question-circle Supercinema XL - Strange Dialogue/Vocals

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benmasters Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
#32267
Hi All.

A little background. I have been running a Goldenear Supercinema 3d array for 2.5 years and been very (very!) happy with it but I have been on the lookout for an XL as an upgrade - they rarely come up used but I picked one up last month. Unfortunately after listening to it I noticed that the upper end of vocals and dialog were incorrect and suffering some form of distortion - after removing the front cover I noticed the centre HVFR was physically damaged - like a child had run something through the bafflles and along the folded ribbons! cut a long story short the seller refunded me the full amount and told me to keep the bar - so its only cost me the transit of £100.

I have since been in contact with Goldenear in Europe and they advised they could supply a new tweeter for 150 euros. As a stop gap until they can supply that I was able to pick up an AMT tweeter with the same dimensions and available the next day; whilst I am not sure who supplies Goldenear with their tweeters or who makes them the item looked 95% the same. My plan was that the AMT should be a sufficient replacement at least on a temporary basis.

Whilst the replacement tweeter has resolved most of the problem I still hear that dialogue and vocals at certain times are a little too bright and harsh on the upper end - almost like they are breaking up ever so slightly momentarily into almost a shrill - it doesn't happen often but it is there. Listening to dialogue intensive streaming - is more obvious at least to me - my wife cannot hear it.

When I had the case off I feel I could distinguish that the majority of brightness that might be responsible for this upper end breaking out of the higher frequency dialogues could be coming from the M2 and M3 centre drivers i.e. M1, M2, T, M3, M4 and not the tweeter.

I have since read people have observed when comparing to the X that the XL has a noticeably brighter centre channel due to the extra driver. I have changed settings in the Denon AVR - amended crossovers, reduced dialogue and any other settings that might reduced treble but it is still there. I know my ear is sensitive and might take a little time to adjust but whilst I can also make the same observation of a brighter centre I feel something is slightly wrong - I am also convinced I would hear the same thing with the centre tweeter disconnected - although I haven't tried this.

I am hesitant at this point to replace the tweeter again with the Goldenear tweeter if it is not responsible. I am wondering if there is something going on with the M2 and M3 drivers or a crossover problem . With the back off there were some indications that some of the wiring near the crossover driving the centres might have got hot at some point but I cant say for sure.

I guess my question is does anyone think a crossover or bad driver could be responsible for this? Everything I have read for bad drivers or crossovers suggest they would just stop working.

My only alternatives are to have someone else listen to it OR have the drivers and crossovers tested which would probably mean the whole bar tested.

Thoughts welcome!

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Moderator Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
#32268
Hi benmasters, First, the photo of the original tweeter indicates it is defective - and (most likely) received too much power or distortion at some point. Replacing this tweeter is a good idea. Next, I am not sure how helpful replacing the tweeter with a generic AMT tweeter will be. I would recommend replacing the tweeter with the exact tweeter from GoldenEar.

It is also possible the 4.5" bass/midrange drivers on either side of the tweeter (closest to the tweeter) are damaged - and producing distortion in the upper midrange frequencies. Disconnecting the tweeter and carefully listening to these midranges would be a worthwhile test. (I would not suspect the crossover network is defective. When a passive crossover goes bad, it would normally reduce - or greatly reduce the output from the tweeter or the bass/midrange drivers. It would not normally cause distortion or harshness from the midranges or tweeters.)

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benmasters Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
#32269
Thanks. Would you know if the the drivers each side of the center tweeter are the same as their outer counterpart but with a different crossover network? I.e is m1 = m2 and m3 = m4?

If so I could try the XL using the centre 4.5 mids from my non XL assuming those centre drivers are the same. Not ideal as I would have to open up the non XL and remove the drivers from that bar.

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Moderator Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
#32270
Hi benmasters, Unfortunately, the drivers used in the left and right channels of the SuperCinema 3D Array XL are different than the drivers used in the center channel portion of the SuperCinema 3D Array XL. In addition, the drivers used in the center speaker portion of the SuperCinema 3D Array X are different than the drivers used in the SuperCinema 3D Array XL. (The impedance of these drivers is different.)

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benmasters Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago
Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by benmasters. info_outline
#32271
Thanks for this - that unfortunately rules out using my X for replacement parts - something I was reluctant to do but might have been more cost effective.

I took the back off both to look at them side by side to see if I could identify any common components and the differences are quite interesting - the drivers in the XL look to be date marked with a 2019 date but there are no equivalent markings on the X however the X has more aesthetically pleasing circuitry and the speaker wire gauge looks larger. The XL circuits have Goldenear branding or branded caps but the X does not - just has Sunway. Also the X has tamper glue on all of the mounts. I also noticed the front baffle/front has a tighter tolerance around the diameter of the driver on the XL - the X has a clearer 2/3mm gap.

Makes me wonder how old the X. All in the X looks a little more appealing internally so I am curious if it is older or newer! Hopefully these photos might prove useful to someone one day!

I will listen to the centre drivers and see if I can identify any issues but its look like I might have to potentially write this off.

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benmasters Posted 3 months 1 week ago
#32276
Found it! It is M2 of the centre channel MMTMM. Ohms multimeter test didnt give anything up - all 4 drivers on that channel showed the same value of 25.5? I dont know why it would be such a high value? L and R measure 6.6

I compared to the X and has the same L and R values but the centre channel mids show as 12.5.

Played a speaker frequency test track at a fixed volime both direct and then via the main terminals (therefore via crossover circuitry) testing each driver at a time. M2 can be heard at 20hz direct and 40hz via terminal and its croaky ! M1,M3 and M4 were all 50hz direct or 100hz.

So M2 is toast! Curious to what could of happened to cause this? Guess I need to source and replace that driver now.

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