Buying Guide (13)
DIGITAL AMPLIFIER SYSTEMS
The Behringer is an extremely complex piece of gear when viewed for the first time. Learning how to move around in the menu system makes things much easier. Call us for a quick runthrough. Once you have gotten used to the Behringers controls, you will be able to dial in your system with a degree of flexibility and precision you will find amazing. You won't be going back to bass and treble controls.
The Behringer DCX2496 has one Input which can either be digital into Input A or analog which is input into A and B (left and right). To change the type of input press the Input A button and then the setup button (right of knob) and then parameter down to the bottom where you have a choice of either analog or AES/EBU (digital). Reports are that digital sounds better - distinctly so in some cases.
The Outputs are analog and we use 2 and 5 as the midbass outputs for left and right and 3 and 6 as the Ribbon outputs for left and right.
There are 5 pages of menus for the inputs and 8 pages of menus for the outputs. You go to different pages by using the page arrow keys to the left of the round control knob. You go to different fields on the page by pushing the parameter buttons under the page buttons. You change the values of those fields by turning the round knob.
We recommend you leave the dynamic EQ alone - we have no recommendations on it and dynamics are not in short supply with this system. You have to free the outputs so, for example, changing the high rolloff point of output 2 (left midbass) does not automatically change the low rolloff of output 3 (left Ribbon). The channels will still be linked however so pushing channel 2 (left midbass) will generate a solid green light on that channel and a flashing green light on channel 5 (right midbass). Changing a value on one channel will automatically change it on its linked channel.
DIGITAL AMPLIFIER SYSTEMS
You have to make sure the mutes are off. Red lights mean mutes are on so push the mute button and press the cancel button for the appropriate fields input and output. When the red lights are off, you are ready to roll.
Input A (and B if you are running analog inputs) is reduced in gain by 10dB to keep the output levels compatible with a consumer product input, in this case the Panasonic XR45. You will have to experiment with this to get it right for your system.
The recommended midbass crossover is a 12dB Butterworth (But 12) at 957Hz and the Ribbon is rolled in with a 6 dB Butterworth (but 6) at 2.11kHz. The rising output of the Ribbon at lower frequencies is the reason for this higher electrical crossover. The acoustic crossover is effectively around 1kHz.
The midbasses have their gain reduced 3.5dB to match the sensitivity level of the Ribbon.
Also, there are three filters used. The first boosts the bass output for a total of 5 dB starting at 53Hz. The second takes a bump out at 581Hz and the third takes a bump out at 1.07kHz.
The phase for the Ribbon has been shifted 50 degrees.
These filters and settings were determined by testing in our big 23x22 foot room, (35x22 with 10' ceilings when you add in our large openings) and your room will almost certainly differ greatly. You can experiment by turning these filters on and of one at a time or all at the same time. You can also dial in different frequencies and boost and cut levels and hear the results in real time. You can add filters to the point where you run out of processing power. You currently have 26% left which will allow quite a few extra filters to take care of most nasty nodes in your listening room.
DIGITAL AMPLIFIER PACKAGES
The EQ filters are parametric which in practical terms means you can chose the exact frequency at which you want to centre the filter, the exact level you want to boost or cut and pretty much exactly control the bandwidth of the filter with the "Q" control. The other types of filters are simple high and low pass (like bass and treble controls). We'll talk to you about it.
Experiment but always make good notes on the settings and call us for a live runthrough on the Behringer before you use the system!!!
- minus 10 dB, no EQ or delay on the inputs.
Low pass -midbasses - (2 and 5)
-3.5 dB page one, input source A
957Hz But 12 - Filters on right side - high end rolloff.
Filter 1 53Hz, 5.5 dB, LP, 12dB
Filter 2 581Hz, - 5.1dB BP, Q 2.5
Filter 3 1.07kHz -2.3dB, BP, Q 6.3
- Dynamic EQ etc off
High Pass -Ribbons- (Outputs 3 and 6)
But 6 at 2.11kHz - Filters on left side - low end rolloff.
Phase 50 degrees.
DIGITAL AMPLIFIER PACKAGES
DVD 6 Channel
Front speakers large No subwoofer No other enhancement filters or modes
The trick with the Panasonic is to make the mains large and turn the subwoofer off. Only then will the XR45 feed full frequency into the main speakers. Otherwise there is a 100Hz rolloff and a beautiful bottom end is lost.
HOW DO YOU FIX YOUR AUDIO SYSTEM?
By eliminating problems:
Symmetry - keep the reflections from each side of the room even. One hard wall and one soft wall will make it very difficult to achieving great soundstaging.
Rear reflections - usually it is best to minimize them so either keep the seated listening head away from the rear wall or apply considerable acoustic damping to the wall.
Space - get the speakers out into the room for depth of soundstage.
Sub Placement - this is critical to the proper integration of the system. As with all of the above considerations, EXPERIMENT AGGRESSIVELY.
Having problems? - Call us or email a sketch of your room see the Room Planner. Look over our Room Set-ups page to get an idea of the issues involved.
The break-in experience varies widely. Some owners report the speakers sound great out of the box and they did not hear significant differences over time. Others found harshness and restricted bottom end to be very distinct.
Most owners find that the speakers become noticibly smoother after 3 or 4 days of moderate volume playing time. Most of the benefits of break-in are to be had in the first 3 weeks but reports vary.
There are however, some clearly defined effects on break-in time. The longer the speakers are played and the louder they are played will determine their break-in status. Eventually, the changes slow down and cease to be audible. Loudspeakers are mechanical devices so not only will time and energy be factors but so will heat and humidity. If you are using a new amplifier, CD player or cables their performance will be changing as well.
The fastest way to break-in the speakers is to leave them on at moderately high levels when the house is empty. This might not be recommended for owners with tube amps but for conventional solid state gear, there are not likely to be heat or instability issues which will harm the amps or the speakers
You hear differently from day to day depending on atmospheric changes and the condition of your sinuses. As you become accustomed to the speakers and the system, you stop listening to them and listen through to the music.
When the time comes that you only hear music when you turn the system on, the speakers are broken in, your electronics are broken in and your ears have determined that they really do like what they are hearing.
Our new Coaxial Ribbon LineSource designs come in at higher price levels than we have occupied before but they offer significant improvements in both fidelity and practicality over most loudspeakers, regardless of price- conventional or planar - in most listening rooms. They are just as electronics friendly as our other speakers and thus, for $15,000 total system cost, it is possible to attain ultra system performance. Breakin will be the same for the LSRs as any of our loudspeakers but the midbass will be smoother from the start due to reduced room modes and therefore, breaking of the midbasses will be more difficult to detect.
Open up the top and take out the top packaging. Needle nose pliers to pull the staples and a knife for the tape will make this easy.
Take out the top packaging. Place the carton gently on its side and open the bottom. Make sure flaps are spread out and raise the carton to an upright position.
Lift off the main carton and pull out the corner posts and take the cabinet out of the inner carton.
Lay the cabinet on its back on the Ethafoam pad and line up the predrilled holes with those on the bases. Use a Phillips bit to tightly fasten the bases to the cabinet bottoms.
Note that the base must be attached securely to the bottom of the cabinet before the tall, heavy Ribbon is mounted, otherwise the system will be unstable.
Screw in spikes (if required) after the final location in the room is determined. Note that the inserts on the bottom of the bases are not flush so they will scratch a hard floor surface. Keep the speakers on pieces of carpet when moving them on hard surfaces.
Need to spike on a hard surface? Look at http://www.superspikes.com
Cut the tape around the seams of the carton.
Open the hinged (R30) lid. In the case of R45, the top comes off completely.
The Ribbon carton holds 2 ribbons in the case of the R30 and one in the case of the R45. The ribbons are heavy and slippery. Hold them firmly from the back and the bottom and avoid putting pressure on the front screens.
The hardware is all in one Ribbon carton and consists of: 8 spikes (¼" - 20 thread), 8 base mounting screws (1 ½" #10 wood screws), 4 small Ribbon bolts (10-24) and 2 large Ribbon bolts (5/16" - 18) plus 2 Nordost Flatline Gold Ribbon interconnects.
Insert the two smaller bolts (10-24 machine screws) in the lower holes and line up with the keyhole slots in the bracket on the mid-bass.
Insert the heads through the slots and then insert the larger bolt through the open slot in the top of the bracket and screw into the Ribbon back. Snug the larger bolt with your fingers but use only light pressure. The lower bolts do not need to be tightened as they are there for alignment. Also, they are tricky to get at due to the binding posts behind them.
Fold the flat conductors of the Nordost cables over each other and slide them into the holes in the 5 way binding posts on the top of the enclosure and tighten the plastic hex nuts with your fingers. Run the cables up to the binding posts on the Ribbon and repeat the procedure.
Attach your amplifier cables to the binding posts on the rear of the midbass enclosure and you are ready to play music!
Low Waste Packaging! Please Reuse and Recycle!
The cardboard boxes and the corner posts as well as the bracket tube are recyclable. The Ethafoam packing can be extremely useful for other uses. For instance, the bottom pads given that they are waterproof and insulating make excellent seats at outdoor events.
The Break-in Procedure
Breaking the speakers in will result in a smoother sound and greater bass extension and openness. Typically there is a noticeable improvement after 3 or 4 days will full breakin occurring in 3 or 4 weeks. Breakin time is a function of volume and time played.
If you are 5' 2" tall, this is how you look against the R645.
If you are biwiring, the top set of binding posts is for the Ribbon and the bottom for the midbass drivers.
Take the gold grounding straps off if you are biwiring or biamping. Note how they are aligned, as the straps are tricky to get on again.
One of the most popular tweaks is upgrading the capacitor to Hovlands or Thetas type. The new capacitors will be attached directly to the positive Ribbon binding post and the positive lead from the amp. This bypasses the standard Ribbon crossover inside the enclosure. This is an easy tweak to do if you are biwiring.
PANASONIC-BEHRINGER - SYSTEM OVERVIEW
This system is now 6 or 7 years old but for those interested, it can still provide great sound for very few dollars. If you can't find a Panasonic receiver, a good Onkyo will do nicely. BTW, virtually all the receivers we've tested from major manufacturers over the $1500 price point have good sounding amplifier sections. With Onkyo, this seems to start at $600.
Note that some digital amps have crossovers built in like Hypex and Tact. Several Onkyo receivers have digital crossovers built in like the Onkyo 818 and the new Emotiva pre-processor is supposed to feature crossover capability. When combined with room correction as in the Onkyo and Emotiva, the results can be superb. Note however, that crossover settings flexibility varies widely in these components and may not be suitable for your particular speaker system.
The digital output from the CD or DVD player is connected to input A of the Behringer.
The Behringer crossover then separates the signal into high and low frequencies for both right and left channels.
Outputs 1, 2 and 3 are for the left channel. Output channel two feeds the midbass (up to 1kHz) and channel 3 feeds the Ribbon (1kHz and above).
Outputs 4, 5 and 6 are the right channel outputs. Output 4 feeds the midbass and 6 the Ribbon.
Outputs 1 and 4 are not used in our system. They could be used in the future if we wanted to incorporate a subwoofer into the design making it a 3 way.
The Behringer crossover feeds the Panasonic receiver which is used strictly for its amplifiers. The input is the 6 channel DVD analog inputs which allows us to use 4 of the 6 inputs. The front channel inputs (left and right) are used for the midbasses and the surround inputs are used for the Ribbons. The Panasonic must be set to DVD 6 channel mode via the button beside the power button on the remote.
The Volume control on this system is the remote control for the Panasonic.
You could use the Behringer input and output level controls as well but these should be set and left once the proper level for your room has been arrived at.
If you are using a preamplifier, the analog outs (left and right) would be plugged into the Behringer inputs A and B. The setup of the Behringer will have to be changed so the input A is analog rather than our setting of digital (AES/EBU).
Note that the Panasonic receiver is being used only for its amplifiers. It becomes a "dumb" power amp. Once set up in this configuration, you can’t plug other inputs into it or run surround speakers from it. The Panasonic must be driven by the Behringer only.
The proper scale of the music soundstage is an important part of creating a realistic sense of "being there". Looking up at a large beautiful high def image on the video screen begins to seem unnatural after a while if you are listening down to a knee high musical soundstage.
Match the scale of the soundstage to the visual image! Tall LineSource speakers will produce the full height perspective of the original event.
ACOUSTIC ADVANTAGES OF FRONT PROJECTORS
Their time has come. Front projectors are making huge strides in their image quality and along with LED, LCD and plasma TVs, have removed the big box (rear projection or CRT) sticking out from between the speakers.
This development is important to music lovers because a ceiling mounted projector and front screen get rid of that huge mass of vibrating panels and reflective surfaces between the speakers which is a rear projector or CRT TV. In other words, getting rid of the big box in favour of a wall mounted screen will distinctly improve soundstage depth and focus to the benefit of both music and home theater sound. This also means the big cabinet housing a TV should go as well.
TUNING FOR MUSIC
If you are tuning your system for music, get the main speakers as far out ahead of the plane of the scrren as possible to reduce reflections. If you are listening to music with no video, you can experiment with ways to try and neutralize the degrading effects of the screen. Moving the speakers out, or draping a comforter over the TV should improve things.
Remember, you are not trying to reproduce the sound of a movie theatre in your home because the sound in a movie theatre is vastly inferior to most good high end home systems. Going to a movie may be more fun as an event but technically, the home systems are pulling away from the large theaters.
R630v3, R645v3 (Full Range) Designed to be placed some distance out from the back wall (3’ to 6’) and the side walls (2’ to 4’). All of these distances are relative to the hardness or softness of the room. More air for hard rooms, less for soft. The ample bass output of the R645s allows them to be located far from the walls for maximum depth of stage. The listening position should be between 1 and 1.5 times from the speakers to the distance between the speakers.
Exactly the same placement as for the R630s except these will be setup for soundstage only. The bass will come from sub-woofers which will be set up separately. This is the ultimate in flexibility. In small rooms, the LSM may well have enough bottom end for most music applications especially when placed near a wall in corners.
Our new Coaxial Ribbon LineSource designs come in at higher price levels than we have occupied before but they offer significant improvements in both fidelity and practicality over most loudspeakers, regardless of price- conventional or planar - in most listening rooms. They are just as electronics friendly as our other speakers and thus, for $15,000 total system cost, it is possible to attain ultra system performance. These absolutely must be 2+ feet out from the front wall to avoid a cavity effect - trapping side radiation against the front wall.
Being modular and totally scalable, ceiling height is the only limitation. If you have a big room with a tall ceiling, these will likely light it up better for you than any loudspeaker system on the planet.
The subs should provide solid bass to less than 20Hz in room. The key elements in integrating a sub seamlessly are picking the location with the fewest room modes (i.e. smoothest and deepest response at the listening seat) and crossing over low enough (40-60Hz) to avoid muddy mid-bass and localization of the sub. A sophisticated electronic/digital crossover is very valuable in this area either in your processor or in the subwoofer itself. Or, externally in the case of the Behringer DXC2496 or DEQX systems. Experiment with reversing the phase in every different location. This will help eliminate ‘fat mid-bass’ and maintain the speed of the system. Another very easy and first class solution? ROOM CORRECTION! Multiple subs spread around the room will produce smaller room modes, be naturally smoother and make far less work for the room correction system and the amps.
PLACEMENT - THINGS TO AVOID
Avoid placing the listener’s head close to a hard rear wall. Reflection from the wall will play havoc with both imaging and bass response. If the listening position must have a wall right behind it, cover the wall with Sonex, a heavy curtain or a tapestry laid over fiberglass or foam acoustic insulation etc. Whatever the method, the listeners ears must not be subject to a strong, direct rear reflection. Don’t place one speaker beside a reflective wall and one with open space to the side. Try to make the acoustic floor plan acoustically symmetrical for both right and left sides. If there is open space on one side try to simulate space on the other with absorbent material on the wall, plants etc. Avoid putting large objects in between the speakers. If a large TV or equipment rack (especially with glass doors is placed between the speakers, try to have the object recessed as far as possible. If the object is close to the same depth plane as the speakers, both horizontal and depth elements of the soundstage will fall short of the speakers potential.
Don’t make assumptions or expect the speakers to work well just because they are setup roughly the same way they were in a friend’s sound room or the dealers demo room. Your room is unique. It has different dimensions, furnishings and its boundary walls are made of different materials.
Once you understand the trade-offs, the key to success is experimentation. Try various positions and listen for the differences on different pieces of music. Even a change of two inches one way or the other can result in dramatic improvements at the listening position. But be careful when moving the speakers, they are tall and heavy! Don’t install the spikes until the best position is found. If you run into problems, call Newform for ideas. With the vast majority of rooms, a 90% setup can be achieved very quickly with the final 10% coming with small tweaks over the break-in period.
Once you have optimized placement, it will be possible to forget about the loudspeakers and enjoy the music to its fullest.
See also: The Right Loudspeaker.
So you've done your research, made an informed decision and purchased your Newform Loudspeakers. Now, you just have to wait for them to arrive, unpack them and find the perfect place for them. If you're worried that it won't be that simple, just take a look at the following sections, we've been through this before and everything you'll need to know is here. You can also take a look at and print out this Instructions.pdf file as well.
If you have any questions not covered here, you can look at our Common Questions page, or email us and we will gladly help you.
Loudspeakers are merely air pumps. The speaker with the greatest fidelity is the air pump producing the fewest errors (room interactions aside). Film drivers have the greatest potential for making the fewest errors given their low mass and virtually 100% driven diaphragm. This low mass and great diaphragm control can also produce the near absence of diaphragm resonance which is a major source of harshness and listening fatigue in cone and dome drivers.
The Newform Ribbons take film drivers to their next level by eliminating the well known old problems and taking advantage of new advances in our understanding of what constitutes true high fidelity to the human ear. Our new technology Ribbons improve on the classic Ribbon and electrostatic designs by representing high, purely resistive loads that any amplifier can drive to the best of its ability. At the same time, the sensitivity is higher, further reducing amplifier stress and allowing the greater dynamics of our systems to be exploited.
The Newform Ribbons provide extremely smooth and extended frequency response with unmatched horizontal dispersion. Why do our new designs compare so well to the classic electrostatic and Ribbon designs? Newform Ribbons have narrow (3/4"), tightly suspended diaphragms that inherently provide extremely good horizontal dispersion. As one of our kit customers pointed out, "Newform Ribbons simply store less energy than any other design I have heard". The less stored energy (released several milliseconds late), the cleaner the sound.
Once we have exploited the benefits of film diaphragms to create a superior sound wave, there is the question of delivering that wave with maximum integrity into the room and to the listeners ears. Aside from the obvious benefits that derive from being a Ribbon or film driver, there is the issue of diffraction. Our Ribbons have the smallest acoustic profile of any driver operating from 1 kHz up. When it comes to acoustic profile, the less you see, the more you hear. The entire structure is only 3 1/4" wide and 2 1/2" deep. (The Oval Ribbons are only 2" wide.) It is heavily beveled at the front and the diaphragm is within 1/8" of the front of the structure. Given the narrow width of the diaphragm (dispersion is a function of diaphragm width and wavelength), there is very little to interfere with extremely even off-axis response. A critical consideration in producing a truly coherent soundfield in home theater.
Excellent and very even off-axis dispersion patterns are prime contributors to a deep and well-focused soundstage. The clarity, which is created by our narrow film diaphragm, is maintained by the absence of anomalies as the waveform moves beyond the loudspeaker structure and into the room. Once into the room, they will not be degraded by ceiling and floor reflections because as broad as our horizontal dispersion pattern is, our vertical dispersion is conversely limited.
This line source characteristic is of extreme importance to soundstaging focus and depth as well as to soundfield coherence in home theatre and intelligibility in public area installations. Conventional system manufacturers are coming to this conclusion as well as can be seen by the emergence of systems in the higher end featuring dome arrays and ever more ribbons. These arrays produce cancellation patterns which effectively reduce vertical dispersion. Newform Ribbons produce a naturally controlled radiation pattern which has no comb filtering in it.
In the complex world of sound reproduction, design simplicity is the foundation of excellence. For a more complete discussion of our technology and its practical application, browse through our "Published Articles" section.
The R630v3 and the R645v3 speaker cabinets have been quite heavily upgraded. The objectives were to improve bass pitch definition, midbass transient response and reduce diffraction effects. These new cabinets meet their design targets very successfully but, as you can see, they are far from simple to construct.
Features of the new cabinets:
- heavy shelf bracing
- complete diagonal wall bracing
- damped wall surfaces
- damped air volume
- decoupling pad on top and bottom of cabinet
- solid surface top
- seamless, large radius vertical edges
Bottom line: superior construction yielding excellent internal damping and very low wall vibration plus excellent anti-diffraction characteristics. The basic elements of the speaker cabinet construction are as follows:
|Vertical Wall thickness||- 1" high quality MDF board|
|Bottom thickness||- 1" bottom + 0.07" damping pad +1" MDF base|
|Top thickness||- 1" top + 0.07" damping pad +0.5" Solid Surface polished top|
|Shelf braces||- 2|
|Diagonal panel wall braces||- 9|
|Vertical Corner Treatment||- Heavily radiused (1.5")|
||- Damped walls
- Multiple layers
|Cross Brace Damping||- Damped cross braces damped with 0.070" barrier mat|
||- Bolt in base
- 4 hex head machine 1/4 x 20 screws screw into internally fixed insert nuts
||- Solid surface top (Formica "Black Lava")
- Damped top
- Damped bottom
|Brace Material||- Baltic birch bracing|
|Grill Material||- Baltic birch grill|
|Internal Wall Damping Pads
||- 18 to 20 triangular pieces glued to interior walls
- Polyester film
0.25" urethane acoustic foam
- 0.07" limp, dense plastic barrier mat
|Internal Volume Damping||- 1" - 2" urethane acoustic foam damping|
|Finish||- 0.020" black ash Formica laminate|
|Kits||- Bare enclosure|
||- Low gloss black paint
- 1" MDF, 0.070" Damping Mat
- Diagonal wall bracing
|Grill Finish||- Black polyester doubleknit grill cloth|
|Grill Mounting||- Low vibration, strong and flexible pin (in cabinet) and rubber cup (in grill frame)|
Try the knuckle wrap test. About as solid and dead as a loudspeaker cabinet gets. We will not be responsible for sore knuckles!!
Why damp the cross braces? Cross braces are connected directly to the wall of the cabinet and thus short circuit any damping inside or on the interior wall of the cabinet. A thorough approach to damping requires that any cross braces which go through the air volume of the enclosure must be damped to prevent them from acting as antennae - picking up the soundwaves inside and transmitting them to the walls. Baltic birch is very strong, resilient and very inert and with the damping mat glued to it, quite resistant to the transmission of midbass frequencies. Damping the cross braces is a practice unique to Newform Research as far as we know.
Baltic birch void free plywood is the world standard for professional sound loudspeaker enclosures because of its strength and light weight and "silence". Newform uses high grade MDF for enclosure walls as it is ideally dense and inert. MDF simply would not stand up to being hauled around in trucks and setup 3 times a month for touring groups. Nor would roadies hold up too well setting up loudspeakers made with the much heavier MDF. We use Baltic Birch over the typical MDF for bracing and damping because its qualities of superior strength and resilience are best for that application.
R630v3 top Solid surface top plate. Exceptionally smooth, seamless baffle to side transition.
R630v3 Top rear.
R645v3 Cabinet interior with baltic birch shelf braces, diagonal wall braces and triangular wall damping pads. Cross braces and 1" - 2" volume damping acoustic foam are added in the final fabrication steps.
1" acoustic foam and triangular damping solid mat/foam pads.
Internal view of work-in-process model LineSource Reference cabinet.
The R645v3, and to a lesser extent, the R630v3 have been the focus of a huge amount of audio enthusiast attention in terms of modification and upgrading.
At least three companies, Sonic Craft, Madisound and North Creek offer crossover upgrades and Sonic Craft offers also BlackHole acoustic damping kits. The Coaxial Ribbon LineSource based models can also benefit from this kind of upgrade approach.
For the most part these speaker tweaks are going in the right direction. Newform cannot justify the cost of these modifications in a production loudspeaker where 10 to 15% of owners are motivated to make the upgrades. However, the use of higher quality capacitors, whether Hovland, Theta or Sonic Craft and foil inductors can only improve the sound quality. Improved damping along the lines of Blackhole or Blachford on the cabinet walls again, can only be an improvement to older models but keep in mind that the v3 models incorporate multilayer damping and panel damping.
Our only strong recommendation is that the tweakers keep the upgraded crossovers outside the enclosure. There are two reasons for this. One is to keep the large caps and inductors from restricting airflow inside the cabinet. The second is to facilitate easy changes to the values of the crossover components and to allow the "inevitable DSP crossover /biamp" upgrade to be installed easily.
To this end, Newform has developed an external terminal plate for mounting the crossover and allowing easy direct hookup of the "inevitable full digital chain". Plug and play!
The upgrades discussed on the web in numerous forums range from simple (the upgrade cap simply bypasses the internal unit so there is no need to go inside the cabinet) to almost a complete rebuild of the speaker. When you undertake the modification project, be sure you have the background to see it through.
In looking at the modifications you might be considering, always keep in your mind the possible upgrade path to digital crossovers. DSP crossovers and digital amps with built in crossovers are here now and they are becoming more common. Several receivers and preamp processors have both digital crossover and room correction built into them. This is an extremely potent combination.
Where you choose to jump in on these curves is your decision but choices are available now from Tact, Hypex, Lyngdorf, Emotiva, DEQX and Behringer. Onkyo now has digital crossovers built into some of its receivers. That plus room correction and the great sounding amplifier sections, make these Onkyos a bit of a killer ap. Call us for an update as this is a rapidly developing area.
In terms of ultimate tweaks, we have the No Holds Barred (NHB) models which address all of the upgrade issues and go several steps beyond in terms of advances in enclosure technology. As well, you can browse through the "Owners Projects" page to see some really well done individual approaches to solving the acoustic imperfections inherent in any loudspeaker design.