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Seeking Advice Regarding Repair versus Upgrade of 103/3s

 
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a23smith
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Joined: 28 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:27 pm    Post subject: Seeking Advice Regarding Repair versus Upgrade of 103/3s Reply with quote

I bought a new pair of KEF Reference Series 103/3 speakers in 1990. The serial numbers are 007953 A and 007953 B. Speaker 007953 B plays with less volume than 007953 A. I have been compensating by turning the balance control of my Adcom GTP-400 pre-amp to the left about 45 degrees. I also have a Definitive Technology Supercube 1 subwoofer in my system. I was advised by a salesman that this problem indicates that the sound quality has deteriorated and I needed to identify the source of the problem. I then determined the problem is in speaker 007953 B and it has holes in the inner annulus ring of the woofer. KEF America provided the names of 3 authorized repair shops in California (there are none in Oregon, where I live). I called all three. At one I couldn't understand what was said due to a language barrier. At a second the tech was not available. The third was California Speaker Repair (aka Solutions) on W. Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. There the owner, Stephon, sounded knowledgeable and he encouraged me to have him upgrade the crossovers in addition to repairing the woofer. He said, "What I will do is to address the mismatches of mechanical and electrical impedance...which when not matched and optimized for your media collection, then you will suffer from a lack of detail and truncated dialogue..words or even music harmonics that are missing natural endings....quite aggravating, like an ice cream cone that never allows finality and savoring." and "I can safely say that without the corrections, you will not hear over 90% of your music or media correctly." and "I have a master's degree in engineering from UC Berkeley, 1972....I am the owner and chief engineer for 39 years now. I am the official warranty center also for JBL, Harman Cardon, Tannoy, Yamaha, TAD, Gallien Krueger,.Korg, Marshall, etal. I still have a music store that sells picks, sticks, and cymbals.. and makes tone corrections for stage musical products. Nothing seems to be design right, ..." He said he would charge $185 per speaker to do the upgrade and claimed the speakers would sound as good as $20,000 speakers. I have already shipped both speakers and the Kube to him (costing $160). They are scheduled to arrive by the end of the day next Tuesday. I told him to make them sound as good as he can, but now I'm having second thoughts. Maybe I should just have him restore them to original condition. Does anyone here have any experience with this company doing upgrades? What would you advise I do, restore or upgrade?
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speakerguru
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Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 954
Location: Green Hut, Tovil

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking Advice Regarding Repair versus Upgrade of 103/3s Reply with quote

a23smith wrote:
... "What I will do is to address the mismatches of mechanical and electrical impedance...


At best, meaningless gobble-de-gook, at worst, snake oil/bs. Just get the holes in the woofers repaired.
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audiolabtower
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Joined: 06 Jan 2009
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makes little sense, unless the singular object is more profit. It is possible the crossover capacitors drift, but if the other speaker sounds ok, perhaps less likely. It is very easy to make a speaker of that vintage brighter just by changing capacitors to more modern types, and initially this may be more "impressive" (perhaps this is what his gobble-de-gook means) but risks becoming more tiring and less satisfying than the original in the long run. The first order problem is obviously the holes.
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