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Well I have put this off as long as I could but today I have started on my project to convert 4 x KEF 103 speakers in to two stacked units . Please note that only one Tweeter each side will be connected so there will not be issues of treble coming from two different points and mashing up the stereo effect. The bottom speakers will have the bass unit only connected in parallel with the upper units and so hopefully give me some additional boost to to this part of the sound spectrum . Using Dirac Live 2.0 should smooth any transistions and keep things balanced. Today I have removed the drive units from the cabinet and removed the passive crossovers (strange this pair had Elcap Capacitors in the crossover rather than the electrlytics in my origianl pair ) . I have drilled four holes for the additional binding posts for the bass units at the back of the speakers mounted the posts and soldered the wire connection . I have also started to paint the cabinets black to match my original pair while the drivers are out . I have also put new gasket material around the edges tio ensure a good air tight seal . These are very good silicon tape and make a very positive seal but are also not prone to decay and drying like the originals . Makes things easier if I have to do any additional work that this gasket can be resealed a number of times without problem . Not much done but at least it is a start . Will try and finish the painting tomorrow and then wax the cabinets . Then just a matter of putting the drivers back soldering the connections and building the planned plinth for them to sit on . Once that is completed I will then have to get in the dangerous mode of creating the Active Crossover and running a full Dirac treatment . Hopefully at the end I will have something that is not only working but usable .
So last night I finally managed to get to Stevied's to hear his stacked Quad 57's properly. Lets get the obvious bit out of the way... they ain't pretty. At the moment, the top set and bottom set have mismatched covers and the frames are pretty workmanlike. They are big and Steve has to move one around to get in and out of his room. But they sound really nice. No they don't plumb the depths like his old Amphions, but they are balanced, they have enough bass for Steve's room and with the right recordings they are very lifelike. Imaging is not as precise as single 57's, but that also means you can move your head when you listen. We listened to a mixture of music, from B52s, Prodigy, Eagles, War of the Worlds (yes, I tried my usual track, and again, it revealed just how good his Kline pre-amp and the Quads are at producing the atmosphere of the the recording and Richard Burton's voice). They aren't the best speakers for dance music, but it was perfectly listenable and we had the volume up to decent levels. The main thing for me compared with the Amphions (and the Allisons as well) was that I happily listened to the Quads quite loud for the whole evening. They aren't fatiguing and they aren't dominated by the bass. On the (cliched but useful) Hell Freezes Over version of Hotel California, that concert drum doesn't shake the floor, but neither does it come to dominate the recording as it does with other speakers. You listen to the way instruments move and are played, the dynamics are much more obvious. On Eve of the War, the lead in to the opening of the cylinder had so much more detail than I get at home (to be fair, I use a CD and Steve had it on vinyl so that may have been part of the reason) This is the best sound I have heard at Steves, well balanced and full of life. Stacked Quads are definitely something worth hearing. Pictures are a problem - my phone doesnt have a wide enough lens to get them both in! But I'll post the one pic I did take shortly. The rest of Steves system - Garrad 401 (?301) with Morch arm and fancy cart, Kline phono and pre and Beam Echo EL34 powers, makes a good front end. All together it makes a very natural sound that I could listen to for hours and that is ideal for me. On a side note, we tried my Chromecast Audio and marvelled yet again at how a £30 gizmo the size of a hockey puck can sound that good whilst giving access to basically every piece of music going... Steve's next purchase is probably going to be his cheapest.