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First speakers, sorta done! Huge thanks to Paul Carmody! What next?

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  • First speakers, sorta done! Huge thanks to Paul Carmody! What next?

    Last night, I finally finished wiring and gluing up some Overnight Sensations...and I was floored by the sound, imaging, presence.
    While there was much swearing during the project (I wasn't great at soldering), it turned out really good.
    I'm sorta done...since I'll be going back and filling in the gaps in veneer manually, scraping it back, and re-french polishing the cabinets (they're going to be presents for a friend).

    Anyways, I'm hooked!

    I'm not sure what voodoo Paul used, but I'm floored...and humbled to be able to be a part of these.

    So any suggestions for what next?

    I'm currently finishing up some wenge Quarks for my personal office (in my dental office)--which should be a huge upgrade from my $12 Amazon speakers.
    I'll probably be building a Voxel sub to go with it in the near future...but I'm looking around for excuses to build more speakers for friends/family.

    Please give your recommendations for small, great sounding speakers.

    -Matt

    ps. Paul, If you're interested in a guitar, I'll build you one for the cost of materials and shipping.
    Just let me know what specs you're into, and I'll put you on my build list.

  • #2
    That is a sweet offer!!

    Also, since you are a guitar builder, I'm guessing all the woodworking portion is pretty easy for you. Any of Paul's designs are pretty good - I've built the Overnight Sensation MTMs and the Tarkus. I think to pick your next project you should figure out where it's going and what it will be used for (e.g. home theatre, music, in a big room, in a small room, etc.). Then decide on a budget and then the kind folks here are probably going to give you more options than you can build in a year!

    Good luck - photos of the completed projects make everyone happy!

    Comment


    • #3
      What to build depends on so many things, as Scott mentions above, but I'd mention two others: aesthetics (i.e. WAF), and the types of music you enjoy.

      You will most likely get so many recommendations from the good people on this forum, you'll be overwhelmed with choice!

      Geoff

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      • #4
        I consider myself a pretty crappy guitar builder.
        Thankfully, the players don't seem to mind.

        Hopefully, my next builds will be much nicer, since I'll be spending more time on proper jigs to ensure consistency.
        While I'm an amateur, I'm also a fiercely competitive, anal retentive dentist! I like my work to look nice!


        I'll show the speakers when I'm satisfied.
        There are some gaps in the interface between the baffles and the side walls which irk me (my first time veneering, and I didn't know what I was doing!).
        In the future, I'll probably glue the box together prior to veneering for a seemless look.

        As for future use, I have two different projects in mind:
        1. Computer speakers for my parents.
        They're using some cheap $20 cyber acoustics 2.1 system from the nineties.
        I'm thinking of getting them a mac (mac mini or imac), replacing the desk (either making it or Ikea) and making matching speakers.
        Price will be about $200 for the speakers. I will budget in $100 for amplifier, and maybe build a voxel or cerberus to match.
        Mainly, this is for dad to watch his kung fu flicks on youtube.
        Frankly, this isn't super necessary, since dad has no sense of taste. Mom doesn't care too much.
        This is mainly to show my appreciation for them. They are great parents.
        These will be very sexy indeed. I may use special woods from my stash...like some walnut that's been airdried 35 years that looks like Brazilian rosewood.
        2. Speakers for my workshop or bedroom
        I hate using power tools, so mostly do things by hand.
        Having some nice jazz after a hard day/nights work can be extremely satisfying...mainly, I'd like enjoyment, not for monitoring.
        I'd largely be streaming off a used phone--might go iphone 5s (WAV files) -> ifi DSD LE DAC --> SMSL50, or chromecast audio instead of phone.
        I'm thinking of budgeting $200, but am tempted with the GR research XL Encores with upgrades...the classics 2 also look nice. So many options!

        -Matt

        Comment


        • #5
          In terms of esthetics, I'm pretty sure that I can modify most speaker designs to meet my standard.
          However, due to very limited time/energy, I'll probably prefer a flatpack.

          My approach is to first see the speaker in the environment, then choose veneers accordingly and modify as needed.
          I'm not a huge fan of paint, since I'm drawn to natural woods and gentle, natural finishes (french polish or oil varnish)--more of a Japanese/Shaker esthetic.
          Thankfully, veneering is fun. Also, there's tons of veneers to draw a palette from!

          Currently, I'm finishing up some Quarks to look like it'd fit in a Bang and Olufsen showroom.
          While my materials/kit may be humble, I'd love to give honor to the designers that made these speakers possible!

          Hopefully, it'll be something that Paul would be proud to be the father of...I just assembled and finished them.

          -Matt

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh, I forgot to add:

            WAF- no wife. No girlfriend either! Hopefully, that will change
            aesthetics-- I tend to like smaller speakers.

            project 1: My mom in particular likes compact, capable things. Something the Quark's size would work great for them.

            project 2: In my workshop, I don't care so much for esthetics/form factor.
            I'll likely have them on a shelf, away from the tablesaw/planer/etc. I'll likely need to have some grill cloth to avoid sawdust on the drivers.
            Of course, I may be using some Peachtree m24 that I got off Indiegogo--whenever they decide to finally ship mine.
            If it's in my bedroom, I'll likely build them to fit an ikea-sized box cavity (like the expedit) so that they're not too intrusive.
            Not sure if I can use some solid wood baffles?
            I have some sexy walnut burl that I got from a friend. I also have a huge slab of walnut that I'll be cutting to make a few electric guitar drop tops.

            Comment


            • #7
              Can't go wrong with the Classix II.

              https://www.parts-express.com/classi...inet--300-7112

              Comment


              • #8
                For some reason I got a double post. It's Monday.

                Can't go wrong with the Classix II.

                https://www.parts-express.com/classi...inet--300-7112

                Comment


                • #9
                  I use the Classix II in my workshop and they're excellent; I have installed speaker grills for dust protection, but they won't stop everything, so I put plastic bags over the speakers when not in use. The cabinets aren't big, but the sound is.

                  For a similar price you could also build the Tritrix MTM, and they're excellent speakers too. They sound different, of course, the Classix have more low bass, with slightly relaxed mid-range; the Tritrix have a little less bass (unless you build the TL version) but the mids are a little clearer. But they're both excellent speakers.

                  I use the Tritrix inside: the DC28F tweeter has a sticky dome material which seems to love dust and fluff, although at least in our case it doesn't seem to affect the sound. You can always get a replacement dome. if you need to.

                  The Classix crossovers have more parts but are still easy to put together even for a soldering novice like me.

                  It would be hard to toss up just between those options, but I'm sure you will get many more suggestions to think about.

                  Good luck

                  Geoff

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                  • #10
                    I've heard so many great things about the Classix I really need to do a pair of those one day. Pretty happy with the OS MTM's for now.

                    You can use a solid wood baffle for sure. I am hopefully going that route in the next build or two. Many say making the whole speaker out of solid wood is a not a good idea as the wood will move too much with humidity changes, but just the baffle is definitely a great way to get the natural wood feel and still be able to chamfer or roundover the edges.

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                    • #11
                      Paul's Dayton Classic Revivals are great speakers and very WAF friendly. Just finished these. Go here, post 24,25,26. http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ompleted/page2

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                      • #12
                        One issue with using hardwood baffles is cutting the rebates without splintering the wood: I tried it with my last speaker build as an experiment, it was a dismal failure. I used Australian Mountain Ash (a fine grained eucalypt hardwood) and it made too many splinters etc which need filling: I went back to MDF.

                        This was probably due to poor router technique but I wouldn't be keen to try it again unless I was using drivers which don't need flush mounting, such as the Peerless SDS/HDS woofers. Not sure about tweeters but I think some of the Dayton ND series might work?

                        However, if you can make guitars I'm sure you have the expertise and equipment to avoid this problem!

                        Geoff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post
                          One issue with using hardwood baffles is cutting the rebates without splintering the wood: I tried it with my last speaker build as an experiment, it was a dismal failure. I used Australian Mountain Ash (a fine grained eucalypt hardwood) and it made too many splinters etc which need filling: I went back to MDF.

                          This was probably due to poor router technique but I wouldn't be keen to try it again unless I was using drivers which don't need flush mounting, such as the Peerless SDS/HDS woofers. Not sure about tweeters but I think some of the Dayton ND series might work?

                          However, if you can make guitars I'm sure you have the expertise and equipment to avoid this problem!

                          Geoff

                          I think there's actually a trick to it-- one is to use a spiral upcut bit. Also, you might want to try sealing the surface prior to cutting--some guys will use epoxy.
                          Lastly, the wood does matter. Mahogany, Cherry, and Walnut don't tend to be too splitty.
                          Wenge? Splinters from hell.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Email me at [email protected] re: guitars. Definitely interested!
                            Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                            Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                            Twitter: @undefinition1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Matt, congratulations on your first builds! I have three sets of "bookshelf monitor" speakers, and I listen to the ClassixII's the most. For strictly music, unless you're a bass head, you really don't need a sub-woofer with the ClassixII's, and they are great for "modestly presented" music like Pandora, Spotify, iffy CD's, LP's or MP-3's. Monitors with really detailed mids (The "Veepers") can be very unforgiving of not-so-good music sources. But this is the super thing about DIY speakers: You can build for a type of music and music source. Enjoy yourself!

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