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DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

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  • DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

    Hey fellas,
    How many of you have built a DML panel speaker? Is there any DML panel love out there???

    After reading about the Podium Sound panels and making my way through the expansive AudioCircle thread "NXT.......rubbish??....THINK AGAIN!" (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70541.0) many months ago, I have finally put together some quick test panels to see whether or not these might be an option for the living room were I could set up and tear down the system and carry the light panels away with ease.

    The first panels I put together were small and simple. 1" thick Owens-Corning 2 ft. x 2 ft. Project Panels from Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Project-P...-PP1/203553730). The panels are sanded on both sides with a palm sander with 100 grit. Both sides are then treated with a 1:1 mix of PVS white or wood glue and water; this dampens the panel and aids propagation of the sound waves across the panels surface. The exciters are from PE of course, the Dayton Audio DAEX25FHE-4 (http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...4-ohm--295-224).

    How do they sound? Different. Pleasant. Excellent transients. Percussion and plucked strings are probably the best I've heard. The harmonica sections on Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Sessions" has beautiful dynamic shading that makes for a very realistic presentation. Fast and biting without harshness. Didn't measure the response but think they sound reasonable played full-range. Response likely down to the 100Hz range with a laid back HF response that is quite good and not lacking for my tastes. A 2' x 6' panel is said to get down easily to 50-60Hz. Compared to my Tang Band W4-1879 in OB, they are noticeably more sensitivity; 91+dB range.

    As I said... different sounding. You have to get adjusted to the presentation as the panels are distant sounding after switching from my open baffles. There is a lack of presence and a sensation that the music is emanating from behind the speaker, through the panel, then to the listening space. Once adjusted they are VERY ENJOYABLE and NATURAL sounding. I listened to Muddy Waters "Folk Singer" (on gold disk) and Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Sessions" into the wee hours of the night a few nights ago just enjoying the dynamics and naturalness. Very nice indeed. All from $30 worth of parts and 1 hours time. Amazing honestly. Would be interesting to combine with an open baffle bass panel. Lots of different configurations.

    [edited Jan 4 - The panels have opened after the exciters have fully broken in and the panel treatment has cured (harder panel skin). The small panels are fast, detailed and considerably more clear than the time of the initial post.]

    Curious to hear what others have built and their listening impressions. Anyone enjoying DML panels in their system at the moment?
    Last edited by rmeinke; 07-10-2015, 01:01 AM.

  • #2
    Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

    To open this up a bit more... has anyone listened to them at one of the many DIY events?

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    • #3
      Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

      I dont believe anything said at audiocircle
      http://jaysspeakerpage.weebly.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

        Yeah... I know... I know only 109 pages and growing. :-) I enjoy the PE forum and considering that PE is the largest supplier of exciters you would think that a few of us on the PE forums would be giving these a go.

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        • #5
          Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

          Sounds interesting. Can you give a bit more details of the construction process? Any pictures?
          Brian Steele
          www.diysubwoofers.org

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          • #6
            Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

            I have tried a couple types. The best result I had was the all weather model with the screw stud built into it. I mounted it inside my windshield bag onto the center bolt off the windshield bar. It turned the windshield into a speaker and the curve of the windshield focused the sound towards me pretty good. The bass was ok but the highs were pretty weak. I left a pair of jumpers out of the bag so I could run it from my garage stereo also. That's eventually how it died. I over heated it while running it off the garage stereo. It was a croud pleaser because no one could tell where the sound was coming from. People would look all over for speakers and eventually feel around till they could feel the windshield vibrating and say hay are you doing that. Pretty funny. See the black leather bag on the windshield in the pic, that's where it was mounted. Both channels were run to it so that might have caused some of the overheating issues as well as it's general rubber construction and not being able to dissipate heat.
            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

              I'd like to see a Frequency Response measurement of one.
              Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

              Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
              Twitter: @undefinition1

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              • #8
                Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                Hi Brian,
                They are unfinished test panels at this time but they could not be easier to put together. I purchased the 2 ft. x 2 ft. 1 in. thick panels from Home Depot and sanded the skin off on both front and back, then with a foam roller, covered both sides with a 1:1 mixture of wood glue and water. This helps to damp the panel and as stated above, is said to help the sound waves propagate across the panel surface. Finally, stick the exciter 3/5th of the panels height and width. Using my 2 ft. x 2 ft. panel the single exciter is placed 14.4 inches from the top and 14.4 inched from the left or right of the panels edge.

                This is what I used as a guide to determine the position to place the exciter : http://www.parts-express.com/resourc...guide-exciters. For multiple exciters, I would use the Monacor placement configuration : http://www.monacor.de/de/FLE/EX1.pdf.

                Material and treatment of the panel is important to get audiophile sound quality. The guys at AudioCircle have spent years of experimentation to make a good sounding panel.

                I have my panels displayed elegantly in my living room propped up on a pair of old cane high-back chairs with a sock on the left and right corners of the panel where it makes contact with the chair's seat and then a large rubber-band stretched across the ladder back where the panel touches the back of the chair. The high-tech sock and rubber-band are used to prevent hard panel from making contact with the hard wood of the chair. You can use chewing gum and binder twine if you wish... whatever you have around the house at the time.

                Cheers!
                Rich
                Last edited by rmeinke; 07-10-2015, 01:04 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                  Olson used to sell these, pg 58.

                  http://www.scribd.com/doc/133035778/...og-1969#scribd

                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Ashw...item566c2d2d77

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                    Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                    I'd like to see a Frequency Response measurement of one.
                    Hey Paul!
                    I've seen measurements of shellac treated cardboard (well behaved) and it was surprising flat but HF begin to drop off around 10K. I hit my first test panel up quickly with a Dayton Audio iMM-6 Calibrated Measurement Microphone and a 31 band RTA on my iPhone and see its reasonable flat as well from 125Hz with good HF extension to about 16K. I EQed it flat with my Behringer DCX2496 and they sound quite nice.

                    It is to early to make determinations and still need more time with them but am unsure of the bass quality at this point. Had really hoped a larger panel (2 ft. x 6 ft.) would bring the same lightning fast mid-range quality down to 50Hz but I'm afraid the panels are not as well suited to make the lowest frequencies... at least with a single panel. I am getting response down to about 50Hz but the QUALITY is not as good as what I get from my open baffle bass panels.

                    The lower bass/sub-bass is where these panels are (obviously) challenged.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                      Originally posted by rmeinke View Post
                      The lower bass/sub-bass is where these panels are (obviously) challenged.
                      I would imagine that dipole phase cancellation may be the culprit there, unless you stick the panel into some sort of enclosure to block the backwave.
                      Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                      Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                      Twitter: @undefinition1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                        Originally posted by Jay1 View Post
                        I dont believe anything said at audiocircle
                        Can you elaborate???

                        Hi Rich
                        After your suggestions in my OB Hestia build, I would give a try to the panels when I finished my Hestia.
                        Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                          Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                          I would imagine that dipole phase cancellation may be the culprit there, unless you stick the panel into some sort of enclosure to block the backwave.
                          Its the quality of the bass and how its produced... the sound quality... not so much the extension or shape of the response. But the fellas at AudioCircle are suggesting that I treat the large panels as I have done with the smaller panels. I rushed to get the larger panels into the listening room after the success of the smaller panels so I really should not have commented yet. Just had high expectations... I want my candy now.

                          I'll report back later but busy with the boys the next few days and won't have much time to perform more mad panel science I'm afraid. :o

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                            Originally posted by piazzafatb View Post
                            Can you elaborate???

                            Hi Rich
                            After your suggestions in my OB Hestia build, I would give a try to the panels when I finished my Hestia.
                            Thanks.
                            Javi!!! Interesting to try anyway to see if these panels are your cup of tea. Its absolutely RIDICULOUS what $16 and a few pieces of insulation can deliver sonically. Might want to wait a bit until I get them more dialed in though and save experimentation time.

                            Not to go off topic, but how are the Hestia's breaking in?!? I'm interested in hearing your impressions of the dual MCM 12s. Did you get them dialed in yet? I played with mine (that just sounds wrong) for a week or more (it was tiring) before I was happy (it was worth the wait) with the phase, xover and level settings on the plate amp and nicely integrated with my Tang Bands.

                            What say you? Maybe post in the Hestia thread though...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                              I'd be curious to see distortion measurements.

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