Monitor 7 re-cap plus more powah!

percivillapercivilla Posts: 18
edited June 2020 in Vintage Speakers
Picked up some Monitor 7's many moons ago with the buzzsaw SL2000 tweets (I know some of you like them, they hurt my ears, please resist the urge to tell me I'm wrong and they are fine). Swapped those out for the much sweeter RD0194's and have been enjoying many months of sonic satisfaction listening to them through my recapped Marantz 2240.

At the time I posted about the tweets many of you suggested a speaker re-cap as well. It was always the plan but got pushed to the back burner with life, kids, other hobbies, work etc. well, recently I went ahead and ordered a budget conscious setup of Clarity PX for the tweets, Mundorf E-cap's for the woofer shunts and Mills resistors. I know, some of you are wondering why I went with electrolytics for the woofers? I'm in Canada and ordered from Partsconnexion and they were sold out of any of the films I wanted. Anyhow, ordered that stuff a couple months ago and put it on a shelf until I got some spare time. In the meantime I lucked into a mint Nikko Alpha 450 power amp (220wpc) with the pre and tuner as well. Nothing special with the Nikko pre, but running it using my Marantz as the pre... Well Holy Moly. Everyone talks about how the Monitor series like more power and I get it now. Brought them to life. HUGE soundstage, 3D, massively increased detail in every frequency, way tighter more defined bass. Even at quiet sub 1 watt volumes the difference is astonishing. Crank them up and they'll rattle plates in the cupboards...

The power amp was such a revelation that I figured it was time to recap the speakers. Redid the crossovers about a week ago and yep, I get that now too! Like anything audio you don't always know what you're missing until you're not missing it anymore. I know the crossovers still have many, many hours to go until the new caps are settled in, but the difference already is very pronounced. Mainly more detail and clarity in every register without a hint of harshness. Absolutely worth it, and very easy to do. Recently picked up a Hakko 888d and that combined with good old kester leaded solder made the job a breeze.

So yeah, more power and a re-cap absolutely brought these speakers to life! All told I'm into these speakers for less than $300 Canadian pesos, and I think anyone would be hard pressed to find better for even twice that.

ahipq705azfm.jpg

Comments

  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,590
    edited June 2020
    Great minds think alike😊.

    I used CC PXs as DC blocking caps so I’m curious what you like about them when they’re settled in*. I realize you did a complete XO makeover, making that* tough to say*. You’ve had the 194s in place for a while allowing for some sort of comparison.

    Did you swap the Wire from the BPs to the XO & to the woofer for something larger?

    BTW what’s a Hakko 888d?

    Enjoy! Tony
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
  • percivillapercivilla Posts: 18
    gp4jesus wrote: »
    Great minds think alike😊.

    I used CC PXs as DC blocking caps so I’m curious what you like about them when they’re settled in*. I realize you did a complete XO makeover, making that* tough to say*. You’ve had the 194s in place for a while allowing for some sort of comparison.

    Did you swap the Wire from the BPs to the XO & to the woofer for something larger?

    BTW what’s a Hakko 888d?

    Enjoy! Tony

    Just caps and resistors, didn't touch any of the wiring.

    Immediately noticeable differences? more clarity, sparkle and shimmer. For example you really notice the shimmer of cymbal crashes, the sound of sticks hitting drums, singers breath etc. You hear other stuff too like reverb in the room (studio), bass guitar strings being plucked instead of just indistinct bass.

    Hakko 888d is a soldering station. I had just used a crappy plug in soldering iron in the past. A good station makes a massive difference. Heats up in no time and melts solder in seconds. Easy to do nice clean solder joints. Also burns the tip of your right ring finger really really fast if you're a dope... Not that I'd know... Ouch...
  • GardenstaterGardenstater Posts: 1,677
    edited June 2020
    That was my experience as well. Just wait until they have been played a good while. They seem to get better and better. I recommend doing the internal wires. I used Neotech UPOCC 12 gauge solid for the midbass drivers. Yeah they almost seemed like coat hangers but you coil them up and use gold plated fastons and no worries. I'm about to do the other ones for the tweeters and the binding posts/fuses with Cardas Litz 15 ga and 11.5 ga. I used Wonder Solder Signature.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, most mods comp. (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,982
    Just make them shorter. No need to coil the wire.
  • GardenstaterGardenstater Posts: 1,677
    edited June 2020
    It was so so stiff and I wanted some springiness which was afforded by the single loop. When the drivers are removed this is appreciated too. I also wanted to keep the wires the same lengths that Polk used (21" for midbass and 24" for tweeters), in an abundance of caution.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, most mods comp. (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • percivillapercivilla Posts: 18
    Has anyone done a back to back comparison of only replacing the internal wiring? Seems like such a short run wouldn't really make much of a difference seeing as how everything has to pass through a whole ton of bottlenecks in the crossover anyway? Nothing in the crossover is 12 gauge.
  • GardenstaterGardenstater Posts: 1,677
    edited June 2020
    I think some people have, but I don't remember the threads. One of them might have been Darqueknight. My original plan was to do all the wiring after the crossover mods had fully settled in, but it turned out the 34uf capacitor was so darn huge it would've covered up the holes in the PCB were the midbass wires go and I didn't want to undo the cap just to do the wires, so I had to do the midbass wires at the same time. I will be able to find out how the rest of the wiring sounds, independently however.
    Post edited by Gardenstater on
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, most mods comp. (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,982
    edited June 2020
    I used this in mine, yes it made a difference for the better. 2.3tl's take a lot of wire it was not the easiest to work with but worth every dime.
    https://silversonic.com/products/hookup-wire/ofh-14/
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,590
    I mentioned re-wiring because IME it’s worth it - check my sig.
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
  • VSAT88VSAT88 Posts: 907
    Have to agree about the Hakko 888d. Hakko makes a great station. I have had mine a few years now and I have had zero issues.. As far as putting 12 AWG wire inside my speakers, have not went that far yet. Would not doubt that the wire inside my SDA2 B's could use replacing though. Hell they are what like 30 years old now. You cats make me think too much. >:)
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,590
    VSAT88 wrote: »
    ...As far as putting 12 AWG wire inside my speakers, have not went that far yet.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start small.

    Consider: replacing the BP to XO and the XO to mid woofers wire* thickened male voices, particularly the deeper ones on my center channel. Even more so after tri-amping**. So much so, a light touch of EQ to them restored tonal balance.
    *came w/16 or 18 ga; replaced w/12 ya
    ** replaced the 12 w/BlueJeans 10 ga
    VSAT88 wrote: »
    Would not doubt that the wire inside my SDA2 B's could use replacing though. Hell they are what like 30 years old now.
    I’m sorry. I’m not advocating change for the sake of change. If you see pink everywhere, it can wait. OTOH you see a lot of green*, plan to drop some* soon. IIRC you need yards of replacement. IIRC Dark Knight posted a thread 3-4 years ago complete w/before and after test results that may be a good guide.
    VSAT88 wrote: »
    You cats make me think too much. >:)
    dont think about, get busy😊
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
  • VSAT88VSAT88 Posts: 907
    May well do just that ! Its the wire or the .

    4tp3kidd4ojy.png
    Pick stold from the net BTW.
  • percivillapercivilla Posts: 18
    Man these have really changed since the recap. They were better after but I'm really hearing the improvement now that they're getting some hours on them. More punch and clarity with zero harshness. Just a pleasure to listen to.

    Got my Nikko Alpha 450 back from a full re-cap yesterday so now the entire signal chain is recapped. Elna Silmics and Nichions in the Nikko so should sound pretty decent once those settle in for a few weeks. Benched at 249 Watts!!
  • K_FulkK_Fulk Posts: 7
    Have you dynomated the baskets? I Just did mine Wednesday night as practice for my Sda 2b's. Now I'm chomping at the bit to get them done as well. Really cleaned up the whole soundstage.
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