ESS Transar rebuild thread

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by 13stoploss, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. essNeff

    essNeff Active Member

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    I wonder if they "got a deal" on the 5 pin xlr's and used them. Can you determine how the pins are wired?
     

     

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  2. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    BREAKTHROUGH! (for better or worse)

    Pics coming shortly.
     
  3. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    Porkloin will be happy to see these Transar AMTs are wearing some concealed protection... Apologies in advance. I busted out the D700 and macro lens, but had to keep the ISO high while handheld. Then I got the tripod out, which helped, but forgot to change the ISO back to something prettier. I shoot small, medium, and large format film, so it's been a while since I shot digital. Also, AK cropped the photos from my 3000x2000 to 800 on the long side. So, quality should be better...

    Front: Back: Dirty: Clean: Clean:
    Voice coil:
    This one has a fuse??? RCA cable from Transar to Heil AMT: If you know the Heil AMT, these colors are familiar to you:
    I had to pop out this screw on bottom, one on each side, to slide the box off the pedestal on top the magnet assembly


    And finally, WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!


    There are only four wires connected to the 5-pin XLR.

    So, let's recap what Porkloin said:

    "I'm still a bit lost on the 5-pin connector. The only way that makes sense is that at least two of the five pins are soldered to wires that go to the positive and negative terminals of the transar, if it's wired up like a conventional speaker. Two more pins would have to be soldered to wires that go to the Heil's pink and bluie terminals, so the should be separate. This would make perfect sense with the amp below. The amp would actively sort the highs and mids and distribute it to the pins in the xlr connector accordingly. You would simply plug the XLR female cables into the amp and run them to their respective (Left/Right) speakers."
    Now what?
    1. Those red-ended Mexican caps have got to go... might as well redo the entire board... orrrrrrr, maybe a larger, custom external board?
    2. Still need to figure out XLR connectors and cables
    3. Do I still need the Transar crossover if these passive crossovers are in place?
    4. I'm looking for an affordable sub(s) that plays up to 150hz, budget about $80-100 (Craigslist)
     
  4. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    That's the problem. I can't tell the difference between DMX, XLR, and DIN. They're all the same. And since I don't have the original 5-pin cables, I can't look on the cable to see if it says "audio" or "data." All I know is that the Transar has a 5-pin connector built into the box that sits on the magnet assembly. Is that a DMX? Is it an XLR? Is it a DIN?

    It looks like I need to carry two positive and two negative wires in each cable: a black and yellow, and a blue and pink/purple:
    If it's a 5-pin male XLR, then I should be able to use this connector. Then I'd simply get a regular 3-pin XLR cable.

    It says XLR-32:
    If it's a DMX, then I should...?
     
  5. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    OK, so they're not DMX. DIN doesn't matter. But the connectors ARE 5-pin male XLR.

    So, how do I convert 5-pin female XLR to 3-pin female XLR?
    Or, can I find/make a 5-pin female XLR to male RCA?
     
  6. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    If I had to guess:
    1. The purple and blue wires pass directly from the DIN/XLR/Canon plug to the composites/RCA plug on the other side of the box. I'm betting that it forwards a properly crossed over, amplified signal from the upper of the two black boxes pictured in my last post.
    2. Without seeing where the other two wires go in relation to the cap, the resistor, the semiconductor and the two blue things, or their relationship to one another, it's a wild guess that these components provide the last bit of ju-ju needed for the Transar. The above-mentioned black box would provide some crossover action as there's not enough components there to provide full bandpass.
    3. Without a complete knowledge of where each of the four contacts leads to, as revealed in a full schematic, it would be impossible to adapt to a 3-pin connector if the Transar and Heil legs of the circuit cannot share a common ground. I doubt that they could as someone on the ESS design team would've figured that out and used a 3-pin connector.
    4. Without a knowledge of the pinout on the 5 pin connector, and the two circuits involved could share a common ground, a premade adapter cable stands an extremely slim chance (3125 to 1) of working.
    5. Without a complete knowledge of the function of that little black box with the passive looking components in it, you'd be guessing as to the use of the more conventional methods of active and passive crossovers. The whole picture looks like a hybrid of both.
    6. Without a complete knowledge of the function of the big amplifier that originally came with these, use of more conventional components would be a stab in the dark.
    7. As these speakers are rare as hen's teeth, information on the internet won't be too plentiful, to understate a point. If ESS is still stocking and selling the Transars, would it be in Ricky's interest to let loose of that information to you?
    8. Even armed with all of the technical information on all of the components, it will take a big step out of the "replacing like for like" modus operandi to accomplish making these speakers sound worth a damn.
    9. I'd say stick with "like for like" - replace those passive components in the little black box, get the drivers attached to the "enclosure". Spend your computer time looking for and purchasing the correct ESS amplifier. If nothing else, it would be good for maintaining collector/resale value just in case you need to sell them to get some pacifying jewelry for Mrs. Loss.
     

     

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  7. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    I analyze the crap out of it, when the whole thing could be answered by a single question: Which of the two big black amps above has an output that matches the input on StopLoss13's Transars?
    Without an intimate knowledge of the material being sent over those 4 - 5 pins PLUS the ability to duplicate it, all of the theorizing about plugging the Transars in via "third party" doohickeys is moot.
    Sad to say, this project is in need of one of those amps.
     
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  8. essNeff

    essNeff Active Member

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    How about switching the the XLR plug to Phoenix connectors?
    This can be done for the XO and even the Amp if needed.
    Were the originals 45 ohm analog cables?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  9. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    This is all moot. If you don't know what each of those pins is doing, such a conversion would be pointless.
    It's putting the cart before the horse.
    Although 5 pin female to female XLR cables are hard to come by, the components to make them, or gender changers are relatively common.
    Even Winston knows that.
     
  10. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    I apologize for being dense... but are you saying this can't be figured out? I mean, I'm obviously no electrical wizard, but there's five pins and only four are used. Pins 2 and 3 are for the Heil AMT "tweeter." Those two (blue and purple/pink) bypass the caps in the PCB and go straight to the RCA cable. The RCA cable leads to a Euro connector to meet up with the back of the AMT, just like on the Monitor, AMT3, and AMT1/a/B/C/D speakers. Wires to pins 4 and 5 are yellow and black. From the pins, the wires lead into the PCB. Out of the PCB, they retain the same yellow and black colors and lead directly to the vertical Transar AMT's voice coil.

    So, there's four wires. We know that two wires, a positive and a negative, go to HF, and two wires, a positive (yellow?) and a negative (black?), go to MF. On the back of the Heil AMT, is blue the positive, or is the pink/purple positive? The other is negative.

    If we know this information, then we should be able to construct a custom cable, right?

    The other option which does me no good right now is I wait until Monday when Ricky gets back to LA, and I find out whether he has any more new-old stock or just old magical black boxes and cables. He said he believes he has the cables...
     
  11. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    I just deleted the lengthy rant as brevity is the soul of wit: Without a working, in-depth knowledge of the stock ESS amplifier/crossover unit's function and specifications, any attempts at making a driver as unique and foreign as a Transar sing with industry standard equipment will be a stab in the dark.
     

     

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  12. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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  13. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    I would kill for a schematic.
    Well, maybe I'd speak some harsh words for a schematic.
     
  14. essNeff

    essNeff Active Member

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    I'll run this idea up "The Flagpole" and see if anyone salutes it.
    The RCA jack on the Xo unit is for the 2 wires to the Heil.
    The 5 pin Cannon plug is a speaker level 4 wire connector from that ESS amp #1, that I thought belonged to Mr. Stoploss.
     
  15. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    The odd thing is that there's no crossover function at the little black box for the AMT's - the purple and blue wires pass through. So, you figure that it would be handled internally by the big black box that El Stoppo doesn't have. Therefore, why doesn't the big black box handle all of the crossover function internally for the Transar as well? Why is there what appears to be a passive first order crossover that would theoretically cross it over at 530 (highpass) (without taking those resistors and semiconductor into account)? Why wouldn't that be handled internally by the prodigal box as well?
    I'd be surprised if anyone other than the original designers at ESS hand any idea about the relationship between the Transars, the AMT, the little black box and the big black amp/crossover.
    I suppose if these things must sing come hell or high water and I were in Stoploss' shoes, I'd build a passive second order high pass crossover for the AMT at 1500 and send it a signal via the the XMA-2 from the UPS-1 preamp full output crossed over at 250 (to be safe - it can always be lowered with the twist of a knob).
    I doubt that a down firing sub box would be much good up to 250, so I'd make a front firing woofer box. As the crossover point for that is variable at the pre-amp, it can be lowered as necessary as well.
    But that's theoretical musings that may turn out to be a Mickey Mouse solution that would've been better addressed with a bit of patience and vigilant shopping for the proper ESS Transar Current Amp thingy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  16. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    13Stoploss, the OP, says that he and Ricardo, ESS CEO, are on good terms, which is what it would take to get such information on an existing product. Generally, that stuff is pretty guarded.
    But here's an interesting document directly from the ESS website.
     
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  17. essNeff

    essNeff Active Member

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    Maybe we can hold a "seance" and channel El Seven?
     
  18. Porkloin

    Porkloin Oscar Heil Groupie

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    He may not be reachable. Last I heard, he was setting up a system for Ramtha.
     
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  19. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    Linkage = gold. New to me.

    Of course, I forgot to call today. Got to take Missus to the airport tomorrow, but I'm working from home, so by time I get back, my LA peoples might be waking up for morning yoga and their organic fruit smoothy breakfast. Maybe I'll reach Ricky when I have his undivided attention. I'm aware of at least 1.5 projects he's working on right now and I know it's keeping him pretty busy.
     
  20. 13stoploss

    13stoploss Active Member

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    Need to explore.

     

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