Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

Reconing an Eminence JAY7010 Subwoofer Driver

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Earlier this year I bought some PA speakers at auction. The auction company was cagey enough to list them all as “untested / condition unknown,” but I suspect they had a pretty good idea of the condition.

Eminence JAY7010 18-inch driver on chair

I ended up with a Yamaha SW1181VS 18″ 500W subwoofer, a Yamaha Yamaha CW218V dual 18″ 1220W subwoofer, and a spare Eminence JAY7010/7011 18″ driver. All four of the Eminence drivers were nonfunctional — some dead shorts, some open. This was a bit disappointing.

My four drivers all look the same, but are labeled JAY7010, J7010, and J7011. From what I can tell, Eminence OEMed these drivers for Yamaha and they don’t seem to be available for direct sale. I found a forum post with specs sent by Yamaha listing the drivers as 600W. I also found a Google listing summarizing an expired eBay auction claiming that these are the same as the Eminence Sigma Pro, which is a 650W driver widely available at around $160.

For the prices I paid for the Yamaha speakers, new drivers at $160 each would go a long ways toward the cost of entire new speakers — the CW218V (dual) is available from Musician’s Friend for a little over $700 with free shipping.

I had never before heard of reconing drivers, but quickly ran across it in my Google searches for J(AY)7010/11s. The idea is that the basket and permanent magnet are still good, that a new voice coil and cone cost less than the whole thing, and that you can replace them yourself at home with a little time and care. Eminence offers recone kits for all their consumer drivers, but recone kits for custom and OEM drivers are available only to the OEM customer.

Although has a great instructional video on the reconing process, I ended up getting my kit from for $69.23 + $13.95 USPS Priority Mail flat rate. Over the holiday break, I took the time to install the kit, and the results have been fantastic.

The Kit

Speaker reconing kit instructions: contents

Speaker reconing kit in box


Buying and Assessing a Crumar T2 Organ

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I’ve been looking for a lighter-weight alternative to my Hammond — something practical to set up and take down at home for practice, as well as to take to jam sessions and the like. And when I say an alternative, I already had my heart set on a Crumar T2 from way back in 1978. I have several Crumar synths, so I have a soft spot for the company; and I have a T1 organ and knew I was satisfied with the drawbars and Hammond-like sound. I just needed the T2 for the the dual manuals (keyboards).

Crumar T2 Hammond organ clone

I recently bought this on eBay for $255 purchase plus $185 shipping — at about 100 lbs, I don’t think I was overcharged for shipping. It’s still only a quarter the size and weight of my Hammond, so it’s all good. Like all Crumars, the keyboard is built into the bottom half of a hardcase with a lift-off top and very rugged handles, making transport easy possible.

This is the first of a (hopefully only) three-part set on evaluating what I got and bringing it back up to perfect usable operating condition.


Installing a Behringer DSP8024 Equalizer and Upgrading Firmware

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I’m interested in faithful audio reproduction on my home stereo, not just sheer loudness; and even if I don’t end up choosing to stay there, I’ve always wanted to start with a flat frequency response — that is, every pitch that’s played back coming out of the speakers (more to the point, reaching the listener) at the same volume.

My Sony TA-E9000ES preamp / processor has a white noise generator for calibrating the volume of the surround speakers — it sends “static” to each speaker one at a time going around the room. Because I can hear a distinct difference in the “color” of the static when it goes from my main front speakers to my center channel, I already assumed that my different speakers are not providing the same reproduction of the signal going into them — which means that at least some of them (and probably all of them) are not delivering a flat playback.

Behringer 8024 digital equalizer

While poking around on Behringer’s web site, I came across their discontinued DSP8024 digital equalizer. It offers thirty-one 1/3-octave bands of graphic equalization from 20Hz to 20kHz — but more importantly, it offers real-time analysis of your audio system. Connect a reference microphone and turn on auto-equalization and it plays pink noise through your speakers and adjusts the EQ to give you flat response.

And because it’s discontinued, I figured a used one would be a cheap way to get into real-time analysis and flat frequency response. Within a week or so I had picked one up on eBay with the ECM8000 reference microphone.

After flattening my room response, the sound coming through my DSP8024 is simultaneously absolutely awful and absolutely glorious.