The final configuration of my stacked KEF 103 Reference Speakers

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Bencat57
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Re: The final configuration of my stacked KEF 103 Reference Speakers

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Well this now needs an update as some large changes have now been made . First to answer antonio66 the bottom set of tweeters are disconnected as i do not think two tweeters is a great idea so they are at the bottom because they do not make any sound and to get the Bass units closer together.

Right this whole idea went west when I found that I could not use the Behringer very well and was never really confident that the settings I had put in were all correct. So instead saw a miniDSP 10 x 10 HD unit for sale used . More than I wanted to spend but I am familiar with the operational software of this company and that would make settings easier for me.

Well unit arrived and the huge job of removing all the current elements and installing the DDRC 22D and 10 x10 HD including the six sets of RCA connectors to the NVA 30P for left and right bass duties and the 2 x NVA20P amplifiers which handle the mid and treble for each side left and right . One suggestion I will make is either label each cable or put different colour tape on each one Bass / Mid / Treble and I used Red cable for Right Grey cable for Left which makes it much easier to set things up and be sure they are correct.
Turned it on showed I had a digital input and Dirac on the DDRC 22D , The 10 x 10 HD showed AES/EBU input all which is what it should be . Then tried some low level sound , nothing zilch complete silence . Frustrating first day spending hours trying to find what was preventing the sound from getting from one unit to the other . Gave up left everything as it was had a nice G&T and called it a day for work on this.

Came back today and still the same . A few tips and helps from the Wam and the miniDSP Forum but nothing really concrete as to what was the issue . Was advised of an additional plug in that would raise the 10 x 10 HD to accept and use 96Hz / 24 Bit instead of the standard 48hz / 24 Bit so installed this . Did a complete dismantle and slowly and carfully installed each unit back in place and checked every connection . Logged in to the two miniDSP units and did full factory resets and again updated the firmware to the latest . Finally set the crossover settings again for each channel and check the input settings and the output routings . All checked out so make sure the volume is low and turn everything back on . Joy music Radio Paradise is playing at a low level . As all things are set to flat the sound is nice but not that impressive . What is good though is that all six drivers are playing at there filter set frequencies so we have a real three way active.

next is to run a DIRAC Session done so many of these most of the things are just automatic around twenty minutes latter i looking at the suggested filter and adjusting things to how i want to have them and prefer them to sound . Slot the filter in to the DDRC in Slot 1 and set is now complete .

Finally i get to the good bit and listen to some music . What can I say other than I am grinning like a Cheshire Cat , I had though the 2 1/2 way active I had before was good and a huge improvement on the passive 103's . I was not expecting what happened now with the three way active . Music is just better more real and even the imaging (not a strength of sealed baffle speakers used close to a back wall) has grown and spread out in to the room and away from the speakers . Then there is the instrument separation which is a whole world away from what it was. Bass is now deeper and more textured , you now get to know what is being played and how it is being played from gentle strum , plucking or full on Funk Bass slap . To say I am happy is just not selling this all the frustration and lows getting this to work not too mention the money spent has been validated for me as this just sounds ace .

I will hopefully have this full new style system up and working and available for any visitors to hear at the Wam show in September by which time things might be more normal than they are now . If you decide to visit please find me and come and have a listen . If you can bring your own music (Flash Drive USB only sorry no CD this time) have achat and I will play whatever you like . Then be honest and tell me if this sounds as good as I think it does or if I am just deluding myself and it sounds pants . Do not worry I have enough confidence in how I hear things to accept it will not be to everyone's taste but it suits me and my music and I at this moment listening to Angel Eyes by Roxy could not be happier .
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antonio66 (Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:44 am) • karatestu (Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:27 am)

Bencat57
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Re: The final configuration of my stacked KEF 103 Reference Speakers

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Just adding this as I have now been listening to my active three way for quite a few days and i am enjoying the quality of music it is delivering more and more . One thing which my wife Linda pointed out and I had not noticed , i am play my music at quite lower levels than I did previously . Now this is not me being careful as I am using the upstairs spare room and it will not be bothering anyone in the road. It is just that there is now greater resolution , separation and imaging than before and i find that i can get the full sound with less volume . The system will go very loud and stay in control and this despite the NVA amps only being of what is considered small output (1 x 30watt and 2 x 20 Watt) and it still sounds excellent but i find that I do not need it to be really loud (Motorhead is an exception of course) for me to be really immersed and engaged with the music.

Asked a few other Wam friends who do active and they all seem to think it is because now that the Mid units no longer have to move as much without low bass to deal with the drivers are all working much closer to there best parameters and so the sound is more focused and needs less volume for it sound detailed and separate . Sounds right to me and so does the system . Happy Days .
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karatestu (Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:27 am) • CycleCoach (Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:51 pm)

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Re: The final configuration of my stacked KEF 103 Reference Speakers

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Well time flies even if your not having any fun so this an update which will hopefully encourage those interested to visit the Wam Show in Stoke on October 2nd . About four months ago the three way active system I have went belly up and my thoughts seemed to indicate that the drivers on one of the four KEF 103 speakers had blown . I decided after many days of trying to fix things that I would take all four speakers to Andrew Bratt at Anapeach Audio and not only get them repaired but cosmetically updated as well . As always Andrew is very busy so only able to collect the speakers last week . They look good now . However after testing all the drivers were in excellent working order and quite well matched as well .

So the problem lay elsewhere and after a little testing in my only passive system the NVA P60 was the culprit . This has now been despatched to NVA and is undergoing repair . It was then my intention to reassemble the system using my 2 x P20 amplifiers for left and right mid/treble and my P30 for the bass . However on Friday a P30 came up for sale and I agreed a price and drove to Castlefield and collected my second P30 . So now the set up is a P30 connected one left and one right for Bass and Mid and then a P20 shared for the treble to both sets of speakers .

I have been quite different for me and put things very slowly back in place doing a single thing each day and then just checking the set up and leaving things to the following day . Today was the last phase and the set of four stacked KEF 103 speakers were put back in place and wired up . Checked the speaker cables again then switch the system on with no signal and the volume right down . Everything lit up correctly so played some Radio Paradise and once I could see the track had started gently using a remote upped the volume . To my great surprise music started to play and in line with my new patience policy left it playing at a nice low level and went down for breakfast and a chat with Linda my wife.

Came back up and the music was still playing and sounding fine so now inched the volume up to my normal listening level and to my delight the music just got louder no pops not issues . Even better the music was sounding wonderful and to my ears even better than before the system sounded before the issues reared their ugly head . Now I know this is something that is probably not accurate and I will be hugely influenced by wanting this kit to sound good again . But all that matters is it is working and working really well . The NVA power amps are a large part of this sound in not only driving the speakers really well but also being transparent enough to let me hear and judge changes . My very biased view is this system sounds superb with lots of speed in the sound notes stop and start with real crispness then the tone and timbre of instruments and voices just sounds real and natural . Small inflections and nuances of playing just happen not drawing attention to themselves and being listen to me but being there if you want to concentrate and listen to small parts. better still things really boogie and give you that get up and dance feeling , I have for the sake of the rest of the world resisted up to now but I think it will be too hard to resist when the Funk and Reggae come on .

So all this nonsense above is to say that I have been able to get things working and barring something disastrous this will be my system on show at the Wam Show in Stoke in room 103 . If you want to make a visit there will be lots of other even more exotic systems to listen to but you can all give my system a listen and feel free to tell what you think good or bad it is all about opinions after all .
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karatestu (Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:15 pm) • CycleCoach (Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:23 pm) • antonio66 (Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:30 am)

NSNO2021
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Re: The final configuration of my stacked KEF 103 Reference Speakers

Unread post by NSNO2021 »

Looking forward to hearing your system and catching up again at the WAM show
Mr Modify :lol: Modified Airlink BPS 3110S with LDA DC filter, modified Rega Planar 8, with modified Apheta MC cartridge, Kenwood KD 8030 with AT OC9XSH, LDA MCJ3 phono, modified Schiit Freya plus pre amp,, FW Aleph J mono blocks, Cambridge Audio CXC, Denafrips Pontus 2 DAC, Mano Ultra2 streamer, Cisco switch, Audio Technica ATH 70 cans, Cubix MMXXI & NSNO W48.5 speaker cables

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