Spectra 22, Undo modifications

Read more on the Acoustat Spectra 22 in our home audio section

Don West2008-07-26 09:12

I\'m lucky enough to own a pair of these wonderful speakers but years ago I made the mistake of having them modified by a now defunct company called \"Wescott\". A man named Jim Ott, in Oregon I believe, modified the interfaces of my speakers and they\'ve never sounded as good again as they did originally. Big mistake. My question is, can the modified interfaces be restored to the original or updated correctly, and, if so, whose available that can do the job right? Many thanks for keeping Acoustat alive.

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Andy Szabo2008-08-05 23:09

I don’t remember what modifications Jim Ott performed (although I do remember his name), so I can’t be of much help here. My recollection is that we didn’t hear much about aftermarket modifications by the time Spectra was introduced, so I am actually surprised to see a model as late as the Spectra 22 being modified. Generally speaking, Acoustat recommended against most modifications. Granted, upgrades such as better wiring, binding posts, film capacitors instead of electrolytic, etc, were fairly benign, as they didn’t change the fundamental circuit. They merely improved the quality of parts that couldn’t be done in the original design due to cost constraints. But I will say that Acoustat was against all modifications to the circuit itself, because in all cases that we encountered, the modifier displayed a lack of understanding of the circuit’s fundamental design principals, and violated one or more of them in the process. Modifications to the bias supply were quite popular, including bypassing of the 500-megohm resistor (violating the constant charge principal); adding a large capacitor on the supply’s output (both unnecessary and dangerous); or changing the diodes and/or capacitors in the voltage multiplier (again, both unnecessary and dangerous). There were other modifications, too, which time has erased from my memory. Who knows what might have been done to the circuitry that is unique to the Spectra models. It is unfortunate that a few well-intentioned, but misguided folks convinced Acoustat owners to allow their speakers to be modified (at great expense, no doubt). At best, these modifications did little or nothing to improve performance, and in some cases, as you have found, actually degraded the sound. More than likely, your speakers can be returned to the original form. Perhaps, if you can send me some detailed photos of the inside of the interface, I can determine what has been changed. (I am assuming the panels themselves were not modified.) It might be that only some of the modifications need to be reversed. Some of the changes may be of the benign variety that I mentioned above) I will ask the webmaster to send you my email address, if you want to send photos. I am rather curious to see what has been done!

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