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  • Esoteries Speakers Refresh

    I built these several years ago in 2017, and was never fully happy with the finish. They're called the "Esoteries" and I had trouble getting my usual go-to rub on poly to properly adhere to the Bubinga veneer. Running out of time before the Midwest Audiofest I ended up putting some brush-on poly just to get a finish on it that would stick... it worked, but it ended up laying thick in some areas. I've always wanted to redo the finish on these and smooth them out a bit.

    Click image for larger version

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    We've been liquidating most of my speaker builds, and my wife's sister in the Bronx said she would like these, so now I have my chance to do a re-fresh. I have a resistor I wanted to beef-up in the crossover as well while I'm at it.

    I actually don't like messing with speakers after I've finished them, but I thought this was a good time to tackle it so the new owners would have something close to the best I could produce.

    Do you guys ever find yourself needing to re-touch a speaker setup after you've lived with it for awhile, and for what reason usually?

    TomZ
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

  • #2
    Not usually, unless a favorable change to the xover makes them more listenable in more cases, or the finish has an 'accident' of sorts.

    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


    • #3
      I have speaker commitment issues. I find it hard to leave even my better designs alone. My boxes have been altered many times over the last 20 years or so, and they look it. I have a small 5.25" 2-way that I've been using for about 2 years with no changes, I think, to the x-over. Other than the way it looks, I'd consider it finished. . The x-over is still on the floor connected with jumpers. I stare at the boxes almost every day thinking about how I can redo the baffle without destroying the speaker. The xo uses my only pair of Erse 2.5mH coils. These are expensive, and almost every design I make ends up using a 2.5mH coil. I use these speakers more for HT than music, and I'm thinking that a 6.5" 2-way would be better for action movies when the SPL gets crazy.

      Comment


      • #4
        My track record for attempted improvements is pretty abysmal.

        Comment


        • #5
          All the time. Mostly because I change my mind.
          BSME
          Kannapolis NC

          Comment


          • #6
            ^ This.

            I can't even finish a test prototype system after reading everyone-elses projects and test measurements without buying more drivers and starting another one.
            Its a disease.

            Obsessions; they are GREAT, for a while . . .


            Comment


            • #7
              One danger of DSP is it's so easy to try new stuff. A little tweak here, a not-so-little tweak there. These days I try to stop the changes unless I hear an actual problem. That works...usually
              Francis

              Comment


              • #8
                I got sidetracked from my latest project by the bad weather and reading about DSP so the Eminence Beta-10's that I put up in the shop running an Fs signal overnight have been running like that for for over a week now.

                Think they are broken in yet?


                Comment


                • fpitas
                  fpitas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Even so, be sure to run them a little right before you measure. Some speakers stiffen up again, although only temporarily, after break-in.

                • Steve Lee
                  Steve Lee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Kinda like my body every morning when I get up, right?

                  :D

                • fpitas
                  fpitas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Lol. Yeah, getting old sucks. I oughta quit working but I'd be bored. Oh well.

              • #9
                Tom, I assume you'll be sanding the boxes? What tools and methods please?

                Comment


                • Steve Lee
                  Steve Lee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sorry for the thread hijack/off topic drift . . .

              • #10
                Not off-topic at all for a few friends talking speaker stuff!
                Yes, I'd wager they're broken in by now! You've probably set a Guiness record for speaker break-in time... not to mention that any rodents who may have called that shop their home have probably moved out, at least temporarily.

                I'm planning on just using a rubber sanding block and some 220 grit or maybe a little coarser if need be for the 'runs' and those kind of glumpy areas. For the larger 'smooth-em-outs' I'll glue some 220 or 340 grit to a board and go over it a bit until it appears smooth.

                An advantage I have is that the veneer being Bubinga... the grain is all over the place, so any feathering or ghosting of the poly through the varying layers will not be very visible. The veneer is just so busy it will be hard to tell.

                Also, I'm not shooting for perfection necessarily... I suspect I may even blow through the finish into the veneer just a bit here and there, not too worried about it as long as I can get adhesion.
                Once I get the finish smooth again, I'll shoot for a coat of rub-on poly to ensure the veneer is sealed, and to assure myself that I've gotten it truly smooth; then I'll put a few coats of General Finishes wipe-on poly to build a bit of depth. Then back to the Minwax rub-on poly for the last 2-3 coats.

                At least that's my plan. We'll see what happens when I actually get to sanding, though.

                TomZ
                Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post

                  Do you guys ever find yourself needing to re-touch a speaker setup after you've lived with it for awhile, and for what reason usually?

                  TomZ
                  Lots of times I feel like I have extracted as much performance out of a design as I can, have learned as much as I can about a new concept, and/or just get bored listening to and looking at it. So I salvage the drivers and crossover parts to repurpose and set the enclosures out at the curb on trash collection day.
                  Craig

                  I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post

                    Lots of times I feel like I have extracted as much performance out of a design as I can, have learned as much as I can about a new concept, and/or just get bored listening to and looking at it. So I salvage the drivers and crossover parts to repurpose and set the enclosures out at the curb on trash collection day.
                    That describes my life from ages about 18 to 25. So broke back then I kept reusing the same half dozen or so speakers so I could keep building. One pair of RatShack woofers even made it to the handlebars of my 10 speed bike.

                    Well, MDF used to be cheap, it's expensive almost like hardwood used to be now.

                    TomZ
                    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                    Comment


                    • djg
                      djg commented
                      Editing a comment
                      There's always particle board.

                    • tomzarbo
                      tomzarbo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I Do like PB. I haven't looked to see what the price of that stuff is for awhile. It smells better when you cut it, too.

                  • #13
                    What woofers did you use in that project?
                    Thanks,
                    Aaron

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      ES140

                      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


                      • #15
                        I sometimes go back and refinish cabinets, usually because whatever is covering them is peeling. One thing I've learned is that contact cement-type adhesive is super-hard to cleanly get off. it's too gummy to sand, and too sticky to scrape.
                        Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                        Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                        Twitter: @undefinition1

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