OJ's DIYSG HTM-12 Build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 49 Old 12-07-2016, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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OJ's DIYSG HTM-12 Build

With our basement renovation finally making some progress, and the design of the theatre taking shape, it was finally time to decide what speakers to use in the new space. Since I will be putting them behind the AT screen, I knew I wanted three identical speakers up front. I have been planning this project for so long that I've had a lot of different speakers in mind over the years (yes, years)... NatP, Modula MTM, Dayton RS-P WWMTM, Mini Statement... I liked aspects of all of those (and many other) options, but none of them really firmly established themselves as a clear, definitive choice. At least until I discovered DIY Sound Group.

Reading about the SEOS speakers, I knew that this was going to be it. The question was "what flavour of SEOS?" I started out thinking the Fusion 6 would be the one, then moved on to basically consider nearly every model in the Fusion and Cinema lines. Some were easy to eliminate due to their large size. Then I learned that the larger SEOS horns were generally more desirable, and started to focus on that, which led me to the 88 Special. This speaker was shallow, wall mountable, praised for its clarity and output, and it used the big SEOS-15 waveguide. It seemed perfect, and I was just waiting until we got closer to starting the full project before ordering. And then I was pointed to the HTM line, which made me start all over again.

The things that I was looking for in the front stage were: first and foremost, clear and clean dialogue, good output to match a pair of 18" subs, and a depth that would fit behind a shallow 1' false wall in the screen area. The reviews of the 88 Special suggested that it was fantastic for dialogue, and speaking with Erich about my goals and needs reassured me that they would shine in my setup. Once I had checked out the HTM line a bit, which wasn't easy because they were so new that there was barely any information out on them, I became convinced that they might be a little bit better than the 88 Special, and Erich assured me that I would be happy either way. In the end I decided that I have room for the HTM-12, so I'd go for the big woofer and SEOS-15 to make sure I didn't leave any performance on the table. Once @eng-399 got his review of his HTM-10 build up online, I was 100% convinced that I was making the right choice. If the 10s impressed him that much, the 12s must be spectacular.

I have received my kits, and I'll try to move these along reasonably quickly, but with a 1 year old and a 3 year old at home, there isn't much time for projects. I'm very excited about these, so I'll do my best to put in build time whenever I can, and I ordered the flat packs with them so that will help immensely.

Erich (@Erich H) and Matt (@mtg90) have been extremely patient and helpful throughout my search, and always took time to answer my questions quickly and thoroughly. If the speakers end up half as good as the customer service experience has been, I'm in for a treat. Thanks again guys.

Here are a few pics... the 5 boxes (I also ordered eight Volt-6 speakers for surround and ceiling duty) going into my car for the drive across the border, Erich's legendary packing, and a baby for scale of the HTM-12 baffle.
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post #2 of 49 Old 12-07-2016, 12:21 PM
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I know how it is with kids I have a 5 and 7 year old and finding time is hard. I normally plan everything out inside my house and then run out to the garage for as long as the kids stay busy which is about 1 to maybe 2 hours max. Take your time maybe prep for things to be done once they go to bed and then start building. There's been a lot of the diy projects I've built late into the night. This will be a fun build to watch!
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post #3 of 49 Old 12-07-2016, 12:32 PM
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I'm following and awaiting a review. Good luck with your build. I've got a two and three year old, so I would generally find time when they are asleep, otherwise preoccupied or, if I'm lucky, off with my wife to the in-laws. The latter being the far better choice to have to rush to get things done (despite feeling that since they're gone I had to be working on the HT and speakers non-stop). I'm sure you'll be more than satisfied with your choice.
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post #4 of 49 Old 12-08-2016, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. During the week it seems I can get a good hour or two in (at most) after the kids have gone to bed, and we've done whatever needs to be done for the next day.

Last night I got some good crossover work in, and have most of the components glued down to the boards. I think everything looks right (minus the missing 2 caps per board), but I want to look at it with fresh eyes before I start to solder. You guys aren't kidding when you say you've underestimated the time it takes to do all these little jobs! I still have to zip tie the larger components, then solder, and then the boards will basically be done, and I can move on to cabinet assembly.

If anyone sees a major red flag, let me know before it's too late!
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post #5 of 49 Old 12-08-2016, 08:06 AM
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First picture bottom left. If that exposed part of the magnet wire is touching the inductor, I would move it away a little bit. Over time if they rub against each other due to vibration then it will cause problems. Otherwise it looks good to me.
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post #6 of 49 Old 12-08-2016, 08:13 AM
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Do those little green connectors come as part of the crossover kits?
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post #7 of 49 Old 12-08-2016, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyvision View Post
Do those little green connectors come as part of the crossover kits?
I believe they come with the boards bought from Matt. (mtg90).
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post #8 of 49 Old 12-09-2016, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja00 View Post
First picture bottom left. If that exposed part of the magnet wire is touching the inductor, I would move it away a little bit. Over time if they rub against each other due to vibration then it will cause problems. Otherwise it looks good to me.
Thanks Joe, I thought I had caught all of those, but I either missed that one or took the pic before I moved them. I also have 1 spot where the inductor coil is just about touching the hole where the lead goes through, so I'll try to reposition that one.

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Do those little green connectors come as part of the crossover kits?
psy, Joe is correct, they came with my mtg90 circuit boards. A nice little touch.

Baby steps last night and a little bit of progress. I got the bracing glued into 2 of the 3 speakers, but had to stop before I got to the third. Hopefully I'll get that together tonight, even though we have kids activities and then I have an appointment later in the evening. Then I hope to get the top/bottom/sides on all the enclosures over the weekend.
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post #9 of 49 Old 12-10-2016, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja00 View Post
First picture bottom left. If that exposed part of the magnet wire is touching the inductor, I would move it away a little bit. Over time if they rub against each other due to vibration then it will cause problems. Otherwise it looks good to me.
Just trying to learn, you're talking about the part I highlighted in red correct? If so, why would that be an issue if the rest of the wire is insulated?
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post #10 of 49 Old 12-10-2016, 12:25 PM
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Quite honestly it's not really an issue. It's probably more my OCD bordering on paranoia kicking in when making that comment.

You are right it normally should not be a problem. But over time with vibration, there is a chance the enamel on the wire will get damaged. Or if there was original damage somehow during construction or handling then there will be problems. But 99.99% of the time it should be fine. If it was me building though, I would rather not take that chance.
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post #11 of 49 Old 12-12-2016, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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A little bit of weekend progress.

The cabinets are now fully assembled, except for the front baffles. It was a bit of a grind, starting with tops and bottoms, and doing one speaker at a time due to lack of a decent workspace, and lack of clamps. I know I have more, but I have to collect some I had loaned out. It can't be said enough... you can NEVER have too many clamps. So, first was tops and bottoms for 1, 2, 3. Then on Sunday I managed to get the sides on all of them too.

I don't think my method or technique was too bad, but they all have a bit of a lip here and there, with some panel overlap. Nothing serious, and I think I have good solid glue joints, so it will just mean a little bit of cleanup sanding before the baffle goes on, and then some good filling and sanding before finishing, as usual.

You can see in a couple of the pics that I reversed a clamp to use as a spreader across the vertical centerline of the enclosure. I might have clamped a bit too hard when doing the tops and bottoms, which forced those panels a bit out of true. Just enough that it would make more work in the finishing stage, so I applied a tiny bit of spreading pressure on the centre brace and it came back in line nicely with the sides when I got them all clamped up.

I ran out of glue pretty early on, so I made a quick run out to Canadian Tire and thought I'd give this stuff a try. Elmer's Pro Bond Max. It goes on nice, and has a good amount of working time before it starts to set. Which is handy when I'm doing 2 panels at a time before I can tighten all the clamps. It looks/feels almost a bit like a glue with some MDF particles suspended in it. Not gritty at all, but a bit different than the Titebond / Gorilla / Straight Elmer's wood glue I had used before. So far I like it.

So next up for this week is to sand the edges flat for the bezel, finish crossovers, finalize a mounting location, and then I guess wait for my eBay binding posts. I forgot to add them to my order from Erich. I'm proud of myself for at least putting a little time in just about every day so far. Gotta keep up the momentum.
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post #12 of 49 Old 12-14-2016, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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More small steps done. All I had time to do lately was clean up the boxes with a little sanding. The edges on the face of the enclosure where the front baffle will attach were off by little bits on most of the joints, so I wanted to get a nice flat surface for gluing. I couldn't find my random orbital, so I went old school.

I tried to be careful when taking the lips off not to round the edges over too much but there was definitely a little bit of that in areas where I had to do heavy sanding, which shows in the closeup. While I was at it, I also cleaned up the outside corners and edges so there will be less filler involved in the final product. I started in the garage which was a terrible idea, before I moved out to my "mobile sanding base" a.k.a. the folding work table on the sidewalk.
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post #13 of 49 Old 12-18-2016, 08:47 AM
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Nice to see that I'm not the only one who drags stuff out in the weather for steps that generate a lot of dust!

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post #14 of 49 Old 12-19-2016, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice to see that I'm not the only one who drags stuff out in the weather for steps that generate a lot of dust!
NWCgrad, yeah, sometimes you just have to get that stuff OUT of the garage! When I did that sanding it wasn't so bad. To be honest I finished up in a T-shirt because I was getting too warm. Now, a week later, I'm dreading having to do it again in the finger numbing wind we've started to have. But I learned my lesson by trying to sand the first one inside, and I'm still wiping dust off of things. When the sanding & filling stage comes up soon I'll just have to man up and deal with it.
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post #15 of 49 Old 12-20-2016, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have now completed the crossovers, except for the wiring which I'll do tonight. I won't show pics of my soldering, because it started out pretty ugly, and only got marginally better by the end. I'm fairly confident that it will work, but it is far from pretty. I was used to doing much smaller connections, and was having trouble getting the little solder mounds to keep from "collapsing" in on themselves around the stems. By the end I mostly figured out the technique, but it was pretty fiddly.

I couldn't mount the boards yet, because I couldn't find my small zip ties, but I think I have a good location for them. I started to cut and lay out the Ultratouch, which is pretty nice to work with. It turns out one bag is just about the exact right amount for an HTM-12 cabinet, so the 3 bags I have will be perfect. I plan to mount the crossovers on the side of the enclosure, and basically line the inner cabinet with the insulation. I think I remember reading that it was OK to run a layer of it right over the crossover, but I wanted to make sure. I played around a bit with the lining, and have a few options below. the last piece will either go up and over the crossover and line the full side, (pretend the crossover is mounted in that last pic) or along the bottom under the ports and just up to the crossover on the side. I wasn't sure if the lining on the bottom might help to minimize any resonance in the ports, since it would be fairly snug under them.

Hopefully tonight I'll be able to...
- install the crossover wires
- do a quick sound check on each board
- mount the boards
- line all 3 cabinets
- glue and clamp the front baffles

I'm eager to start finishing these, and am still on pace for having them done by Christmas if I don't run into many delays. I did a test fit of the waveguide last night, and it is TIGHT. I'll have to sand a little bit of material out of the inner recessed area before finishing.

** Shoot, I just remembered that I still have to wait for the binding posts to arrive. I guess I could go ahead with finishing and sort of wing it when they arrive... we'll see. **
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post #16 of 49 Old 12-22-2016, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, turns out my list above was a bit ambitious. Lol. That night I got the zip ties done on all boards, and I think I did the wires on one. Last night I was able to buckle down a bit more, and get a few other things checked off the list.

I added all wires. I would have preferred to use nice black/red wires, but this was what I had on hand. Still easy to identify. Then it was time to get excited, because I could hook up the guts and give them a first test listen. At first I just connected everything on the bench. (NOTE: please ignore my current disaster zone work area. This is in the basement which we're currently trying to empty out to get ready for construction. Which means there's junk everywhere as we sort through it all.) The first pic shows that setup, and everything seemed to work properly but it was pretty tough to get an idea of the actual sound. Free air woofers definitely leave some to be desired, so I figured I'd pop a baffle on and test them in place. They definitely sounded better, but I wasn't able to go too loud since it was coming up on 11:00 and everyone else was in bed.

Once I was sure everything sounded right, I did a full layout with the ultratouch, found the best spot for the crossover, taking into consideration the ports and the binding posts I'll need to add, and then marked for pre-drilling. I decided to use Kreg pocket hole screws to mount the boards, because of the large flat head. But I only had 1 1/4" screws, which would have poked out the side of the box, so I added a rubber washer on top of the board and standoffs, which I think will work great. I didn't have time to cut and staple all the insulation in the other boxes, but all crossovers are mounted, and I'm ready to finish that up tonight.

I'm pretty sure I can attach the front baffles after that, and manage the binding post installation through the woofer cutout. I think they're pretty standard binding posts, but I haven't installed anything but terminal cups before. Are these basically just "drill hole... screw in... tighten... attach wires"? Here's a pic from the seller:



Any reason not to go ahead and close up the fronts? I'll still have a good amount of room to work, and I'll be that much closer to filling, sanding, priming, and painting.
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post #17 of 49 Old 12-22-2016, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
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Any reason not to go ahead and close up the fronts? I'll still have a good amount of room to work, and I'll be that much closer to filling, sanding, priming, and painting.
Looks like you're ready to me. I always install binding posts after close up and paint/finish is applied...easier to paint without them installed in cabinet. I like parts express dayton audio binding posts. Cheap and heavy duty.
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post #18 of 49 Old 12-22-2016, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you're ready to me. I always install binding posts after close up and paint/finish is applied...easier to paint without them installed in cabinet. I like parts express dayton audio binding posts. Cheap and heavy duty.
Thanks Patzig! Parts Express killed me with shipping and duty last time (to Canada) so they're off my list if I can avoid it. I would have included the ones from DIYSG but didn't remember until my order was shipped already.
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post #19 of 49 Old 12-22-2016, 01:29 PM
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Looking good! Glad to see you went with the denim insulation; that's really good stuff. I also use an electric stapler on cab lining. Learned my lesson with spray glue about 3x over.

You can put the baffles on but don't install the woofers yet; you need access to the inside of the back panel in order to tighten up the jamb nuts on the binding posts against the inside of the back panel.
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post #20 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking good! Glad to see you went with the denim insulation; that's really good stuff. I also use an electric stapler on cab lining. Learned my lesson with spray glue about 3x over.

You can put the baffles on but don't install the woofers yet; you need access to the inside of the back panel in order to tighten up the jamb nuts on the binding posts against the inside of the back panel.
Thanks Michael, I found the denim really nice to work with. I had read that it can be tough to cut, but I just used an old pair of scissors and it was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. Nice to handle, fairly easy to cut, and with the electric stapler it's as easy as BAM BAM BAM done. Especially once I switched to the longer staples. As you'll see in my next post, I did go ahead with the baffles, thanks for the confirmation.
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post #21 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 06:46 AM
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I've not found anywhere to get the denim in small quantities in the UK so gone with polyfill and wadding.

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post #22 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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We're picking up steam now! Last night I continued with insulation which went very smoothly. I have to say again how nice the Ultratouch is to work with, it made things easy. So, all 3 cabinets lined, with the rear panel on the crossover side just tacked into place at one end. This way I can flip it up to do the binding posts and then pop a few more staples in when that's done.

I figured I might as well go ahead with the baffles, even though my Christmas deadline is basically impossible now. That's OK, it was just a "loose" deadline. Since I had 7 clamps on hand at the moment, it meant I could only do one at a time, so I put one together last night, and then snuck down this morning before showering and heading to work to glue up a second while everyone else was asleep. 2 of 3 cabinets are done, and I'll get the 3rd baffle glued early this afternoon, since I'm in for a half day.

They will all need a preliminary sanding, then a cleanup and treatment with some filler, which I hope to tackle tomorrow. Things are going to be tight because we're having people over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day, and I will have a lot of household work and prep to help out with too. I'll try to get a little done each day, and I think it will be reasonable to say I can have these all finished up by New Year's Day.
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post #23 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyvision View Post
I've not found anywhere to get the denim in small quantities in the UK so gone with polyfill and wadding.
Psy, for some reason it's tough to find in Canada too. It's available, but always in limited quantities. 1 roll here... 2 rolls there. I think Rona had it on clearance for $6.50 a roll or something, but there was only 1 store in the city that had any, and they only had 2 rolls left, which wasn't worth the drive. I was lucky to find the 3 rolls I (exactly) needed pretty close to home, but if I needed any more I'd be out of luck.

Waiting for an update on your project! Come on, you and @tastyratz can't be moving slower than I am! lol.
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post #24 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 07:01 AM
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I'm away from home most of Xmas so I'll probably be last, hoping to cut the cabs on the 28th

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
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post #25 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 07:28 AM
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ha!
I wish I was making updates this week.
My life just turned into a country song. Major issues at work morning through night attention required, my son is sick, I got a horrible cold, my wife is sick, my cat just hit the vet with a $4,000 bill and will probably die for christmas which we are skipping on account of the cold.

You guys very well might beat me.
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post #26 of 49 Old 12-23-2016, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyvision View Post
I've not found anywhere to get the denim in small quantities in the UK so gone with polyfill and wadding.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
I couldn't find it here in Australia either ,plenty of alternatives but my OCD and that little voice in my head just wouldnt let me use them.
So I used shipito they purchased and freighted it to me.

What would be good if erich could incorperate the denim into the packaging.
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post #27 of 49 Old 12-26-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tastyratz View Post
ha!
I wish I was making updates this week.
My life just turned into a country song. Major issues at work morning through night attention required, my son is sick, I got a horrible cold, my wife is sick, my cat just hit the vet with a $4,000 bill and will probably die for christmas which we are skipping on account of the cold.

You guys very well might beat me.
I hope you are all feeling better.
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post #28 of 49 Old 12-29-2016, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Let's just ignore all my previous schedules and timelines, OK? Turns out getting work done over the holidays was pretty much impossible, so I just got a chance to do a little bit last night. I got a nice little cordless sander for Christmas, which was great because I have no idea where my old corded one was. What was less great was the fact that the 2 batteries I had were maybe half charged at best, so I had just enough juice to get all the edges done on one speaker before they both gave up on me. It could have been worse.

The edges on this one are all nice and clean now, so I slopped some filler along the joints. This stuff isn't very happy working out in the cold garage, but I made do and got a coat all around. Between the pallet of flooring for the basement and the pile of Christmas recycling that keeps growing, there isn't much room to work in my little single car these days, but it will be my new base of operations to get the speakers finished.

I'll go at it again tonight hopefully, with 2 fully charged batteries and see if I can get both remaining cabinets sanded and filled. We'll see how the batteries last, I did read some comments that the sander chews through them quickly.
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post #29 of 49 Old 12-29-2016, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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i don't know why I wasn't getting notifications of updates...

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyvision View Post
I'm away from home most of Xmas so I'll probably be last, hoping to cut the cabs on the 28th
Just work at your own pace, psy. It's kind of fun having other people to build with, but definitely not a race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tastyratz View Post
ha!
I wish I was making updates this week.
My life just turned into a country song. Major issues at work morning through night attention required, my son is sick, I got a horrible cold, my wife is sick, my cat just hit the vet with a $4,000 bill and will probably die for christmas which we are skipping on account of the cold.

You guys very well might beat me.
Sorry to hear all of that tasty! The boys and I had that cold over the holidays, I woke up Christmas morning feeling like hot garbage. Thankfully we're all on the tail end of it now. I hope you are all getting better too. Really sorry about your cat, it's always tough to lose a family pet, especially at Christmas!
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post #30 of 49 Old 12-30-2016, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Sanding and filling part 2 (of 3). Got a little more done last night, but even with 2 full batteries I didn't get completely finished. I was able to get most of the baffle lip off, and I even went at it with the sandpaper to get the rest of it close after my batteries died. Now I just need to give the 3rd speaker a final once-over, and some light fill.

I should be good to at least get them primed this weekend. We have zero New Years Eve plans, and we're keeping it that way. If things go smoothly I might even get to put a coat of paint on. I'll probably do 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint and call them done. Still waiting on binding posts, but those can be added after the finish dries.
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