I want to thank Jesse Venables(F1Nut) for his help and guidance on 'TheQuest' it was invaluable. Thanks Jesse!!!
This weekend I re-capped my Klipsch Forte speakers with Obbligato Gold series caps in the squawker and tweeter parts of the network. I picked these caps because the word I kept hearing when they were described was analogue and I thought 'that' is what I like to hear. Keep in mind, that until the caps are actually in and running for a good long time you still have no idea what they are REALLY going to sound like. Well since I'd heard good things from quite a few different sources about the Obbligato cap line I thought I'd roll the dice. BTW, big thanks to Tom for the deal on the speaks. We all have budgets to work within ya know and a good deal on the outset makes the modding($$$) a little less painful to part with.
I burned-in the caps for 100 hours as described on the 'Humble Homemade HiFi and Enjoy the Music' websites before I installed them. The Fortes' x-over is mounted to the speaker terminal cup on a circuit board. Getting them free of the speakers required removing the passive radiator to gain access to the speaker leads which use push on connectors and then removing the connector cups. I left the speaker leads intact because I'm going to replace the electrolytic cap (are you fucking kidding me???? and it sounded ok) and resistor in the woofer network with an Obbligato 47uf PSU when the cap arrives. I already have the Mills 50 watt resistor. I'll drill the board and solder the new wire in at that time. I have some heavy gauge 7 nines copper for the woofer and some silver-clad copper for the squawker and tweeters. Someone told me that the audio signal loses a little 'weight' when you use silver wire throughout.
The Klipsch network caps are substantially smaller than the Obbligato caps, like on an order of 4. I used my drill press to open the circuit board holes to accommodate the leads of the new caps, soldered them in then hot glued them to each other then to the board. The board is crowded now and this new cap is huge!! I'm going to look into building a new network board similar to the units offered by BEC and ALK.
DAMN...they made a big difference. The first thing I noticed was how uncluttered and effortless the midrange has become. It didn't sound like the various instruments were really close together or on top of each other before the modding, but now the reproduction sounds more natural.....to me anyway. Each element of the image seems to have spread out across the room. When I listened before, the speakers were the boundaries. Now the soundfield has spread out beyond the speakers a bit. Improvement, I guess. The vocals are airy, but without the halo of echo that I heard surrounding them before. Same with the piano, upright bass acoustic guitars. What I can't figure out is what am I supposed to be hearing? Is there really that much 'air' in the recordings, or....did I 'artificially' insert it?
I'm really impressed by the way Willie Nelson sounds on Mark's CF12 disc. His voice has taken on nuances I'd not noticed before. Holly Cole...the same, although her voice emanates from a larger space. Odd that. The standing bass far more definition and the piano...all I can say is WOW!!! Count me impressed.
My thanks to Jesse, the folks over at the Klipsch Community, ALK and BEC for lighting the way.
Anyway...it sounds good to me. So I guess that's OK. We'll see what happens when I install the Mills Res, wire and the other cap. Might be worth writing about
Carver Research Lightstar Direct pre, 2 Lightstar Reference 2.0 amplifiers,No. 50 and 51 Carverfest Tube amps, Hammond M3 tube amp, Carver TX-8 & 11 tuners, Carver TD-12 & 1700 decks, Tascam CC-222mkII CD recorder, Carver C-9 & ECS-U, Carver DPL-33, Carver HR-875 & 742 recievers, DBX-3BX & 200xg & 120x, Modded Klipsch Forte Loudspeakers(Obbligato Gold Caps) Carver Silver Amazing Loudspeakers, Carver ALV prototypes, Dahlquist DQ-8 loudspeakers, a handbuilt sub with twin 18in drivers and a Carver Research DarkStar Sub.