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Testarossa build (Raal & Satori TMM)

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  • Testarossa build (Raal & Satori TMM)

    Sometimes you start a project, and by the time you finish it you're a completely new person. For a whole host of reasons, this project took the better part of 4 years to finally finish (and I'm not quite done with it!). Be it simple procrastination, hesitancy to pull the trigger on thousands of dollars of components, graduate school, the birth of my first son, or anything else-- the march towards finishing these was long but the day finally arrived last week when I fired them up for the first time.

    They're the Raal & Satori combo designed by Jeff B. configured as TMM 2-ways, known as the Testarossas. I still have a 3rd one to build (MTM) for my center channel, but I actually think that it will come together fairly quickly. One of my goals for this project (aside from ending up with some kickass speakers) was to learn about design, CNC machining, metal working, and furthering my woodworking skills. I think I accomplished all of those things despite somewhat lessening my ambitions with regards to the final fit & finish of the enclosures.

    I should also add that a lot of this work was done at TechShop, which is/was a national chain of maker spaces. They had all of the equipment that I needed, including a 6'x10' waterjet, CNC router, a metal shop, and a full wood shop. Unfortunately they went out of business just days before I was planning on cutting out the remaining parts for my center channel, hence the delay there.

    Anyways, here's a rundown of the project. I've been inspired by so many projects on this forum and others, so hopefully this post will be appreciated by others who are into this ridiculous hobby!

    All design was done in OnShape (http://www.onshape.com) which is an extremely capable cloud-based CAD service.

    The design is a trans-laminate, with aluminum cross-braces every 4 segments. These are ostensibly for stiffness and rigidity, although they're as much about aesthetics as anything else:




    Inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case it's from the office building next to mine:


    The design was transferred to VCarvePro, which sent it to the ShopBot CNC router. There are 28 segments per speaker, which I could just barely cram into a full 4'x8' sheet of baltic birch plywood (cut into 3rds to fit in my Subaru for transport to the shop):


    One speaker's worth:


    Each 4-piece segment was glued up, using 1/4" dowels for alignment. I tried not to get too much glue on the dowels themselves in the (probably useless) hope that they would allow a bit of movement of the layers should they expand or shrink:


    Segments glued up:


    Cutting out the metal segments required a slightly more powerful tool. Fortunately the waterjet at the shop made short work of the .19" Aluminum (this was an older design of the brace with circle cutouts instead of ovals):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUu_3m5Frtk&t=60s

    The waterjet leaves a sandblasted finish on the edges, which I cleaned up with 400-grit sandpaper:


    Braces cut (L/R on the left, center channel on the right):


    This was a fun day:





    (no, I'm not Jim Salk but Menisus had to buy some of his stock of Raals to fill my order)





    The ports had to be modified slightly in order to fit:


    And a quick test-fit shows them sitting in nicely:


    90-degree SpeakOn connectors instead of standard terminals:


    The actual glue-up process was a bit of a pain. I used the strongest Loctite 2-part epoxy that I could find, and in my tests it turned out to be much, much stronger than the glue in the plywood and formed a great bond between the wood and the metal. It had a very short open time of just a couple of minutes though, so mixing it, spreading it carefully, and getting it clamped was a somewhat frantic affair.


    There were a couple of tiny squeeze-outs on each segment, but as long as I let it firm up for 20 minutes before scraping it off with an x-acto knife it wasn't an issue:


    The front baffle was constructed of 1/2" plywood epoxied to the same .19" aluminum sheet used elsewhere:


    And it attaches to the enclosure using countersunk 1/4-20 bolts that go into epoxied t-nuts:


    Close-up of a test I did for the baffle bolts. My handheld router and a chamfer bit designed for aluminum made it easy to get this just right:


    Top/bottom are bamboo, which I hit with a flush-trim bit and a chamfer bit prior to softening up with sandpaper:


    This router was a real trooper. It cut all of the aluminum on the front baffles:


    Final test-fit before finishing the front baffle:


    One last look at the inside from the top before sealing it up:


    Crossovers finished up (they'll be attached to the bottom with standard standoffs. I used little bullet connectors and a nice solid main connector (can't remember what it's called):


    One last test-fit before finishing the fronts:


    Finished on the right, raw on the left. I used 320 grit Autonet pads on a random orbit sander for the finish:


    Wired up!:


    Polyfill:


    And finally, a finished product:


    For right now they are in a very non-ideal location. I'm working with my wife to figure out what kind of stands to put them on, so hopefully they won't be up here for long:


    And I'm no professional audio reviewer, but my first impressions after a week of listening to these is really, really positive. The tweeter is just as crisp and clear as I had been hoping, and the overall balance of the sound is extremely pleasing to listen to. I have a single 12" sub with a PR that fills out the lower end nicely.

  • #2
    And I'll take some better shots soon with a real camera once I stop listening to them for a little bit. The finish is a water-based satin from General Finishes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Impressive design and execution!

      .
      Ed Henderson

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow!
        Guess xmax's age.

        My guess: 15. His grammar is passable. His trolling is good.

        Comment


        • #5
          Absolutely phenomenal build! Very nice work!
          Projects:

          Breezy Monitors: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...reezy-monitors
          transcenD: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...5035-transcend
          Summits: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...75-The-Summits
          References: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-My-References
          Vintage Style 2-way: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-vintage-2-way

          Comment


          • #6
            amazing work!

            details on the crossover?

            Comment


            • #7
              Xover is proprietary information.
              Wolf
              "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
              "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
              "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
              "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

              *InDIYana event website*

              Photobucket pages:
              http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

              My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow that is REALLY well done - thanks for sharing!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, I don't think I'm supposed to share the specs, even though this is a kit. Out of respect for Jeff B. and Meniscus Audio I'll keep it under wraps.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Really unreal. That is taking DIY to the ultimate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You guys with the CNC access and the CAD skills to use them make me super jealous. Fantastic job, those will make even the snobbiest audiophile drool. Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
                      Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                      Wogg Music

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So, would ya take $60 for them?........JK, awesome work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wogg View Post
                          You guys with the CNC access and the CAD skills to use them make me super jealous.
                          It is worth pointing out that I had never used CAD or any form of CNC machine prior to this project. I had a ton of failed parts, ill-thought-out ideas, and plain bad designs before finally getting it right for what you see here.

                          I highly recommend OnShape or Fusion360 if you have the time to start learning CAD. Even if it's just to make drawings to base your manual work off of, it's a great skill to have and it is nice to validate a design before you start cutting wood.

                          I did all the cuts on my subwoofer by hand, but it's a crazy series of interlocking rabbets and it was way easier to manage that assembly with clear cut lists and diagrams:


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are your two ports directly behind the woofers?
                            Craig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CUclimber View Post
                              It is worth pointing out that I had never used CAD or any form of CNC machine prior to this project. I had a ton of failed parts, ill-thought-out ideas, and plain bad designs before finally getting it right for what you see here.

                              I highly recommend OnShape or Fusion360 if you have the time to start learning CAD. Even if it's just to make drawings to base your manual work off of, it's a great skill to have and it is nice to validate a design before you start cutting wood.

                              I did all the cuts on my subwoofer by hand, but it's a crazy series of interlocking rabbets and it was way easier to manage that assembly with clear cut lists and diagrams:


                              All the more impressive, nice work!

                              BTW, I love it when people post they're mistakes too, everyone makes them and it makes me feel better about mine
                              Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                              Wogg Music

                              Comment

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