SPEAKER FORUMS >> ERR /ERRx >> RL3 Improvement Mods

Message started by Giorgino on 01/30/06 at 22:57:05

Title: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 01/30/06 at 22:57:05

Hi Bob

Inspired by our conversation, I thought I'd start this thread for the benefit of RL3 owners out there with a desire to make gradual improvements to their speaks:

To start of with, I did a search for the SONICAP capacitors you were talking about and found a whole bunch:
Are you able which ones to go for and in what steps?

Many thanks


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 01/31/06 at 01:01:55


  Theres only one here you can use Gen-I  The Gen -II  and Platinum are to small a values, (except for a by-pass) for the RL-3 crossover.

 The values 2.7 to a 3.6 will work fine with the 2.6 leaning out the mids a bit, and the 3.6  will add a little to the mids.  3.0 is what is shipped on the 3's when they leave here.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 01/31/06 at 02:24:11

Hi Bob

Thanks - So we're looking at the following:
2.7µF / 200VDC
3.3µF / 200VDC
3.6µF / 200VDC
Would this be a sufficient range to play with?

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 02/17/06 at 01:16:46


    Yes,  sorry man I didn't see this.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 02/23/06 at 22:05:48

Hi Giorgino,

Thanks for all of your posts.  I am really interested in the new cap idea.  Have you ordered yet and/ or know where to do so? Can't help but tweak a little especially at these prices.

I am the guy in Tucson AZ. who bought 3.0's about the same time as you that were probably made in the same batch.  I posted a few times when I got the speakers and have been looking at the forums but not posted for a while.

I am really happy with my speakers now.  Bass has settled in deep and full after earlier times with some wierd bass, no bass, one note bass, etc. while the speakers were breaking in. These are not my first speakers at all but had never experienced anything like that. Maybe it is just the two different woofer types breaking in at different rates?  Even called Bob Ziegler once it got so wierd.  I remember you had some of the same issues yourself.  However, now all is more than well.   Have actually had several people in our house truly think we bought a piano for our living room the sound is so real.

Anyway, bass is good anywhere now, but unlike most people and unlike all of my past speakers, these work best for me when put only about one foot from the rear wall.  Somehow they seem to then include the room itself in the bass response yet without being boomy, bloomy, etc.  I tiried this after a post here from a guy complaining that he thought they needed this to work best.  Don't think he owned the speakers, but I tried and wow am I happy with the result.  Kind of nice not having them out in the room too from a decorating standpoint.

Bob, in case you read this post, hope thing are well with you and the speaker making business.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 02/23/06 at 22:44:27

oops, I now see the link you reference is a seller of different brands of products, not the manaufacturer of Sonicap.  Name was so similar I assumed it was the manufacturer.

thanks.  Still wondering what you found out so far.

Speaking of, what about the resistors, I am using the 3 db? resistor.  Wonder if there are better sounding then came with the speaker.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 02/23/06 at 23:58:43

Hi Richard

Thanks for your post.

I haven't had the opportunity to try out the Sonicaps yet. I'll do that pretty soon (2 month soon ::) ). Bob sent me some tweaks specifically for the F1 amp that I have which kicks out waaay too much bass than my room can handle so I've been slightly distracted. I tried the resistors and couldn't live with them for some reason. To my ears, they slowed the dynamics down.

I had a few audionerds over last weekend to listen to the Radial and Horns. As one of them is a dealer, he brought over about 10K worth of kit to play with including an APS  power regeneration unit. Very nice indeed.... :)

We eventually settled on the AudioZone transformer preamp, F1, and the Radials and some weird quantum tweaks for a best match. The sound was glorious.  :D Thanks to Keith and Clinton, I actually heard the true potential of those Radials in my room. It's so nice to have a new set of ears to help out. I'm always too close to see the woods from the trees.

If you get the opportunity to try the caps do keep me posted. My guess is that you'll get them quicker than I will....  ;)

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 02/24/06 at 00:40:57


   I'm doing just fine, thanks. I hope you are as well. The bass tweeks I found that helped George, also make improvements in the bass with other amps as well.  You can try them, see if you like and make them permanent if you do. No tools, no cost.

   Heres a link to the  Sonicaps   Phone 940-592-3400 Ask for Danny.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement  Mods
Post by richard on 02/24/06 at 21:04:52

Thanks Bob and Giorgino,

Called Danny and  a pair of 3.3's and 3.6' and two 2 ohm and two 3 ohm mill resistors are on there way to me.  Not sure these are the same exact values as Bob gave me, I am at work and my memory says I have a 3.0 and a 4.0 using the 4.0's.  I will check later tonight.  

I'll let you know the results after I get them installed.

Bob, where do I find the bass tweaks you were referring to.  Not sure I need but would like to give a try.

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 02/24/06 at 22:08:21


   Just give me a call. I made, I thought way more than enough,  I ran out. Its going to take awhile for me to get back to them.


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 02/26/06 at 04:31:59

Bob, here are the two capacitors you gave me with the speakers,

Solen brand, 2u - 400vdc   and 3.3u - 250vdc


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 03/10/06 at 15:51:07

Hi there,

installed the new sonicap 3.3's and WOW what a difference.  Seriousely.  Mucho more detail and yet smooth as can be.  Caps show off the planar tweeters holographic abilities much more.  WOW WOW WOW.  I am very very happy with this change.

$30.00 bucks for the capacitors and the 3 ohm mill resistors I still prefer.  Giorgino, don't take this wrong, but stop messing with the other stuff and get these caps now.  Same for other owners.  No negatives to report at all, just sweet wonderful treble.  

Thanks much for the idea.  Was planning on doing this sometime this year but thought the speakers were still so new I would save it for later when the tweek bug would most likely be stronger.  

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 03/14/06 at 00:09:44

Hi Richard

Thanks for your post - I'll try to get my order in this week.
Do keep me posted as to how they are breaking in and what your impressions are after several days/weeks.

Kind regards


Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by glreno on 04/29/06 at 07:06:59

Thanks for posting the idea of changing caps. I didn't notice a substantial difference with the Sonicaps until I also used the Sonicap Platinum .1V in addtion to the 3.3V. The Sonicaps were bettered by the Auricaps, and I have finally settled on the Mundorf 3.3V silver/oil caps. These were so big that I barely had room to use them. The Sonicap Platihum .1Vs were continuously used in addition to these other caps.  

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 04/30/06 at 10:06:15

I've recently tried the SoniCap 0.47 uf 630VDC - very nice indeed. The detail and "air" seeems to have improved. I'll give them a run-in and put the old ones back in for comparison.

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 05/02/06 at 18:20:01


can you clarify if you are still using the .1v Sonicap with the Mundorf 3.3V silver/oil caps?  I am not an expert in electrical anything unfortunately.  What would be the advantage of using two caps?  or is it as simple as the speaker then sees 3.4 ?

Giorgino, notice the value you picked is very different.  Again not an expert but am curious as to your choice.

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Giorgino on 05/02/06 at 21:59:18

Hi Richard

I had a chat with Bob (Zygi) who gave me an update on resistor values he's found improvements on post break-in when the drivers are nice and loose. Anywhere from 0.47uf to 3.6µF may be used and is all a matter of personal taste.



Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 11/02/06 at 02:45:54

Hi Bob Z,

Hope all is going well and you are settling in in Western N.C. I am still jealous of your new location.

Just saw the pictures of the retail rl-3 in "for inquiring minds" in the general audio forum and read some of the comments from Decfest 06.  Looks like your new speaker and the regular rl-3 were the hits of the show.  Kind of guessed and hoped they would be.  I sure still love my rl-3's.  In fact after a year now I think they ( including my choice of caps) may finally be broken in.

Tried your bass tweak after finally getting the inserts cut to size..However, I opened up the second speaker and it had its own size issue because of your early attempt to screw the bottom on differently that the wood to hold the new freshly cut insert had ripped away and there was nothing really for the insert to wedge against.  No real problem though.  A little ingenuity with the hook side of some velcro on the insert against the velcro you gave me to put against the speaker wall and I gave it a try for a week or so with the washers in place.  End of all of that was for me anyway that the speaker lost some of (and this might sound strange) its ability to breath, similar to when I have tried plugging bass ports with old speakers.  In a smaller room though I could see using your tweak.  

So Bob, I am wondering if the tweaks mentioned that were made to the radial driver were already incorporated in my and other rl-3 owners speakers.  I remember you mentioning that you had made changes with the driver over time, but am wondering what stage my driver is in vs. the retail rl-3.

Went to Rocky Mountain Audiofest again this year.  Had a great time again and listening to all sorts of stuff. Your rl-3's are still the ticket.  Really, you are really on to something.  The combination of the radial driver and the forward firing kind of mini monitor with the passive radiator gives the best of two points of view, kind of like owning two speakers at once.  I love finally being able to hear fidelity while roaming around the house and still have the pinpoint view of the forward firing speakers when sitting down for critical listening.  Keep up the good work.  

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 11/03/06 at 23:44:20


  I'm fitting in here in Western NC the wife is another story.....but we're pretty much settled in.

  There are no tweeks to the radial driver, the retail version is completely different Radial driver. About the only thing that is the same is the tweeter itself, thats it. Your RL-3's are the same as everything going out the door today, from Decware.

  The bass tweeks are a funny thing, I think most have like it and 2 or 3 haven't, but the tweek didn't cost anyone anything, so nothing lost but a little time. There were even a few that didn't even want me to send the tweek to them, as the felt they were perfect the way they were.

  The speakers in the "inquiring minds" thread are actually in Tucson as well. I don't know how far RFZ lives from you, but Tucson isn't that big, is it???

  I hope we can get to Rocky Mountain Audiofest one day and show the RL-3's....some day, I hope!!! Glad you had a good time, there is a lot there to see!!! Its good to hear the 3's are still the ticket.

  My new number here in the Western Carolinas is 828-728-2081

  Bob Z

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by richard on 11/04/06 at 00:43:15

Thanks Bob for the reply.  That front firing woofer sure looks similar to mine, but what do I know.

So, wow, RFZ if you are out there, please give me a call.  Would love to get together and hear the speakers, compare, etc.  My cell phone # is 520-360-8559. I live in the southern part of Oro Valley.

Thanks again Bob.

Title: Re: RL3 Improvement Mods
Post by Zygi on 11/04/06 at 01:53:32


   You are correct, the driver looks the same, exactly the same as a matter of fact, If I don't look at the numbers on the drivers i can't tell them apart.

   Paul, RFZ Quest i think is up towards Davis Monthon AFB (If i spelled it correctly)


Forums » Powered by YaBB 2.2.2!
YaBB © 2000-2008. All Rights Reserved.