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It’s that time audio enthusiasts! Registration for the 2019 Speaker Design Competition is now open! Visit midwestaudiofest.com for details and to list your speaker project. We are excited to see all returning participants, and look forward to meeting some new designers this year, as well! Be sure your plans include a visit to the Parts Express Tent Sale for the lowest prices of the year, and the Audio Swap Meet where you can buy and trade with other audio fans. We hope to see you this summer! Vivian and Jill
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ION 5.1 Home Theater System

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  • #16
    More progress over the weekend. We are getting close to finishing both the sub and center.


    First, we applied the maple veneer to the subwoofer. Only two sides will be maple, the others will be the same blue vinyl.



    Then we got back to work on the crossover and installed the remaining caps. Since the zipties made the crossover sit uneven, we made a little plate to adhere the main board to. We will then use industrial velcro to adhere it inside the box.





    We test fit the crossover inside. It is a little tight with all of the wires, but it works just fine once you have everything routed.


    Then we worked on putting a spray finish on the maple. The semi-gloss lacquer is very forgiving, which makes it nice to work with. (excuse the poor photograph)




    Next step is to install the vinyl and walnut overlays.

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    • #17
      Nice work, nice documentation. I looked here because I'm looking at the sub amp you used.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by djg View Post
        Nice work, nice documentation. I looked here because I'm looking at the sub amp you used.
        I have been very happy with the amp. The DSP functionality has allowed me to level out some of the bad spots. The only issue I had was that the link to the software was wrong on the product page, but you can download the correct one from the DSP500. If you are going to be into movies more than music, many people will have you go with more wattage and a larger driver. I find the bass to be great even though there isn't as much headroom on the amp as bass lovers want. The amp is surprisingly light, and was easy to install. The built in settings using the knob aren't the most intuitive, but the desktop software is idiot-proof and does everything I would want. I assume the DSP500 has all of the same nice qualities, just costs more and has more power. We were mostly debating whether we would need the DSP or not. Its not necessary, but I have found it worth the extra it costs. The auto-standby function seems a little hit and miss, but that could be an issue specific to my setup (sometimes it never goes into standby). We have definitely missed having the sub while waiting for me to finish it.

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        • #19
          Thanks. This would be for my 2.1 PC sound. I have had 2.1 sound for a while, first the PE 2.1 plate amp, then a Nobsound 2.1 chip amp. All of these run the L/R full range. I kept looking for an amp that had a real crossover and actually divided the sound properly. I didn't realize this amp did that, still needing a 2 channel amp for the L/R.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by djg View Post
            Thanks. This would be for my 2.1 PC sound. I have had 2.1 sound for a while, first the PE 2.1 plate amp, then a Nobsound 2.1 chip amp. All of these run the L/R full range. I kept looking for an amp that had a real crossover and actually divided the sound properly. I didn't realize this amp did that, still needing a 2 channel amp for the L/R.
            Yeah, for a desktop setup I think this would provide plenty of power to drive something like a voxel or other small-medium sub at reasonable office volumes. It does the crossover well, and is easy to adjust the crossover point.

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            • #21
              I got the sub and center reinstalled over the weekend. Started out by applying the vinyl. While the vinyl is an easy finish to apply, it does have a few major drawbacks. First, if your material is not perfectly smooth, you will see those imperfections through the vinyl. Second, you need to be careful with where you place the seams, because if your corners aren't perfectly sharp, the vinyl will want to lift a bit when you handle it. It went on fine, even though it has a few imperfections. I ordered a large sheet so I will have enough to do the fronts as well. There are small spots at the corners where the wood shows after trimming the vinyl flush. Those were all touched up with matching sharpie so they don't stand out.





              Then I got to work reinstalling the drivers and electronics and dampening.




              I installed rubber feet on both speakers so that they won't walk around on the hardwood or shelf.


              From there, the center was ready to go.




              Then we hooked it up to the system to enjoy it some more and test the center. I think I am going to swap the position of the receiver and the center so that the receiver sits on top. I think this will allow the receiver to vent better and also look more proportional.


              The walnut overlays are still not installed, but are in progress. I laser cut the veneer and have started finishing both of them.


              Here is the sub with the partially finished walnut just to see how it will look.



              I still haven't spent enough time adjusting the levels, but the center channel sounds quite good. No intelligibility problems anywhere in the room. The biggest thing I notice now that the system is coming together is how bland so many shows and movies are with the audio. Movies like Guardians 2 make good use of the sub and have well mixed voices, but many others are boring to listen to. This difference wasn't very noticeable with the television speakers or even with just the Ion surrounds. I give the center channel a thumbs up so far, though I haven't finished with the levels or any measurements.


              So far the project is going well. I have another week or so of finishing up the walnut and adhering it to the speakers, but then it will be time to start on the fronts. Due to some other pressing stuff in my life I won't be able to properly start on the fronts for about a month.

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              • #22
                Alright, got through the busy time and finished up the last details on the center and sub this weekend. I finished the veneer for the center and applied it to the baffle. Since it is adhesive veneer, it was pretty much just peel and stick. For the sub, the walnut parts are 1/2", so I applied a thin layer of gorilla glue and clamped. I am very happy with how both look. Next step is to order the parts for the fronts.



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                • #23
                  So you used an Aviatrix CC, and the (were they RS100s?) current LRs are going to surround duty. What are you going with for mains, RS drivers or some Aviatrix-type jobbies?
                  (I'm surprised your CC wasn't an RS design?)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
                    So you used an Aviatrix CC, and the (were they RS100s?) current LRs are going to surround duty. What are you going with for mains, RS drivers or some Aviatrix-type jobbies?
                    (I'm surprised your CC wasn't an RS design?)
                    Yes, RS100s. They will be acting as surrounds when I get more traditional fronts built.

                    The fronts will be the aviatrix MLTL towers, modified to use the same visual style.

                    We didn't want to go down the RS path for the primary speakers for a couple reasons. First, while we have built a handful of subs and four two-channel setups, we always have been able to take advantage of active crossovers. It was important (to keep cost down) to keep this build passive. I didn't want our first passive crossovers to be of our own design, especially for a center channel where unintelligibly can be a real issue. Second, we didn't want to experiment since experimentation is usually more expensive. We have done experimental builds and had a blast, but again for this budget setup we wanted to use something that the community has tested to reduce the risk and potential expense. The whole 5.1 system, amp and sub included, will probably cost about $1000 by the time it is all done.

                    Even with the little RS100s acting as LRs, the system sounds very good. I am impressed with the Aviatrix design for the cost.

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                    • #25
                      Resurrecting this thread some. Now that warm weather is back, we are working on the fronts. Last weekend we cut the rough parts for the cabinets, and the drivers and electronics arrived a couple of weeks ago.

                      To design the fronts, I went back to sketchup. I tried to keep the same theme for this design. Will update as we make more substantial progress on the fronts.



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                      • #26
                        Pretty system.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bradley.s View Post
                          Pretty system.
                          Thank you. Fit and finish are almost as important here as sound quality since this will be a major focus point in the main entertaining portion of our home. I am also working to run the surround wires through the floor so that when installed, there are no wires running across the floor or around the wall.

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                          • #28
                            We made some good progress this weekend. Parts cut, and cabinets partially assembled. Next weekend we plan to CNC cut the maple baffles and begin the finishing process.

                            Some rough cut parts:


                            Test-fit with just clamps. Fits well.


                            Glued up:



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