My Marty Microcube Build Thread (390HO) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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My Marty Microcube Build Thread (390HO)

Well this endeavor is brought to you by visiting AVS daily & feeling unqualified. So thanks guys, you all have done a great job of spending my money

In all seriousness this is such a rabbit hole, so big I believe a horse could fit inside. At the time of making this thread I haven’t even finished the exterior of my Microcube & I already want to build a full size cube.

The reason I chose to build the microcube is because my setup is in a spare bedroom only 9.5x15x7.5 approximately 1,000cuft so I figured in addition to my 18” that would be plenty but, I believe now I will move my 18” to the living room & throw a cube with my micro.

I managed to pick up a Dayton 390HO during the eBay sale for $161 so I was very pleased with the price. Overall I’ve spent $161 + $28 (MDF) + $3 (SpeakOn terminal) = $192 total for my microcube. Exactly why DIY is such a rabbit hole, I’m getting better than HSU 15H performance for a Polk PSW505 price.

Below is some pictures of my build throughout the process along with graphs of the performance taken w/ REW. It took a total of 2 days to completely build & that’s working on & off throughout the two days. This build went much smoother than my first DIY build, plus it’s such a baby sitting next to my giant 9cuft 18”.

As mentioned I still have to install the SpeakOn terminal which will be delivered tomorrow & finish the exterior. I’m leaning two different ways, I’m either going to shellac it then paint it flat black like my 18” or shellac it then stain it, maybe a cherry. We’ll see where we end up this week.

I’ll also include a few graphs of my mains w/ the sub showing how well it integrated into my system.


| Eqmt | Vizio 4K M50-E1 | Yamaha RX-V681 | iNUKE 3kdsp x2 | Emotiva BasX A-100 | miniDSP UMIK-1 | Monolith M1060 | Monolith USB DAC |
| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |

Last edited by DaBateman; 08-12-2018 at 09:32 AM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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AVS only allows 30 pictures per post so multiple post



| Eqmt | Vizio 4K M50-E1 | Yamaha RX-V681 | iNUKE 3kdsp x2 | Emotiva BasX A-100 | miniDSP UMIK-1 | Monolith M1060 | Monolith USB DAC |
| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |

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post #3 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |

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post #4 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Build designs I used. Numbers on the right is width (left for ports)



Cut list for (1) 4’ x 8’ 3/4” MDF


Dry fitting port rail placement. Center of rails should be 6-7/8” from side wall


Squaring the walls


Dry fitting port bottom. The cuts were exact


Gluing the port back. I was never a fan of slot ports but, as easy as this came together im starting to change my mind


Double front baffle clamped to death


Dry fitting all parts before continuing


Finishing clamping the internal brace & front baffle along with gradually lining the inside walls w/ foam





Gluing the top



Filling all connecting walls w/ wood filler to later be sanded





After sanding light sanding. There will be plenty left to do before starting the finishing process for the exterior







Graphs of integration w/ FL & the micro by itself. My biggest deviation was 2.6dB which I’m very happy with




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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |

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post #5 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 10:06 AM
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This thread needs more pictures

Are you going to give us a summary on your thoughts on how the different subs sound, benefit drawback etc of each or haven't you placed each on in the same location and done a 1 at a time comparison? Monoprice vs PA?? vs 390ho etc

Do you have one you prefer over all of them? I think I like my B&C TBW100 the best but then I miss that real low stuff below 20hz the UM18 or Seaton give. I usually end up using a few of them together which is a pain to get them all working together. It must be like having kids.........can't pick a favorite
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscool View Post
This thread needs more pictures

Are you going to give us a summary on your thoughts on how the different subs sound, benefit drawback etc of each or haven't you placed each on in the same location and done a 1 at a time comparison? Monoprice vs PA?? vs 390ho etc

Do you have one you prefer over all of them? I think I like my B&C TBW100 the best but then I miss that real low stuff below 20hz the UM18 or Seaton give. I usually end up using a few of them together which is a pain to get them all working together. It must be like having kids.........can't pick a favorite
I know, right? 4 post of nothing but pictures..
I may have went a little picture happy with this build

Yes I will give my thoughts on both DIY subs comparative to my ID subs. I’m going to give my micro a week or two to loosen up & give me time to enjoy it.

Interesting you like a B&C tuned to 40Hz the best out of all your subs. Do you not watch many movies? I’m with you on integrating different style drivers/cabinets, it’s a bitch. That’s why I’m going to move my 18” PA to my living room & build a full size cube to pair w/ the micro.

Initially though, I am impressed w/ the microcube, especially for such a small enclosure at 3.75cuft. I’m glad I went this route. I’ve only watched movies/TV on it as of now, I haven’t listened to any music. But even for a single 15” it makes good SPL & has decent tactile sensations. I’ll go further in depth at a later time but, what makes this design such a winner is a small footprint. It’s a little baby sub sitting next to my 9cuft 18”.

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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 11:20 AM
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I mainly listen to music. I still like having subs that will play below 20-30hz because there is "music" out there with content down low. Not a lot but I want to be able to play about anything.

HTPC, Sony 40es, 120" Silver Ticket, 7702mkii, Sunfire Amp 225w, JBL 590, JBL 520

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post #8 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscool View Post
I mainly listen to music. I still like having subs that will play below 20-30hz because there is "music" out there with content down low. Not a lot but I want to be able to play about anything.
No I get it. I listen to a lot of rap/hip-hop & some occasional Deadmau5 so I’m with you on the occasional low bass in music. It’s nice to have but, not necessarily “needed” at least deemed by AVS music school

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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 07:35 PM
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Great job. 3 more to go right
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-12-2018, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson636 View Post
Great job. 3 more to go right
I would love to have quad micros in my 1kcuft room but, I think adding another full size cube will suffice for now; and be much cheaper

If I had the floor space I’d consider adding a mini Marty rather than a martycube. I think I’m gonna stick with the 18” Reference HO series for the cube.


My lord you have (2) 24’s? Gotta build thread for those?

| Eqmt | Vizio 4K M50-E1 | Yamaha RX-V681 | iNUKE 3kdsp x2 | Emotiva BasX A-100 | miniDSP UMIK-1 | Monolith M1060 | Monolith USB DAC |
| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-13-2018, 05:08 AM
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Ah, thanks for all of the photos. I'm eventually going to build a cube myself and having as many reference points as possible is always beneficial.
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-13-2018, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlash View Post
Ah, thanks for all of the photos. I'm eventually going to build a cube myself and having as many reference points as possible is always beneficial.
No problem mate. Hope that I can assist if you need it. I found that this build was completely effortless. One thing that made my life 10x easier compared to my first DIY build was brad nails. I used 18ga 1-1/4”, once I had whatever piece in place straight & flush after clamping to hold I would add brad nails at each end and two throughout the middle of connecting pieces. Made the job much easier to basically assemble it all in one day.

Here’s the brad nails if you haven’t heard of them



Just a little baby nail to hold to MDF in place as you move on to the next piece.

I started with the bottom plate attaching the back plate ontop of it, then glued both side pieces afterwards to make sure that they would stay squared w/ help from the back plate. Then I glued both port rails, bottom port plate, & back port plate in that order. Then I dry fitted the double baffle to help hold open the side plates, with leaving the baffle in place dry, I glued the brace directly in the middle. Once the brace was in I then removed the front baffle to glue it.

In between gluing the brace & front baffle I drilled my hole for my SpeakOn terminal & lined the walls w/ foam.

Next you glue the top and you’re finished.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions before or during your build just pm me or write me here.

| Eqmt | Vizio 4K M50-E1 | Yamaha RX-V681 | iNUKE 3kdsp x2 | Emotiva BasX A-100 | miniDSP UMIK-1 | Monolith M1060 | Monolith USB DAC |
| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-13-2018, 06:33 PM
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Hope this helps. If you have any questions before or during your build just pm me or write me here.
Super helpful...be sure to update when you finish it up.
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-14-2018, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So I decided to to try something a little different with my second DIY project. I painted my first subwoofer flat black which looks nice but, scuffs super easy & shows my dogs hairs a little too much for my liking. I picked up some MinWax Red Chestnut penetrating stain from Ace. I’ve read it’s super hard to stain MDF as stain basically just brings out a woods true finish. MDF is composite wood particles glued together therefore has no grain. But nevertheless I was up for the challenge.

To start the finishing process I went back over all connecting panels with wood filler, started sanding with 60 grit for maximum removal of material to even the surface. I then went back over the entire enclosure with 120 grit to smooth out all rough surfaces, especially the edges, afterwards I finished sanding with 180 grit for a baby smooth finish.

After all the sanding I started to seal the enclosure using Shellac (clear) making sure to do multiple coats on the edges especially. The edge of MDF soaks up any and all material so it’s important to seal it before applying a finish product. I didn’t take any pictures of this process but, if you’d like to see how it looks you can click my “Trilithon” link in my signature.

I bought a staining pad to apply the stain following these instructions

http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...hnique-for-mdf

I also wired up my Neutrik terminal for when I’m finished with the exterior process

Let me know how you guys think it’s turned out so far






You can see the difference between the stain & shellac below












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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
| Spkrs | HSU CCB8 x3 | SVS Prime Elevation x2 | Polk S15 |

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post #15 of 28 Old 08-15-2018, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBateman View Post


Looks good!
This is a great way to disguise MDF without paint. Did you say you’re already building another microcube?

How did you securely connect your driver cables to the NL4 connector on the inside of the box? I saw the cable connects you used.

For my Marty cube, I used cable crimp connectors to thread 12 gauge wire into and then soldered them on the male end of the NL4, because I didn’t see any other way to secure the crimp connector to the male end of the +1/-1 on the inside. I couldn’t find any information on how people actually bond the driver wire to the NL4 connector anywhere. This method works, but it wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped, and I figured there was a way to just crimp the connectors down onto the male end but that didn’t work with mine.

I’m finishing up my nearfield subs this week so hoped to stumble across a better solution before that step.
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I think the NL4MPR has 3/16" tabs which are a bit smaller than the standard 1/4" terminals. There is a NL4MP-UC version that should have 1/4" terminals, but is squared shape vs the round NL4MPR.
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sekosche View Post
Looks good!
This is a great way to disguise MDF without paint. Did you say you’re already building another microcube?

How did you securely connect your driver cables to the NL4 connector on the inside of the box? I saw the cable connects you used.

For my Marty cube, I used cable crimp connectors to thread 12 gauge wire into and then soldered them on the male end of the NL4, because I didn’t see any other way to secure the crimp connector to the male end of the +1/-1 on the inside. I couldn’t find any information on how people actually bond the driver wire to the NL4 connector anywhere. This method works, but it wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped, and I figured there was a way to just crimp the connectors down onto the male end but that didn’t work with mine.

I’m finishing up my nearfield subs this week so hoped to stumble across a better solution before that step.
Thanks for the compliments! I’m still a little iffy on it, I’m going to bring it inside this morning after letting the topcoat of poly cure last night. This was really the first thing I have stained so I definitely feel more comfortable my next one would turn out better.

No, I’m not building anything else atm. I’ve spent a lot of money the past month or two so I’m going to enjoy my system for a couple months before going down another endeavor. I do plan to build a MartyCube w/ the 460HO next to match my 390HO & probably call it there with subs.

Also I purchased the NL4MPR but, as far as my technique I just ran 14ga speaker wire through the crimp connector making sure I had a tight grip on the wire, luckily I have a box of hundreds of different crimp connectors, spades, etc w/ multiple sizes. I found one that fit snuggly.

I would just go on Amazon & order a multipack of connectors. Never hurts to have too many.

What are you building, the cube in your signature?
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| Sub | Trilithon | Stonehenge Variant Subwoofer - 18” - 9ft³ - 19Hz | Marty | Microcube 390HO - 22Hz | Monolith THX Ultra 12 | Monolith THX Select 10 |
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 05:56 AM
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My Marty Microcube Build Thread (390HO)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBateman View Post
Thanks for the compliments! I’m still a little iffy on it, I’m going to bring it inside this morning after letting the topcoat of poly cure last night. This was really the first thing I have stained so I definitely feel more comfortable my next one would turn out better.



No, I’m not building anything else atm. I’ve spent a lot of money the past month or two so I’m going to enjoy my system for a couple months before going down another endeavor. I do plan to build a MartyCube w/ the 460HO next to match my 390HO & probably call it there with subs.



Also I purchased the NL4MPR but, as far as my technique I just ran 14ga speaker wire through the crimp connector making sure I had a tight grip on the wire, luckily I have a box of hundreds of different crimp connectors, spades, etc w/ multiple sizes. I found one that fit snuggly.



I would just go on Amazon & order a multipack of connectors. Never hurts to have too many.



What are you building, the cube in your signature?

I’m building a pair of slim boxes for nearfield based on the micro cube with the 390HO. I bought a multipack of cable connectors, but none of them fit snuggly at all on the round NL4 that I prefer to use...guess I’ll try some different connectors or just solder again. Going to be done in a few days so hope to find something local.

Thanks!

Speakers: PSA MTM-210T x2, MTM-210C, MT-110SR x2; Atmos-SVS Satellite x2, DIY Volt-10 x2
Subs: PSA V1801 x2, DIY: 18" RSS460HO, 15" RSS390HO x2, BOSS w/JBL CX1200 x6
MA’s: Crowson Tech x2
Processing: Denon X4200, NU6KDSP, 3KDSP
Video: Epson 3700; Screen: Silver Ticket 106" High Contrast

Last edited by Sekosche; 08-16-2018 at 06:07 AM.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sekosche View Post
I’m building a pair of slim boxes for nearfield based on the micro cube with the 390HO. I bought a multipack of cable connectors, but none of them fit snuggly at all on the round NL4 that I prefer to use...guess I’ll try some different connectors or just solder again. Going to be done in a few days so hope to find something local.

Thanks!
Nice! A pair will rock nearfield.

You could find these at Walmart. This is the pack that my crimps came out of

http://www.walmart.com/ip/HT-79-PIEC...ECTS/629868231
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So after 3 coats of stain, multiple coats of shellac, & lots of thin coats of poly I’m pleased to say my Microcube is finished..I’m also even more pleased how it ended up turning out. This entire build was such a breeze. I was a little iffy with the exterior while the subwoofer was outside during the finishing process but, after bringing it inside this morning I am quite enjoying how it turned out.

Give me your impressions if you like the finish..or if you don’t.





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post #21 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 03:59 PM
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Very fine, looks like mahogany!
I have 4 Jbl 1224 in two double enclosure (nearfield like, 1 meter or 3feets from Mlp if you prefer, if not directly behind Mlp). Inuke 3000dsp. Starting to consider this as ported to complement them. My fronts have also two big woofers themselves, being Klipsch Cornwalls, but Avr xo had to be raised yet to 60Hz to have the Jbl start singing! Not EQd them yet, btw. What do you think?
Regards
Alessandro
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-16-2018, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vn800art View Post
Very fine, looks like mahogany!
I have 4 Jbl 1224 in two double enclosure (nearfield like, 1 meter or 3feets from Mlp if you prefer, if not directly behind Mlp). Inuke 3000dsp. Starting to consider this as ported to compliment them. My fronts have also two big woofers themselves, being Klipsch Cornwalls, but Avr xo had to be raised yet to 60Hz to have the Jbl start singing! Not EQd them yet, btw. What do you think?
Regards
Alessandro
I’m glad that you approve! MDF is a very hard material to work with unless you’re painting or using Duratex.

I’m not forsure about power depending upon how big your JBL enclosures are but I have my Microcube running off a 3kdsp bridged.

I do think as long as you have DSP, which it seems that you do, that they could easily blend well together. I’m surprised at how well it performs by itself in a 1000cuft room.

Also I would test raising your crossovers even more. I’ve always had mine set at 80Hz regardless of what speaker I was using but, after switching to DIY I’ve since raised my XO to 100Hz all around and it’s made quite an improvement.

Honestly I’d go for the microcube if your room isn’t huge. It was a breeze to put together. You could complete the assembly in one day, 2 at the max.

Id also run your AutoEQ. It’ll make a difference as well after adding different subs to the mix.
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-17-2018, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions @DaBateman !
As per power requirements, I have started setting Inuke as dual and 2x2 boxes in series each one: 8Ohm load. Now I have changed these to parallel as 2Ohm load and I can hear the difference. Changed their positioning in the room, but always around the side surrounds area (also tried nearfield behind the Mlp, but when they were as 8Ohm).
I never thought power should be a problem in driving such a relatively low number drivers.
If 390HO has a different resistance could this be a problem in running 4Jbl on the other channel? Inuke set in Dual mode I believe could drive different resistance drivers.
What power You think Your Marty needs to run at best? My room is 3,75W x 6,00L x 2,70H.
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Alessandro

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Last edited by vn800art; 08-17-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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post #24 of 28 Old 08-17-2018, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vn800art View Post
Thanks for your suggestions @DaBateman !
As per power requirements, I have started setting Inuke as dual and 2x2 boxes in series each one: 8Ohm load. Now I have changed these to parallel as 2Ohm load and I can hear the difference. Changed their positioning in the room, but always around the side surrounds area (also tried nearfield behind the Mlp, but when they were as 8Ohm).
I never thought power should be a problem in driving such a relatively low number drivers.
If 390HO has a different resistance could this be a problem in running 4Jbl on the other channel? Inuke set in Dual mode I believe could drive different resistance drivers.
What power You think Your Marty needs to run at best? My room is 3,75W x 6,00L x 2,70H.
Regards
Alessandro
No it won’t have any issue running a 2ohm load for the JBL in stereo or dual but, you can only use a 2ohm load using stereo or dual.

If you bridge your 3k it needs to be 4 or 8ohms.

Never mind about the power I was thinking you had 8 JBL’s for some reason.

I’m giving my 390HO 1300wts so, it should be able to take everything a 3k can produce in stereo mode.

Our rooms are similar so you should have excellent bass with this combination of drivers.
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post #25 of 28 Old 08-18-2018, 03:05 AM
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I am also considering as alternative to start a VBSS with a DA PA460-8. Essentially .... cheaper! I do not think at my age (... 65 yo btw) I can hear the difference with the 390HO in a Mini.
And, moreover, the shape of the 460 cone is similar to that in the Cornwalls, if that could be a reason for better integration in my system.
Dunno!
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post #26 of 28 Old 08-18-2018, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I am also considering as alternative to start a VBSS with a DA PA460-8. Essentially .... cheaper! I do not think at my age (... 65 yo btw) I can hear the difference with the 390HO in a Mini.
And, moreover, the shape of the 460 cone is similar to that in the Cornwalls, if that could be a reason for better integration in my system.
Dunno!
Regards
Alessandro
The PA460’s are absolutely a cheap option for good bass.

The only problem is that they cannot be tuned low without a huge enclosure. IMO if you watch more movies/TV than music I’d get (4) more JBL’s, you’d spend an extra $20 but you’d be getting UM-18 performance for a little more than PA460 price. Just my opinion, but of course if you get 4 more JBL’s you’ll need more power of course.

The 460 isn’t a bad option, especially for music applications or midbass but, for the money I think you’d get better performance with the JBL’s..assuming music isn’t your main usage.
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post #27 of 28 Old 08-18-2018, 10:23 AM
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You hit the right nail, really!
My listening is maybe 60% music and 30%video/films. I have just moved the two boxes asymmetrically, along the sides of the room (90° and 70°). Also set one horizontally, one vertically (have to check further this). Also played with distance, furthening from 0,89 to 1,30 meters. Sounds blended better without localization of the subs.
Also played some bass test video/audio tracks. These Jbl things go really deep bass! At a certain point I had my ears aching! And still with no Eq (only Audyssey).
So the thing that could lack (if any) are midbass.
You summarized the options.
When I will finish reading the Rew how-to, we will see.
Thanks for your interest
Regards
Alessandro

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post #28 of 28 Old 08-19-2018, 02:06 AM
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lined the walls w/ foam.
This looks like closed cell foam instead of open cell foam? Any specific reason you've used that specific material? If not then you've reduced the inner sub volume and therefore performance.

Markus

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