Parham's Pi speaker project under way... - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-26-2016, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Parham's Pi speaker project under way...

I've been gathering up parts and supplies to build a pair of Wayne Parham's 7Pi corner horns and a 4Pi center channel for quite some time. I've finally cleared enough stuff off the "to do" list that I can get this project underway.

The speakers will be behind an AT screen and acoustically transparent screen wall, so I'm not getting fancy with the cabinets. I'm using decent quality BC plywood from the big orange box. I'll apply duratex for a quick and easy finish that looks decent. I do plan to take the time to make the mid horns nice looking since they're much more complicated to build than the bass bins. If I ever want to use the 7Pi corner horns out in plain sight I can always build nice looking bass bins.

I made good progress on the bass bins for all three speakers today. All the wood is cut and the sides and tops are glued together. I've also fabricated the ports, and installed the 4pi port into its cabinet.




Here's a closeup of a couple of the compression drivers and the crossover PC boards.



Box construction is straightforward - dado joints, cleaned up with a flush trim bit. The baffles will be glued in place.






I'll run a roundover bit over all the edges and slather duratex on for finish. I used the same method on my 2Pi surrounds.

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I have not ordered crossover parts yet (except for the PC boards). I'll do that in the morning with my hot Costco Java.
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-27-2016, 07:19 AM
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Very cool, I wonder why the pi kits aren't seen too often. They are very efficient correct?
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post #3 of 40 Old 03-27-2016, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah they're very sensitive. 101dB for the sevens, 128dB max spl. The four hits 98dB and 125dB max.

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post #4 of 40 Old 03-27-2016, 07:33 AM
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Great to see another Pi speaker build!!!!!!!! The 7 Pi's have always intrigued me and if I get an HT space in the future that has appropriate corners they are on the short list. Since I already have 4 Pi L/C/R would build a few more for center and surrounds.

What drivers are you going with for the build?

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post #5 of 40 Old 03-27-2016, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm using B&C DE-250 compression driver, Eminence Delta 10 mid and JBL 2226H woofer.

High Desert Theater - work in progress
Building Bass - Subs
Surrounds - Easy as Pi
Storage - unRAID unDELL
Mains - Another piece of Pi
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post #6 of 40 Old 03-28-2016, 10:48 AM
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I have the 7pi's with the same drivers and really like them. I use them almost daily. Wayne is great guy to work with too. Always very helpful.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-28-2016, 03:39 PM
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Nice! So happy to see somebody building Wayne's 7pi system.

I use his midhorn kits in my custom LCR's. They are awesome and I know your 7pi's will be awesome as well.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 40 Old 03-28-2016, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandydankness View Post
Very cool, I wonder why the pi kits aren't seen too often. They are very efficient correct?
They were more popular years ago. There are quite a few members around here with 3pi and 4pi systems. You don't hear much from them because they are all very happy with them.

With the explosion of equivalent kits from DIYSG, there has been little interest (around here) for Wayne's stuff.

My guess is that there is a lot more DIY involved with Wayne's products where the DIYSG is more turn-key AIY and more accessible to newbies. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just a different crowd.
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-28-2016, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I got a bit more done yesterday. Both rear baffles are glued in place and flush trimmed.




Regarding earlier comments about relative scarcity of Pi builds, I do think the task may be a bit intimidating to someone with less woodwork experience. Although Wayne's free plans have all the info needed for a successful build, they certainly aren't "how to" guides. You've got to figure out all the construction details for the cabinetry. Unless you purchase Wayne's kits, gathering the parts may be more than some want to tackle. I have spent a lot of time figuring out what components to order for the crossovers. I'm using the official PC boards, so that's a big help.

I'm looking forward to hearing these!

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post #10 of 40 Old 03-29-2016, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post
Nice! So happy to see somebody building Wayne's 7pi system.

I use his midhorn kits in my custom LCR's. They are awesome and I know your 7pi's will be awesome as well.

Good luck!
How difficult are the mid horn kits to assemble? What driver are you using in yours? I have considered building a custom one off center channel using his mid horn with two 2226's below and a Seos-15 on an FL-450, never decided on the most optimal driver for the mid horn. I would probably end up building this thing if I could find someone to do the crossover. If I did build it, I would use an active crossover. Not for simplicity but rather having the built in ability to really dial it in tight, not have problems with sensitivity matching, and the ability to dsp.
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post #11 of 40 Old 03-29-2016, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tip24/96 View Post
How difficult are the mid horn kits to assemble? What driver are you using in yours? I have considered building a custom one off center channel using his mid horn with two 2226's below and a Seos-15 on an FL-450, never decided on the most optimal driver for the mid horn. I would probably end up building this thing if I could find someone to do the crossover. If I did build it, I would use an active crossover. Not for simplicity but rather having the built in ability to really dial it in tight, not have problems with sensitivity matching, and the ability to dsp.
Pretty easy to assemble, actually. The driver is an Eminence Delta10 and is optimal for the midhorn. Wayne only suggests to use it or a very tough to source JBL 10" mid. I would not recommend using anything else unless you really want to experiment a lot.

Your system sounds like what I built with a different top end. I am full active with a DCX.
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post #12 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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He's Back....

I finally found some time to work on my Pi project. I started by adding bracing to the bass bins. I cut a bunch of oak remnants I had lying around into 3/4 x 1" sticks for the braces. I'm just winging it, with some guidance from Wayne's comments and using the experience I gained building subs and surrounds. On the left is the four center with the beginnings of bracing. On the right is the completed seven LR.


Here's a closeup of the seven.


And all three together.


I added sticks until the boxes passed the knuckle test. They're pretty solid.
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post #13 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Onward to stuffing. These are R13 batts glued in with 3M number 77 spray adhesive. Not much to say other than "yuk". I'm glad I don't insulate houses for a living.


I had to deal with inspectors.


A mess of clamps and the baffles are glued on.


Titebond 2 is my glue of choice.


Here's another action shot. I've managed to latch onto some Breaking Bad memorabilia. Gustavo Fring lived a few blocks away. I often have lunch at Loyola's restaurant on Central, the place Mike used to frequent.
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post #14 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Dry fit drivers into the four center.


Boxes are flush trimmed, edges rounded over, voids puttied, and 60 grit sanding complete...ready for my industrial grade finishing. I shot some black paint into the ports.


Closeup. These things are gonna be pretty rough since they'll live behind the screen wall.


Finished bass bins. Two coats of duratex works great. I used a 4" wide roller with 3/8" nap and got a pretty good finish.



Now on to building the seven pi mid horns. Hopefully I won't take five months to post another update!
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post #15 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 07:27 PM
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they look great but is the pink stuff blocking the back of the ports?

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post #16 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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The batts are up to the edge of the port but not stuffing them. I can easily reach into the port and pull some out if I think I need to once I fire them up.
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post #17 of 40 Old 08-23-2016, 08:54 PM
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post #18 of 40 Old 08-24-2016, 04:27 AM
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Looking good. bet those sound great when finished

64 base level speakers $10k
28 height speakers $10k,
14 subwoofers $10k
90% of the movie sound coming from the center channel - priceless.

Last edited by 1201; 08-24-2016 at 04:35 AM.
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post #19 of 40 Old 08-24-2016, 05:49 AM
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Love it. @eng-399 has a pair of 2pi surrounds.


Your boxes look great good job on them. I'm still liking my 2pi surrounds I have no complaints about them. I think you will really like your Setup when finished.
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post #20 of 40 Old 08-24-2016, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Your boxes look great good job on them. I'm still liking my 2pi surrounds I have no complaints about them. I think you will really like your Setup when finished.
I built four 2π surrounds a couple of years ago. They're great and are what inspired me to build the π mains.

High Desert Theater - work in progress
Building Bass - Subs
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Mains - Another piece of Pi
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post #21 of 40 Old 08-24-2016, 04:19 PM
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Nice progress!!!!

I am in the process of building a Pi midhorn based three way speaker. The midhorn goes together pretty easily. I have to do a lot of extra work as putting mine in a larger cabinet and not following guidelines any plans.

Can't wait to see how you like the 7 Pi's.

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post #22 of 40 Old 11-02-2016, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post
Dry fit drivers into the four center.


Boxes are flush trimmed, edges rounded over, voids puttied, and 60 grit sanding complete...ready for my industrial grade finishing. I shot some black paint into the ports.


Closeup. These things are gonna be pretty rough since they'll live behind the screen wall.


Finished bass bins. Two coats of duratex works great. I used a 4" wide roller with 3/8" nap and got a pretty good finish.



Now on to building the seven pi mid horns. Hopefully I won't take five months to post another update!
Did you get the midhorn's assembled?

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post #23 of 40 Old 11-03-2016, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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No mid horns yet. I got distracted with outdoor projects once the weather cooled off. We're expecting rain this weekend so that just might get me back into the shop! I'm not using Wayne's flatpacks so I've got a lot of fabrication to do.

High Desert Theater - work in progress
Building Bass - Subs
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Mains - Another piece of Pi
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-03-2016, 11:15 AM
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I wanted to build these so bad. The main reason I passed was JBL increased the cost of the 2226H to $500+. I could either get them used for about half of that or still spend half and get the AE TD12M's. I still want to go back and build a nice 2 channel setup with the 4pi and a few smaller subs.

They look great BTW!
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post #25 of 40 Old 11-04-2016, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for checking in Filtor1.

I've been wanting to build the Pi mains for a while, but choked on the 2226H woofer price too. I managed to score three for $600 off fleabay. Heck of a find.
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post #26 of 40 Old 11-04-2016, 01:05 PM
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out of curiosity ,what makes the jbls so good?

64 base level speakers $10k
28 height speakers $10k,
14 subwoofers $10k
90% of the movie sound coming from the center channel - priceless.
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post #27 of 40 Old 11-06-2016, 06:13 AM
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OP why isn't the waveguide centered with the woofer in the 4pi center speaker?
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post #28 of 40 Old 11-06-2016, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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OP why isn't the waveguide centered with the woofer in the 4pi center speaker?
I built per Wayne Parham's design without deviation. Some have built the center channel speaker sealed with the waveguide centered. Parham does not recommend moving the port since the cabinet is carefully designed to keep nodes inside the box from occurring where the port is located.

www.pispeakers.com

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Building Bass - Subs
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post #29 of 40 Old 11-06-2016, 09:35 AM
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My center channel 4 Pi has the waveguide centered. I followed the instructions from Wayne for this, but the trade-off is that it is sealed (the 2226H driver is not a deep bass driver under best circumstances, in a sealed enclosure it is good to about 100 Hz or so).

I would go the way @petew is going if I were to do it over. Indeed, I am likely to retire the sealed enter and keep one of my vented speakers as the center when I complete my current Pi/JBL- inspired LR build.

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post #30 of 40 Old 11-06-2016, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for checking in Filtor1.

I've been wanting to build the Pi mains for a while, but choked on the 2226H woofer price too. I managed to score three for $600 off fleabay. Heck of a find.
Heck of a find indeed! I would have ended up with the 4pi if I had found them for that.
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