Monday, 27 November 2017

Background music system upgrade - (Part 1): Initial indoor upgrades

At the start of this year, I installed the house background music system. I did so at the time with a very limited budget, and with a very weak amplifier (only 50 watts per channel, which is nothing considering the amount of speakers I was driving).
Now, I am starting to upgrade it all. Outside has had it's outdoor speakers fully removed, as I was never really all too happy with the Adastra FC4 speakers. They only had 3" woofers, no bass, and they weren't all to clear. It was a similar story in the house, I was using Adastra BC3V speakers inside the house, they too weren't all too clear and had no bass.
The hallway speaker I use primarily for when I am in the kitchen and announcements, I am going to replace with an APart Mask 4T loudspeaker. The bathroom speaker is going to get a JBL Control 25T speaker.
Outside, I have still not decided entirely what I want to do. Some of the speakers outside will still be cabinet speakers, and those will be the APart Mask 6s, but I intend to use some more discrete rock speakers, and some sound projectors if possible, to make it a little bit more exciting and have better coverage.
I also intend to upgrade my amp to one that supports 100V line. Currently, I use the B output of my main amplifier with a speaker selector, and this then drives my 5 zones worth of speakers, but I want to go fully 100V line and use an amplifier that is capable of driving a long speaker line.
However, to get a good amp, they are not necessarily cheap. I want to stick with APart as that is what all the speakers outside are going to be, and I also want a multi-zone model, primarily for inside and outside, which further ramps up the cost.
The original install I did was back in August 2016, and I did so with a limited budget, and when I was beginning to get into 100V line, without all the knowledge I have regarding high impedance speaker systems I have now.
I will make regular updates on this blog based on the new system upgrades, including both installation photos, and links to videos on the YouTube channel showing the sound quality of the newly installed equipment.
Although as of now only two loudspeakers are due to be replaced, the entire outdoor system has been removed ready for upgrades in 2018, and I do have further plans to install both more speakers inside and outside than I had on the original setup; hence my desire to move away from low impedance and instead to 100V line, which is far more ideal than my 5 zone speaker selector that runs on low impedance speaker lines.
I installed these two speakers on Friday the 1st of December. I performed the 100V line transformer bypass on the JBL because I am still currently running low impedance for sound quality reasons, plus my speaker selector is low impedance so it is easier just to stick with that.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A home cinema setup with 5x JBL Control 5

As I now had 5 Control 5 speakers, I decided to use all 5 to make a 5.1 sound system running off the legendary Sony STR-DB930. The sound quality is absolutely incredible, and surround effects are amongst the best I have ever heard in a 5.1 system, which is to be expected, as the Control 5s are probably the biggest and best speakers I have ever used for rear surround.
The centre speaker is still awaiting repair, it needs it's woofer refoaming and the tweeter diaphragm replacing, and I should hopefully have the parts for that next week.
I am not sure if I will use the spare Control 5 as the centre as it is so huge, although I am replacing the desk in the new year so I may have room for it then.

Speaker stand restoration project

A few months ago when I got some more JBL Control 5 speakers, I needed some more speaker stands.
A family member gave me some very good quality silver speaker stands, but they were simply not the correct colour. I used them while they were silver for a while, but eventually I did decide to finally spray them black.
I chose matt black spray paint, and the finish came out really well, almost as if they were purchased from a shop brand new. They definitely match the speakers much much better now and they certainly look better. Before and after photos are below, along with a picture of the stands freshly painted.

JBL Control 5 Restoration Project #3 - Part 2: Fully repaired and in service

These JBL Control 5 speakers had their old rotted foam removed, and I replaced the foam surrounds with some 6.5" rubber surrounds.
They work as good as new, and have formed part of my 5.1 home cinema setup running off a Sony STR-DB930. This utilises 5 JBL Control 5 speakers and sounds absolutely incredible.

Wharfedale Diamond 6R Upgrade Project

These Wharfedale Diamond 6R speakers were manufactured in 1995. These at the time were a budget speaker for around the £200/pair price ran...