or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › DIY Speakers and Subs › Turned my Pioneer SP-BS41LRs into SP-SS41LRs (also SP-FS51LR Pedestals and Dual Eclipse 88100DVC Sealed Boxes)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Turned my Pioneer SP-BS41LRs into SP-SS41LRs (also SP-FS51LR Pedestals and Dual Eclipse 88100DVC...

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Although my humble set-up is nothing compared to many of the amazing systems on the DIY forum, I figured I’d create a build-thread for everyone’s consideration.

When I first began assembling my home theater system (summer 2012), my primary goal was a budget system that performed above its cost. With all the acclaim surrounding Andrew Jones's Gen-one Pioneer speakers, I figured they would provide a good starting point. The OCD side of me demanded all speakers involved had the same size drivers and x-over points, so I chose the SP-BS41LR's for my surrounds and surround back speakers (since their drivers are identical to the SP-FS51LR towers and SP-C21LR center speaker).

I was very impressed with the performance of the bookshelf speakers, but as anyone who's owned them would attest to; they are not at all designed for wall-mounting. In particular for my room, the surround left speaker would need to be mounted at face height at the point where the hallway and living room meet. Mounting them in a way that does not interfere with the rear-port's ability to operate would require front baffles stick out 12" off the wall. Not only would this not be aesthetically pleasing, but would also present a serious obstacle to avoid every time we walked down the hall.

So, I solution was to build new boxes and transfer all of the internal components. I wanted the final product to sound as close to the originals as possible (only better suited for wall mounting). I designed the boxes to be the same internal volume with the same port length and diameter.

Although I’ve been lurking at AVS since 2009, this will be my first attempt at posting any pics, so wish me luck…


Panels cut (3/4" MDF for the front baffle, 1/2" for the rest)


Used a Jasper Jig and Jig saw to cut the holes for the drivers


Panels dry-fit


Port holes cut; drivers and ports fit


PL Premium applied to bracing; sides and back of boxes previously glued and brad nailed


Prepping front baffles for gluing (roughed up attachment points, prior to wetting)


Glue applied and spread


Box clamped for 24 hours


All four boxes after initial sanding, brad holes filled


Close-up of front baffle round-over


Another angle

And for the big reveal...







(After vinyl laminate applied, drivers, terminal cups, mounting bracket, and ports installed)
Edited by Philip Frederick - 2/24/13 at 4:52pm
post #2 of 33
Wow great job!
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
After finishing the boxes for the surrounds, my next project was to raise the tweeter height on the towers to ear level. I decided to build some pedestal bases to accomplish this...


Panels cut and dry-fit


View of both



Sections glued together (don't have any pics, but clamping these without individual sections sliding out of place was a PITA).


After sanding




This is how I integrated the floor spike inserts into the bottom of the pedestal (later the two pieces of the bottoms were glued together)




Pedestals assembled





Installed the unfinished bases to make sure everything fit before applying the laminate


Height comparison (with and without bases)




Laminate installed (in comparing the Dayton Audio Black Ash finish to that of the Pioneers, the Pioneers have better blacks and higher contrast biggrin.gif). The difference in color is not really noticeable except under direct sunlight (and camera flashes).
Edited by Philip Frederick - 2/24/13 at 5:35pm
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
After getting my surrounds hung and the tweeters on the towers brought up to ear-level, the next step was to add some much needed bass to the system.

I’d contemplated just buying a couple Pioneer SW-8’s and calling it a day, but the subs seem to be the weak-link in the Andrew Jones line, and that would have been too easy anyway.

I had three Eclipse 88100DVC 10” subs sitting in a closet in my basement just going to waste, so I decided to integrate two of them into my home theater. I’d previously had all three installed in my ‘97 GTP driven with 500w RMS per sub.

For anyone not familiar with these particular subs, they were probably (at least in my opinion) the best combination of SQ and SPL available for mobile audio in the late ‘90s (this was prior to JL’s release of the W7). They were built by TC Sounds for Eclipse before TC started marketing their own drivers. In comparison to TC’s current offerings, I’d put them a step above the Epic line (the Eclipses have larger 3” voice coils and higher excursion capabilities) but probably not on-par with the Axis. I’d run them HARD for over a decade without even a hiccup, so I hope they will continue to function without issue in the home theater.

These drivers were designed for small sealed boxes. The original manual listed some, but not all of the T-S Parameters that WinISD seems to require for modeling box designs so I decided to just build two 1 cubic foot sealed boxes.

On to the pictures...


Panels cut

Assembling the exterior panels...






A view from the inside

My tolerances did not end up as tight on the exterior panels for the subs; if they had (or if I'd access to a dado blade) I would have taken a different approach with the bracing. Working with not perfectly square boxes, this is the bracing design I settled for and the progression of installing it...







At this point, I did not want to finish the bracing until the hurricane nuts I'd ordered arrived (so I could see how they might interfere), so I moved on to other things...


Pre-sanding


Post-sanding


Locations marked for driver mounting holes


Hurricane nuts arrived; finished the bracing


Hurricane nuts glued in and drying; filed the construction screw holes with wood putty

Inserts for spikes installed; spikes test-fit...




Applying laminate

A couple of finished pics...


Edited by Philip Frederick - 2/25/13 at 9:00pm
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
A few pics of everything put together...


Front-stage (lizard tank has since been relocated, also switched from banana plugs to spades so the speaker wires don't stick up and out of the speakers).


Another pic of the front


Rear right


Rear left (note the hallway mounting location of the surround left)

Thanks for looking everybody!
Edited by Philip Frederick - 4/15/13 at 9:28pm
post #6 of 33
Very nice! How do they sound?
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post

Very nice! How do they sound?

Thanks! After the boxes were done but before transferring the components for all four speakers, I did a side-by-side comparison; I really couldn't hear a noticeable difference in the sound between the originals and the boxes I designed to hang on the wall (I'm sure if I had access to precision measuring equipment, Andrew's curved cabinet design would have certainly proved itself to be superior, but overall I'm very happy with how they turned out smile.gif).
post #8 of 33
Awesome job man! My only question now is, why not DIY some speakers from the get go?
post #9 of 33
Philip, your work is outstanding!

Can I ask for a few close up shots of your edge work? What technique did you use to get your seams to look so professional? Did you apply any type of protective finish to the laminate (poly, min wax, other...)?

For your stands, (boxes as well) did you CNC the cuts? I noticed 0 tolerance in your dry fit photos. Just perfect.

What was the final grit you used before applying the laminate?
Edited by popalock - 2/25/13 at 5:36pm
post #10 of 33
Bump for Popalock! I would also like to know how you made such precise cuts.
post #11 of 33
I have to agree with everyone else here. Great work!

But Jay's question is pretty good. You've clearly got the cabinet making perfected. All out DIY might be your next way to step up in value.
post #12 of 33
If thats not cnc'ed i will be truly impressed! Outstanding work smile.gif
post #13 of 33
Very nice!

That looks like a commercial offering.

Good work!
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Awesome job man! My only question now is, why not DIY some speakers from the get go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

I have to agree with everyone else here. Great work!

But Jay's question is pretty good. You've clearly got the cabinet making perfected. All out DIY might be your next way to step up in value.

Thanks guys!

In hindsight, I may have decided to go the full DIY route... Originally, I had no intention of spending as much time/effort in building my system. However, once I got the the bookshelf speakers in hand I realized I had no choice but to build some boxes if I wanted to mount them. The bases for the towers were just a spur of the moment decision after I finished the boxes; my garage was already trashed w/MDF dust and I had left over wood and laminate so I figured 'why not?'

Not to start a huge debate to the contrary, but I'm not positive I could have built 2 towers, 4 surrounds, and a center that sound as good as these Andrew Jones speakers for the $389 (total) I paid for all seven speakers (I feel like a practically stole them biggrin.gif)

I'll definitely be considering a full DIY set-up for my next system (probably years down the road, unless the itch creeps up sooner and the wife agrees to it).
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock View Post

Philip, your work is outstanding!

Can I ask for a few close up shots of your edge work? What technique did you use to get your seams to look so professional? Did you apply any type of protective finish to the laminate (poly, min wax, other...)?

For your stands, (boxes as well) did you CNC the cuts? I noticed 0 tolerance in your dry fit photos. Just perfect.

What was the final grit you used before applying the laminate?

Thanks for the kind words papalock... I’ll do my best to respond to the questions with ‘easy’ answers right now, but I think it’s the method/strategy I use on the table saw which contributes most to the tolerances obtained on the boxes (I’ll attempt to do a write-up at a later time for that and post some close-up shots)…

First, I did not apply any finish to the laminate; it is just Dayton Audio’s Black Ash Vinyl Laminate (available from partsexpress.com). I’ve been pretty happy with this product. I did not find too many ‘defects’ and was able to use almost all of the 18’ roll with very little waste. It would be even better if it had more contrast and depth to the grain like the laminate used on the Pioneers, but overall it looks pretty good.

I did not CNC any of my cuts (oh what I would give for an CNC machine cool.gif)…

For the surrounds I used a circular saw with a clamping straight-edge, and portable table saw for the exterior cuts. I used a Jasper Jig and a plunge-router with a ¼” spiral up-cut bit for the holes for the drivers, and a jig-saw for the odd-shaped cuts inside the recessed circles for the mid-ranges and the rectangles for the terminal cups.

To make each ‘layer’ of the tower pedestals, I first created a template by tracing the outline of the footprint of each tower (they were not identical) onto a piece of wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. I made two more templates from the first (one larger for the bottom two layers of the base and one smaller for the middle layers. Then I would nail the template to a piece of wood that was rough-cut slightly larger and use a router trim bit (the version with the bearing closer to the router with the blade beneath) to make the rough-cut piece identical to the template. I’d pry them apart and start over with a new rough-cut piece until I had all 8 pieces needed for each pedestal.

As for sanding, I used 120 grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander to remove all excess glue and smooth the seams. The wood itself does not need to be all that ‘slick’, but I found that the glue ‘lines’ between each panel were what tended to show through the laminate the most, so I made sure I sanded enough to the point I couldn’t feel the glue lines when rubbing my finger across them.
post #16 of 33
That is great looking..

I will share this with Andrew......I am sure he will be impressed....

Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
post #17 of 33
Really clean work. You have a steady hand.
post #18 of 33
Nice work - very impressive. I am using three of the Pioneer C21s as my front left/center/right speakers, which I am very much enjoying. A reason for your custom speaker boxes, was to eliminate the issue of port distance from the wall. I am planning to eventually mount my C21s to a wall, which will provide at most 2 or 3 inches of distance from the wall. I wonder how much that will compromise the sound quality, given that Pioneer recommends in the instructions, 12 or so inches from the wall?
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo View Post

That is great looking..

I will share this with Andrew......I am sure he will be impressed....

Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics

Thanks Chris!

It certainly means a lot coming from you smile.gif. I can honestly say I've been thoroughly pleased with how good these sound. I'm just glad you and Andrew were able to bring to market a line of speakers with such a high performance-to-dollar ratio.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indio22 View Post

Nice work - very impressive. I am using three of the Pioneer C21s as my front left/center/right speakers, which I am very much enjoying. A reason for your custom speaker boxes, was to eliminate the issue of port distance from the wall. I am planning to eventually mount my C21s to a wall, which will provide at most 2 or 3 inches of distance from the wall. I wonder how much that will compromise the sound quality, given that Pioneer recommends in the instructions, 12 or so inches from the wall?

Hi indio,

I think as long as you have them 2 to 3 inches off the wall, it should not interfere with the ports operating properly. I believe the manual suggests the distance it does because speakers in general (even if not ported in the rear) will have a flatter response when they are further away from the wall.

For my specific setup, had it not been necessary to place one of the speakers in a hallway, I probably wouldn't have bothered to design/build different boxes; I would have bought some mounts similar to these http://www.pinpointmounts.com/am10.html (or just put them on shelves).
post #21 of 33
Wow Philip. Very nice job. I'm thoroughly impressed. Looks like very high craftsmanship and attention to detail.
I would not be concerned with thoughts of a difference in sound due to the cabinets. The ones you have built look to be very solid and well braced.
I glad you are happy with the results. You should be very proud.

I will be at the Axpona show next week in Chicago. If you are planning on attending I'll be floating around at a couple of the rooms. Stop by and say Hi.

Regards

Andrew
post #22 of 33
Holy crap! What a great job!!

Gonna be at THE show this year Andrew? biggrin.gif
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

Wow Philip. Very nice job. I'm thoroughly impressed. Looks like very high craftsmanship and attention to detail.
I would not be concerned with thoughts of a difference in sound due to the cabinets. The ones you have built look to be very solid and well braced.
I glad you are happy with the results. You should be very proud.

I will be at the Axpona show next week in Chicago. If you are planning on attending I'll be floating around at a couple of the rooms. Stop by and say Hi.

Regards

Andrew

Thanks Andrew!

When I originally posted my build thread, I certainly didn't anticipate it would be viewed by the man who made it all possible biggrin.gif

I'd made my way into the TAD room at the Venetian during CES 2010, but I didn't see anyone in the room at the time (it must have been in between demos). The company I work for sent me there on business, and I had a lot of ground to cover so I didn't stick around. In hindsight, I wish I would have; I'd have loved to have had the chance to hear the Reference One. At least I can say they looked absolutely gorgeous in person.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment on my build smile.gif
post #24 of 33
Beautiful craftsmanship !
Just subscribed. I hope Phillip takes us along for another DIY build smile.gif
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
The video quality went to crap when I posted it to Youtube (anyone know a better alternative?), but here's an in-box excursion video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIv19Xxd86E

Between the 26 and 28 second mark, the frequency of the sub catches up to the frame-rate of my camera and you can get a better sense of the actual movement...
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Frederick View Post

The video quality went to crap when I posted it to Youtube (anyone know a better alternative?), but here's an in-box excursion video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIv19Xxd86E

Between the 26 and 28 second mark, the frequency of the sub catches up to the frame-rate of my camera and you can get a better sense of the actual movement...

Those old Eclipse get down... Nice video, but.... How about a video tutorial on how you made your veneer edge work so damn clean...

biggrin.gif
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock View Post

Those old Eclipse get down... Nice video, but.... How about a video tutorial on how you made your veneer edge work so damn clean...

biggrin.gif

+1 I've got some of the same veneer from PE that you used and I would love to see how you made it look so nice.
post #28 of 33
Looks great dude! Anybody ever try to remove the grills on the Pioneer SP-FS51-LR or bookshelfs?
post #29 of 33
Nice craftmanship! Hope it sounds awesome.
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afterlife2 View Post

Looks great dude! Anybody ever try to remove the grills on the Pioneer SP-FS51-LR or bookshelfs?

Thanks! It's not too difficult to remove the grills; I used a small metal 'pick' set... Stick two of the picks in the little holes right near the edge maybe an inch apart and pull up gently. Then work your way around the edge of the grill doing the same until it pulls all the way out.

Pulling in two places rather than one helps to prevent accidentally bending the grill.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: DIY Speakers and Subs
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › DIY Speakers and Subs › Turned my Pioneer SP-BS41LRs into SP-SS41LRs (also SP-FS51LR Pedestals and Dual Eclipse 88100DVC Sealed Boxes)