1. Custom built dipole / open baffle system using SEAS Exotic midrange and treble drivers with a professional grade 15 inch bass unit, measuring 95dB sensitivity in room with extension to below 30 Herz.
Feedback from Brian W., of London
Thanks for all your careful engineering over the past few weeks John, as well as for your help today. Very much appreciated and a superb result, both visually and, more importantly, sonically.
The speakers are safely home and I am looking forward to living with them for many years to come.
You have also introduced me to a very fine jazz singer and pianist, and the freebie organ recording from Freiburg Cathedral was extremely well made, capturing the grandeur of a fine instrument and the reverberant acoustic of the cathedral superbly well. A very good test of bass balance: in this case all present but in correct proportion.
Congratulations on a fine system, with an unique, or at least very rare, combination of BBC grade fidelity, exceptional sensitivity and serious low frequency extension. And without awkward phase/impedance challenges, which is unusual in itself these days. The polar measurements are also impressive.
It shows what can be done, albeit at a price, yet it's amazing how often it isn't done, although there's some pretty expensive gear out there. As you have noted from your visits to shows.
2.Loudspeaker upgrade project which involved rebuilding original crossovers with modern high quality components as well as rewiring. Cabinets were fully performance tested and match within very close tollerances.
Feedback from Ian H., of London
John, I've had yesterday afternoon and this evening to have good listen to the speakers and wanted to let you know my thoughts. When I heard them at your place they sounded pretty special and I couldn't wait to get them home and hooked up to my kit. I wasn't disappointed to say the least and feel it'll take me a little while to really appreciate how good they sound. I can't really put my finger on any one thing in particular but your upgrades take what I consider the main strength of the NS1000M - its transparency - and enhance it even more. The sound is better focused with increased separation between the instruments and voices. I listen to a lot more music on vinyl than CD as I've found CD recordings can sound a bit harsh. However, your upgrades have made my CD sound much better overall and it's approaching the sound quality of my vinyl set up. I'm extremely satisfied with the work you've done and am of the opinion that I would have to spend multiple thousands of pounds on current production speakers give a quantifiable improvement over the NS1000Ms performance.
3. Complete restoration of IMF Transmission Lines including implementing modern high-end drivers and components.
Hi John, I just wanted to let you know that the speakers settled in very nicely with my Cyrus amps - they look great and already feel like they belong in the house :-)
After we spoke of Paul Galbraith naturally I ran his Bach cd through the system and it was absolutely spot-on, beautiful balanced tone at realistic guitar level in the room, those new drivers reveal all the wonderful finger sounds which bring the performance to life without ever exaggerating - and you know I was so taken with it that I just listened through the whole double album. The dog seemed to enjoy the guitar too (he normally leaves the room when I have the screaming opera ladies on!)
Will be exploring my music with fresh enthusiasm - you made me a great pair of speakers; they work beautifully in my system and are perfect for the room. They also keep performing at very low volumes which I think my neighbours would have been glad of by the time I finally switched off at 2.00 am !
Thanks again for a splendid job and understanding exactly what I wanted,
4. Loudspeaker repair and measurement service
Hi John, Many thanks for both fixing my speakers and for the info below - you are incredible in terms of the amount of useful info you provide in these replies to my questions!
Kind regards - and thanks a million again
5. Loudspeaker measurements service
Hi John, Thanks for all your help yesterday. It took a couple of hours for the new drivers to free themselves up and develop their full bass tone, but playing Fairport's "Bonny Bunch of Roses" last night, just perfect!
Perhaps your friend in Dubai would like to offer me the £17k instead - he won't get a better sound!
6. Loudspeaker restoration & upgrade
Hello John, I'm absolutely delighted with the speakers now. The changes you suggested have made a vast improvement. They always promised much, but, now with a flattened response they deliver in spades.
I should be asking you for additional components to finish the crossovers to a better standard, but that might take a little time. I'm enjoying them so much I don't want to dismantle them just yet.
Once again many thanks for the expert advice. It has saved me much time and, probably my sanity.
All the best
7. Crossover design & build
Hi John, Crossovers arrived today…..have not tried them yet but I wanted to commend you on the construction quality – great job!
8. Loudspeaker restoration & upgrade
Dear John, I think the speakers sound great now, the clarity form the cross-over changes are very marked and the bass is so much tighter.
Either I am getting used to the sound, or the components are still bedding in in some way. Listening today from a very off-central position was curiously clearer than the first day when I sat in the usual position. I marvel at the imagery even when one is closer to one speaker than the other.
During Sunday evening, I used the HiFi News test disk, but still can't get either the Wiltshire left-to-right walk around nor the LEDR tests to work as I expect - left and half-left are similar, central is somehow indistinct, but the right hand side seems to work reasonably well. Strong sources of reflection are not obvious, although the right hand spkr has a cloth covered sofa nearby, the left has a leather recliner.
Perhaps better just to listen to the music rather than plan to add numerous drapes to the room...!
I think I'll live with them a bit before moving things around.
Thanks again for what is a fantastic transformation
9. Loudspeaker restoration & upgrade
John - Just to let you know we are very pleased with the result of your modifications and maintenance to the TDL's. Quad also serviced our 66 and 606 amps we have been using with the TDL's since new. We are really happy; we use the system every day and love the new found accuracy and attack. The cabinets are for the first time showing what they had 30 years ago but never really delivered.
Thanks, Paul Lane - Ashford
10. Crossover Design & Build project
I've managed to solder and install the crossovers. They sound great!!! I am very happy with them John you've done a fantastic job! Thank you so very much :)
Chris Painter - London
11. Celestion A3 Repair & re-calibration
Hi there John,
WOW. I have just now unpacked and managed to listen to these speakers properly since buying them, and they sound great! Such a difference to the imaging and detail.
I put on one of my favourites, Billie Jean LOUD and heard parts of the music I hadn’t heard before. I've always been a big fan of horn speakers and have owned a few different Lowther speakers, but might have to rethink my preference here - although I was listening to a lot more jazz with my Lowthers.
I am interested John, how do these perform to you? You must hear hundreds of speakers and I would welcome your view here. Thanks for wrapping them carefully also as Peter got them back to me yesterday.
I think you have the best job in the world, and I wish I had the skills to do the same. Amazed.
Restoration of KEF105.3 and a pair of Goodmans RB20
I thought that I should like to let you know how delighted I am with the performance of the KEFs.
There seems to be a wonderfully smooth and full spectrum of sound from the lowest frequencies to the highest frequencies which my old ears can still experience.
I think that I had taken it for granted that the bass would be restored to the full splendour which I had remembered. What I had not expected is the extraordinary clarity which you achieved by replacing the tweeters. I don’t doubt that remembering the quality of sound is difficult or impossible but I can say that I can hear sounds in the high frequencies which I am sure that I have never heard before and which add to the clarity without impairing the naturalness of the sound. I have also noticed that the ‘hole in the middle’ has disappeared and I remember that, when I first auditioned the speakers about 20 years ago, the unimpaired sound stage from left to right was one of the features which made me decide to buy them.
The Goodmans have also returned to their delightfully full and easy sound. They seem wasted in the kitchen but it is remarkable that clear sound can be experienced in all corners of the room despite background noise and without the sound being oppressive when standing close to the units.
I hope that you feel proud of what you do. Keep up the good work!
Paul from Southampton