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Thread: Duellati Build

  1. #1
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    Default Duellati Build

    In a previous post, I mentioned seeing and hearing a very nice design called the "Duellati" while attending the Arizona DIY event in Tucson, last March. "Duellati," by the way is a plural form of a word coined by the designer of this compact MTM, Mark Miller. I'll let him expound on how he arrived at the name if he chooses to. Mark (better known on the Parts Express Tech Talk Forum as "Mark65") lives in the same general area where I live (the greater Phoenix metropolitan area), and when I contacted him, he was receptive to the idea of building another set of his design, with an alternative tweeter to replace the unobtanium Seas tweeter used in the original design. Hopefully, he'll chime in here and fill in the details about his design.

    I was impressed with the design, and several others I saw at the event, but the Duellati were appealing for several reasons. They are a very nice loudspeaker, with a strong potential for passing the WAF obstacle. They produce high quality sound, from a small compact design, they are attractive and unique looking with their aluminum coned DA115 drivers, they will fit-in a room without dominating the overall decor or frustrating the interior designer (whoever that might be) and they can be built at a very attractive price.

    The Duellati design uses the Dayton Audio DA115-8 4" Aluminum Cone Woofer,
    part # 295-328, which can be purchased four-up for the bargain price of $13.24 each. The tweeter used in this design is the Vifa 25SG 15-04, part number 264-1026, currently available for $14.37 each.





    As is my habit, I produced a drawing of the Duellati, before making any sawdust. Note that I updated the drawing on July 23, 2012 after some confusion about the port size. The updated drawing includes Mark's original crossover design which has been refined by Wolf. I'd suggest that builders contact Mark and Wolf about the revised design. If Mark chooses to post the revised plan, I'll alter the drawing again.



    I sent the drawing to Mark for his approval -- you may notice that three different tweeters are shown. In the end, the Vifa won out for reasons of performance vs. cost. The drawing also shows two different top views, one of which was to help visualize how a 1" roundover would look on the sides of the baffle. Not surprisingly, there wasn't enough room. The drawing also shows b**t joints, for the sake of simplicity, but rabbeted joints were used throughout in this build. B**t joints are perfectly adequate for this type of construction, but I wanted to utilize rabbets just because they provide automatic indexing of the parts, and the increased glue area does produce a stronger joint -- not that it's needed. The port length is 6-1/2", as shown in the drawing, made from 2" PVC pipe.

    3/4" MDF was used for the enclosures. Panels were cut from the 4 X 8 sheet into more manageable pieces, using the circular saw guide shown in the photo still attached to the MDF sheet.



    The MDF panels were then cut to the necessary dimensions using a table saw.



    A 3/8" X 3/8" rabbet was cut into all four edges of each panel. The table saw was used for the process also, with a standard blade, as opposed to a dado blade. Using a standard blade makes it necessary to make two cuts on each edge -- one with the panel in the vertical position, and one with the panel flat against the table. In the following photo, you'll notice that a jig fitted over the fence was used to keep the panel vertical.



    The panel was then placed flat on the table saw to make the second cut. A panel with rabbeted edges can be seen sitting on the edge of the table saw.



    In the following photo, Mark is seen holding the panels together, dry fitted. His Duellati are shown to his left. The enclosures we're putting together in this build will differ from Mark's originals in that a different tweeter will be used, only the left and right sides of the baffle will be rounded-over, and the finish will be a high gloss black.



    I'll be back with more later... I need to get these ready for the AZ Buckeye mini DIY get together this Sunday..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Soundslike; 07-23-2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Inserted a photo I forgot

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Looks awesome so far! My sister-in-law and family just moved to your area. If I ever make it out there to visit I sure would like to meet several of you guys from the desert and hear your creations
    Craig

    "I used to drive WAY too fast to worry about cholesterol. Now I worry about my blood pressure."

    Why I don't spray in first gear: http://s1138.photobucket.com/albums/...t=100_2585.mp4

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Lookin' great so far, Ron! Hope we get to hear 'em on Sunday

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    The build is looking nice. I'll be curious to see how the crossover turns out since I'm debating doing something similar next year.

    Take it easy
    Jay
    "I like Brewski's threads, they always end up being hybrid beer/speaker threads based on the name of his newest creation." - Greywarden

    Breakfast Stout - HiVi RT2 II/Aurasound NS6
    Imperial Russian Stout - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW146/(2) Fountek FW168s - Built by Fastbike
    Ruination 2.5 way - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW168
    Levitation TM
    - Vifa BC25SG15/Fountek FW168

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Ok, WHERE'S the picture of me???


    Seriously, I'm pleased that my design caught Ron's fancy, maybe this thread will give it some life beyond Arizona....

    The initial goal for me was to come up with a design that made use of the SEAS tweeters that I bought from greg s. a good while back. I had been sitting on them for quite some time, and decided that it was finally time to actually do something with them. WAF is a strong design cosideration, so I set out to do something relatively small, but still with the ability to play fairly loud (I'm an old metalhead, so sue me). I also thought that the midwoofs should be metal cone, to match the tweeter, so I was looking at the Dayton RS and DA lines. The DA series had the edge right from the start, being cheaper, and also carried the seal of approval from several on this board, including Pete Schumacher. I've always liked the look of mtm's so I set that as a design element and went to work. The DA175 and 135 wanted too big of a box, so when I found the DA115, it was a Godsend. Good looks? Check. Decent extension in a small box? Check. Low price? Check. This driver is a winner. Really nice sound for not a lot of money.

    So, I wound up with a ported 10 liter box tuned to 55 Hz, with an F3 at ~50 Hz. with the woofers wired in parallel. 4ohm nominal, but my receiver is only rated to six, and they do just fine, no hint of protection mode (well, all right, I did get it to go into protection mode, but that was all my fault. Just too damn loud....)

    I crossed at 2kHz, roughly LR4 acoustic, and when I went to listen for voicing, I just couldn't find anything that I needed to change. I haven't listened to this version yet, so there may be something that needs attention, but I think they'll be fine.

    Ron does much better woodworking than I do, so they'll certainly look better than mine....


    Mark

    Any questions, just shoot 'em over to me, and I'll be happy to help!
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Looks awesome so far! My sister-in-law and family just moved to your area. If I ever make it out there to visit I sure would like to meet several of you guys from the desert and hear your creations
    Thanks for the compliment -- I hope you do make it out here to the desert someday. Be sure to let us know if you do and we'll arrange something.

    Lookin' great so far, Ron! Hope we get to hear 'em on Sunday
    I'll have them there on Sunday, and I'm pretty sure Mark will bring the originals.

    The build is looking nice. I'll be curious to see how the crossover turns out since I'm debating doing something similar next year.

    Take it easy
    Jay
    I'll be posting the details of the crossover design a little later in the string. Mark is the go to guy for details..

    Ok, WHERE'S the picture of me???
    Seriously, I'm pleased that my design caught Ron's fancy, maybe this thread will give it some life beyond Arizona....
    Well, that's a little embarrassing, but at least my intentions were good -- I corrected my omission.

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    After doing the usual layout on the baffles, I used a circle jig and router to make the recesses for flush-mounting the drivers. I also sanded reliefs in the back sides between the mounting screw holes to improve air flow behind the drivers. I've found a simple drum sander in a drill works well, and is easier to control than a router. This method isn't quite as accurate as a router and jig, but it does produce a pretty nice result.



    In this next photo, I've got the boxes assembled and have begun the process of adding sound deadening material. I opted to use foam mattress-topper material purchased at WalMart. The irregular wavy pattern of the material was a little disappointing -- the pattern was no doubt selected because of its magical sleep enhancing properties, but it sure looks weird. You'd think they would be more responsible -- they evidently have little concern for the sonic properties of their mattress-toppers.



    In this next photo, the 2" PVC vent (6-1/2" length) has been added. You may also notice a small recess in the back panel -- that will permit flush mounting of the binding post shown in the next photo.




  8. #8
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    This sounds like a well-conceived speaker. I've noodled around with the DA115 and puts out a very pleasing sound. I like the name too. Keep at it, guys!
    Come Get Down And Eat Best Food, Sharp. Cee? Sharp.

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Continuing with the build, in this next photo more mattress topper has been added and the bracing is visible. The braces were made from 1/2" MDF, and inserted between the vent pipe and the side walls. In order to insure a close fit, I sanded the ends of the braces to a concave shape that matched the curvature of the pipe. Epoxy was used to secure the braces, which made for an interesting glue-up. In order to be sure the foam didn't interfere by finding it's way into a joint during assembly, I cut the foam to size with an opening for the brace and then placed it into the box, with the brace extending through. I applied spray contact cement to the panel and the foam, using masking tape temporarily to make sure the mating surfaces weren't contaminated with the contact adhesive. Epoxy was applied to the end of the brace, and Titebond was applied to the mating edges, then the panel was carefully placed into the rabbeted joints. Once assembled, I reached inside and pressed the foam into place.



    In this next photo, the enclosures are assembled and clamped while drying.

    The rabbeted joints made alignment easy and a nice square box results. It's difficult to avoid a few minor gaps here and there though, unless the panels are cut perfectly square, and just as importantly, you have an assistant for an extra pair of hands. Unless you're using a slow drying glue, you're likely to find it difficult to keep up, without assistance.

    In the first assembly session, I think it's best to glue the baffle, top and bottom, back, and one side so as to avoid something getting glued together a bit out of square. Also, it's a good idea to place the second side in position before clamping, and without glue, so you can be sure it will fit without trimming when you do the final assembly. After the glue has dried, you may need a spreader to get things apart however. I made one and found it handy to get the unglued panel out, and to spread the baffle and back slightly during the final assembly. I'll add a simple drawing below to illustrate how I made the spreader.

    Another thought about assembling rabbeted joints -- it's a very good idea to dry fit everything to make sure you know how everything fits together before spreading any glue. It may seem simple, but don't be surprised if it takes a couple of tries to figure out everything. In fact, don't be surprised if you initially think you've cut the panels to the wrong dimensions. I'll address that also in the drawing. I recommend marking the panels lightly with pencil while they're dry assembled to show how they fit together and where the glue is to be spread.





    I used a piece of plastic electrical conduit I had laying around soaking up UV rays, but it may be easier to use a block of wood of appropriate size. I suppose it's obvious, but I guess I should mention that the spreader is placed inside the box and the nut is turned with a wrench to either expand it, or retract it.

    The other part of the drawing is meant to illustrate my point that two pieces with rabbets can be joined in two different ways, so it's wise to dry fit and mark where the glue should be applied, and where it shouldn't.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    This sounds like a well-conceived speaker. I've noodled around with the DA115 and puts out a very pleasing sound. I like the name too. Keep at it, guys!
    Thanks Paul -- coming from you, that's encouraging...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    See now, this is the kind of thing that is always happening to me. I posted a simulation the other day with secret drivers, only to find out you have been using the same drivers behind my back

    Mine will be a TM though, and do not be afraid to drive that tweeter down to 1800 of you want to.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    You've been exposed, Johny.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    See now, this is the kind of thing that is always happening to me. I posted a simulation the other day with secret drivers, only to find out you have been using the same drivers behind my back
    Well then, it must be a good choice of drivers -- I'll bet Mark will have more to say about his experiences with the DA115.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Well, I've made my thoughts on that driver well known, but I'll reiterate: I love the little guys. The modeled F3 is only about 50 Hz, and I imagine they could be pushed lower if need be, but really, to what purpose? They surely won't shake the room, but the bass is pretty darn good, and I really love the mids. Just super clean, without being fatiguing. Quite the overachiever.
    I like the build quality of the Vifa tweeters, and they sounded pretty good just dropped into the originals without mods, I'm looking forward to hearing them with the xo changes. My one and only blog post has the full writeup, if anyone's interested....

    I can't wait to hear these side by side with the originals, starting to get a bit antsy for Sunday to arrive....


    Mark
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    After the enclosures were assembled, I trimmed the edges with a flush-trim router bit and then rounded over the sides of the baffle only, leaving the others square. I used a 3/8" roundover bit. The enclosures were coated with fiber glass resin (diluted about 30% with acetone), to strengthen and seal the MDF. After sanding the brush marks out of the resin coating, I used body filler to fill the places that needed it. Seems like no matter what, you always need to fill something. I didn't have help when I glued up the panels, and one or two places weren't perfectly lined up, which left me with an edge to build up.



    After sanding thoroughly with 150 grit sandpaper, I sprayed on a fairly heavy coat of black lacquer based high-build primer. In the photo, I'm sanding the primer with 400 grit sandpaper I applied glazing putty to the inevitable nicks and scratches that become visible after primer is applied. I must have at least five power sanders but I sand by hand as much as possible, using the standard rubber sanding block. Sanding by hand avoids excessive removal of material, in the wrong places.



    And that pretty much brings me to this point. I'm ready to apply the finish coat. I hope to get that done tomorrow, and turn my attention to the crossovers. I'll post the crossover drawings tomorrow.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    The build's looking good I can't wait to here what you think of them sound wise.

    Take it easy
    Jay
    "I like Brewski's threads, they always end up being hybrid beer/speaker threads based on the name of his newest creation." - Greywarden

    Breakfast Stout - HiVi RT2 II/Aurasound NS6
    Imperial Russian Stout - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW146/(2) Fountek FW168s - Built by Fastbike
    Ruination 2.5 way - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW168
    Levitation TM
    - Vifa BC25SG15/Fountek FW168

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Your build threads are a pleasure to follow. Thanks for taking the time to post great pics and step-by-step instructions. Oh...and thanks for reminding me that some day...some how....I WILL have a great workshop. I'd love to do a drive-by some time when we pass thru Phoenix. We have relatives in Tuscon and often visit...altho not as much lately with the ridiculous fuel surcharges and whatnot. Anyway....keep up the great work!!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Duellati Build

    You do have a great looking workshop, but I think I'm more jealous of the sunshine than anything right now

  19. #19

    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Sweet. You pound out a pair of speakers every other week. If I was only retired...

    Looks like you took the primer to 400. Did you wet sand it? If not, try it out, works much better and it won't affect your MDF. Not sure how much it matters but my preference is to sand at a 45, corner to corner.

    Good luck with the top coat.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Duellati Build

    Hmm... Wonder if that 4" woofer would be a possible replacement for the Realistic Minimus 7?

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