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ADS L730 Modifications

 

New member
Username: Jaykay3

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-17
Hello!
Just picked up a beautiful pair of these for $150. They are in perfect working condition and sound just like I remember my dad's ADS speakers sounding - i've been looking for that sound for a long time and finally have it back.

Question is - are there mods recommended? Better more modern parts that can be used to make these really sing? I saw a pair for sale and the guy had replaced the drivers with Dynaudio drivers....any comments opinions and recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! JK3
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18379
Registered: May-04
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No ADS specialists on this forum. There is a thread here which is in regards to ADS, it may be helpful. Otherwise, if you change driver manufacturer, you no longer have an ADS speaker.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3428
Registered: Oct-07
Let me see here? You bought 'the speaker with the sound you remembered' and NOW want to modify it? That about sum it up?

Drivers, mainly the woofers can be reconed or have ths surrounds replaced. As long as the voice coil isn't damaged.

You could always update / upgrade the Crossover with new caps and air core inductors? That's a crap-shoot in the sense that you might change what you like about the current sound.

Another mod would be to GUT the crossover and connect each driver of a 2-way to its OWN amp. Than install a line level crossover between the preamp and the new amp(s). Using something like MiniDSP will get you the most amazing and flexible crossover you could ever wish for. And the abiiity to endlessly experiment.
 

New member
Username: Jaykay3

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-17
Thanks for the great advice.
I don't really want to modify them...i should have said i want to make them the best they can be, by improving the crossovers with modern parts and tech.
Going to look into the minidsp idea that's pretty cool.
Thanks!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18381
Registered: May-04
.

Your speakers, your toys.

However, once you begin to "modify" items related to the performance of a speaker, you risk changing the performance of the speaker for the worst. This is most especially true when you chase ideas that merely sound "cool".


" ... i've been looking for that sound for a long time and finally have it back."


If that is truly your feeling regarding the ADS sound quality, why change it? Improvement is quite possible without changing anything in or about the workings of the speaker.



You should first realize there are manufacturers who have selected their individual parts to achieve certain ideals of performance and to meet specific design tolerances.

You simply cannot willy-nilly begin to substitute any of the components in such a design without altering the performance of the whole. If you have no idea why the component was selected, then I would say it's also true you have no idea how to select an "improved" component.

Caps and coils have values which are more than simple capacitance and inductance. Both affect the signal flow in ways other than adding or subtracting mere capacitance and inductance.

Resistors also have inductive values which will affect not only the specified crossover knee but also the time and electrical phase shift of the signal.

Internal cabling is probably the single most "changeable" item in the lot and also the single most likely to alter the perceptible performance of the speaker when it comes to music reproduction.

Simply taking a push on connector at the driver and changing it to a hardwired connection can improve sound quality. It can also destroy your amplifier if you cannot make a good, clean solder connection. More subtle in effect, if you have degraded to quality of the solder itself, you may degrade the character of the music reproduction.

Obviously, these are changes which require an attentive listener and not someone looking for the most obvious and gross changes. The former is what modding is about. The latter is no more than saying you don't care for the performance of the original. Both, however, should be performed with an objective end result in mind.

Often, designers have selected their internal cabling for a very specific reason and will warn against swapping their's for something else unless you want a different speaker, not their's.

Even the change from one type of speaker connector to another can make noticeable changes in sound quality. Certainly, something as simple as spiking the speakers will make a change if not an outright improvement.

If that is, you are paying attention and the system is transparent enough to show the benefits of your efforts. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. If the system in front of the speakers is mediocre, then the speakers can only reflect those deficiencies.

If you do not comprehend why a specific component was selected by the designer, then changing it just for the supposed idea of "modding it" can do more damage than good.



If you like the sound character of your present speakers, you can make the most of that sound quality by paying attention to the system in front of the speakers and the set up of the entire system. Paying particular attention to the set up of the speakers within the room will pay large benefits.

There are two rules to live by in audio IMO:

1) A high quality loudspeaker resides at the end of the audio chain. It can ONLY reflect, and react to, what it is provided as a signal. It should not add or detract from that signal IF the system is properly set up. Any problems or deficiencies are more likely than not going to exist in the set up of the system and the speaker location within the listening room.

2) Speakers work into the environment of the room, which acts as a resonant cavity being excited into reaction by the pressure waves created by the loudspeaker(s).

As much as 90% of what you hear is the room, not the speaker.

Change the position of the speaker in the room, or your listening position relative to the speakers, and you will inevitably change the character you perceive from the speaker. With the room acting as a resonant cavity, the room dramatically affects the direct and reflected sounds you perceive at your listening position.


You cannot turn a lousy speaker into a great speaker simply by working with speaker set up. You can, though, all too easily degrade the performance of a high quality speaker by ignoring the affect the room plays on the perceived sound quality coming from the speaker. Most seasoned listeners would rather have middle of the road system, mid-priced system well tuned and well set up to a high end, high priced system simply thrown together without thought.

As I said, your speakers, your toys.

Before you go about tearing the speakers apart to add more toys though, I would strongly suggest you make every possible non-invasive effort to recognize the very best performance the speakers can allow in their present state of build.

Have you done a proper room set up on the speakers and system?


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3429
Registered: Oct-07
L730 is at least 30 years on. Probably older.

Changing crossover caps is fairly low risk, but not entirely risk-free. I wouldn't touch any inductors (coils) while resistors are changeable, too.

Parts Have somewhat improved over the years, especially capacitors. Construction and the 'other' measureables are now somewhat better understood than 3+ decades ago. Low inductance resistors are now easily purchased.

I doubt you will Drastically alter the speaker with a few well-chosen changes. NOTE: I didn't say 'upgrade'. Might be better. Might not. And as Jan notes, even the internal wiring plays a part in this.

And I second the notion of doing a detailed setup before proceeding to ANY alternations, modifications, upgrades or changes to speaker internals. Many setup helps are online, but many swear by the CARDAS 'system'. Find that and give it a good read.
 

New member
Username: Jaykay3

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-17
Y'all are the best. Thanks so much for the insight.

Jan, per your advice I'll leave well enough alone as far as mods and evolutions. Thanks for the lesson. Makes a lot of sense.

Leo I spent the evening placing my equipment to cardas specs and wow. Just wow. Nothing I could do to these speakers to improve the sound. Incredible what's coming out of these 30 year old gems. Seriously. They are not as crisp and revealing as my dynaudio focus 110s, but bigger, fuller all over in sound, and every bit as enjoyable. Thanks for the advice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18383
Registered: May-04
.

OK, if you've experimented with set up, I would suggest you also try the WASP system. Not a competitor to Cardas, just a different way to think about the room/speaker interface.

There are several "correct" ways to set up your speakers and they all have their own quirks. Before any such methods were promoted by various manufacturers, I would always give my clients some suggestions for starting and tweaking a set up. Those instructions most closely matched the WASP system.

Often, which method you finally go with is a matter of your priorities in music and the space you can alot to your speakers.

And, in reality, it's always best to at least read a few different techniques and combine them as the needs arise. Given the wide divergence between listeners, speakers and rooms, there is no one best system. If you have studied the ideas of two or three set up procedures, you'll be better equipped to know where to go when things need just that last bit of adjustment.

How far you go is up to you. When I have done set ups for friends and clients, it has taken more than one go 'round to get things finalized. Tweak and then listen. Tweak some more. Take notes to enable going backward or to simply know what you have achieved with each tweak.

The ADS tweeters are rather old as far as technology goes. Though they use dome tweeters, high frequencies are more and more directional as frequencies rise. Your Dynaudios are known for their emphatic high frequencies which will never be matched by the vintage ADS drivers.

Recognize, though, the simple fact you must adjust your listening position to be "on axis" with the high frequency drivers of the ADS speakers. That typically means your listening chair should place your ears at approximately 34-36" off the floor. Too high or too low, in other words "off axis", and the highs will be rolled off.

Also, moving your listening chair to a more "near field" position will minimize late arrival reflections and maximize direct signals arriving at your listening position from the drivers themselves.

Toe your speakers inward toward the center listening position to "aim" the drivers toward your listening chair. How much toe in is your choice but I would suggest you begin with the drivers directed at your listening chair to the point you cannot see either side of the speaker cabinet. Adjust from there for your desired results.

The greater the toe in, the greater the direct signal arrival. The less toe in you provide, the more reflected sound will be bounced off walls and other surfaces before arriving at your listening chair.

While the ADS preceded spikes as OEM equipment, placing your speaker cabinets or stands on "TipToes" can go a long way toward sharpening the sound and tightening the response. Standmounted speakers typically spike the stand - make sure you don't adjust the speaker height above your ear level position - and then couple the speaker to the stand.


https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+spike+a+loudspeaker&rlz=1CAACAJ_enUS705US 705&oq=how+to+spike+a+loudspeaker&aqs=chrome..69i57.28887j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie =UTF-8

https://www.google.com/search?q=wasp+loudspeaker+set+up&rlz=1CAACAJ_enUS705US705 &oq=wasp+loudspeaker+set+up&aqs=chrome..69i57.7422j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Let us know.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18384
Registered: May-04
.

FYI: leo and I disagree on changing caps just due to age. IMO, if the caps have shown no signs of leakage, don't mess with them unless you are prepared to do deep research into "the sound" of capacitors and how to replace OEM caps with the proper component. Then, before you make any final decisions, make sure you can disassemble the speaker without doing any damage to the cabinet or the drivers.


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