Wardsweb DIY 3-way horns - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually started these around January 2006. Once they were built and dialed in, I didn't want to take them back apart for veneer because I was enjoying listening to them. Well having to take the speakers out of my living room for a new floor was the perfect time to actually finish the job.

To start, here is a picture of some of the internal construction; part MDF and part Baltic birch.


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post #2 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The sides are four layers of kerf MDF that I filled with glass microbeads used in bead blasting.


~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #3 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I stuffed them with JBL 2235H woofer, Altec 802-8G w/tangerine phase plug on a 511B horn and a JBL 077 slot tweeter.


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post #4 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I veneered them with sapele pommele and painted the baffle board with textured paint.


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post #5 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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This is with three coats of DEFT gloss lacquer finish. I ended up using about 10 coats. I need to let these cure for about a month before I sand, polish and buff for a piano gloss.


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post #6 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I machined the feet from 3 inch round stock 6061 aluminum.


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post #7 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the finished speakers in my living room 2-channel rig without the grills.


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post #8 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I made some grill from perferated metal covered with JBL blue grill cloth held on by automotive edge trim. The grills are cut wider than the speakers so they bow out when installed. This follows the contour of the speakers.


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post #9 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Here they are with the grills on.


~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #10 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 04:44 AM
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Those are super nice! I will be following the questions on this one, but here's the first question...what was the final cost of the build? Second question, what are the final dimensions of those?
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 05:46 AM
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Ward,

Those look fantastic!!!

I see you have a TT sitting back there. What kind it is?

One last question, where did you leave for a month while they were curing (in their normal location or like sealed off location)?

James
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post #12 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonnash View Post

Those are super nice! I will be following the questions on this one, but here's the first question...what was the final cost of the build? Second question, what are the final dimensions of those?

I didn't keep records on these but I'm would say between $2500 and $3000.

They are 47"tall, 25" wide at their widest point, and 23" deep. They weight about 300 pounds each.

~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #13 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exojam View Post

Ward,

Those look fantastic!!!

I see you have a TT sitting back there. What kind it is?

One last question, where did you leave for a month while they were curing (in their normal location or like sealed off location)?

James

The turntable is a Clearaudio Champion II with a Benz Micro Glider mounted on an SME 309 arm.

To clarify the finish. I brushed on 8 coats of lacquer. I sanded them glass smooth and sprayed 2 more coats. They now sit in my living room being used. They are dry and you can handle them, but the lacquer needs to be really hard for polishing. This will take 3-4 weeks. I will do that next month.

~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #14 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 06:37 AM
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Ward,

Thanks for the information. If that setup sounds 1/10th as good as it looks I don't know if you would get me out of living room! I just got back into vinyl about a year ago so my setup in nowhere near that nice but it does sound really good to me. I have a Planar 3-RB300 with a 2M Blue and a few other tweaks on it.

I do not know anything about this type of speaker so I have to ask, what does this Altec 802-8G w/tangerine phase plug do for the setup? Thanks.

James
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post #15 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exojam View Post

Ward,

Thanks for the information. If that setup sounds 1/10th as good as it looks I don’t know if you would get me out of living room! I just got back into vinyl about a year ago so my setup in nowhere near that nice but it does sound really good to me. I have a Planar 3-RB300 with a 2M Blue and a few other tweaks on it.

I do not know anything about this type of speaker so I have to ask, what does this “Altec 802-8G w/tangerine phase plug” do for the setup? Thanks.

James

The large horn with compression driver delivers a open airy almost liquid midrange. It is what gives the sound of these a "real" presence and a depth of field that envelopes you. The 077 tweeter adds the top end sizzle that I like. The 2235H offers clean tight bass and the speed for critical music listening and can also handle the power when I want to rock the house.

By the way, the Clearaudio table replaced my Rega Planar 3 with a RB-250 I modified.


~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #16 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 07:27 AM
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Looks like you added a VTA on there? Did you buy the wiring as a kit or separate parts to make it?

I am using a Cambridge Audio 640P and added a GrooverTracer subplatter and Origin Live Advanced motor upgrade. I think my next upgrade to it will be a Groovetracer Acrylic platter.

Lately I have been listening to Raising Sand over and over. Ever since I had an Equitech balanced power transformer to my system it has taken both my audio and video to a new level and I cannot get enough of how good that Raising Sand album sounds.

James
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post #17 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 07:27 AM
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yours are among the best looking speakers that i have ever seen. off-the-charts brilliant work!

it's not my nature to be a fanboy however...don't the 2235's in a sealed enclosure rolloff a little high? i'm guessing your -3db point is around 50hz or so. are you running subs in this system or not? also resonances may be reduced if you decouple the speaker from the floor by using soft feet in place of solid feet.

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post #18 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 08:41 AM
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I think he has padding under those feet.

Amazing looking speakers. I really like those. :thumbsup:

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #19 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

yours are among the best looking speakers that i have ever seen. off-the-charts brilliant work!

it's not my nature to be a fanboy however...don't the 2235's in a sealed enclosure rolloff a little high? i'm guessing your -3db point is around 50hz or so. are you running subs in this system or not? also resonances may be reduced if you decouple the speaker from the floor by using soft feet in place of solid feet.

Give the man a C-gar. You have been paying attention. There are no subs. The cabinet is dual ported. They have no problem with Brian Bromberg - Wood (300 year old cello), E. Power Biggs - Bach's Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor (Flentrop 3-manual tracker-action pipe organ) and even Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Flight of the Cosmic Hippo (Victor Wooten playing a custom Joe Compito fretless bass).

As for the billet feet, they don't actually touch the floor. There is a pad between the feet and the hardwood floor. I don't know that it is needed because the cabinets are seriously dead. With the internal bracing, the microbead filled sides, and the dampening material sprayed inside, resonance never had a chance.



~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #20 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 10:45 AM
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Wow,wow,wow! Amazing craftsmanship.
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post #21 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 11:01 AM
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Dang dude, that's some amazing woodworking....must by why Travis is having you help him out

So what are you doing for the xover? Are those pots in the back for adjusting the MF/HF levels?

-Mike Bentz
~It's all about compromise~
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post #22 of 37 Old 12-05-2009, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MBentz View Post

Dang dude, that's some amazing woodworking....must by why Travis is having you help him out

So what are you doing for the xover? Are those pots in the back for adjusting the MF/HF levels?

The crossovers are based on an Altec N501 and JBL 3106 crossovers. The L-pad attenuators allow me to dial in the Altec horn and JBL tweeter to taste.

As for Travis' speakers, I'm always glad to help out a buddy.

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post #23 of 37 Old 12-06-2009, 09:34 AM
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Wardsweb, just stunning looking speakers, think you need to build me a pair.
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post #24 of 37 Old 12-06-2009, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Wardsweb, just stunning looking speakers, think you need to build me a pair.

I don't think I can even afford me.

~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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post #25 of 37 Old 12-08-2009, 10:30 AM
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"The cabinet is dual ported."

nice. your choice of driver is a very good one--pretty much subwoofer performance that can also handle duties well into the midrange. i bet they sound as good as they look.

Listen. It's All Good.
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post #26 of 37 Old 12-09-2009, 06:07 AM
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Gorgeous work.

Nice seeing those altec horns well integrated into a beautiful design.
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post #27 of 37 Old 12-09-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Gorgeous work.

Nice seeing those altec horns well integrated into a beautiful design.

Thanks, it took a bit of doing, as I cut a lot of the mounting flange off so it just fits the opening. The horn was then sprayed with a dampening material. Lastly I put a couple pounds of lead shot in the top lip of the horn and wrapped another two pounds around the throat. They don't ring anymore.

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post #28 of 37 Old 12-09-2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardsweb View Post

Thanks, it took a bit of doing, as I cut a lot of the mounting flange off so it just fits the opening. The horn was then sprayed with a dampening material. Lastly I put a couple pounds of lead shot in the top lip of the horn and wrapped another two pounds around the throat. They don't ring anymore.

I was wondering what those blue bags were for.

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post #29 of 37 Old 01-28-2010, 06:49 AM
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Ward
I totally agree that these look fantastic! I've been an hobby woodworker for many years and recently started building speakers. I've also done a few with curved sides, usually using "bendy" plywood, instead of kerfed mdf - a little bit easier.

While these are far too big to fit into my home, I'm very impressed by the level of detail in the construction. In particular, how did you manage to get such large sheets of veneer onto the sides in absolutely perfect condition? I've built speakers up to 28" tall, weighing 60+ lbs, but getting them into a vacuum bag, for bonding the veneer was tough. I can't imagine you used a vacuum bag on something this big.

Seriously impressive job!
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post #30 of 37 Old 01-28-2010, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shandit66 View Post

Ward
I totally agree that these look fantastic! I've been an hobby woodworker for many years and recently started building speakers. I've also done a few with curved sides, usually using "bendy" plywood, instead of kerfed mdf - a little bit easier.

While these are far too big to fit into my home, I'm very impressed by the level of detail in the construction. In particular, how did you manage to get such large sheets of veneer onto the sides in absolutely perfect condition? I've built speakers up to 28" tall, weighing 60+ lbs, but getting them into a vacuum bag, for bonding the veneer was tough. I can't imagine you used a vacuum bag on something this big.

Seriously impressive job!

I was lucky enough to get very large sheets of rotary cut sapele. I trimmed them to an inch beyond the cabinet size, rolled heat lock glue (veneer and cabinet), let it dry and then used my wife's steam iron to iron the veneer on. This allowed me to position the veneer before using the iron's heat to reactivate the glue. I did use an old cotton t-shirt laid on the veneer and ironed thru it. This prevented any possible scortching of the veneer.


~ There are many roads to audio nirvana. While the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride ~

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