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flush mount on C-note woofers

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  • flush mount on C-note woofers

    For my first loudspeaker project I chose to try the C-note. I was attracted by the entry-level price, the good reviews and the fact that it comes with pre-cut panels, given that I do not have a table saw. My only reservation going in was in the area of cosmetics - I wasn't crazy about the overlap of the woofer frame with the bottom of the tweeter horn. I went ahead with the purchase decision anyway, thinking I might like it more once I saw it in front of me.

    Well, I didn't. I was told the placement of the woofer was based on time alignment of the the drivers' voice coils and approximation of a point source, all of which made sense, but I still couldn't get around the appearance of the overlap. Don't know why it annoyed me, but I decided to flush mount the woofer on the existing center, which would require trimming the tweeter horn.

    Long story short: although I haven't completed the build, I though I would let others know it's doable. I used a 1/2 inch rabbet bit with a depth of 4mm to create the new woofer mount. Once that was done, I set the tweeter in place, screwed it down, and made another pass with the same setup. The tweeter horn cut very cleanly with only a little melt to be scraped off.

    The 1/2 inch turned out to be about 1mm too large, but I can live with it. The body will be painted with something in the coral family, but the mount area will be black, so the gap should not stand out. If I was doing it again I'd try to dial it in a little tighter though.

    Anyway, this has probably been done before, but I thought this might be helpful to those thinking about it. Will post an update when they're done!

    small, but even gap After rabbeting, with brace visible

  • #2
    Did you do your trimming with a router?

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    • #3
      The rabbeting of the woofer mount and the general trimming of the box edges was done on a benchtop router table. It's a Ryobi router/table kit that came with an assortment of bits, one of which already show signs of dulling. I also used it to clean up the radius on the front panel. The setup for precision cuts requires some patience, but once set it's pretty solid.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sluggo View Post
        The rabbeting of the woofer mount and the general trimming of the box edges was done on a benchtop router table. It's a Ryobi router/table kit that came with an assortment of bits, one of which already show signs of dulling. I also used it to clean up the radius on the front panel. The setup for precision cuts requires some patience, but once set it's pretty solid.
        Thanks. I will do that next time. I built the C-notes before and will no doubt be doing another pair in the future. I really love the look.

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        • #5
          despite the 1mm gap you say is too large, it still looks nice. cool job dude

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          • #6
            Okay, so I finished up the build. I'm very happy with the performance of the speakers .. really, surprisingly happy. They're much better than I had any right to expect for the price paid. On that basis alone, I have no regrets at all. Then again, this is the one aspect of the build that I had no part in - the system is designed to make it very hard to screw up in terms of the performance of the finished product. Coming into this from an engineering background, I knew the real challenge was going to be in reaching an acceptable level of cosmetic quality, given my complete lack of woodworking and painting skills. If I did anything right in this regard, it was in scaling my expectations of the final project's cosmetic quality to the level of the tools, materials, and expertise I could bring to the table. I knew they were probably going to end up with some flaws and would be (excellent) garage speakers, but I wanted to learn from my mistakes along the way, so I challenged myself but didn't sweat it all that much when the unexpected happened.

            The major take-aways:
            - Do not be tempted to use spackle. That way lies madness. Be patient during glue-up and work hard to line up your corners as perfectly as you can and you should be able to avoid using any filler at all.
            - Buy a random orbital sander. They're not expensive and will save a lot of time and aggravation.
            - Zinnser BIN is probably the best product for working with MDF at this level.
            - Microfiber towels are cheap and re-usable and pick up dust as well as a tack rag.
            - When you get to 400 grit the weight of the sander is all the pressure you really need.
            - Trim excess PVA glue on the outside of the box before it completely dries. It's a decent sealer but is tough to sand and makes an iffy base for primer.
            - Buy more finish paint than you think you'll need. I ended up a bit thin on the final coats.
            - Don't be in a hurry, especially if this is your first build. Take your time to avoid mistakes, but if you make one, pause and think about how you could have prevented it.
            - Don't make the same mistake twice.
            - Better to make a dozen mistakes on a $100 build than to repeat them on a more expensive project.
            - Rattle-can technique is non-trivial. On your next Home Depot trip, grab some paint stirring sticks and practice on those. The wood is very porous, so if you can get a good finish on them you can probably do anything.
            - Also while in Home Depot, check out the flooring area. There are free samples behind the display items that are about 4" x 5", perfect size for a crossover. Your cabinet may be 1/2" MDF, but your crossover can reside on 3/4" solid hickory, nicely stained.


            Cheers!


            Last edited by sluggo; 06-25-2019, 06:28 PM.

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            • #7
              Nice take-aways and nice job on the speakers!

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