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Old 11-15-2012, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Other day I found these budget Sony SS-B1000 speakers for $55 a pair, so I bought two pair (5.25" 2-way ported, 120 w/rms 80hz-50khz). These were very popular speakers that used to sell for $80 and up a pair but have now reached the end of the product life cycle and are now being sold for as little as $50/pr.



The sound is bright,cool, and more bass than expected from a 5.25" woofer, but sounded like they were in a closet. They have a nice heavy MDF cabinet with shielded drivers. They were OK for little inexpensive speakers, but I had a feeling that they could be improved quite a bit. So the cabinet was opened and inspected to see what could be done to jack up their performance. There was no dampening, and the crossover was just a 1.2uF cap on the tweeter and nothing on the woofer. Put the multi-meter on them and they registered 7.2 ohms .

First change was to put in a 1" x 4" x 5" piece of open cell high density foam that covered half of the cabinet back right behind the woofer. This did a good job of cutting down reflected sound, and warmed up the tone quite a bit. Bass was improved probably because the speaker didn't sound so bright. But there was still a huge hole in the upper mid-range where vocals and acoustic guitar should have good presence. This was probably caused by the 1.2uF capacitor. It effectively crossed the tweeter at 16khz! Way too high for my liking. Went to ebay looking for cheap crossovers and to my surprise I found INFINITY REFERENCE 2000.5 2 two way passive crossovers that cross at about 5khz (based on the values of caps on the board). A really nice looking piece that has 3 chokes, 3 ceramic resistors (one on bottom) and 3 capacitors. I think its a 3rd order Butterworth design, but not sure. Not bad for $4.75 each!



After installing the crossovers, the multimeter showed 7.8 ohms on all 4 speakers. The change to sound quality was amazing! The mid-range and upper mid-range really jumped out and cymbals really sizzled. Acoustic guitar has so much more definition its not even funny. The clarity jumped up and the speakers performed well even at full output.. The difference is night and day. My 22yr old son couldn't believe they are the same speakers after the modifications.

I thought that a real crossover would help these speakers a bit, but I am totally surprised at how well responded to such a basic mod. They sound so good, I'm now using them for the front and surround speakers in the family room. Used with a BIC 12" sub crossed at 100hz, they really sound nice. Fun and inexpensive project.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 AM
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Which begs the question, one I asked awhile back and the answer is pretty complicated...what makes a good speaker a good speakeror more to the point, which of the following is the most important
1. Cabinet design...
2. Driver quality...
3. Electronics...

Sound like in the case of these speakers, improving the cabinet helped some, but improving the electronic helps immensely!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:24 AM
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Nothing from the audio engineers or DIY-ers?

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:28 AM
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Every cheap speaker I've taken apart has had a deficient crossover.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Which begs the question, one I asked awhile back and the answer is pretty complicated...what makes a good speaker a good speakeror more to the point, which of the following is the most important
1. Cabinet design...
2. Driver quality...
3. Electronics...
Sound like in the case of these speakers, improving the cabinet helped some, but improving the electronic helps immensely!


Good point! in the past some cheap speakers I tried to upgrade just would not respond to changes without actually replacing the drivers. In this case, the tweeter is the same one Sony uses in their 3 and 4 way speakers in the same series. The 5.25" driver has the same technology (H.O.P. cone woofer) that their other speakers use. So I had a feeling these drivers were being under utilized without a proper crossover. This time I got lucky and the drivers responded nicely to being properly managed.

I think the Sony SS-B1000 has two of the three conditions needed to sound good; a heavy cabinet and good drivers.

BTW, if anyone is thinking of building a 2-way speaker, those Infinity crossovers are pretty nice. I could not buy the individual components for that price!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an update on the Sony speaker project. A few days ago the receiver was being run at high volume when I noticed distortion in the high end. After playing with the volume a while it was obvious the little mylar dome tweeter can not handle the extra watts the new crossovers throws at it ( crossover went from about 16,000 hz to 3000 hz). So while it sounds fine at normal volume, cranking it up causes the tweeter to fail long before the 5.25" woofer.

So, time to upgrade the tweeter. Need one that will fit in the same footprint of the Sony tweeter (about 2.75 " diameter) because real estate on the front of the speaker enclosure is limited. The tweeter needs to handle maybe 30 or 40 watts and I want one that has a nice flat frequency response. Also, I don't want to spend too much (remember these Sonys only cost $55/pair new). Lots of reading and searches led me to the usual brands like HiVi, Dayton and Goldwood. Then I found the Tang Band 25-302SH 1" FABRIC DOME / NEODYMIUM Tweeters that have a fantastic frequency range and flat as a pancake too!






These typically sell for $22 a piece, but I was able to find a site that sells a pair for $25!

These will be coming this week, and I can't wait to get them installed.

So far, the speaker project expense sheet is as follows for one speaker:

- Sony SSB1000 ($55.00 a pair) $27.50 each
- Infinity Crossover $4.75 each (ebay)
- Acoustic Foam $0.00 (free - already had from another project)
- Tang Band Tweeter $12.50 each
Total each speaker $44.75

Hope they sound good, the TB tweeter got good reviews. Besides, what can you get for $44.75 a piece that sounds OK? biggrin.gif The small (6 11/16 x 10 1/16 x 7 1/16") MDF cabinet, (about 1/6th cu/ft, is probably worth the initial investment alone! LOL!

I know what will happen next... I will find fault with the 5.25" HOP woofer and start looking for a better replacement. biggrin.gif Any suggestions?
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The Tang Band tweeters came and were installed. Pretty straight forward, but two notches were cut into the round tweeter hole to accommodate the square back of the TB tweeter. The difference is night and day. The sound is so much clearer with much more presence. The TB tweeters are much more efficient, and are obviously louder than the Mylar dome they replaced.

First one of the front speakers had the new TB installed. Then the system was set to 2 channel mono. Asked my 23 year old budding audiophile son which speaker he liked better. With the grills on, he could not see which had the new tweeter. He said the TB speaker was much clearer, louder, and there were sounds and details coming from the TB speaker that the OE Sony speaker was just not producing. Success! Then the other 3 speakers were upgraded too.

I've been listening to these speakers for 3 hours now at moderate volume (have to raise your voice a little for conversation) and they did not become irritating or fatiguing. Switched between classic, quartets, rock, and contemporary jazz. I think the classics and quartets had the most obvious improvement. The strings just reach out to you, and a harp piece was just amazing.

This is a tremendous upgrade for the little SSB1000 speakers. Thinking of removing the "Sony" insignia on the grill, because these mods take it well past what Sony produced!

Well, that is it for now. This is probably the last mod these speakers will get, except for maybe replacing the spring clip connections with a screw down style.

So for a few dollars, the speakers can be nicely upgraded with just some dampening and a crossover. A crossover in the 6-8000hz range would probably work better than the 3000hz cross over I used with the OE tweeter. But if the tweeter is going to be replaced, then get one with a nice flat response that can handle a few watts at the 3000hz range and it should really work well with the HOP woofer. I think the woofer in these speakers is actually a really nice driver. Rubber surround, heavy frame and the light weight rigid HOP cone (Highly Oriented Polyolefine) make for a nice upper bass/mid-range driver. Perfect for mating with a nice sub woofer and crossing at 80 hz.

Regards,
Mark.
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