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Chicago DIY 2011

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  • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

    Originally posted by View Post
    in the one shot, it appears marty is praying they will work:D
    thanks for all your effort to post these.
    Yep, and my prayers weren't answered.... :o

    They need some work. I was shocked how 'forward' they were in that room considering how tame they sound right now in my living room. But the fact that they could change personalities to that degree certainly means I have an issue to resolve. Maybe in a year they'll be better and show-able.



    • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

      This was only my third DIY event, but I appreciate them for two major reasons:

      1) They are a real "compass recalibration". I could sit in a vacuum and design and listen to my own speaker forever and never have anything to compare/gauge them to. An event like this allows me to listen to roughly 20 different pairs of speakers in a very short time span. Plus I think this is one of the best hobbies where if you ask for feedback/help your peers will actually give you real feedback/help. Doesn't seem to be a whole lot of ego and attitude flying around.

      2) Inspiration! As a Engineer "left brainer" I fully realize that my creative flair is seriously lacking. An event like this gives me so many ideas to think about. Ed and Pete were looking at my speakers and Ed had some really cool enclosure suggestions that I hope I am able to incorporate. Looking at other guys speakers, whether it be the shear perfection of their finishing or the over the top out of the box ideas, really drives me to try harder to create something more than just the standard rectangular satin black painted MDF box.

      In a nut shell - a great day! Thanks Paul for hosting this. Thanks Brian for all the internet and camera work. Thanks sponsors for the door prizes. Nice to see people I already knew and nice to meet some new people. Cheers!

      The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

      Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.


      • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

        And I finally got to hear the almighty RAAL tweeters! Double Tap's Breezes sounded simply wonderful. Pete really had those babies cranked... but they sounded flawless. So impressive that I ended up using the same sample track to demo my speakers.

        The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

        Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.


        • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

          I agree with Craig, it's a great group sharing a similar passion. Thanks to Paul and Brian for their organizational efforts, donuts, coffee and cookies! Good call on Lunch too!

          For all those there: I am truly interested in reading your impressions of my design, knowing they need help so I'm open to all constructive critique.

          Thanks again guys!

          PS Rory, Pipes, and Junior - I made it home with a couple of C-cells to spare!


          • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

            Everyone must be waiting on everyone else to go first... I guess I'll start with the impressions.

            First, great event. Big thanks to Paul for getting it going. Hopefully, we can keep this an annual event. Also big thanks to CJD for bringing the power and the sponsors for all the great door prizes.

            I'll give some impressions, but I must confess that my ears were getting burned out real fast sitting in that second row and I found myself wondering around and not listening to every speaker.

            First out of the gate was CJD's tiny little Pecorinos. These things are tiny. I didn't have high expectations - actually I had low expectations - for them because the size of the room. I expected the size of the room to strain them. But, they really shocked me. I thought they filled the room really well with sound. They sounded much bigger than they are.

            Paul's Speedsters - These were some that I was looking forward to hearing. I haven't heard a lot of ribbon speakers, so I always am looking to hear one and hear what all the hype is about. These sounded great. Very smooth, with some of that airy detail, and solid bass. I can see why Miniscus is offering it as a kit.

            All of Wolf's designs were solid. Always a little different and unique, but solid.

            Pete's Vapor Audio Breeze - Blew me away. I think I now understand the buzz about the RAAL tweeter. They had amazing clarity and detail and spacial placement. I could reach out and touch some of the music. Really really impressive. I can't believe they are selling it for $1200. But, I think for me personally, I would want something a little bigger. Pete says that is coming.

            Pete's Mini-Biz - Also blew me away. I walked into the room and they were playing a big orchestra piece. Those things produce big room filling sound and an amazingly real spatial presentation. It is one of the few speakers that has ever really made me feel like I was in an orchestra hall. Very very impressive. I would love to get these in my room and do more listening and see how they hold up with my music in my room. And what amazing craftsmanship. I can't imagine the amount of time that went into those. Very impressive.

            My/CJD Ochocinos - I was happy with how these presented. I was worried, since they were designed to be placed close to the wall with a sub that they might sound a little forward or lacking bass. But, I was very happy. I appreciated all the positive comments I received from people.

            Dan N. Omni's - I love Dan's designs. I look at them and all my preconceived notions tell me that it isn't going to sound good. But then the music starts and they sound great. Dan played Norah Jones New York City, which is one of my favorites, and it sounded just like I remember. And more importantly, I wandered around the room and made like a 15' arc around the speaker and the sound stayed pretty consistent where ever I stood.

            CJD's Ansonica - I didn't listen to these much today, but I've heard them before. What a fun design. Solid design. Crisp, clear and detailed. But then they have that hidden bass potential. CJD threw in Bella Fleck Cosmic Hipo. Fun. They probably went down deeper than a lot of commercial subwoofers.

            Marty's with the coaxial. I came back and sat down for this one. It was so pretty. And, I wanted to hear the coaxial. Marty already mentioned that it was a little forward. I think these have potential.

            Sorry if I didn't mention your speakers. They were all solid. There wasn't a terrible speaker in the bunch. Everyone should be very proud.

            See you next year!
            - Ryan

            CJD Ochocinco ND140/BC25SC06 MTM & TM
            CJD Khanspires - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS225 WMTMW
            CJD Khancenter - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS180 WTMW Center
            CJD In-Khan-Neatos - A Dayton RS180/RS150/RS28 In/On Wall MTW


            • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

              I left Schaumburg at 5:30 AM and just got home; 5:45 PM. 12+ hours and 820 miles. So... if anyone thinks, "it's too far to travel" I'll tell you it's worth every mile. I got to hang out with a great group of people and I got to hear some world class speakers. Paul did a great job putting it together and keeping it rolling, Chris (cjd) did a great job with the equipment to power everything, and Brian did a great job with the website. If you haven't been to one yet, I can't stress enough how great these DIY get-togethers are.
              Thanks for your design Wolf that helped get my first shot at showing off some speakers.
              Marty, I think your speakers looked great and I think Rory had the right idea; an adjustable L-Pad. I also think the amount of volume at which they were playing made them sound more forward than they are. I would certainly like to have them in my listening room.

              My drive from Schaumburg to Bismarck gave me a lot of time to think of potential projects. Dan N's Omnis were very inspiring!!!

              Thanks all for a great day!
              "We're speaker geeks, not speaker nerds. Nerds make money!" Marty H
              Bismarck, North Dakota
              My Current System: Jolida SJ502A, Squeezebox Touch, and Carmody Sunflowers
              My Garage System:Marantz 2238B and Nano-Neos


              • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                Some pictures I took...

                I counted 6 women present this time around, and that's a rarity. Nice to see more of them interested in these things. :D

                Some thoughts on the long day....
                First of all thanks to Paul and Bryan for setting this up and keeping it orderly and flowing, along with everything else involved in one of these. (Even if you had to keep 'us kids' in line all day!)

                ***Please take these reviews as an opinion and constructive criticism, and not as personal attacks against ones' loved results. More than half of the speakers present were naked or unfinished.

                A change in direction going right to left this time around;

                Marty's 'Enormitys' (;)) even though they were a tad forward were not terribly fatiguing. I think the 8955's (RIP) and RR-mid need a bit better integration, but they are not far off by any means. Usher 8955A/HiVi S1. Finish was respectable, especially in the amount of time he had to get them done.

                Doubletap's Vapor 'Breeze' left me disappointed. I felt they were smooth and clean, but again very neutralized or uninvolving. I just want more midrange/vocal accuracy than that. Finish was nice, and they were HEAVY!
                I don't know the woofer, and the RAAAAALLLL was present here.

                Pete/Ed/Ryan's "Mini-Byzys" almost didn't make an appearance due to an MIA RS28F. Swapped in A's for demo, I really liked the paint job and the cabinet construction- just flawless!! Listening in the back to force stereo imaging behind the pillar in the room as I did alot that day, I felt that they were a bit unresolving/thick in the bass range, even though they extended very well. I wasn't certain of the blending between them like there could have possibly been a small hole in response or needed a clearer midrange. Again- not with the tweeter previously utilized. I was happy with the off-axis response on these, as they did not 'beam' or create a small sweet spot. They were very spacious.

                CJD (Chris)'s "Ansonicas" were impeccable. Everything I wanted to hear in a speaker- these delivered! My highlight of the day. SB29/Anarchy 2.5 way in a vertical translam cabinet. Bass was smooth and deeply extended, and is my fave implementation of this tweeter thus far. A very solid design. Needs some finishing applied to that ply though....

                Chris also had a vertically set sub and a mini-set of project-box satellites. Nicely balanced and capable, but the ply again needed finished. ;) ND16/RS100/RSS265.

                Scott Sehlin had a set of cyclops towers. (name? They looked like eyeball mids!) AC200 was taut and well extended, but a bit strong in that room. I have to give him credit for not using a Dayton cab this time around- I think he used it 4 times before these. I really thought the Dome-Dome portion was nicely detailed and integrated. Mids are unaffordable at this time. OX20/75-1558/AC200.

                Dan's "Contra-pessos" made yet another appearance in front of me with their inexpensive quasi-omni-bipolar-waveguided goodness. Innovative, and good sound. Still not sure I like the semi-lavender color, but the wood-finish is still cool. Buyout drivers + OX20.

                Bryan's "Carmody Speedsters" sounded a bit thick in this room, and upstairs in the hotel room, but balance was good and they were fun to take in. I think he did a great job finishing them considering that is ply and not MDF, and that this is his first build.

                Mike Jennens made the long trek down with something I helped him assemble, and I think I pulled these outta my but* quite well! The DX25 could sometimes be a touch bright, but not on everything as a whole, and the 3rd order bass rolloff made these really smooth. I had no woofer FR for the 17W75ext above a certain point on the specs, so I just LC notched it out to avoid anything coming in. Few parts/steep-acoustic order, and a nice balance made these Dynaudio "Dexters".

                Ryan's (Chris') "OchoCinco" met their cheap price-point, and did an admirable job for the cost of ~$86 each including cabinets. Well done! HT should be just fine here.

                Chris (ROF) Roemer's "NTN" was cheap, did the job, and admirably for the price. Obviously not the most revealing speaker present, but nice.

                Paul's 'silly' experiments using the Airborne AMT and Excel Hexadym W15's had taped-in tweeters, and a clean character. They play the game, but WAF friendly I think not. ;)

                The next 4 made the trek with me, first being Mark65's "Duellati" design. Mark happened to call the cell phone just as they were going on the stands to give some last comments, and I thought they were well-received. DA115/BC25.

                ROF's wife had to tell me her faves before lunch were my Sophomores, and lots of other people felt that they shined very nicely. Not much better available for about $100. M4N/TN25.

                I felt the Trichotomy's bass response suffered being that far from the wall, as they were better in the hotel room the night prior. CJD commented that the H-dispersion was incredible. Most felt the shape and xover place and layout were pretty cool. D5G/Neo3PDR.

                I had apparently flipped the outboard xovers' W for T on the Glucinium Amor for the right channel, and we caught it on the 3rd track in. Flipped and rerun seemed to claim no damage was done, thank goodness!!! "Very clean" was the general consensus, along with 'nicely detailed'. W4-1798S/25-1743S.

                Craig's (PWR RYD) "Trials" are a WIP, and I heard a resonance issue in the lower female vocal range on one track where not any others had that issue. Bass was a touch thin, but Craig said more power resolves that problem. Probably awarded worst WAF....:rolleyes:;) Peerless India/ACI/Dynaudio.

                My 'Destinations' were last in the corner by the entrance, and Clawed wanted to try and run out with them he liked them that much he said. 'Great impact' one person said. I heard divvying opinions on the xover integration, but usually inside the sweet-area was 'great blend', and outside was 'needs work'. Such is the nature of an 8" 2-way. FR213-B8-10M//D2905/97000//SD-215-PR x2 + 26g each.


                EDIT: 'Enormity's' was a jab at the designer. No endgame usage for the project should be implied.
                Last edited by Wolf; 11-04-2011, 10:05 PM. Reason: Fixed it for Marty!
                "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:

                My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:


                • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                  This was my first DIY event and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to thank Paul for putting this together. He really did a great job. What suprised me the most was how good all the speakers sounded. Paul handed out a sheet for honorable mentions but I didn't have a pen to fill it out so I'll just post it up here.
                  Best woodworking: Ed's Mini-Byzys
                  Nicest finish: again Ed's Mini-Byzys
                  Highest WAF: Bryan's Speedster, small and beautifully finished
                  Those would make great gifts: Ochocinco
                  Biggest bang for the buck: Ochocinco, Deullati, NTN's all sounded way better than I would expect for the money.
                  I'd like to have those in my living room: Vapor Audio Breeze, just Wow!
                  Last edited by Paulie; 10-30-2011, 11:03 PM.


                  • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                    Just want to let everyone know, those are Ed's MiniByzys in the pics (D,Rose).
                    R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
                    Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

                    95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                    "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.


                    • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                      Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                      CJD (Chris)'s "Ansonicas" were impeccable. Everything I wanted to hear in a speaker- these delivered! My highlight of the day. SB29/Anarchy 2.5 way in a vertical translam cabinet. Bass was smooth and deeply extended, and is my fave implementation of this tweeter thus far. A very solid design. Needs some finishing applied to that ply though....

                      CJD _STILL_ hasn't put any finish on his large RS 3-ways that he finished back in 2005! And those are his everyday speakers sitting large and proud in his living room. :D
                      - Ryan

                      CJD Ochocinco ND140/BC25SC06 MTM & TM
                      CJD Khanspires - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS225 WMTMW
                      CJD Khancenter - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS180 WTMW Center
                      CJD In-Khan-Neatos - A Dayton RS180/RS150/RS28 In/On Wall MTW


                      • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                        Does anyone know the Artist/Title of the following song that was on Pete's demo CD?

                        All I can remember was that it was a female singer / jazz tune / and a few of the lyrics "sit down, would you like something cold to drink?"

                        I hope that's enough info. I have to have this song to listen to at home on my own equipment. When Pete played this particular track on Vapor's Breeze, I felt like I could reach out and touch the singer. My 17yr old was sitting right next to me and said the same thing.

                        Was it the Raaaaaaaaaaaaal ?? :p
                        Bryan K.

                        Midwest Audio Club

                        Speedster | Sub Attachť | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | CO‹GAR, COUGAR II and CO‹GAR JR | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL


                        • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                          Agreed! Very nice job Paul, Bryan and Chris. The room was pretty good for a hotel room. It was actually nice to have enough time so that each speaker could use around 15 minutes. 5 is not enough, 10 is very nice, 15 allowed us to experiment with others music a bit as well. Thanks to the sponsors as well. I learned not to get breakfast at the Hyatt, however. $42 with tip for a few item buffet!:eek:

                          Having the mall nearby was cool. My wife and I spent much of Friday evening exploring the mall, so she was able to attend the whole event on Saturday.

                          Here are some of my thoughts on the speakers:

                          Mike, you and Wolf did a nice job on those Dexters. What a score you made for a pair of Dynaudio 7's for $10. I can tell you are hooked on DIY now.

                          Ryan's Ochocinco's and Chris's NTN's remind me how much I want to use that driver line. Excellent performance for the $.

                          Wolf's speakers are always good. I particularly enjoyed the Destinations and the Tricotomy's. The others I have heard a number of times previously. I think your tricotomys are one of your coolest designs, visually. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing how you finish them out.

                          Bryan, you did a great job on Paul's speedsters. Hearing them at InDIYana inspired me to try a small MT. I have a different set of drivers to use and it will be a little bigger and I don't know when I will get to it, but it will happen, just for the fun of it.

                          Double Taps Vapor Audi Breeze were stunning. One of the best I heard. I do understand the interest in the Raal's for the first time. Now I know I will use them in something someday. Too darn bad they are so expensive.

                          Pete's Mini Byzyz sounded great and shows what can be done with not too expensive a set of drivers if done right. I think I'd like to do an MT with an AE 10" combined with a dome/WG combo for a higher sensitivity MT. Ed's construction and finish was the equal of the sound quality. Simply a great job on that build. Hey Ed, Can I send you my next project I want to use paint on?

                          CJD's Ansonica TMM 2.5 way are excellent. They sound great. I like the direction you took the design visually as well. I'd like to hear more about how you designed the reflex/t-line. The Pecorinos put out a lot of sound in a tiny package, even when the sub was turned off. Great idea on the cabs.

                          Craig, I think you are very close on the Trials. Keep at it and you will whip that beast. They sounded pretty good as is. The cigar box xover was an inspired idea.

                          Scott's work always inpresses. The Vanadiums sounded great. I've been wanting to hear that TB mid and thought it was very good and from what you said, very easy to work with. Those little Vifa OX20 tweeters, same one I used in the Contrappeso's, are surprisingly good for their size, IMO.

                          Marty, unfortunately I didn't get to hear much of your Enormity's. Since you went after me, I was still anwering a bunch of questions from folks and by the time I sat down to listen, you were already done. I did get the impression of them being forward, but sounded like they had a lot of potential. I've been looking forward to someone using that HiVi mid/tweet and just didn't get to hear enough of it.

                          I tease Paul C. about his woodworking, but he has a great ear, has a knack of putting together just what folks want to build and just gets great results.

                          I already have the next generation Contrappeso's in the planning stages using higher quality drivers, 3.5" dia. aluminum tubing for the MTM sections, some extruded aluminum T-slot from 80/20 for the vertical support arm and bass bins that might be an aluminum tube, aluminum clad wood box, or maybe a box with that cadiillac black finish that Ed used. Hopefully a little more high tech looking, a little more compact, with a little improvement in sound as well, if I'm lucky. Trying to find good drivers to fit in a 3.5" dia. od, 3.25" dia. id tube, 8" long, is looking to be a challenge. If anyone comes across something that might fit the bill, let me know. Right now, the Fountek FE85 is about the most promising driver I have found, and I don't know if it would be an improvement over the Vifa TF9 I used in the original, though the aluminum cone could provide a little more detail than the Vifa's poly cone.

                          Sorry if I forgot anyone. It's always inspiring to come to these events and see and hear what folks have created. It was nice to meet Chris (CJD) after reading his posts over the years at HTGuide and also to meet Mark Seaton, who I have heard so many good things about.
                          Dan N.


                          • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                            Normally I don't write reviews on other peoples work but I do want to make a couple comments this time around:

                            Craig, I agree with most here: You're almost there. I noticed a 'hole' around 200hz that we discussed, but they were very nice, especially for what you have invested in them!

                            Same story for Dan's presentation - amazing performance for $80 worth of drivers! Everyone's commented on them and there's nothing more that I can add other than another 'Wow'. Oh, as for the might be surprised but mine almost shared the same baffle color! It was my initial choice (champagne over rust primer) but it didn't quite make the grade.

                            Chris Roemer's NTN amazed me. How he manages to get so much out of his modestly priced designs...outstanding!

                            I always get a kick out of seeing what Ben will bring. The TB Aluminum was terrific. But I thought the Destinations were possibly hurt by the room - just missing a little life. I actually thought that being off axis helped the SS 9700's. Probably the room and where I stood, as others don't share my opinion.

                            The Mini Byz: Pete I was the one that made the joke about your waiting for applause, but you truly deserve it. What a great design!

                            All in all it was a great event!



                            • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                              Originally posted by jcpahman77 View Post
                              I see the felt dots, but don't see the tweeter. Although now that you mention it I remember reading that about this speaker system and seeing either a drawing or build photo that showed it. Looks like the show has been a good time.
                              How's this?

                              These are great sounding speakers and built with closeouts and sale items.

                              C-Note Iron Driver Build
                              The Lydias
                              The Cherry π's
                              The Champs - Iron Driver 2015 Entry
                              My Projects Page

                              The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it. - Neil deGrasse Tyson


                              • Re: Chicago DIY 2011

                                Ha Ha. Hey guys, here's the story on the Contrappeso's color and materials!:D

                                These started as simply a prototype to see if this concept would work, particularly the omni/bipole waveguided dome tweeter. So I built the MTM section out of cheap PVC plastic. It worked and since I already had the buyout mids, I decided to finish it out. The bass bins are pvc sewer pipe becuase that is about all that would work with the 12" drivers and I could get the pipe for free. I ran into the laminated oak panels at Menards and realized they would work for the upright supports. I didn't want to use the raw oak color, so I played with the vinegar/steel wool solution to blacken them. The color on the tubes was one that worked reasonably well with the colors in the blackened oak and the color scheme in our home.

                                Not including the crossover parts, all of which I had in my parts bin, I don't think I spent more that $250 total on the prototype pair. It became a challenge to see how good a sound and look I could get for as little money as possible, which made it great fun.

                                My original concept drawings were always brushed aluminum/gloss black, which is where I want to try and take them in the next version. I hope it is worth the effort to try and tweak both better preformance and aesthetics from the concept, rather than leave it with the "prototype" version.
                                Dan N.