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Finalist Build - team effort

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  • Finalist Build - team effort

    Having recently built my first speakers, the MTM Overnight Sensations, I showed them to my brother and he really liked them. One thing led to another and we decided to build the Finalists. Just finished them last night. I will have them for the next couple of days until he can pick them up. It will be a sad day. :( They really sound nice. The word thick comes to mind. While the ONSs are very nice and impress for their size, the Finalists are just more (should be at 5 times the cost). The bass is nicely extended and the mid range just makes vocals pop. Its like you can feel the breath of Sinatra and Cat Stevens. Acoustic guitars are so right there. The high end is very detailed. These are serious speakers. I think I will build myself a pair when funds are available.

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    It begins - my little bro'
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    Working on the tube. This is the hardest part of the project. The tube assembly will determine final depth front to back and side to side. I got one right, the other a bit off. More on that later.
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    Cut and ready plus the goodies. Note the components are very nice. Its shame to cover them up with the cabinet! Especially the midrange.
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    Thanks to all for getting me hooked.

    Nate

  • #2
    Re: Finalist Build - team effort

    And more goodies:
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    I did all my circle cutting with a drill press and then rabbeted with router. The woofer posed a problem: My bits could not go deep enough. I ended up making a big circle template and then used a top bearing trim bit and basically pattern routed.
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    • #3
      Re: Finalist Build - team effort

      I gave my brother the really important fun jobs:
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      Remember I said the Tube assembly length was critical? Weill I was off a bit. In this case one tube was about 3/16 too long so the back panel could not seat flush. Solution: Used my trim rout and hogged out the area that would come in contact.
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      The final finish was hammered gray. I wanted to veneer but my brother wanted a metal look. We will add a blue/green weave green grill when it arrives.

      I don't have a lot to add to the knowledge base of the experienced builders here, but this was fun build and the results pretty great. I have new reference for audiophile.

      One thing I need to add to my tools is a plunge router and one of those jacobs circle cutters. Using a drill press takes way too much trial and error.

      One other thing I learned on this build: Once you set your saw for a given cut: Make ALL similar cuts. Also use direct measurement where ever possible.

      Also wanted to say thanks to the guys at http://speakerdesignworks.com/Finalists_1.html. They answered questions promptly and I found their own evaluation instrumental (and very accurate) in selecting this project.

      Time for a cold one and some Nora...

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      • #4
        Re: Finalist Build - team effort

        Hi Nate,

        Thank you for the very kind words and the great review! Your build looks great and I'll bet your brother will enjoy them a lot. The Finalists have become my music reference. I like them a lot. Curt really did an awesome job developing the crossover.

        Best regards,

        Jim

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        • #5
          Curt's Speaker Design Works

          "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
          - Aristotle

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          • #6
            Re: Finalist Build - team effort

            Really like the gray finish...makes the black speakers really stand out instead of blend in with a black baffle. Add some rich cherry wood veneer on the sides and top and I think I may have to build a pair .

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            • #7
              Re: Finalist Build - team effort

              Looks great!

              After seeing your build pics i really think i made life hard on myself I tried to build this design as a completely closed box so i could fully veneer before cutting my speaker/port/terminal holes. I might as well have tried to build it with one arm tied behind my back :p It complicated everything. Looks so straightforward when you cut your through-holes first.

              Is your brother going to run a sub with these? I've been very happy without one myself. Great sounding speakers

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              • #8
                Re: Finalist Build - team effort

                (Repeat do to last response being cut off)

                No Sub. Nor would I. These were/are intended as 2.0 music listening machines. There is nothing in the musical range of natural instruments these can't handle. If you want to hear crashing planes, bombs, electronica etc, then perhaps a sub or other choice.

                I should note that I have special effects type CD with things like the Terminator theme and roaring dinosaurs and they still did a respectable job.

                One more observation: The magic of these boxes was startling. You know the first note in Yes's "Roundabout?" It was like having your head inside the body of the guitar. Really almost shocking.

                As far as the veneer: I think it would be easier to veneer last. Too much knocking around that might gouge or scratch. I am sure it was a nerve racking event! BTW for those that think that painting is cheaper/easier, not sure I would agree. Lots of prep and sanding between several coats and it was still not paint booth perfect.

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                • #9
                  Re: Finalist Build - team effort

                  That is great feedback! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :applause:

                  Jim

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