Dayton Audio 15" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 230 Old 08-21-2015, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Dayton Audio 15" Ultimax Subwoofer and Cabinet Bundle build

I know it may be redundant to have yet another Ultimax Sub build thread but I've been asked a lot of questions regarding the progress of my build by forum members/friends and I thought I'd share my experiences, mistakes and impressions in a dedicated thread instead of hijacking other threads/topics.

This kit is for my master bedroom where I have a gaming desktop computer set-up coupled with a Pioneer VSX-80 receiver and pair of Klipsch Synergy F-20 floor standing speakers. Initially, I was going to purchase a PSA S1500 and call it good. However, I couldn't quite justify the cost after I had just purchased two PSA V1500s back in March. This is the sole reason I decided to venture down the DIY route. In hindsight I am not entirely sure I would have done the DIY route again.... I would like to think that I would have considering I have learned a lot. Initially I wanted to do a veneer option, but after some research I determined it was going to make the process much more complicated for me as a beginner, especially considering the front baffle on the cabinet has rounded edges. I decided to go the Rust-Oleum route. The recent announcement by PSA regarding the veneer options for the S1500 left me with some regrets... Maybe next time!

PSAs S1500 veneer options - running $1249 a piece. Very beautiful subwoofers!

I ordered my kit from Parts-Express for $262 which included free shipping. Here is the link. The next few lines are some of the other items I purchased for this build:

Rust-Oleum Restore 4x one gallon found at Home Depot. I wasn't able to find this at Lowes. I asked them to put the maximum amount of black color in the can that they could. The employee said he would put the maximum amount he could that his guide recommended. A side note about this paint... I found that it was extremely thick and took an incredible amount of mixing. I wish I would have used a drill paint mixer to mix the can of paint before I applied two coats. I have since purchased a mixer and will use it before applying my last coat which I intend to do after a final sanding with 150 grit sand paper and an orbital sander. I used a six inch 3/8" nap roller to apply the coats of paint.

Neutrik NL4MPR Speakon Connector 4 Pole Round Chassis Mount was purchased from PE as well. I was frustrated that this didn't come with disconnects but fortunately I found some at Autozone after searching Lowes and Home Depot. I would have ordered them from PE had I known better. Here is the link for the disconnects at PE and below is a picture for the disconnects at Autozone. Also, I needed to buy a 15/16 Spade bit to drill the hole for the connector.


Neutrik NL4FC Speakon Connector 4 Pole Cable Mount - bought two of them. I could have just purchased a 10ft 2-conductor NL4 Female to NL4 Female 12AWG Speaker Twist Connector Cable and made things a heck of a lot easier. I'll need to wire the two connectors myself with speaker cable/wire.

I also purchased gasketing tape and a speaker mounting kit from PE.

Lastly, I purchased a few clamps (I had none) and then borrowed the rest from a friend.

I have yet to purchase an amplifier... I am leaning toward Crown XLS but am also considering iNuke for their DSP functionality. This purchase will likely be tonight.

Fiberfill will be purchased from Wal-Mart tomorrow. Speaker wire will be ordered tonight once I find what I'm looking for (I kind of want something that is wrapped in a braided sheath... 14 gauge preferably).

More to come... as the night wears on I will post some pictures and some of the experiences (difficulties) that I had as a beginner assembling this thing.
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post #2 of 230 Old 08-21-2015, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Gluing was difficult for me. I ended up getting too far ahead of myself and not taking enough time to let each piece set with the glue before adding another. I ended up with a few minor flaws at the end that took a lot of sanding to eliminate (I had a MDF board hanging over at a corner about 1/16"). I used Titebond II for the gluing.

I probably spent about a solid hour sanding with 80 grit to reduce some of the protruding edges. After sanding I used lots of wood filler at the edges and for the hairline gaps. It seemed to really eliminate or hide the problem areas. Another hour of sanding the next day and this is what I ended up with:


It certainly was harder than it had to be... next time I'll take my time with each panel, letting it partially set (maybe use finishing nails) before moving on to the next panel.
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post #3 of 230 Old 08-21-2015, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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The next day I painted. I first drilled the hole for the connector. What I wish I would have done is use a drill paint mixer to get the paint a little thinner. The 4x was really difficult to work with (It was a little cold the morning I painted too). After two coats I wasn't totally satisfied. I'll definitely be sanding this second coat down and then getting the third and final coat perfect. I bought a paint can mixer (I'll do it in the afternoon this time when it is hot).

A tip I got from another member was to paint the front baffle first, then flip the sub box over and put the opening into an upside down 5 gallon bucket. Really good advice... this allowed me to paint each coat in its entirety.

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post #4 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 07:52 AM
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Jhughy,

Awesome! Subscribed!

I like your idea of putting a cable tie in one of the screw holes to make it easier to take out the driver until you're ready to mount permanently. Should have thought of that MANY times, having pried out drivers with pick tools.
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post #5 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 08:13 AM
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Been there, done that, not interested in doing it again.
A power sander is a necessity. I have a finish sander (not interested in buying tools just for this project, and I'm not interested in taking up woodworking as a hobby), and spent several hours with a rasp and the sander to get good results (which I did, but way more trouble than it was worth).
I'm happy with the 4X finish. You may want to try a shorter nap roller.
An extra cable tie can help if the one you have breaks. Two makes it easier, anyway.
I recommend (and have) the iNuke, but using the eq features means having some sort of measuring capabilities (REW, for example, or at least a meter, test tones, and lots of patience).
"Speaker cable" depends on the amp, but you should go speakon to speakon with something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pyle-pp...0-ft--248-4626
4-conductor is recommended in case (when) you get another sub and allows for more flexible setup. 2-conductor is slightly cheaper.
You'll need an adapter from the AVR to the amp (http://www.parts-express.com/xlr-mal...apter--240-438).
I'm sure you'll be happy with the end results. And the money you saved!
Good luck with the "finishing touches."
Michael

P.S. At Walmart, get a cheap pillow instead of a box of fiberfil.
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post #6 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post
Jhughy,

Awesome! Subscribed!

I like your idea of putting a cable tie in one of the screw holes to make it easier to take out the driver until you're ready to mount permanently. Should have thought of that MANY times, having pried out drivers with pick tools.
Thanks! I actually got the idea (like most other of my ideas) from other members here.

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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
Been there, done that, not interested in doing it again.
A power sander is a necessity. I have a finish sander (not interested in buying tools just for this project, and I'm not interested in taking up woodworking as a hobby), and spent several hours with a rasp and the sander to get good results (which I did, but way more trouble than it was worth).
I kind of feel the same way... but now that I have made the decision I obviously need to embrace it

Quote:
I'm happy with the 4X finish. You may want to try a shorter nap roller.
I didn't want to buy another roller handle. I already had a 6" roller.

Quote:
An extra cable tie can help if the one you have breaks. Two makes it easier, anyway.
Good advice! The driver didn't fit in the hole with two though. I actually did not really light sanding to ensure the driver fit once paint got in there.

Quote:
I recommend (and have) the iNuke, but using the eq features means having some sort of measuring capabilities (REW, for example, or at least a meter, test tones, and lots of patience).
I'm really on the fence about this. iNuke represents a lot of value over Crown and others but I'm worried about the fan noise so many have reported. I am not entirely interested in doing the fan modification either as I have heard that voids the warranty. So... considering so many report that it has a loud fan, and so many report that the warranty may become necessary, I've been leaning toward Crown.

With that said I have played around with REW. I became impatient quickly (didn't seem very user friendly even with the guide). I have the Umik and a meter as well.

Quote:
"Speaker cable" depends on the amp, but you should go speakon to speakon with something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pyle-pp...0-ft--248-4626
4-conductor is recommended in case (when) you get another sub and allows for more flexible setup. 2-conductor is slightly cheaper.
I know this would probably make it easier than what I am about to do

I already purchased a few Neutrik NL4FC Speakon Connector 4 Pole Cable Mount's from PE. I plan to just use 10 feet of 14 AWG in wall speaker wire from Monoprice. I'll wrap it with a sleeving. It should look pretty good.

Quote:
I'm sure you'll be happy with the end results. And the money you saved!
Good luck with the "finishing touches."
Michael

P.S. At Walmart, get a cheap pillow instead of a box of fiberfil.
Thanks! I may have more questions so keep checking back. I'll take a look at the pillows today.
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post #7 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 03:08 PM
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Replacing the fan is easy and reversible. The least of your worries.
REW isn't user friendly. It is, however, extremely powerful. You need concern yourself at first only with the most basic function: eq the fr of the sub. You will, no doubt, have a large peak pretty much wherever you put the sub. If you're unlucky, you'll also have a null, about which you can't do anything. Flattening a peak, however, will make a dramatic improvement in your listening experience. REW will show you were it is and what settings to plug into the iNuke to get rid of it. You can worry about the more "advanced" stuff later - or not at all.
It really isn't hard, and lots of folks are around here to help.
See any of a dozen threads about the fan mod for advice on what fan to get (keeping in mind that the 6000 needs two; the 3000 only needs one).
I understand about the roller. I took the 6" ones I had and cut them with a hacksaw to fit on the 2" handle I had. So you're not the only one macgyvering it.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
Michael
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post #8 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
Replacing the fan is easy and reversible. The least of your worries.
REW isn't user friendly. It is, however, extremely powerful. You need concern yourself at first only with the most basic function: eq the fr of the sub. You will, no doubt, have a large peak pretty much wherever you put the sub. If you're unlucky, you'll also have a null, about which you can't do anything. Flattening a peak, however, will make a dramatic improvement in your listening experience. REW will show you were it is and what settings to plug into the iNuke to get rid of it. You can worry about the more "advanced" stuff later - or not at all.
It really isn't hard, and lots of folks are around here to help.
See any of a dozen threads about the fan mod for advice on what fan to get (keeping in mind that the 6000 needs two; the 3000 only needs one).
I understand about the roller. I took the 6" ones I had and cut them with a hacksaw to fit on the 2" handle I had. So you're not the only one macgyvering it.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
Michael
Do you think the NU3000DSP would be sufficient? If I am satisfied by this things performance I would like to build another (considering I already have a can of paint, some connectors, etc). I'm just wondering if the NU3000DSP would drive two of the Ultimax's satisfactorily. I should wire the driver to 4 ohms right?
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post #9 of 230 Old 08-22-2015, 08:15 PM
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As you say, you're not the first person to do this.

I'm sure the 3000 would be "adequate." Around here, everyone will say you may as well get the 6000.
How about the new 12000?
The 3000 can handle 2 ohms; the 6000 cannot.
The speaker's rms of 800 watts would probably crack walls. I can't imagine the 3000 would have any trouble driving two to adequate volume.
Wire the one you have for four ohms.
Michael
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post #10 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't get a darn thing done this week. What I did do though was spend an astronomical amount of time debating and researching on which amplifier to settle on. In the end I decided to go with the Crowns older XLS 2500 drivercore series. I ended up placing the order with B&H this morning. There was a pretty big quarrel going on within... I was about to go with their newer lineup of XLS but I just couldn't justify the cost. I'm partial to auto room correction over utilizing DSP. Behringer was another option obviously and I strongly considered that. In the end I think I made a good choice... we will see this weekend.

I also purchased some sleeving for the speaker wire. It should look pretty good! I'll have to share some pictures once completed.

Has anyone mounted their amplifiers in some sort of rack or shelf? I had thought about getting one of these especially considering if I get another amplifier to drive my mains. I could then put my receiver on top of the shelf and have adequate ventilation for the amps. Another option is this one.

Lastly, another crazy thought!!!! I had considered selling the receiver that I was going to use for this new set up. What are thoughts on connecting the amplifier(s) directly to the computers sound card? They make 3.5mm to XLR cables that I think would hold up to the task.
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post #11 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post
I'm partial to auto room correction over utilizing DSP.
So what are you going to use for "auto room correction"?

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #12 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhughy2010
I'm partial to auto room correction over utilizing DSP.
So what are you going to use for "auto room correction"?
And be aware, they are not necessarily one and the same. The Audyssey XT on my AVR-X2000 can't tame the peaks in my dual 1260 setup, nor does it handle delay between them. DSP without room correction first, then Audyssey works much better for me.

Of course, YMMV.
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post #13 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 11:57 AM
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Has anyone mounted their amplifiers in some sort of rack or shelf? I had thought about getting one of these especially considering if I get another amplifier to drive my mains. I could then put my receiver on top of the shelf and have adequate ventilation for the amps. Another option is this one.
Those are kind of pricey for what you get. Check your local craigslist for used racks. You can often find them pretty cheap. Otherwise, just get a set of these and make your own.

Quote:
Lastly, another crazy thought!!!! I had considered selling the receiver that I was going to use for this new set up. What are thoughts on connecting the amplifier(s) directly to the computers sound card? They make 3.5mm to XLR cables that I think would hold up to the task.
Works fine, just remember that you will need to use your computer to control the volume. Check out https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...786-savoy.html theater for some good discussion on using HTPC as a source.
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post #14 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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So what are you going to use for "auto room correction"?
That's a good question ... Here is to hoping the peaks aren't too strong. Once I upgrade my living room theater receiver I was going to re-purpose it to this room. It has capable EQing for one sub (I think it measures/adjusts 4 points). If I do stick with the idea of using the gaming computer's sound card though as the output source then I will have to use something like miniDSP's 4x10. That's sticking with the balanced side of things. The 2x4 has a balanced version as well. I suppose I could bolt it to the side of the cabinet. I have a 2x4 analog already but was going to use that for the theater living room.

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Originally Posted by BllDo View Post
Those are kind of pricey for what you get. Check your local craigslist for used racks. You can often find them pretty cheap. Otherwise, just get a set of these and make your own.



Works fine, just remember that you will need to use your computer to control the volume. Check out https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...786-savoy.html theater for some good discussion on using HTPC as a source.
Thanks I'll subscribe and check out that thread.
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post #15 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 12:17 PM
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If your sure you will only run the one sub I think a 3000DSP Inuke would be plenty sufficient. I bought the 6000 because I'm running two of the 18" versions of the Ultimax/sealed cab package deal that I also got from Parts Express. If the day may come that you run two of these 15" subs I would pick up the bigger amp. I also am told that if the sound has peaks and nulls that it's easier to rectify if you have twin subs, besides steadier bass. I started with twins based on advice from folks here after I said I want something I wont outgrow and can keep up with the DIYSG towers. You know your going to do it, right? It's gonna happen sooner or later, the other matching sub? Yep... Get the 6000 It's money well spent if there is any real chance you may upgrade to twins.

My PC runs into a crappy Yamaha reciever, them straight out to the towers/center and through iNuke to the subs, works fantastic. The PC is the hub of my everything, gaming, music, movies, everything.

I was chicken to use veneer with my lack of woodworking skill and wanted the baffles to match the cabs so I did a faux wood finish with paints and glaze. I tried to finish them to match my DIYSG Fusion 8 towers. With building supplies and all I'm in at a lick over $2000 (including the 6000DSP amp) for all this, just a lone sub to outperform one of the UM is considerably more than that $2000 from what I saw shopping , the DIY route is a no brainer if one is able and inclined.
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post #16 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 12:35 PM
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That's a good question ... Here is to hoping the peaks aren't too strong.
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My PC runs into a crappy Yamaha reciever,
Learn just the basic functions of REW (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-aud...l#post22823228) and use Equalizer APO (http://sourceforge.net/p/equalizerap...Documentation/).
Unbeatable for the cost of a microphone.
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post #17 of 230 Old 08-25-2015, 01:43 PM
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I had a PM from a local guy on this board that I used to ride with and I do believe he has the REW stuff, I'm hoping that I can get that sort of help with it as soon as I build the rear speakers and upgrade the AVR. I was going to buy all this stuff last payday but I bought a Vmax instead. Next payday then!

I'm only wondering how much better this might sound being properly setup, which I'm quite sure it is not in spite of it sounding great now. I thin I could gain a lot by moving the subs around but they are pretty damn big and not many places I can put them in this room. With the 15" there are probably more placement options so I think the OP will have an easier time with placing and dialing it in.
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post #18 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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If your sure you will only run the one sub I think a 3000DSP Inuke would be plenty sufficient. I bought the 6000 because I'm running two of the 18" versions of the Ultimax/sealed cab package deal that I also got from Parts Express. If the day may come that you run two of these 15" subs I would pick up the bigger amp. I also am told that if the sound has peaks and nulls that it's easier to rectify if you have twin subs, besides steadier bass. I started with twins based on advice from folks here after I said I want something I wont outgrow and can keep up with the DIYSG towers. You know your going to do it, right? It's gonna happen sooner or later, the other matching sub? Yep... Get the 6000 It's money well spent if there is any real chance you may upgrade to twins.

My PC runs into a crappy Yamaha reciever, them straight out to the towers/center and through iNuke to the subs, works fantastic. The PC is the hub of my everything, gaming, music, movies, everything.

I was chicken to use veneer with my lack of woodworking skill and wanted the baffles to match the cabs so I did a faux wood finish with paints and glaze. I tried to finish them to match my DIYSG Fusion 8 towers. With building supplies and all I'm in at a lick over $2000 (including the 6000DSP amp) for all this, just a lone sub to outperform one of the UM is considerably more than that $2000 from what I saw shopping , the DIY route is a no brainer if one is able and inclined.
That's a really nice set-up. I like the look of them! I too am considering a pair of Fusion 8 towers. They seem very reasonably priced.
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post #19 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 11:00 AM
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...I also purchased some sleeving for the speaker wire. It should look pretty good! I'll have to share some pictures once completed...

I did the same. I used 12/3 SJTW all-copper cable, so I could use the 3rd wire for swapping to 2+ on the amp for bridged operation without re-wiring the plugs. Since it was for a subwoofer cable, I went with a purple stripe and a purple speakOn bushing.









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post #20 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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@Augerhandle , that looks really good... great idea!

Can you elaborate on "use the 3rd wire for swapping to 2+ on the amp for bridged operation without re-wiring the plugs?"
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post #21 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post
@Augerhandle, that looks really good... great idea!

Can you elaborate on "use the 3rd wire for swapping to 2+ on the amp for bridged operation without re-wiring the plugs?"

Yes. With 1+, 1-, and 2+ always available at the plug, I can make the swap on the speaker side of the speakOn jack.


see plan here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...l#post34844177


and result here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...l#post35691226
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post #22 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post
That's a really nice set-up. I like the look of them! I too am considering a pair of Fusion 8 towers. They seem very reasonably priced.
I have been quite impressed with the fusions. I left my review on DIYSG and I enjoy them more and more as time goes by. I'm not sure you will do better for the money. I landed at ~$1050 for the towers and matching center after finishing supplies. Save yourself some hassle and get the assembled xovers. I was thinking about the tempest 12s but these towers are narrow enough to make placement easier in smaller rooms and need little or no stand to get the horns at ear level. I recommend them 100%, I'm thrilled with mine. I'm in Western SoDak and invite anyone considering these to come audition them. If you have any specific questions about their performance or assembly feel free to PM me.

As a plus they seem to match quite well with the UM subs.
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post #23 of 230 Old 08-26-2015, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augerhandle View Post
Yes. With 1+, 1-, and 2+ always available at the plug, I can make the swap on the speaker side of the speakOn jack.


see plan here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...l#post34844177


and result here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...l#post35691226
Wow that's very impressive. So you have the option of 8 ohm bridged and 2 ohm stereo? Help me understand... why not 4 ohm bridged mode? I see that the sub you chose is dual 4 ohm voice coil. I suppose this differs some to the Ultimax's dual 2 ohm voice coil. So with that said, how should I go about wiring mine? I would like to wire it so that I can add another (sooner than later).

Here are my amp specs:

440W/Channel @ 8 Ohms Stereo
775W/Channel @ 4 Ohms Stereo
1550W/Channel @ 2 Ohms Stereo
1550W @ 8 Ohms Bridged
2400W @ 4 Ohms Bridged
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post #24 of 230 Old 08-27-2015, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post
Wow that's very impressive. So you have the option of 8 ohm bridged and 2 ohm stereo? Help me understand... why not 4 ohm bridged mode? I see that the sub you chose is dual 4 ohm voice coil. I suppose this differs some to the Ultimax's dual 2 ohm voice coil. So with that said, how should I go about wiring mine? I would like to wire it so that I can add another (sooner than later).

Here are my amp specs:

440W/Channel @ 8 Ohms Stereo
775W/Channel @ 4 Ohms Stereo
1550W/Channel @ 2 Ohms Stereo
1550W @ 8 Ohms Bridged
2400W @ 4 Ohms Bridged

Oh yeah, you have a dual 2 ohm. You would wire your voice coils in series for a 4 ohm load, so my wiring wouldn't apply to you.

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post #25 of 230 Old 08-28-2015, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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A little more progress these past few days. I finally sanded the 2nd coat down with 120 grit and applied the third and final coat of paint. I really really spent a lot of time mixing the 4x to get it a little thinner. I think it turned out ok. I'm not super impressed but am not totally disappointed either.



Lastly, I recieved both the speaker wire and the braided sleeving in the mail. I cut about a 10' length of speaker wire and then put the sleeving on. I followed this
on how to install the speakON connectors. In the end I really liked the way the cable turned out. I probably should have gone with the 5/16" sleeving as it would have been a little easier to put on. But I like the way the 1/4 looks and feels. It is very snug around the speaker wire.

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post #26 of 230 Old 08-28-2015, 07:44 PM
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Very nice.
Now you can make a set for me.
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Nice work! Looks good! When will you start on the second?
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post #28 of 230 Old 08-28-2015, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
Very nice.
Now you can make a set for me.
Lol! I think making the cable was the most enjoyable part!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Nice work! Looks good! When will you start on the second?
I literally was checking the prices today! Very very soon!
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post #29 of 230 Old 08-30-2015, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I finished!

Crimped on the disconnects and installed the connector:



I found the perfect solution for the connector screws on Amazon.

I found a bag of 3.1 lbs. of fiber fill at Wal Mart for $8. The enclosure calls for 3 lbs.


Installed the mounting kit which was very risky considering I drilled the holes by hand and not utilizing a makeshift drill press as others have done. The bolts installed without a problem though... relieved!

Put the sub in place, placed amp on top (waiting on a rack solution) and connected AVR to amp via RCA (waiting on RCA to XLR cable). Lastly I ran MCACC (ended up adjusting mains to small, XOver to 100Hz). One thing that was strange is I had to max out gain knob on amp (I guess this is common with pro level amps and consumer equipment). I ended up with the AVR trim at 0dB with the gain knob maxed out. I then bumped up +3dB hot. The mains were adjusted both down -3dB via MCACC auto.

It sounds awesome!!! Very pleased with the results!

Here are the final pics:

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post #30 of 230 Old 08-31-2015, 07:25 AM
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Now do a sub crawl and find out where it sounds best.
Great job!
Michael

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