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AE TD12X Ported Mains Build

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm wanting to build some new mains, and got in on the AE GB earlier this spring for a couple of TD12X using bwaslo's XO design found over here at DIY Audio. Originally I wanted to go sealed + stands, but I decided to just say the hell with it and go with ported monkey coffin towers so I could run them full range. I'm having a little trouble modeling them and could use your help!

I'm gonna use a pre-cut AE TD12 baffle from Erich. I have two of the 40" on order as we speak. The dims I'm considering are roughly 36" x 14.5" x 12". That gets me pretty close to 2.5cubes volume.

Here's where the problem starts. I downloaded the T/S params from this thread at HTS, and loaded them up into WinISD Pro. This is where I run into problems.

WinISD Pro says with 2.5cubes, I want a 2.5"H x 13"W x 17.1"D port for 40hz tune. That's fine by me, but when I model the port velocity it looks terrible at 500w.



It even looks bad at 150W:



Yet, beastaudio went with 2x13x13 slot port in 2.5cubes over in his build thread using the same design. When I model 2x13x13 in 2.5 cubes with 40hz tuning and 150w, this is what I'm seeing for port velocity.



Doesn't that look like it'll be audible at 50hz? I want to avoid chuffing at all costs!

I need some help because I want to start making sawdust today and/or tomorrow.

Are my models off?
What are the best slot port dimensions to get 40hz tuning out of 2.5 cubes towers while keeping port chuffing to a minimum?
Should I change the cab dimensions? I could go a little deeper depth if necessary.
post #2 of 37
John from AE modeled my ported TD12X tower and port dimensions to allow up to 750w while keeping port velocity in check. Since you are also using the 40" baffle, you should check out my TD12X build for the dimensions.

Mine are tuned to 32hz, and sound outstanding.

Actually, we changed dimensions last minute.

Here are 13" port dimensions and length:

Surrounds (30" baffle) 1.5 x 13 x 17.75"

Towers (40" baffle) 2 x 13 x 25"

40 x 14.5 x 14.5 for the tower
Edited by bhazard - 7/12/13 at 11:26am
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Yep, bhazard, you and beast were the inspiration for my decision to go this direction. Thanks for being the pioneers of this design!

I definitely read and reread both your threads, and when I modeled both of your dims/wattage/ports, it didn't add up. This is precisely why I need help.

Here's what WinISD is showing me with 3.2cubes (after port & driver & bracing), 32hz tuning, and 2x13 port (it figured out length) @ 750W:



My model claims that port velocity is off the charts with your specs and 750W. frown.gif If I change the port length to your 25" depth, WinISD claims the tuning is 27.3hz.

I feel like such a nube.
post #4 of 37

Unless I'm doing something wrong...here is 2.5cu ft with a 40hz tune and 500w. No highpass added

 

 

 

Edit: The problem you are having is you have Winisd setup to show ft/s instead of m/s.

 

Go to File- Options- Near the bottom where it says "Air Velocity", click on ft/s till it switches to m/s.

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

Unless I'm doing something wrong...here is 2.5cu ft with a 40hz tune and 500w. No highpass added





Edit: The problem you are having is you have Winisd setup to show ft/s instead of m/s.

Go to File- Options- Near the bottom where it says "Air Velocity", click on ft/s till it switches to m/s.

That is exactly it! Thank you, Mrkazador. You're a scholar and a gentleman! Here's with 500W in 2.5cubes @ 32hz tune.



Now I can get to making sawdust. Yippie!

P.S. Mrkazador, if you want I can help get your SpecLab graphs a little finer grained, or help you with the process to do it fully digital, bit-for-bit, without using a sound card!
post #6 of 37

I did try messing with the FFT settings in Speclab but I reverted back to MaxMercys stock settings. He also showed me how to capture from a file but I find it easier just to play the movie and capture. I have all my movies on a server so its not that difficult to do. Thanks for the offer though!

post #7 of 37
Let us know how these bad boys turn out. I'm more than happy with mine.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
post #8 of 37
Teaser



Cutting done, boxes glued up (except baffles), Awesome crossovers!!
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
I've been slackin' a little bit on updating, so here are a few progress pics.

Pieces ripped and holes cut



Clamp porn



Halfway there...



Great looking XO designed by BWaslo, built by mtg90 (with upgraded caps)



Obligatory WG & CD unboxing

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Gettin closer!

Clamp porn.



Ports routed.



Port detail.



Gonna attempt to spruce them up so they're not just standard monkey coffins. Starting on that tmw.
post #11 of 37
Loving it so far. Nice to see another tower with these.

Measure once completed. I flipped my tweeter wires and it sounded noticeably better.

Oh, and try them in full range first thing smile.gif

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Definitely going to reverse the polarity on the tweeters from the getgo, though I'd really like to see you or beast be the guinea pigs who measure the differences for verification. wink.gif

The plan is to, once complete, audition them against Pete's B&W 804 Diamonds with no subs or bass management. Measurements will come later. I'm short of time, with the new semester starting on Monday the 19th.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nube View Post

....The plan is to, once complete, audition them against Pete's B&W 804 Diamonds with no subs or bass management.....

My 804's are first generation, not diamond tweeters.

And I thought we were going to audition them in their mdf naked glory - tonight!
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nube View Post

Definitely going to reverse the polarity on the tweeters from the getgo, though I'd really like to see you or beast be the guinea pigs who measure the differences for verification. wink.gif

The plan is to, once complete, audition them against Pete's B&W 804 Diamonds with no subs or bass management. Measurements will come later. I'm short of time, with the new semester starting on Monday the 19th.

I am getting around to it. I won't be able to tonight, and have been tackling what I think is a dying zone 2 amp situation this week as well as boxing up some stuff getting sent out, but it is definitely on the short "to-do" list!!!!
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Couldn't stand it any more, now that the cabs are all but done. I decided to rough in the speakers tonight, just wiring them up (reversed polarity on the tweeters) and bolting them down, no gaskets or anything since I'm gonna pull the drivers to finish the cabs in Duratex.

We compared them to Pete's B&W 804s in 2ch stereo, with a signal chain of an Oppo 103? and Outlaw 200W mono amps (?) per channel, with no subs or processing. Here's a quick shot of the smackdown.



Some of the demo material included a couple of really dynamic recordings of Diana Reeves with exceptional mixing of all the accompanying musicians; almost the entire Cincinnati Pops (?) recording of "Carmen the musical" including the clearly apparent HVAC in the background, especially focusing on "Los Torreadors;" a track with great vocals from The Charlie Daniels Band, Yo-Yo Ma's "Appalachian Waltz," Sublime's "Date Rape;" and many others.

The difference between these DIY TD12X and the B&Ws was really pronounced, with the B&Ws being overwhelmed (at moderate volume levels) by the high vocals of Ms. Reeves pretty much right away. All meaningless audiophile speak aside, I felt like the B&Ws were pretty good until they weren't. They overemphasized the vocals (which made me wonder if the reversed polarity on the TD12X + 360 XO was right or wrong) and sacrificed a lot of clarity & depth in the mids and bass. They started to show their limits at well below the full 200W output of the amps.

By contrast, these DIY behemoths stayed true to the recording on everything, with the Denovo DNA-360 CD & AE TD12X performing amazingly well. The dynamics and headroom are simply shocking with this combination - from the absolutely THUNDEROUS-yet-controlled tympani in Los Torreadors and the spectacular imaging in the other tracks of that musical, to the intricate mixing of Diana Reeves' supporting instruments, to the subtleties of the bassline in Sublime's stuff, everything was expertly reproduced by these DIY speakers at every volume level. The only area where I felt like they might be slightly overemphasized was in the deep bass, or the area usually reserved for the subs. While they were good, sometimes there was a pronouncement in this region that sounded a little overblown. I think it may have been the recordings, though, as it wasn't evident on every recording (and not all of which I was familiar with).

Overall, these DIY so far get 5 stars for clarity, dynamics, and headroom. They weren't tested on any movies, but I can't imagine them being anything less than amazing for HT content, especially if crossed well above their tuning. I think the design ends up around 36Hz tuning with a power handling capacity of some ~5 or 600W, which is well beyond what I'll ever give them. I'm out of town this weekend, so Pete's gonna put them through their paces on movies and concert DVD content. He was pretty blown away by them in the 2ch audition, and I can't wait to hear his thoughts on other content.
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
I felt like, in Pete's theater with no treatments, that the combination of the DIY TD12X + DNA-360 with the bwaslo XO (tweeter polarity reversed) created a HUGE sound stage that was brilliantly honest to the original mix of these varied recordings.

I toed the speakers in at ~45deg from the corners, and they were ~4m from the LP. They sounded spectacular while creating a stage that met or exceeded any orpheum or concert hall I've been in. They evinced this honest perception of being right there with the musicians that I haven't experienced with any other speakers, completely enveloping the entire room in a way that made me frequently question whether the surrounds and processor were working. They weren't; this was purely 2ch bliss.

Some individual notes - the stick traipsing off the drum, the breath of the flutist, the subterranean HVAC in the background, and the picks sliding off Satriani's rhythm guitarist's strings were all clear and evident while the rest of each recording unfolded as intended. It was quite an amazing demo, especially considering we didn't even have a single drink to commemorate the occasion!

Pete, you gotta build your 7Pi now, all monetary concerns aside. smile.gif
post #17 of 37
bravo!
post #18 of 37
"While they were good, sometimes there was a pronouncement in this region that sounded a little overblown."

that could very well be a room resonance/mode.
post #19 of 37
Give them 20 hrs, and re-listen to your original demo material with them. I felt like my soundstage expanded at that time, and that was before I knew about the reversed tweeter.

Music is excellent on these, but they are jaw dropping during movies.

I may eventually buy the new 4 channel Inuke amp and give these speakers 450w each. They can easily handle it, and I feel the dynamics will increase further. I think I would notice it over my XPA-5.

Everything you said is basically spot on though. Thunderous, yet so clear. I've never heard a speaker hit with such bass and clarity at the same time.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
post #20 of 37
I'll give a more detailed review when I get some time, but my short review is "Outstanding!"

We were averaging 90-95 dB at the listening position with occasional 100+ dB peaks with absolutely no strain. Dynamics are simply amazing.

Source was either Oppo BDP-83 via coax digital audio - OR - Sonos zone player via optical with high bitrate lossy WMA and MP3 files to...
Ancient Outlaw 990 pre-pro
Long XLR interconnects to two Rotel RB-991 power amps @ 2 ch x 200 watt. Each amp driving one speaker - I have the corresponding surround connected to the other amp channel.

[edited to correct amp power rating]
Edited by petew - 8/15/13 at 1:49pm
post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
I can never remember your gear, Pete. Thanks for correcting all that. smile.gif So they were only maybe getting 100W each? Yikes. They sure do deserve good recordings & lossless formats; these towers point out the bad ones almost immediately.

LTD, I thought it might be a room mode initially, but Pete's room, with basically no treatments, looks like this at the LP from the subs with zero EQ:



The positioning of the subs prolly cancel modes, but I'm thinking there just aren't many. Since that overemphasis was not present on everything, it could have been a mode, or simply the recordings.

bhazard, I like how you think! I had the same epiphany - these will actually improve in the coming weeks. Shocking value for the money.
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Total cost to build, including shipping:
Code:
2x AE TD12X:        $518
2x DNA-360:          $151
2x 40" Baffles:        $50
2x SEOS12m:        $56
(DIYSG shipping):   $27.05
2x sheets Chiply:    $68
XO Parts & tcups:   $159.38
XO Assy + ship:     $40.00
Grill magnets:         $8.91

Total comes to: $1078.34

or, per speaker: $539.17 each

Not bad. Not bad at all.
post #23 of 37
that's a really great price and i'm not even sure what the next closest thing would be in the retail, or i.d., market.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

that's a really great price and i'm not even sure what the next closest thing would be in the retail, or i.d., market.

There isn't anything else I can think of that can take the power and provide such a meaty full range. They are more versatile than the Noesis being able to run full range, but lack the refinement of the BMS coax that costs more than one of these speakers.
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post

Give them 20 hrs, and re-listen to your original demo material with them. I felt like my soundstage expanded at that time, and that was before I knew about the reversed tweeter.

Music is excellent on these, but they are jaw dropping during movies.

I may eventually buy the new 4 channel Inuke amp and give these speakers 450w each. They can easily handle it, and I feel the dynamics will increase further. I think I would notice it over my XPA-5.

Everything you said is basically spot on though. Thunderous, yet so clear. I've never heard a speaker hit with such bass and clarity at the same time.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4

I had mine on the sunfire which dumps 800 watts at them being 4 ohm. It was unreal. I had to stop way before I ran out of juice because it was physically painful on my ears. peaks somewhere near 120dB's with the subs OFF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

that's a really great price and i'm not even sure what the next closest thing would be in the retail, or i.d., market.

I have to say for that value, that they really do many things correct and being full range, they have certain things that absolutely low my mind.
post #26 of 37
I did some two channel listening last night with the subs engaged and crossed at 60Hz. I don't think I've ever heard a better sounding system. The demo room my dealer used to have with five B&W signature 800's might have topped this, but I'm not sure (acoustic memory being what it is). The demo room must have sounded better since the power cables cost more than my whole system.

I spun tracks from a dozen or so CD's, mostly rock, all very well recorded. I'm not good at flowery audiopile terms so I'll skip that part. Then I watched Eric Clapton One More Car, One More Rider with phantom center and side surrounds engaged - this recording is on DVD with DTS 5.1 lossy audio. The dynamics here bested anything on CD. The surround mix is subtle on this recording with mostly audience sounds and room ambience. Phantom center was very effective from the center seat but the soundstage did collapse for the most part when moving to either end of the couch. I think speaker placement and toe-in will affect this some but the speaker wires are too short to allow wider spread and I didn't want to quit listening long enough to make up another set of cables. That's on today's to-do list.

I'll be rolling more concert videos and maybe catch a movie or two before Nube gets back and hauls these babies away. They'll be nice and broken in for him upon his return! I can't find words to describe how great these speakers are.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
These have been built for awhile now, but I didn't get to start finishing them with stain, poly, and Duratex until a couple of weeks ago. Here are a few pics of that process.

I conditioned the Chinese birch ply, filled with wood filler where necessary, sanded, stained and sanded 3x, then put on three coats of poly. Unfortunately, even after all that prep work, the cheap ply was really inconsistent with how it took the stain.



Some sections turned out great, and some not so great. It was a quick, cheap and dirty cabinet build, so I'm not too concerned. I just wanted them OK to put in my living room, and didn't need masterpieces.

Then I went on to mask for applying Duratex on the baffles. I also had to bondo two corners that I had squared off when routing the beveled edge. They turned out pretty well.



Bottom corner view. The Duratex 2nd coat looks pretty good.



Overhead view.

post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
I reinstalled the drivers (with the polarity switched on the CD!), and used gasket tape this time. Here's how they turned out via crappy camera pics, in my living room that doubles as a P90X workout room.

Not too shabby. I love the look of the matte SEOS waveguide.



Another view.

post #29 of 37
Awesome! I would like to hear your impressions after the polarity switch when you get a chance to do so.
post #30 of 37
Those look fantastic! I'm sure they're simply wonderful to listen to. A nice selection of choices.
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