DIYSG 88 Special & Volt 10 Build Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 138 Old 02-13-2015, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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DIYSG 88 Special & Volt 10 Build Thread

This thread will detail the build of my L/C/R 88 Specials and Surround/Rear Surround Volt 10's. This thread will be wordy and picture-intensive. You've been warned.

I love build threads. The pics, warts and all, and the journey of the build is what it's all about for me. If you're reading this, you already understand the draw of DIY; value for the money, better sound and capability than commercial offerings for 1/2 the price and the pride of saying "Those? I built those. YES, I built those!"

A little background on me and why I am building these. I've been a HT nut since the days of Dolby Pro Logic and whatever puny Kenwood speakers I bought from Crutchfield and a music nut way before that. For HT, over the years I progressed through various levels of off-the-shelf mains/surrounds/subs. My current setup...well, it's in the closet at the moment, but when it was setup is Axiom M22s L/R, VP150 Center & QS8s for L/R surround, powered by a Denon 3803. Sub is a SVS PB2-plus. It's been a great setup, but you know how it goes...bigger, better, faster, more! I decided I wanted to try something new...something potentially better. Lurked a bunch of DIYSG threads, asked some questions, weighed my options and here I am.

Now to the DIY part. "Back in the day" I built tens of car audio sub cabs for myself and friends. They weren't all pretty but they worked just fine. 5CF in a Honda to 12CF in a full sized fan. Sealed, ported with PVC pipe, slot ported, band pass; been there done that. Me and MDF go way back *cough-cough-damn MDF dust!* I've also built DIY PA cabs before as well. I built/own 4 BFM OTop12s and 4 T48s and have been very happy with them. So I am no stranger to DIY.

I have the tools and skills to build my own cabs, but this time around I gave myself a break and bought full kits. I'm a "looks good to the untrained eye" woodworker so anything CNC cut puts me to shame. Especially a CNC cut baffle for an 88 Special. I could do it, but it wouldn't be pretty. Also, a big part of the decision to do away with most of the "Y" in "DIY" for this build was the fact that my garage is now essentially 20% woodshop and 80% storage depot. I'm out of room...no place to roll out the table saw/outfeed table, etc. Which is part of the reason we're moving to a bigger house, which means I get a dedicated HT room, which is why I'm building these speakers. I DID mention this thread would be wordy.

Did I mention this would be a wordy thread? If you haven't already replied "TLDR", then you're in the right place, my friend.

Still with me? Great.

I took delivery today of 5 large boxes. None were particularly heavy but together weighed 259 pounds. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is 259 pounds of awesome.




And now to give full credit where credit is due. I had read about Erich's skills with packing these kits, but I'm pretty difficult to impress. I sell lots of stuff I no longer need online, so I ship a fair amount of oddly-shaped items myself. But I was not prepared for the Wizard Level 50, Dragonplate Armor, bomb-proof packing I experienced today. I'm sure it has happened that one of Erich's kits arrives damaged, but I'd bet good money it fell off the FedEx truck at 60mph, got run over by an Abrahams Tank and then trampled by 50 kindergarten-aged children. I've actually never seen something packed this well.

This box contains a single 88 Special kit. (baffle/drivers/horn/xover+the flat pack)



Open it and you see this. Tons of...cubes. QBERT!!! Remember the video game QBert? No Styrofoam peanuts here! We gots us some cubes!



Ho-lee-crap, this thing is packed well...let's clear this crap away....and we get...



A package within a package...WTH? Dig it out and we have... a mini-pallet!




Turns out Erich ships the kits "mini-palletized." It's a brilliant idea, really. Instead of a hundred little pieces floating around in a sea of peanuts..er...QBerts...you have one solid "package". And trust me, that little pallet is well-isolated from the outside world. Not a single dent in any of MDF panels, nor a squish of any of the cardboard boxes that hold the drivers/xover parts.

OK, wow, color me impressed! So let's take it apart. Oooooooh. Aaaaaaah. This is an 88 Special, then. I so COULD NOT DO THAT for the baffle. My router-foo is weaksauce compared to the CNC-FU-OF-DEATH.




I have never seen a 15" horn before. It's big. Like really big. Here it is next to my ordinary Dewalt cordless drill/driver.



Like I said, that is one big horn. All right. Onto the smaller boxes.

The Volt 10s were packed exactly like the 88's; bomb-proof. Here's angled Volt-10:



Note the matching angle of the top/bottom panels so that the baffle sits flush. A nice touch.



And lest you doubt the packing-mastery for these kits; here is a shot of my previously-empty trash can full of JUST kraft paper, Styrofoam blocks, cardboard angle pieces and filler strips.



What you don't see is the 40-gallon trash bag full of the styro peanuts/QBerts. The packaging of these kits literally could not be better. Thank you, Erich.

Tomorrow I will begin the actual build. I build cabs with PL Premium, brad nails and clamps. They will be finished in Duratex. Still undecided if I will round off the corners on all/some/none of the boxes. The room they are going in will be very dark, so probably not. But we'll see.

Thanks for reading! Much more to follow.

Last edited by michaelddd; 02-22-2015 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Title edited; thanks Mods!
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post #2 of 138 Old 02-13-2015, 09:37 PM
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I love your build

Oddly enough, 88's for LCR and Volt 8's for surrounds in angled flat packs are what I'm looking at. Some serious speaker [email protected] going on in this thread!

Tons of pictures and words--the more the better! My Infinity Overture 1 speakers are trembling with fear.
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post #3 of 138 Old 02-13-2015, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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DIYSG 88 Special & Volt 10 Build Thread

Glad you like it, 18Hurts. DIY really is where it's at, but it's a 2-part formula. You have to have the right design and you have to build it correctly/to spec. I've found if you have both of those things, you can surpass commercial offerings costing much more. Of course, your time has value. Some people don't DIY simply b/c they don't have the time. IMO, there is always time to ensure it's done right. Everything from the cabinet build to how the crossover is soldered together is important.

When I bought my Axiom setup...about 12 years ago...it was the schiznit. And honestly it still sounds GREAT. Joe Blow from Quantico would say "I can't believe it sounds so much better than my $2,439.49 Bose system! It really does sound nice. But we here on an Enthusiast's forum know better. There is NOTHING like the visceral slam of a gunshot during an alleyway-shootout scene to get your blood pumping. That's what it's all about. Not to date myself, but The Matrix Lobby Scene at Reference Level plus about +3db is just a whole lot of f'in fun! People who have never experienced a real HT before walk away not understanding what just happened. They either loved it and don't understand why, or they feel like their hearing has been permanently damaged...wussies.

Last edited by michaelddd; 02-13-2015 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Edited original thread to reflect Volt 10s. Sorry for the confusion.
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post #4 of 138 Old 02-13-2015, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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If an Admin would kindly edit this thread's title to reflect Volt 10, I'd appreciate it. Typo on my part.


*THANKS, ADMINS!*

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post #5 of 138 Old 02-14-2015, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently in the garage deciding where to put the terminal cups. Drilling the holes for them now, before beginning assembly. I'm making sure to take into account the driver portion of the horn...it's pretty thick. I'm pretty sure I can fit the terminal cup and the xover in one of the "squares" on the dadoed back panel. I just need to find some pics of an 88 Special Xover to gauge how big mine will be. E.G. find a well-made xover and then add an inch in both axis b/c I stink at xover layout. More pics later tonight.

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post #6 of 138 Old 02-14-2015, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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All right, so I've started making sawdust at least. It took me a few hours last night to unpack everything, separate/sort things into piles of MDF and piles of drivers and xover components and of course, to clean up. Anyone who's ever purchased one of Erich's kits knows what I'm talking about...and I had 5 boxes-worth to clean up from.

Tonight I got the "machining" out of the way. The very little bit of cutting I'd need to do with these kits, I wanted to get it all done and over with so I could clean up and put the tools away.

So, I started envisioning how the enclosures would go together and what steps I needed to do before I broke out the PL Premium and the brad nailer. One of those things is figuring out where the terminal cups would go. You can always cut that hole after the boxes are built, but it's much easier to do when you just have a flat board to work with. Part of figuring out where the terminal cup goes is also figuring out where the crossover board goes, and ensuring you leave enough room for that big old waveguide and compression driver.

After mocking-up the box, I originally was going to place the terminal cup and the crossover in the upper right-hand section of the back panel of the 88 Specials. But with my mediocre crossover layout skills, I didn't want to risk running out space in that one "box." So I decided to put the terminal cup here, where you see the cup (not where crossed-out circle is).



So I setup the drill press with a 2" holesaw (2" cutout as recommended by PE for this cup part#260-283).




I quickly remembered why I don't like to use holesaws in MDF; the wood burns.



And this is what your holesaw looks like. That MDF dust and the chemicals used to bond it to make "wood" just melt. This will take some cleaning to get nice again.


Additionally, it leaves a raised ring on the backside. But a quick scuffing with 60-grit sandpaper fixes it right up.


And smooth again. This step was not necessary; I could've just left it. But I would know it's there and this cabinet would not sound "as good as the others" b/c of it. OCD? You betcha.


Terminal cup fits OK, but it is a smidge too wiggly in the 2" hole for my tastes. But in order to get a 1-7/8" hole I would've had to break out the router and the Jasper jig...no thank you. The cups would look nicer recessed into the back...we'll see if my OCD kicks in or if common sense prevails. No one is going to look at the backs of these and say "Ooooooh....you didn't recess the terminal cups...you failed. LOL!




So to do away with the burning wood, I switched over to a 2" Forstner bit, which is what I should've used to start with. But Holy MDF Dust, BATMAN!!! Ah, back to the good old days of inhaling micro-fine particles of MDF in an enclosed working environment with poor ventilation! Ah, the memories, the *cough-cough-cough* WTH am I talking about? This sucks! LOL!



So now the 88 Special back panels were done. Onto the Volt 10s.

I mocked up the enclosure with the drivers, minus the bottom/top panels, so I could see where I would have room for the terminal cup and crossover. Being this is a slant-front box, with a very small bottom half of the enclosure, I knew these parts would have to go up top.

Front view.


Back view with terminal cup and crossover board in place.


So away to drilling the back panel of the Volt 10's I went. At the end of the night, all the machining operations for these 7 speakers were done. It doesn't look like a lot of progress, but laying things out, thinking of what could interfere with what, all that takes time and you know how it goes. "3 hours of work for 3 inches of progress." But we love it, don't we?



Thankfully these aren't PA cabs and I don't have fabricate templates for cutting out handle holes, recessed casters, etc. This is much nicer. Tomorrow we start gluing cabs together. Stay tuned.
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post #7 of 138 Old 02-14-2015, 10:06 PM
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great build pics ! are you using a dslr ?
also, do the 2 terminals / binding-posts of the terminal block stick out of the plastic ?
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post #8 of 138 Old 02-14-2015, 10:30 PM
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Forstner bit won't burn and come in big sizes.
Great thread. With those perfectly cut flatpacks elmers wood glue would be overkill. Let us know how it sounds 👍👍
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post #9 of 138 Old 02-15-2015, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombelman View Post
great build pics ! are you using a dslr ?
also, do the 2 terminals / binding-posts of the terminal block stick out of the plastic ?
I am using a 8-ish year old Panasonic Lumix 10MP cam. It takes pretty good pics when I just set everything on Auto and go with it. I do basic editing of the pics in an old version of Photoshop and post them. Tradeoff for the decent pics w/this cam is that it is slow. It takes a pic and then freezes up for about 7 seconds. Not a big deal when taking pics of stationary objects. Wife hates it though...she wants "Facebook speed" out of the camera.


The terminals on the back of this terminal block DO stick out by about 1/2". With the terminal cup recessed into these 3/4" pieces of MDF, the only thing that sticks out in the interior of the cab is the +/- terminal strips. Really not a big deal though. These are nice terminal cups; I've used them before with no issues.
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post #10 of 138 Old 02-15-2015, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Good update for today; all the boxes are built. Yup, all seven of them. Now, don't get all a-twitter with excitement just yet. "Built" means just that; they are assembled...but far from "finished." As in "Their current state is glued/nailed together, with copious amounts of bent brads, glue, fingerprints and assorted crap sticking out all over the place." Buy hey, they are built!!!

This next section may ruffle a few feathers, but that's OK. We all have our opinions on things. Being that this is my thread, here's my opinion. YMMV, and good for you.

Before we get to the pics, let's talk about tools. Like glue. Glue is a tool. Right tool for the job, correct? Wood glue bonds wood and it does a good job. But for our use in a speaker cabinet, wood glue isn't necessarily the right tool for the job, especially when the possibility of human error comes into play. Stay with me here.

Say you have a bookcase that you built using wood glue. Let's say that the glue got into 85% of the joints/available glue surface. That bookcase will probably never come apart. You may pass it down to your grandkids. But that 15% of surface area you missed means that bookcase isn't air-tight. It doesn't have to be, because it's a freaking bookcase! Which is exactly my point. Right tool for the job. Most speaker cabinets (transmission line excluded) need to be airtight in order to function correctly. Sealed cabs more so, but a leak in a ported cab will still negatively effect it's performance.

I use PL Premium for any cab that I build. IMO, the finished product (an air-tight, bullet proof cab) is worth the hassle. For the uninitiated, PL Premium is a bit of a conundrum; it has it's pluses and minuses:

PLUS
Expands as it cures and can fill gaps up to 1/4", air-tight.
When dry it is like cement. You will never get the two pieces of wood apart. Ever.
Negates the need for caulking/siliconing the joints afterwards since it is an air-tight sealant, assuming a solid joint all-around.
The cab will never, ever come apart, even if you try. The wood will split/shatter/tear/snap, but the joint won't.
Takes paint well enough; 2 coats covers it just fine.
Once dry, doesn't shrink or expand. It's forever.

NEGATIVE
It's thick stuff and you need to clamp/push/pull panels into place before securing with brads or screws, or else your panels will not sit flush. The cab will still be air-tight, but cosmetically displeasing.
Any squeeze out will dry like cement and be very difficult to remove. You either scrape off all squeeze out approximately 6 hours after applying before it becomes like cement, or be prepared to use a hammer and chisel to remove the squeeze out.
PL will get on your hands, arms, face (still don't know how it does this) clothes, work bench etc. And it's permanent. PL on your arms will require you to rip it off. Along with all the hair on your arms.
Does not sand easily. You'll need 60-grit to get the stuff off, which will ruin your cab, which means it's back to the hammer and chisel. Slowly and carefully.
Don't even think about using this stuff without disposable gloves on. In fact, don't even buy it at Home Depot or Lowes without gloves on. (kidding here, but you get my point)
You will go through 12 pairs of disposable gloves in roughly 8 hours of work.

So, if you didn't know about PL Premium, now you know. Fine, you want to know more? Here's a link: LINK TO PL PREMIUM.

I didn't get too many pictures today b/c I had gloves on all day and the gloves were covered in PL. But I took pics when I could.

Started off by marking nail lines on outside panels, to help me put brad nails where they should go.




Did this on all sides of the cab, including the baffle. Time consuming and boring as hell, but I only had about 10 brads that missed the mark and went in sideways and shot in/out of cab. For 7 cabs, that's not bad at all.

So where do I start? OK, I learned something today. I have never built a cab using panels that were already rounded-over. The 88 Special and Volt 10 kits both come with a baffle that is already rounded over. This initially gave me fits when trying to nail the thing down.

This is a pic of a Volt 10, before I figured out you have to pretend the round over isn't there and try to hold the brad nailer as perpendicular as possible.



I used 1.5" brads and yes, my PSI setting on the compressor was correct. I just was holding the gun wrong for the roundover. I have a lot of work to do with the Dremel/cutoff wheel to sand those brads down.

The 88 Specials went together well enough. LOVE the dadoed rear panel!!





Got lots of good squeeze-out from the PL (which means an airtight joint)



I learned another lesson....probably the most important one to pass on to you all. IME, you need to assemble these kits ONE panel at a time. Don't try to glue up an 88 Special like you are dry-fitting it. I did this with the first 88 Special I built (dumbass) and the panels slid all over the place. With the other 6 cabs, I did the braces first on the 88s, then on the 88s/Volts, side panels first, one at a time, then the top, then the bottom, then the baffle. MUCH BETTER final result this way.

On all cabs, before gluing the baffle, I ran an extra bead of PL on most interior seams, and smoothed it into the joint with my gloved finger. If there is any small air-gap, this action will seal it up. The negative here is that you use about another 1/4 tube of PL to do this. PL is cheap. Cabs are expensive. I only want to build this cab once.

Nicely sealed.





On the 88 Specials it's relatively easy to keep the top/bottom/sides perfectly vertical b/c you have the internal bracing to reference. Not the case w/the Volts, especially the long, top panel. I used my trusty W braces I built long ago, along with a spring clamp to ensure the panel was upright.





Blah, blah, lather, rinse, repeat. At the end of the night I had 7 cabs.




What a mess. This pics doesn't show the roll of paper towels I used, nor the 10-odd pairs of gloves I went through. Please DO NOTICE the pair of safety glasses in this pic. If I am using power tools, I have these on. If I am sanding using an air/power sander, I have these on. I had a close call years, back that should have, by all rights, cost me my right eye. I got damn lucky. Never again. You are only issued ONE PAIR of eyes; please be smart, use protective glasses.



I scraped a little bit of PL off a couple of cabs, but then I was just spent. Had to eat and grab a shower. I will spend my free time tomorrow scraping rock-hard PL off the cabs. I'll let them cure for the rest of the week, though with the temp in my garage (70F/50% humidity) they will be fully cured by tomorrow night.

During the week if I have time (LOL! Yeah, right!) I will get rid of any brads sticking out (I only have, oh, about 59 of them to Dremel ). After that comes using drywall spackle to fill the gouges, then sanding, then spackle again and sanding. Then a coat of flat black paint applied with a roller, then two coats of Duratex. AND THEN the lining/stuffing of the cab, installation of the drivers, testing....I'm at about 10% complete. /facepalm

And then of course there's the building of the crossovers, etc, etc. Good thing I won't need these cabs until at least July (not kidding.)

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by michaelddd; 02-15-2015 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Plug for safety.
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post #11 of 138 Old 02-16-2015, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update for tonight. Lucky for me it was cold overnight, which delayed the curing time for the PL adhesive. So today, I had to get the squeeze out scraped off before it got like cement.

Here's what PL squeezeout looks like.



With a sharp chisel, it comes off easy enough as long as it's not fully-cured.




This is most of what came off 7 cabs...took about 90 minutes to do. I did not go too crazy as these will be Duratexed, the 88 Specials will be behind an AT screen and the Volt 10s will go high up on a dark wall, under a black ceiling.



So here we have the family, ready for the next step.




As I stated previously, the rounded-over baffles gave me fits trying to brad-nail them in place, and I wound up with a lot of brads sticking out. You can't just cut them flush b/c the shiny metal will show through the paint. So I took my Dremel with the abrasive cutoff wheel and cut down into the cabs a little. I've done this on many PA cabs and after I drywall spackle and sand the gouges and Duratex, you'll never know they looked like this.





Tomorrow I hope to rough-sand the cabs to get rid of the little raised ridge that brad nails leave in MDF and to generally prep the cabs for spackling. After that it's spackling hundreds of tiny little holes and gouges, dry time for a couple of days, then sand, sand, sand. I'm probably looking at two rounds of spackle/sanding. After that I'll get a solid coat of flat black paint on them and probably leave them in that state while I get the crossovers together.

More to come. Thanks for reading.
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Lots of pics, nice!

Did you get the new Volt-10LX's? The cone sure looks darker like the new drivers.
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post #13 of 138 Old 02-16-2015, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep, I got the 10LX's. I guess my timing was good for once in my life and I got interested in DIYSG kits shortly after the LX was made available. These 10's are nice looking drivers. Well-made, like everything Eminence makes.
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post #14 of 138 Old 02-16-2015, 08:21 PM
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Looks great!

Quick suggestion my friend.......a nail punch.

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post #15 of 138 Old 02-16-2015, 09:55 PM
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Great pics. Nice write-up explaining what you did . a tip for others to speed things up. Use gorilla glue and pieces won't slip and slide around. Wait 5 minutes and put pieces in place. They will stay put and then brad nail. Use a nail set like Erich said and push nails down 1 to 2 mm. Then use spackle to fill holes and seams. By using spackle the joints Will be air tight.

Your way is just as good but very labor intensive. Obviously it's successful for you since your cabs look great . let us know how they sound when your done.
Well done 👍👍
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post
Looks great!

Quick suggestion my friend.......a nail punch.
/facepalm I cannot believe I did not think of that. I get all caught up in the building process and I'm just thinking "OK, what's next? Gotta keep the progress going." and I don't see the forest for the trees sometimes. I own a couple of nail punches too. Ugh! Oh well, it's done. I am familiar with the spackle/sand/spackle sand process, so I am confident in what the final product will look like but darn!


Good thing I'm not in a rush. LOL!
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post #17 of 138 Old 02-17-2015, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post
Great pics. Nice write-up explaining what you did . a tip for others to speed things up. Use gorilla glue and pieces won't slip and slide around. Wait 5 minutes and put pieces in place. They will stay put and then brad nail. Use a nail set like Erich said and push nails down 1 to 2 mm. Then use spackle to fill holes and seams. By using spackle the joints Will be air tight.

Your way is just as good but very labor intensive. Obviously it's successful for you since your cabs look great . let us know how they sound when your done.
Well done 👍👍
Thanks, chalugadp! I've got a bit of finish work ahead of me...maybe a little more than necessary (nail punch much? lol!) but I'm excited to see what the cabs will look like.


I will be making grills for the Volts, since they will be seen and be exposed to prying eyes and fingers. I know there are ready-made grills available but I don't care for what's out there. PE sells several types.

  1. Bar-type grills? Nope, too ugly. Have used them for a sub in the trunk of a car to protect the cone, but not for HT.
  2. Waffle-style grill? Not too attractive and I'd be worried about the grill affecting the high freqs.
  3. Mesh style grill? Passes the "nice looking test" but it uses a mounting ring that goes UNDER the driver, then the grill snaps down over it. That could affect the seal of the woofer to the cab, which is doubly crucial in a sealed cabinet design.
I'm probably going to recess magnets in the baffle of the Volts, then have washers embedded in the ring. Ring will be 3/4" MDF most probably, upholstered in the finest (read: cheapest) black grill cloth PE sells. I have a couple of yards of it left over from past projects.


Of course, even though I planned this from the start, I forgot to drill for the magnets before assembling the Volts. Not an insurmountable problem, but I just created a bit more work for myself. I sorta have a habit of doing that though.
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post #18 of 138 Old 02-20-2015, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Rings, rings, rings.

I spent about 5 hours tonight doing something...must've been worthwhile and awesome because I spent about 5 HOURS doing it. What was that I did? Was it...

The baffle for my awesome 4x10 subwoofer cab?



No. Not it. So it must've been...

The baffle for my awesome 6x10 subwoofer cab?



No, no...crap, what DID I spend my entire Friday night doing? *AH-CHOO!!!!!* Ah, right! Inhaling MDF dust! I made MDF rings for speaker grills for my Volt10's. And I got to make them twice because I suck at basic math and forgot to calculate for the diameter of the router bit! I'm so lucky! Should've just had to make 4 rings. Should've just had to have used a single 2'x4' piece of 1/2" MDF. But noooo.

I bought a single 2'x4' piece of 1/2" MDF thinking "I've made rings before...all 4 will fit on 1/2 this sheet and if I mess up I have the other half!" I was so smart...only need one sheet." Yeah, right. Found myself going back to HD two hours later for more MDF. /bangs head on keyboard Guess what? You can't fit 25" of cutouts on a 24" wide piece of wood. AMAZING.

So enough melodrama. I wound up with these. Look carefully, Oh DIY crowd, and ye shall be intrigued.



I finally got the rough draft of my Volt 10 grills/rings done. The holes/shiny round things you see are 9mm x 3mm Neodymium disc magnets from EBay (I paid $14 shipped for 50 of the little buggers). The magnets are Epoxied in.

I won't drone on about my initial mistake; suffice to say I suck at math and they were too narrow to fit the magnet. (really need a "head on keyboard"GIF on this forum!)

I cut the rings using my router and my trusty Jasper Jig. The TOOL works perfectly; it does exactly what you tell it to do. Assuming you are correct, you'll be happy with the results. If you're not correct...ah, yah. This picture shows a perfect disc. And it's the wrong size. LOL!



So how's all this work, anyway? You cut out a disc/circle, out of which you will cut your ring. INSIDE said ring, your driver will fit. Here's the leftover disc, after I've cut the ring loose from the outer diameter. I hate MDF. See all that dust? That's from ONE freaking cut. I hate MDF.



4 hours later I wound up with these four properly-sized rings. Note that they already have 4, 3/8" x 1/4" deep holes in them for the magnets.



How do I know they are properly sized? TEST them, my Dear Watson.






Here is a ring and the magnet sitting there, waiting for a home.



3/8" hole



Magnet next to hole



Magnet in hole



Drill 16 holes (4 holes in 4 rings), squirt in a dab of this 5-minute Epoxy.



Stick the magnet in each one, ensuring every magnet goes in the same way/direction ( polarity!), and wind up with this.



Tomorrow I will sand down the rings and round-over both upper corners. Then I will drill corresponding recesses in the Volt-10 baffles, embed/epoxy the magnets, ensuring to observe polarity so the rings actually STICK to the cabs.

After that is spackle/sand/spackle/sand the cabs, then prime, then Duratex.

AND THEN there's putting the grill cloth on the rings, crossovers to build, cabs to stuff, drivers to break in, etc. Got at least 3 weeks left here, folks. Stay tuned. Thanks for looking.
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Last edited by michaelddd; 02-20-2015 at 09:51 PM.
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post #19 of 138 Old 02-20-2015, 11:26 PM
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Holy Moley!!! You're really dedicated to this. I'm going to be building 1099's for my front stage and Volt 10's everywhere else (surround) including for the ceiling (Atmos).

The 1099's will be behind the AT screen. Volts will be in columns so I figure I can just use some AT cloth over those.

The question is how to cover the ceiling Volts however. I don't want the naked drivers exposed. But I'm not sure I want to go through (nor do I have the skills to) go through what you're doing building the grills.

I need to find a quick and easy way to just cover the drivers and box with something to disguise the ceiling speakers. I was thinking of just installing the Volts in a backer box suspended by isolation clips, and then making a simple square frame to cover the baffle box. That way I don't have to cut any circles lol!
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Realy nice thread ! Nice job with pictures and explanations too !
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post #21 of 138 Old 02-21-2015, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by video1 View Post
Holy Moley!!! You're really dedicated to this. I'm going to be building 1099's for my front stage and Volt 10's everywhere else (surround) including for the ceiling (Atmos).

The 1099's will be behind the AT screen. Volts will be in columns so I figure I can just use some AT cloth over those.

The question is how to cover the ceiling Volts however. I don't want the naked drivers exposed. But I'm not sure I want to go through (nor do I have the skills to) go through what you're doing building the grills.

I need to find a quick and easy way to just cover the drivers and box with something to disguise the ceiling speakers. I was thinking of just installing the Volts in a backer box suspended by isolation clips, and then making a simple square frame to cover the baffle box. That way I don't have to cut any circles lol!
You could just make a square frame with fabric stretched across, and use some velcro to stick it to the cabinets. This would be a good bit easier, and it would just look like a normal speaker with a grill.

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Believe me, though I enjoy DIY immensely, making these MDF rings is a PITA...especially when you have to do it twice. /facepalm I know I should wear a mask when working with MDF but between the safety goggles and my ear muffs I have enough stuff on my face. Plus, the mask makes my goggle fog up and I can't see. Even after a long shower last night I'm still coughing up dust. I'm glad the rings are done.


I'm also building 88 Specials and I will not be making grills for them as they will go behind an AT screen. Also, I don't think grills for them are possible anyway. Any grill you try to make, you will block the ports or overlap the horn above. I actually looked for pics of 88's with grills and couldn't find any. I also don't want to do anymore rings.


In the car audio world there are guys that sell MDF rings to use as spacers when installing speakers in doors. They sell lots of them b/c they are such a PITA to make. I guess if you have a CNC it's no big deal but if you are free-handing them, it's labor-intensive and easy to make a mistake.


If I was recessing the Volts into a column I would do as suggested above and recess the whole box into a column and make a simple square frame to cover the hole in the column. Being that I'll be installing my HT into basically a finished room, I have to make grills for the Volts as curious adults in various stages of intoxication may want to tap on the speaker thingee to see what it does. Plus I think it looks better. Personal preference, obviously. If it was just me using the HT, I would leave them exposed as I know any grill does affect the sound, even if just a little.


Velcro did cross my mind. But since I'm Duratexing, the surface of the cabs will not be smooth and I was worried about the Velcro not holding.


Unfortunately, we have a wedding to attend today. There are MUCH more important things to do than go to a wedding! Like work on these cabs! Maybe I'll at least get the rings rounded over later tonight.


Thanks for looking!
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post #23 of 138 Old 02-21-2015, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hooray! SWMBO has decreed that we can skip the ceremony since these are acquaintances that are getting married vs. friends. Hooray for acquaintances!!!

So that gave me time to get the rings rounded over, sanded and started to paint them (flat black, just so you don't see bare MDF through the grill cloths). A router table would've been completely ideal for this step, but I don't own one. I did buy a trim router (Bosch Colt) specifically to do this. Any excuse to buy tools. I really DID need this thing. I'm sure you agree.


Some quick pics.

Took one of the discs I cut the rings from and tested out the height of the 1/4" roundover bit. Turned out I got it right on the first try...that doesn't happen too often.



Quickly discovered that trying to balance even the small trim router on the ring was tricky. So I used the disc to make a flat base to work on.



Couldn't use the disc for the inside edge of the ring, but rounding over the inner edge w/o support was easier than trying the outer edge w/o support.

Here's a rounded-over and sanded ring vs. a non rounded/sanded ring. Big difference.



Two rings.



All four. There are some "oopses" on a couple of the rings where I tilted the router while cutting them out. The grill cloth should hide them and/or I'll just put that side of the ring at the top of the cab, closest to the ceiling. Nobody will ever know. Except you guys. So don't tell anyone, OK?



And some flat black paint. MDF soaks up paint like...MDF. I may give them a second coat.





Next step...I'm not sure. I guess I should just complete the rings (grill cloth and staples) before recessing the magnets in the cabs. We'll see what happens. Off to the reception. *cue up party music of your choice*

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post #24 of 138 Old 02-21-2015, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Couldn't resist. I had to see what the rings looked like with the speaker in place. This will definitely work. I could've made the rings slightly smaller in diameter, but I didn't want to run the risk of the ring resting against the frame of the driver. I was afraid the ring would resonate/shake if it was in direct contact with the driver's metal basket.







Tomorrow I most probably will get the magnets recessed in the cabs first, since that's the more "thinking and labor-intensive" part vs. stapling fabric around the rings. I am going with staples for the grill cloth vs. glue so that if the fabric rips or gets damaged I can replace it without potentially destroying the rings in the process or damaging them beyond repair. I.E. trying to scrape off hot-melt glue.

Last edited by michaelddd; 02-22-2015 at 10:28 AM. Reason: clarity on how to attach cloth
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post #25 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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So you shouldn't "just do something" before you think it through. Took a look at the rings this morning and there were some spots where I could easily see the MDF through the paint. So I shot another coat of black on them. And now they are wet and drying. But I need to handle them in order to do the marking on the Volts to drill for magnets. Real smart of me, that move.


So I put a fan on them to get them to dry faster. I've got some errands to run so hopefully they'll be dry by the time I get home. I really want to get the magnet part of the build done this weekend.


More later.
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post #26 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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All-righty then. Once the rings dried I was able to get down to business. I should add that I was a victim of "The 5P Rule." If you are unfamiliar with the 5P Rule, it is: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Or in short, "If you fail to plan, then you have planned to fail." Basically, I should've drilled the Volt baffles for magnets before assembling the cabs.

Because the Volt flatpacks have sloped fronts (approx. 18 degrees as I found out) drilling the holes level with the baffle would be very difficult by hand. I am lucky enough to have a drill press with an adjustable table, which made it easier. Setting the thing up to look like this was a PITA. Hard-to-reach locknuts, pins, etc. Getting the angle correct was difficult b/c I had to hold the cab in place, while adjusting the table, while trying to blindly turn the locknut...you get the idea.



Here's how I prepped the cabs to be drilled for magnets.

Lay grill ring on cab, centered on driver hole.



You trace around the inner/outer diameters and you have a template of sorts.



I didn't take a pic of the holes I marked for magnets, but the rings have magnets at the 12, 3, 6 & 9o'clock positions. Marked the same on cabs and drilled.

One cab with the magnets in place.



Close up.



All four Volts.



The magnet recesses will need a bit of filling/sanding to make them level with the top of the baffle. I'll take care of that when I do the spackle/sanding of all the nail holes. Hope to start that tomorrow. Getting all 7 cabs spackled will take a few hours. Sanding the cabs will be mid-week-ish, depending on the realities of daily life. I expect at least two spackle/sand sessions.


But getting back to The 5P Rule: I am still not sure if I want to round-over all the edges. That roundover on the Volts and 88 Specials LOOKS LIKE a 3/4" roundover, and I do have that bit, but if the roundovers don't much perfectly it will look lousy. Need to decide on the roundover first, b/c that has to be done before the spackle/sanding.

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post #27 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Was thinking about what roundover to put on the cabs. Then I said "I need to go out to the garage just to look and try to visualize it." Which turned into putting 1/4" and 3/8" roundovers on scrap wood and holding them against the cabs to compare. And you see where this is going.

My weekends are when I actually have more than an hour to work on anything, so I figured "No better time than the present." I went ahead and put a 3/8" roundover on all cabs (Volt 10s and 88 Specials). It looks much better than I initially thought it would with that weird roundover/slant-over on all the baffles. It looks like a cross b/t a 3/4" roundover and like a slant bit of some kind. I did not want to spend 4 hours trying to match the exact profile, raising and lowering the bit in the router by 1/64" at a time, etc. Been there, done that, not messing with it.

So 3/8" roundover it is. When all the edges on a cab are "broken" or rounded over, it gives the cab a much more professional appearance and feel. IMO, of course. So here we are. Mixed pics of Volts and Specials.










The epoxied-in magnets on the baffles are still drying. They feel dry to me, but I know the directions say "24 hours for full strength." As strong as these little Neodymium magnets are, I don't want to test the ring adhesion and wind up pulling the magnets out of the baffle.

Next up is the much-loved spackle/sand, lather/rinse/repeat routine. Or, I may put the grill cloth on the rings just to finish them...so I can see what they look like. Thanks for looking.
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post #28 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 07:49 PM
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You are doing a fantastic job even with your critiques of your workflow. It still seems to be more efficient then mine. Thanks for the extensive pictures. It will really help me when I build these volt 10s when they are back in stock. Keep it up!
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post #29 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jedi940. I appreciate the compliment.


Some build threads read like this: "I cut this here wood and glued it together. Here is my cab." And then there's 2 pictures of the finished cab, complete with (flawless) paint, a grill and feet and all the little things that nobody mentions exactly how it's done, ore why it's a 2CF cab and not a 2.5CF cab, etc. That annoys the piss out of me b/c I remember a time when I really had no clue what I was doing and all I wanted was someone to explain things to me. How you get the 4'x8' sheet of MDF into all these little pieces with straight edges, how to put angles on them, etc.


Good build threads whether they be about cabs or replacing a shock absorber, are really important to me, since that's how I learn. I need to see it. A resource like AVSFORUM is priceless to me, so I try to give back.


Even as I post my build thread, I'm lurking a few different sub build threads b/c I am not sure which way I'm going with my sub builds.
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post #30 of 138 Old 02-22-2015, 08:44 PM
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I can not wait to hear your impressions of the Volt 10 vs the QS8. We had almost the exact same setup! I was running a VP150 with M22 mains also. I am still using my QS8s as side and rear surrounds. I built 3 Tempest Fusion 12s as LCR and I have been very happy with them over over the Axioms. I have contemplated building Volt 10s to replace the QS8s but I was not sure they would sound "better" than the QS8s. If your impressions are very good I may have to take the plunge and build some Volts!!
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