Polk Audio AB800 In-wall restoration...

nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
edited December 2019 in Vintage Speakers
As most of you know, I have spent the better part of this decade trying to find a pair of these unicorns, as most of them are either still in use, or are tossed in a construction dumpster when the homes they were a part of get remodeled. Recently I purchased these from a seller on EBay, only to have them shipped without proper packing. They arrived smashed on both ends and with one frozen driver in each speaker frame.

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I have taken one of them apart to test the viability of saving them from being scrapped, even though I am going back and forth with the seller in search of a remedy from him. The results are looking spectacular....

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The closeup of the frame is where a big chunk was broken off, while the grill was dented and missing paint all across the face of it. Once I get the replacement driver from Dane, I will test them in the old enclosures to see that the work and then get new RDO’s for all 4 of them.

The seller has insisted on going through FedEx to get them to pay for damages and insists his packing was flawlessly executed. Of course, we know better. I asked him for 60.00 back and if he refuses to make a decent offer, I will just leave bad feedback after alerting EBay first so that I can protect my good name from any feedback he may leave. Hopefully it gets resolved, but at least these rare speakers will live on.
The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Comments

  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,794
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
    John:

    Have you been after them solely because they use the same surrounds/tweeters as SDA's?

    If so, you now should be good to go as you can basically rebuild your own using older SDA drivers/tweeters, and you now have a crossover to use as a guide to build from, same with the speaker baffle.

    Congrats on the work, they do look quite flawless.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 2,326
    Found these at GW, AB705's & AB805's.

    A few days left, 1 bid at about 5 bucks so far.

    Maybe some parts might work????

    https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/81444901
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Thanks for finding those, but the tweeter cutouts are not the same on them.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,439
    As a seller on ebay you can NOT leave negative feedback. Sucks for the seller when buyers are d!cks, but its designed for cases such as this: the seller cannot retaliate.
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Martin Logan Grotto sub; Cambridge Azur 851A; Cambridge Azur 851D; Bryston BPD-1
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45; ACI Titan Subwoofer; Squeezebox Touch
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Today I soaked the grill cloth in a light solution of laundry detergent and bleach to remove the dirt and staining that has occurred over the past 25 years, and it worked quite well. I should have the first speaker finished later today, ready to swap out with one of the existing ones.
    I will take more pictures of the process on the next one.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    The first speaker is ready for duty....
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    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Breaking down the other broken frame...
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    I decided to attach the broken pieces first before going to the trouble of taking them apart, and then only doing one at a time so I had a template to make for easy reassembly. The repairs are just as strong as the original and should stand up well for years to come.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    The frame repaired... the pieces fit so well on this that I should be able to prim and paint with no filler.

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    I may do a bit of modeling putty on the center of this frame, as the bottom picture shows a slight depression I did not see with the naked eye...
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • verbverb Posts: 10,155
    Nice work John!
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS,Cary SLP-05 Pre,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport,Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC,Cambridge 851N streamer,Marantz SA-14 SACD,McIntosh MC300 Amp,Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable,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,Northstar Designs Intenso DAC,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,Rotel RCD-1072 CD player,Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner,Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers,Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,694
    Looking good
    Pio Elete Pro 520
    Panamax 5400-EX
    Sunfire TGP 5
    Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Sunfire CG 200 X 5
    Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
    OPPO BDP-83 SE
    SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
    Ctr CS1000p
    Sur - FX1000 x 4
    SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

    Workkout room:
    Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
    Onkyo TX-DS898
    GFA 555
    Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
    Ft - SDA 1C

    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,794
    purdy purdy
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Thanks for the kind words guys. Jesse may be The Godfather of wood, but I am the master of plastic. I have been repairing broken plastic pieces for a long time now, going back to my days of installing cell phones in people’s cars. Occasionally a piece would break and I could repair this stuff, right down to the grain pattern and have it be better than new. It was a handy skill to have for the 15 years I did that kind of work, as I never had to pay for any damage done to a vehicle.

    I was a legend, at least in my own mind. :p;)
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,694

    I was a legend, at least in my own mind. :p;)

    Another “Legend” huh?
    Pio Elete Pro 520
    Panamax 5400-EX
    Sunfire TGP 5
    Micro Seiki DD-40 - Lyra-Dorian and Denon DL-160
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Sunfire CG 200 X 5
    Sunfire CG Sig 405 X 5
    OPPO BDP-83 SE
    SDA SRS 1.2TL Sonicaps and Mills
    Ctr CS1000p
    Sur - FX1000 x 4
    SUB - SVS PB2-Plus

    Workkout room:
    Sony Bravia XBR- 32-Inch 1080p
    Onkyo TX-DS898
    GFA 555
    Yamaha DVD-S1800BL/SACD
    Ft - SDA 1C

    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,558
    Those repairs look great, John, very nice work.
    Can you briefly detail your process, i.e., what materials you used, etc.?

    I like fixing stuff like this. Gives me more enjoyment than buying something new.
    I disabled signatures.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Installed the first one today...

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    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,506
    Very nice repair B)
    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

  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,617
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    And the second frame repaired and installed.... cover your eyes if you are offended by gratuitous nudity...

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    The bad news is that with the new finish on these, my original set of AB800’s look like crap and will need a bit of cosmetic refurbishment before I put them where the 700’s were.

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    These little guys will get cleaned up and go in the ceiling for ATMOS when I get a chance to do it. I will have the only ATMOS rig on the planet that is voice matched vintage Polk!
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 6,627
    Very nice restoration.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/143984/my-2as-finally-finished-almost/p1
    Center: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/150760/my-center-channel-project/p1
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/151647/my-surround-project/p1
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, Hurricane Nuts, Blackhole5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-600, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer
    Cables: Speaker: Furez 10/2 with GLS Locking Banana Plugs
    Interconnect: Furez 10/2 with SpeakONs
    ICs: Custom Furez by Douglas Connections
    Den:
    Bose 901 Series II Continentals Restored, Re-Built Equalizer with Elna Silmic IIs, Sonicaps, and Silver Mica Caps
    Carver CT-3 Pre, Carver C-500

    dhsspeakerservice.com/
    Exclusive Distributor of Gimpod's Custom SDA Circuit Boards

    "And keep her under 70, would you, huh? Betty likes a slow ride"
  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 4,230
    Very nice work John!
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,677
    Have them all redone and installed. They made a big difference in the sound quality of the HT setup. Much more impact and clarity to the sound field. The Pioneer sees them as being large speakers, and I have left it that way.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
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