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"Realistic" Minimus 7 Mod

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Greetings, I am creating this thread to give visual explanations for the modding process of the Minimus 7, a very popular "bang for the buck" speaker produced by RadioShack in the 80's.




About a month or two ago, I found this pair of Realistic Minimus 7 mini-monitors from my grandmother's house. When I got home, I hooked them up to my turntable rig (Kenwood KR-v7750 AV Reciever, with Kenwood KD-66F turntable). I was VERY pleasantly surprised that they worked, and just how clear the treble was, the only problem being, the bass, or lack of. It reminded me of my Grado SR-80i's, although a much much more drastic difference in balance. The treble was a bit tinny, albiet, but VERY clear. The bass, simply, was not there. When I cranked up the bass on my reciever, I was pleasantly surprised by the tight punchy bass that popped out of these suckers.


I decided I'd do a little bit of research about these little aluminium treble monsters. I wanted (for the first time EVER), MOAR BASS. I'm the kind of guy why quite enjoys the sparkly treble and bass lightness of a Grado. So when I say these things were bass dead, they're bass dead. I started typing "Minimus 7" into google, and was throw into my face a ton of results like "minimus 7 mod" "Minimus 7 crossover" "Minimus 7 blahblahblah". Basically, these are supposed to be DIY beasts. There's upgrade kits on Ebay, millions of threads on AudiogoN and AudioKarma (Yes, I know, SACRILEGE), and I got to thinking. Why not start my DIY career with these? I'd always wanted to mod some audio equipment, and I still can't grow the cahones to open up my Grado's, so Why Not?


NOTE: I will be updating this thread as more devilishly daring mods are performed.


Note2.0 All shots done with my Sony DSLR A100 for SUPREME DETAIL AND ALL THAT OTHER DLSR JAZZ

First Step:


So, even throughout all those repetitive threads on other audio sites, not a ONE had very comprehensive pictures on how to do anything! So, Let's start by taking a pair of Minimus 7 Speakers (DUH):



So you might be thinking to yourself, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ANYTHING?

There's no visible screws to open it up ANYWHERE on the entire chassis! The only visibly screws are behind this ultra cheap flimsy cover! Patience young Grasshopper. Grab some REALLY tiny screwdrivers, and insert them crowbar style into the small holes on the perforated cover, near the edges, like so:


Work the screwdriver(s) around the edge, slowly working the pesky cover off. All it's held on by is some nasty black adhesive that might have the toxicity to kill an entire family of hippos. I recommend using as many screw drivers as you have arms, this rakes a bit of leverage to get completely off, as it likes to work its way back into the case. Onco its out enough, you should be able to simply lift it off. (Back off Boromir)




Now you have a respectable looking set of mini-monitors!



But we're not defiliing this pair of cheapy-speakies from the 80's for looks, right? Lets access those drivers! Start with the sub. Insert your proberly sized screwdriver to the screws surrounding the sub... Wait, this is a guide, not me holding your hands. Get to work!




Taking out the sub is very trying and difficult. You WILL need 2 screwdrivers to pry this beast out. I find that starting the screwdriver (flathead obligitry) under the corner, is the easiest way to get leverage. This is tricky, so have patience.



You should eventually be able to take the sub out with your BARE HANDS (bilavideo reference from the SR60 mod thread anyone?)



Congratulations! You've taken out the subwoofeer! now for the tweeter..... The screws to the tweeter on my pair were so tight that they broke my cheap screwdriver, so I had to steal my dads black&decker masterrace one.



Now that you've managed to defeat satan and take out those four dastardly screws, work out the tweeter in the same manner you did the sub. This is a tad bit easier.






The sub is fine either way, but just in case, lay them both faceup.


Note I did take pictures of removing the nasty fiberglass inside. This is very much a two handed job, and I could not man the tripod. My advice is, grab it from the bottom, form the sub hole, and slowly work it out, and be VERY CAREFUL WITH THE WIRES. Try your hardest not to break the wires.



Thats all I have for step one so far!

Leave your thoughts below, feel free to build on this thread as you wish. My hopes is that it grows in the same way that Bilavideo's "SR60 Mod" thread did. I'll be posting more in the future!

post #2 of 12


I've long had a soft spot for the 7s.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by IceClass View Post


I've long had a soft spot for the 7s.

Thanks! My dad got home yesterday, so I might begin soldering in the new capacitor today.

post #4 of 12
more more! Did you finish the mod? I have had 2 pairs for years and I love them. I also have a pair of Minimus-11 (5.25" woofer/ 2" paper tweeter) and they sound horrid compared to the 7s.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I haven't done anything since then, I might mess with the dampening inside the cabinet later today.

Edit- I did finish the crossover mod, bass opened up a lot more and treble separation increased as well.
Edited by AHorseNamedJeff - 1/7/14 at 9:09am
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Did some tinkering yesterday, took pictures on my compact, I'll get them posted later today. Modded the sub exclusively.
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by AHorseNamedJeff View Post

I haven't done anything since then, I might mess with the dampening inside the cabinet later today.

Edit- I did finish the crossover mod, bass opened up a lot more and treble separation increased as well.

very cool. I'll probably do that soon.
I got a Topping VX1 the other day for my Minimus 7s. Haven't hooked it up yet but here's my initial impressions.
post #8 of 12

Nice, look forward to seeing where you take these... Always been interested in 'em, just haven't had the 'need.' But if I ever find a cheap pair at a hamfest or yard sale or something, I'll still probably nab a set...

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks the comments of support y'all! I got home late so pictures will have to wait till tomorrow sadly. I'm just gonna say that some of these mods will likely apply to other bookshelves, as were mostly going to be modifying the drivers, and the dampening of the cabinet. I urge you of you have the ability to, to open up a pair of cheapy speakers and just start tinkering!
post #10 of 12

In other discussions about modding the Minimus 7s, I've read that it is a good idea to replace the non-polarized electrolytic crossover capacitor with a polypropylene or polystyrene capacitor.  Some audiophiles claim it really makes a difference in the treble quality.  What are your views on that?  Does it really improve the sound quality in the high range, or is it a waste of time and money?  Also, if I do replace the capacitors, do you think I should use ones of a somewhat lower capacitance value, so as to cut down on midrange squawkiness and create the illusion of stronger bass response?  Just wondering.

post #11 of 12

Yes.  Back in 1992 I upgraded several pairs of these speakers using the SoundAid audiophile upgrade Minimus 7 kit  and the results were well worth it.  Here's what was involved.



Edited by Bob A (SD) - 3/22/16 at 2:50pm
post #12 of 12



I started decades ago with realistic 22w/ch receiver plus mimimus 7's, with old marantz cd player plus loudness button on, the system was amazing !


When I replaced realistic receiver with NAD3020 the magic disappeared ?


There is such a thing as synergy.

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