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New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

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  • New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

    I've completed my first DIY build and would like to share my experiences, results and of course a few pics.

    I'm really into both music and HT, and have always used Polk speakers. Over the years, I have become less enamored with the MTM configuration for center channels. Poor dispersion, distorted sound, etc. About a year ago I started looking for a project to replace my Polk CSi 5 center.

    I had always wanted to build Zaph's SR71 speakers, however my biggest problem was the center channel and I wanted to get that taken care of so I could match the other speakers for a broad front stage.

    Like Superman swooping down to help a stranger, Lunchmoney posted his Blackbird project.

    Oh my, this was it! A SR71 based center, allowing for outstanding TM performance and the addition of SR71's for left and right channels. So, I dived in and purchased cabinets from PE (one curved and two squared), kits from Madisound.

    My woodworking tools consist of a power drill and modified electric toothbrush to I really needed help at this point to get 'em done. Once again Lunchmoney became my hero.

    He cut the front baffles, modified one tweeter bezel for closer spacing, cut gaskets. Beautiful work, extremely quick turnaround. Anytime I had a question he answered immediately.

    Oh yes, while this was going on I decided to fix my other "problem" with my HT.....subwoofers. I've been running two Polk MicroPro 2000's, excellent for music but no big enough for good HT. So, I ordered two 3 cuft cabinets from PE, two RSS315HF-8 subwoofers and a SA1000 amplifier.

    Waited until I had everything done.....hooked it all up....ran Audessey on my Denon.....put a Tool CD in my player.....hit play....

    OH MY!

    Put in Battle LA....hit play.....

    INCREDIBLE!

    Click image for larger version

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    Subs are awesome. Outstanding musicallity yet they will literally shake the walls, vibrate the floor and cause all sorts of eye-popping, jaw-dropping mayhem as needed.

    Blackbird - vocals, center channel information is as clear as I've ever heard it. Pleased? Thrilled is the better term.

    Click image for larger version

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    Left / right channels - A friend of mine said it all, "I've never heard cymbals like this before, its like they have layers or textures, and I never thought that guitar and vocals sounded like what I'm hearing". He then shut his eyes and sat in his chair for at least another 45 minutes.

    Click image for larger version

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    I owe Lunchmoney so many thanks.....

    Greg

  • #2
    Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

    Heard em' love em' great build!
    .

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    • #3
      Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

      Very nice Greg!

      No thanks needed. It was really gratifying to have someone else build a speaker I helped design (thanks Zaph!), and enjoy it as much as I do... even better I got to help you build it!

      Did you try the reduced BSC tweak I did for the SR71's? (reducing woofer inductor from 3.3 to 3.0). This brings the midrange a tad more forward, overall making them slightly less laid back. And it will match the Blackbird even better (the Blackbird was designed to match the tweaked SR71's). Definitely worth trying!

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      • #4
        Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

        What is the Polk center channel you were previously using? How would you describe the difference the Blackbird made?

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        • #5
          Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

          lunch is my hero too.:D nice work fellas.
          " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

          Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
          Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

          http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
          http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

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          • #6
            Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

            Originally posted by lunchmoney View Post
            What is the Polk center channel you were previously using? How would you describe the difference the Blackbird made?
            It was the CSi 5. Polk replaced it with the CSi 6, almost identical. I was also running another of theirs, I'd have to dig through some notes to find the model number.

            Even my wife commented on the improvement with the Blackbird, she was really having a hard time with the Polk, constantly turning the volume up or down watching TV. With the Blackbird its set.
            Last edited by GTB; 07-18-2011, 09:27 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: New HT Front Stage - Blackbird Center, SR71

              Originally posted by lunchmoney View Post
              Did you try the reduced BSC tweak I did for the SR71's? (reducing woofer inductor from 3.3 to 3.0). This brings the midrange a tad more forward, overall making them slightly less laid back. And it will match the Blackbird even better (the Blackbird was designed to match the tweaked SR71's). Definitely worth trying!
              Did not try the tweak, I'm pleased with the current sound.

              As a clarification on the Blackbird's performance; with any of the other centers I've been using I've had to tweak the center channel level up or down depending on content, DURING THE SAME SHOW OR MOVIE.

              Since the Blackbird has been hooked up and setup once, I have not had to tweak the center channel level once. Perhaps its a result of the incredible clarity and lifelike voice reproduction.

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