Multi-tune Maelstrom 18 build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-19-2011, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the Mal X in the mail the other day! Woo hoo! Time to build a fast and furious enclosure to get it into it's new home soon.

Here's the specs on the new enclosure.

- 8.0 cuft net (24" x 48" x 16" deep). 2-3 inches of clearance behind pole vent, and sized to fit behind my screenwall
- tri- 4" ported to 20hz (3 ports) or 16hz (2 ports), or sealed if I like the sound of that better.
- 3/4" ply construction
- baffle around edge of woofer doubled up on the inside
- stick construction bracing
- PL adhesive throughout
- black paint finish

- Woofer not tested prior to box construction - I'm hoping it'll work out just fine...

I did a lot of things differently from my last Tempest X2 build - just to try different things out. What's the fun in building the exact same enclosure? So, ply instead of MDF, round ports instead of slot, PL instead of titebond, stick bracing instead of window, etc.

Here's a shot of the progress so far, just before I put the face on today.



And a shot of the inside port flares - the only place I used MDF. Plywood is so much more palatable to work with! Even with a respirator, I would come in from the garage nearly having a fit from the dust previously!



For a comparison, here's a picture of my Tempest build



More to come as this progresses.

Best,
C.
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-20-2011, 04:48 PM
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Looks good so far! From what I've read, with 3/4" walls if the spacing between each brace or between a brace and wall is 9" or less then it's good to go, an it seems you've got that.
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-20-2011, 09:06 PM
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Awesome work, hope you hit the Lotto too with it stayin alive. Graham should love this. Graham? GRAHAM!
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post #4 of 28 Old 08-20-2011, 11:58 PM
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Yep krypto loving it mate. Look what the 21.5hz tune gives me compared to the low tune at 20hz. 9db more and no hpf. I am running about 8db hot and using the mid tune 17.5hz now.
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 12:00 AM
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Sorry forgot to add the attachment
LL
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gperkins1973 View Post

Sorry forgot to add the attachment

Red sealed, yellow low, blue high tune?
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 12:33 AM
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Red is 12hz tune, yellow is 17hz tune and blue is 21hz tune.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 12:40 AM
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why would you ever use anything other than that wicked awesome 12Hz tune Graham!
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 01:07 AM
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J, Cos I can! LOL
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gperkins1973 View Post

Yep krypto loving it mate. Look what the 21.5hz tune gives me compared to the low tune at 20hz. 9db more and no hpf. I am running about 8db hot and using the mid tune 17.5hz now.


Am I reading that right? No hpf at the 21.5hz tune? How do you get away with that without smoking the woofer below tune?

I remember your multi tune thread Graham. Definitely part of the inspiration on this box. I also remember you liking the highest tune best, which is what I figure I'm likely to do as well. We'll see. I'm gettin' ready to hit the painting! Was planning on doing that this morning, but I have a house issue to deal with. Sprinkler guy yesterday cut the conduit shielded power to our well and didn't know it. Came home to a house with no water. Tryin' to schedule a fix this AM...

C.
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 05:44 AM
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OOH that's no good!
I dont think Graham is running near the power he could be, and thats why he doesn't need a HP. If he had dual 2 ohm coils to run 4 ohms each and 1 EP4000 per Fi Q, he'd have a TON more output but need a HP unless he ran sealed or 12Hz tune. He wouldnt be cooking the one EP all the time and distortion numbers would drop.
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 08:01 AM
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I am running 1000 watts rms into my subs each which I know they could take more as they are in boxes half their optimum size. You will be surprised how loud you can go without a hpf. I could run it easily to -20db MV without one and that is with dubstep etc.. Because off their natural roll off you don't get that much below 15hz anyway.

Looking forward to seeing your results and what you like best. The 12hz tune does rock when watching challenging films.
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-21-2011, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Update!

Face glued on, overhanging box edges routed off, holes filled, seams sanded, outer port holes rounded over (3/8" is my largest roundover bit), and first of two coats of mickey mouse ears matte black applied.



Yes, it's now a very big, black box. Pretty huh? Matches my Zilchwave SRs though, I suppose.

Plan is for it to be like that behind my screenwall. The woofer will fire though the FR701 panel below my screen, while the ports fire along the wall vertically behind the screen. I can slide the whole thing left to right about a foot or so to optimize it to the room. Likely moving it that little won't make a bit of difference, but we'll see.

Well update: Restored power with a temporary splice, and... no water. Likely something got fried in the controller/starter box (relays and start capacitors maybe?) when the line got cut and it short circuited. Why did it short you ask? Well, when the electric line was transected, they cracked the water main right next to it... I thought I smelled propane in the garage, but it was likely fried components.

Well guy's supposed to come out this afternoon....

C.
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-22-2011, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Got it fired up. Hee hee hee!
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-22-2011, 03:22 PM
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Looking forward to your listening impressions.
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-22-2011, 03:30 PM
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Hey! Very big, black boxes are highly underrated.

Nice work. Now.... go rattle some windows!

My Dual 18" LLT subs 120dB down to 10hz

 

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post #17 of 28 Old 08-22-2011, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Hey! Very big, black boxes are highly underrated.

Nice work. Now.... go rattle some windows!

I agree! Case in point. While I had my entire screenwall apart getting the goliath behind the wall, I snapped a few pictures. The Mal-x is on the left, with it's little Tempest x2 brother on the right. 3 SRs with newly added 30ppi foam to the mouths.



The ceiling is not nearly this bright, but you wouldn't be able to see much without the flash.

Here's one as with the screen back on - more representative of how dark/rich the colors are. I'm very happy with the earth tones in there!



And one showing a bit of what it looks like with the AT panels back on.



Listening impressions coming soon! I need to REW it badly. I need to tweak the phase between the two subs to try and get them playing well together, then rerun Audyssey to see how smooth I can get it. Just had a little time to run some music and a few movies through it. Definitely more 20-30hz output - currently set on 20hz highpass with 20hz port tune. Seems to be solving some null issues, but maybe creating others? Thus the need to tweak.

DIY port blockers also coming up soon.

Best,
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-22-2011, 04:43 PM
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Lovely theater you got there, Cerdic.

My Dual 18" LLT subs 120dB down to 10hz

 

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post #19 of 28 Old 08-24-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Lovely theater you got there, Cerdic.

Thanks Scott! It's been a long slow process, but fun. Was planning on putting wood frames around the acoustic panels, but the "contemporary" look is growing on me.

Finished spending some time in REW. Got the response curve better than it was with one driver, but not completely flat across the seating row. Still have a 35-40hz peak at one end, and a 30-35hz suckout at the other end - but improved with the second sub.

It's amazing how much of a change adjusting the phase between the woofers made. My amp has a continuously variable phase, and small changes impacted multiple frequencies pretty dramatically. I'm not sure how you get a good match if you only have 0/180 degrees option - unless you're lucky with your spacing.

Also adjusted the main/sub crossover. Interestingly, I have a 60hz suckout that's mostly resolved with setting a 60hz crossover point - at the low end of what the SRs are capable of, but the best response. Anything higher -80,100,120 made that area incrementally worse.

Now that I've gotten it as good as I can, time to run Audyssey. We'll see what that does.

Biggest frustration with my freq. response is a huge hole at 100-125hz. Doesn't matter what I do - move main speakers closer/farther apart, adjust crossover, phase - still there. I haven't tried moving the mains into the room because that's not feasible with my screenwall. Best I can do is pull them out 6" and toe them in about 15 deg which is where they are now.

Oh, and the same suckout happened with my old Primus 362 speakers as well. So it's not a function of the E-wave SR design. Also, Audyssey doesn't try and correct this region...? Maybe it's my SPL meter...

Will start to develop listening impressions soon, along with messing with the multi-tune. Phase 1 of tweaking - complete!

Best,
Christopher
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-26-2011, 07:10 PM
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Nice to see the finished product. And great to see more pics of your theater again.

I have always liked your theater because it seemed like something I could do verse what others and more money can do.

Awesome.
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post #21 of 28 Old 08-27-2011, 08:24 AM
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Hi Cerdic, i just read about your bass probs from 90-120 Hz.
You don´t happen to own an Onkyo (p)receiver, which depending on your settings, could provoke such a loss in all Dolby Digital modes.
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-27-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrapladm View Post

Nice to see the finished product. And great to see more pics of your theater again.

I have always liked your theater because it seemed like something I could do verse what others and more money can do.

Awesome.

Thanks! It's been a labor of love for a while now, but as you mentioned, I've been trying to keep the budget in check by nearly DIY everything.

Here's my very sophisticated port blockers: It's a piece of pool noodle noodle (the kind that flares like a q-tip at both ends), PL'd to a piece of plywood. It is a perfect, VERY snug fit into a piece of 4" port (4" S&D pipe). Works like a charm. I may actually spray paint the wood black so that it matches the rest of the box, but right now I'm using one au natural.



So, 16hz tune right now - like it! My schedule of balancing/EQing went like this:

1) Balance both amps/subs independently to the same SPL across the listening positions with just the SPL meter
2) Adjust phase for best frequency response with REW (both subs together)
3) Adjust crossover to mains in my receiver to best freq response in REW (both subs together)
4) Adjust sub "distance" in REW for best freq response in REW (both subs together).
5) All the above done with Audyssey EQ OFF.
6) Rerun Audyssey.
7) Go back and readjust what Audyssey did to the crossover and distance settings that gave be the best response in 3) and 4) above.
7) Enjoy.

Listening impressions so far: The short of it is - LOVE IT. There is no downside relative to just having the one sub. There is more subsonic bass (likely secondary to the increase in 10-20hz content from the 16hz tuned Maelstrom). More couch shaking. The seat to seat bass is smoother with less holes in the frequency response. And as importantly, the bass sounds more "effortless". I know that's mentioned a lot when people add a second sub, and it's true. It's better for music, better for movies, just plain better.

Now, I haven't cranked it to find it's limits. It won't win any SPL contests, and it won't play reference bass, BUT, it's just GREAT for my theater room. It'll play to -12 easily, which is flat out loud. Louder than I want to listen to for any length of time and keep my hearing intact.

The reason it won't play reference, is I only have a 500w plate amp hooked up to each sub. The Mal-x has an Oaudio 500w amp, so I have the choice of difference filter/eq settings, none of which should come close to crushing the driver as it's very "underpowered" - unless I do something stupid like pair the 12hz x-over with a 20hz port tune. I won't squeeze every ounce of output by any means out of the subs, and I think at full power they're loafing along at about 1/2 xmax. I'm hoping the low stress on the Maelstrom driver will allow it (the shortening ring glue in particular) to hold for the long term.

Also, the entire A/V setup is run off 1 dedicated 15a circuit - by design. It's a good example of not needing 4 dedicated circuits to have a whole lot of fun!

I'll update more as I continue to listen! So far no buzzing/rattling or other bad noises! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Best,
Christopher
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-27-2011, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nethien
Hi Cerdic, i just read about your bass probs from 90-120 Hz.
You don´t happen to own an Onkyo (p)receiver, which depending on your settings, could provoke such a loss in all Dolby Digital modes.
Just saw your post.

No, I have a Denon receiver. I ran sweeps a foot in front of and behind my main couch listening positions and that node fades ( but others appear). Knowing this, when I ran my last audyssey 6 position sweep, I made sure not to move the mike too far forward or back. Seemed to help quite a bit, though I haven't pulled out REW since. I'm kind of afraid what it'll say, and I'm honestly just really enjoying it right now.

At some point you have to stop the tweaking and not be wondering what you might be missing in any given scene - which I'm guilty of. I'm a touch OCD about this stuff sometimes...

C.
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post #24 of 28 Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Update!

So far so good! No bad noises. (knock wood)

Just finished watching Hitman tonight. Wow. The bass was smooth and detailed. It kicked in with authority, but yet never really stuck out at all (which is good!). I kept turning the volume up and nothing appeared strained - from the drivers or the amps. FWIW, I don't run my LFE "hot" - just whatever Audyssey set it at.

I don't know what the frequency range was for that background deep "whump whump whump" that kept coming in with the music when things were getting tense, but I don't think my lil' ol' Tempest would have reproduced that well on it's own.

I can see how subs are addictive... Next thing you know I'll say to heck with sound spillage, and put in 4 IB3 18s.

Best,
Christopher

EDIT: Still sticking with the 16hz tune
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post #25 of 28 Old 09-04-2011, 06:47 PM
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So a successful Vegas Maelstrom then? I'm happy for you! And of course I am all for the 4 IB3s as well
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post #26 of 28 Old 09-04-2011, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptonitewhite View Post

So a successful Vegas Maelstrom then? I'm happy for you! And of course I am all for the 4 IB3s as well

Yes! So far. Still not getting my hopes up too high, but enjoying it while it lasts.
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post #27 of 28 Old 09-04-2011, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nethien View Post

Hi Cerdic, i just read about your bass probs from 90-120 Hz.
You don´t happen to own an Onkyo (p)receiver, which depending on your settings, could provoke such a loss in all Dolby Digital modes.

I do and I do. What's that all about?

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #28 of 28 Old 09-05-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post

I do and I do. What's that all about?

I would guess he's talking about the "LPF of the LFE" setting. Onkyo (and probably some others) let you adjust the low pass frequency of the LFE channel. Dolby spec (de facto default for all codecs) allows for frequencies up to 120Hz in the LFE with the encoder brick wall filtered at 120. Despite the channel being spec'd for 120Hz, Onkyo, at least on my 805, recommends an 80Hz setting for the LPF of the LFE (I think it's a bad translation that confused the LPF/LFE with THX's 80Hz bass management setting). In theory, if the mixer put 80-120 content in the LFE, it would be rolled off in an processor with an 80Hz LPF/LFE setting. This *only* effects the LFE signal, not redirected bass from the mains. In reality, most (all?) films are mixed with an 80Hz LPF (not brick walled) so there is little to none intentional >80Hz content anyway.

Regardless, since Cerdic is measuring with REW, this is not an issue. The LPF of the LFE only effects the .1/LFE channel in a multi-channel audio stream. REW is basic 2.0 via an analog input with the subwoofer output getting redirected bass from the left or right input channel.

-Brent
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