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Overnight Sensations quick & clean Woofer upgrade Post worthy IMHO

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  • Overnight Sensations quick & clean Woofer upgrade Post worthy IMHO

    TL:DR: swapping out the HiVi B4N woofers with ones from a Micca MB42-C center channel resulted in (my ears/perception) improved clarity, less "shouty" or harshness, reducing ear fatigue and very very slight reduction in mid-bass as the only downside. Overall improvement imho.

    Video link to see how they look/more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxfSubmKt9k


    Ok, so I've had my OS's for a few years now. recently picked up a pair of Mission M70 cheap at a garage sale and absolutely fell in love with the liveliness and clarity of them...so my OS's got put on surround duty at my PC gaming/movie station. I was actually really bummed because I thought the OS's were great, but now every time I listen to them i hear the flaws, sounds like someone singing through a tin can by comparison.

    Fast forward to last week - i picked up a Micca MV42 center channel super cheap ($50 CAD amazon "renewed" discounted due to minor cosmetic damage) to try as i'm having a problem with gaming where i just cannot get surround gaming to work right without a center channel. Anyways I didnt like it - just too big for a desktop/placement issues.

    I noticed the woofers were identical diameter as the ones in my OS's - even the mounting holes matched up - so out of curiosity I popped one in and did a very long and thorough comparison sound test side by side.

    I can say (edit: to my ears) this is an improvement as far as clarity and separation of sounds goes. I can pick out certain instruments in songs that i would barely notice with the HiVi woofers.

    What I noticed specifically:
    - Much improved clarity - esp on vocals, guitar, string and wind instruments
    - less shouty/harshness with certain vocals and rock/metal guitars - more enjoyable
    - Slight loss of mid-bass, but not much at all…


    Overall, I consider this an upgrade. I am loving the sound of my OS's again and I think the woven carbon fibre woofer looks as nice as the Hivi aluminum cone...

    I'm going to finish the swap later this week and make them my mains on the desktop again for a while, then compare with the Mission M70 pair head to head - i suspect the Missions will sound a bit better still in the mids, but only by a small margin, and the m70's are relly lacking in bass. I am without a subwoofer right now but will be adding a DIY infinity 12" soon - already started that project.

    I don't have measurement equipment, and the specs for the Micca woofer are not published, so this is all subjective based on my critical listening, multiple songs from a playlist i have curated for testing audio gear.
    Last edited by twistgripper; 02-18-2022, 05:11 PM.

  • #2
    Glad you're digging how it sounds.... but unless the center channel you started with has exactly double the volume of one of the OS's, your result will most certainly have issues with bass response. compared to the original OS's. The same could be said with port dimensions, crossover points, and a whole host of other parameters. For these reasons you're unlikely to garner much enthusiasm from this crowd for this being an "upgrade". But again, glad you're liking the sound

    Perhaps if you could track down the driver specs, folks here might be able to help you design a new crossover, port dimensions, etc.

    Comment


    • twistgripper
      twistgripper commented
      Editing a comment
      Why double? both the hivi and micca drivers are 8ohm with similar sensitivity ratings... I found the volume to be pretty much the same...

      I did contact Micca to see if they would send me the specs for the 4" driver, not holding my breath waiting for that one though...
      Last edited by twistgripper; 02-18-2022, 05:26 PM.

  • #3
    Yeah, this is a "measurements or it didn't happen" kind of crowd.
    Francis

    Comment


    • billfitzmaurice
      billfitzmaurice commented
      Editing a comment
      Actually it's pictures or it didn't happen...pictures of the measurements.

    • fpitas
      fpitas commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol ok, fair enough Bill.

    • twistgripper
      twistgripper commented
      Editing a comment
      Fair enough! But....Even Paul Carmody said the following about his designs on his "manifesto" page:

      "If you are looking for speakers with razor-flat response and complete absence from distortion, you may want to look elsewhere.....The science of speaker design is only half the battle...the other half is art. And taste in art is subjective...I don't expect everyone to like them. I do, however, believe that more people will prefer my designs to something that's textbook perfect because I design with a musical ear. "

      So even the designer is saying he feels what your ears tell you can be as important as the numbers, maybe more important.

      This is an entry level speaker with some very affordable drivers in it...it is far from perfect as stock. For all we know he could give this a listen and agree the mod sounds better!

      I can only say for my ears, it definitely sounds better in the midrange - I'm betting it would for others too, if they are unhappy with the clarity of the mids on this speaker. One does not need numbers to tell you a sound is more pleasing and enjoyable. I thought I was pretty clear about this being subjective...but I'd definitely be curious and find it interesting if someone were to compare the numbers with measurements. I doubt it would be flatter, there may be some peaks and dips for all I know. But isn't listening pleasure the most important thing here?

      (Note to Paul C if you are reading this- hope you take no offence, I'm betting you wouldn't - and would be curious to know what you think if you cared to try this out!)

      I went into this knowing theres a good chance it would NOT be an improvement. I had no bias, was fully prepared to return the micca. but i like it enought to keep it and leave it modded.

      Its cheap to try and if you don't like it - buy from amazon and return it or just re-sell the Micca. Virtually no risk to try it.

  • #4
    Don't take comments too harshly... there's a lot of value in simply enjoying the sound of your setup and work and who are we to say what you enjoy. So keep that at the top of your mind.

    From an engineering perspective which is exactly what drives the "measurements or it didn't happen" position, what you've likely done is effectively applied an EQ to your speakers due to the change in woofer without modification of the crossover. No different than just putting an EQ in line before your amp and tweaking it to your liking. The woofer may have less breakup distortion than those HiVi originals, and the bass alignment and crossover region are most definitely different than the original design. There's no way to know what you're really hearing objectively without measurements.

    Back to the top... if you love it though, awesome!
    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
    Wogg Music
    Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

    Comment


    • twistgripper
      twistgripper commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes i'm not dismissing the value of measuring, but i just don't have the equipment, space, time etc...and this was easy to try so I did...had no expectations and was ready to return the micca. I've compared the OS's to several other speakers now and I consistently find the OS's a bit muddled in the midrange, so I shared on the assumption that many other OS owners may find the same.... this is a value priced/entry level speaker so nobody is likely to invest a bunch of time and experimentation to make measurable improvements. This is a quick and dirty hack one can try easily and cheaply, and get a refund if you don't like it.

    • fpitas
      fpitas commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't get it. All you have to do is measure them. It's not like open-heart surgery.

    • twistgripper
      twistgripper commented
      Editing a comment
      Fpitas: I don't have the equipment.

  • #5
    Yeah, if you're enjoying that's 99% of the battle. But like wogg inferred, arbitrary EQ can make some instruments or voices stand out etc. That may or may not help a given track. Generally, a good design strives for neutrality, so all tracks sound good.
    Francis

    Comment


    • fpitas
      fpitas commented
      Editing a comment
      Yet, we would say you haven't finished the job. Why is it better?

    • Unbiasedsound
      Unbiasedsound commented
      Editing a comment
      When I first started I never realized how important a flat frequency response is in building speakers. The flatter the response the more accurate/balanced the speakers will sound. When there is dips and peaks it will emphasize certain frequencies and it can sound good on certain tracks that emphasize those frequencies but it will make other frequencies sound weird due to being unbalanced. Its basically coloring the sound for a specific sound signature.

      For example if you have 2 identical pair of speakers but on one pair I boost the 2k region just so slightly you would say its vocals sound clearer then the other pair because of the boosted 2k but the downfall is that all other instruments not in that frequency range will change and be effected by that 2k boost.

    • twistgripper
      twistgripper commented
      Editing a comment
      Unbiasedsound: I am not hearing an emphasis or reduction at any freq. level (except mid-bass is lower), it is more like de-coloration, removal of something the original woofer was blocking - it sounded un-natural/muffled slightly in the midrange, across quite a freq range. now it is just better clarity, more live sounding, not louder or quieter. I know ears are imprecise measuring tools, and seeing the graph would be interesting, but the most important thing is I took speaker that I found harsh/muddy/unnatural and made it enjoyable again..and I believe most other OS owners would find the same.
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