- Tim wasn't exaggerating about the improved bass response. The speakers are certainly moving more air now and it is impressive to experience. The dampening has successfully tempered the previously bloated mid-bass while the newly-extended low end is now more pronounced, resulting in a more even-sounding bass response. Kick drum thumps are startlingly weighty- a modest source EQ tweak was required. The extension has allowed me to set the crossover on my sub lower, further evening out bass response across my system.
- The A5+'s are now far more resolved and detailed- imaging is tremendous for speakers of this size. The soundstage extended modestly in all relevant directions, as Tim mentioned, offering a more enveloping character in its presentation. Voices project from somewhere in between the speakers now as opposed to simply coming from both the left and right simultaniously. I find my dog looking all over the place for sounds now when I'm listening to music with him at my side... before he would be looking at one of the two speakers only (he has good ears, right??;)
- The mids are a tad stronger now. Certainly clearer. I also experienced a slight extension in the highs along with the increased clarity/resolution. The highs also smoothed out nicely. A once-occasionally present edginess in the upper registers has disappeared.
- As Tim mentioned, the noise floor is now noticeably lower resulting in a better sense of dynamic.
These mods have improved the sound quality of my system rather dramatically- more than I was expecting, honestly. The project was certainly an adventure for me (as my previous posts will attest to.) I admittedly was a tad green when I started. At one point I screwed up and thought I'd ruined my speakers. With Tim's help I realized that nearly anything can be fixed when it comes to circuitry. In the process of fixing my mistakes I learned to bypass damaged traces, run jumper wires, troubleshoot with a multimeter, decipher signal paths, etc.- all useful skills that will serve me well as I undoubtedly take on more projects in the future.
To conclude, I recommend these mods to anyone who may be considering them. It's a time consuming project but you won't be disappointed in the outcome. My A5+'s are very different and much more impressive sounding speakers then they once were. I am very happy with the results. Audioengine could charge a healthy amount of money for these!
P.S. Hats off to the OP, who's direction and patience guided me through this project. Tim, if you're out there reading this, thanks a million.
P.P.S. A few weeks after completing the A5+ mods I purchased and installed the "uber" analog board upgrade for my Schiit Bifrost DAC. I won't go into detail here but I will say that it is a fantastic change. It took an already nice sounding DAC and vaulted it up to a new level of detail and resolve (along with eliminating the last remnants of boomy low end I would occasionally hear.) I was happy to know that my modded speakers would be able to faithfully convey the improved sonics provided by the upgraded analog stage in the DAC, which they did in spades. Should anyone be wondering, they pair very well.
Edited by Scallywag - 5/21/13 at 2:14pm