New Apogee user

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New Apogee user

Postby Dloper on Sat May 23, 2020 6:03 pm

Hello all - it took a lifetime to get here, but I recently acquired a pair of Calipers, rebuilt by Henk a few years ago. Thanks to Jon for approving my membership here, and thanks to both Jon and Henk for their advice re crossovers.

The journey started with Acoustic Research Ar3a Improved back in the '70's, then Celestion Ditton 66's, SL600's, Ditton 66's again, Dynaudio Contour 1.8's and latterly a pair of kit build IPL S5 TL's. I'd always hankered after a pair of Apogees and it was hearing a friends Duetta Signatures that finally convinced me.

I'm an incorrigible tweaker though, and I have a couple of changes in mind. Firstly, the Caliper stands allow the speaker to oscillate when pushed, so I've bought some aluminium bar with the intention of beefing up the stands in the manner I saw on a pair of Duettas on a Martin Logan forum:
Interstella x-over 2.jpg
Interstella x-over 2.jpg (63.58 KiB) Viewed 864 times


Secondly, the crossovers are still much as the original Caliper version. Jon has kindly offered to supply both a schematic and component brand recommendations. I plan to build them as external crossovers as space is kinda tight inside the speakers. Any further advice from the group would be very welcome.
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Zardoz on Sun May 24, 2020 2:55 pm

Congratulations on your "new" Calipers. You will really like what upgrading the stands, and the Xover will do for these. Let us know how your build goes.
Good listening and stay safe,
Z
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not screaming in terror like his passengers..."
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Vansloneker on Sun May 24, 2020 6:21 pm

Hello Dloper, welcome to the forum!

You have acquired a wonderful pair of Calipers for sure.

I own a pair of original unrestored Calipers. I also plan to work on the crossover and have a set of AmpOmh caps waiting but due to circumstances have not yet started work on it.

Caps often used in Apogees are ClarityCap, Jantzen and Mundorf. It's all a matter of personal preference. You can try a cap by adding a small sized cap as bypass in the mid/high part of the existing crossover.

Enjoy your speakers!
poor guy
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Dloper on Sat May 30, 2020 10:09 am

Cheers - Jon, who's been generous with his time and experience, has suggested Clarity caps and Mundorf foil inductors. I want to keep the xovers as simple as possible, and Jon has given me a schematic without the switching options. I'll be mounting them externally in cases built from MDF. I mentioned that to Jon and as I suspected, it turns out that would be a good idea, as an aluminium or steel case could affect the coils inductance.

As an aside, I fired up my IPL's again just for comparisons sake, and noticed that the sound seemed a bit 'off' - louder on one speaker than the other with a woolly sound stage. I assumed it was a dry joint or something but it turned out I'd been listening to them for 4 years with one of the mid range drivers out of phase! Some audiophile,huh?
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Dloper on Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:41 pm

I've built new stands and crossovers as per the pic (still got a little polishing and fettling to do).

The stands are on spikes now and the whole thing has made the speakers substantially more rigid. This seemed to improve the sound in a couple of ways. The bass became more distinct, in that notes were better separated and the overall focus seemed tighter.

The crossovers are now very similar to Caliper Signature's specs and built using Mundorf copper foils and Clarity CSA caps. Jon supplied the circuit diagram, mildly tweaked to suit my tastes - a slight notch in the 3 khz range as I find some voices and instruments can screech uncomfortably in that region.

I was a bit sceptical about components burning in but I stand corrected. When I first listened with the new crossovers, I began to worry I'd made an error in following the circuit diagram. The sound seemed flattened and less dynamic somehow. There was more detail than I'd heard previously and every musician seemed to have found their place in the sound stage including a few who hadn't even been present before, but they were all playing further away and in a very polite and slightly subdued manner. I checked and rechecked my work. I left the TV playing through the speakers for the rest of the day. The following day, I noticed an improvement. On day 4, with around 50 hours of use, I can say with certainty that the crossovers are starting to blossom. I've only been listening for fairly brief periods as I didn't want to bias myself too much by allowing my ears to adjust and then wondering if there was an actual change. I suppose it's still not scientific, but musicians are nowhere near as shy as they were, without becoming too shouty or in my face. A hint of sibilance in some recordings is starting to fade now too. The sound is now a substantial step ahead of what it was, before I did any work. More realistic without seeming artificially forward and overblown. At some points, instruments feel almost tangible and it feels a bit odd for them to be invisible. The same with human voices. Overall I am very happy with the changes. And if the crossovers do burn in further, that'll be icing on the cake.

Thanks to Jon for sharing his experience and knowledge.
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xover.jpg
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There are 10 types of people. Both of them are now familiar with binary numbers.
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Zardoz on Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:13 pm

Your stands look like they will do the job well. I had similar ones built for my Diva's. When I got them, I was so excited to see/hear what they would do, that I installed them before I painted the aluminum stands. They were made from 1"x2" aluminum bars. Once they were installed, I didn't want to take them off to paint them, so it was 3 years before I had a chance to paint them, when I had to get my amps repaired. They do finally look good now though. :D
"When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather,
not screaming in terror like his passengers..."
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby apogee_admin on Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:32 pm

Looking good!

For the stands if you can find somewhere local powder coating is the way to go, would only cost about £50. If you do put sacrificial screws in the mounting points so they don't need re-tapping, and it gives them an easy way to handle them.

Jon
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Dloper on Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:58 am

I'll probably get around to powder coating the stands in the next few years... Zardoz appears to have read my mind!

I bought some 10 mm long threaded brass inserts although I'm wary of drilling holes in the back of the speakers. I've used the existing bolts and fittings at the bottom of the stand and temporarily fixed a screw at the top. I'll use screws on the rest of the holes in the stand uprights as I can do this without dismantling them. Bolt fixings can wait until I get around to powder coating. A bit of polish will make them look presentable meantime.
There are 10 types of people. Both of them are now familiar with binary numbers.
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Vansloneker on Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:29 am

My thoughts are, fixing the stands rigid will increase the stiffness of the speaker.
poor guy
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Dloper on Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:31 pm

A wee update after a while of listening: It seems like there's a lot less equipment between me and the musicians.
There are 10 types of people. Both of them are now familiar with binary numbers.
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Re: New Apogee user

Postby Zardoz on Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:24 pm

Same for me. Everything was just clearer, with less smear that I didn't know was there to begin with. Better bass, but mids, and his, and even soundstage improved as well. A more rigid stand is probably the one best thing you can do for Apogees, and probably the least expensive. :D
"When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather,
not screaming in terror like his passengers..."
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