Recap on Paradigm Micro Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by cary, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. cary

    cary Active Member

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    San Francisco
    I have had a pair of Paradigm Micro speakers for a couple of years, they sounded pretty bad no matter what amp/preamp combo I used. Bass was very undefined, midrange was weak and the highs were veiled. I was about to sell them, then I decided to take a look inside. Crossover consisted of a resistor, "I" core inductor and a $.27 mini electrolytic cap. I replaced the cap with a Solen of the same value, and burned them in for seventy hours. The results were like night and day!!! Bass is well defined even though the woofer is only 4.5", midrange clear and strong, highs well defined and clear.

    Speakers are being used in my den powered by a rebuilt Heathkit AA-32 amp. System sounds FANTASTIC!
     
  2. Natal

    Natal New Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Cary, I have a pair of micros and would like to replace the caps like you did. I looked at the solen caps and there are many electrolytic, film. Specifically which Solen cap did you use? I just want to make sure I get the exact same ones to duplicate your results.
     
  3. cary

    cary Active Member

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    I used the Solen Fast Cap from Antique Electronic Supply, 4.7uf, 250VDC, part # C-FT4D7-250.
     
  4. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions

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    Nice! I like these Micros, perfect bedroom, office, or home theater rears. I have some pulling HT duty myself.
     
  5. Natal

    Natal New Member

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    49
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Thank you, Cary.
     
  6. braxus

    braxus FeCr Type III

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    I wonder if the cap issue is why all their current Monitor series speakers are weak in the low end? I was looking at bookshelf speakers a year and a half ago and narrowed it down to Energy C200 and Paradigm Mini Monitor V5. The Energy speakers had bass in spades. Sounded like a bigger woofer was in them too. Yet the Paradigm V5 speakers no matter how many times I listened to them, just couldn't put out bass. Very weak there. I even listened to their Monitor 11 V5 and even those had weak low end. So I wonder if the crossover is to blame?
     
  7. braxus

    braxus FeCr Type III

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    1,608
    One more question- how does replacing a cap help the low end? Isn't the cap a high pass filter, while the inductor a low pass one?
     
  8. Natal

    Natal New Member

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    49
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I finally got the Solen caps and modified my Paradigm micros. And you're absolutely right Cary -- a completely new speaker. The sound is open and clear and they're a real joy to listen to. I would go as far to say that they outclass a pair of B&W 302s I once had for clarity and musicality. I've got a pair of circa 1995 Sony's that I picked up for $10 at a garage sale that I'm going to try next.

    Question: Why on earth do manufacturers use low grade caps when for just a few dollars more they could immensely improve their speaker and make it more attractive and saleable?
     
  9. barryWest

    barryWest Active Member

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    Location:
    calgary
    I've asked myself the same question, and I am assuming it is stictly a cost-cutting measure for most semi high-volume companies (which I guess would include a company like paradigm or b&w); a few bucks a cap adds up pretty quick if you are selling thousands of speakers a year. I'm also guessing that the average consumer is never going to open up their speaker, nor do they know what a capacitor is, so they will never know what they are missing as even quality stock speakers are going to sound good vs. garbage.

    But yeah, I dunno, at the same time doesn't quite make sense.
     
  10. becketma

    becketma Active Member

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Tucson Arizona
    It never ends.
    Change the cap and the sound changes. Now you are better able to hear differences in speaker cables. power cords, interconnects. :)

    Bob
     
  11. Natal

    Natal New Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    It always begs the question of what is reality, doesn't it? My perception of reality has served me well in my life. I hope I haven't made enemies in this forum by stating an adverse opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  12. becketma

    becketma Active Member

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    Location:
    Tucson Arizona
    I don't understand your post.

    I stopped back cause I'm waiting to see if the DC resistance measurements I've made of a Paradigm Titan xover make sense.

    If they do, I'll re-calculate the inductance of the coil so that I can play with an air coil and different resistor.

    Yesterday, I installed 12 .22uF 600V Russian Teflon caps in place of the Russian PIOs I installed to replace the stock caps.

    The Russian ones are quite large; 12 of them are heavy. Next project to consider is how to make an xternal cross over to see if the improvement might be caused by the additional weight of the unbroken caps. I might even weigh the caps, and later add that weight back into the cabinets, just to play around some more.

    I've seen posts from people who think playing around with inexpensive speakers like these is "stoopid". But, I'm having a lot of FUN!

    After I'm done playing around with these speakers, it will be time to consider playing around with my rear surround sound speakers, Klipsch Forte IIs, or play around with full range drivers in home made cabinets.

    Best from COLD! Tucson
    Bob
     
  13. cary

    cary Active Member

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    I am very happy that the cap replacement worked well for you!

    Cary
     
  14. Andyman

    Andyman Scroungus Stereophilus Subscriber

    Doesn't make sense to me either for the reasons stated.

    I can see clearer, richer highs, but there's no reason the bass should be directly affected at all :scratch2:
     
  15. shacky

    shacky AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wonder if extra resistance of worn out cap tends to soak up so much energy frm signal that it indirectly impacts bass :scratch2:
     
    nickatnoon61 likes this.
  16. nickatnoon61

    nickatnoon61 New Member

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    What does BURN THEM IN FOR SEVENTY HOURS mean? I want to do same, so I need to know how to do it properly. I have a pair of Micros too. I want to put them in my F.I.R. Sauna. Tnx ahead of time. (=
     
  17. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan Super Member

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    Just play them. That's the burn in. Playing for 70 hours. Leave 'em on during the day, while you're gone. You can even position the speakers face to face together, as close as you can, then reverse the wiring on "one" speaker only. This wires them out of phase to each other, and when playing, the sound cancels out. That way, you can crank the speakers louder, without disturbing anyone. That helps the burn in process too.
     
  18. nickatnoon61

    nickatnoon61 New Member

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    OK, tnx! That's interesting about the phase. I just learned about subwoofer phasing the other day. If you have 2 subs,(which I do) set one out of phase.
    My Micros were broke in years ago! I thought the burn meant SOLDERING! lol I am going to change my caps to Solen also, one first, compare sound on YT speaker testing vids, and if it works, I'll do the other Juan. lol One thang I did to a pair of Energy Take 2 satellite cones today, is put a bit of vaseline on the rubber. It helps keep them pliable apparently? I am doing some minor upgrading of my systems' sat./bookshelf speakers in my home. I have a pair in every room. I play elevator music for my tomato/pepper plants 24/7. They like it! Thanx for the hot tips! I am doing much A/V research lately. (=
     
  19. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan Super Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains!
    Do not set one sub out of phase, if they're both set up on the same wall! That would cancel out some of the bass response. If you set up one sub on the front wall, then the second on the back wall behind you, then you can reverse the phase of the second sub. That creates a push-pull bass effect, that some people like.

    LOL. No soldering involved with burn in. So, you're good.

    Also, while I'm not sure where you're at, but Madisound has the Clarity Cap ESA series of capacitors on sale. Very nice capacitors, and probably a step up from the Solen's. They may work well too.

    Now, as to Vaseline on the surrounds; I guess it couldn't hurt. But, I'd rather try some rubber treatment used for cars. Something from Mothers or Meguiars. They make the best stuff.
     
  20. nickatnoon61

    nickatnoon61 New Member

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    OK, was the sound difference that profound by upgrading the cap? It may be worth the effort to solder in a new one. Now I am thinking, should I do all my satellites? lol I guess the only way I'll know for sure is to try it. (=
     

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