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post #1 of 36 Old 03-21-2016, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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New living room system - Towers of Power based on DIYSG kits

We recently bought a house and decided it was time for an upgrade to the living room system. In our old apartment, we had the Jamo S606 5 channel setup powered by a Denon AVR-1712 along with an Energy S10.3 subwoofer.

My wife and I like doing projects like this ourselves and now that we have a dedicated workshop, it made perfect sense to build our own speakers. After doing quite a bit of research and talking to several people, I decided on the design and components. The system, at least initially, will be 4.2 and ran by a Denon AVR-X4200W which leaves us plenty of options for future updates like more surrounds or Atmos speakers.

The front left and right will be towers comprised of Cohesive 893's sitting atop MBM-12 midbass modules and the surrounds are Volt 6-LX with the angled baffles.

This is the intended design. I'm really hoping they'll sound and measure well where I want to put them so the one piece design works out.



But first, I'm starting with the Volt 6's to 'warm up' and establish some processes before starting on the Towers of Power... Trump Towers... etc.

So here's some quick pics of the Volt 6 build.

Crossover assembled, glued, and soldered:



Holes routed for flush mount terminal cups:



T-nuts for mounting the driver:



Crossover mounted and 4 sides glued on and sealed:



Baffle attached:



Sanded smooth:



Acoustic foam added:



Prime and sand:



Both ready to go:



Painted to match the very light grey of the living room walls:






Haven't figured out what we're gonna do about grills yet, but they will have some type of grills to help them blend in and protect the driver.

They both work and sound good and are currently awaiting mounting hardware.
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post #2 of 36 Old 03-21-2016, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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On to the 893's...

Got the crossover boards from Matt and put them together without issue:



Started the same way as the Volts by routing out the hole for the terminal cup:



Then glue up the sides of the first one:



However, there was an issue here. I was really frustrated when this happened but I'm posting this so nobody makes the same mistake. The back board with the cuts for the braces looks symmetrical, but it isn't. I wanted the terminal cup to be at the bottom of the enclosure, but I found after prepping to put the baffle on that the brace would be blocking the waveguide unless the baffle was reversed so that the terminal was at the top. So either add your terminals after it's all assembled, or make sure you know which is the top and bottom before you cut the hole...

I used the plug cut out by the hole saw, as well as a new routed piece to fill the old terminal hole and cut the new one. You can see all the caulk around it on the right here. Lame...



T-nuts for all drivers:



Crossover installed and wires ran:



Compression driver bolted to waveguide and gasket installed:



For the flush mount look, I had intended to make another 1/4" baffle to mount behind the main baffle to be able to sink the woofers in further while still having enough wood to be stable. But I couldn't find a router bit locally that could do it properly, so I decided to shave down the front foam gasket on the woofers, since that's what sticks out.

It's now more or less in line with the surround:



Flush with no wood cutting



Baffle installed and brought inside for testing:



Next to my S606 towers with the drivers installed, along with most of a Walmart polyfill pillow worth of stuffing:



I just played it for a couple minutes to function test. Additional efficiency was immediately noticeable, as well as the corresponding increase in dynamic abilities. These are gonna be good!

Now time to finish the other one...
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post #3 of 36 Old 03-25-2016, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Both make sound now!

Got the second baffle glued on, flush trimmed, sanded, and brought inside.

Stuffed with polyfill:



Drivers installed and set up for some stereo testing:



Spent some time sitting on the floor listening to them. No EQ, crossover at 60Hz. I'm liking them very much. The increase in dynamic impact over the old speakers is my favorite part so far. Definitely adds a feeling of realism. Listened to a track with an orchestra component and I can just see the bows sliding over the strings of the instruments. Snare drum punch is vastly improved. All drums are very tight. Not as punchy below 80Hz as my old towers, but that was expected and will be more than made up for by the Magnum 12 below them once I get them in. This room is also pretty lively with nothing on the walls yet, so some treatment and a bit of room EQ will only help.

So far I'm very happy with the quality of the kits and the sound I'm getting. Once I'm done listening to a bunch of stuff I'll take some measurements.

Next, I made some frames for grills. This was a pain. 1/4 MDF is annoying to work with, especially when it's cut into narrow strips like this.

Flush trimmed some sheets to the front baffles then rough cut out the center:



Flush trimmed the inside edges to a 1/2" template I made:



Slight bevel on the outside edge and slight roundover on the inside edge. I know the MDF on MDF contrast in these pictures is awesome..



And a thin metal rod in the middle to keep the frame from bowing in when grill cloth is stretched over it. Otherwise, 100% open area in front of all drivers. These are more for cosmetics than physical protection at this point, but it would be easy to add a few more metal rods for some actual protection qualities as well.



Some black paint and a bit of grill cloth, as well as some grill guide pegs from PE and they'll be done.

They will have to be modified by adding the tapering angle down toward the wider base once that's built, but that shouldn't be hard. I probably won't actually wrap them in cloth till that's done.
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post #4 of 36 Old 03-28-2016, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it looks like I got sent 1 wrong resistor for one of the Volts so the compression driver is 6-7dB hot in that one. But no big deal, should be an easy fix.

For the 893's, they look decent other than a fairly significant dip in the 400-500Hz range followed by a large peak in the 900-1000Hz range. I did some looking around and found another user with a similar response curve in that band as well.

Here's the left and right:



If anyone else who has built these would share their response curves as well that would be cool. Or if you have any recommendations to improve the midrange response. The crossover is assembled per Matt's diagram and the mids are not out of phase.

They certainly don't sound bad. I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do it make them even better. FWIW, I did a bit of manual EQ in the AVR which resulted in this combined response:



Just interested if anyone has any suggestions to improve the dip. I did try measuring with the speaker up on a 2ft tall stand with no real difference. I don't think it's a room issue since the dip doesn't show up in the response of any other speakers measured in the same locations.
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post #5 of 36 Old 04-08-2016, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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PE and DIYSG orders both arrived this week. Christmas in April!



Wasted no time getting to work. No glue mock up of the pieces. Decided to build it in stages since I only have a few clamps big enough to be useful on this one.



All braces glued in:



Started on the sides. Only have enough large clamps to do a side or two at a time..



Baffles glued and screwed together. I didn't use screws on the other one. My thought was they'd add clamping force and strength to the bond, but they can actually push the 2 boards apart slightly.



For the second one I drilled the mounting holes and added T nuts first, so when I glued those together, they couldn't float around on the glue and stayed perfectly in place.
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-08-2016, 10:13 PM
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WLooks nice. Why is there no center?

Current projector - JVC RS25 and Marantz VP15S1
Future projector - pre-ordered new JVC from AVScience
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post #7 of 36 Old 04-10-2016, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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A, it was basically impossible to find a TV stand that fit a center as big and heavy as an 893 as well as the rest of my components and B, I liked the sound better in stereo with a phantom center than with the center below the TV.

In my old setup as well as the new one, the mids / tweeter section of the towers is in line with the center of the TV, so everything sounds like it's coming out of the screen. A/B switching between than and with the center channel running produced a very noticeable drop in vocal height. Voices sounded like they were coming from the center channel below the TV rather than sounding like they were coming out of the screen like they did in stereo. And this was with the front of the center channel beyond the shelf it was on and aimed at the listening position.
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post #8 of 36 Old 04-10-2016, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Last side piece going on the second enclosure!



Added some metal brackets for additional support since the 50+ pound 893's will be sitting on top:



I have yet to attach the baffles since I still need some 6-32 T-nuts for the port mounting holes, but I did bring one inside to see what it'll look like in person:



These are gonna be killer
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-16-2016, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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With the included port tube and using the Precision Port site calculator, I cut 3 lengths tuned to the frequencies written on them so I can experiment a bit.



Baffle going on:



Bit of denim insulation - not sure if this is enough...



And here they are with my new 65" TV. It just looks small compare to the speakers...



Haven't run Audyssey yet. Started with manual EQ using the Denon's GEQ for the 893's and the PEQ in the iNuke for the MBMs.

893's crossed at 200Hz. Still the dip at 400 but I got them pretty smoothed out.



MBM's



And whole system with the subs (no EQ on the subs since Audyssey was off):



There's some room to better integrate the subs, but I didn't touch anything on them other than lowering the crossover.


Wife and I went through a bunch of cool songs with the volume cranked grinning ear to ear - laughing even. This system is AWESOME. By far the most fun home system we've heard. The 893's provide the dynamics and detail with great snap. The MBMs produce the great punch and growling midbass we were after with the added benefit of making the subwoofers sound a lot better as well. We still plan on DIYing some new subs, but even now with the little 250W 10's, it's very impressive.

So yeah. Very happy.

So on to finishing. Need to cut the angle pieces for the sides and back. I have a bunch of grill guides now and need to make the frame for the bottom section grill. Also got a 45 chamfer router bit today that I'm going to run over the front edges. Baffle will be black, rest of the towers will hopefully match the new TV stand. Looking at veneer and laminate and stuff for that. Also got some mounts for the Volts. Progress is probably gonna get a bit slower since I'm about to get a lot busier. I was trying really hard to have everything make sound by this weekend, so at least that was accomplished.
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-13-2016, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Did some sub phase tweaking, more EQ in the iNuke, then ran XT32. Here's what it came up with:



Not bad

Sounds good too. It boosted the top end quite a bit compared to my manual tune. It's now pretty flat to 17KHz whereas before there was a somewhat gradual roll off starting around 6KHz. Low end is obviously much smoother.

Some gee whiz facts. Audyssey would generally set the levels of my old Jamo S606 towers to +2.5 dB. It set the 893's to -7.5 dB. The Jamos were rated at 89db/2.83V at 6 ohms, so I was expecting about 5dB difference in levels. 10dB certainly surprised me. So that's pretty cool. Also, it chose a 120Hz crossover for the 893s. Obviously not an issue since I'm crossing them at 200Hz to the MBMs, but would have been annoying if I was trying to cross them to a sub at 60-80Hz.

And here's a comparison of the response with the woofers vs the port on bottom for the midbass modules.



Blue is woofer on bottom, yellow is woofer on top. Basically identical other than the little extra spike at 265Hz.




And here is with the same EQ applied to both. Blue is woofer on bottom, green is woofer on top.





New Vizio P65 too
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Last edited by strakele; 05-14-2016 at 05:11 AM.
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post #11 of 36 Old 05-13-2016, 08:43 PM
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They look awesome. I'm glad you like them. Are you leaving the speaker wire coming out of the ports or are you going to add some terminals on the back?
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-13-2016, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Now that I've tested and found it makes basically no difference, I'll add terminals to the back, probably with woofer on bottom orientation. I didn't want to do that until doing this test.

So I'll do that, put a bit of a bevel on the front, then I'm thinking black for the baffle and a dark wood grain finish to match the TV stand for the sides and back.
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post #13 of 36 Old 05-20-2016, 12:11 PM
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Wow, nice setup!




Those are going to look very impressive when they are all done!

...some of us just really love bass...

My DIY Subwoofers: This is going to destroy my house...
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post #14 of 36 Old 05-24-2016, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!

I finally got motivated to pull all the drivers out and get back to work on the cabinets. Routed out the terminals for 12's - went with woofer on bottom orientation. If anything that'll make them a bit more stable with the weight lower.

Put 45 bevels on the front side edges of all the cabinets:



Started making the angled side pieces for the towers:



The back piece is going to be hard since it won't be a 45 degree cut. Haven't done that yet.

Put a 45 bevel on the grill frames too and added some more metal supports since they're so thin now:




And I have some samples on order of different finishes. So progress is being made.
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post #15 of 36 Old 05-25-2016, 10:57 AM
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Awesome "Teamwork" to say the least: TFA!

given such drive and attention to detail and consideration of many "what if' possibilities

what if you hung the TV on the wall ,
you may get a better viewing angle, probably a real world plus,

even better . . . a chance to get that 893 center speaker close to alignment with the L/R horns

and a different way to organize and have access to the equipment,

semi closed back cabinets , has a lot to do with many factors, particularly WAF, etc. "it looks nice"

curious: is that center space tall enough for a F4Q4? they're 6" tall, iirc

anyway, great to see good work, done well

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www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs/1485120-submaximus-large-front-loaded-horn
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...orn-build.html
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post #16 of 36 Old 05-25-2016, 01:31 PM
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Looks awesome.

I love DIY stuff. I DIY'd my speaker stands and AV Rack - haven't ventured out to DIY speakers yet...someday.

Again - these look great!
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post #17 of 36 Old 05-25-2016, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asarose247 View Post
Awesome "Teamwork" to say the least: TFA!

given such drive and attention to detail and consideration of many "what if' possibilities

what if you hung the TV on the wall ,
you may get a better viewing angle, probably a real world plus,

even better . . . a chance to get that 893 center speaker close to alignment with the L/R horns

and a different way to organize and have access to the equipment,

semi closed back cabinets , has a lot to do with many factors, particularly WAF, etc. "it looks nice"

curious: is that center space tall enough for a F4Q4? they're 6" tall, iirc

anyway, great to see good work, done well
TV on the stand vs on the wall was mostly due to convenience and partly because it makes it over a foot closer to the main couch so it seems a little bigger.

As far as the stand itself, it was impossible to find one that fit the equipment in the way I wanted (few inches of room around the AVR for airflow and a closed cabinet section wide enough to fit the iNuke amps to muffle the fan noise) and also be able to fit a center channel as large as the 893. The top row of the stand was obviously made for a sound bar. After watching some movies in stereo, I do kind of feel like the focus could be better for dialogue so I wouldn't mind having a center, but I am pretty height limited if using that slot. It's 6" tall, so a Fusion 4 Quad would fit. I've been looking at other options with a tapered enclosure. The top of the stand is curved in at the top if you can see in the picture and so could fit a taller speaker as long as it tapered down to less than 6" fairly quickly (within about 2 inches).

Curious what you meant by different way to organize/access equipment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutdotnet View Post
Looks awesome.

I love DIY stuff. I DIY'd my speaker stands and AV Rack - haven't ventured out to DIY speakers yet...someday.

Again - these look great!
Thanks!
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post #18 of 36 Old 05-26-2016, 04:00 PM
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.02

wrt viewing distance for that size TV, check the THX website, they have charts showing optimal distance range, plus you may a slight downward angle toward the mlp and a more optimal height wrt to viewing into the horizontal center of the screen, just following the science

i initially had my TV on a stand but found a suitable full motion that feed up a lot of space, getting rid of the cabinet, but then i needed a tower for equipment but i have the space to the side of that,whole schmear,
the point being, the mount let me get the TV into that range and angle /height combo

I put up a 2 x 10 oak load plate spanning 2 stud bays, so about 36" long and a lot of big lag bolts . . you have the chops to know what I mean .

given the quality/attentive nature of your work (I really like it)
I can't imagine you not being able "imagineer" a (great looking) cabinet for the "stuff' that just happens to fit an exceptionally suitable CC., part of the plan to see how close you can get it up to the same horizontal plane of the L/R's.

re-engineering a F4Q4 wrt that curve of the cabinet, whole 'nother problem,

after all that, this is what i got for my "imagineering"

HTH
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DIY FAN Denon X5200 , ATI A 2000 for 7.4.6 SCATMOS/DSU/SHARP 80" LED/LCD
L/R: Fusion 15 V2 , C: 88 Special , SL/SR: F4Q4LP , RL/RR: F-3, TF/TR: Volt 6's TM: SLX
DUAL LOWARHORNS , SUBMAXIMUS, Custom Dual Driver VBSS,2 x Inuke6000DSP
www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs/1485120-submaximus-large-front-loaded-horn
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...orn-build.html
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post #19 of 36 Old 05-27-2016, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the optimum viewing distance for my screen is 7 feet, but I sit at 11 feet. Shoulda gone with the 75"

I'll think more about the TV layout once I get all the audio done, which is still gonna be a while since I plan on building 3 subs as well. Undecided on the center, but the Fusion 4 is a definite possibility.



Anyway, I had the day off so I spent most of it cutting the side angle pieces and figuring out all the angles to make it fit together seamlessly. It was quite a bit of work with just a handheld circular saw and router. The side pieces were all 45's so that wasn't too bad, but the back was not so I routed the 45 bevel then cut the steeper angle by hand.

I started the taper a bit below the top edge of the MBM enclosure so it all flowed together which probably resulted in more work than necessary to get the side angle pieces to line up perfectly but oh well.

First side piece cut. There are 2 of those metal L brackets on each side.



And here's the completed enclosure, ready for finishing:







Close up on some of the angles:





Very minimal filler was needed which was nice.

Now on to the next one...
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post #20 of 36 Old 05-28-2016, 03:41 AM
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Very nice... looks good. Do you also plan on beveling or rounding the corners of the exposed 893 cabinet? Not sure if I asked this before, but how are you going to finish the towers?

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post #21 of 36 Old 05-28-2016, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The front vertical edges of the 893 are beveled. I'm considering doing the top edge too, but that's it - just the front edges. Not on the back. For covering I'm thinking a dark walnut type finish to match the TV stand.
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post #22 of 36 Old 06-07-2016, 04:05 AM
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Curious... any updates you can share?

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post #23 of 36 Old 06-11-2016, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately not yet. Been having to do a ton of studying recently. I'm hoping to be back at it next weekend to finish the second tower and get finishing materials ordered this week.
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post #24 of 36 Old 06-23-2016, 08:16 PM
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I just ordered a pair of Volt-6s for surround duty, so I need some motivation.... any updates?

B&W 804 and HTM | Emotiva ERD-1 | DIY 18" Sub
Emotiva XMC-1 | XPA-2 | XPA-5 | Crown XLS 2502
Samsung 58" Plasma | BenQ HT1075 100" Screen
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post #25 of 36 Old 07-06-2016, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luisev View Post
I just ordered a pair of Volt-6s for surround duty, so I need some motivation.... any updates?
Finally... yes!

Over the long weekend I finally had time to finish construction of the other tower.

Some small brackets to hold everything in place:



Side pieces cut and attached:





And shot with some black acrylic to seal the wood. Came out a bit more textured than I would have liked, but should be fine to apply the finish over after sanding.









Is the whole DIYSG forum closed?
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post #26 of 36 Old 07-06-2016, 04:27 PM
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Looks great! Looking forward to see it finished!

Erich should be able to tell you more about the DIYSG subforum but I think posting is no longer possible but old posts are still accessible.
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post #27 of 36 Old 07-06-2016, 04:30 PM
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Yes in the vendor area for diysg. It's a paid space over there and Erich didn't want to re new it. From what I remember reading there's going to be forum for it some place else besides the website it's self.
The box looks great to btw good work! The paint and finish work paid off.
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post #28 of 36 Old 07-06-2016, 05:53 PM
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Here's the new forum.

http://www.hificircuit.com/community/

It's linked at the top of:

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/

B&W 804 and HTM | Emotiva ERD-1 | DIY 18" Sub
Emotiva XMC-1 | XPA-2 | XPA-5 | Crown XLS 2502
Samsung 58" Plasma | BenQ HT1075 100" Screen
Amazon Fire TV with XMBC | Oppo BDP-103 Bluray Player
Mogami and Blue Jeans Cables
ATS and DIY Acoustic Panels
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post #29 of 36 Old 07-06-2016, 06:05 PM
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BTW, looks great thus far @strakele . Can't wait to see them finished!

B&W 804 and HTM | Emotiva ERD-1 | DIY 18" Sub
Emotiva XMC-1 | XPA-2 | XPA-5 | Crown XLS 2502
Samsung 58" Plasma | BenQ HT1075 100" Screen
Amazon Fire TV with XMBC | Oppo BDP-103 Bluray Player
Mogami and Blue Jeans Cables
ATS and DIY Acoustic Panels
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post #30 of 36 Old 07-10-2016, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

Here's proof they're both actually completely constructed. Partway through sanding them. I got the spray pattern on the second one smoother so the sanding is going much quicker.

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