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Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Well the new speakers have settled in nicely. Using the OEM drivers is always a bit risky even when they are basically copies of Peerless design. (According to the suppliers).
    I have altered my opinion of the tweeters, its settle in much better than I would have thought. The 1 dB attenuation didnt seem like much but is precisely the required amount, the essyness has all but gone and mids are now well defined, especially for the vocals, both male & female. Base extension appears to be as good as the graphs were indicating. In fact base extension and level is so good that I have the Base level at either 0 or -2dB as the standard level.
    Bass notes I didn't know existed in some tracks are easily heard and the roll off is excellent. I can hear the thrum of individual notes die out after they have been played.
    Overall there isn't a lot I would change, possibly go for some better caps for improved tonality.
    I'm now confident enough with this new design to put them on the market.
    They are currently being used in my HT setup as fronts and are running in conjunction with the Aria Pettites which are a Paul Carmody inspired design based around his ClassixII
    This is a very nice pairing between front and rears.
    The sound of these is very similar to the B&W 684's but doesn't display that slightly reserved feeling I get from the B&W and my old Kefs.
    Based on the outcome of these speakers, I'm now going to do a 3 way version using the same enclosure design as it has proved to be very neutral to resonances, and that of course was the intention.

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Having spent almost the entire day indulging myself (currently on holiday and its winter:( ), I have had the luxury of listening and enjoying a big range of music. Something I haven't done in a long time.

    Todays listening culminated in watching the David Gilmour DVD David Gilmour: Remember That Night - Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2007). Possibly one of the finest music DVD's I've seen or heard, featuring virtuoso performances from the Pink Floyd duo of Wright and Gilmour.

    Recorded in HD and featuring Digital Stereo or 5.1 DD. I choose to listen to this in stereo mode and was well rewarded with an awesome soundtrack.
    To me the hallmark of a good speaker (and you've heard this before ) is that you shouldnt feel tired from listening to music and that the speakers should generally blend into the background.

    I'm happy to say the Aria's do just that. Even after only 8 hours they are starting to settle and there is a warmth that's quietly becoming more evident.

    Sadly the world lost Richard Wright the following year, but judging from the doco that's included in the DVD he at least was once again enjoying music and being on stage.

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Originally posted by 6thplanet View Post
    Purdy cool guy, those woofers almost didn't fit, eh!! Like the gloss finish and hope they rock the house for years to come. Now throw some Steely Dan on and enjoy!! :D
    Cheers for that.
    Just thrashed some Frankie goes to Hollywood, Tracks were "Two Tribes", "The Power of Love" and for a really good hammering "Relax"

    I live in the country so sound level isnt really an issue but I think the neighbors heard "Relax". Followed that up with Pink's - "Sober" for some all round punch

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower...Final thoughts & how they sound

    Final thoughts

    Well the first thing that comes to mind is double check all your workings before starting the build. On the plus side however the 200mm driver (8inch) was a very good choice for these speakers. At 31 liters internal volume, they work very nicely. Without full testing gear its difficult to tell, but aurally, they certainly get down there. Extremely good bass extension and for a vented box the roll off is very pleasant. I like to be able to hear the thrum of the bass guitar note drop smoothly and they certainly don't disappoint.

    I would nominally rate them at 40 Hz to 20000 kHz. I think they are in fact getting somewhat lower than this. I played a couple of my fav vinyl tracks and I know that my old studio monitors were getting down into the 20 Hz range and these seem to be very close. I know this isn't definitive but I'm happy with them to this point.
    So it looks like the original mistake was a blessing in disguise. Mid range is nice and crisp, both female and male voices sound very natural, and the tweeter being attenuated slightly has definitely worked.
    .

    Would I build these again for someone else? Yes definitely.
    Next time, now I know the enclosure design works well, I may swap the tweeter for either the Vifa D25AG Tweeter or the Dayton Audio DC28F-8 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeter, both of which should complement the woofer.
    Running at half power (approx 40W RMS) they have a warm sound, and exhibit about the same amount of enclosure resonance as my B&W 308's do. I could put some extra bracing in the enclosure, but by design the enclosure is naturally rigid.
    Crossover was set at 3500 kHz and this sits nicely for both the woofer and tweeter. To add a little warmth to them the bottom chamber is lightly stuffed and the top chamber where the tweeter is, is approx half filled. This left plenty of breathing room around the woofer and the port. The port airspeed is very low and it shows on the graph and when running, the amount of air being moved through the port is large but slow moving. In comparison my reworked Aria1 bookshelf cabinets with a 50mm port pump air just about fast enough for my wife to dry here hair


    So how do they sound?

    Pretty good really. I started out with flat response a played a couple of songs from Alison Moyet's album Alf Tracks were "All cried Out" and "Money Mile". This was a vinyl recording so I was expecting a good full analogue sound and that's what I got. Very nice indeed. This was followed by a CD of Pinkfloyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". Tracks were "Speak to me/breathe" and "The great Gig in the Sky for a female vocals test. Very nice vocals/ crooning. I love that track.

    At this point I was getting a little unhappy with the response in the upper registers, then I had a brainwave. The amp I was using was my Onkyo SR-576. Its grunty beast, but not audiophile level amp. Still it does pretty well. Like a lot of HT amps it has certain settings that aren't good for audio listening. Namely Dynamic EQ and Cinema filter, both of which accent a lot of the lower and upper levels to a distinctly unfriendly level if you are purely listening to music. Let this be a warning to others, I like having flat response and then adjusting bass and treble to suit, the on board filters and EQ take this to extremes. Once I had that sorted out everything was fine.

    After a hour of listening to Vinyl. CD and media PC recordings I'm happy to report that the sound very nice. The next build I'm planning is the three way version of this, hopefully that will be an even better setup.


    One last note:

    I mentioned earlier about the crossover housing position. When I initially started my listening tests, I found that once I wound the power on the safety trip-out on the amp would switch off the amp. Somewhat alarming to say the least. One speaker was okay and the other was causing the protection trip. I took out the crossover and had a good look at it. There didn't appear to be anything wrong with it but I stripped all the components off the mica board and used a new board and rebuilt the crossover. No more problem. It seems there was a short somewhere on the board but it wasn't and still isn't immediately noticeable. All however is now going well so long story short, I'm glad I made the crossovers accessible.

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  • 6thplanet
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Purdy cool guy, those woofers almost didn't fit, eh!! Like the gloss finish and hope they rock the house for years to come. Now throw some Steely Dan on and enjoy!! :D

    Leave a comment:


  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Originally posted by ReissM View Post
    Gorgeous! It was worth the extra work dude.
    Thankyou. Yup reasonably pleased with them

    Leave a comment:


  • ReissM
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Gorgeous! It was worth the extra work dude.

    Leave a comment:


  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    The Finish

    I'm pleased with the final outcome of these, doing the finish as a recycled/retro idea seemed good at the time, but I was never quite sure how it was going to turn out. I wanted the look to be almost backyardish but with a professional look to the final coatings and by and large I think it comes close. I like things to not only sound good, but look good. The idea is to have people say that they think this style would fit with their decor. At least it fits with mine

    So without any further ramblings, introducing the Aria2












    Next...Listening Impressions and final thoughts.

    Leave a comment:


  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    The Wiring,

    When I had assembled the basic structure of the cabinet, I ran the wires as well so that once the front baffle was glued into place all that was required was a bit of soldering.
    The cross over is a straightforward 2nd order Butterworth unit with a L-pad to set the Tweeter to the correct level. It only needed 1db to match the woofer, but the tweeter I used has a little bit too much sibilance with female voices and although 1dB doesn't sound much it has an excellent result with this tweeter. The polarity was reversed on the tweeter for correct phasing.


    All components were sourced from our local Jaycar.



    Crossover wired and set into place. The crossover was placed in the upper cavity mainly for the convenience of access. As it turned out it was fortuitous that I did this, as the only access is through the speaker holes. Note the patchwork of acoustic felt. I dont like to waste anything so it all gets used. A bit fiddly but a dollar saved...



    The binding post are a face mounted unit with gold posts that accommodate both banana plug connectors or straight bare wire.

    Last edited by KiwiListener; 06-18-2012, 03:29 AM.

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Originally posted by ReissM View Post
    Great writeup... I need to hire you to do mine.

    Keep up the good work... it looks great! What's next?
    Finishing Work
    Actually not too much. I've finished these off with a total of seven coats of spray poly, using 1200 grit wet and dry sandpaper. Once the last coat had hardened off after 24hrs, being winter its taking soooo much longer to dry, I used my favorite wood polish with 0000 range steel wool just to smooth off any surface imperfections. I was using my new spraygun this time and found I was getting a lot better results.

    The finish is a nice clear and deep gloss finish which brings out the natural figure in the wood. The color is rustic oak, one of the colors I find that suits the Macrocarpa, better than a lot of the darker stains. The look is recycled/retro so I have deliberately incorporated little things into the finish. The timbers is recycled Macrocarpa 8 x1 roughsawn planks from a cafe at a small seaside township, so its in keeping with the timber which has lots of small blemishes. In the photo following you can see I have set the veneer pieces in an offset manner Thats part of the theme and on the top of the other cabinet I went deliberately short on the wood and added in a piece and the sides have the same effect. It meant a lot of filling and smoothing with the orbital sander but I'm really pleased with the finish.

    Top of speaker after initial sanding and stain applied.
    Note all the old staple holes and nail holes. Filling all these took some time but is worth the effort.




    Next ... Wiring up.
    Last edited by KiwiListener; 06-16-2012, 07:39 PM.

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  • ReissM
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Great writeup... I need to hire you to do mine.

    Keep up the good work... it looks great! What's next?

    Leave a comment:


  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    The Feet were a late innovation and came about because my local supplier no longer stocked the feet I wanted. Which led me to coming up with some sort of alternative.
    I opted for a darker colored native hardwood for strength and color contrast. Its a 3 piece set, the two rear feet are angled and the front feet use a crossbar.
    Isolation pad feet have been used for these but they are equally as able to accommodate varies styles of spikes. The bars for the feet are held in place using self tapping inserts and furniture bolts 60mm in length, these are slightly recessed into the underside of the bars to give a flush and hidden finish.

    The RAW material complete with foam tape for vibration damping.



    All external faces are finished with a polish oil for coloring and left natural.

    Pre-fitting the feet, note I have now covered the grill plate and have it fitted.


    At this point the enclosure has had the first two of seven coats of sprayed on gloss polyurethane.

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Grills
    One of the easier parts of the build is the grills. These are made from 12mm MDF, Next time I will use 9mm , but as I already had some 12mm so be it.

    The holes were routed out and rounded over with the router and router table, Having a separate dedicated router table is a plus and if you can afford one I would suggest its a worthwhile purchase. I have this particular model and while its not the most expensive it does work well. I had some 75 x 75mm aluminium angle, from which I made a separate full length fence which makes working with longer sections of wood easier, but the supplied fence does the job for most things.
    A rounder-over bit the same as this sits in the router table most of the time, so that the inner and outer edges of the holes and the sides are all treated the same, then sanded with 240grit and painted chalkboard black. This is a flat, black acrylic paint that has the same color as the grill cloth, the grill cloth is acoustically transparent.
    One of the best investments I made to go with my routers, (I have three) was a good quality half inch shank set like these, an investment I have never had any regrets for buying. WAF = Nil at the time

    So here's the basic grill all nicely routed ready for sanding. I formed the bottom curve of the grill using a compass for the shape and then machining it using my disc/ belt sander
    the same as this one. I have over the last 5 to 10 years been investing in good quality woodworking machinery and now have a fairly well equipped workshop. There is however a couple of machines to purchase at some point and that also earns a WAF=0 as well.


    You will note the holes in the grill plate. These are the location holes. Once the grill is shaped and the location holes drilled I lay the grill on the cabinet and align it to properly mark the cabinet using a sharp Bradawl This to locate the position for drilling the holes in the cabinet face to take the recessed plugs.
    The holes in the grill plate are drilled out to 6mm on the under side to take the little lugs, that slip into the plugs in the cabinet face. All pretty familiar to anyone whose done a few enclosures in the past.




    Pre-painted and pre-fitted, prior to having the grill cloth applied. The cloth is stapled on with the excess trimmed off and then covered with a black adhesive cloth tape to give a neat finish.


    Next up the feet.
    Last edited by KiwiListener; 07-07-2012, 06:55 PM.

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Attaching The Front Baffle

    This is the only part of the construction where I can't use the glue and screw method. Because of the shape of the box it is difficult to screw the front baffle to the carcass of the cabinet. I could be done but that would require more battens and therefore an even bigger finished size for the cabinet. Something I really didn't want to do.

    I would therefore need a more mechanical process to do this. I have a biscuit cutter and could have slotted and biscuit joined the two pieces. The problem with biscuits is that they can move during the curing process even when well clamped. I have had a failure during colder weather and biscuit joints, because of the longer drying times, so I don't want a repeat.

    The answer of course is good old spiral dowels. The spiral ones are best as they allow excess glue to escape and don't split the material being glued. Every surface is liberally coated with glue including the dowels and the front baffle is then tapped into place. Don't forget to use a slightly larger hole for the dowels too as this stops timber split as well. I used 6mm dowels and a 6.5mm hole.
    It was then just a matter of rounding up every F clamp over 600mm (2 feet) long and clamping the whole thing together.






    Next up ... The Grills

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  • KiwiListener
    replied
    Re: Build No. 3 ... 2 way tower

    Wall coverings.

    The design calls for the walls to be covered. I would have done this no matter what as it supplies a measure of acoustic control.

    The first image shows the inside of the front baffle lined with acoustic felt and more traditional stuffing in the cabinet. I did a test run at this stage to see how they sounded, not ideal when nothing quite finished. However it was worthwhile. The bass sounded flat and a little muted, so I removed the stuffing from the center chamber and the top chamber, and halved what was in the bottom chamber. The top two chambers were then covered with the acoustic felt.
    The felt I refer to is a Dacron product that you buy by the meter (yard) off the roll, same as any curtain material. Its approximately 3mm (1/8) thick, medium density. Its the type of product you find as part of the lining in sleeping bags and snow jackets. It is however a very effect acoustic dampener as well.

    At this point you will notice that I have strung the cables in the cabinet as well. These are hoop stapled to the cabinet sides to stop unwanted cable flapping around inside the cabinet.






    Next up attaching the front baffle

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