Vintage Stereo Console Uprade - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Vintage Stereo Console Upgrade

Hello all,
A buddy of mine has a vintage Zenith Allegro stereo console. The equipment is shot so he wants to replace everything with "modern" equipment.

We are going to gut everything and use a Kenwood KC-X1 preamp along with a Kenwood KM-X1 amp. We are going to mount the preamp vertically so you look down at the face plate as you stand over it. The amp will be installed in the bottom of the cabinet horizontally(normal).

We are going to install a Marantz 526C CD Player vertically. It is slot loaded so it should work in this configuration.

The current setup uses two 12" Zenith woofers and two Foster Horn Tweeters.(49-1166-02).

Can someone please give me some advice on:
1. Replacement 12" woofers and horn tweeters that would pair well with the KM-X1 amp? I'm guessing free-air woofers would be the most appropriate?

2. A crossover, if necessary.

3. The best way to wire the speakers to the KM-X1 Amp. Should I run the speakers pairs together as a two channel or should I bi-wire/bi-amp them using dedicated channels?

4. Anything I'm missing/suggestions?

I've never built speakers before so I have NO idea what I'm doing. I greatly appreciate any assistance you guys can provide.

Thanks much.
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 12:53 PM
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Sorry, can't really answer your questions. I'll leave it to the experts soon to come. Just wanted to comment on how cool I think this project is. I probably have enough leftover pieces to pull something like this off. And a perfect spare room to put it. Will be following your thread, Good Luck and keep us posted.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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Have you listened to the original speakers? I do not know about the Zenith woofers, but Foster/Fostex made some pretty fine drivers. Since you have the speakers and crossovers already in place, I would hook them up and listen for a while. You might also ask at Audiokarma https://www.audiokarma.org/forums/index.php as they do a lot of vintage equipment and consoles. You might get some good advice there.
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post #4 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfster View Post
Have you listened to the original speakers? I do not know about the Zenith woofers, but Foster/Fostex made some pretty fine drivers. Since you have the speakers and crossovers already in place, I would hook them up and listen for a while. You might also ask at Audiokarma https://www.audiokarma.org/forums/index.php as they do a lot of vintage equipment and consoles. You might get some good advice there.
Thanks for tip. I'll check out audiokarma as well.

The original speakers are shot. The amount of time/effort/money to replace/repair them just isn't worth it. Frankly most of the original system is in bad shape so he wants to gut everything and use "newer" equipment.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 03:23 PM
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for the space available in the speaker section

how big is that space?

it's dubious that console would ever be considered 'full range", from a digital perspective

Got REW? for that . .

probably not worth the effort, no doubt
but
what if you could shoehorn/ fit / space mod/ something that can actually do a modern full range- musically speaking

could you fit something like this in there:

https://www.diysoundgroup.com/apollo-mtm-kit.html

or its slightly shorter, also full range partner, : Apollo-7 MT.



KISS
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 03:58 PM
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I would remove the baffle board, and put these on each side. Easy peasy (check dimensions first, these are 10.63 x 13.58 x 21.65 in ).

https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-B21...dp/B001XWD3LC/

Good-sounding ugly speakers hidden behind beautiful speaker cloth/grille. If for some reason it doesn't work, return them, or keep them as a set of party/garage speakers.
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augerhandle View Post
I would remove the baffle board, and put these on each side. Easy peasy (check dimensions first, these are 10.63 x 13.58 x 21.65 in ).

http://https://www.amazon.com/Behrin...dp/B001XWD3LC/

Good-sounding ugly speakers hidden behind beautiful speaker cloth/grille. If for some reason it doesn't work, return them, or keep them as a set of party/garage speakers.
This is a cheap good idea, and they would blast. No deep bass, but certainly better than the original.
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-02-2019, 06:17 PM
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Specs for Kenwood XM-X1 only stipulate output power into 6-ohm and 8-ohm speakers, so you should avoid 4-ohm speakers (which I suspect is what the old speakers are, with "typical" DC Resistance of 3.2-ohms, which YOU can measure with a VOM/DVM Meter). Note that manual has fol. caution: "Never connect a speaker with impedance below 6-ohms, for this will cause malfunction of the amplifier."

You COULD build a Sealed Box enclosure that bolts down on top of the 12-in Woofer (and possibly also Tweeter), in which case a traditional Sealed, Closed Box Design could be used.....if you CHOSE to go down the path that will result in much better Bass Response than the current "Infinite Baffle" type design....if so, let us know so we can address THAT alternative so we can pick out a suitable Woofer with a very floppy [low Vas] suspension....

However if you want to keep the current "Infinite Baffle" type design, then you will need an "Infinite Baffle" type 6-8 ohm 12-in Woofer with a much stiffer suspension [high Vas] and Qts close to 0.7 to ensure Critically Damped Transients...or a bit less....say as low as about 0.4 for Over-damped Transient Response. I looked at inexpensive Dayton Audio 12-in Woofers, but highest Qts~0.3 [avoiding 12-in Sub-Woofers which roll-off high freqs]. Then I checked Madison Speakers and found the fol. for $77 with Qts=0.54 and Vas=132.42-liters = 4.68 cu.ft., which is a very STIFF suspension....just what we are looking for. However, note that Crossover Frequency "should" be at a fairly low 1000-Hz [preferably 12 db/Octave, 2nd Order] in order to suppress irregularities on higher frequencies....which WILL affect our choice of Tweeters that actually work well that low in Frequency:
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...ed-paper-cone/
https://kimmosaunisto.net/Kirppis/830669.pdf
https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...ofer--264-1118
https://www.speakerworks.com/Peerles...r-p/830669.htm

Info re. Infinite Baffle design type:
https://www.eminence.com/support/und...udspeaker-data
https://www.kicker.com/app/misc/supp...Guidelines.pdf

The Woofer mounting bolts may or may NOT align up, give or take making the Speaker Holes a bit larger....if not, don't worry about it, simply rotate and pre-drill some very shallow holes so you can start some new [short & fat] mounting screws. From the specs, it appears that the speaker opening should be about 277-mm=10-15/16 inches.....you should take a tape measure to determine the diameter of the MOVING part of the surround and make sure that your existing opening is big enough so they don't collide....if not, you could add a thin layer of Masonite (1/8 to 3/16-in thick) in-between speaker and the console.

I/we need specific info (and a photo w/o Tweeter) re. the existing Tweeter opening and mounting bolt dimensions before I/we can recommend a matching Tweeter and Crossover.
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-03-2019, 10:17 AM
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Easy solution would be a couple Volt 10's from diysoundgroup.
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-03-2019, 10:44 AM
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and don't forget the "false front"

matching side table sub woofers

maybe down firing Marty cubes . .

matching the aged patina of the console -trickier

but could be a real sleeper of a "listen to this " unit

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post #11 of 22 Old 07-03-2019, 12:09 PM
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Still need more info re your existing Tweeter Opening and mounting screw dimensions.....

Using [Free] Unibox Excel Spread Sheet [which is quick and easy, but not very sophisticated], I punched in the T/S Parameters for the Peerless SLS 830669 12-in Woofer. Fol. are Simulated Performance Results, assuming a VERY HUGE 1000-liter = 35.3 cu.ft. Closed Box Enclosure....which approximates an Infinite Baffle Design:
http://audio.claub.net/software/kougaard/ubmodel.html

PS: To minimize the delayed echo coming from the BACK of the Cabinet, you might want to employ a couple of Polyester Stuffed Pillows around the back of each 12-in Woofer....also available in raw form from Fabric Stores:
https://www.joann.com/10lb-box-of-po...7.html#start=1

Fig1 shows Frequency Response, with -3 dB Roll-Off of 47-Hz...which is quite good for an Infinite Baffle that does NOT benefit from the enhanced Low Freq Response of a Bass Reflex Ported Design. If you are using a Sub-Woofer [typ. 80-Hz and below], then this roll-off is of NO consequence. OTOH: If using w/o Sub-Woofer (in say STEREO only Mode), then you might want to crank in a bit of Bass Boost using your Tone Controls. [BTW: I also determined that the Peerless SLS Woofer is NOT very well suited for either Closed or Bass Reflex Designs.]

Fig 2 shows Impedance Curve, rising to a Maximum at about 30-Hz and a Minimum (Re = 5.7-ohms) at about 80-300 Hz....so it's a "nominal" 6-ohm Speaker that is compatible with your Amp. For a Constant Voltage Input Sweep, the speaker will draw the MOST Current [and hence Power] over the 80-300 Hz range...and MUCH less Current and Power on the lowest Frequencies due to the increase in Impedance.

Fig 3 shows Max Cone Excursion for 100-Watt Input....actually constant voltage input for 100-Watt into Re=5.7 (Minimum Impedance) at about 150-Hz. Note that without a STIFF Cushion of Air behind it, the Speaker Cone will "bounce" against the mechanical stops (Xmax=8-mm) for Freqs below about 45-Hz when driven to full loudness. Which is why a High Pass Filter is recommended to roll-off Freqs below about 50 to 80 Hz....which is exactly what a LFE Crossover Filter [typ. -12 dB at 80 Hz] in your Surround Amp will do if you configure Front Speakers = SMALL....and let a powerful Sub-Woofer do the Low Distortion, Low Freq reproduction that it was designed to do. [BTW: IF you WANT some High Pass Filters for L/R Speakers, let me know, along with a guess as to what -3 dB Roll-Off Freq you want [50-Hz??? 40-Hz??? 30-Hz might be problematic???]....this can be of supreme importance if you want to playback Vinyl Records in STEREO w/o Sub-Woofer....they have LOTS of Rumble and even lower Freqs coming from the Phono Cartridge.]

Fig 4 shows Transient Step Response with a classic Slightly Over-Damped Curve, with NO overshoot....OTOH, a Bass Reflex Ported Design will typically have two or more "echos" when trying to reproduce a Drum Kick....as can be seen in the fol. Comparison Study I did for someone who stipulated a DIFFERENT Peerless 12-in Sub-Woofer:
https://imageevent.com/holl_ands/fil...akercomparison











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post #12 of 22 Old 07-03-2019, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow. GREAT feedback everyone. Thank you.

Augerhandle
Great idea. That would make this a MUCH easier project for sure. Have you personally listened to those Behringers? He isn't looking for top of the line so this may be a good way to go.

Holl_ands
FANTASTIC feedback. Very much appreciated. Thanks for all the time you've spent on this. I'm going to take this information to my buddy and see which way he wants to go. I'm hoping we can do a custom build in which case I'll follow up with you regarding the tweeter opening and mounting screw dimensions. I'll also report back with the exact internal dimensions if that will help.

I'll report back when he decides what to do. I'll also take a bunch of pics and report back on the conversion process and the final result. Thanks everyone.
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post #13 of 22 Old 07-03-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brox View Post
Wow. GREAT feedback everyone. Thank you.

Augerhandle
Great idea. That would make this a MUCH easier project for sure. Have you personally listened to those Behringers? He isn't looking for top of the line so this may be a good way to go.

Holl_ands
FANTASTIC feedback. Very much appreciated. Thanks for all the time you've spent on this. I'm going to take this information to my buddy and see which way he wants to go. I'm hoping we can do a custom build in which case I'll follow up with you regarding the tweeter opening and mounting screw dimensions. I'll also report back with the exact internal dimensions if that will help.

I'll report back when he decides what to do. I'll also take a bunch of pics and report back on the conversion process and the final result. Thanks everyone.
I haven't personally heard them, but there are several people on the forums that have used the 15" version for HT use, and really enjoy them. You can try them while still working towards a custom solution. If you buy through amazon, they're very easy to return if you're not satisfied.

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post #14 of 22 Old 07-05-2019, 04:02 PM
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Hey Everyone,

I am the person Brox is helping out with this project. He is our group’s resident audio expert, so I reached out to him on this project.

Looking through this thread, I see a lot of ideas, most of which I will admit are over my head. So let me give you a little backstory to hopefully help us come to a conclusion.

I have always been an avid collector of music (CDs and Vinyl). With the resurgence of vinyl in the last decade, I have been looking for a vintage console stereo to upgrade and display in my nearly 100 year old home. I found this Zenith Allegro that was in very good shape, but had an aftermarket turntable installed in place of the original that was of very poor quality.
In the last year, I upgraded the turntable to a Crosley C10 in hopes that I could get a cleaner and more vibrant sound from my record collection when using the console.

This is where I guess you could say I started my journey. The investment in the higher end turntable did not improve the sound of the stereo. Instead, it just made me search more.

So here is what the issue is. The moment I turn the console to “Phono”, there is a ‘hum’, which I understand is somewhat normal with a turntable, but this is pretty obvious. The more I turn up the volume the more distorted it seems to get. The turntable I have did require an amp to run through before it connects to the receiver. If any of you listen to vinyl, these amps can be very hit or miss. And they are fine if you are just playing them through something little. But I was expecting to get more.

The original equipment is actually a solid state radio, which doesn’t seem to be able to handle the output of the turntable. The speakers especially which were great for the time, seem lacking now.

This is where I decided that it might be a fun and more rewarding experience to simply scrap the old equipment and put modern equipment along with a CD player to get the most of the beautiful looking console. (I own a couple thousand CDs that are collecting dust)

I’m not looking to rattle the floor when I play records or CDs, but instead get a very clean and crisp sound that goes across all spectrums. I listen to everything from 60’s pop, to modern industrial music, so as you can see, I’d like to have more range with this piece of equipment. Keep in mind the turn table will be right underneath the speakers, so anything too powerful will just cause the records to skip when being played.

Truthfully, the stereo as is sounds pretty damn good to the common listener,.....but like most of us here, it COULD sound so much better! The range of audio seems to be the single biggest hindrance to the current speakers.

I budgeted around $1000 for this project and between the CD player and Receiver/Amp I’m at roughly $375. And keep in mind the carpentry work (we are paying someone to do that as this is the trickiest part) is still needed to retrofit this.

I thought just finding some good used component speakers might be a good way to go here as long as they fit. You guys might disagree, which is fine. That’s why we are here.

I hope this clears things up for you guys and helps us get to conclusion.

Thanks!
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post #15 of 22 Old 07-05-2019, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King1996 View Post
Hey Everyone,

I am the person Brox is helping out with this project. He is our group’s resident audio expert, so I reached out to him on this project.

Looking through this thread, I see a lot of ideas, most of which I will admit are over my head. So let me give you a little backstory to hopefully help us come to a conclusion.

I have always been an avid collector of music (CDs and Vinyl). With the resurgence of vinyl in the last decade, I have been looking for a vintage console stereo to upgrade and display in my nearly 100 year old home. I found this Zenith Allegro that was in very good shape, but had an aftermarket turntable installed in place of the original that was of very poor quality.
In the last year, I upgraded the turntable to a Crosley C10 in hopes that I could get a cleaner and more vibrant sound from my record collection when using the console.

This is where I guess you could say I started my journey. The investment in the higher end turntable did not improve the sound of the stereo. Instead, it just made me search more.

So here is what the issue is. The moment I turn the console to “Phono”, there is a ‘hum’, which I understand is somewhat normal with a turntable, but this is pretty obvious. The more I turn up the volume the more distorted it seems to get. The turntable I have did require an amp to run through before it connects to the receiver. If any of you listen to vinyl, these amps can be very hit or miss. And they are fine if you are just playing them through something little. But I was expecting to get more.

The original equipment is actually a solid state radio, which doesn’t seem to be able to handle the output of the turntable. The speakers especially which were great for the time, seem lacking now.

This is where I decided that it might be a fun and more rewarding experience to simply scrap the old equipment and put modern equipment along with a CD player to get the most of the beautiful looking console. (I own a couple thousand CDs that are collecting dust)

I’m not looking to rattle the floor when I play records or CDs, but instead get a very clean and crisp sound that goes across all spectrums. I listen to everything from 60’s pop, to modern industrial music, so as you can see, I’d like to have more range with this piece of equipment. Keep in mind the turn table will be right underneath the speakers, so anything too powerful will just cause the records to skip when being played.

Truthfully, the stereo as is sounds pretty damn good to the common listener,.....but like most of us here, it COULD sound so much better! The range of audio seems to be the single biggest hindrance to the current speakers.

I budgeted around $1000 for this project and between the CD player and Receiver/Amp I’m at roughly $375. And keep in mind the carpentry work (we are paying someone to do that as this is the trickiest part) is still needed to retrofit this.

I thought just finding some good used component speakers might be a good way to go here as long as they fit. You guys might disagree, which is fine. That’s why we are here.

I hope this clears things up for you guys and helps us get to conclusion.

Thanks!



I think throwing in a pair of used speakers (still in their own cabinet) behind the grilles is a fine idea. As for the hum:


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post #16 of 22 Old 07-05-2019, 05:12 PM
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+1 for "some' pair of speakers lurking in there

but once again express my prejudice for DIYSG,
I listen to a lot of "legacy' music,
and in stereo, the HTM6's are really really good .. , huge soundfield
even a $100 sub or 2 that can get into the low 40's will be fine for most of that music.
I have 2 10's boosting a pair of older polk breadbox sized bookshelves at my girls place in about 3k ft^3, a very hard room and it's all good . .

how big is the room, and other details
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post #17 of 22 Old 07-05-2019, 07:58 PM
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I personally applaud your intent....

I too picked up a vintage console, a Magnavox unit circa the 1960s. However all the parts were in working order, just need a refurb, which I'm working on slowly just to bring the internals back up to spec.

The only "upgrades" I will be doing are adding a chromecast audio to it so I can use my google mini's to control what its playing and when.

The TT will remain inside, but wont be connected outside being connected to power.

I am also back and forth on adding a raspberry pi w 10" touchscreen running PLEX as well to make it similar to a jukebox when I want to play stuff off my existing systems....... that would be external and hidden.....

Anyway good luck!

If you get bored, below are links to my old build thread (my tech is super busy so I'm patiently waiting my turn in the lineup for a tune up )....


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post #18 of 22 Old 07-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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Manual for Crosley C10 Turntable sez that if you have HUM, you likely forgot to connect the GROUND WIRE to the Ground Screw on the Chassis of the Amplifier:
https://system.na1.netsuite.com/core...tion=overwrite

C10 Manual identifies various parts, incl. #1 2 "Cables" [plural], but artist's depiction only shows ONE cable. Your C10 should have TWO cables....one containing the Shielded L/R Pair terminated with RCA Jacks....and a second GROUND WIRE, likely terminated in a Spade Lug. Here's an actual photo:
https://m.media-amazon.com/images/S/...cca64dcc50.jpg

C10 presumably comes with the Ortofon OM5e MOVING MAGNET type phono cartridge [or equivalent]....which requires connection to the Low-Level PHONO Input on an Amp....or an external Phono Preamp if Amp does not have separate PHONO Input. FYI: Kenwood Preamp mentioned in Post #1 has the requisite Low-Level PHONO Input.....but you didn't mention the Mfr/Model# for the old equipment.
https://www.ortofon.com/om-5e-p-551

On the back of the Kenwood KC-X1 Preamp/Tuner, the Ground Screw is located above and just to the right of the PHONO Inputs, see pg10 for connection diagram:
https://www.manualslib.com/download/...ood-Kc-X1.html

If you are using an External Phono Preamp, the C10's Ground Screw should be connected first to the it....and THEN daisy chained to the Ground Screw on the old Amplifier. IF you don't see a Ground Screw, you'll have to improvise, using perhaps a Chassis Screw of Convenience....or fabricate an RCA Connector....or jumper cable so that the GROUND WIRE is connected to JUST the Shield of an unused RCA Jack of Convenience.

Last edited by holl_ands; 07-07-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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post #19 of 22 Old 07-07-2019, 02:21 PM
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Back in 1971, when I first bought my Altec Voice-Of-The-Theater Speakers (15-in Woofer, 800+ Hz Exponential Horn) I placed my new Sony+ShureV15 Turntable on top of of one of them....and experienced feed-back when driven hard. I quickly cured this problem by placing Turntable on top of my TYPEWRITER RUBBER PAD [which dampened noise while typing]. You can do the same sort of thing using a variety of Turntable Isolation Devices....although you should investigate as to which are the better ones:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=turntable...ref=nb_sb_noss

Also bear in mind that IF you Re-Direct all Low Freqs to an External Sub-Woofer, feedback into TT will also be greatly reduced.

FYI: Several years later I bought the matching Altec Triple-Panel Center Console [new home to TT]....and much later re-purposed [and re-aligned so Sealed Box] JUST the 15-in Woofers as my current Sub-Woofer Pair, using a 1/3-Octave Band Equalizer to Flatten Room Response prior to driving S-W Amp:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2...l#post53356010

TT Isolator Comparisons:
https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/...lation-devices
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...onshootout.htm
https://www.recordplayerpro.com/best...ation-platform


==================================================
BTW: IF you are still interested in simply replacing Woofer & Tweeter as I outlined above, either provide Tweeter Opening Dimensions....or perhaps just let me know the Mfr/Model# of the existing Tweeter [photos were too low-rez to read]....

Last edited by holl_ands; 07-07-2019 at 02:45 PM.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-08-2019, 01:26 PM
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I just popped in when I saw the "Allegro" name, because I have a pair of 2-way Allegro speakers that were my first "real" speakers that my dad found at some garage sale for me in high school. I still have those in the dining room as a zone 2 in my house, and have a fondness for the name/brand. Really cool project. I'm interested to see how it turns out.


I'll also throw a vote in for DIYSG speakers in behind the grilles. Easy and great sound.
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post #21 of 22 Old 07-08-2019, 09:51 PM
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This just in .. .

from DIYSG, full rang coax,Vortex-12.

One near you, soon.
just not yet

DIY FAN Denon X4400 , ATI A 2000 for 7.4.6 SCATMOS Sammy 82" 4K/HDR
L/R: Fusion 15 V2 , C: 88 Special , SL/SR: 88 Special(V2) , RL/RR: F-3, TF/TR: Volt 6's TM: SLX, FH: F4Q4
SUBMAXIMUS V2, ,Submaximus V3,LOWARHORNCustom Dual Driver VBSS,2 x 6000DSP
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post #22 of 22 Old 07-10-2019, 02:44 PM
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Neat project...I've come across tons of old consoles while shopping estate sales and antique stores have thought of doing something similar to what you guys are doing.

As has been said, maybe coaxial speakers. Eminence Beta 12cx's with their APT-50 horn tweeter and PXB2-3K5 crossover. Will give an 8ohm load per side and be plenty efficient.
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