3x DIYSG Volt-6 build (aka: Lessons learned) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-21-2018, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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3x DIYSG Volt-6 build (aka: Lessons learned)

Purchased 3 of the Volt-6 kits about a month ago and have been using them for a week or so now, figured I would post a thread on them. I was looking to replace some very old and cheap JBL surrounds in the family room (not our HT area) and given the size and specs, decided the Volts would be a good choice.

I'll skip the part about the unboxing. Suffice to say, everything arrived in perfect condition.

First time I've ordered flat packs from DIYSG. These make it so much easier and faster, I didn't have to spend time calculating cut sheets, gathering the supplies, cutting, etc. Highly recommended, and by my calculation actually saved me $$ vs. buying the lumber myself and all the time saved, even with the extra shipping cost (Lesson learned!).



Took me longer to unbox everything than it did to get the first box all glued up (trust me, you cannot have enough clamps. And I didn't have enough to put both boxes together at the same time )



Crossovers: Very first time I've ever assembled one (or 3). Drop-dead simple with the supplied PCBs and instructions (Lesson learned!). I have quite a bit of experience with plumbing soldering/sweating so understand the basic principals, but almost no experience with soldering electronics. Those worried about it should try it, you'll be surprised (OK, mine didn't turn out quite as good as Matt's...).



Fast-forward to lined and crossovers mounted. The crossovers get to be a tight fit with 1-1/4" mattress topper, but they fit.



Wrangled up some more clamps (Lesson learned!) and glued the baffles on.



Really fast-forward, boxes sanded and veneer applied. Just a simple birch veneer from Menard's, I used the same on my VBSS build and liked the way it turned out.



Stain applied, 2 coats of semi-gloss poly. I use semi-gloss to hide all my imperfections



And finally, ready for surround duty!




I connected them up as my mains in the family room for a couple of days to see what they would do and I have to say I was impressed. I really didn't know how such a small coax would sound and I was surprised by the amount of bass they actually produce for their size. Nothing like mains with 8" plus drivers of course, but it was there and noticeable. Overall the package has a great sound in a small footprint, I can see why others used the larger version for mains for awhile. Perfect for my needs as surrounds.
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Last edited by smcmillan2; 09-21-2018 at 06:11 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-21-2018, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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(Wait, didn't he say he bought 3 of the Volt-6s??)

Yes, yes I did...

Quote:
To be continued...
OK, so about that 3rd Volt-6...

Our "HT room" is actually our living room, so I don't have carte blanche over it and deal with space constraints/location problems. I replaced a pair of RBH/EMP R5Bis with the HTM-10s (in my sig) but needed a horizontal center that would keep up with the HTMs, in a specific size height and depth-wise. So I planned out such a center with the 3rd Volt-6, keeping internal volume similar to the original design. The overall dimensions ended up being 16"W x 7"H x 6.75"D (a bit more volume than the original because I would add bracing).

So, once again I sacrifice a perfectly good DIYSG front baffle to use as a template. Inner cutout first, just laid it onto my to-be baffle with plenty of area to cut to size.



Hole cut, nice and smooth. Then for the recess I remove the same from the original baffle





And we end up with a recessed hole in a big piece of MDF.



After lots of math, which is hard, especially with fractions , we cut down the big piece of MDF to the final baffle size with the hole in the center.



The driver fits great!



All the parts are now ready for assembly, except for one thing. For symmetry I wanted to put the port on the back. You know, since there's only 1 driver... . Used the sacrificial baffle to route that out.





Got it all assembled.



Hooked it up to see how it sounded. Annnnd.....

Meh. No bass like the original design. Double-check connections and setup, no issue there. Spoiler alert...


Lesson learned! Don't modify the original design that much!
I put my ear to the back of the speaker and viola! There's the bass! Shoot, it's already assembled...

We can fix this. We have tools. And beer.

Cut a piece to fill the original mistake, work it on the grinder to fit



Glued in and a little sanding, we can work with this



So back to the sacrificial baffle, attached to the front this time. Had to over-extend the top bearing pattern bit, this was a little scary. For those with little router experience I would not recommend trying this.



Just barely made it through, but it's through. Now we have a huge mess in the cabinet, but a few minutes with the compressor takes care of that (whew!)





A bit of caulk around the plug on the inside back



Assembled and in place, but not finished



Same veneer as the surrounds





Wanted a small roundover on the front edge, but because of the limited area between the driver and top/bottom of the cab I had to stop it short (bearing would have fallen into the driver hole - NOT good!)



Went with Duratex on the front as it's the center channel and I wanted it to "disappear" into the TV base. Hadn't tried this method before and was concerned the Duratex wouldn't stick to oil-based stain or poly, that's why the front 3/4" was masked off.

Wait for it...

Lesson learned! On my 1260 builds I had used a 9" - 3/8" nap roller cover to apply the Duratex, and it worked out great. Given the area I was covering on this build I chose (unwisely) a 3" - 3/8" nap roller that basically unraveled as I was using it, leaving all sorts of clumps and threads in the paint. I may end up trying to sand the face down and re-applying the Duratex, but this is really a temporary setup and the horrid aesthetics aren't noticeable from our viewing distance. Other than that, I think it turned out well.




So, the important question - How does it sound? Quite honestly, it's terrific. This may just be because we came from the RBH R5Ci, but the dialogue in movies is very much improved. No more "What did he say?", voices sound natural, dynamics are good. Bass is a bit lacking of course, but the HTMs cover that well. Granted, this is basically a temporary center until I can change things around and put together the Fusion-8 center to replace it, but it's a keeper and will go into the family room when that time comes.

Well, that was fun, hope you received some enjoyment out of it too.

(Not sure how the forum decides the order of the thumbnails, odd)
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Last edited by smcmillan2; 09-22-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 03:47 AM
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Wow, those look fantastic. Great job and nice save on the center. Clever idea to use the Volt 6 like that. I guess I'll have to try veneer some time. Your results are inspiring.

I recently finished a couple of Volt 6's to go with my new HTM LCRs as surrounds and the Volts are indeed surprising.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmccorm View Post
Wow, those look fantastic. Great job and nice save on the center. Clever idea to use the Volt 6 like that. I guess I'll have to try veneer some time. Your results are inspiring.

I recently finished a couple of Volt 6's to go with my new HTM LCRs as surrounds and the Volts are indeed surprising.
Thanks! They are surprising, perhaps more so for me as I had preconceived notions of coaxial speakers. But I decided to give them a try after reading all the positive comments/reviews of them.

Laminate/veneer have their challenges, but there are plenty of good YouTube videos out there to walk you through the basics. If you have the tools and desire you really should give it a try, it really isn't all that difficult.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 07:06 AM
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The volts really look nice with the veneer and duratex. Wouldn't have thought the port placement would have that much of a difference in bass. That you for testing that out for us.


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post #6 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 07:19 AM
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This is damn impressive
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 09:32 AM
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Was the original mistake on the center that it was rear ported or sealed?

- 6 BA CR6 array center channel, QSC AD-S82 L/R, 4 jbl 8330a surr , 8 jbl 12" subs w/Inuke 6000. JVC rs420, Denon x4000, Sony x800 -
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-22-2018, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
The volts really look nice with the veneer and duratex. Wouldn't have thought the port placement would have that much of a difference in bass. That you for testing that out for us.
Anytime Curt! I was surprised by the lack of bass with the rear port as well, didn't expect that at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkie
This is damn impressive
Thank you. Necessity being the mother of invention and all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by trilkb
Was the original mistake on the center that it was rear ported or sealed?
Rear ported initially, lost most of the bass response. So I made the plug and filled the hole in the back and routed a new one in the front.
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