Updated 6/13/16: Added some additional clarification regarding the placement of the crossovers, and also added yet more info regarding the installation of the binding posts. Lastly, added that the item from IKEA I used for speaker stands is now discontinued.
UPDATED 6/11/16: Added some additional tips for installing the binding posts.
UPDATED 5/9/16: The first version of this guide is complete! I apologize for the lack of pictures for some of the steps, but hopefully someone else can post some of the various steps when they assemble their own!
This is my very first foray into the DIY arena, so I eased into things by going the AIY route and ordered the 1099 kits with completed bamboo cabinets
This thread probably won't be nearly as excited as the other true 1099 build threads since there are far less steps, but my goal is to establish a step-by-step guide for the easiest possible way to get 1099s up and running.
Let's start with what you'll need to create three
1099s (Note: You can get a lot of these items from your local hardware store, but I've included direct links to various online stores for quick/easy reference).
- Three 1099 Bamboo Kits from DIYsoundgroup
- 3 pairs of gold binding posts from DIYsoundgroup
- 1 panel of masonite hardboard (for crossover mounts...can be much smaller than 4' by 8' shown in the link) from Home Depot
- 1 4' roll of 2" wide velcro from Michaels
- 12 nylon bolts, spacers, and nuts (all 1/8") from local hardware store (see pic in Step #14 below)
- 9 rolls of denim insulation from Home Depot
- 36 quarter-inch 10-12 AWG Female Tab Disconnects (i.e. crimp-on terminals) from Sears
- 100 feet of 12 gauge speaker wire (extra wire can be used to connect finished speakers to amp/receiver) from Monoprice
- 16oz of wood glue from Home Depot
- 3 assembled 1099 crossover boards from Matt (AVS member mtg90)
- Tape measure
- 1/8" drill bit
- 3/16" drill bit
- 1/4" drill bit
- 17/64" drill bit (optional)
- #2 Phillips drill bit
- 3/32" standard screwdriver
- Hand towel
- Wire strippers/crimpers
- Utility knife
- Liquid dish soap (optional)
- Hot glue gun and hot glue
- 6-pack of your favorite beer
Now that you've gathered all of the necessary items, it's time to assemble the speakers. There are virtually an infinite number of ways this can be accomplished, and I realize the vast majority of these steps are common sense, but hopefully this step-by-step approach provides confidence to even the most hesitant of people.
- Open and begin drinking beer #1
- Using the drill and the 3/16" drill bit, drill a pair of holes in each of the partitions separating the woofer chamber from the mid chamber in each cabinet. I would suggest drilling these holes about 2.5" from the very back of each cabinet, which should be about the thickness of the denim insulation you will apply later. This will allow you to easily route the speaker wire between the sheets of denim insulation that will eventually line the entire woofer chamber. I would also suggest drilling these holes somewhat equidistant from each side and about 2" apart from each other. You will drill 12 holes total in this step.
- Using the drill and the 1/4" drill bit, drill a pair of holes from the rear of each cabinet's exterior into the mid chamber. These holes are for the binding posts, so keep this in mind from both an aesthetic and a logistical standpoint. I drilled the holes so that they once again ended up being about 2.5" away from a partition to allow for the incoming wires to be easily routed between the gaps in the denim insulation sheets. For the left/right speakers, this resulted in holes about 15" from the base of the cabinet (when oriented upright). For the horizontal center, this was about 2.75" from the base of the cabinet (when oriented horizontally). I centered the holes and spaced them 2" apart. You will end up drilling 6 holes in this step.
- Attempt to install the gold binding posts by placing each cabinet face down and hammering each binding post into the cabinet. To make this easier, you can apply a very little of liquid dish soap on a paper towel and wipe it around the part of the binding post that will end up being sunk into the cabinet. I would suggest separating the post from the screw-down cap so you're not hammering down on the cap. I would also suggest placing a hand towel over the binding post to prevent damage both to the post and to the cabinet if your hammer misses. Tap firmly a couple of times, and then remove the hand towel to see if the binding post is sinking into the hole you drilled. If it's not, use the drill with the 1/4" drill bit and make the hole a little wider by tilting the drill slightly in various directions while it is running. Then re-attempt to hammer the binding posts into the cabinet. If they still won't go into the cabinet, repeat the step with the drill. I had to widen the holes bit-by-bit a few times until the binding posts were able to fit. You should have to hammer fairly hard, but definitely not as hard as you possibly can in order to get the binding posts installed fully into the cabinet. Alternatively, if you have a 17/64" drill bit, you can use that instead of the 1/4" drill bit. The 17/64" drill bit should eliminate the need to widen the hole using the aforementioned drill-tilt method. You will have installed 6 binding posts upon completion of this step. Keep the caps off.
- Using the drill and the 1/8" drill bit, drill holes for the screws that will secure each driver onto the front of the cabinet. The easiest way to do this is to place the speaker on a table or the floor with the front facing up, and then set each driver into their respective openings, using the screw openings as a template for drilling. I would suggest only have one driver set into place at a time to avoid collateral damage if you drop the drill, slip, etc. Doing so will also allow you to remove the drivers from the mid compartment very easily as you can simply pop each driver out with your hand by reaching through an adjacent, vacant opening. Alternative, you can simply mark where each hole should go with a pencil and then remove the driver before drilling. You will drill 84 holes in this step.
- Vacuum the inside of each cabinet out, as well as the ring around each driver opening.
- Open beer #2 and commence drinking.
- Line each interior side of the woofer chambers with a single sheet of denim insulation. The cleanest way to accomplish this is to measure each interior side, including the back, of the woofer chamber as you go. I suggest starting with the back interior side. Measure the dimensions and then cut the denim insulation OUTDOORS (the insulation makes a mess due to the resulting denim dust). Scissors are a good tool to use in order to start the cut, but tearing is almost as clean and WAY faster, especially if you use the edge of a table or ledge as a guide. After you've cut 6 pieces, apply them to the rear interior of each woofer chamber in each cabinet by using wood glue evenly applied to the interior of the chamber. Repeat this same process for each side inside of the woofer chamber, making sure to leave a space for the ports to be inserted. Upon completion of this step, you will have cut and applied 30 pieces of denim insulation.
- Insert the plastic ports into each cabinet by simply pushing them into place. When you are done with this step, things should look something like this:
- Cut the panel of masonite hardboard into three pieces that are each 1" longer as well as 1" wider than the dimensions of a crossover board from Matt. I had the local hardware store cut the pieces for me, but you can use a utility knife to score the panel, and then break it apart (the former option is much faster, cleaner, and easier than the latter option).
- Set each crossover board on top of a cut piece of masonite hardboard, and center the crossover on the board. Using a pencil, mark where the mounting holes are near each of the corners on the crossover board.
- Using the drill and a 1/8" drill bit, drill a hole on each of the marks you just made on the masonite. You will drill 12 holes total.
- Cut 6 strips of velcro and attach two to one side of each of the pieces of masonite. It will look something like this:
- Using the 12 nylon bolts, spacers, and nuts attach the crossover boards to each of the hardboard panels. The bolts will be threaded up from the bottom (velcro side) of the masonite like in the picture below (Note: The velcro wasn't attached yet in the photo). The crossover board from Matt will slide onto the four bolts and be secured with a nut on each bolt.
- Open and begin drinking beer #3.
- Cut 6 positive and 6 negative strands of speaker wire 2.5' in length using the wire strippers (these will be used to connect the woofers to the crossover).
- Cut 12 positive and 12 negative strands of speaker wire 1.5' in length using the wire strippers (these will be used to connect everything else).
- Strip one end of each of the 36 wire strands, and attach one of the Female Tab Disconnects to each end using the wire stripper/crimper.
- Insert the 6 gold male tabs that came with the binding posts into 6 of the female tabs at the end of 1.5' length wires (3 positive, 3 negative). Thread one nut onto each of the binding posts inside the mid chamber of each cabinet. Then place the gold male tabs onto the binding posts and secure them in place with the second gold nut included with each binding post. Note which wire is positive and which is negative, and thread the appropriately colored binding post caps onto the exteriors of the binding posts.
- Route the 6 positive and 6 negative strands of speaker wire 2.5' in length through the woofer chamber into the mid chamber of each cabinet. Make sure to leave a long enough tail of cable in order to connect female disconnects to the male terminal tabs on the woofers.
- Seal the gaps around the wires between the woofer chamber and mid chamber in each cabinet using hot glue. It shouldn't take a lot of glue or sealant since the speaker cable should be somewhat snug in the holes to begin with.
- Open and begin drinking beer #4.
- Strip about 1/8" of sheathing off of the plain cable ends of all 36 cables using the wire strippers
- Loosen all of the terminals on the crossover using the 3/32" standard screwdriver.
- Insert the stripped cable ends into the respective terminals on each crossover board according to the diagram below, and tighten terminals to be "hand tight" using the 3/32" standard screwdriver. NOTE: Ensure you have the woofer cables and binding post cables routed through the tweeter opening as you connect them to the crossover since this is the one through which the crossover board will be slid into place. You will end up having the crossover all wired up outside of the cabinet.
- Place the crossovers inside of the cabinets via the tweeter opening and determine where you want the board to reside. It doesn't matter where it goes as long as you leave enough room for the drivers to be installed. I mounted the crossover board directly behind the mid drivers, which ending up being the bottom of the compartment since I oriented my speakers so that the tweeter is above the mids (see last picture). There was plenty of room in the compartment doing it this way it seemed. If you notice you have a lot of excess speaker cable, now would be the best time to remove it from the crossover board and trim it down.
- Remove the backing on the velcro and carefully set the crossover board into place. Make sure it adheres by pressing firmly down around all edges of the board.
- Route the cables out of their respective openings (mids and tweeters).
- Return to the outdoors and cut/tear multiple sheets of denim insulation in order to neatly fill the entire mid chamber of each cabinet to the point that all of the interior walls are lined with insulation and the insulation just about touches the backside of where each driver will end up. I didn't glue any of the mid chamber insulation in place since when packed neatly, it doesn't have anywhere to shift/move.
- Open and begin to drink beer #5.
- Using the foam strips supplied with the 1099 kit, line the interior perimeter of the waveguide. It will look something like this, but hopefully you've minimized the gaps even more.
You can also apply the foam directly to the front face of the cabinet itself if you wish.
- Use the foam strips to form a seal for the mids as well. For these, it's much easier to apply the foam to the face of the cabinet.
- Attach the tweeter compression driver to the waveguide using the supplied bolts and nuts. Use pliers to tighten the nuts to the point that the tweeter is secured and there is no movement and/or gaps between the driver and the waveguide.
- Carefully connect each of the female disconnects to the respective male terminals on the drivers. Some of these will take a bit of force to slide on, so if it seems like you are going to break something, use the standard screwdriver to loosen up the female tabs a bit. Ensure the polarity of all 30 connections is correct before advancing to the next step.
- Place each driver into position and line it up with the holes that you drilled in Step #5. Using the drill, a #2 Phillips drill bit, and the black screws supplied with the 1099 kits, set each of the screws into the face of the cabinet, thus securing the drivers. The longer black screws are for the woofers and waveguide. The shorter ones are for the mids. For what it's worth, I set my Dewalt drill clutch to 9 for this step. Ensure that each driver is seated properly on the front baffle. The tolerances are extremely tight on the bamboo cabinets, and the mids are especially prone to getting hung up on one corner or side of their perimeter.
- Open and begin drinking beer #6 because you've completed the assembly!
Now for the fun part! It's time to move your brand new 1099s into position and connect them to your amp/receiver.
- The 1099s seem to favor being placed up off of the ground by about 12" or so. You can easily build your own boxes, or you can find something suitable to set them on. I found the "speaker stands" for my left and right 1099s at IKEA for $15 each (the exact item is now discountinued, but other alternative options might now exist).
- Try toeing in the 1099s following the advice of this article
- Regarding break-in (taken from 1099 Official Info Thread): "For fast break in, I suggest a sine wave at 35hz turned up until you see the woofer cone moving a couple mm each direction. Avoid ugly noises! Leave that going for half an hour. It should not be to loud as it's below tuning, and won't suck to much power as it's right on an impedance peak. Alternatively, play some heavy bass full range but be careful not to over excursion them." To produce a 35hz tone, I downloaded an app called "Signal Gen" to my phone. I put my phone on silent and airplane mode to ensure no other alerts sounded, and then connected my phone to my pre-pro.
That's it! Hoping this guide will encourage additional people to wade into the DIY waters.
(The dog insisted on being in the photo. I will take another one once I upgrade my phone.. current one turned out a little blurry).