High fiber UXL build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 69 Old 05-16-2016, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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High fiber UXL build

Special thanks:
N8DOGG for totally corrupting me and generously demoing his incredible system for me, and showing all the bass effects I was missing out on. No, wait... screw you N8!!! Also, thanks for lending me your router. You're a life (or at least money) saver!


mrogowski for supplying incredible drivers at a reasonable price, and for taking the time to answer all my banal questions.


VViViD Vinyl Canada for a great product, and stellar service. These guys know how to run a business.


The entire community for giving me loads to read, lots to think about, and for all the advice and tips and comparisons that got me to where I am without wasting time or money. You guys are awesome!




And so it begins! I'm following Alice, and diving head-first into DIY for subwoofers. I've got wood (giggity), wire, an inuke 6000 DSP, and two UXL 18s. I'm going sealed, 3.5 cu ft each after bracing and driver. Between the amp, driver, and wire length I've calculated a damping factor of about 200, which is decent enough.
I've had most of the stuff for a while, but absolutely no time. I've sporadically tried the subs free-air, and I'm absolutely shocked how they grab the room by the balls under about 30 hz, even without a box! Can't wait to get them done, but I'm looking forward to getting to do some woodworking again, also. So first day down, and I've got all my rough cuts done. Next will be cutting all my braces, then I can begin assembly.
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post #2 of 69 Old 05-16-2016, 06:30 PM
 
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You've picked some very good drivers to start down the rabbit hole with..
Looking forward to seeing this project progress.
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post #3 of 69 Old 05-16-2016, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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You've picked some very good drivers to start down the rabbit hole with..
Looking forward to seeing this project progress.

Well, that's what I mean about the community being helpful; I've been lurking and reading sub forums for 3-4 years. During that time, many people have asked for advice for better bass, and that answer always seems to be 18s or bigger for the end game! I figured I'd just cut to the end and start there.


I've currently got a Paradigm Servo 15v.2 and a DIY Rythmik F15HP that mostly satisfy my needs, but I can't find another Paradigm for less than $1300, and with the Canadian dollar in the toilet, the Rythmik wasn't far off. I really want four decent subs in my setup. The way I argued it to the wife is that I'm saving money just getting two now and doing it properly.


Honestly though, I really am saving a good chunk of change and getting a better end product, thanks to you guys.
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post #4 of 69 Old 05-16-2016, 08:43 PM
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You're gonna be smiling from ear to ear for months after they are built! lol Get off the forums and get to work!

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post #5 of 69 Old 05-17-2016, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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You're gonna be smiling from ear to ear for months after they are built! lol Get off the forums and get to work!

Aye, aye cap'n! My N8PUPPY system will be completed ASAP!


I guess it's time to start the countdown for how long it will be 'til I'm eyeing my doorframes for the feasibility of 32" subs to go with my swarm of 18s and 24s...
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post #6 of 69 Old 05-17-2016, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Got all my braces cut today, and got the top half glued together. Now, to glue the bottom braces together, and call it a day.
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post #7 of 69 Old 05-17-2016, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Bottoms up!
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post #8 of 69 Old 05-25-2016, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So life got in the way... ugh.


But now, progress!

I got presents.... and here comes the high fiber part: Vvivid Vinyl 4D Carbon fiber in semi-gloss black and a special order; Colorshift blue to purple oilslick carbon fiber in matte for the face. Pictures really don't do this stuff justice, the black looks really "deep" as in an almost holographic depth. The oilslick stuff changes colors in the light really well, and looks incredible.

I've gotta say, the guys at Vvivid were really helpful in getting me the product I wanted and their customer service is second to none. I have no hesitation recommending them.
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post #9 of 69 Old 05-25-2016, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Almost finished gluing now, second one is going together tonight. Then I can finish putting my caulk in the box (giggity). You could say I caulked it up.
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post #10 of 69 Old 05-25-2016, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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While I'm on, a few comments about the UXLs...


Mark is now using carbon fiber dustcaps which not only look awesome, they can take a hell of a beating! I wound up accidentally load-testing them with a 30 lb Bengal cat who decided a cool trampoline like that could not be resisted while they were uncovered. I won't lie... I screamed like a little girl, and ran over to check the damage... none. Between that ands the funky new rubber gasket, Mark seems to have addressed all the concerns brought up on databass.


The suspension started really stiff, but after a couple of movies and hours of music free-air and limited to 300w each, with the amp off, the suspension is really soft. And damn... the travel on these things is pretty incredible.


The efficiency kinda blows me away; I had a big surprise seeing how much sound they could make limited to 10w on one of the "subwoofer songs" in that thread. I was also concerned to see how they performed at low level, as that's the majority of the system usage. No issues at all.


I think I'm going to be really happy, and be able to blow the doors off when I want.


Thanks again, Mark!
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post #11 of 69 Old 05-25-2016, 10:07 PM
 
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I'm still amazed at how good the uxl's sound at all volumes. Whether it's morning cartoons with the kids or reference level action movies.. They are so clean and effortless.
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post #12 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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More (slow) progress. The corners have been rounded over; thanks again, N8DOGG, for lending me your router! Magnets have been installed for the grille, and a test fit of the driver went well. Snug as a bug in a rug!


Final outside dimensions will be 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" x 22" plus the grille will be 24". Just very slightly larger than the Paradigm Servo 15 v.2 (18 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 21") which it will be replacing in the front. That was carefully done because I don't have more than an extra few inches extra to fit everything in my tiny room. I wanted FTW 21s, but they wouldn't fit... in the front.

Next up is mudding and sanding.
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post #13 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 10:46 AM
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How did you cut that bracing? I think there's more cuts on those than I did on my last 3 sub build put together :P That box definitely won't be flexing at all!
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post #14 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I did all the bracing center to center as was advised here. Technically, the outside portions don't even need to be there, but I wanted all the help I could get to make sure everything lined up. They're pretty sturdy with the sides on. I guess if I ever need a pair of jack-stands...


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How did you cut that bracing? I think there's more cuts on those than I did on my last 3 sub build put together :P That box definitely won't be flexing at all!

With great difficulty. No, seriously, please never use a jigsaw made before you were born on a project like this, you will regret it. My cuts look like they were done by a rabid beaver, and they took forever at about two inches per minute. That's what I get for being a cheap-ass and not buying a new jigsaw. All my tools got stolen two years ago.


Here's the culprit - note the oil hole on the side!
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post #15 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bimmaguy View Post
I did all the bracing center to center as was advised here. Technically, the outside portions don't even need to be there, but I wanted all the help I could get to make sure everything lined up. They're pretty sturdy with the sides on. I guess if I ever need a pair of jack-stands...





With great difficulty. No, seriously, please never use a jigsaw made before you were born on a project like this, you will regret it. My cuts look like they were done by a rabid beaver, and they took forever at about two inches per minute. That's what I get for being a cheap-ass and not buying a new jigsaw. All my tools got stolen two years ago.


Here's the culprit - note the oil hole on the side!
Wow, lol I know exactly what you mean, I did the exact same thing with an old jigsaw but gave up after 30 seconds and bought a new one. And then I got a decent router and never used a jigsaw again :P and I never cut a window brace again after my first one, since it's way easier to just use pieces of wood and glue them in after building the shell
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post #16 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:31 AM
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All my tools got stolen two years ago.
The jerks weren't gracious enough to take that one away too ?
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post #17 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I never cut a window brace again after my first one, since it's way easier to just use pieces of wood and glue them in after building the shell

That's totally my strategy for the next project (shhh, don't tell the wife). I figured tying every piece into at least two others would be crazy strong, fairly light, and would look cool. I think it does look pretty cool, but nobody other than you guys will ever see that anyway.


If I were to do it again, I probably wouldn't have done it all in "hard mode". The end result is probably in no way perceptibly different than a few dowels or sticks would have been. MDF is plenty strong. Just didn't want to take the chance with my first big-boy drivers.

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post #18 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:45 AM
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So life got in the way... ugh.


But now, progress!

I got presents.... and here comes the high fiber part: Vvivid Vinyl 4D Carbon fiber in semi-gloss black and a special order; Colorshift blue to purple oilslick carbon fiber in matte for the face. Pictures really don't do this stuff justice, the black looks really "deep" as in an almost holographic depth. The oilslick stuff changes colors in the light really well, and looks incredible.

I've gotta say, the guys at Vvivid were really helpful in getting me the product I wanted and their customer service is second to none. I have no hesitation recommending them.


Is that a carbon vinyl? Like what is used to vinyl wrap cars? What is your plan for applying it to your enclosures?

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post #19 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Is that a carbon vinyl? Like what is used to vinyl wrap cars? What is your plan for applying it to your enclosures?

Yes, it is! On the website it says that these are also for architectural applications. It's self-adhesive, and supposed to adhere well to bare MDF or painted surfaces. Haven't tried yet, so I can't vouch for it just yet. My plan is to use drywall compound to smooth the boxes, sand, apply a primer, and go right over that, fingers crossed.


It's supposed to be scratch-resistant and waterproof, so my hope is that my horde of cats and the occasional careless visitor putting their drink down won't ruin them. Only time will tell, but if the vinyls work alright in my rather dangerous environment, they'll be great for you guys! They are supposed to last several years outside (!), but I've never used the product or known anyone that has.
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That sounds like a great idea. It sound like they should turn out amazing.
What thickness is the vinyl ?
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post #21 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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That sounds like a great idea. It sound like they should turn out amazing.
What thickness is the vinyl ?

Thanks kindly, I certainly hope so!


I could be wrong, but I believe the vinyl is 8 mil, (which means nothing to me). When I was searching for it I came across a number of Chinese knock-offs on Amazon. They tended to be a lower mil, which I assume means thinner.


The roll came shipped in a rigid cardboard tube, and while the backing is on, it's pretty substantial. I haven't removed any from the backing yet, but by looks alone it's a very thin piece of paper type of thickness, like Canadian "paper" currency.


I hope it's not too difficult to work with. The reviews on Amazon were really good, though. I wound up dealing with their main office in Montreal.
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post #22 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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*Canadian pride moment*


The driver, wood, vinyl, glue and screws were all manufactured and sold in Canada. Ha ha, take that, exchange rate!


I wasn't able to source Canadian wire, so I got a package of "Enhanced Loud Oxygen-free Copper Speaker Wire Cable". I'm really pumped about "enhanced loud", because that's what I want! I'm just glad they didn't send me "speaker cable wire" by mistake; man, I'd be pissed!
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I'm more curious on how you plan to wrap them. Are you covering all sides? How will you deal with the seams? Edges?
I like the Brushed Gunmetal they have. Thought about doing my baffles in that. Then Duratex the rest.
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post #24 of 69 Old 05-27-2016, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm more curious on how you plan to wrap them. Are you covering all sides? How will you deal with the seams? Edges?
I like the Brushed Gunmetal they have. Thought about doing my baffles in that. Then Duratex the rest.
I hope I'm not being naïve and over-ambitious. I want to wrap one piece all around the sides and top with a slight overlap at the bottom, then a piece for the front baffle.


I also considered the brushed gunmetal for the JL look, (good taste, man!) and briefly considered leather, (a la Sonus Faber) but I didn't leave enough space to wrap properly.


When you zoom in on pics of the gunmetal vinyl and look into how it's manufactured, it really looks like a bunch of thin wires rather than brushed metal. I could totally be wrong, I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw my order in person. I guess textures and fine detail are hard to capture in pics. I'm just a sucker for that colorshift look, and that won me over in the end.
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post #25 of 69 Old 05-29-2016, 05:04 AM
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I hope I'm not being naïve and over-ambitious. I want to wrap one piece all around the sides and top with a slight overlap at the bottom, then a piece for the front baffle.
You probably want to use a squeegee or similar to remove air bubbles. Can't wait to see it finished, I think it's going to look great.
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post #26 of 69 Old 05-29-2016, 05:47 AM
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In for pics of the wrap job!
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post #27 of 69 Old 05-29-2016, 09:11 AM
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If you ever build again, I have a great jigsaw and pretty much everything you'd need. You are welcome borrow anything.
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Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #28 of 69 Old 05-31-2016, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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If you ever build again, I have a great jigsaw and pretty much everything you'd need. You are welcome borrow anything.
Thanks, N8! You rock, man!
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post #29 of 69 Old 05-31-2016, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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-Thread derail- Great news everyone! I won't be wasting any more time on Top Gear!


More really slow progress. I now have sanded, primed, and stuffed the boxes. I used 3 over-stuffed pillows from Walmart, for a total of 4.5 lbs of polyfill; 2 1/4 lbs per box. I was happy to discover that the polyfill inside was the roll type, rather than loose. It was sure a lot easier to work with and allowed me to staple some to the side walls in the front half of the cabinet. My bracing came in handy to make cavities in the back that were loosely stuffed around the wires.


-Edit- Also hot glued the wires to the bracing in two places.


Now I'm stuck though. The vinyl is actually pretty thick, like a heavy-grade poly. It's definitely a two-man job to do more than one side at a time. It seems to stick really well even to bare MDF, and I haven't heat activated it yet. Trying to talk the wife into helping me tonight, but she's busy. UGH.


Hope to be done soon.
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post #30 of 69 Old 05-31-2016, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You probably want to use a squeegee or similar to remove air bubbles. Can't wait to see it finished, I think it's going to look great.

I can't wait to see it finished, either.


I plan to try a small rubber squeegee and a credit card, both wrapped in microfiber. I'll let you guys know what works best! There's supposed to be an "air release technology" to help deal with bubbles; lots of reviews say it really helps.


I once tried doing a home tint-job on this car I used to have, using the cheapest Canadian Tire stuff. It looked really terrible, with little bubbles all over that just wouldn't come out. But it was ridiculously dark (like 2.5% limo tint or something) and I was a goofy teenager, so it stayed.


Not to say my skills haven't improved any in 20-odd years, but that was my big worry with this subwoofer project. I'm hopeful it'll go OK, but if I really screw up, I'll rip it all off and do Duratex or deck paint or something. Just wanted to try something different.
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