You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 12 hours ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
A speaker tweak that matters

Hi guys,

It's been a long while since I was last here, but I simply must share this. Not long ago I got this idea, that really improved the performance of my speakers to an incredible level. This tweak makes the lower mid and bass both much faster, more precise, and to a certain degree, deeper.

The tweak is actually quite simple, but if you think about it, you'll find that it makes a lot of sense. The effects of it are like this:

1) It stiffens the speaker walls (All types of speakers)
2) It controls the airflow withing the speaker (Ported speakers)
3) Breaking up standing waves within the speaker (All types of speakers)

Of course I do not expect any of you to perform this stunt on your 50k $ speakers, but if you - like me - own a modest set of speakers, you will most certainly benefit from it. I have to emphasize, that I have no experience with non-ported speakers, why I cannot speak of how or even if, they would respond as expected. Also this is a non-reversable tweak, so be careful in conducting every step. That being said, I am confident that this tweak can be carried out on any speaker or subwoofer, that is ported.

The tweak:

1) Go buy some wood glue that can be thinned with water. I used the common type, that hardens in about 24 hours, and get almost transparent when completely dry. I ended up having to buy about 3 litres for 2 small speakers and a subwoofer. 

2) Strip the speaker of ALL internal stuff, except the port itself, e.g. the speaker units, the crossover, wires, foam etc. Take great care not to damage anything during this process.

3) Place the empty cabinet on a table, and put an old towel under the cabinet to soak up any glue spills.

4) Get hold of some cardboard tube. I used a tube about 5 inches in diameter, and of a rather thick material (3 mm).

5) Measure the inner width of the speaker in question.

6) Cut 3 lengths of the tube, that would fit the inner width of the speaker. A sharp breadknife will do the trick.

7) Now split them LENGTHWISE down the middle. You should now have 6 split pieces of tube looking like gutters. These 6 pieces will do for the side speakers, as you should use 3 inside the left speaker, and 3 inside the right speaker. You'll need another set for the subwoofer.

8) Here comes the tricky part. Take a good look at the image below. It illustrates how I have placed the "gutters" inside the speakers. Be very careful to place them, so that they are not occupying any space right in front of the inside port opening, or where you'll need to fit the crossover or the speaker units. In other words, the "gutters" need to be placed more or less around the center of the space inside the speaker.

It is no coincidence that the "gutters" are turned like they are. The way they are turned maximizes the "breaking effect" on the airflow that they cause: When air is sucked inwards, the tubes do not apply a breaking effect, but when the air is pushed outwards, they do. This is what makes the lower mid and bass much faster and more precise.

9) Now that you have placed the 3 "gutters" inside the first speaker, measure where you have placed them. You will need to place the 3 other gutters about the same inside the second speaker.

10) Now lay the speaker down sideways on the towel. Pour into the inside of the speaker cabinet (the wall that is the downward side) just enough glue, so that all of the side wall is completely covered with glue.

11) Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours. Don't worry about fumes; it won't give you any headaches or discomfort.

12) When dry, do the opposite inside speaker wall. Leave it to dry.

13) Continue until all inside baffles are completely covered with glue. Use a brush on the inside of the front wall, and also paint a fair amount of glue onto the gutters.

14) When dry and finished, assemble the speaker. Take great care not to damage anything during this process. You'll need to cut up into smaller pieces any foam, that belongs on the 2 inside side walls, as the gutters now are permanently fixed onto these.

15) When assembled, connect the speaker, and do a "hand/knuckle test" on the outer side walls of first the tweaked speaker, and then the untweaked. You will surely be able to tell the difference in the amount of vibrations from the two speakers. If you are able to turn down the volume on the left vs the right speaker, you will also be able to detect the clearly audible improvement in the lower mid/bass performance of the tweaked speaker.

If you have fucked up anything during the procedure, well, do not blame me, but yourself, as you have not followed my instructions at some point.

On the other hand, if you have succeeded, you can proceed to the second speaker, and later to the sub, which will alltogether provide a jaw-dropping improvement in speed, precision, "aperiodic" and deep, tight bass.

Have fun!

Kind regards to all on SP
Freako

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 12 hours ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Somehow the image I wanted to

Somehow the image I wanted to show, does not show up. I have tried linking to both a jpg and a png version, but none of them show up. So I better explain:

The "gutters" are all turned with the "outside" turning towards the back (and the port) of the speaker, and the "inside" of the gutter turning towards the front of the speaker. This also makes it evident, that the sucking air INTO the speaker is not limited, but the pushing air OUT of the speaker is actually limited a tiny bit.

The image can be seen here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117813841934492926200/HiFi#5879356211753938850

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 12 hours ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Lack of response

I wonder why there's no response to this - if I might humbly say so - brilliant tweak. I suspect the reason to be one or all of the below:

  1. You cherish your speakers more than your wife and even your kids, and find them superior to any other speakers on the market.
  2. You are lame as far as tweaking goes, and truly believe that "...anything that can't be measured, can't be heard...". Wise up, stupid. Your ears are far better than science in this case. If you believe science are superior to your own ears, you're in for a surprise... sorry, I'd better take that back, because you probably ain't. Some people never change.
  3. You think the phrase "tweak" has something to do with superstition, witchcraft or mumbo-jumbo. On this one you're partly right. I just have to give you that. Strange wooden discs on the walls, cute little critters with their bellies full of pebbles, obscure stickers, absurd creams or notes with numbers written in red, well those are not tweaks, they are symptoms of a rare disease, that puzzles all not stricken by it. The cure is laughter.
  4. You haven't got the guts to perform tweaks. If that is the case, then don't perform any tweaks. They will likely cause faulty equipment anyway.
  5. I have failed to state my point clearly enough for anyone to comprehend it. Sorry about that, English is not my first lingo.
  6. You have a history of using glue in ways that could best be described as misuse/abuse. No comments.
  7. You believe THC is the one and only tweak that matters. So did I... once, but those days are over. I am back in reality since many years.
  8. You suspect that my setup is less than admirable in it's sound reproduction, so any tweak - whether it worked or not - only serves to mask the abundance of errors otherwise displayed by my lousy setup. 
  9. My eardrums were torn to shreds during the countless 1970's concerts with Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Big Brother & the Holding Company etc. That is probably correct, but anyone over 45, that didn't attend such happenings, grossly missed out on the times of their lives anyway.
  10. You think I'm a nutcase. You may be right about that, but does it really say anything about my credibility as a nutcase/hifi freak/tweaker?

Does any of the above trigger something in you?

If yes, I AM a nutcase, but a happy one. If no, I'm still a nutcase, and even happier. This whole ranting was nothing than waste of time, and as such only meant as a bad joke. Please forgive me ;)

- and please comment on my tweak, ask questions, criticize, praise... whatever!

Have a good one

Freako/Rubber Duck

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
lack of response

[quote=Freako]

I wonder why there's no response to this - if I might humbly say so - brilliant tweak. I suspect the reason to be one or all of the below:

  1. You cherish your speakers more than your wife and even your kids, and find them superior to any other speakers on the market.
  2. You are lame as far as tweaking goes, and truly believe that "...anything that can't be measured, can't be heard...". Wise up, stupid. Your ears are far better than science in this case. If you believe science are superior to your own ears, you're in for a surprise... sorry, I'd better take that back, because you probably ain't. Some people never change.
  3. You think the phrase "tweak" has something to do with superstition, witchcraft or mumbo-jumbo. On this one you're partly right. I just have to give you that. Strange wooden discs on the walls, cute little critters with their bellies full of pebbles, obscure stickers, absurd creams or notes with numbers written in red, well those are not tweaks, they are symptoms of a rare disease, that puzzles all not stricken by it. The cure is laughter.
  4. You haven't got the guts to perform tweaks. If that is the case, then don't perform any tweaks. They will likely cause faulty equipment anyway.
  5. I have failed to state my point clearly enough for anyone to comprehend it. Sorry about that, English is not my first lingo.
  6. You have a history of using glue in ways that could best be described as misuse/abuse. No comments.
  7. You believe THC is the one and only tweak that matters. So did I... once, but those days are over. I am back in reality since many years.
  8. You suspect that my setup is less than admirable in it's sound reproduction, so any tweak - whether it worked or not - only serves to mask the abundance of errors otherwise displayed by my lousy setup. 
  9. My eardrums were torn to shreds during the countless 1970's concerts with Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Big Brother & the Holding Company etc. That is probably correct, but anyone over 45, that didn't attend such happenings, grossly missed out on the times of their lives anyway.
  10. You think I'm a nutcase. You may be right about that, but does it really say anything about my credibility as a nutcase/hifi freak/tweaker?

 

It could be that in praising yourself for your brililance, and talking to yourself, and pre-insulting any potential respondents as lame/stoned/stupid, you limit your audience.  And expecting an immediate response in this neglected and forgotten area of the forums is a recipe for being ignored.

jgossman
jgossman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: Aug 18 2011 - 6:21am
That and...

Most of the speakers the average Stereophile reader uses are going to have significant internal braces not condusive to this tweak.  On my Matrix's for example, this tweak just looks absolutely ridiculous.  The speaker is filled with a tight, stiff, 3 diminsional grid.  And also, most speakers above a certain point, usually 500.00 bucks, are actually amazingly well engineered and built now days.  It's both a science and an art now.

Not to be dismissive, but it just seems a little silly.

ironsienna
ironsienna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 19 2013 - 6:21am
  Freako wrote: I wonder

 

Freako wrote:

I wonder why there's no response to this - if I might humbly say so - brilliant tweak. I suspect the reason to be one or all of the below:

  1. You cherish your speakers more than your wife and even your kids, and find them superior to any other speakers on the market.
  2. You are lame as far as tweaking goes, and truly believe that "...anything that can't be measured, can't be heard...". Wise up, stupid. Your ears are far better than science in this case. If you believe science are superior to your own ears, you're in for a surprise... sorry, I'd better take that back, because you probably ain't. Some people never change.
  3. You think the phrase "tweak" has something to do with superstition, witchcraft or mumbo-jumbo. On this one you're partly right. I just have to give you that. Strange wooden discs on the walls, cute little critters with their bellies full of pebbles, obscure stickers, absurd creams or notes with numbers written in red, well those are not tweaks, they are symptoms of a rare disease, that puzzles all not stricken by it. The cure is laughter.
  4. You haven't got the guts to perform tweaks. If that is the case, then don't perform any tweaks. They will likely cause faulty equipment anyway.
  5. I have failed to state my point clearly enough for anyone to comprehend it. Sorry about that, English is not my first lingo.
  6. You have a history of using glue in ways that could best be described as misuse/abuse. No comments.
  7. You believe THC is the one and only tweak that matters. So did I... once, but those days are over. I am back in reality since many years.
  8. You suspect that my setup is less than admirable in it's sound reproduction, so any tweak - whether it worked or not - only serves to mask the abundance of errors otherwise displayed by my lousy setup. 
  9. My eardrums were torn to shreds during the countless 1970's concerts with Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Big Brother & the Holding Company etc. That is probably correct, but anyone over 45, that didn't attend such happenings, grossly missed out on the times of their lives anyway.
  10. You think I'm a nutcase. You may be right about that, but does it really say anything about my credibility as a nutcase/hifi freak/tweaker?

Does any of the above trigger something in you?

If yes, I AM a nutcase, but a happy one. If no, I'm still a nutcase, and even happier. This whole ranting was nothing than waste of time, and as such only meant as a bad joke. Please forgive me ;)

- and please comment on my tweak, ask questions, criticize, praise... whatever!

Have a good one

Freako/Rubber Duck

So you want to say that cherising a pair of speakers that costed me $22000 is bad... And that this mod will make them sound better when countless hours have been spend for their design... Furthermore their internals are not as empty as the ones in your speakers because they already use sophisticated sound damping control. Where is the wife and kids belong in this conversation by the way? This comment is so immature...

If you believe that it is scientific to claim that using a standard mod with any speaker design can cause always improvement, without taking in acount the internal stracture of the speaker, Im sorry but your science is dim.

I was about to continue responding on all your comments but after this I realized how full of yourself you are and how meaningless is to respond on your unintresting post... 

You deserve a ban for your insulting comments... Im off...

By the way that was a joke.. hahaha ... not

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 12 hours ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Reply

I'm ok with the average SP reader having great speakers, to which my tweak does not apply well, or not at all. If, for example, they are fitted with a strengthening/stiffening contraption such as coneycomb braces or the like, the tweak can of course not be performed. Same if you own a better than modest set of speakers. I totally understand.

I cherish my cheap speakers, and I didn't intend to claim that cherishing ANY set of speakers was bad. If I have led you to believe that, I am truly sorry. The tweak was uploaded on this forum in case anyone with a modest set of speakers was interested in trying it out. Months have now passed since I performed it, and I still have no regrets whatsoever. However I have to admit, that the Danish audio freaks didn't respond well to the tweak either, which wasn't really that big a surprise. Not that many believe tweaks are worth neither the risk nor the effort, and I am ok with that. It's just that I wanted to share something, that worked great for me.

Regards

OPM
OPM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 28 2013 - 8:47am
Your Tweak

Hey Freako,

I don't think you are full of yourself or out to lunch at all. I think you have a great way of expressing yourself and are confident enough to experiment (thank God our forfathers did). I've had more than 100 Stereofile magazines sent to my door and as many Absolute Sound Mags as well. Have had hundreds of different pieces of equipment and know quite a lot about the industry. Enough to know to listen when someone is excited about a finding. I think what is with the other gentlemen with the disrespectable comment is that they have no confidence in there own ability and not experianced enough in the High End world yet to know that DIY very often sounds better than the expensive. I wonder what B&W would have done if they thought about your idea. Matrixe or Baffle.

To me it's clear they owe you an appology.

OPM

tmsorosk
tmsorosk's picture
Online
Last seen: 13 min ago
Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
Bracing

Interesting post. Many years ago when I had lesser speakers I did similar procedure's , but glued wood panels to the inside walls and wood cross braces and triangle corner gussets elsewhere. Also lined the inside walls with sound damping Dynamat. The improvement was noticeable . I would not try this with my current speakers as they are well braced , would likely do more harm than good .

 I sure miss Stereophiles Fine Tunes column , there were many articles like the above and many low cost tweaks that new comers to are hobby would love and benifit from .

 Doing some of these home made projects helps make audio more of a hobby . 

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading