Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

First post

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • First post

    Greetings from a new forum member...sorry if this post is long but I want to give a proper background.

    In January we moved into a new house and I decided it was time to upgrade an old pair of worn out JBL floorstanders. (I inherited them 10 or 12 years ago from my wife's ex-husband, as I was in law school at the time and quite broke.) I listened to a few options from well-known consumer brands but didn't find any real pleasers. When I saw what it cost to buy speakers that actually sounded good to my ears, I opened up my JBL's to see what made speakers so expensive. They didn't look too complicated, and I thought about trying to tinker with them. One thing led to another and I found myself googling "DIY speakers." I learned there is an entire DIY audio subculture -- who knew?

    After poking around on the internet a little, I had made up my mind to try building a little pair of Ed Frias-designed 2-way speakers that I read about on a popular audio website. The problem was that it was an older design and the drivers were no longer available. I ended up emailing Ed about 6 weeks ago, and he was kind enough to send me a crossover schematic and cabinet dimensions to adapt his design to a couple of Seas drivers.

    My only prior experience was building a (really rough) plywood extension speaker cabinet for an old guitar amp when I was 19 or 20 (I am 37 now). I have a fairly decent complement of woodworking tools, though, and I decided to give it a shot.

    Over the last couple of weeks, an hour here, a couple of hours there, I built my first pair of DIY speakers. I also found myself scouring this forum late in the evening looking for tips and tricks. (As an added bonus, I found out that Parts Express is minutes from where I live, which was quite handy.)

    Here is the visual result of my efforts:






    Obviously these speakers aren't huge and they aren't too bold, as they had to pass the wife test. They are constructed in 3/4" MDF with American cherry hardwood veneer. (The veneering was also a first for me.) The finish is 3 coats of Minwax satin poly, lightly sanded to 220 between coats. They're not perfect, but I don't think anyone but me will notice. Well, many on this forum probably will, but that's OK with me. I learned quite a bit.

    The auditory result? All I can say is -- wow. They were a little muddy at first, but within just a few minutes they seemed to really open up and smooth out. I can only imagine what 10 or 20 hours of burn-in time will do for them. I'm definitely not an audiophile, but I play several instruments and have a reasonably good ear. I have no complaints about these speakers whatsoever. I'm running my music through a Yamaha A-S500 integrated amp and they sound just great.

    Thanks to all on this forum for your various build threads and discussions, which provided a number of ideas and solutions to the little snags that came up during my build. This forum is a great resource. I was really surprised at the quality of these speakers, especially for a first-time builder, but I found a lot of help here. I'm already thinking about ideas for building another pair (or maybe a sub?), not because there is anything wrong with these, but because I enjoyed it so much and they sound so great!

  • #2
    Re: First post

    Welcome to the addiction. Did you build the stands for them too?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First post

      Very nice!
      If dynamite was dangerous, do you think they'd sell it to an idiot like me?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First post

        I didn't build these stands; I bought the cheapest ones I could find until I have time to figure out a design that I like. Even with the stands, I have less than $300 tied up in this pair of speakers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First post

          Very nice looking speakers. Spend enough time here and soon those will be your surrounds :D

          If you haven't already seen them, these are an easy set of stands that can be done in a weekend or a day. And if you have any of that veneer left over, you can wrap the pvc tube to match the speakers.

          Enjoy your new toys.
          L&R BuildSub Build

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First post

            Very nice, no way you are a Lawyer, haha

            how was it getting the veneer to go around your corners? what size round is it?

            Make a sub, they are easy, no crossover, one speaker.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First post

              Very nice job -- I'd love to hear them. As many others have said, this is an activity that has the ability to pull you in. I'm betting you'll be building more; you certainly have the talent for it. By the way, is there an esq. after your name now?
              Tritrix HT:http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222519
              Dayton 12" Subwoofer: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222930
              Overnight Sensations: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223751
              Cerberus sub: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...hlight=cerebus
              Duellatis: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=224943
              NTN's: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=227902

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First post

                Agreed, beautiful work!! I do wonder, however, why you flush-mounted the driver and not the tweet? Either way, sure they sound great and fabulous job on the finish!
                Thanks,
                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First post

                  Originally posted by Mikers View Post
                  Very nice, no way you are a Lawyer, haha

                  how was it getting the veneer to go around your corners? what size round is it?

                  Make a sub, they are easy, no crossover, one speaker.
                  Originally posted by Soundslike View Post
                  Very nice job -- I'd love to hear them. As many others have said, this is an activity that has the ability to pull you in. I'm betting you'll be building more; you certainly have the talent for it. By the way, is there an esq. after your name now?
                  First, yes, there is an Esq. after my name since '02.

                  Second, I expected the roundovers to be trouble but was pleasantly surprised. I had no problem at all with veneering them. (They are 1/2" roundovers.) I used 10-mil paperbacked veneer, a PVA-based glue called "Heat Lock," and a clothes iron on the wool setting. The sides and front are all one continuous piece of veneer. I just started on one side, where the side and back meet, and worked my way around to the front.

                  Originally posted by cwad8505 View Post
                  Agreed, beautiful work!! I do wonder, however, why you flush-mounted the driver and not the tweet? Either way, sure they sound great and fabulous job on the finish!
                  Thanks,
                  Chris
                  What looks like a surface-mounted tweeter is actually a temporary problem. The tweeter cutouts are recessed, but the gasket material I used is a little too thick. It didn't compress as much as I had hoped. I was debating whether to trim the recess a little lower or find some thinner gasket material, but I went ahead and assembled them in the meantime -- because I didn't want to wait!



                  Thanks for everyone's comments so far! //R

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First post

                    Welcome aboard!

                    Your first foray into DIY audio is amazing!! Great Job!

                    I built the original Ed Frias ar.com speakers >12 yrs ago and was amazed at the sound. Not too many reviews of the new 2 way with the new components, but don't doubt they sound just as good as the old due to Ed's reputation!

                    I was looking to build the new set also last year, but found this site and the myriad of other DIY options and built the Copper Project as my first from scratch build.

                    Just be careful, this hobby can become an addiction. Don't ask how many speakers I've built since the Copper!

                    As for Subs, check out the Cerberus Sub, simple to build and great quality sound!

                    Ted

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First post

                      First time looks about like my 5th time, maybe better still, haha.

                      Nice work and welcome. All levels of folks hang around here. I'm surprised they haven't thrown me out yet for taking such a long time and producing mediocre results!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First post

                        Originally posted by Rob J. View Post

                        What looks like a surface-mounted tweeter is actually a temporary problem. The tweeter cutouts are recessed, but the gasket material I used is a little too thick. It didn't compress as much as I had hoped. I was debating whether to trim the recess a little lower or find some thinner gasket material, but I went ahead and assembled them in the meantime -- because I didn't want to wait!
                        //R
                        The local hardware store will have 1/8" thick, closed cell foam weather stripping. It will seal those and squash down to nearly nothing.

                        Nice first build!
                        Lou's Speaker Site [speakers.lonesaguaro.com]
                        "Different" is objective, "better" is subjective. Taste is not a provable fact.
                        Where are you John Galt? I may not be worthy, but I'm ready.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First post

                          Originally posted by LouC View Post
                          The local hardware store will have 1/8" thick, closed cell foam weather stripping. It will seal those and squash down to nearly nothing.

                          Nice first build!
                          That's a great idea; much simpler than re-routing the recesses. I'll check it out this weekend.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First post

                            Originally posted by Rob J. View Post
                            That's a great idea; much simpler than re-routing the recesses. I'll check it out this weekend.

                            You'll find all manner of weatherstripping at the hardware store. Stick with the closed-cell variety, usually the 3/8" wide x 1/8" thick will work on just about every tweeter and small woofer/mid drivers. I keep some 1/2" wide x 1/4" thick stuff for large woofers and sub drivers. Nice work on those speakers! Betcha can't build just one pair. I started in 1977 with a parts kit and measured drawing from Speakerlab, built some floorstanding-size enclosures for the S2 model (10" woofer 2-way like the Large Advent) with an old Craftsman table saw. I still have those boxes and they'll become another retail-speaker-beater, most likely Wayne J.'s Lyra. Back then, I honed my cabinet-building skills with various Speakerlab models for my family & friends. Once they heard how the S2 knocked the c-r-a-p out of their supposedly-high-SQ commercial stuff, I'd end up making some enclosures for their S2 or another Speakerlab model. In some cases I would use their existing store-bought speaker boxes, including the Advent, JBL, Cerwin Vega or some of the other popular brands. Great to have you on board. If there's any thing we could help with, let us know. I'm not a XO expert, but I can build a nice enclosure...and I know what doesn't work when it comes to properly implementing a XO. I tried all the textbook calculations and pre-made XO's; none of those ever worked. When I made my first real DIY design over 11 years ago, I finally realized that I didn't know anything about properly designing a XO. So I've been content to build other people's projects (OPP) since.

                            John A.
                            "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
                            Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
                            Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
                            Pioneer TX-9500 II
                            Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
                            Statement Monitors
                            Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
                            Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
                            Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First post

                              Welcome to the asylum...I mean forum,
                              and a nicely executed pair you have there!
                              Later,
                              Wolf
                              "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:
                              https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

                              My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X