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Model 5A Carbon- internal crossover battery replacement


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All,

The battery replacement for the internal crossovers of my Vandy’s is long overdue.  I plan to remove them myself and ship to the Vandersteen factory for replacement.

I was wondering how difficult the process is to remove them? I have studied the manual over and over and it sounds fairly simple.  
I am not the most technically talented person.

I was hoping that I could get some tips or advice from those who have done it.  Any challenges? Any surprises that were not in the manual?

I bought mine used so I don’t have the luxury of having a dealer do it. I do live in Southern CA (San Clemente) if anyone knows of tech who could come out.

Any info/insight would be highly appreciated.

‘Thanks much!

Tom

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Tom,

I did the procedure recently. It was simple and straightforward and required only a Phillips head screwdriver and a small flathead screwdriver if I am not mistaken. I too followed the instructions in the manual carefully down to the pile of books placed at the base of the speaker to receive the amplifier when it was pulled out so that it was supported as you disconnected the four wires inside. At first it seemed a bit nerve-racking, but honestly it’s quite easily done. I took some photographs along the way. I’ll put them up here tomorrow morning for you to take a look at. 

best, John

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Hi Tom, here are several photos that I took as I removed the back plate, the amp and the crossover. I hope I can show them to you here in sequence. Sliding the crossovers out of their "shelves" required a firm and steady pull, but they will come. To be honest, the most fiddly part of the process came when I replaced everything and had to re-seat those two wires, black and red, in their slots to be secured by those small flathead screws.

The entire process took me about an hour. The first speaker took longer than the first because I was going slowly and seeing everything for the first time. And taking pictures so I'd have something to refer to when I re-installed everything.

Hope this helps, best, John

8E2BB0FB-1764-4847-9186-567737C701A6.heic 836815CB-C455-42F2-B099-783ACF856DD7.heic 45588937-CC25-445E-8717-58A4A2336F51.heic F3D50BA7-C0C9-4B5D-8AA1-E18337FC8515.heic 7751C501-E37C-4DC3-8E32-26147F15B26A.heic 0B20DEF5-6C6C-4640-8DC9-5D237882D7AC.heic 4CA9C68D-9F12-4A9A-A3BD-2C7C089702A2.heic 3CEF64D8-425A-4BC6-B7C7-EDB3417ED1C2.heic 7593CBF4-B517-4B8B-AB00-CBE1F67C1663.heic EC01EC19-A9B5-403A-BF12-703CA6026228.heic 5FCAB252-812F-4051-939F-392BE2EBB671.heic

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Wow ! Those pics are extremely helpful. After reading the manual and now seeing the photos, everything makes sense.

I saw that you had Brian Berdan change out your batteries? Was that a favor for you as an existing customer or do they provide that service to anyone for a fee?

Once again, thanks so much for your assistance!

Tom

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great thread, love Mark Twain, how appropriate.

 

i know Brian, he is great but factory service for battery replacement is in expert hands and wayyyyyyyy down the delicate learning curve on soldering to batteries, do yourself a favor and opt for lithium ( which you supply and ship w filters ) Take your own photos along the way. i find long nose nose pliers helpfull for seating the two sub wires and a jewelers blade screwdriver. take care pulling the crossover, it is captured by damping material in a slot. what an excellent example of Vandersteen owners helping each other in community. in normal times i would make the drive from Carlsbad to directly help you. On Saturday you are welcome to facetime if you get in a snag..

Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Mission accomplished! Got my crossovers back from Vandersteen yesterday. Turnaround time was 1 week. Reinstalled them and there is definitely an improvement in the sound. Much more airy sounding. Also feel like I’m hearing a bit more detail.

My advice is to make sure you replace the batteries within the time period.  Mine were years overdue.

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That's great info.  I wonder if the dealers can set up a tickler file to call customers about replacement at the appropriate time (they know the useful life of the batteries and they can also set us up with lithium ones too as well as any other suggestions that they may have).  Thanks for sharing.

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Based on some answers posted to the "Ask Richard" portion of the Vandersteen website and the manuals, Quatro CT's don't have battery biased internal crossovers like the 5 series does/did and the 7 series does.  (It looks like the Kentos may be the same as the Quatros in this regard.)

Is that right?  

Of course, the external high pass filters that go prior to the amplifier inputs are a different matter.

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The KENTO does not have battery bias on the internal crossover because many people let them go dead and the speaker keep playing albeit at a significant loss of transparency!  Lowest common denominator dictates that the expensive battery bias system was not a good idea but they remain on the SEVEN series as they are our flagship.  I have spoken with many previous owners who thought that the speakers just were not competitive after 10 years or so and moved on.  Not good as $189 and 1 week wait is a much better investment.  In my opinion they do get dark, slow and veiled when the battery's are dead and the caps get unformed.  We have found an expensive treatment (time consuming and energy inefficient) that puts a permanent pseudo bias on the critical pass caps in the KENTO crossovers which give us 85 percent of the sonic gain.  Battery bias requires four times as many caps in the circuit so once the advantage (bias) is gone its no wonder the sound suffers like it does.

RV

 

 

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1 hour ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

I have spoken with many previous owners who thought that the speakers just were not competitive after 10 years or so and moved on.

Competitive?

Not to be pedantic, but I can't think of the word you wanted to use. Competitive?

B

Edited by Brad O
wrong word
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15 hours ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

The KENTO does not have battery bias on the internal crossover because many people let them go dead and the speaker keep playing albeit at a significant loss of transparency!  (and more not quoted)

That's really too bad.  I can imagine your frustration.  You might think that $189 every 10 years would be a very reasonable maintenance charge, but I guess not for everybody.  That's about the price of a decent oil change for a car.  

Maybe people just look for reasons to buy something new.  Especially audiophiles.

Personally, every single day I still marvel at our Quatro CT's.  I can't think of many other products of any kind that give me that same reaction.  Yeah, that sounds like soft soaping the designer, but it's actually the truth.

Thanks for the explanation.

Edited by BKDad
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Bk, many of us are there with you on the Quatro's.  Most feel it's the best value in the line.  If you can afford this price point, it's a must audition for anyone.  When run with matching gear and set up properly, it just makes music, but unlike other 'musical' speakers, you get the definition and detail.  I does literally disappear.

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  • 4 months later...

remember to change all the batteries. ...the ones in the high pass filters too.   Be careful of the screws...they are soft metal and the heads can easily be damaged. Use the proper Pillips head screwdriver.  The crossover on mine was very tight in the cabinet ....be patient and it will come out.   When reinstalling everything, be sure you have the correct crossover in the cabinet.  Check the serial number and match it.  The job is not hard and I'm sure you'll do a good job.

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