Crites crossovers, rebuild or new for Forte IIs?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wasabi, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    I’m thinking about upgrading my Forte II’s crossovers to Crites. Is sending mine in for a rebuild the same as just buying a whole new crossover? How difficult is it to remove them and reinstall? Also, I’ve read that doing just the crossovers is best as doing the tweeters as well can make them a bit harsh. Any thoughts? My amp is a nova150.

    Thanks for any input.
     
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  2. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
  3. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    Thanks. Yes I was going to call Bob but was looking for some advice here too.
     
  4. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    I did my Quartet's and it was very easy. The crossover that I got was mounted on wood so the install went smooth. Bob should send some good instructions with too.
     
    Wasabi likes this.
  5. EggBreakfast

    EggBreakfast Active Member

    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    Last month I installed the Crites crossovers and titanium tweeter diaphragms in my Forte II speakers. I bought the new crossovers rather than replace and burn the individual components into the existing board as it was rather a small unit and would have required more fiddling and creative piggy-backing than I cared to do. Mr. Crites was super responsive and shipped my order almost immediately. Really, I was truly impressed at the service and speed. The installation process was fast and rather easy as my speakers are in excellent, original condition. It took about an hour with basic tools. Removing the tight old crimp wire connectors was perhaps the most difficult task, and not really hard at all. Bonus Easter egg: look for a little sign-off card left inside each speaker by the Klipsch builders!

    I compared the first upgraded speaker to the original with a variety of music and the difference in performance is remarkable. The $329 was money well spent. Good luck!
     
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  6. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Those builder cards were a nice find when I was putting mine in too.
     
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  7. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    Thanks for the input everyone,

    I was wondering if I should send my existing crossovers in for Bob to rebuild or buy some new/already built? ones? It's only about $90 difference so I'm leaning to just getting some new ones. Any other opinions on if I should do the tweeters too? My Forte IIs are in excellent shape as well and I plan on keeping them that way.
     
  8. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    I went with the complete boards on my '89 Forte's and a few months later added the titanium tweeter diaphragms. Here's a good thread with a few other suggestions that could apply, I followed all but the cabinet bracing and they are noticeable improvements.

    Forte - basic upgrades (with photos)
     
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  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Bob Crites makes factory replacement crossovers, not "upgraded crossovers".

    I use upgraded crossovers from ALK engineering, in place of the factory Altec Lansing crossovers in my main pair of A7's.

    Yes, crossovers are a really critical thing in speakers with passive crossover networks.

    People will argue cables ad-nauseam but ignore the importance of superior crossover networks all day long.

    ALK Engineering designs upgraded crossovers for legacy Klipsch speakers. I use his 2-Way AP12-500 cycle, Klipsch La Scala, crossovers for my legacy Altec Lansing A7's.

    [​IMG]

    A bit of a more closeup view.

    [​IMG]

    The ALK crossover network is in the front and a custom built 6-kHz. crossover is behind it, which drives the JBL super-tweeter.


    ** Crossover network overview **
    [​IMG]
    The crossover networks from ALK Engineering are the only ones available that are true upgrades. Only those from ALK Engineering were designed utilizing knowledge gained from over 35 years of experience with filters to microwave frequencies (beyond 300 MEGA Hertz, like the one shown to the left), where the sort of filters you find in loudspeakers would be totally unacceptable.

    [​IMG]

    Competitors: Once you have looked over the catalogue of network options you see here you will realize that there are no other networks available for Klipsch speakers that are similar. Other network vendors simply offer loads of variations on basic Klipsch network designs. One maker offers the klipsch networks just as Paul Klipsch made them. These are restorations; a legitimate service. Another, with very little electronics training at all, and no equipment but a soldering iron truly believes he is "improving" on them by offering builds with a long list of overpriced part options. Yet another, having a book-learned knowledge of basic electronics and no experience with filter design believes he can improve the state of the art by looking at loudspeaker drivers as electric "motors", a well understood concept addressed by the transformer and swamper shelving method employed in all ALK network designs. The fact of the matter is that loudspeaker crossover networks are "multiplexers" that fall directly into the realm of lumped component passive filter design techniques. For many years, ALK Engineering has offered a comprehensive computer software package called PCFILT for the design and evaluation of this very type of filter. It is described in detail elsewhere on this web site. Hundreds are in use by filter manufacturers all over the world. This makes ALK the only source of truly unique and advanced crossover networks for Klipsch loudspeakers. These other network makers are really not competitors. Evaluate them very carefully. They put on a good show!

    What's wrong with the stock Klipsch networks anyhow? Here's what!

    ALK Engineering offers crossover upgrades for the Forte I & II.

    [​IMG]

    Titanium replacement diaphragms for the Forte tweeter are compatible with the Forte networks. ALK has no opinion about their value. It is your choice if you choose to install them.

    The transformer on the stock Forte crossovers will be reused on the new network. After the waiting period and construction of your new network is almost complete I will contact you to remove and return your old networks complete with all the attached cables. The transformer and cables will be removed and transferred to the new networks. This will reduce the time your speakers are out of operation to the time required for shipping. Recycling the transformer saves you $48 in part cost. There is no advantage to trying to save the old network. It becomes quite useless after the changes and will be thrown away.

    Pricing is plus shipping.

    ----------------------------------------
    Forte I and II .............................. $320.00
    (Return of your old networks is required)
    -----------------------------------------

    ALK Engineering Crossovers are extremely reasonable cost wise and it an essential upgrade for you Forte II's and for any other legacy Klipsch Speaker.

    Al Klappenberger does not take orders via his web site. You will need to contact him over the phone you you have a one-to-one conversation. This way both parties have a complete understanding about the upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
    Wasabi likes this.
  10. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    Is this an advert?
     
  11. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    I do have a bead on those ALK crossovers but am leaning towards the Crites.
     
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    No.

    But it is a testimonial.

    Real audio education is indeed a good thing.
     
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  13. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    OK.

    I can't possibly understand why?

    Al Klappenberger is a microwave electronics engineer, Bob Crites is not.

    ALK crossovers are the best things that I have done for my A7's.

    They blow the original Altec crossovers out of the water.

    Even Altec would be amazed how good their speakers really are, if they could hear them with ALK crossovers.

    My ALK crossovers are not even designed for Altec's, they are designed for Klipsch, but they work perfectly for my A7's.

    These would be serious upgrades for your Forte II's.
     
  14. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    I’ve heard a few Crites upgraded Cornwall’s and Fortes. While they do make a difference and IMO a small improvement. The Forte 3 is a different animal. I think it is the best speaker Klipsch has ever made. The midrange horn in the Forte 2 was also a substantial improvement over the horn in the Original Forte.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  15. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Which is why I comment that Crites crossovers are basically replacement crossover networks for the factory originals. There is nothing wrong with them at all, but they are intended to be replacements, not upgrades. ALK crossovers are upgrades, and they are very affordable.

    I do have a great amount of respect for Bob Crites, as someone who probably has more experience with legacy Klipsch products overall than anyone else you are likely to find.

    Although my preferences largely tilt toward Altec, when it comes to the legacy horn loaded designs, I do own both, have owned both in years past and place a high value on both companies. The large K-Horns have the best horn loaded bass cabinets, short of the Tannoy Westminster's and are 1/3 the price.

    Though I have not heard any of the generation three versions of the legacy klipsch speakers, I would be given to imagine, that all the way around, they would have made substantial improvements to the original series.

    Klipsch midrange "squaker" horns leave a lot to be desired.

    This applies not only to the Klipsch's, but the legacy Altec Lansing products as well. Both lines require substantial upgrades before they become the home audio speakers that they could be destined to be.

    My main Altec Lansing VOTT's (Voice Of The Theater) speakers don't even remotely sound like the originals. I have a pair of custom Klipsch, La Scala's, but they have just had the exter cabinets upgraded and still require upgrades to the "squaker" horn and the crossover network. With these components in still in their stock form, they are not ideal home audio speakers.

    The squaker horn on the La Scala's is the same squaker horn as on the larger K-Horn's. In fact, all of the La Scala drivers are the same drivers that Klipsch uses in their K-Horns.

    Crossover networks are the one single speaker aspect that is continuously overlooked. It is the one single aspect that can be easily upgraded. While the crossover network is important for all but single driver speakers, it is even more critical for high sensitivity horn loaded speakers.
     
  16. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    So if the Crites are just replacements, is the benefit to my Forte II's sound coming from the fact that my existing crossovers are older (caps, etc.). Newer, same spec(?), crossovers will 'freshen up' my sound?

    Thanks again for the input everyone.
     
  17. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Yes, they will sound as they did when new assuming all else is in order. I noticed much better imaging and overall continuity and balance. Bob uses higher quality caps than the originals but as stated same specifications. My Forte's were 29 years old when I replaced them.
     
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  18. vconsumer

    vconsumer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Pardon my naivete, but why do a wholesale replacement of the crossover or crossover components when only any electrolytic capacitors are likely in need of replacement?
     
  19. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan Forum Resident

    Many of the Crites kits seem to use SoniCaps. To me personally, they'd be preferable to the ALK kits pictured here, with Bennic and Solen caps. Sonically, I haven't found the base Bennic and Solen caps to be anything to get excited about. Probably better than stock, but the SoniCaps should perform at an even higher level.
     
    Wasabi likes this.
  20. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    That is pretty much it. As member @911s55 stated, the caps are the same spec, but better caps.
     
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  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    You are quite right on the fact that most non electrolytic caps will not really require replacement.

    These are my custom La Scalla's, the cabinets have been done, but the horns, drivers and crossovers are all originals.

    [​IMG]

    Here are on of the original crossover networks, even though these are original commercial La Scala cabinets, the crossover caps are fine.

    [​IMG]

    The thing to understand is that capacitor technology has evolved since these things were originally manufactured, so even OEM type replacements with better newer capacitors can make an audible difference. The above crossover is completely functional.
     
    StimpyWan likes this.
  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    ALK crossover are built to order. Al will take a few orders, then order all of the parts that are necessary to build these orders, then the crossover networks are built in the order that the orders were received and shipped out.

    Al can built the networks with any caps that you specify, he doesn't care, it's your nickel.

    While you might not be so up on Al's stock crossover's due to the caps that he uses in his stock crossovers, they are of excellent design are are far superior to the original Klipsch designs in every way.

    My ALK crossovers are stock and they preform outstandingly.

    [​IMG]

    I use an all tube chain with these Altec A7's and single ended tube amplification for the final power amps and with the addition of these ALK Klipsch design 500-cycle crossovers, these speakers are among the best I have ever listened to.

    They would not be nearly at this level, if it weren't for the ALK crossovers.
     
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  23. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan Forum Resident

    Thanks for the update. Just curious though, are the ALK crossovers a more sophisticated design than stock? Do you know what changes were made to the crossover design, for this upgraded model? Are the crossover slopes and frequencies the same? Band pass points the same, or is everything changed? I wish I could compare schematics, to see the differences.

    Again thanks, fun stuff.

     
  24. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    That is precisely my point, the ALK crossover's are quite a bit more sophisticated in their design from the stock crossovers. In my case, I am replacing Altec Lansing crossovers in their commercial theater speakers with ALK's crossover's that were designed for Klipsch speakers.

    These are crossovers that are designed from the ground up, they are not "changes" in the original crossover designs but entirely new designs by ALK Engineering. AL can provide you with engineering, but he does not publish schematics.

    [​IMG]

    Al makes crossovers that crossover at different frequency points, for different speaker applications.

    [​IMG]

    As it happens, the La Scala crossovers match the crossover point of 500-Hz. that my A7-500's cross over at, so his stock crossovers are the perfect choice for me to use to replace the stock Altec Lansing crossover's with.

    Al also makes crossovers in two way and three ways designs, some all on one board and some require a separate crossover for the HF supertweeters.

    Many are available with different crossover slopes, mine pictured above are medium slope crossovers. Here are some of the different crossover photos.

    [​IMG]

    You should take a look at the ALK engineering site to see all of the different models that he offers. ALK concentrates strictly on crossovers for legacy Klipsch speakers.
     
    StimpyWan likes this.
  25. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lutz, FL
    Thanks again for the great info,

    I'm now leaning towards the ALKs if I'm laying down the money. One part of me wants to preserve the original sound with the Crites, the other is tempted by the ALK upgrade. I don't have a lot in the Forte IIs, they are mint and I want to do it right. What about the tweeter diaphragms? Do I do an ALK/Crites tweeter diaphragm combo?
     

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