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1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    UPS arrived right as I pressed submit on my last post. The Black PVC arrived from FORMUFIT. I measured it and it is identical in spec to Sch 40 1-1/4" pipe. It is cheaper that regular PVC? No. It is cheeper that the 1-3/8" adjustable port that PE sells? Kind of. It will run about $1.40 per foot. Will it look cool as a flushed in port on an OS style box? Yes, because it is black. I purchased 6ft of it so that should last me a while.



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  • bkeane1259
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Thanks Gordy. I just stuck in a fleabay order for a pair. I'm planning to outfit my kid's bathroom with a small sound system from my menagerie of spare parts and they definitely want BT. I’ve tried the BT-1A module from PE and it sucks (sorry PE). In fact the BT module offerings from PE just are not good at all. I’m looking forward to trying the Sure APT-X. I suspect I will use the second one to add BT to my existing Cougar tailgate boom box.

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
    Am I correct in assuming that ebay is the current way to order these?

    You can order from eBay or direct from Sure in China. They just got their new storefront up and running. This is how I found the volume control I want to experiment with.

    I chose the slow boat option with eBay purchase and it took about 9 days total. I chose the express option on the Sure store site. They are going to arrive slower. They both come from the same place. From eBay it will cost you about $27 shipped. There is no better deal. These should be the default standard for BT modules. Notice that the voltage is 9-15v. Pairing it with a 14v-15v DC adapter is an option as well if you wanted to run their 25x2 watt amp. 15x2 is way more than adequate for a set of OSs.

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  • bkeane1259
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by Gordy View Post
    Enter the Sure APT-X Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver. At first glance is looks very well put together like other Sure products. But after installing, I call this the miracle BT module.
    This is great information!! Sounds like the perfect BT boom box module and a double bonus that it runs at 12v. Now if we could just get PE to stock them........ Thanks for doing the research and bringing this to everyone's attention.

    Am I correct in assuming that ebay is the current way to order these?

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    BLUETOOTH UPDATE:

    Yesterday, I received 2 of the 3 Sure Electronics BT modules that I ordered from China. They were slated to arrive at the end of the month, but sooner is always better. I wanted to stick with 12v modules to alleviate the need for step down circuits that would be needed for 5v modules. I was hoping to mitigate several issues with the Milennia BT modules. I also tried a Fusion BT-100 module as well. I have the BT-100 hooked up in my garage to a 13V power supply and a 22 year old Linear Power 652i car audio amp. This powers 2 in-ceiling speakers. I experienced all of the below except it had less turn off pop. Both the Milennia and Fusion BT modules are version 2.0

    1. Data EMI Feedback - There was a fair amount at zero volume but it did seem to disappear once the volume increased. It did impact the quality of sound. It still sounded descent, but after hearing a direct line-in (3.5mm to RCA) it did not do the project justice.

    2. Sound Quality - If comparing this module to a direct line-in on the amp there was a pretty big difference in sound quality. But this is BT right? The highs were cut off, the mids were muffled/muddy but the lows were pretty good. This is a result of the version of BT used. I have hours listening to the Milennia BT module and line-in direct to the amp. As time went on, I became more disappointed with the BT module and considered scrapping the BT idea and just having a 3.5mm input.

    3. Gain – There was considerably less gain with both BT modules compared to a direct line-in connection. Neither module is large enough to house any type of line driver circuit. At 100% volume from my iPhone was really not that loud. Depending on the recording it might increase some. I had decided I could live with it. But, see above #2 – going over my options again.

    4. Turn Off POP – It does not impact sound quality but it was pretty bad.

    Enter the Sure APT-X Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver. At first glance is looks very well put together like other Sure products. But after installing, I call this the miracle BT module. All of the issues above are 100% eliminated.




    1. Data EMI Feedback - The description for the module states that it utilizes independent power supplies for an isolated 12v independent power supply taking care of the data EMI. I found this to be true. It is no longer present.

    2. Sound Quality - APT-X also is advertised to have different compression codec that has increased sound quality and wider frequency response. The difference if very night and day. It sounds better that a direct line-in connection. The highs are back and bright, the mids are tighter and more crisp and the lows are a little tighter as well. Again, I cannot stress enough…night and day.

    3. Gain – It is obvious that the board has some sort of line output driver. It is 2x-3x louder that the direct line-in connection. 100% Milennia BT volume = 25% Sure BT volume.

    4. Turn Off Pop – Gone, just not there anymore.

    The SURE BT module transforms this project and is a game changer. I am very happy with the unit and it was worth the wait. I will be ordering more for additional projects. PE needs to carry this module as it is 12v and at a good price point. It offers consistency if you are pairing it with a Sure amplifier. It also connects very fast. This module really lets the amp open up. It is hard to believe the small 15x2 watt amp can produce that much sound. The APT-X transforms the way the amp is used and sounded.

    INSTALLATION:

    It does not have a screw terminal connections for 12v and ground. I had those already on order from PE and received them today. I soldered one on to the BT board and the amp board as well. It allows power to be daisy chained and reduces the power connections from the source and cleans things up.

    As you can see below the updated mounting solution is a little neater. Another plus is the RCA jacks are the same distance apart and only a barrel connector is needed to connect the two parts. I was hoping this would be the case but was not sure until I received the unit. Side Note: I might be experimenting with the Sure volume control as well and it looks like the RCAs might line up






    Thanks for all of the kind words. This project is pretty my much complete. The electronics work and extensive testing (listening) will be done over the next few weeks. It was a long haul to get the BT right but with the Sure module it solved all of the outstanding issues. For the record, this is a prototype. I will be building at least one more and another to potentially sell. I learned a a lot on this build and it was my first attempt at building a stereo speaker box. I have built a few sub enclosures before but nothing like this.

    All the pics of the build can be found Here

    Plans for the build can be found here The Madeleine Plans.pdf. I included ad MDF cut sheet and a hardwood cut sheet.

    Additional info, per my scales the Madeleine weighs in at 20.6 lbs

    Paul's design is rock solid and one of the best sounding speaker sets I have ever heard. I would like to build a few variations of the OSs possibly standard speakers with matching hardwood amp. Thank you Paul. After cruising Paul's site I have taken an interest in the Swopes. I am already starting to design the enclosures and hope to start them in the next few months (after I build a few Madeleines). I have some nearly new Infinity towers, center and rear for my home theater and these little speaker blow them all away. And of course, I will construct everything out of hardwood.

    Also as soon as the black PVC arrives today I will post pics and measurements as well. I really hope it is a good substitute to PVC because getting rid of the white port would be nice.

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Interesting find today. I was getting the parts list put together for The Madeleine and was looking up the Shc 40 1-1/4 parts # at Home Depot. In my search results on the depots site, I saw PVC pipe by Formufit. It is a furniture grade PVC company. They have several different colors of PVC including black. The price is not bad either.



    I emailed them a few min ago to inquire about their 1-1/4" pipe as they stated it meets Sch 40 standards. I could not believe it but on a Sunday I got a response. The ID of their 1-1/4" PVC pipe is 1.360. Only a .015" deviation from the 1-3/8" needed. I never liked the white PVC port and wanted it black but did not want to hassle with painting it.

    I ordered (2) 3ft sections and will post pics when it comes in. If this works, it will be a better alternative than white PVC especially for those of use who prefer to flush the port in the front to back of the enclosure.

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by Melby Audio View Post
    Believe it or not I have had good luck with the $7 usb stick looking cheapies off of ebay combined with the Murata DC-DC. I have also used a Target clearance off brand, and a Phillips unit. All were good once the DC was isolated, and all were problematic using standard voltage regulators. I also have both the 12v and talking ones that PE sells, but I still need to test those before I can say how well they will work or if they have ground loop issues.

    I am ordering the parts today to implement the above. I found that a floppy drive power cable has .254 pin spacing the same as the DC-DC converters. This will make it easier than just soldering wires on. My goal is to have the least number of parts and connections as possible. I am hoping the Sure BT modules will be the answer. But if the above works and solves the problem I will be just as happy.

    Thanks for the guidance and I will post my findings when I get the parts.

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  • Melby Audio
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Believe it or not I have had good luck with the $7 usb stick looking cheapies off of ebay combined with the Murata DC-DC. I have also used a Target clearance off brand, and a Phillips unit. All were good once the DC was isolated, and all were problematic using standard voltage regulators. I also have both the 12v and talking ones that PE sells, but I still need to test those before I can say how well they will work or if they have ground loop issues.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
    Out of curiosity - are you using an iDevice? If so, you might consider spending up for the AirEnabler:
    http://airenabler.qnology.com/

    Airplay is lossless and much better quality audio than Bluetooth (even APT-X).

    Yes I am, but I do not want to have the box dedicated to the iDevice platform. I also want to have all components mount inside the box for a single plug solution. I will be researching the AirEnabler more for a possible other application. Thanks for the info.

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  • tyger23
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Out of curiosity - are you using an iDevice? If so, you might consider spending up for the AirEnabler:
    http://airenabler.qnology.com/

    Airplay is lossless and much better quality audio than Bluetooth (even APT-X).

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by Melby Audio View Post
    Hmm, yeah must be the BT module then. Is it a 12v or 5v module?

    It is a 12v module. I have Fusion BT100 that is also a 12v module that encounters the same data feedback. If I go 1/8" headphone to RCA direct, there is no noise. So yes, it is the BT module. This is why I am hoping that the new Sure BT module will fair better. It is not a deal breaker if I cant clear it up but I would like to exhaust all options. Worst case i guess i could find a 5v module and use a DC-DC converter for 12v to 5V and try that. Do you have any suggestions or preferences for 5v BT module? I have a few weeks before the Sure BT units arrive and I am willing to try other options.

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  • Melby Audio
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Hmm, yeah must be the BT module then. Is it a 12v or 5v module?

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by Melby Audio View Post
    Yes just wire it inline. I believe it does isolate a ground loop, however I have bad luck with car audio ground loop isolators. It seems that they reduce but don't eliminate the noise.
    I got the part today and wired it inline per the instructions. I don't think it really made much of a difference. I would say the data noise was reduced some but not all the way. It only take a little volume to get past it.

    I have ordered 2 Sure APT-X BT 4.0 Receivers from Sure in China.

    http://store.sure-electronics.com/audio/aa-ab41136

    They have both shipped and should arrive on the 27th. Sure sells 2 BT modules, one that PE carries, and the APT-X that is specifically designed to "eradicate RF and digital signal interference..." I really don't know WHY PE does not sell these and other BT modules. The one they do sell Part # 320-351 seems to be on eternal back order.

    If the fine PE folks are reading this please offer the Millennia BT module and the new Sure APT-X Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver SKU: AA-AB41136. They would not doubt be great sellers.

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  • chambers13
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Nice job! Have all the parts lined up to do something similar, but using a Pyle amp. Looking to upgrade a Sprite that I made. You've given me some great ideas, gotta do a charity job first and then jump on in...hope it comes out as well as yours!

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  • joeybutts
    replied
    Re: 1st Boombox Project - The Madeleine

    Originally posted by Gordy View Post
    After we got home this afternoon, I took a trip to Dakota Hardwoods. I picked up 11 bdft of mahogany and 11 bdft of soft maple. I was rather shocked by their prices. They were significantly cheaper than the big box stores of course.

    I did not price the red oak they had, which of coarse was much better wood, but the Mahogany board was $58. I spent ~$85 on red oak at Lowes for one cabinet. This puts the build cost for one cabinet out of mahogany at $29. It is cheaper to buy the hardwood than MDF and veneer. I kind of wanted to get into learning how to veneer but at these prices it may not be worth it. They also had cherry, alder and other exotics. I really wanted to see some of their burled maple but was afraid I might end up leaving with 3 boards not 2.

    Since the wood is sold by the board foot it is 13/16" thick. I will have to buy a surface planer to get the wood to 3/4" as well as finish the rougher surface. A planer will also allow me to work with 5/4 boards and bring costs down further.

    Seeing this beautiful lumber has me itching to do a new all out build.

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