Cool Dude Ted

Celestion Ditton 33 or 44 speakers

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1 hour ago, Cool Dude Ted said:

Thanks. currently I’m running with 2 DACS and switching between the two. An ALLO BOSS DAC I2S hat fitted to the Raspberry Pi4 which I’m alternating with a Schiit Modi 3 ( USB from the Pi but Toslink from my CD payer).

I am out of touch when it comes to DACs at that price point (< £100ish) so I can't comment as to their sound/features etc. A nice pair of Ditton 44s might cost anything between £250-£450, Ditton 33s considerably cheaper. What's your total budget ?

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Thanks.

I’d be prepared to spend what it takes (absolute max £1000, but preferably not over £500) if I could get hold of a pair of speakers which would see me through. I’m very happy with used provided I can be reasonably sure bout their history.

Not here, but Spendors have been previously mentioned. I am keep to buy British made.

Edited by Cool Dude Ted
Quoted wrong post in answer. sorry.

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Super Wammer
21 hours ago, Cool Dude Ted said:

hi Julian

Thank you so much for the reply. I am not at all familiar with the hf200 tweeter and although I would like to think differently, should probably regard myself as a bit of a novice in the world of hi fi. As far as tweeters/mid/woofers are concerned, are replacements all still available for the Celestions?

Those missions look beautiful. do you refurb just for personal use?

Thanks again

Stuart

Having been in the coatings industry for more than 40 years and cut my teeth developing sealers and lacquers for many British speaker manufacturers from the mid 70s to the mid 80s it was a natural thing for me me to restore the forgotten speakers of yesteryear.. Many of the veneers used where so beautiful and when you look at how many speakers were made using continuous veneers over the whole cabinet even the largest ones .. very old and very big trees were felled across the world for this one industry ,, I feel it a privilege to once  again reveal their glory in a sympathetic way allowing the wood to tell the story ...

Britain led the field in speaker design and manufacture from very early on and in many cases still do ..there are some fabulous modern speakers without a doubt ..I’ve heard them ..

But look what still hold their value ..if they were great then there is no reason why they can’t be great now ..look at what you have to pay for vintage Tannoys now if you can find someone to sell them ...

Buckingham’s up to ten grand a pair..and they’re 40 years old or the Berkeley ..

kindest regards Julian

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I bought a pair of Castle Severn 2 speakers last year from a Wammer and have been very pleased with them. Sounds like I share similar musical genres and listening tastes to you so thought I would share some things which helped me fine tune my setup (see signature). It might be worth spending some time experimenting with the Castles before diving into another rabbit hole.

You don't mention it so not sure if you're aware, but the 2 series Castle floorstanders have adjustable porting by way of spacers/washers which can be removed to vary the opening between the bottom of the cab and the plinth . The idea is more gap=more bass. This actually works very well and you might find that having the minimum gap setting is all you need to tune the bass to your liking. I experimented with this but found that having the speaker on the lowest setting not only reduced the bass but also seemed to stifle/constrict other frequencies which affected the open-ness of the overall sound. At the "mid gap" height setting the overall sound was much more to my liking, but the bass just sounded a bit too bloaty on some material.

I set about trying to get better results by placement from back wall, toe in adjustment etc. Then as I had a few Sorbothane spheres at hand, I experimented with replacing the washers with these. What this did was to create a gap for the porting to work as designed, but the Sorbothane decoupled the speakers from their plinths which were spiked through carpet onto floorboards. The result was open sounding speakers but without the bloaty bass.

ZogSLDm.jpg

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I've been reading this thread with interest.its made me look at the Dittons and now I've found these mission 730s on eBay.

Can anyone with experience tell me about these - I'd like to buy some 

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4 hours ago, bigrod said:

Having been in the coatings industry for more than 40 years and cut my teeth developing sealers and lacquers for many British speaker manufacturers from the mid 70s to the mid 80s it was a natural thing for me me to restore the forgotten speakers of yesteryear.. Many of the veneers used where so beautiful and when you look at how many speakers were made using continuous veneers over the whole cabinet even the largest ones .. very old and very big trees were felled across the world for this one industry ,, I feel it a privilege to once  again reveal their glory in a sympathetic way allowing the wood to tell the story ...

Britain led the field in speaker design and manufacture from very early on and in many cases still do ..there are some fabulous modern speakers without a doubt ..I’ve heard them ..

But look what still hold their value ..if they were great then there is no reason why they can’t be great now ..look at what you have to pay for vintage Tannoys now if you can find someone to sell them ...

Buckingham’s up to ten grand a pair..and they’re 40 years old or the Berkeley ..

kindest regards Julian

hi Julian

Thanks. I’ve read your comments with the greatest of interest. I have a real passion for all things wooden - possibly driven to the extreme by the fact that my 84 year old mother is an accomplished wood sculptor (and I’ve been known to help out on the odd occasion!).

I find history in general fascinating - no less so when it comes to understanding a little bit more about past speaker manufacturing. I could read posts such as yours for hours and not get bored.

i have never heard tannoys in person but recent searches for “new” speakers has meant I’ve become aware that the old ones can command serious money. I recently saw a pair of little reds offered at a local auction house but didn’t feel confident enough to have a bid.

regards

Stuart

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42 minutes ago, goldtop said:

I bought a pair of Castle Severn 2 speakers last year from a Wammer and have been very pleased with them. Sounds like I share similar musical genres and listening tastes to you so thought I would share some things which helped me fine tune my setup (see signature). It might be worth spending some time experimenting with the Castles before diving into another rabbit hole.

You don't mention it so not sure if you're aware, but the 2 series Castle floorstanders have adjustable porting by way of spacers/washers which can be removed to vary the opening between the bottom of the cab and the plinth . The idea is more gap=more bass. This actually works very well and you might find that having the minimum gap setting is all you need to tune the bass to your liking. I experimented with this but found that having the speaker on the lowest setting not only reduced the bass but also seemed to stifle/constrict other frequencies which affected the open-ness of the overall sound. At the "mid gap" height setting the overall sound was much more to my liking, but the bass just sounded a bit too bloaty on some material.

I set about trying to get better results by placement from back wall, toe in adjustment etc. Then as I had a few Sorbothane spheres at hand, I experimented with replacing the washers with these. What this did was to create a gap for the porting to work as designed, but the Sorbothane decoupled the speakers from their plinths which were spiked through carpet onto floorboards. The result was open sounding speakers but without the bloaty bass.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Always good to talk to another Castle owner - especially when exactly the same model.

Yes, I was aware that you could play with the spacers and did in fact try this myself earlier in the year. I have 2 spacers on mine - is this the maximum? If yes, then I tried; a) removing both spacers and the results were awful, b) removing one washer and still wasn’t happy with the results.

Like you, I have also tried different placement/toe in and currently have the speakers tilted up at about a 5 degree angle so that the tweeter fires in the vague direction of my ears whilst sitting. Not sure if this is regarded as “the done thing” but I have found that for me, the treble/upper range has improved.

It has been suggested to me (not on HFWW) that the crossovers are a weak point on the Severn 2s and benefit from a rebuild. Any thoughts about this? 

Also - excuse my ignorance but when you speak about Sorbothane spheres, then I am a blank. Would you be so kind as to let me know what these are, etc?

Thanks again

Stuart

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48 minutes ago, Cool Dude Ted said:

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Always good to talk to another Castle owner - especially when exactly the same model.

Yes, I was aware that you could play with the spacers and did in fact try this myself earlier in the year. I have 2 spacers on mine - is this the maximum? If yes, then I tried; a) removing both spacers and the results were awful, b) removing one washer and still wasn’t happy with the results.

Like you, I have also tried different placement/toe in and currently have the speakers tilted up at about a 5 degree angle so that the tweeter fires in the vague direction of my ears whilst sitting. Not sure if this is regarded as “the done thing” but I have found that for me, the treble/upper range has improved.

It has been suggested to me (not on HFWW) that the crossovers are a weak point on the Severn 2s and benefit from a rebuild. Any thoughts about this? 

Also - excuse my ignorance but when you speak about Sorbothane spheres, then I am a blank. Would you be so kind as to let me know what these are, etc?

Thanks again

Stuart

Speakers originally would have had 3 washers per bolt, mine came with only 2 per bolt so I've only tried with 1 or 2 sets fitted. The porting wouldn't work at all with 0 sets fitted so not surprised this sounded awful. 

Speakers are really supposed to stand flat for physical reasons....spirit level flat seems to be the general consensus, but I appreciate what you're trying to achieve by angling them to ear level. Thing is, your room dimensions/floor structure/floor coverings/furnishings/listening position/volume levels all contribute to the sound you hear and your speakers need to work with these conditions so placement, coupling/de-coupling/isolation play a big part whatever system you have. All I can say is what worked for me in my environment. 

Sorbothane Spheres....

https://www.qtasystems.co.uk/articles/how-to-use-sorbothane-hemispheres.htm

Crossovers will certainly play a part in how a speaker sounds but you might well be shooting in the dark if you start changing component values. I don't have any experience with this but I would be inclined to try different solutions including trying different speakers before going down this path. 

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39 minutes ago, goldtop said:

Speakers originally would have had 3 washers per bolt, mine came with only 2 per bolt so I've only tried with 1 or 2 sets fitted. The porting wouldn't work at all with 0 sets fitted so not surprised this sounded awful. 

Speakers are really supposed to stand flat for physical reasons....spirit level flat seems to be the general consensus, but I appreciate what you're trying to achieve by angling them to ear level. Thing is, your room dimensions/floor structure/floor coverings/furnishings/listening position/volume levels all contribute to the sound you hear and your speakers need to work with these conditions so placement, coupling/de-coupling/isolation play a big part whatever system you have. All I can say is what worked for me in my environment. 

Sorbothane Spheres....

https://www.qtasystems.co.uk/articles/how-to-use-sorbothane-hemispheres.htm

Crossovers will certainly play a part in how a speaker sounds but you might well be shooting in the dark if you start changing component values. I don't have any experience with this but I would be inclined to try different solutions including trying different speakers before going down this path. 

Thank you for the helpful advice.

Re the Sorbothane, I’ve had a quick look and seems that I would need at least 30mm diameter/15mm height half-spheres to cope with the weight of the Severns. Does this tie in with your experience?

Also, can I ask how you’ve attached yours to the base of the speaker?

Thanks

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2 hours ago, Cool Dude Ted said:

Thank you for the helpful advice.

Re the Sorbothane, I’ve had a quick look and seems that I would need at least 30mm diameter/15mm height half-spheres to cope with the weight of the Severns. Does this tie in with your experience?

Also, can I ask how you’ve attached yours to the base of the speaker?

Thanks

Yep that's the type and size I used and I found that 5 under each speaker was about right. They have a tackiness to them so they just adhere gently to the bottom of the speaker and peel off if required. Obviously the speakers won't stand as solidly but they stand straight and are yet to topple over....I do the hoovering so I'm just careful not to knock them. For the money, they are worth trying and you can always use them for something else if they don't work out. I have some smaller diameter spheres under my CDP

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/301439398409

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6 minutes ago, goldtop said:

Yep that's the type and size I used and I found that 5 under each speaker was about right. They have a tackiness to them so they just adhere gently to the bottom of the speaker and peel off if required. Obviously the speakers won't stand as solidly but they stand straight and are yet to topple over....I do the hoovering so I'm just careful not to knock them. For the money, they are worth trying and you can always use them for something else if they don't work out. I have some smaller diameter spheres under my CDP

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/301439398409

thanks for the info. I may well give these a go.

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Super Wammer

I have come late to this party but thought I would add I had owned a pair of 44’s from the early 70’s until about 10 years ago, when I blew one of the tweeters and thought time for a change. I found a good pair of 33’s and had them for about a year until moving to the PMC’s I now own. The 33’s were no way as good. 
 

I loved my 44’s and still think they were the best speakers I owned. Be very careful though if you do decide to get some that they have the original HF2000 tweeter with metal grill and not an inferior replacement and originals are expensive 

jessica xx

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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I have decided not to go for a pair of Ditton 44s at the present time. With a new DAC hopefully arriving in the next day or so, I’ll see how the Severns get on before deciding how best to move forward.

Although I get very nostalgic about old equipment (I’m just the same with photography - having 15+‘legacy camera lenses), when it comes to speakers I accept that I do not have the skills to carry out refurb/repairs so need to be very mindful of likely costs to carry out work and availability of spare parts.

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Super Wammer
21 hours ago, Bokke said:

I've been reading this thread with interest.its made me look at the Dittons and now I've found these mission 730s on eBay.

Can anyone with experience tell me about these - I'd like to buy some 

I know the 730s well .I heard my first pair in 1978 at a friends house and I still remember the album being played they made such an impact on me Vangelis Spiral ..the track Dervish D was just awsome ..these were the 4 way version with the Celestion hf2000! and MD 100 tweeters.. amazing top end but for me the enclosed back peerless 5” midrange driver brought such coherence to vocals ..the 10” base drivers giving quite a thump which at the time when they were made was tremendous... they did 2 versions in the same size cab 3 way with 1 Celestion Hf 2000 and the 4 way ... I’ve refurbished several pairs of both ..but the 4 way is the dogs bollox 

currently working on a 4 way pair at the moment ..the crossovers are with juanco a fellow Wammer having upgraded caps and silver wiring added ..

I have recently refurbished a pair of 710 and 720 for my collection...

between 1975 and 1985 I worked on developing wood finishing lacquers for the speaker industry and came across a lot of cabs from mission , wharf dale Celestion etc .. mission used some fabulous veneers many continuous around the whole box ...

the foam surrounds do deteriorate as they were made on a polyurethane but they are readily available from Holland for both the 5” peerless and 10” drivers and do benefit a refoaming even if the originals look ok as they can collapse instantaneously and cause damage to the coils and spider if they’re over extending .. very easy to replace and cost about £70 to do both cabs..

ive seen the pair on eBay and if you can have a listen they’re a fair price for a great pair of vintage speakers ..personally I would pay£300 and refoaming them myself as you don’t know the condition and how long the refoaming was done ...

great with all genera of music 

I would put the 730 in my top 10 speakers from that era ...as a side note many speaker manufacturers used the Celestion Hf2000 and peerless 5” mid because they are a fabulous combination ..I have a refurbished pair of Chrome Gale 401s which use that combination with two 8” drivers ..

These missions were manufactured at the height of Missions Dominance with Wharfedale ..

I love em!!!!

kindest regards Julian 

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1 hour ago, bigrod said:

I know the 730s well .I heard my first pair in 1978 at a friends house and I still remember the album being played they made such an impact on me Vangelis Spiral ..the track Dervish D was just awsome ..these were the 4 way version with the Celestion hf2000! and MD 100 tweeters.. amazing top end but for me the enclosed back peerless 5” midrange driver brought such coherence to vocals ..the 10” base drivers giving quite a thump which at the time when they were made was tremendous... they did 2 versions in the same size cab 3 way with 1 Celestion Hf 2000 and the 4 way ... I’ve refurbished several pairs of both ..but the 4 way is the dogs bollox 

currently working on a 4 way pair at the moment ..the crossovers are with juanco a fellow Wammer having upgraded caps and silver wiring added ..

I have recently refurbished a pair of 710 and 720 for my collection...

between 1975 and 1985 I worked on developing wood finishing lacquers for the speaker industry and came across a lot of cabs from mission , wharf dale Celestion etc .. mission used some fabulous veneers many continuous around the whole box ...

the foam surrounds do deteriorate as they were made on a polyurethane but they are readily available from Holland for both the 5” peerless and 10” drivers and do benefit a refoaming even if the originals look ok as they can collapse instantaneously and cause damage to the coils and spider if they’re over extending .. very easy to replace and cost about £70 to do both cabs..

ive seen the pair on eBay and if you can have a listen they’re a fair price for a great pair of vintage speakers ..personally I would pay£300 and refoaming them myself as you don’t know the condition and how long the refoaming was done ...

great with all genera of music 

I would put the 730 in my top 10 speakers from that era ...as a side note many speaker manufacturers used the Celestion Hf2000 and peerless 5” mid because they are a fabulous combination ..I have a refurbished pair of Chrome Gale 401s which use that combination with two 8” drivers ..

These missions were manufactured at the height of Missions Dominance with Wharfedale ..

I love em!!!!

kindest regards Julian 

Wow

Thanks for the detailed reply. ja there is a set on eBay and they are the 4 way version. I'm very tempted to go for these as they are cheap for what they are

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