Long time Lurker jumps on the bandwangon, Zephyr style. :P - AVS Forum
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Greeting people of the internet. Welcome to my assembly of a pair of DIY Soundgroup Zephyrs. A fair warning. I feel young, and compared to some here, I am. I know nothing, and have just enough talent to screw things up. O_o There will be no rhyme or reason to the order of the build, nor an estimated time of completion. biggrin.gif Pics will be provided. Questions are encourage at any time during or after the presentation. If you are still reading this I applaud you, because if I were you, I would have skipped all this and started looking at the pics. :P

1st up, my stack o wood. Yes, I'm that cheap that I opted to build my own box. I was fortunate enough to have the guys at the local Lowe's break down the sheet to manageable pieces that I could run them through my table saw without losing a finger. Thanks dudes.
DSC06648_zps4c46e331.jpg

Four sides assembled and I'm done for the day. biggrin.gif
DSC06650_zps37d32260.jpg

My time on the web is done. Catch you all later. smile.gif
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:05 PM
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if you know how to make your own box there's no reason to get a flatpack. may be a bit more work but it saves a LOT of money. me and a buddy just finished up 6 boxes (3 for each of our LCR's) and it wasn't that hard.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Being able to build, and being efficient at building are two totally different things. The latter of the two I definitely am not. I will admit, I should have gotten the flat pack. biggrin.gif Any who, what would the satisfaction of DIY be, without the frustrations of DIY. smile.gif
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmonte View Post

Being able to build, and being efficient at building are two totally different things. The latter of the two I definitely am not. I will admit, I should have gotten the flat pack. biggrin.gif Any who, what would the satisfaction of DIY be, without the frustrations of DIY. smile.gif

lol, so true.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:33 PM
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Welcome to the club! Nothing wrong with building your own boxes, you'll take more pride in the finished product!
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:33 PM
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I am going to build the zephyrs in a couple of months. I am more interested in how they sound then the build. Be sure to make several observations about how songs and movies sound. Are you running them full range for movies or crossing them at 80hz ?
Good luck. I am a woodwork teacher so if you have any questions let us know .
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:03 AM
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Looking good. My zephyr build has been the only one I have seen, good to have some company!
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:22 AM
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Yes, I'm that cheap that I opted to build my own box.

This is a large reason why DIY soundgroup was created... people wanted to DIY AND get tons of performance per dollar!! biggrin.gif
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to the club! Nothing wrong with building your own boxes, you'll take more pride in the finished product!

Only if the come out looking good. :P

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Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

I am going to build the zephyrs in a couple of months. I am more interested in how they sound then the build. Be sure to make several observations about how songs and movies sound. Are you running them full range for movies or crossing them at 80hz ?
Good luck. I am a woodwork teacher so if you have any questions let us know .

I'll be using a subwoofer along side these puppies. I'm looking to acheive rock concert levels yet maintain a heavenly sound quality at normal levels. Ill keep you posted on the sounds they makes. biggrin.gif

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This is a large reason why DIY soundgroup was created... people wanted to DIY AND get tons of performance per dollar!! biggrin.gif

The bar has been set pretty high by the price tag on them. We'll see if they meet they the bar. biggrin.gif
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:27 AM
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I took a different approach with the Zephyr build I'm currently doing. I got a local buddy to build the boxes for me.... he underestimated the labor time on these to do them himself (1.5" thick birch plywood construction everywhere... 2 sheets of 3/4 laminated together... he had to build the template to recess the waveguides to proper depths... and he took it upon himself to cut all the panels with beveled edges and glued them together so no edge grain would show anywhere... no butt joints here (which was what I asked for to keep cost down).... for $200 including the materials, these cabinets were a steal of a deal and I didn't have to lift a finger smile.gif (which would have been impossible anyways given the state of my back and multiple torn disks the past couple months).... my "DIY" in this project is in wiring the crossovers, stuffing the boxes, and tuning the sound to better suit the room, equipment, and sound taste of their eventual owner....of course, my buddies going to make up for losing on these boxes on the subsequent boxes he builds for me frown.gif (Wayne Parham 3Pi, Cheap Thrill 6.25 cu. ft. ported boxes, and the huge AE TD15M/AE TD15H boxes he is just finishing up now for my SEOS24 and Iwata experiments)....so, given that these speakers are not actually for me to keep, means it's less of a deal for me and even more of a steal for my buddy I'm building them for.

As of right now, the boxes are built, stuffed with cabinet wall dampening and acoustic foam, and are playing with crossovers out on the floor so parts can easily be swapped. I was going to do some elaborate cabinet dampening techniques... but with the bracing that was done to the cabinets, the blackhole5 like material used inside of them, and the 1.5" thick plywood walls, there are minimal resonances to deal with... I can still hear the cabinet resonances, but they are not offensive enough that I'm going to do anything else to the boxes..... part of the issue with building something to a price point I guess. My buddy would rather spend the rest of the budget on good crossover parts than keep working on the boxes....

My situation is a bit different than most. I've had an audio side business for 15 years and it allows me to buy the parts involved and have them delivered to my place for less than Erich can buy them for. Erich's offering a great service to folks. But his kit offering just didn't work for me given my situation. So even after the price Erich charged to sell me the crossover schematic was factored in, I would still be able to buy all the parts to build a stock Zephyr for less than the kit price. As an added bonus, I had the drivers, waveguides, and a bunch of the stock crossover parts already here that I bought previously in years gone by. I'm sure a lot of DIY guys have a stash of crossover parts in their parts bin. My parts bin is just a little more robust than most because I tend to overdo things and go to extremes..... so I have dozens of the big plastic storage tubs full of nothing but caps, resistors, inductors, ports, etc. When I buy something I tend to buy at least a dozen of it figuring that I'll have it if I decide to build a few more of the same thing (plus it drives me nuts when I want something and realize I have to order more of it and wait a few days for it to get here... better to have it in reserve than wait to order more)....over the years, that adds up smile.giffrown.gif Anyways, I didn't even have to re-buy most of the crossover parts for the kits. I already had them and this now becomes an opportunity to sell the parts to my buddy if he wants the stock parts and recoup some of the sunk cost of money I've spent. I had the waveguides from pre-ordering way too many to help with the initial SEOS12 project. I had the CDs from building a bunch of other SEOS published designs. I had the woofers from another project I was experimenting with... I only had to order a couple pieces from PE to get an exact copy of the stock crossover (because i didn't have the exact brand and value resistor or the stock small inductor for the woofer. I didn't feel like unwinding ones that were 4 sizes bigger and I didn't want to use the next size down that I did have. The key being I wanted to build precisely the stock kit to have as the baseline before making any changes). Total new money spent to have all the kit here was the cost of the schematic and a few bucks in parts...

So, I've built the stock crossovers first and had a listen. Initial measurements have them absolutely flat as a pancake at the listening position from 100Hz to 900Hz+ (seriously they are +/- 0.5dB). They do some corkscrewy things from 1K to 2K regardless of crossover parts used, have a nice BBC dip from 2K - 4.5K, have a narrow peak at 5K, then are flat as a pancake again to 10K, then do a controlled roll off nicely above that. Sound quality wise, they are pretty darn good. I think these have the most potential of all the SEOS12 based designs I've built to date (Deltalite II, Designer12, AE TD12X, AE TD15M, JBL2206 version I did actively and passively, and a bunch of experimentation I did with a Radian 475PB instead of the stock CD). With stock crossover parts, they are held back a fair bit in ultimate performance. However, for someone who's going to power them with a $300 receiver, our listening tests show it's tougher to differentiate major part changes in the crossover (they are there, but more subtle because the gear is having a more overriding influence that makes it more difficult to hear through).... on better gear, it's a more obvious difference. So, some of it is a matter of sonic preference, some of it is a matter of evaluation of your system as a whole to determine if it is even worth modding anything versus sticking with the stock kit. Tonally, my buddy didn't care for the stock kit when used in the context of the different DACs and receivers he owns (Sherwood R-972, Marantz 6005, old Yamaha when they were decent, a newer cheap Onkyo 605 I think, and an older Onkyo unit that I can't remember the model number on... but at least 15 years old since it doesn't have even component video and is a dolby pro logic unit only... but it runs a lot cooler than current onkyo stuff and actually sounds pretty decent, maybe becasue there isnt' all that video junk being run off the same power supply feeding the amps). However, even though it wasn't perfect tonally, he heard the potential like I did and wanted to see if he could get them more to his liking. So in addition to playing with Dirac Live EQ settings to alter response (especially the 900-2K region) and playing with Trinnov in the Sherwood, I've been building different versions of the crossover with parts from my stacks of storage tubs of parts. I didn't realize how much stuff I had (and how expensive it is now to buy some of these parts) until I started digging through it and looking up current pricing... even giving my buddy a deep discount on the current sale prices of the parts to try to move them out of my possession, he's still working on a tight budget and won't let me put certain items into the alternate crossover boards for fear he may like them too much and can't afford to keep them.... the biggest thing we're trying to accomplish is to warm up the presentation a bit.... unlike my setups that i can tweak with some tube rolling, he doesn't have that option with his solid state DACs and the receiver options he currently owns.... it didn't do much for tonal balance, but going to better air core inductors really cleaned things up and opened up the sound. Going one step further to goertz foil inductors really took it up a notch. it made things even more revealing of detail and space, but it also made the speaker more unforgiving of the source material and source gear in front of it..... however, the positive increase in openness and clarity outweighed the more unforgiving nature... he just won't be listening to some of his music collection that is recorded so badly or the low rez MP3 rips he has.... he's been re-doing a lot of his collection in FLAC in anticipation of these speakers arriving now that he's listened a bit. For caps, again with budget in mind, we've tried to keep the stock crossover parts (even though I'm on record as not being a fan of Dayton caps) and trying to alter the tone by using different bypass caps paralleled with the stock caps... copper foil in oils, teflon in oils, wax impregnated foil caps, different cap brands that have a reputation of more midrange bloom to help that 800-2K+ region. So far, the russian teflon in oil caps seem to be a big hit for very little money invested.... not done tweaking, but getting closer to "finished" where I can hand them off to him to put some stain on them and call the project complete.... again, this is our tweaking and me doing blind swaps for him with alligator clips to see if he notices any difference at all and, if he does, whether he thinks the change is better or worse for the kind of sound he wants.... doing this on my reference gear makes the changes very obvious... but when we do the same listening tests with his Onkyo 605 in the mix, it's much more subtle as the Onkyo isn't the most revealing, because of it's own errors of commission and/or omission...

For the price to build them, especially if you overbuild the boxes, this Zephyr kit is a very good speaker. For the HT folks looking for dynamics, and pretty good bass extension to listen to music without a sub, these are a viable alternative.... they are very clean, and Bagby did a good job making them sound like a Bagby speaker design in spite of them using different driver technology than a lot of his other stuff. His crossover is a relatively simple affair that does a good job of taming some of the response ripples of the CD on the seos waveguide, and makes a very nice sounding overall design. For those wanting to experiment that have the budget to do so, the design is receptive to crossover part changes to increase its resolution, spatial presentation, bass pitch and definition, and overall tone and capability. I've experimented with all these different designs because I was trying to find something that would make me give up some of my commercial speakers (health, new wife, new baby, etc. are all driving me towards closing the audio side business as I don't have time for it anymore) that would work better in rooms that had less treatment than my spaces (hopefully to reduce the amount of treatment and appease the significant other who doesn't like all the panels and bass traps I have everywhere).... so far, none of the designs I've listened to require less room treatment... they all sound worse if you try to reduce the room treatment... in an untreated room, they're really not that much better than other designs.... a little, but nowhere near as much as you would think based on the design concepts... so far, none of the SEOS12 based stuff I could live with long term. They give lots of clean output for a very modest investment, but they're not refined enough for me. These Zephyrs are the closest thing so far, but I'm glad that they aren't my speakers that I have to figure out how to sell and my buddy seems to like them enough he's excited to get them finished. I haven't completely given up yet... still have to get the 3Pis built. The Cheap Thrills are for $hits and giggles and will likely now end up with the nanny as a gift instead of the 3Pis. But the final experiment will ultimately be the bigger horn designs I'm playing with soon... if the seos24 and Iwata with BMS and beryllium equipped JBL CDs don't do it, nothing will and I'll have proven to myself that these kinds of speaker designs just aren't for me...
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I took a different approach with..........

........boxes he is just finishing up now for my SEOS24 and Iwata experiments)....so, given that these speakers are not actually for me to keep, means it's less of a deal for me and even more of a steal for my buddy I'm building them for.

As opeaker designs just aren't for me...


Wow, just wow. I doubt this build will ever get to that level, mainly because it took quite an effort just to read that post. :P Also, i doubt i have the discerning ear torealize such detail. Interesting post none the less, thanks for sharing. smile.gif
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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With the box sides done I worked on the baffle. The design calls out for a double front baffle. With the front baffle pre-cut and included in the kit, all that is required is the second layer baffle with matching cutouts. Here is how I managed. biggrin.gif

To get the baffles perfectly aligned at all times I opted to dowel the two baffles together. Since I cant drill a straight hole and because my drill press is a wienie table top kind, I used this useless thing-a-ma-jiggie to augment my lack of skill.



With the baffles pinned and glued together I drilled some pilot holes for the jig saw. :-0



Oh, the insanity.



Not bad, huh?



Time to pretty it all up.



Nice and finished baffles. smile.gif



Hows this for some crisp edges. biggrin.gif



More to come. When? I don't know. :\
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:40 PM
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Next time.you can use masking tape. Tape three different areas around both pieces. They won't move. Done that for years in woodwork
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a little update of my shenanigans. biggrin.gif

A quick mock up of my high tech bracing.

[

I figured I use a nice $2 terminal cup I picked up at the local Radio Shack on clearance on these speakers. In similar fashion to the cut outs for the baffle I started off with some pilot holes.



Since this time around I made a steel template at work to guide around the router. This is the "before" routing.



"After" routing. smile.gif



With the rear panel done and glued in place I trued up all the edges using the same bit as on the router table, now just on a hand held router. Here is the box ready for a little trimming.



The end result, some crisp edges. biggrin.gif



Although the sharp edges are nice I'm more of a round over kinda guy. biggrin.gif



smile.gif
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:09 PM
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They're looking good. Is your compression driver going to hit that vertical brace?

I would also run a brace from front to back right between the woofer and waveguide.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:25 PM
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They're looking good. Is your compression driver going to hit that vertical brace?

I would also run a brace from front to back right between the woofer and waveguide.

since I was doing a similar style of bracing Eric.. how much "clearance" should I give the woofer and CD between that vertical brace and the back of the drivers?
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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They're looking good. Is your compression driver going to hit that vertical brace?

I would also run a brace from front to back right between the woofer and waveguide.

Thanks. The verticle brace will clear. I measured to make sure. smile.gif Once I'm done with the baffle I'll get the fore-aft brace in there as well.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:52 PM
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Looking good man. Wish I had some woodworking tools myself.

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Old 08-23-2013, 04:04 PM
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Did you round over the edges with the nails in place?

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Old 08-23-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Did you round over the edges with the nails in place?

I did.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:26 PM
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I just love the rounded over edges. Looks sharp and it would also keep edges from chipping.

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Old 08-23-2013, 05:44 PM
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They do look great. If you don't have a bunch of tools there are other ways to do stuff. For the round over corners you could use a block plane and sandpaper . Takes longer but if done right looks the same .
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I just love the rounded over edges. Looks sharp and it would also keep edges from chipping.

The roundovers are problably the most durable edge finish. Honestly, now that I've commited to the edge finished I've had second thoughts. The baffle's original round overs were done in such a way that they would leave a sharp edge where they met at the corners. I could've left the box side's square, so that the edges would continue along the baffles round over edges. I'll add a pic of an example later. biggrin.gif

Said pic. smile.gif

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They do look great. If you don't have a bunch of tools there are other ways to do stuff. For the round over corners you could use a block plane and sandpaper . Takes longer but if done right looks the same .

As the saying goes, "There's more than one way to skin a cat." Its just a matter of how much time you've got. smile.gif
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATES! shifting gears in a different direction I start tackling the crossovers. I'm not sure about what best practices really are for these things. I've heard here and there that it's best to place inductors as far apart and have the axis of them perpendicular to each other. Like all things audio there are compromises to be made, available space being one of them. Since I am free to handle this however, here is what I came up with. :P

I was able to snag some abs plasic scraps from work as the base for my crossovers. Here I turn round scraps to nice rectangular boards.



Not much to show off in the assembly of the crossovers but I will mention that I opted for a steampunk / old school vacuum tube amp style point to point soldering style.

Finished crossovers.



The compression driver crossover.



The woofer crossover.



Tata for now, exit stage right. :P
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:39 PM
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wow? that a clean crossover set up. Nice!
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:50 PM
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Really nice work

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm back with another update on my endless built. biggrin.gif This time around I opted to add a little automotive style sound deadener to the back side of the waveguides for a little piece of mind. I started off by making a paper template of the area to be covered.



With the template done I moved on to cutting the sound deadener.



Guess what I did next. Yep, I puts the sound deadener on the waveguides. Here's a little before and after all in the same pic.



With that out of the way I slapped the CD on the WG. biggrin.gif



Thanks for watching. smile.gif
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Ha, so this is where I left this thread. :P Needless to say, time flies when you're not in jail. biggrin.gif

Back to the task at hand. So, I wanted to do something special with this build. I am going to wrap the baffle in black leather. I did something similar in my cars' I.B. build. Some might be familiar with the story but for those who aren't, here goes. The black leather is salvaged from the first sofas me and the Misses bought together 15 yrs ago. That's it. :P I did this, so that when ever the Misses looks at them she is reminded of our time together and not the amount of money I've spent on my shenanigans. biggrin.gif Now the pics.

The before:



During:



The after:



While the glue dries on that I made some mounting pads for the crossover.

Here I am milling out some clearance pockets to clear all the zip ties holding the crossover components. The scissor jack controls the Z depth, and my hands control and the X and Y moves. That just happened. :P



As an added measure I lined the backside of the crossover with a piece of adhesive lined felt. Just because I can. biggrin.gif



The finished product.



More on the way, stay tuned. smile.gif
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:38 PM
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during the intermission, perhaps folks should read this post again. i can't believe that i am the first person to hit it with a thumbs up.

thanks htd. tremendous writeup.
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Originally Posted by hometheaterdoc View Post

I took a different approach with the Zephyr build I'm currently doing. I got a local buddy to build the boxes for me.... he underestimated the labor time on these to do them himself (1.5" thick birch plywood construction everywhere... 2 sheets of 3/4 laminated together... he had to build the template to recess the waveguides to proper depths... and he took it upon himself to cut all the panels with beveled edges and glued them together so no edge grain would show anywhere... no butt joints here (which was what I asked for to keep cost down).... for $200 including the materials, these cabinets were a steal of a deal and I didn't have to lift a finger smile.gif (which would have been impossible anyways given the state of my back and multiple torn disks the past couple months).... my "DIY" in this project is in wiring the crossovers, stuffing the boxes, and tuning the sound to better suit the room, equipment, and sound taste of their eventual owner....of course, my buddies going to make up for losing on these boxes on the subsequent boxes he builds for me frown.gif (Wayne Parham 3Pi, Cheap Thrill 6.25 cu. ft. ported boxes, and the huge AE TD15M/AE TD15H boxes he is just finishing up now for my SEOS24 and Iwata experiments)....so, given that these speakers are not actually for me to keep, means it's less of a deal for me and even more of a steal for my buddy I'm building them for.

As of right now, the boxes are built, stuffed with cabinet wall dampening and acoustic foam, and are playing with crossovers out on the floor so parts can easily be swapped. I was going to do some elaborate cabinet dampening techniques... but with the bracing that was done to the cabinets, the blackhole5 like material used inside of them, and the 1.5" thick plywood walls, there are minimal resonances to deal with... I can still hear the cabinet resonances, but they are not offensive enough that I'm going to do anything else to the boxes..... part of the issue with building something to a price point I guess. My buddy would rather spend the rest of the budget on good crossover parts than keep working on the boxes....

My situation is a bit different than most. I've had an audio side business for 15 years and it allows me to buy the parts involved and have them delivered to my place for less than Erich can buy them for. Erich's offering a great service to folks. But his kit offering just didn't work for me given my situation. So even after the price Erich charged to sell me the crossover schematic was factored in, I would still be able to buy all the parts to build a stock Zephyr for less than the kit price. As an added bonus, I had the drivers, waveguides, and a bunch of the stock crossover parts already here that I bought previously in years gone by. I'm sure a lot of DIY guys have a stash of crossover parts in their parts bin. My parts bin is just a little more robust than most because I tend to overdo things and go to extremes..... so I have dozens of the big plastic storage tubs full of nothing but caps, resistors, inductors, ports, etc. When I buy something I tend to buy at least a dozen of it figuring that I'll have it if I decide to build a few more of the same thing (plus it drives me nuts when I want something and realize I have to order more of it and wait a few days for it to get here... better to have it in reserve than wait to order more)....over the years, that adds up smile.giffrown.gif Anyways, I didn't even have to re-buy most of the crossover parts for the kits. I already had them and this now becomes an opportunity to sell the parts to my buddy if he wants the stock parts and recoup some of the sunk cost of money I've spent. I had the waveguides from pre-ordering way too many to help with the initial SEOS12 project. I had the CDs from building a bunch of other SEOS published designs. I had the woofers from another project I was experimenting with... I only had to order a couple pieces from PE to get an exact copy of the stock crossover (because i didn't have the exact brand and value resistor or the stock small inductor for the woofer. I didn't feel like unwinding ones that were 4 sizes bigger and I didn't want to use the next size down that I did have. The key being I wanted to build precisely the stock kit to have as the baseline before making any changes). Total new money spent to have all the kit here was the cost of the schematic and a few bucks in parts...

So, I've built the stock crossovers first and had a listen. Initial measurements have them absolutely flat as a pancake at the listening position from 100Hz to 900Hz+ (seriously they are +/- 0.5dB). They do some corkscrewy things from 1K to 2K regardless of crossover parts used, have a nice BBC dip from 2K - 4.5K, have a narrow peak at 5K, then are flat as a pancake again to 10K, then do a controlled roll off nicely above that. Sound quality wise, they are pretty darn good. I think these have the most potential of all the SEOS12 based designs I've built to date (Deltalite II, Designer12, AE TD12X, AE TD15M, JBL2206 version I did actively and passively, and a bunch of experimentation I did with a Radian 475PB instead of the stock CD). With stock crossover parts, they are held back a fair bit in ultimate performance. However, for someone who's going to power them with a $300 receiver, our listening tests show it's tougher to differentiate major part changes in the crossover (they are there, but more subtle because the gear is having a more overriding influence that makes it more difficult to hear through).... on better gear, it's a more obvious difference. So, some of it is a matter of sonic preference, some of it is a matter of evaluation of your system as a whole to determine if it is even worth modding anything versus sticking with the stock kit. Tonally, my buddy didn't care for the stock kit when used in the context of the different DACs and receivers he owns (Sherwood R-972, Marantz 6005, old Yamaha when they were decent, a newer cheap Onkyo 605 I think, and an older Onkyo unit that I can't remember the model number on... but at least 15 years old since it doesn't have even component video and is a dolby pro logic unit only... but it runs a lot cooler than current onkyo stuff and actually sounds pretty decent, maybe becasue there isnt' all that video junk being run off the same power supply feeding the amps). However, even though it wasn't perfect tonally, he heard the potential like I did and wanted to see if he could get them more to his liking. So in addition to playing with Dirac Live EQ settings to alter response (especially the 900-2K region) and playing with Trinnov in the Sherwood, I've been building different versions of the crossover with parts from my stacks of storage tubs of parts. I didn't realize how much stuff I had (and how expensive it is now to buy some of these parts) until I started digging through it and looking up current pricing... even giving my buddy a deep discount on the current sale prices of the parts to try to move them out of my possession, he's still working on a tight budget and won't let me put certain items into the alternate crossover boards for fear he may like them too much and can't afford to keep them.... the biggest thing we're trying to accomplish is to warm up the presentation a bit.... unlike my setups that i can tweak with some tube rolling, he doesn't have that option with his solid state DACs and the receiver options he currently owns.... it didn't do much for tonal balance, but going to better air core inductors really cleaned things up and opened up the sound. Going one step further to goertz foil inductors really took it up a notch. it made things even more revealing of detail and space, but it also made the speaker more unforgiving of the source material and source gear in front of it..... however, the positive increase in openness and clarity outweighed the more unforgiving nature... he just won't be listening to some of his music collection that is recorded so badly or the low rez MP3 rips he has.... he's been re-doing a lot of his collection in FLAC in anticipation of these speakers arriving now that he's listened a bit. For caps, again with budget in mind, we've tried to keep the stock crossover parts (even though I'm on record as not being a fan of Dayton caps) and trying to alter the tone by using different bypass caps paralleled with the stock caps... copper foil in oils, teflon in oils, wax impregnated foil caps, different cap brands that have a reputation of more midrange bloom to help that 800-2K+ region. So far, the russian teflon in oil caps seem to be a big hit for very little money invested.... not done tweaking, but getting closer to "finished" where I can hand them off to him to put some stain on them and call the project complete.... again, this is our tweaking and me doing blind swaps for him with alligator clips to see if he notices any difference at all and, if he does, whether he thinks the change is better or worse for the kind of sound he wants.... doing this on my reference gear makes the changes very obvious... but when we do the same listening tests with his Onkyo 605 in the mix, it's much more subtle as the Onkyo isn't the most revealing, because of it's own errors of commission and/or omission...

For the price to build them, especially if you overbuild the boxes, this Zephyr kit is a very good speaker. For the HT folks looking for dynamics, and pretty good bass extension to listen to music without a sub, these are a viable alternative.... they are very clean, and Bagby did a good job making them sound like a Bagby speaker design in spite of them using different driver technology than a lot of his other stuff. His crossover is a relatively simple affair that does a good job of taming some of the response ripples of the CD on the seos waveguide, and makes a very nice sounding overall design. For those wanting to experiment that have the budget to do so, the design is receptive to crossover part changes to increase its resolution, spatial presentation, bass pitch and definition, and overall tone and capability. I've experimented with all these different designs because I was trying to find something that would make me give up some of my commercial speakers (health, new wife, new baby, etc. are all driving me towards closing the audio side business as I don't have time for it anymore) that would work better in rooms that had less treatment than my spaces (hopefully to reduce the amount of treatment and appease the significant other who doesn't like all the panels and bass traps I have everywhere).... so far, none of the designs I've listened to require less room treatment... they all sound worse if you try to reduce the room treatment... in an untreated room, they're really not that much better than other designs.... a little, but nowhere near as much as you would think based on the design concepts... so far, none of the SEOS12 based stuff I could live with long term. They give lots of clean output for a very modest investment, but they're not refined enough for me. These Zephyrs are the closest thing so far, but I'm glad that they aren't my speakers that I have to figure out how to sell and my buddy seems to like them enough he's excited to get them finished. I haven't completely given up yet... still have to get the 3Pis built. The Cheap Thrills are for $hits and giggles and will likely now end up with the nanny as a gift instead of the 3Pis. But the final experiment will ultimately be the bigger horn designs I'm playing with soon... if the seos24 and Iwata with BMS and beryllium equipped JBL CDs don't do it, nothing will and I'll have proven to myself that these kinds of speaker designs just aren't for me...

Listen. It's All Good.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:39 PM
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obm, you take too much pride in your work. :-)~

...

but, it sure is nice work. :-)

Listen. It's All Good.
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