New to me 3.1tl... Upgrade

13

Comments

  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    I dont have the Larry rings or the new terminal cups yet but, I got started on one of the speakers.

    Actually a lot of work and it definitely takes some time.

    I've taken a lot of photo's. Will get them posted soon.
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    I managed to complete 1 speaker tonight. Approximately 8 hours of work to do these minor upgrades.

    As I stated from the begining these speakers are in excellent condition. I don't think any of the drivers have ever been pulled. The grills and side panels are in perfect condition....no breaks snares or snags. There is some dust on the fabric in a few of the photo's. They just need a damp cloth to clean up.

    31tl-XL.jpg

    base-XL.jpg

    1st round of upgrades (will only need 1 tube of loctite power grab and 1 tube of JB weld for both speakers):
    parts-XL.jpg

    There are original stickers from 1990 on the crossovers, grills, and even some of the drivers.

    grills-XL.jpg

    crossover-XL.jpg

    The bracing and build quality is actually quite impressive. The cabinet felt very solid with 9 cross braces and countless corner braces throughout the enclosure.

    bracing-XL.jpg

    Installed blackhole 5 based on the information and photo's seen elsewhere on club polk. 3" x 4" for most of the squares. In a couple of locations on the side walls I used 3" x 7-8" rectangles. Curious to see the results. I figured it would be easy to remove some if I'm unhappy with the performance.

    blackhole2-X2.jpg

    blackhole-XL.jpg

    Loctite power grab over all the internal edges. I focused heavily on the the passive radiator chamber. There were a couple of holes on the rear bottom corners that I filled with loctite.

    glue-XL.jpg

    Installed JB weld in two locations on the bottom and top of the magnet assemblies. I know most people recommend 4 places on bottom and top but, my drivers all looked good and I didnt see the need or reason for it.

    upgrades-XL.jpg

    You can also see how the dynamat and armacell was applied. I did learn a nice trick applying the armacell: approximately every 1" of the armacell place a relief cut on the edge (relief cut should not impeed upon the basket frame).

    upgrades2-XL.jpg

    At this point only one of the speakers is completed. I can hear a difference between the two speakers but I'm hesitant to attempt to draw any conclusions on the changes. I will repeat the process on the 2nd speaker and then I'll report back with any conclusions.
  • xjghostxjghost Posts: 938
    Nice write up and pictures. Is the Black hole just put on the back of the enclosure or is that it that looks to be about 1" thick? I have heard mention to it but never seen it installed.
    HT/2Channel: Emotiva MMC-1, Adcom GFA-555II, Polk SDA 3.1's, Teac TN-300 TT, Polk Center and Sub.

    Bedroom system: Carver CT-24, Parasound HCA-800II, Monitor 10's

    Additional projects: RTA 12c's
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    Blackhole 5 is really thick. Well over 1" and it weighs quite a bit - I was rather surprised. Even though it doesn't look like it in the photo's I put the squares directly behind all the midrange drivers and tweeters and on the sides next to them as well. On the back of the BH5 is a strong adhesive. I can't imagine any problems with it losing adhesion.
  • xjghostxjghost Posts: 938
    gtianz wrote: »
    Blackhole 5 is really thick. Well over 1" and it weighs quite a bit - I was rather surprised. Even though it doesn't look like it in the photo's I put the squares directly behind all the midrange drivers and tweeters and on the sides next to them as well. On the back of the BH5 is a strong adhesive. I can't imagine any problems with it losing adhesion.

    What is it for? What is it supposed to do?
    HT/2Channel: Emotiva MMC-1, Adcom GFA-555II, Polk SDA 3.1's, Teac TN-300 TT, Polk Center and Sub.

    Bedroom system: Carver CT-24, Parasound HCA-800II, Monitor 10's

    Additional projects: RTA 12c's
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    From what I have read i believe it serves two main purposes.

    (My language, understanding, and explanation may definitely be off here - if it needs correcting feel free to chime in.)

    Drivers send sound both to the front and also to their back. The sound waves sent to the rear are absorbed and reflected by the speaker cabinets. Some of these sound waves are also reflected back out of the front of the speakers resulting in a "muddled" sound.

    Using black hole 5 helps reduce cabinet vibrations as well as absorb some of reflecting sound waves.

    Product description

    "Black Hole 5 is a complex multi-layered material only 1-3/8" thick creating a system that combines the three key functions of damping, isolation, and absorption. All layers are laminated together without adhesive to optimize the overall performance of the Black Hole 5 and to eliminate the release of undesirable solvent fumes. The thin diamond pattern embossing, densified with a polyurethane film surface,will dramatically improve performance of the whole acoustical system, especially the sensitive lower mid-range and mid-bass frequencies. A 1" thick polyurethane foam provides highly efficient acoustical absorption. A "dead wall" made with limp flexible vinyl copolymer loaded with non-lead inorganic fillers serves as a vibration isolator. An open cell flexible polyurethane foam allows for dispersion of vibrations from the cabinet wall from the rest of the damping system. Finally a high loss black flexible viscoelastic damping layer with pressure sensitive adhesive provides superior bonding for optimum efficiency of the Black Hole 5. The Black Hole 5 can be used in any type of enclosure as well as acoustical panels of a sound listening room."
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    edited November 2014
    I just had my WOW and AHA moments within 10 minutes of each other.

    I've been working out my system with music like mark knopfler, pink Floyd, the Beatles, misc rock and electronica.

    But, I'm a big piano, jazz, and blues fan. I just generally listen to jazz/classical at low volumes on my bedroom system while I'm relaxing in bed reading a book or playing games on the phone.

    Tonight i threw some Wynton Marsalis on the 3.1's.

    The WOW moment came after Wynton was blasting beautifully center stage and completed his portion of the song. An alto saxophone came in to his right for an exuberant solo.

    I swear that I could see (hear) the saxophone being moved around the microphone as the musician was demonstrating his mastery of the instrument. It was amazing to visualize the player moving up, down, left, and right of the mic as he played.

    I have never noticed anything like that with any other speaker I have owned.

    The AHA moment came with a piano that had a stereo mic or two microphones in the "chamber" (no idea what the stringed component of a grand piano is called). Bottom line the piano sounded terrible..... Sure the tone and reproduction of the piano sounded good.... But, it sounded like the piano was 20 feet wide. Lower registry on my left and the upper on my right. And, the middle range was somewhat lost and muddled center stage.

    This has to be from how they set up the microphones for the piano. And, this is definitely the Achilles heal for SDA speakers.

    Shortly after suffering through a 20 foot wide piano i was graced with a beautiful rendition of "when you wish upon a star" where it was definitely single mic'd. The piano was absolutely wonderful sounding dead center and full of life.

    On a positive note, i was very happy with how balanced and full the 3.1's sounded with jazz. Very realistic and accurate reproduction of instruments. The mids/tweets (rd0-198's) are fantastic with sax/trumpet.

    Another negative: i think my Dahlquist DQ-10's are a better speaker for jazz/piano/blues. They do very well with the female voice and they sound so relaxed.
    Post edited by gtianz on
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,508
    As far as can tell, you haven't rebuilt the x-overs yet? If not, you still haven't realized the full potential of these speakers.

    The 20+ year old caps. and resistors are holding them back. Your 3.1's are in impecable condition, they deserve the Full Treatment!
    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    Mike i will be doing the crossovers as well. Will just take some time.

    I'm even taking things a step further. I will be dividing the basement by building a new wall and enclosing the media room. The room will measure 15'x11'. A little small but it will make tremendous improvements for audio reproduction.

    syvovye9ezbi.jpg

    On the right you can see a stairway banister. That will be getting enclosed and the wall will start at the base of the stairs.
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    edited December 2014
    Completed round 1 of upgrades to both speakers.

    Sealed cabinets and dampened all speaker baskets.

    Tremendous improvements. Bottom line the speakers sound more accurate and responsive. Very forward and aggressive in their presentation. I am loving them especially turned up loud!

    I do feel the tweets are too hot. I am considering a previous recommendation of reversing the polarity and putting in a higher value resistor to reduce the tweeter output when i redo the crossovers. Or perhaps I should just add an EQ to the signal path.

    Then i got something in the mail today:

    i5p39sgggo3w.jpg

    s81qdtpbxs4q.jpg

    VR3 terminals. Beautifully made and absolutely plug and play. Applied the included armacel and simply unclipped the old ones and installed the new ones.
    Post edited by gtianz on
  • xjghostxjghost Posts: 938
    Ok what is that where you get it and how much it cost.....???? Hopefully my rings will be in soon!
    HT/2Channel: Emotiva MMC-1, Adcom GFA-555II, Polk SDA 3.1's, Teac TN-300 TT, Polk Center and Sub.

    Bedroom system: Carver CT-24, Parasound HCA-800II, Monitor 10's

    Additional projects: RTA 12c's
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    They are a tad spendy at $200 shipped. But, i figured that I'm going whole hog for these speakers that I might as well go all in.

    (Google) Vr3 mods - a member here on the forums as well.
  • xjghostxjghost Posts: 938
    edited December 2014
    Ok so that is his speaker terminal plate and inter connect adaptation. I've emailed him about his upgrade but it might have to wait on my 3.1's. I have an adcom that needs attention and a Hafler I'm dying to upgrade not to mention the monitor 10's and RTA 12c's I want to upgrade...... damn rabbit hole!
    HT/2Channel: Emotiva MMC-1, Adcom GFA-555II, Polk SDA 3.1's, Teac TN-300 TT, Polk Center and Sub.

    Bedroom system: Carver CT-24, Parasound HCA-800II, Monitor 10's

    Additional projects: RTA 12c's
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,524
    edited December 2014
    xjghost wrote: »
    I want to upgrade...... damn rabbit hole!

    Sig material right there... Surprised "damn" made it past the vanilla police, LOL...

    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    edited December 2014
    Was doing some listening tonight with the mrs cuddling at mid to moderate volumes.

    I have commented extensively about how i feel the speakers are forward and too hot on the top end. Listening with my wife i turned the volume down everytime the sound seemed a bit harsh. The harshness is quickly controlled once the volume is reduced by the slightest of margins.

    Perhaps i need to look at my pre/amplification.

    The music my wife was wanting to listen to sounded great at moderate volume levels. (80's female goddesses)

    Wife said "they sound good and i can see how it is a stress release."

    Approval! I am a lucky man.

    Larry rings arrived. After the holidays I'll buy the crossover parts and get stage 2 of the upgrades completed!
  • MysteryMystery Posts: 2,462
    gtianz wrote: »
    Was doing some listening tonight with the mrs cuddling at mid to moderate volumes.

    That's a nice way of enjoying music. ;)

    Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, Klipsch Heresy, Epicure 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,5A.
    DB Plus 880, AR 48S, Smaller Advents. SUBs: Monitor Audio. Pre: HK AP2500, C1, Tandberg 3002A.
    Amps:
    BB275, Crown XLS1500, QSC, Rotel, Luxman R-114, Nakamichi...
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    edited December 2014
    solved all my brightness issues.

    It was entirely the fault of my pre-amp. I was using a very old parasound beast of a preamp. It covered my needs well but was an old design intended for AV.

    i replaced it with a parasound p5. Beautiful preamp that seems to just get ut of the way of the music. Stereo pre with a built in dac - no coloring, no noise, and quite detailed. The harshness is gone with a very mild reduction on the high end.

    listening to a sexy french female voice at the moment. pure bliss!
    coeur de pirate - corbeau. highly rcommended

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=jJ9FlZiENRw
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,443
    Doing a bang up job there , and btw....love the look of that room.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • drumminmandrumminman Posts: 3,368
    Your in for a treat if you like the speakers now. Once you rebuild the Xovers they'll rise to another level of SQ.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills/jantzen inductors, Gimpod's boards, Lg Solen SDA inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips, interior of cabinets sealed with Loctite Power Grab, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    I picked up a 2nd M&K MX-70 subwoofer.

    I know the Polk's have good base response and can go quite low. According to the speaker specifications 3.1 TL's are -3db at 35 hz. I just want/enjoy a little more punch on the bottom end.

    I am trying to figure out the best way to integrate the subs into the system. The parasound pre-amp has good crossover/level controls for subs. Currently I have the crossover set at 35 hz. This definitely results in an undesirable bass hump.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Does anyone know the crossover points for 3.1TL's - I haven't been able to find anything online?

    I was thinking that I could have the subs roll in at the top of the bass range.


    Speaker update: I am trying my first crossover rebuild on a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10's. Figure I'll screw them up before attempting a rebuild on the Polk's + I will need back-up speakers while the polks are under the knife.
  • gtianzgtianz Posts: 37
    edited January 2015
    No responses but I found quite a few other posts.... Even the monster at the top of the list concerning using a sub with 1.2's.

    After a bunch of fiddling I got it figured out.

    I just set the crossover to 100hz and set the subs at a really low output. Two push-pull 8" drivers per sub makes them very fast and musical.... And having 2 subs makes a huge difference compared to the H/T junk I have tried in the past.

    Definitely doing a good job to re-enforce the low end without being overwhelming. I'm sure that I still have a low frequency peak or two.

    After i build the wall to enclose my entertainment room I might build a couple of floor to ceiling corner bass traps to help resolve potential room issues.
  • sirmrkssirmrks Posts: 13
    hey am interested in an update please.
    great job posting information
    hoping to pick up a pair on teusday and start a new journey.
    one of my sda2s developed issues and I haven't done much to fix them.
    this post gives me a little motivation as it doesn't look so overwhelming any more.
    thank you
    mrks
    martin logan motion 60xts(big upgrade), martin logan 12s, one ML motion 40, 3 ML motion 8s, SDA2b, SDA2, single SDA1C, SDA-SRS 3.1TL, Klipsch KG4 HT system(sold) with a sw12 DCM TF600s and a big honking infnity1000s. run by a couple halflers and maranz
  • lawdogglawdogg Posts: 348
    gtianz wrote: »
    No responses but I found quite a few other posts.... Even the monster at the top of the list concerning using a sub with 1.2's.

    After a bunch of fiddling I got it figured out.

    I just set the crossover to 100hz and set the subs at a really low output. Two push-pull 8" drivers per sub makes them very fast and musical.... And having 2 subs makes a huge difference compared to the H/T junk I have tried in the past.

    Definitely doing a good job to re-enforce the low end without being overwhelming. I'm sure that I still have a low frequency peak or two.

    After i build the wall to enclose my entertainment room I might build a couple of floor to ceiling corner bass traps to help resolve potential room issues.

    I crossed mine at 80Hz with a 400W 12" ADS sub set to about 1/3 strength. The combination works well, bass isn't boomy but is still house-shaking.
    <3 my 3.1TLs

    I will fix your shifted magnets for free. :)
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 571
    Necroposting.....

    Look what I found on my doorstep last Friday. Almost all the parts for a 3.1tl upgrade...
    sptn0zzrvrjg.jpg

    Also, building/converting all my SDA and dreadnought IC's to Neutrik connectors.

    Was a rumor Blackhole 5 was discontinued a while back. Sonic Craft has it in stock. T'aint cheap but nothing compares.

    http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/blackhole-p-50?osCsid=800758f62ec7cf7554bce050ff7c33b5
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, Perfectwave DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: Core Power Technologies EQUI=CORE 1800 Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends FLAC Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
  • verbverb Posts: 7,664
    Very cool! Good to see BH5 back in stock too!
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • BMF35BMF35 Posts: 87
    Yo Tim, it may have already been mentioned, but make sure the OEM insulation is all up high behind the mid-woofers. None behind the passive radiators.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    JayCee wrote: »
    Necroposting.....

    Look what I found on my doorstep last Friday. Almost all the parts for a 3.1tl upgrade...
    sptn0zzrvrjg.jpg

    Also, building/converting all my SDA and dreadnought IC's to Neutrik connectors.

    Was a rumor Blackhole 5 was discontinued a while back. Sonic Craft has it in stock. T'aint cheap but nothing compares.

    http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/blackhole-p-50?osCsid=800758f62ec7cf7554bce050ff7c33b5

    Jeff must have found more of the original BH5 because the current version comes in a different size and isn't made the same. The current version is 12"x18" and costs a lot more per square inch than the original 24"x27". It was never discontinued by the manufacturer, but Jeff told me he wasn't going to sell the new version because of the reduction in size and increase in price.

    http://www.speakercity.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SC&Product_Code=damping-bh5&Category_Code=damping
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,349
    Yep last i know jesse and I bought the last two sheets from Jeff. Is that lije 15-20$ more than we paid Jesse? I can't remember I've slept a few times since then. I'll have to think about thus I may buy some just to have.
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 571
    F1nut wrote: »
    JayCee wrote: »
    Necroposting.....

    Look what I found on my doorstep last Friday. Almost all the parts for a 3.1tl upgrade...
    sptn0zzrvrjg.jpg

    Also, building/converting all my SDA and dreadnought IC's to Neutrik connectors.

    Was a rumor Blackhole 5 was discontinued a while back. Sonic Craft has it in stock. T'aint cheap but nothing compares.

    http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/blackhole-p-50?osCsid=800758f62ec7cf7554bce050ff7c33b5

    Jeff must have found more of the original BH5 because the current version comes in a different size and isn't made the same. The current version is 12"x18" and costs a lot more per square inch than the original 24"x27". It was never discontinued by the manufacturer, but Jeff told me he wasn't going to sell the new version because of the reduction in size and increase in price.

    http://www.speakercity.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SC&Product_Code=damping-bh5&Category_Code=damping

    Was rooting around in the basement and found well over 1/2 a sheet of BH5 from my upgrades in 2012. Enough that I don't need the sheet I just purchased. Hadn't thought to but will compare the old and new to see if there are any differences.
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, Perfectwave DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: Core Power Technologies EQUI=CORE 1800 Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends FLAC Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!