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DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

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  • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

    This may be a horrible idea, but as I read through this thread trying to decide a way to mount the panels I had a thought. Grill cloth was mentioned, and suspension.....I wounded if using grille cloth as a suspension method would work. The cloth could be glued to the front, and the back also, stretched tight and secured in a frame. I know there would be many additional challenges, but it is an idea.

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    • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

      Hey Zayne,
      Its not an exact science when you begin to combine panel materials and treatment, but my initial reaction is that the grill cloth will absorb high frequencies significantly (I would only put cloth on the back edges and just enough to create the suspension. Also not sure how it will change the presentation but imagine that the general sound quality could be workable with the help of EQ.

      There are others that will not use EQ and listen to the panels as is; I too could be happy listening to the bare panels. But in general, not being religious to any specific line of thought... certainly not a purist... I personally feel a panel EQed "flat" sound notably better. If you try the grill cloth covered panels just be prepared for EQ.

      Side note... when I say "flat", a perfectly EQed flat DML panel to me sounds increasingly tilted up in the high frequencies. I have not measured yet to prove this myself, but in a reliable white paper the in room power response is indeed tilted up so I do feel confident that an increasingly tilted down freq. response sounds "flat" and most balanced.

      I also put in a bit of BBC dip into the response... so EQing also allows for personal tastes in regard to what sounds best to you, in your room... another benefit of EQ.

      These are so quick, easy and cheap to build I'd give it a try. A 4x8 sheet of 1" is less than $15 so you can building 2 pairs in the event that the cloth cover does produce a good sounding panel. If you do, I sure hope you report back and let us know how they sound!

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      • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

        Built a small set of panels recently. 3/4" XPS measuring 12x14.5 inches.

        Low freq. response down to 180Hz and slowly rolls off with a gentle 6dB slope. I EQed them "flat" and boosted low freq. for decent bass response to somewhere in the 75-80Hz mini monitor range.

        They sound very good on vocals. Very clear and open. Anything with low bass shakes the panels and can hear the panel noise. This was an experiment to see how small they can be made yet still sound reasonable run full-range. Idea would be to make a small, thin panel using an array of 4 similar sized panels or integrated with a small Open Baffle sub.

        Took a quick video clip and posted to YouTube : http://youtu.be/To3IOYxTFKw

        More info to come.
        Last edited by rmeinke; 03-11-2015, 12:14 AM.

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        • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

          Very cool
          If you are not happy, you are not living

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          • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

            Originally posted by laserpaddy View Post
            Very cool
            Hi Rich

            I have been following audio circle for some time now and always enjoyed your enthusiasm. I thought I would try to contribute some for a change. The current panels that have built are 24 x 60 foam panels treated per you and others. The only difference is I have glued a wood frame to the perimeter and have the exciter mounted to a spline. This makes the panels truely full range with deep base and no panel ratting. I am sure your first thought is this will kill the sound. To me this is not the case. Click image for larger version

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ID:	1165427I do have to equalize some but both the bass and treble are present. My previous panels were 40 x 60 black foam board and I tried countless ways to support the perimeter, but in the end I had to fix the edge directly to the frame.

            Fred

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            • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

              Originally posted by Fshow View Post
              Hi Rich

              I have been following audio circle for some time now and always enjoyed your enthusiasm. I thought I would try to contribute some for a change. The current panels that have built are 24 x 60 foam panels treated per you and others. The only difference is I have glued a wood frame to the perimeter and have the exciter mounted to a spline. This makes the panels truely full range with deep base and no panel ratting. I am sure your first thought is this will kill the sound. To me this is not the case. [ATTACH=CONFIG]55593[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]55594[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]55595[/ATTACH]I do have to equalize some but both the bass and treble are present. My previous panels were 40 x 60 black foam board and I tried countless ways to support the perimeter, but in the end I had to fix the edge directly to the frame.

              Fred

              [ATTACH=CONFIG]55592[/ATTACH]
              Can you please post some photos of the spine? What are the dimensions of it?
              Statements: "They usually kill the desire to build anything else."

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              • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                Originally posted by john trials View Post
                Can you please post some photos of the spine? What are the dimensions of it?
                Hi John

                The panels are 2ft x5ft. The wood that surrounds it are 1x2's

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                Fred

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                • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                  Originally posted by Fshow View Post
                  Hi Rich

                  I have been following audio circle for some time now and always enjoyed your enthusiasm. I thought I would try to contribute some for a change. The current panels that have built are 24 x 60 foam panels treated per you and others. The only difference is I have glued a wood frame to the perimeter and have the exciter mounted to a spline. This makes the panels truely full range with deep base and no panel ratting. I am sure your first thought is this will kill the sound. To me this is not the case. [ATTACH=CONFIG]55593[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]55594[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]55595[/ATTACH]I do have to equalize some but both the bass and treble are present. My previous panels were 40 x 60 black foam board and I tried countless ways to support the perimeter, but in the end I had to fix the edge directly to the frame.

                  Fred

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]55592[/ATTACH]
                  Thanks for the kind words Fred... its not entirely difficult to be enthusiastic about these panels. Hope you are having as much fun and enjoying them as much as I am.

                  Your approach is interesting and would love to hear how it sounds.

                  Now details man... what panel material do you use? Looks like high density EPS from Menard's huh!?! Also, what exciter?

                  Don't know how long you've been listening but curious to hear your impressions?

                  Thanks,
                  Rich

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                  • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                    dup...

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                    • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                      Originally posted by Fshow View Post
                      Hi John

                      The panels are 2ft x5ft. The wood that surrounds it are 1x2's

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]55597[/ATTACH]

                      Fred
                      So one side of the exciter is attached to the foam panel, and the main body of the exciter is attached to the spine? That is cool. I misinterpreted your description, but your photo clarified. I imagine this setup makes the energy transmitted from the exciter to the foam panel more efficient (is it louder this way?). Very cool.

                      I bought two of the daex32ep-4 Exciters, and received one...the other is back ordered, so I have time to think about how I am going to make some panels. Your setup is very interesting. Thanks for posting the design.
                      Statements: "They usually kill the desire to build anything else."

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                      • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                        Hi Rich and John

                        Yes they are the same as the 1 inch panels at Menards but I got them at Home Depot because the cut them for free.

                        I made one panel with a thruster and the other panel with a low cost 5 watt DAEX25. The 5 watt unit had better bass, by quite a little, and had the same hi frequency response, but the middle frequencies were higher in amplitude so I made both panels with the thruster. I am not sure at all if I made the right decision, because I ended up equalizing any way. (The thruster is fastened directly to the spine with clear silicon ,)

                        I hesitate describing the sound but I will try my best. Some songs like Gary Karr Harmon Lewis, Gavotte in D (double bass) is so vibrant and real you will be astounded. It is rich
                        deep and full. In other music the detail is better than double stacked Advents. Vocals are very, very good. Low organ notes are ok but can be a little thin if the sound falls into a valley in the response curve. The bass does not go as deep as the advent. Because these speakers are so fast , I think they are sensitive to different amps. Some notes can be strident but no more than my Advents. I am trying a different amp now, and this has been reduced.

                        Fred. I wrote more, but my text keeps disappearing. Do you know why?

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                        • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                          I'll have to look for the black EPS at HD. Really itching to finish a set or 2 now that I see your finished panels and having a black panel will be much easier to hide behind grill cloth. Its sonic qualities as reported by our passed friend ziggy at AC was good so interested to hear how it sounds.

                          Your comments about the bass as produced by the panels align with mine. I get decent extension, can't complain about that, but the quality of the bass just doesn't match what I get from by open baffle bass bins. You really ought to try smaller panels. The bass quality does improve. I'm sitting here listening to dinky a$$ 14.5 x 12 panels with the Ultras and really enjoy them. The bass, while not as extended, is faster, sharper and clean.

                          Did some measurements tonight and this is what I'm starting with. Have to go through the usual tweaking process but a decent start.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Output is far exceeds my expectations. Small panels definitely sound better as the reproduced signal can exit the panel sooner. My son (junior in HS) had friends over a few nights ago and the boys were kinda snickering at the small panels (they know I'm always tinkering) ... until I turned them on. They just stood and listened silently for a while (a major feat in and of itself). They couldn't believe how good they sounded and how such a small panel could fill the room like they did. It was fun...

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                          • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                            Hi Rich

                            My panels are ugly pink, I don't know of any black stuff out there.

                            I am embarrassed to say what kind of amp I had driving these speakers but now I am connected USB to a tube DAC driving a battery powered Hi Fi T amp. What a difference, I can't believe how well these panels sound now. Articulate vibrant and rich, with no stridency or harshness.

                            I agree with you that a smaller panel and a large low frequency driver properly crossed over would be the better choice, but like Ziggy, I wanted a single panel with no crossover. I. Knew there would be some compromise. I did build the smaller panels but preferred the larger panels because they go lower. Possibly larger panels sound slower if the exciter is left unsupported. At higher frequencies I could see it not being an issue but at lower frequencies the unsupported exciter has nothing to push against. The energy can't be delivered to the panel and things may get muddled.


                            I think I will slow down now for summer and just enjoy what I am hearing. Who would have thought a chunk of foam insulation and a 60.00 dollar digital amp could sound so good. It makes no sense.

                            Fred

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                            • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                              Originally posted by rmeinke View Post
                              Your comments about the bass as produced by the panels align with mine. I get decent extension, can't complain about that, but the quality of the bass just doesn't match what I get from by open baffle bass bins. You really ought to try smaller panels. The bass quality does improve. I'm sitting here listening to dinky a$$ 14.5 x 12 panels with the Ultras and really enjoy them. The bass, while not as extended, is faster, sharper and clean.

                              Output is far exceeds my expectations. Small panels definitely sound better as the reproduced signal can exit the panel sooner.
                              I really want to give these panels a try. Planning to use a pair with a sub for a basement workshop system, very curious as to what these sound like. Have a Dayton DTA 100 amp and considering ordering the 10" Dayton sub to go with these. http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-628

                              Ordered a pair of the Ultra 40watters and will head to Home depot to get the 1" pink stuff.

                              Now I need to pick your brain and utilize all your experience with these. What would be a good size panel to use with the Ultras, DTA100 class D amp and the above 100 watt sub filling in the lowend? (Would prefer to use a sub as the freq charts I have seen of these panels are just not low enough for my tastes.)

                              Also, what specific glue did you use watered down to coat the panels? Heading to Home Depot Tuesday to pick up the foam boards.

                              Thanks for all your research and posting here.

                              Comment


                              • Re: DIY Flat Panel Speaker Love

                                Originally posted by vlad335 View Post
                                I really want to give these panels a try. Planning to use a pair with a sub for a basement workshop system, very curious as to what these sound like. Have a Dayton DTA 100 amp and considering ordering the 10" Dayton sub to go with these. http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-628

                                Ordered a pair of the Ultra 40watters and will head to Home depot to get the 1" pink stuff.

                                Now I need to pick your brain and utilize all your experience with these. What would be a good size panel to use with the Ultras, DTA100 class D amp and the above 100 watt sub filling in the lowend? (Would prefer to use a sub as the freq charts I have seen of these panels are just not low enough for my tastes.)

                                Also, what specific glue did you use watered down to coat the panels? Heading to Home Depot Tuesday to pick up the foam boards.

                                Thanks for all your research and posting here.
                                Hey vlad335,
                                How much room do you have and how will they be mounted/positioned within the room? If you have the space, I'd go up to 24in x 30in panel so that you can listen to these panels full-range to begin with. They won't have the extension you are looking for nor the slam but these panels are "quick" and question how well mate they will mate with an inexpensive sub? You would not want to mate with sub with an Apogee full-range ribbon speaker or large electrostatic panel so I would be worried about how well these will integrate as well. But since your not doing critical listening in your shop area :-) it probably would be "fine"... just not optimal.

                                Also hope that I didn't mislead or overplay the panels lower bass deficiencies/quality. My opinion... and in general terms... once the low freq. are smoothed the bass quality will likely exceed most vented and sealed enclosures in the way of quality (note: a frame and suspending the panel in the frame will help to smooth the low freq. response. EQ is not the only answer). I was comparing the bass quality of these panels to my open baffle bass bins which are clean, fast, tight and with little overhang and very clear and free of resonances. I know that there will be folks on the forum that will contest what OB brings to the table but I don't know of anyone who has listened to OB bass and have been able to go back and listen to a boxed speaker (HT subs for the very lowest octave and/or increased impact is an exception) again. Don't want to muddy the waters here with this specific statement but I didn't want you to think that DML bass is awful... its just that it doesn't deliver the same fantastic qualities in the lowest frequencies as it does from the upper bass/lower mid-range and into the upper octave. They are just fantastic sounding over that operating range and the (jagged) bass response does not deliver the same outstanding results in comparison. It is possible that a properly suspended panel will compete but OB but will need to be large. Multiple panels would be needed for power handling/output reasons. That is another topic.

                                Its crazy but I'm really enjoying listening to my teeny EQed panels full-range(!?!?!?). You could probably cross a panel that small in the 150-170 range and still reach respectable output levels. Going up to a 16 x 20in. panel and cross around 100-120 range with no issues. But again, I'd go larger at first and you can always cut them down if you don't have space for a larger panel... they are so easy to change or just build a new set with all the extra XPS you will have.

                                I use white or wood (PVA) glue... any brand is fine and have used Elmers and Titebond. Just remember to sand both sides of the panels to get rid of any of the outer "skin".

                                Holler if you have any additional questions!

                                Rich
                                Last edited by rmeinke; 03-16-2015, 05:49 PM.

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