Dual lilWreckers - My First Build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 06-16-2015, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool Dual lilWreckers - My First Build

I won't bore you guys with how I ended up here, but I'm building a pair of lilWreckers for my theater. It's a big room at around 26'x18'. I thought I'd do a build log and document my bone-headed screwups in case it would help someone else. This is my first sub build, so I made plenty of them.

I printed and followed @lilmike 's directions from the wrecker thread. I decided to go with the Alpine SWS-15D2 to keep the costs down. I figured this would be a learning experience and I might end up making a lot of high quality saw dust instead of speakers.

Started off with the a stack of wood. I spent a lot of time looking around the area to find Arauco. I finally found some at a local lumberyard, and later found out that our HD actually has the stuff and $10/sheet cheaper..... Boneheaded mistake #1 .....





The first step is to rip down the panels. Cut sheets are provided in the instructions, which makes it pretty straight forward. Just be sure to number each of the panels as you cut them to keep from having to remeasure them later. I'm using a track saw, and this would be a tough build using just a table saw. The panels are pretty big.





Once you get the hang of track saw you can cut panels quickly and accurately. This panel is supposed to be 48-1/2" wide..... Pretty close



You can see in the pictures that I use a 4'x8' sheet of foam insulation as a backer, and cut on top of it. This makes it really easy to cut panels this size without help. Here are all the panels cut and stacked. This took me about 4 hours to do by myself. This is where I made my first mistake. I decided I would cut the various braces and spacers I would need as I went along. I should have done that all at the front while I had the saw out and ready to go. Dimensions for the windowed braces are in the lilWrecker thread. You can cut a few 2" wide strip for the others and cut to length once you need those. The braces in the mouth probably depend on your driver, but I went with 8"hx26l triangles IIRC. When I started cutting braces, I went ahead and cut them all for both cabs.

Here are the panels for both subs cut and stacked. I had to sort them out into stacks for the two subs when I started assembly. This is just how they ended up as I cut them.



Next I machined the baffle. Here again, that foam backer came in handy. I just screwed the baffle through the foam into the OSB underneath. That held the panel in place so that I could cut out the driver hole with my circle cutting jig. This is the first time I've used one of these jigs, and I was happy with how easy it was to use.





I used the spec that came with the driver for the hole. The instructions recommend making it big. We'll see how it goes. Next I test fit the driver and marked the holes. I added hurricane nuts and glued them in with Gorilla Glue. My drill walked around a bit, and some of the holes are a little loose, but I'm hoping the glue will hold them in. Yeah, that was another noob mistake



Here it is with the hurricane nuts installed. I tested to make sure the bolts were well aligned several times! Much easier to fix now than later.



I just followed the instructions for the build. They are well thought out, and very detailed. Step one is to lay out the panel positions on the one of the sides. To help with aligning the final panel, you stack the two sides on top of each other, and drill a hole through the panel with the layouts all the way through the other panel.

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post #2 of 30 Old 06-16-2015, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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For those of you more experienced than me, you may have spotted a problem in that last pic. Those knot holes in the face veneer are a great place for a leak. I had a couple sheets with surface knots, but didn't think about it when I was cutting the panels. In the future, I'll be sure to pick the best panels for the sides, and try to make sure any knots are not near edges. Of course, now that I know HD has real Arauco, I can just pick through the ply until I find ply without knots.

For assembly, I just followed @lilmike 's step-by-step directions. First two panels in place.





And here's where I discovered a pretty big problem. I assumed the driver was offset in the baffle to allow space for the first panel to attach and not interfere with the hurricane nuts...... Yeah, that's not really the case. I drilled the holes to mount the driver as it is in this picture.



The bottom bolt is covered by the first panel. Again, major boneheaded mistake. For now, I plan to put a short bolt in that hole. I'll let you know if it works. Another problem with this is the PL filled the hurricane nut when I installed the panels. That shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was on the first cab. For the next one I put a bolt in there a few times over the first several hours to make sure the PL didn't fill it up. I also ran a tap in it to clean out the threads.





Another panel goes in



Here's the next panel,



And another problem.

Despite measuring and checking my layout probably five times, I still managed to put this hole in the wrong spot. When I measured this one, I marked it at 3-7/8" rather than 4-7/8". I wish I could count the number of times I've done this in the past.



I decided to fix this the same way I fixed the knot holes (this photo is a little out of order, but you get the idea). I just used a short piece of scrap and glued and screwed over the knots and another over the hole. I used a LOT of PL on these cabs.



I also used extra PL anywhere I had a screw miss or tear out the side of a panel.



I'm not sure if that's the right approach, but it's what seemed right at the moment.

I started with the bracing here. Bracing between the first two panels is easy to install. You just put screws from the outside of the panels into the braces. Starting with the next panel, pocket hole screws on one side of the brace, and then screws from the outside panel into the brace from there on out. Also, note the spacers that I used to support the brace while I screwed it in place. These are mentioned the instructions, and are a huge help!



You rinse and repeat the process for each panel and brace.



Last fold



The triangular braces at the bottom will depend on your particular driver, and you should probably double check fitment before you attach them.



Setting the last panel - the side - is a good place to have help.... I didn't for either cab. If you're living right, or just lucky, the holes you transferred from the 1st panel to the last will line up with the internal panels.



I'm not sure it helps, but I stacked some weight on the top as well.

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post #3 of 30 Old 06-16-2015, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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To seal the drivers to the cabs I used duct seal per @lilmike 's recommendation. The gasket that came with the Alpine will not work for a reversed mounting. Someone on AVS tried it and it leaked. I considered trying it as well, but in the end @lilmike talked me off the ledge.



This was probably more duct seal than was necessary, and I think it lead to my next problem. I spun one of the hurricane nuts when mounting the driver. I think some duct seal got down in the threads and it was just enough to break the nut loose. I ended up cutting the bolt head off with an angled multi-tool and pulling the driver out.



I replaced the one hurricane nut with a T-nut, and used a LOT of Gorilla Glue on it. The idea being it would expand into the openings and hopefully keep the new nut from spinning. While I was at it, I also ran a tap through ALL of the nuts in that cabinet and also rethreaded the bolts. I was surprised at how much metal came off some of the bolts. After all that, everything worked smoothly the second time around. I put them both behind my screen wall. I'd intended to lay them with the mouth facing into the room, but I miscalculated a bit. I'll need to cut some boards for them to lay on and then they should fit.



How about that nice temp speaker stand



No measurements yet, but I have run them through a couple movies and some music. These things are loud!!!
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post #4 of 30 Old 06-16-2015, 08:21 PM
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Congrats on skipping all the starter builds and going full silly straight from the start! Won't have to worry about upgrading anytime soon. Well maybe your drywall.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-17-2015, 04:23 AM
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JPA did you cut any of the inside pieces at an angle, or did you just make straight cuts for the horns internal pieces and fill in the gaps with PL?
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-17-2015, 06:12 AM
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@J_P_A I love build threads with tons of pics in them! Thank you for taking the time to snap pics and post them. Your experience was very similar to mine on my first sub build. I built @lilmike 's Cinema F-20 and it was for sure a learning experience. In the end despite all of the hickups I ran into, the F-20 does not disappoint and i'm sure it will be the same results with two lilwreckers!

I have the dewalt track saw as well. It looked like you had the long track for it in the pics. I am currently joining two tracks together. Do you like the long track?
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post #7 of 30 Old 06-17-2015, 06:09 PM
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I had read the original lilWreckers thread a couple of times and always thought I'd might build some. Your build thread pushed my buttons.


Thanks for posting your build thread. Good luck and keep the pics coming.
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-17-2015, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the slow reply guys, carpet is being installed in my theater today. I only beveled the baffle. About 3.5 degrees along the edge at the mouth opening.

Yeah, I've got the long track. I really like it for cutting up full sheets of ply. It stores pretty easily hanging on the wall. The only downside is the cost.

Glad my thread is spreading the crazy around the world needs more wreckers!

I'll get back to finishing up this thread in the next few days. I'm hoping to make noise with these things by the weekend!

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post #9 of 30 Old 06-17-2015, 07:04 PM
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BTW, I forgot to mention: Your gut instinct to smear PL everywhere you had a gap or a screw bust thru or whatever was spot-on. PL is magic stuff. It's the stuff you hate to love and vice-versa! PL seals air-tight and dries like a rock. Perfect adhesive for horns.
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post #10 of 30 Old 06-21-2015, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Both lilwreckers are in!
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post #11 of 30 Old 06-21-2015, 05:04 PM
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Nice! Congrats on getting the spun hurricane nut out. That is always a nerve-wracking experience. They look great. I'm looking forward to some measurements.


Also, how wide is your stage? 17'? I'm debating the best way to layout my two lilWreckers. Was thinking about standing them up with the mouth down at the floor, but I'm worried they will either be tippy or move around a lot. Moving cab = lost SPL. I might have enough room to lay them down like you've done.
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post #12 of 30 Old 06-21-2015, 05:32 PM
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solid work. (nice write-up too.)

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post #13 of 30 Old 06-21-2015, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Just over 18' wide. I considered standing them up, too. The drivers are in a better position when lying down. It also works out to be a nice height for the mains.

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Wow great work and write up! You should also post this in the lilwrecker thread for others.
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post #15 of 30 Old 06-21-2015, 09:06 PM
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Thanks for clarifying the width of your stage. Looking forward to your impressions. What sub(s) were you using previously?
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post #16 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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My previous sub was just the little 8" ported job that came with my Onkyo HTiB. Yeah, this is a huge step up! So far I'm extremely pleased with how these sound. I think I'm going to have to be careful with the volume knob, though. I've had a single cab hitting around 110 dB and it wasn't even working hard. Aside from being louder, there was no real change in the sound that would indicate the sub is working harder. I'm not sure what happens as we get closer to the power handling limits of the driver, but if what I've seen/heard so far is any indication it might be possible to let the magic smoke out without even realizing I was pushing the driver too hard.

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post #17 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
My previous sub was just the little 8" ported job that came with my Onkyo HTiB. Yeah, this is a huge step up! So far I'm extremely pleased with how these sound. I think I'm going to have to be careful with the volume knob, though. I've had a single cab hitting around 110 dB and it wasn't even working hard. Aside from being louder, there was no real change in the sound that would indicate the sub is working harder. I'm not sure what happens as we get closer to the power handling limits of the driver, but if what I've seen/heard so far is any indication it might be possible to let the magic smoke out without even realizing I was pushing the driver too hard.
as long as you limit the amount of power going to the driver with your you're fine... you can smoke them easy, but a horn is using so little power that you would have to be fing NUTS on the power dial to hit that magic smoke unless you're over amping the driver... a horn is one setup that I don't like having more power on tap than what you're driver can handle.. it's an easy way to smoke a driver.... for example.. if your driver is a 1500 watt driver, use an amp that maxes out at about 1200-1500 watts... just like any setup as long as you're properly controlling the voltage to the driver with a dsp setting like the inukes have or properly matching an amp to the driver you'r more than fine. for example.... if I have a driver that has an rms power handling of 1000 watts I would used my IPR 3000 which does 840 watts per channel for a horn. little safety net, especially since horns are so efficient you're not trying to overload it
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post #18 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah.... That's a problem..... I'm running an iNuke 6000 for sub amplification. I'm still new to this whole deal. I highly doubt it, but is there a way to limit the output of that amp within the DSP? I've added high and low pass filtering, but I don't remember seeing any sort of limiter.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
Yeah.... That's a problem..... I'm running an iNuke 6000 for sub amplification. I'm still new to this whole deal. I highly doubt it, but is there a way to limit the output of that amp within the DSP? I've added high and low pass filtering, but I don't remember seeing any sort of limiter.
perfect. the DSP versions of the Inukes have a voltage limiter like I mentioned. you can limit the wattage being sent to the driver with a flick of a knob.. I don't have the amp personally so I can't comment on HOW to set it up, but people do it all the time in ported and sealed sub builds with that amp....

calling @LTD02
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post #20 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 10:39 AM
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limiter can be set on the "configuration" tab.


choose the nominal load and adjust the dial for the wattage.

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post #21 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Nahh.... That's way too simple to work

All I can say in my defense is I'm still learning what all the knobs and shiny lights do Thanks for tip. I'll take a look at that as soon as I get a free minute in the theater!

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np, it is pretty clear in the software. I'm not sure how buried it may be in the settings/menu on the front of the amp if you are using that method. also, you mentioned low pass filter is set in the inuke. that is usually best turn off because the AVR will be performing that function and any additional low passing can create some other problems with mains integration.

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post #23 of 30 Old 06-25-2015, 11:32 AM
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Amazing all that output from a $109 driver !!!! Amazing

As of Feb 20th still looking for a Marantz SR7010
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Wrecker is a nice sub. Most people think becuase it's not an 18" it can't be good. So wrong ...
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really nice build, nice to see even as a beginner, with some ingenuity, you can make something brilliant!

Practical question, didn't see it in other builds, but how do you fix the wire and where do you put the terminal with binding posts etc.? I guess you used PL but just to be sure, it's not on the pictures
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post #26 of 30 Old 02-16-2017, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I had completely forgotten about this thread!

I guess this is one of my dirty little secrets. I bought SpeakOn connectors, but realized that the fit behind my screen wall was so tight, that I needed to figure out which side to mount them after I finalized placement. That is, I intended to take measurements, stand them up, take more measurements, slide them around and take more measurements. Once I finalized placement, i would be able to put the connectors in and not have an interference issue (or possibly have the connector end up on a panel that was on the floor.

TLDR; I just have the wires running out of the mouth of the cabs for now. One day (probably after my basement is finished), I'll get back around to dialing in my room.

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Hello, Just a quick question regarding placement of subs behind the screen wall. I have many subs for my theater and will be using a 1000W monoblock amp along with 2 12 kickers for part of the bass along with a JBL JRX 118SP and a Meridian M2500. Has anyone with the subs behind the screen wall noticed any distortion of the screen material due to bass waves? I would love to have some of the drivers hidden and behind the wall would be perfect. Thanks much, Gforce
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-21-2017, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not had any issues with that. Though I don't crank it up to 11 very often

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That is good to know. ?
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Quote:
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Hello, Just a quick question regarding placement of subs behind the screen wall. I have many subs for my theater and will be using a 1000W monoblock amp along with 2 12 kickers for part of the bass along with a JBL JRX 118SP and a Meridian M2500. Has anyone with the subs behind the screen wall noticed any distortion of the screen material due to bass waves? I would love to have some of the drivers hidden and behind the wall would be perfect. Thanks much, Gforce
When I was setting up my infinite baffle (manifold behind and half below the screen) I had the DSP in the inuke set up way to hot and fired up Edge of Tomorrow. At the opening sequence my DIY spandex screen was shaking from the vibrations it was so loud. Scared the hell out of me, but I got everything dialed in and luckily did not damage anything. Was kind of a cool effect, but I don't ever want to do it again.
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