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Repair MS-W4 Subwoofer/Kentucky Address Made

Allison Fan

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Hello gentlemen/Ladies. First time poster here. I had just bought this unit on ebay and it was damaged in shipping. The coils had separated from the crossover network as seen in the pictures, and I don't know if they can be repaired or if it's feasible or not. I am asking for your advice/help here. The good news is that the driver survived, and I have deemed it "The Driver Survivor". :) "I have been lurking here for a while now, and have a lot of questions about my speakers, and I really like the atmosphere on this forum.  

The subwoofer was largely ignored on ebay, as you really can't find anything by searching for them generically. They were from the Kentucky rebirth of Allison that I had sourced a lot of my drivers from, and I purchased all of the drivers to fully replace my Fours and Threes, "just in case" :). That being said, it looks like the coils had separated from the crossover during shipping, so the insurance refunded my purchase and I was able to keep the unit. :). 

If anyone knows what I can do to get these repaired, it would be greatly appreciated. The crossover is in good shape, all things considered, but the coils are rather heavy and need to be reattached and working again. This is a passive 8 inch sub that is a MS-W4 and I have heard they are from a Hsu laboratory, but I don't know if that's correct or not. Here are some pictures of the damaged unit.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome Fan

Sorry no one has chimed in here. I'm not familiar with that specific speaker but see no problem repairing the xo. The coils are just big spools of wire, and the pc board seems to be clearly marked with values (I see 5mH on one). I'd pull the board and check all of the solder joints etc then just reattach and solder all those inductors. The broken plastic is no problem. Maybe embed each in some Goop or drill holes in the pc board to allow fastening with ny-ties.


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  • 1 month later...

Update: It looks like someone switched out the driver in this speaker, and forgot to take off the "Made in Korea" sticker! The saving grace of this speaker/subwoofer was going to be the free Allison made woofer, but someone has already removed and replaced it with a much cheaper, damaged one. It looks like someone took the really nice Kentucky co. driver out before shipping it to me. How am I positive of this? The surrounds on this driver were rotted out and the drivers that I purchased from Allison when they were made in Kentucky when they reformed the company in the early 2000's are still in great shape. For those of you who didn't realize this, the Allison company that was reorganized in the early 2000's had revamped their drivers with updated ones that were more robust and with larger magnets, both in diameter and in weight, as the original is 5 1/4 lbs, or thereabouts, and the one from the Kentucky co. weighs 6 3/4 lbs. The dust caps are larger on the newer ones as well. You can see the diameter difference clearly in the pictures. The reintroduced speaker line was equipped with finer furniture as well, and radiused corners. I replace all of the driver on my Allison Three's and Four's when they were offering driver replacements at that time. It cost me $750 to buy the drivers just to do the Threes and Fours, and the woofers are in great shape still.

The bottom line is that I would have been ripped off if the xovers hadn't been ruined during shipping. The driver on the left is an Allison replacement from Kentucky when they got together again in the early 2000's. Here is a pic of the driver after the surround dissolved in my hands upon removal next to a driver from the replacement subwoofer unit from above, below and the side.  The speaker on the left is the expected driver, weighing in at 6 3/4 lb whereas the one on the right is the delivered driver in the subwoofer unit weighing in at  3 3/4 lb.

I have included a picture of the made in Korea tag from the counterfeit speaker. Next is a picture of the original Allison driver from April of 1980 Made in USA, then the bottom comparison view. Next is the top view comparison. The original Allison driver on the right has been refoamed. Then there's a picture of all three speakers from the top. If anyone is interested in 10" woofer differences, I can post pics and specs on them as well, but I would have to remove the drivers from my Threes to take pics.

To summarize, The good news for me is that I have a pair of Fours that need xover repair, and I can "borrow" the 8" driver from the Kentucky co. that SHOULD have been in the unit I bought on Craigslist to begin with. If I fix the Fours, I can use the original Allison 8' woofer to use in the sub. I should have figured something was fishy when the price listed for the subwoofer was a whopping $19.99! It looked like someone didn't know what they had from the way the listing was. I guess they did.

EDIT: I talked to Dr. Hsu personally and he said they had nothing to do with the design or implementation of this subwoofer. He personally called me back after I left a message with someone who worked there to discuss the use of a lot of specifics such as coil impedance and such and he was very open to answering questions. Very good company. Disclaimer: I don't have anything to do with Hsu subwoofers or the company.


Kentucky vs counterfeit s.jpg

Kentucky vs counterfeit b.jpg

Kentucky vs counterfeit t.jpg

Made in Korea.jpg

Made in USA.jpg

Kentucky vs original b.jpg

Kentucky vs original t.jpg

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Just so you know, before the Allison Company reorganized in the early 2000s, Allison was owned by the SAMMI Company of Korea. They bought the assets from Roy Allison's company in the early 1990s. You will notice the woofer in question is stamped "SAMMI," that subwoofer may have been from the 1990s and that woofer was, in fact, the original woofer for that speaker. 



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That's very interesting. I am now suspecting that this product may be from a different line of products than what I am assuming here. The giveaway to me is the finish of the sub enclosure and the lack of binding posts on the sub xover. After my post earlier, I started to look at the sub, and got to suspecting that it wasn't as high quality as the remade classics from the early 2000's.

This is a disappointment to me in a couple of ways. One would be the Allison name on a lesser quality line of products. The impression that I had on the company was that it was stellar in quality and would never compromise on a line of products for any reason, but it looks like I am mistaken about that.

The question about rebuilding this sub is still out. I don't know if it would be worth fixing up the coils and putting a driver of higher quality in it, or just let it go to the wayside. It would be interesting to know what this would sound like comparing the two drivers that I have currently that are working. I could do an A/B comparison on the original woofer and the upgraded one from Kentucky. That could be a very interesting project.

I have no use for a passive subwoofer at this time, so it may just go to collect dust in the garage, or not. ?




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I have the same subwoofer. I bought what was called the AV 6-pack off of eBay. It included 4 bookshelf speakers (AV200), a center speaker (AV202) and the subwoofer (AV W-4). The subwoofer only goes down to about 40Hz.  I believe It's really a woofer module.  The MS-W4 was part of the upscale version of the AV surround system called the MS it had the lacquer finish rather than gray vinyl but the units had the same audio specs. I think it has decent sound. I'd say it was a value system. Good for the price you paid.

So basically, it's part of a budget surround system. The MS system did get a decent review in a magazine called Sound and Image back in 1994. The review gave it a 9 for cosmetics, a 10 for ease of use and a 7 for sound on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best.

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