My first build - complete 7.1 DIYSG set - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 40 Old 04-19-2016, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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My first build - complete 7.2 DIYSG set

Greetings. A couple months ago I was contemplating replacing my existing JBL setup with a more capable set of speakers, without spending too much. I have been researching, and auditioning, several speakers. Then I came across some DISYG build threads, with users claiming how easy they were to build and how good they sound for the price they paid. I kept reading and saw some GTG threads comparing these speakers with commercial ones that cost several times more. I signed up for an account on the DIYSG site to start adding items to cart. I probably had them for a good couple of weeks or so while doing more research. Finally I decided to take the plunge and order a set of 893's (LCR), 4 Volt 6's for surrounds and 2 15" sealed subs using Dayton Reference drivers (this one I bought from Parts Express to simplify things a bit).

A few days later I got shipping confirmation form Erich, who was very responsive to my questions BTW, and I was so excited to get them, although I know I wont be able to work on them for a few more weeks because I am still finishing up a few items on my recent home remodel. I thought the items will not arrive until today, however I got a pleasant surprise when I saw this on my door when I got home last Saturday.

So even though I had tons to do that night I decided to open up one of the Volt boxes and see for myself what others have been raving about. So far I am very impressed. Packaging is impressive, best I've seen. The flat pack all fits together exactly. I was able to convince my two daughters, 9 and 11, to solder the crossovers for me. I think they both did a good job.

Last night I dry fitted a sub box and an 893 to see how they would fit in the space. Here's how they look like compared to a JBL E90 and ES250P (12" sub) they will be replacing.

I think it looks great, just the right size. My wife was not bothered by it a bit! That means I'm good to go. Can't wait to get these things assembled and start listening to them. If what I've read so far are any indication, this would be a significant upgrade to my existing setup.
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post #2 of 40 Old 04-19-2016, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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893 Build

So next I went on to work on the crossovers for the 893, which looks fairly complicated doing a freehand assembly. So I decided to create a PCB for it. Here's a first draft a scaled printout inside the dry fit box. Looks good so far. I might do a couple more iterations but I think I can send it out in a couple more days. I wanted to get this out of the way because it will take time to get made and shipped from Asia.

Update 4/24/2016:
PCB has been sent for fab. Looks like it will get here around May 7.

Update 5/5/2016:
PCBs came in last week Thursday, actually a lot sooner than I expected. I assembled one board to test fit, looks good. I was then able to assemble one box, install the crossover and the drivers last weekend. I did a short listen and am very happy with what I am hearing. I cannot wait to finish these guys. It will take a few more weeks but it will be worth the wait.



Update 6/4/2016

As of now, the center and one L/R channel are built. The center has been used for about a week now and so far it did not disappoint.

Just a few pics of how I mount the board on one of the panels. I used male/female threaded standoffs, drilled pilot holes using the board itself as a guide. Then added a tad of wood glue.



Using a hex drive, I screwed in the standoffs carefully and very very slowly and as perpendicular as possible. As the standoff gets closer to the mdf, the glues spreads around the bottom.



Here's a close up of one.



When dried...


Here's a board installed.



Hopefully this will stand the test of time. I was able to torque the screws in tight without a hint of the standoffs loosening up so that's a good sign.

And here is one completed L/R channel. I am hoping to finish the other one this weekend and post some more pictures soon.




Update 6/8/2106

Build is complete. I still need to make grills for them but they have been in service for a couple of days. They sound fantastic! Movies sound so clear and music is just so enjoyable. Definitely worth the time and effort putting these together.

Next up would be getting more measurements with REW and fine tuning.
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post #3 of 40 Old 04-19-2016, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Volt 6 Build:

Update 4/24/2016:
I was able to glue together all 4 boxes this weekend. I only had a handful of clamps so I decided to use a a brad nailer, using only the clamps to hold things together temporarily. I used Tightbond II is that matters. The whole thing came together very quickly. I waited to the wood glue to dry overnight then I ran a bead of construction adhesive (Liquid Nails) around the inside perimeter and corners. I don't think it's needed but I'd rather spend a few more minutes making sure everything is secure than end up with a rattling box later on. This is my first wood working project so I am not very confident with my work. So for now I would rather be over cautious than screw things up. Here is a picture of the boxes.

I got a question... Is there a problem with flipping the baffle such that the port is above the driver? I am not totally sure yet I will be doing this, although visually I think it looks more appealing. Also, I will be using polyfill and with the port at the bottom, I am worried that it will eventually get clogged.

Update 5/5/2016:
Finished all 4 Volt 6's today. Aesthetically, they turned out better than I hoped, considering I did a few things for the first time with this project (using a router, install laminate, vynil wrap). There are a few minor imperfections, but they are barely noticeable and disappear in a distance. And since these will be mounted high up in the wall, these speakers will be perfectly acceptable.

As far as audio quality, they sound great. I think they sound on par if not better than the towers I currently have. Sound is very clear and detailed, dynamics are good as well. I am currently using them as fronts (LCR) until I can complete my 893's. Besides, I do not want to hang them yet until I can measure each one to make sure they are identical and built correctly. My calibrated mic is coming in a few days from Cross Sprectum Labs, which I am going to use for room correction later on this year.

I do not know how to post pictures yet, so in the meantime I have attached a couple of shots of the finished speakers.
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post #4 of 40 Old 04-19-2016, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Update 6/4/2016

Subs are built. Due to time constraints I decide to have linex sprayed on them. I did not know how it will turn out and whether I would like the finish or not. Turned out pretty well.





I actually like the finish more than the 893 center I did. If I had known this, I would have done all the speakers with linex, but too late now. Lined the inside with pink fluffy insulation from HD since I had some left over from my recent remodel.

Here are the built subs stacked and connected to an amp for testing.


Night day day difference compared to my 12" JBL sub . Very happy at this point. Still needs some tuning and integration once the 893s are complete, but so far so good.

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post #5 of 40 Old 04-19-2016, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Reserve, last one.
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post #6 of 40 Old 04-20-2016, 03:52 AM
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Not sure if you're aware, but there's a board for the 893 that you can purchase for $15 and if you send Matt your XO parts, he'll assemble them for a slight fee.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/401-di...iysg-kits.html

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post #7 of 40 Old 04-20-2016, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luisev View Post
Not sure if you're aware, but there's a board for the 893 that you can purchase for $15 and if you send Matt your XO parts, he'll assemble them for a slight fee.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/401-di...iysg-kits.html
Thank you for pointing in out and for providing the link. I did come across that during my research. And although I think it is a great board and service to assemble to boards, I decided to create a PCB due to the following reasons:

1. I read somewhere that the boards do not fit in between the internal braces, which is not ideal and may be hard to mound especially when the box is already assembled.
2. I am hoping to get my kids more involved in my hobby so I am planning to have them assemble the crossover. Having a fab'd PCB will make it a lot easier for them.
3. I enjoy doing it.

Cost wise, if I can get them made for less than $150 shipped (short run qty of 10), I think it will be worth it. It would still cost more but probably comparable to Matt's pcb cost + assembly cost + shipping.

Just realized though I posted this on the wrong subforum. I think it might be more suitable on the DIYSG subforum instead. I am hoping one of the moderators can move it there:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/401-di...rs-subwoofers/

Thanks
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post #8 of 40 Old 04-20-2016, 05:40 PM
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I love my DIYSG 7.1 system, especially once I customized them with extra drivers and digital XO's/amplification and trim/EQ.
Hella loud, hella cheap, and pretty good SQ too. Win Win.
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post #9 of 40 Old 05-05-2016, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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edited with updates...
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post #10 of 40 Old 05-05-2016, 07:53 PM
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Wow, your build is looking mighty impressive! Especially the custom PCBs for the 893s, great work, those look fantastic!

The Volt-6 sure are really nice aren't they?
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post #11 of 40 Old 05-09-2016, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the compliments. The PCB definitely makes things a lot easier and tidier.

And yes, I do agree the Volt 6's are really nice. I could use them as fronts and be happy.
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post #12 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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...updated with photos of completed subs. Getting there slowly.
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post #13 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 07:58 AM
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Looks great thus far! What finish did you apply to the sub cabinets... linex? Duratex maybe? Looks like you will be building grills for the subs as I see some sort of connector / magnet in the corners... correct? Thoughts on how you will do that? What material are you using between the subs... foam?

DIYSG 893 | Emotiva ERD-1 | Dual DIY 18" Subs
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post #14 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luisev View Post
Looks great thus far! What finish did you apply to the sub cabinets... linex? Duratex maybe? Looks like you will be building grills for the subs as I see some sort of connector / magnet in the corners... correct? Thoughts on how you will do that? What material are you using between the subs... foam?
There is a linex installer 2 miles from where I live, dropped it off at lunch and it was ready for pick up after work the same day. No need for prep or anything, real time saver. I left it in the garage for a few more days to gas out before installing the drives.

I will be adding grills/covers to all the speakers, except maybe the volts for times when I have friends with kids visiting. I have small kids myself but not too worried about them. They have been very careful around them so far. But accidents happen. I was going to use magnets at first but not sure how to do that so decide to use grill guides from Parts Express instead.

For the grill itself I am planning to use 5/8 mdf around the edge with some kind of metal grill in the middle (those hex type ones that have a lot of strength and space between them, not sure what they are called), then wrapped with speaker cloth.

The material between the sub is this, cut to the size of the sub using a sharp box cutter.

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post #15 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 09:52 AM
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Gotcha... so Line-X truck bed liner is what was used on the subs? Interesting idea about the grills, so I might copy your plan... I'll wait to see how you do it first though.

That's a veneer that you used on the Volts and 893 right? Can't tell, but looks like a grayish color?

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post #16 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja00 View Post
I was going to use magnets at first but not sure how to do that
You use a drill press, drop a dab of glue on the magnet, then cover with spackle and sand. More ideally you drill the hole from the back side so you don't need to finish the front surface, but then you need to be very accurate about the hole depth. I did this on my 1099s and it worked great, using 8 Nd magnets per baffle.

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post #17 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Gotcha... so Line-X truck bed liner is what was used on the subs? Interesting idea about the grills, so I might copy your plan... I'll wait to see how you do it first though.

That's a veneer that you used on the Volts and 893 right? Can't tell, but looks like a grayish color?
Yup, Line-X truck bed liner. Is that ok to use? Actually I called a couple of car body shops first to see if they can paint the sub boxes for me. One of them recommended to do Line-X instead. The Line-X guy said he has done a few subs, mostly for roadies/garage type ones.

Veneer is laminate from Wilsonart, Asian Night #7949. One 4' x 8' was enough for the 4 Volts and 3 893's. I just don't trust my finishing/staining skills to use a real wood veneer. Plus laminate is very easy to use, very forgiving.

Still gathering some ideas about the grills, but will probably start to make one this week.
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post #18 of 40 Old 06-04-2016, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriscoDTM View Post
You use a drill press, drop a dab of glue on the magnet, then cover with spackle and sand. More ideally you drill the hole from the back side so you don't need to finish the front surface, but then you need to be very accurate about the hole depth. I did this on my 1099s and it worked great, using 8 Nd magnets per baffle.
Thanks. What size Nd magnets do you recommend? How much weight can each one handle? And how deep can I bury the magnet and still have enough force for them to stick together.

I currently don't have a drill press, that might change in the future. I may try magnets on a future bookshelf build I want to do end of this year.
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Shouldn't be an issue with the bed liner... I just wasn't sure what it was, so that's why I asked. Kinda funny with the laminate as I ordered two samples as I was thinking of using it on my 893s. What finish did you use as I think it comes in a couple of different ones. Any issues with glare?
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DIYSG 893 | Emotiva ERD-1 | Dual DIY 18" Subs
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post #20 of 40 Old 06-08-2016, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Shouldn't be an issue with the bed liner... I just wasn't sure what it was, so that's why I asked. Kinda funny with the laminate as I ordered two samples as I was thinking of using it on my 893s. What finish did you use as I think it comes in a couple of different ones. Any issues with glare?
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Haha. What a coincidence. I got the linearity finish. Texture is nice, no glare issues at all. I only have them on the sides and top. The front, bottom and back are painted.

I did two coats of contact cement on the box and single on the laminate. Installed opposing sides, then clamped overnight before trimming and installing the rest.
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post #21 of 40 Old 06-09-2016, 06:32 AM
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Ha... funny for sure as that's exactly what I was going to do. Veneer or laminate for the top and sides with Duratex or Restore 4X for the bottom and back.

How are the Volts working out for you? I was going to go with 8s for backs and surrounds with the 6s for Atmos / DTS:X. Here are some of the veneer samples I was toying with. My wife prefers the Wenge (center) where I liked the Rosewood and Sapele veneers. Decisions... decisions...
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DIYSG 893 | Emotiva ERD-1 | Dual DIY 18" Subs
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For surround duty the Volt 6's are great. Even as front LR they were keeping up with the 893 center at low to mid volume.

I thinks the decision between the Volt 8 ans 6 will depend on how big your room is, how loud you will play them and WAF. For all of those, the Volt 6 is best for me.

The veneer in the center looks the best to me, but it may be because I don't think of my speakers as furniture. I like them to blend/disappear when I have the room dim/dark. So darker is better for me. The two top ones look very nice though too.
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post #23 of 40 Old 06-24-2016, 05:43 PM
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I ordered a pair of Volt 6s yesterday to try them out as surrounds. How are the 893s treating you?

DIYSG 893 | Emotiva ERD-1 | Dual DIY 18" Subs
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The 893's are great, I really like them a lot. I have been watching my favorite movies again to experience them with these speakers. I am not done with calibration though as I am looking for a receiver with XT32. Currently using Equalizer APO and although I like how it sounds, I feel I am still missing more. I also have to rerun REW and recalibrate the subs since I moved them, and I lost some mid bass since then. But overall, I have been very happy with these.
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post #25 of 40 Old 06-27-2016, 12:04 PM
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ja00, I love that laminate you used on the speakers, I think it looks awesome. Very cool that your girls can solder at that age, you must be teaching them well. Really nice setup, and I bet it all sounds amazing for family movie night.


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post #26 of 40 Old 06-28-2016, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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ja00, I love that laminate you used on the speakers, I think it looks awesome. Very cool that your girls can solder at that age, you must be teaching them well. Really nice setup, and I bet it all sounds amazing for family movie night.
Thank you. I saw a thread posted around 2011 of a guy using the same laminate and thought it looked great. I ordered samples to make sure the actual ones are as good as the pictures and they were. This forum is a great resource, thankful for all the people who share their knowledge and builds for other to learn from and follow.

My kids enjoyed soldering the crossovers wanted to do more. They have been exposed to my work at a very young age and I try to steer them into careers in technology.

Movie nights have been sooo much better (and more often), so much more engaging. Now the wife is complaining that the TV looks too small in relation to the speakers - I did not see that coming. Want her to be happy so I'm hunting for a new TV. Room treatment plans are on hold until that happens.
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post #27 of 40 Old 06-28-2016, 09:25 AM
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ja00 - absolutely beautiful work man. I actually have a roll of Asian Linearity sitting in my garage put on a pair of Fusion 15s. If you don't mind I've a few questions:
  1. Which and how much contact cement did you use?
  2. How did you manage the paint to laminate transition on the top with the roundover?
  3. You mentioned vinyl wrap on the Volt 6 build...where is it?
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post #28 of 40 Old 06-28-2016, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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ja00 - absolutely beautiful work man. I actually have a roll of Asian Linearity sitting in my garage put on a pair of Fusion 15s. If you don't mind I've a few questions:
  1. Which and how much contact cement did you use?
  2. How did you manage the paint to laminate transition on the top with the roundover?
  3. You mentioned vinyl wrap on the Volt 6 build...where is it?
Thank you. Glad you like them. To answer your questions:
1. I put two coats on the mdf and 1 coat on the laminate. The mdf soaks up quite a bit and so the contact cement dries sooner. The second coat on the mdf dries about the same time the first coat on the laminate does.
2. I didn't. I was hoping the truck bed liner spray i was going to use would fill in the gap, but it didn't quite do it. So the lip of the laminate is obvious. Not too bad though. In hindsight it would have been better to fill it with topping and use a wet towel or sponge to remove the excess in order not to risk sanding off the laminate.
3. The baffle of the Volts are wrapped in vynil. Here are a couple of pictures:




One Volt finished with 3 baffles wrapped.

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post #29 of 40 Old 06-29-2016, 11:14 AM
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Thank you. Glad you like them. To answer your questions:
1. I put two coats on the mdf and 1 coat on the laminate. The mdf soaks up quite a bit and so the contact cement dries sooner. The second coat on the mdf dries about the same time the first coat on the laminate does.
2. I didn't. I was hoping the truck bed liner spray i was going to use would fill in the gap, but it didn't quite do it. So the lip of the laminate is obvious. Not too bad though. In hindsight it would have been better to fill it with topping and use a wet towel or sponge to remove the excess in order not to risk sanding off the laminate.
3. The baffle of the Volts are wrapped in vynil. Here are a couple of pictures:




One Volt finished with 3 baffles wrapped.

That wrap turned out nice.

Many builds with laminate/veneer cement it on first, then use a trim bit in a router to trim, and then glue the painted baffles. Did you trim the laminate to shape and then glue it on after the vinyl wrap? You mentioned using the router...but when?
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post #30 of 40 Old 06-29-2016, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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That wrap turned out nice.

Many builds with laminate/veneer cement it on first, then use a trim bit in a router to trim, and then glue the painted baffles. Did you trim the laminate to shape and then glue it on after the vinyl wrap? You mentioned using the router...but when?
For the 893, that's how i did it (veneer -> flush trim -> paint).

For the Volts, here's how I did it.
1. Assemble the box including the baffle. Cut holes for terminals.
2. Vinyl wrap the baffle. Trim the excess leaving extra material so the laminate overlaps the vynil.
3. Pre cut the laminate to approximate size and shape using laminate shear. I used the assembled box itself as the template adding about an inch or less on all sides.
4. Pre trim the side of the laminate that meets the baffle by clamping it to a straight piece of scrap wood (scrap baseboard worked well) using a flush trim router.
5. Install the top and bottom. Since this is my first laminate veneer work, I clamped them overnight using scrap pieces of wood to maximize surface area contact.
6. Trim top and bottom using a flush trim bit on router.
7. Install sides and clamp overnight.
8. Trim sides.
9. Spray paint the back (rustoleum truck bed liner).
10. Install crossover, stuffing, driver and port.

Hope that helps.
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