Celestion Ditton 66 crossover was made from components that were available in the 70s, which which usually means poor quality electrolytic capacitors with an exception of the tweeter section. Good quality film caps that are within the specs will do the job. Changing internal wiring and upgrading speaker terminals is a nice thing to do too, but it is hard to say if it provides any audible improvements. It will definitely not make the things worse. Because the Celestion Ditton 66 I bought belonged to a HiFi shop and were used for many years as their reference speakers, they had tatty enclosures and handle marks on the sides more of their story can be found in My Story paragraph in their review.
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Unevenly spread glue, partially covering driver surrounds; not the best paint finish and all the other little imperfections common in many British speakers from s. All drivers use standard ferrite magnets but the size of the magnets on the midrange drivers is incredible — never seen such a small dome powered by a such a large magnet! Baskets of the bass drivers are made from a nice die cast alloy.
Surrounds of the passive radiators and bass drivers are made from rubber, which survived past 38 years and does not look like it is going to give up any time soon. The tweeter domes are covered with protective metal mesh that often comes off. Luckily, both of mine were in place. The original crossovers are hardwired and they are made from components that were available in the 70s, which means — out of specs electrolytic capacitors with an exception of the tweeter section.
But it is not all bad. We have four air core inductors which indicates that manufacturers did not look for savings there.
Cabinets these Celestion Ditton 66 are made from veneered chipboard, with three internal reinforcements — fairly rigid but we can do much better nowadays. The grilles are made from thin metal not something that you see very often! Not the best solution, but I never listen with the grills on anyway. In my opinion, despite some flaws, very good looking speakers, especially versions with veneered fronts. Photos below show the speakers after the upgrade. First thing that came to my mind was how balanced these speakers were.
Deep soundstage and ability of instruments sounding from behind the speakers is only one of them. Another thing is transparency of the sound — it is very good indeed, but not overwhelming. Not an easy thing to achieve. There are many speakers with greater transparency than 66s, but not many that are equally transparent and still not fatiguing to listen.
The amount of bass generated by Celestion Ditton 66 is an interesting subject. It turned out that between 40 and 80Hz Dittons sounded louder than MG15s, but they dropped rapidly below 40Hz, whereas MG15s continued to generate the sound. As a result of this, MG15s were still generating fairly loud noise at 30Hz where as 66s were nearly silent. The conclusion is that very few recordings feature deep bass as we understand it i.
Midrange and treble are very natural with a bit of warmth to it. On the other hand, the same thing that makes Celestions engaging in quiet tracks, makes them less engaging on busier tracks. That is not to say that they will sound flat on busy tracks. Far from that! What these speakers do best is natural presentation of vocals, clapping and pianos, not to mention the balanced sound across the whole frequency range. Where they could potentially improve is separation and depth of the sound stage.
Conclusion Celestion Ditton 66 are extremely good speakers, really good value for money. Clear and full bodied sound with plenty of dynamics and well controlled deep bass.
Good all-rounders. Balance of Sound:.
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