New speaker project - Goodmans Magisters

2

Comments

  • "It was obvious from the moment I opened up the cabinet that those 43 year old fingers were knackered."
    I think you've nailed it!

    It's obviously not modern binary based though, only digits and no zeros .........yep, it just carries on getting worse :)

    As you've already replaced the wiring I'd leave that alone now. The red 5uf caps could be replaced with some polypropylene (they are currently electrolytic) types. Probs between 5 & 10 squidlies a pop though! They would help the tone of the speakers a little.


  • Righto.
    Following some research and texting with an old electrical engineering friend I have purchased 4 of these...
    And 2 of these...
    Hopefully they'll arrive on Friday, so please stand-by to act as technical support and therapeutic listening as I try desperately not to destroy my latest purchases...

  • edited March 29
    cj66 said:

    "It was obvious from the moment I opened up the cabinet that those 43 year old fingers were knackered."
    I think you've nailed it!

    It's obviously not modern binary based though, only digits and no zeros .........yep, it just carries on getting worse :)

    As you've already replaced the wiring I'd leave that alone now. The red 5uf caps could be replaced with some polypropylene (they are currently electrolytic) types. Probs between 5 & 10 squidlies a pop though! They would help the tone of the speakers a little.


    Thanks CJ. Hugely appreciated.
    I'm very pleased that your wise words have affirmed my choice.
    Phew.
    My friend advised that 4.7uF would be fine).
    Hopefully Friday will be build day.
    With the Magisters in bits I've put the Goodwoods back in. So smooth. :-)
    They've made me feel less anxious about the Magister crossover work. If everything goes wrong, I still have a great pair of speakers.
    Phew.

    Edit: I'd genuinely forgotten how sublime the Goodwoods are. Certainly something to aim for with the Magisters!
  • edited March 31
    Cabinets stripped out.
    Cat dragged out of empty cabinet.
    New tweeters arrived and ready.
    New caps due for delivery tomorrow.
    New cabling and a new soldering iron (to replace the wrecked old one I'd been using) purchased from Maplins.
    New cabling prepared.
    Old crossovers photographed and mapped out.
    All set for the big push tomorrow.

    image
  • You're super prepared. Im sensing an eagerness to get things started now. Just one more sleep, nearly there ;-) Keep us posted tomorrow.
  • No sleep 'til Brooklyn!
  • edited March 31
    Suzy6toes said:
    You're super prepared. Im sensing an eagerness to get things started now. Just one more sleep, nearly there ;-) Keep us posted tomorrow.
    Been awake since 4.30am... :-(

    uglymusic said:
    No sleep 'til Brooklyn!
    I'd like to think that the boys will be happy with the end product (RIP MCA).


  • edited March 31
    One is alive...!



    I'm enjoying things too much to start the second...! :-)
  • Docfoster said:
    One is alive...! I'm enjoying things too much to start the second...! :-)
    Cool. Go on, do the other. You know you want to!
  • Both done now. :-)

    Here's one of the recapped crossovers (before I put it in). I'd like to think not bad for a first go... :-)

    image
  • edited April 2
    The tweeters I went for are Monacor DT-19SU

    Technically they looked a close match to the old Goodmans DT-3 specs, and I really liked the Monacor tweeters that Paul put in my Goodmans. Monacor say that DT-19SU is recommended for 3 ways and is a little less sensitive (and less expensive) than the DT-300, and as the Magisters sounded bright enough, I went for the DT-19SU. image
  • I rewired all the drivers with Maplin SC10 for the woofer and SC12 for the mid and tweeter. Probably not really necessary for the latter 2, and it was a bit of bastard to solder to the cross over and terminals, but got there in the end. :-)

    The 4.7uF and 10uF caps were Vishay Polypropylene ones from Farnell.
  • edited March 31
    So the result.
    Well, better all round, thank goodness. :-)
    What a day's work!

    The sound is smoother top to bottom. Which is my main aim. Mid and treble especially (hardly surprising as they come off the crossover, and the fact the tweeters aren't 42 years old anymore). In fact the mid and treble are completely transformed. Just more realistic all round. Not quite up there with the revamped Goodmans, but the Magisters are now approaching something close. Certainly good enough to take their turn in the main system.

    Obviously where the Magisters wins hands down is in the bass. That 15 inch woofer doesn't mess about. The woofer just comes straight off the new binding posts (it used to come straight off the old screw terminals). Perhaps the new chunky cable has helped somewhat, but it seems even more impactful now. Playing my favourite bass test tracks (like the Spacemonkeyz Vs Gorillaz "54" in the video above) made me literally cackle and rub my hands with childish triumph. It's simply awesome. It's odd because my brain wants there to be that level of bass from the Magisters on every track, and on most of course, it's not there. But even on more acoustic tracks it's surprising what difference bass down in the 25-40Hz range seems to make to non-bass sounds (acoustic guitar and vocals just have more gravitas). Drums benefit hugely from the deeper, better bass.

    Anyway, enough prattling-on. Suffice it to say that the work has definitely been worth it.
  • Looks good, sounds good. Win win ;)
  • cj66 said:

    Looks good, sounds good. Win win ;)

    Yup. :-)
    Thanks for you encouragement and advice with this, CJ.
  • Docfoster said:
    Both done now. :-)

    Here's one of the recapped crossovers (before I put it in). I'd like to think not bad for a first go... :-)

    image
    Very neat im(vh)o!!!

    >>Playing my favourite bass test tracks (like the Spacemonkeyz Vs Gorillaz "54" in the video above) made me literally cackle and rub my hands with childish triumph

    Yep, I know that look in you. You're clearly chuffed :-)

    Sounds like you've made some good choices about what to change and what to use as replacements. Pretty good combo going on there of Chris's advice and your enthusiasm. You can thanks Dave and I for our helpful technical contributions later ;-)

    Will be keeping a close eye on Listening to... thread over the weekend to see what journey your new speakers take you on.
    Good work that man!
  • Odd little blip this evening.
    Noticed some distortion / buzzing on midrange stuff. (Vocals in movie (Arrival), female vox (Ella Fitzgerald) and piano (Alice Coltrane) in music.)
    "Bugger", I thought. New mid range drivers required...?
    A quick test revealed that only one squawker was at fault. A little fiddle revealed coil rub.
    "Bugger" I thought. This can be a real arse to sort. And the magister mids are sealed backs...
    Pleasingly, a quick, and not too gentle poke and jiggle and the problem disappeared.
    Odd... :-/
    But good... :-)
  • You're saying you clouted your speaker after all that delicate work....
  • Suzy6toes said:

    You're saying you clouted your speaker after all that delicate work....

    ;-)

    I'm sure that in the electronic engineering community "jiggling" and "poking" are on an equal footing with "measuring" and "soldering".
  • I will adjust accordingly in my lexicon ;-)


  • edited April 2
    The coil rub came back.
    I had a think and decided to do an improvised re-foaming to attempt to remedy it.
    I'd read somewhere that tea-bags and PVA was one simple way of mending speaker cones. I'm not sure wear I read that. It may have been here. I've read so many forums this past week, I've lost track. It's entirely possible the tea-bag idea came to me in a dream.
    Anyway, I decided to give it a go.
    I carefully prised / cut away the cone from the existing foam (a kind of plasticky film), and grabbed a few tea bags from the kitchen.
    I used Tetley round bags. For SQ reasons, obviously. I assumed that Earl Grey would sound revolting.

    Looked like this when I'd finished the 5 minute job:


    image

    After drying...

    image

    And after touching up with a permanent marker...


    image

    Sound-wise, it has solved the rubbing. :-)
    More through luck than judgement. Absolutely no science or method to what I did.
    But also, a gentle push suggests that the process has somewhat increased the rigidity of the driver. Fortunately this appears to have been a useful side-effect as it has mellowed its sound somewhat. As I've mentioned before, subjectively the frequency response of the midrange driver used in the Magisters sounds like an upward one - biased to the upper mids. The tea-bag & PVA treatment sounds like it has levelled this off. So, I may seek to further dope the midrange unit in the other Magister. Probably not with the tea-bags reinforcement though. It looks a bit shit.
  • I never had you as a teabagging expert :-O
  • Isn't there a name 'teabager''? i.e. As in, your such a teabagger. I have no idea if it's rude or not. Anyway, top effort there Ben.
  • It's an activity, James ;-)
  • edited April 4

    uglymusic said:
    I never had you as a teabagging expert :-O

    sovereign said:
    Isn't there a name 'teabager''? i.e. As in, your such a teabagger. I have no idea if it's rude or not.
    image
  • sovereign said:
    Anyway, top effort there Ben.
    Thanks James.
    I'm increasingly happy with the way they're sounding.
    Possibly a few more tweaks, and they'll be good. At least, they'll be where I want them to be, and I can then relax with them for a couple of weeks, before slotting in the Goodwoods and doing some proper comparisons.
  • edited April 6
    Enjoying these immensely. They seem very dynamic and sound good at lower* volumes.
    Like the Goodwoods, the Magisters are sensitive to distance from the rear wall. Closer and the midrange is emphasised and the soundstage becomes less defined. I have really enjoyed inching them (quarter inching them would be a more accurate description) forwards and backwards to find the sweet spot.
    The doping has really helped the midranges. They sound much more integrated, smooth and balanced. They look better too IMHO. (Beranek's law...?)
    The only remaining issue that I am hearing is that the one repaired midrange driver is ever so slightly underperforming vis-à-vis its counterpart. I suspect it's the improvised refoaming that's caused it. Perhaps it's restricting the driver's movement a little too much. It's different from the smoothing and softening effect of the doping, so I'm sure it's not that. Moreover, the midrange driver in the other speaker has actually had a couple more coats and has retained its brilliance whilst having its spittyness similarly reduced. 
    I spent a while a couple of days ago listening to each speaker, in turn, on its own, slap bang in front of the system, using a mono recording (Ella and Louis). Fed by the same amp channel. The difference was tiny, but I am sure that the repaired driver is missing an iota of sparkly things like the breathy quality of vocals (of the sort that is emphasised by studio reverb and compression) or the crispness of a snare drum. I'm still chuffed I managed to repair it, but I can't tolerate the slightly imperfect sound.
    I've sourced a replacement original driver, so will see how that goes when it arrives. I'll give it a careful, incremental doping once I've tested it works OK.

    *A relative and subjective term. Apparently my interpretation differs from that of my family.
  • Sounding lovely this evening, mind.
    Maybe I'm being a twat about the repaired midrange.
    In any event, the speakers really maintain their quality at quieter levels (JRiver at 27%).
  • Docfoster said:
    Sounding lovely this evening, mind. Maybe I'm being a twat about the repaired midrange. In any event, the speakers really maintain their quality at quieter levels (JRiver at 27%)


    Perhaps your feeling of twatiness might be relieved by a bit of neurolinguistic programming?
    ..
    The only remaining issue that I am hearing is that the one repaired midrange driver is ever so slightly underperforming vis-à-vis its counterpart"    could become, "it's great, one of the repaired midranges seems to be doing even better than its counterpart" 
    ;)
  • Suzy6toes said:
    Docfoster said:
    Sounding lovely this evening, mind. Maybe I'm being a twat about the repaired midrange. In any event, the speakers really maintain their quality at quieter levels (JRiver at 27%)


    Perhaps your feeling of twatiness might be relieved by a bit of neurolinguistic programming?
    ..
    The only remaining issue that I am hearing is that the one repaired midrange driver is ever so slightly underperforming vis-à-vis its counterpart"    could become, "it's great, one of the repaired midranges seems to be doing even better than its counterpart" 
    ;)
    Sounds like self-deception to me...
    ;-)
  • Swap the speakers around. Does the keener sound move with the speaker or stay on the same channel. If the latter then that's how it was recorded/produced ;)
  • cj66 said:
    Swap the speakers around. Does the keener sound move with the speaker or stay on the same channel. If the latter then that's how it was recorded/produced ;)
    To be honest, the keener sound (nice term!) is at best barely perceptible when both are playing. Occasionally I think I can detect a slight shift in spatial positioning (from side to side) as the leading frequencies of instruments change. It is not significant, but in my head, the possibility that there is any difference is very significant. :-D
    When I compared the two speakers I did so using a mono recording and with the speaker in action placed squarely in front of me. I did use the same channel for both speakers. :-B
    The difference was at most, slight.
  • "New" midrange arrived and has been doped and fitted.
    Things much improved. :-)
    But, I think I can squeeze a bit more out of these by mounting the mids and tweeters in the 2 speakers symmetrically (rather than identically). My guess is that this will improve the focus of the soundstage.
    Slight hesitation as this will involve irreversible mutilation of the cabinets. I.e. fitting a piece of plywood across the top of the face of the speakers and then drilling 2 big holes through the ply and original cabinet board for the mid- and tweeters to slot into their new positions.
    Also, I'm hoping that my electrician next door neighbour has 2 large-enough hole cutters for the job...
  • Is no speaker safe????
  • edited April 15
    No!

    image
  • But I think these are done now. :-)

    image
  • Has this modification had the desired effect and to what degree?
  • Docfoster said:
    No! image
    Torturer of innocent transducers!
  • cj66 said:
    Has this modification had the desired effect and to what degree?
    Yes. And, mostly (at least 85%).

    The issue was that with the squawker and tweeter in their original positions (left and right respectively) I was perceiving shifts in the position of some sound sources within the soundstage. Voice sibilants, cymbal strikes and the pluck of guitar strings were some of the worst offenders. Basically these sounds would noticeably pull to the right. On mono recordings the vocalist would appear to toss their head to the right (well, their left, I suppose) every time they uttered a "t" or "s".
    I spent a while thinking about possible causes of this (e.g. I had fucked up the speakers somehow, asymmetrical arrangement of furniture in the room, etc.,...) before I wondered about the position of the drivers themselves.
    One of the things I'd noticed since fitting the new Monacor DT-19SU tweeters is how directional the speakers became. My Goodwood speakers with their Monacor DT-300 plus waveguides are far more forgiving of where one sits in front of them. I hypothesised that maybe when sounds were predominantly upper frequency, the tweeters alone told my brain where the sound was located (i.e. a few inches to the right of sounds spread more broadly across the frequency range).
    Hence my desire to make the mid-point between the both squawkers and tweeters the same place, so changes in frequency wouldn't change the horizontal stereo imaging.
    My hunch seems to have been largely on-the-money, as sounds are now more nicely snapped into place. I think I might be still detecting a slight pull, but if so, it's less frequently and less significantly. It's possible that this is imagined by my paranoia. Or, it's possible that a sofa and big shelf in front / next to the right speaker are having some small effect. I suppose various factors are not alternatives.
    All in all, very happy with how they are sounding.
    I might finish off with a coat of something on that plywood though.
  • edited April 16
    Also, I notice that I prefer the overall sound with the speakers in the opposite positions to those in which they are pictured above (i.e. With the tweeters on the "inside").
  • Final tonal tweaking achieved by rug fiddling.
    The speakers are ludicrously egalitarian about exactly how much laminate flooring is exposed in front of them.
    Never known anything like it.
    Anyway, I think the room is now dressed to their liking. Hopefully I might be able to enjoy them today.
  • Have fun!

    I did a lot of listening over the weekend, and would defo like some larger speakers - three-ways to go with something Colin and I talked about last year. Got to go around to Mr B sometime when we both have the time, to have a listen to his Treeongles to see what they do.

    Trouble is, I still have a lot of money to shell out to finally finish the kitchen - new appliances for where we haven't yet been able to replace the old ones, then there's the garden furniture, and so it goes on...
  • edited April 18
    You're always welcome to visit Dave. :-)
    I'd be interested in your thoughts about the pros and cons of big 'uns and less big 'uns.
    I think I'm probably addicted to the bigger sound and deeper bass of the big 3 ways I have, but I suspect they may compromise in areas in which decent smaller speakers excel.

    Now things are finally as they should be here, I'm going to live with the "Magisters" (what's left of them, anyway), before putting back the Goodwoods.

    Good luck with your spending priorities. I can empathise with that to some degree. (Our kitchen currently on hold. For various reasons.) The Magisters were my hifi treat for this year. Think they've come in at just under £350 including all the replacement components, wiring, etc.,... A bit more than I was hoping for, but they still sound like fantastic value right now to me.
  • Thanks. But I meant other Mr B, who is nearer to me.

    Yeah. I find many speakers pretty clunky, but I've had a few floorstanders in the past that have had what I want from a speaker, plus the low-end. The Royds are great, and I'm actually more concerned with blowing them to bits with bass transients from the SECAs than pissed off about their lack of low end. 
  • uglymusic said:

    Thanks. But I meant other Mr B, who is nearer to me.

    :-D
    Understood.
    Give him my regards. :-)
  • Just seen this Ben.

    The crossover issues/directivity are likely phase (time domain) related and adding the front plate changes the phase relationship between the drivers by changing the physical spacing in the horizontal plane.  A little like shooting in the dark at a flea's eyebrows and hoping for the best!

    You'll hate me for sating this but they need measuring individually on axis to achieve the accurate driver response before they can be summed for the purpose of designing (redesigning) the filter accordingly.  You can do this as a DIY effort with some kit like a USB mic but you'll also need the frequency response V's impedance data and this can only be measured using the proper tool for the job (ie a signal generator and calibrated meter, usually provided in one software package such as Dayton Audio DATS system).

    You'll then need to convert the files and import them into a simulation software suite, and design the filters in that, accounting for the driver relative positions in the x, y and z plane.  

    You can approximate the filter for combined acoustic response with just a calibrated mic and can sum two drivers together at one time and play with component values until you achieve a deep notch with one driver out of polarity with the other and tweak values until you get a smooth acoustic profile with a deep notch at crossover, then reinvert polarity to get a smooth transition (ie bass and mid then mid and HF done separately) but as you can appreciate, this is hit and miss and would take many iterations hence the software is ultimately what you'll need if you want to play around with crossover design.  You can't do this sort of thing properly using on line calculators as they cannot account for the actual acoustic response.

    As long as you're happy with where you have them at present Ben, that's the main thing.  It's all good fun trying these things.
  • PAC said:
    Just seen this Ben.
    Damn. I hoped it would slip under your radar completely. ;-) I'd rather be judged by an audience of my peers, rather than by my superiors... X_X

    PAC said:
    The crossover issues/directivity are likely phase (time domain) related and adding the front plate changes the phase relationship between the drivers by changing the physical spacing in the horizontal plane.  A little like shooting in the dark at a flea's eyebrows and hoping for the best!
    I think you flatter the size of the target there. Probably more like a flea's eyelash.
    Yes. At times the work has been complete educated guess work.
    "An art not a science" is probably the most complimentary way of putting it. ;-) 
    PAC said:
    You'll hate me for sating this
    Never. :P

    PAC said:
    they need measuring individually on axis to achieve the accurate driver response before they can be summed for the purpose of designing (redesigning) the filter accordingly.  You can do this as a DIY effort with some kit like a USB mic but you'll also need the frequency response V's impedance data and this can only be measured using the proper tool for the job (ie a signal generator and calibrated meter, usually provided in one software package such as Dayton Audio DATS system).

    You'll then need to convert the files and import them into a simulation software suite, and design the filters in that, accounting for the driver relative positions in the x, y and z plane.  

    You can approximate the filter for combined acoustic response with just a calibrated mic and can sum two drivers together at one time and play with component values until you achieve a deep notch with one driver out of polarity with the other and tweak values until you get a smooth acoustic profile with a deep notch at crossover, then reinvert polarity to get a smooth transition (ie bass and mid then mid and HF done separately) but as you can appreciate, this is hit and miss and would take many iterations hence the software is ultimately what you'll need if you want to play around with crossover design.  You can't do this sort of thing properly using on line calculators as they cannot account for the actual acoustic response.
    You clearly have a good idea of how to approach some proper engineering work to benefit the design. I'm grateful to you for laying out the method in such detail. There is a possibility that I might try that, or at least, given my very limited expertise, some feeble approximation of as close to that as I can get. My hopes aren't high of my being able to make a massive amount of sense out of such a careful and detailed process. Though what I lack in skill, I often make up for in clumsy enthusiasm. :-D
    PAC said:

    As long as you're happy with where you have them at present Ben, that's the main thing.  It's all good fun trying these things.
    That's exactly it at the moment. Happiness and fun. They sound a lot better than when I picked them up, and indeed better than I hoped I might achieve. I've enjoyed the work, and have done things that I haven't tried before. So when I listen I can enjoy hearing my work as much as any inherent qualities of the speakers per-se.
    The impact of additional technical skill would I'm sure bring additional benefits. As I say, that may be something I'll try in future.
    In any event, I wouldn't anticipate a second independent Gloucestershire speaker manufacturer to start trading in any time soon.
  • edited May 15
    Alan-come-lately is here...

    Lovely things 'Maggies', if a little flawed.They used to retail at the same price as Quad ESL57 - they are supposedly reference devices.

    As you found, there are issues though. Unfortunately, it's my view that a) the tweeters are rubbish (EDIT - that's unfair, they are not rubbish but are adequate at best) and b) the mid range units sound rather coarse. Like a lowther but in a bad way. They sound very immediate indeed, are certainly dynamic ( - as hell - very fast) but they don't do warmth or texture very well. Ideal solution would seem to be paying Paul (a very large sum) to re-work the mid and tweeters with waveguides and stuff... 

    Which brings me to c), the imaging abilities I found to be lacking (after small monitors) due to the enormous baffles.

    I got as far as bracing the cabinet, a cosmetic refurb and a refresh of the X-overs (I would have liked to look at those little inductor coils too) and decided if I were to continue down my preferred path they would no longer be Maggies. I sold them on to a very nice man living in Cheddar Gorge, who was delighted with them.

    Lovely things with oodles of character, which I hope they still have. In some ways, better than many of the large Tannoys (in other ways certainly not). I prefer them though, they are more immediate and dynamic, and are a pleasingly leftfield choice (and are still cheaper).

    Enjoy yours Ben, they have a very cool aesthetic and are only going to increase in value. A lot. 

  • Are you trying to say they're gorgeous? (I'll get me coat).
  • edited May 22
    Alan said:
    Alan-come-lately is here...

    Lovely things 'Maggies', if a little flawed.They used to retail at the same price as Quad ESL57 - they are supposedly reference devices.

    I did not know that. Thanks.


    Alan said:
    As you found, there are issues though. Unfortunately, it's my view that a) the tweeters are rubbish (EDIT - that's unfair, they are not rubbish but are adequate at best) and b) the mid range units sound rather coarse. Like a lowther but in a bad way. They sound very immediate indeed, are certainly dynamic ( - as hell - very fast) but they don't do warmth or texture very well. Ideal solution would seem to be paying Paul (a very large sum) to re-work the mid and tweeters with waveguides and stuff... 

    No. The DT-3 tweeters ARE rubbish. ;-) Whether they always were, or something deteriorates with age, I  don't know. The Monacor DT-19SU that I've put in piss all over the old DT-3s. The DT-19SU are silky smooth and very extended "Optimum brilliance" as Monacor puts it.
    I utterly agree with you re. the midranges. "Coarse" is a good word to describe their sound. Doping with PVA helped, as has the felt (more fiddling to be done there possibly). Over the weekend I got further on top of them when I discovered the "parametric equaliser" function in JRiver. Putting one dip at 2600Hz and another at 5200Hz has had a very useful further effect on reducing coarseness and raising smoothness. The para-eq function also allows for adjusting the size of the bell curve so I had a lot of fun fiddling with the various parameters. The trick was trimming things enough to reduce coarseness but not so much to make the sound come across as in anyway strangled. It surprised how much difference very small adjustments made to the sound.
    It's really smoothed things. Probably could be done with an equivalent cross-over tweak, but easier for me to do so in the JRiver.
    Also a new midrange may be the way to go in future.
    Alan said:
    Which brings me to c), the imaging abilities I found to be lacking (after small monitors) due to the enormous baffles.

    I got as far as bracing the cabinet, a cosmetic refurb and a refresh of the X-overs (I would have liked to look at those little inductor coils too) and decided if I were to continue down my preferred path they would no longer be Maggies. I sold them on to a very nice man living in Cheddar Gorge, who was delighted with them.

    I tend to agree. Although the new tweeters, rearrangement of tweeter and midrange units, and fiddles to midrange have helped with this.
    I did think about bracing, but was too lazy / impatient to bother in the end. Rather wish I had now. Perhaps something for the future.
    Also I agree about the "no longer be Maggies" sentiment. Mine aren't really Maggies anymore.

    Overall, I think they are great. The bass and overall scale is to die for.
    Good to hear from you too. :-)
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