This summer I came across a classified ad I couldn't refuse over at TechTalk making my dream of this exact speaker a reality. A pair of NeoPro 5i, pair of PHL1120, and four TD15M's for a VERY reasonable price. I'm not sure what it is but I don't have much motivation for speaker building during the warmer months, these guys sat in boxes all summer and fall. Just like last year though around January I started getting the itch t build something. For some reason I have the misfortune of getting the itch right around the time temps are bottoming out here in northern MN
Honestly though the real reason involved visiting a local audiophile's setup that was very very good (TLS Guy
over at audioholics forum) plus hearing my good friend Dave's Magnepan MMG's
in my room A/B'ing against my waveguides (and sounding better than them EVEN at high SPL AND being pushed by a lowly Onkyo TX-SR304
). It took me a long time to admit it to myself but there was always something "off" with my waveguide build (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1220016
). I'm pretty certain someone that knew what they were doing could have gotten them straightened out but I just lack the knowledge and motivation at this point to fix them. Something in the crossover.
So once again I find myself out in the garage cutting wood in full MN winter gear: long underwear, snowpants, winter boots, hooded sweatshirt, winter coat, hat, gloves; the whole bit. I finally got some use out of my table saw (that I had been too intimidated by to use before) though so the cutting went very smooth. I overbuilt the boxes a bit - I've been trying to do something more elaborate with each build. They have a double baffle and include window bracing that is glued together in the middle (check the pics below). I used the 1 1/4" roundover on the baffle and went over the rest with a 3/4" roundover. I still want to attempt to flush mount the drivers but neither will be all that easy. I need to get a bushing set for my router then maybe I'll give it a shot.
Currently I'm using the TD15M still in the old speaker with the new mid+tweet enclosure set on top. The crossover is a passive network that Curt Campbell was kind enough to share with me. Unfortunately it's not one of his published designs and it is not mine to share (please don't ask, I have a lot of respect for Curt and he was nice enough to share it with me - I'm not going to break his trust). It's the crossover he designed for exojam's JCW 3-way (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1061558
) minus the woofer network. I had a pair of black anodized double binding post plates so I wired them up for biamping with the tweeter and woofer networks completely separate (why not right
). The woofer - mid crossover is active using DCX2496. I haven't messed with this XO very much (for some reason I don't think it will have a significant effect on the sound), I just set it for LR24 at 350hz arbitrarily.
Listening impressions have been very, very positive. The new speakers do not exhibit any of the crossover issues I had with the waveguide. Also measuring them in-room with REW shows a very nice FR curve - even with room interaction? The clean output capability exceeds that of the waveguide build with the faulty XO. I actually had a new experience with these last night. I was playing Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral SACD - the 2nd disc has some random tracks on it including one named "A Violent Fluid". It's just an instrumental but has some crazy high frequency dynamics. I had to back off the volume as the HF was giving me a mini headache with each pulse. With the waveguides I could definitely play it loud enough that my ears hurt but this was different, my ears weren't complaining but my head was!? Unfortunately I let my 1 year old play with my SPL meter a couple days ago and haven't seen it since so I have no clue how loud it was... if I had to guess I'd say at least 105dB peaks probably closer to 110.
I'm hoping someone can give me suggestions on what to do for the woofer enclosure. I'm trying to figure out if I can cut down the current enclosures and re-use them somehow or if I should do it right and build new ones. The bummer is the current enclosures would go to waste
If I do build one I want to do a tapered enclosure similar to dlneubec's BaSSlines (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1064857
) with them tapering to the width of the mid+tweet enclosure. The tweeters are way too high right now, I've got them pointing down a bit (propped the backs up on some DVD's) but it's still not quite right and doesn't work for listening in other rooms very well...
Note, my wife LOVES when I glue up speakers on the kitchen counter!