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Deep End DIY - My first speaker project


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Anthony,

If you run data cables into the room, run 2 per point, was quite disappointed myself finding I had "broken cores" in one I had run here, unsalvagable.

Got around it though as I had run another close by. Cable is cheap compared to remediation and labor.

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That was a lot of wood to cut from the last four rings and my arms certainly know they have been used...but job is done...first 100Hz Upperbas horn front has been turned...      

Oh.  My. God.   It is freakin' huge.  I knew it was going to be big, but, well maybe not that big (apologies for the mess!)...          

My mate Dave wondered over and we lugged the front half of the UB horn upstairs.  Definitely a two man lift...almost a three.   Then we had to figure out a way to lift the 70kg+ back half on

PS: i probably should have read the rest of the thread before posting in replay to 10 month old posts :)

 

dave

It's no problem Dave, all are welcome.

I don't know about that but given that the parts are only Cs & Rs, and the caps are quite small, one can easily afford better quality than is usually in a speaker level passive XO.

 

We use PLLXOs quite a bit, but the speakers have to be carefully designed to work with their limitations. In this case the versatility & capability of a DSP based tool would be very useful. A whole lot more expensive thou (good DSP + 6 channels of DAC).

 

dave

The PLLXOs I intend to use will also selectively have shunt inductors in a few high pass filters eg. bandpass RCL, high pass RL and T Section high pass CLC (third order).

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The PLLXOs I intend to use will also selectively have shunt inductors in a few high pass filters eg. bandpass RCL, high pass RL and T Section high pass CLC (third order).

 

I will be interested in where you source your chokes. I have had an eye on such for years and finding something (that isn't custom made and an arm and a leg) is very difficult.

 

But it already looks like you've spent a couple bodies worth on this project.

 

dave

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I will be interested in where you source your chokes. I have had an eye on such for years and finding something (that isn't custom made and an arm and a leg) is very difficult.

 

But it already looks like you've spent a couple bodies worth on this project.

 

dave

 

Too right...they will be custom made by Lucas of Black Art Audio in Melbourne...small mu-metal inductors.  

 

Edit:  I should say that although they will be custom made, that Lucas expects them to be relatively easy to design and test, so the price is not going to be as astronomical as it possibly could be...

Edited by acg
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Less talk more photos, I wanna see these bad boys finished! :D

 

If only you saw all my efforts to get this all done...but I just wanna get them done too...and so does my wife, but for other reasons.

 

Tomorrow I will post some more photos...some that may interest you and your particular project.

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Anthony,

If you run data cables into the room, run 2 per point, was quite disappointed myself finding I had "broken cores" in one I had run here, unsalvagable.

Got around it though as I had run another close by. Cable is cheap compared to remediation and labor.

 

Yeah, I will make up my own network cables and terminate and test them in room.  I have already networked the whole house this way.  I am lucky in that I can get into most of the ceiling space in this house and easily walk through the roof framing so the cabling is really very easy both run and fix.

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Today was to be my first day back at work.  All but one client think I am back next Monday but I like to get in a bit early and get everything shipshape and a bit of work started before the phone calls come.

 

So this morning I sat down in my office (at home) at about 7am and fired up the work computer and opened up my civil design software and was in the middle of loading a job when the phone rang.  It was Gerry, the builder that has been giving me a hand.  His weekday job overseeing a largish construction site in Bris Vegas has come to a halt because of all the rain and he has a few hours spare as a result and can bring over his scaffolding and we can put up the plasterboard on the outside of the music room.  With but a moments pause I say "yep come on over" prepared to abandon my work for a few hours...gotta take Gerry when I can get him.

 

Then 15 minutes later the electrician calls up and says they are washed out too can they come and do my room..."yep...may as well"...they day is half stuffed now I may as well lose most of it.

 

So this morning I had the builder and the electricians running around doing their things but at the end of the morning I had all the high plasterboard done thanks to Gerry and his scaffolding (5m+ ceilings in most of the house - not going to get that done with a ladder) and the wiring for the dedicated audio circuit and the (dedicated) air-conditioner circuit and the new room lighting and added another regular power-point to the room.  Wow!  Luckily yesterday I ran the network and coaxial cables and had marked out where I wanted the power points and lighting and even where I wanted the 6mm dedicated power cable to be run...so I was in fact ready for battle stations at quarter to eight in the morning when they both arrived.  Phwew...

 

Room is a mess now...

 

post-139669-0-38657200-1452074773_thumb.

 

 

I also called in at a carpet store to figure out what I want to put in the room.  Here is a midrange horn choosing it for me...

 

post-139669-0-09865800-1452074777_thumb.

 

 

Mmmm it says...can do better...

 

post-139669-0-87831900-1452074780_thumb.

 

That's better!

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I'm partial to its first choice. What colour walls? (and YAY pictures) :party

 

Probably a light colour for the walls, not sure yet.  The horn will be so much black in the room...that probably needs to be balanced out somehow.

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Like the dark carpet better  :thumb:

Edit, power cable going in  :)

Nice

Now for lighting.

 

Well I was half stressed about the lighting for the room.  I wanted surface mounted lights because of the soundproofing I have been doing and I wanted lights on the ceiling and not the walls and I did not want to be bound by my decisions at this stage because I don't know what I want.  Oh the options!!  I took one look at a lighting catalogue and I thought my head was going to explode...just not my thing.  Anyway, my wife dragged me down to a lighting shop run by people that she knows and the guy there was fantastic...he had me summed up into about 5 seconds and set my head straight...going with four commercial rails 2m long that I can clip just about any sort of lights into and position them at will...a very good option given that I don't even know how the speakers are going to fit into the room....but I can sort it all out as the room progresses.

 

 

Depends if it is going to be a music room only or used as a home theatre. Just listening I would go with light colours, home theatre dark carpet dark walls.

 

Just a listening room at this stage.  It will also be my office so I want a room that is easy to be in...I think a light room in general will work better toward those objectives.

 

 

 

EDIT:  SS - I still have not got those images ready for you that I mentioned the other day...tomorrow looks likely for them.

Edited by acg
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RAAL Tweeter Sarcophagus mostly done...

 

Just a bit more milling to take the parallel sides out of square, tidy up of the seams and then a paint job to finish them.  At the moment they weigh 6.8kg each with the tweeter installed but some weight will be lost when I shave the sides and some weight gained when I install the 33mm diameter steel rods that will act as the supports and adjustment for this channel.

 

For scale the empty sarcophagus is sitting on an oversised DVD case...

 

post-139669-0-77792700-1452239692_thumb.

 

 

post-139669-0-92421800-1452239695_thumb.

 

 

post-139669-0-83397700-1452239698_thumb.

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Frame Update

 

I have been thinking about how easy my horn frame is going to be to construct with the limited resources that I have here in town.  I have plenty of gear at the farm but that is two hours away and I really do not feel like "tooing and froing" to get the chassis built.  Here is where I got up to with the "Square Frame".

 

 

post-139669-0-88908600-1452813515_thumb.

 

 

 

There is about 50mm of adjustment back and forth for each horn and that is enough, but if I change room and end up with a longer listening distance I will have to make longer rods to hold the horns.  It is ok, I don't mind the design, but perhaps it is a bit "formal" for my liking.  The cable management is not ideal but would be manageable with some holes tapped in the back of the chassis upright as required.

 

One issue for me is welding:  I am a hack, and I want these joins to be as neat as possible, so I will pass the welding to someone else.  Plus the welding will distort the metal so my neatly aligned holes will move and my horns could end up sitting crooked which would mean that I should give it to a fitter and turner to bore out the sleeves to the desired direction and size after welding, which means that I really should just give it to the fitter and turner to do from the get-go.  That is not my plan here, I want to build it with my own hands so I need to find a way to sidestep the welding issue in the area of the frame that the horn adjustments are made.

 

So I got to thinking.  I want it to look less "formal" which means a more fluid design; compliment the curves of the horn with some curves in the frame, plus something that I can build in town and that does not require welding or boring on specialist equipment that I don't have.  This is what I came up with last night...

 

 

post-139669-0-02636700-1452813512_thumb.

 

 

The horn adjustment components are sandwiched in between the two curvy 16mm steel plates and will give about 80mm-90mm of adjustment.  I would screw these into place with M8 machine screws and that whole side plate could be tidied up nicely with some epoxy filler before painting for a smooth surface.  All those machine screws should be enough to keep any twist out of the frame that two 150mm wide panels of 16mm steel plate let through.  The three lower sandwiched items are cable runners so that I can organise the speaker cables inside the frame.

 

As you can see below I have increased the size of the rear legs...I like it!

 

 

post-139669-0-72269900-1452813513_thumb.

 

 

From the front...

 

 

post-139669-0-60502000-1452813510_thumb.

 

 

Showing the horn adjustment mechanism and top plate for the Injection channel or pot plant or other item.

 

 

post-139669-0-81719100-1452813506_thumb.

 

 

And lastly the cable runners...

 

 

post-139669-0-05255800-1452813509_thumb.

 

 

When all is setup and installed in-room and I am ready to to just listen to music rather than build and tweak, I can make up some screens to hide the internals of the sandwich using some magnetised strips and something like black grille cloth.

 

Surprisingly, I think that this fancy curved frame will be easier for me to build than the 'square' frame I started with, mainly because after getting the steel laser cut there are only a few welds and a whole lot of countersinking, drilling and tapping threads, which I can easily do here myself in town.  They will be very heavy though...which is not necessarily a bad thing...I like heavy.

 

Thoughts?

 

@@Romy The Cat, one question.  What I need to be sure of for this curved design is the horizontal distance between the acoustic centres of the Midrange Horn and the Upperbass Horn.  I am really only just making a guestimate so far and it could easily be 50mm+ (2"+) or more than the distance that I have used which means that my curvy frame could get in the way of time aligning the horns.  Are you able to drop a plumb bob from somewhere on the midrange S2 and tell me the distance to the throat of the UB horn (or better yet to the front of the Fane 8M driver or to some identified point on the driver).  Using your listening distance and assuming an ear height I can figure out the what I need to know and make sure that the curvy frame is not going to get in the way.  For example...

 

post-139669-0-45165500-1452815421_thumb.

 

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

 

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Aesthetically...a much better design...nothing like curves to get the heart racing...

 

As for better sound reproduction... I will leave that to those with much more "tech savvy" than I have...

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Aesthetically...a much better design...nothing like curves to get the heart racing...

 

As for better sound reproduction... I will leave that to those with much more "tech savvy" than I have...

I only look at the pictures

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Just did a rough calculation on the steel weight for these horn stands...somewhere around 100kg-110kg each I reckon.

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Just did a rough calculation on the steel weight for these horn stands...somewhere around 100kg-110kg each I reckon.

And the horns? At least that again? So you're looking at close to half tonne speaker system? Easily including bass channels I would guess.

Edited by hochopeper
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I reckon that each horn stack once it is fully populated will end up at about 350kg.  Then there are the bass arrays and the amplifiers.  Those amps have a lot of iron in them so I can't see them being featherweights so they might push 100kg each by the time all six channels are included and I build them from steel..  We are looking at maybe a one tonne system, which according to the builder is just fine for the room.

 

I have not intentionally aimed for a ridiculously heavy system, but I have heard the lighter made horns and how they resonate and carry on at various frequencies and really want to avoid that if I can.  Plus, my aim for the Upperbass Horn(in particular) is to get as much sound radiating out the front of it as I can, and to minimise the amount of sound that makes its way through the horn or backchamber walls to places where I don't particularly want it to be, so I have gone particularly overboard with that channel...at this stage of hindsight a bit too overboard...but I am committed now.  

 

It's not like this is a commercial product where I would have to compromise the weight and scale of the system so people would want to buy it...I have purposefully not let myself be encumbered by those limitations placed on commercial speakers...if I want a top-rate horn system in my eyes it has to be big and it has to be heavy...not really any way around that unless I am willing to have the horns react to the signal they are passing and have to give up running some of those channels from old DHT's or single stage IDHT's with maybe a watt or two of output.

 

EDIT:  DHT = Directly Heated Triode - the early valves - think at least 50yo

IDHT = Indirectly Heated Triode - newer tubes, but if you are lucky you only use one stage (instead of two), so as simple an amplifier circuit of which I am aware
 

Edited by acg
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...at this stage of hindsight a bit too overboard...

 

Been said already in this thread multiple times - for this build - overboard is the "raison d'être"

 

Haven't visited this thread for a long time - hugely entertaining.

Can't wait to see (and hear) the final product.

 

cheers

Mike

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...if I want a top-rate horn system in my eyes it has to be big and it has to be heavy...not really any way around that unless I am willing to have the horns react to the signal they are passing.... 

 

I used to think that way, but my learning path has taken me to a different point these days. My next horns, if ever, will be lighter, not heavier. But not all that relevant for this project! :)  As for big, yep, no way around that without compromise. ;) 

 

I do love your new Shorns (S-horns)!  :love

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I can't call the speakers Shaun...that's just not right...but very witty you pair.

 

 

Yes I'm hoping to one day get to see this in the flesh.
Or wood...


....um.... :unsure: .....yeah

 

Once these are up and running and dialled-in I have been warned by several of a steady pilgrimage of strangers to the "Temple of Shaun" (see...it's just not right is it?) but if I get sick of you buggers I will just let my wife start answering my phone and she will sort you out...haha...seriously though, would be good to meet you DVP (and others).

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...seriously though, would be good to meet you DVP.

You sure about that?

I reckon after ten minutes of "I would have made that bigger" "probably should have countersunk that" "shame all the good welds ended up where you can't see them" "not sure about the colour" etc you'll be pretty sick of me.

Then again, just start talking specs and frequencies and I'll soon be asleep in a corner drooling on your carpet.

Better put a tarp down.

:)

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I reckon that each horn stack once it is fully populated will end up at about 350kg.  Then there are the bass arrays and the amplifiers.  Those amps have a lot of iron in them so I can't see them being featherweights so they might push 100kg each by the time all six channels are included and I build them from steel..  We are looking at maybe a one tonne system, which according to the builder is just fine for the room.

And the waste MDF and steel would have been?! Even more than what's left in the final system!? 

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I used to think that way, but my learning path has taken me to a different point these days. My next horns, if ever, will be lighter, not heavier. But not all that relevant for this project! :)  As for big, yep, no way around that without compromise. ;)

 

I do love your new Shorns (S-horns)!  :love

 

I've put my hand on circa 120Hz fibreglass horns and they shook hard enough to churn butter...not sure how you would approach that frequency range with something light, after-all mass is the essential element for soundproofing, and if sound does not get through the horn walls then they won't shake, if they don't shake they don't make their own sounds and their sensitivity (and directivity) goes up because it is all coming out the mouth of the horn rather than the sides.  Damping only takes things so far, and even the best damping materials are very heavy.

 

I would love to know what you are aiming at with lighter horns... possibly a slightly different target.  Care to explain?

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And the waste MDF and steel would have been?! Even more than what's left in the final system!? 

 

Waste MDF maybe 20-25% from memory (could figure it out)...I put rings within rings so did not waste too much space.  The laser cutting mob bundle jobs in together to get the best use out of a sheet of steel, so I don't pay for much more than the weight I pickup after it is cut.

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You sure about that?

I reckon after ten minutes of "I would have made that bigger" "probably should have countersunk that" "shame all the good welds ended up where you can't see them" "not sure about the colour" etc you'll be pretty sick of me.

Then again, just start talking specs and frequencies and I'll soon be asleep in a corner drooling on your carpet.

Better put a tarp down.

:)

 

Ok, you are uninvited...don't want to ruin the new carpet...haha.

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Just out of interest

Front of my shop is old floor boards with joists at 4 x 2"  at 450 spacings, sitting 10 x 3 joists on blocks of wood that rest on a simple 300 x 450 concrete footing at about every 3 meters, not many. In a space of 6 x 4 meters there may be at any one time more than 6 tons of batteries sitting on it plus the other monster 80Kg inverters and a ton of other stuff associated with solar. Walls are 4 x 2's with solar rail and panels every where at 15Kg or more each, there is 2 x fully assembled 1Kw (50Kg) Wind Turbines hanging from the cieling structure +  suspended in the cieling, 4m 50mm pipe straight through the roof with a 350w Wind Turbine, in the breeze, that would have to be 50Kg all up.

 

Point of babble

I would not be too concerned with dead weight. If anything it may save the building from blowing away in a big storm, like the shop next door did a couple of years ago (that was scary).  ;) I like anything heavy, usually means it is tough and durable, well made.

Edited by Guest
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I've put my hand on circa 120Hz fibreglass horns and they shook hard enough to churn butter...not sure how you would approach that frequency range with something light, after-all mass is the essential element for soundproofing, and if sound does not get through the horn walls then they won't shake, if they don't shake they don't make their own sounds and their sensitivity (and directivity) goes up because it is all coming out the mouth of the horn rather than the sides.  Damping only takes things so far, and even the best damping materials are very heavy.

 

I would love to know what you are aiming at with lighter horns... possibly a slightly different target.  Care to explain?

 

In a nutshell...

  • light and poorly engineered = bad audio (and cheap)
  • massive enough not to need engineering = better audio (and more expensive)
  • light and well engineered = best audio (and most expensive, and time-consuming, and frustrating)

....and not for a first DIY speaker project IMHO.

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