I'm sure others are too. Are there any well known speakers they share characteristics with? All we usually hear is that the are really good and a great bargain. I don't doubt that but I'm curious if anyone can make some specific comparisons. Thanks.

    cubdog
     
  15. RayW

    RayW Parrothead with a badge Super Mod Subscriber

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    Great write up!
     
  16. pieinear

    pieinear Active Member

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    i don't have any other high end small speakers, but from other reviews they compare favorably. i truly think these could almost become the main speakers in my system even without a sub but that's a large almost and i already have some speakers that these could never match. these speakers do not disappoint at least not for 60 bucks. i'm thinking this mod corrects my feeling that they lack just a tad in the treble. the bass is more than you expect in a speaker this small.

    so in review if you see these on sale again just BUY THEM they will not disappoint. trouble is i think that they are now discontinued and that this last sale might be it for them.
     
  17. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    I don't have a need for these so I doubt I'd ever buy a pair. My curiosity about their sound and performance remains.

    cubdog
     
  18. keilau

    keilau AK Member

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    The tweeter sound

    The SP-BS22-LR a special designed tweeter that Pioneer describes as follow:

    The sound was described in Stereophile as very well integrated lower to upper highs, but limited extension of extreme high. Absolute Sound also decribed the lack of "top-end transparency".

    We know that Andrew Jones tries to optimize the design within the cost constraints and did a good job. How is the low cost (MCM_Fan emphasized this several times.) mod by Dennis Murphy using the Vifa silk dome tweeter compared to the stock Pioneer in the sound, particularly the high end?
     
  19. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Lunatic Member

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    Excellent and thank you for this!
     
  20. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

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    You're welcome!

    Now that I finally got around to posting this, I'm anxious for others to perform these mods. I know it takes a while to order and receive the parts, but once you have everything it doesn't take that long to perform the mods - an evening, or perhaps two if you're a slow, meticulous worker.

    I'm looking forward to feedback on the instructions and I also want to hear how others think the speakers sound after the modifications. I've been listening to my modded pair for over two months and love them. I picked up another set back in early July when they were on sale for $65.00. I've done quite a bit of direct A/B comparison listening of the modded versus unmodded speakers. I could immediately hear the improvement. The modded speakers have much smoother highs and upper midrange, just an overall smoother, more refined, more detailed sound. The imaging is fantastic, and the bass that little 4" woofer puts out continues to impress. I prefer running these speakers with a subwoofer to fill out the very bottom end (I'm using a Definitive Technology ProSub 800), but for the A/B comparisons, I ran them subless.

    I really liked these speakers before the mods, and was amazed by how good they sounded given the price. I absolutely love the modded version. In my opinion these mods turn a very good sounding speaker into a great sounding speaker that even budget conscious audiophiles can afford. I like the modded version so much, I'm going to mod my second pair this week.

    So please, anyone who attempts these mods, share your experiences, both performing the mods and post-mod listening experience, with others in this thread. These speakers are so popular, and have gotten so much attention in this forum, I hope many, many AK DIYers will give this mod a try.
     

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