DIYSG Apollo-7 MT build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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DIYSG Apollo-7 MT build

I recently got the urge to break out my ancient vinyl collection, and realized two things:
1) I'm old
2) I have NOTHING to play it on!
I can't do anything about the first, but I've embarked on a project to solve the second.

I'll probably start a main thread for the rest of the system, so everyone can learn from my mistakes, so this thread will focus on the speakers. As any (smart) DIYer would do, the first place I looked was DIYSG for a pair of kicka$$ bookshelves to handle speaker duties. If you haven't had the pleasure, I highly recommend Erich and the crew over at DIYSoundGroup for tackling your own speaker projects. I used his stuff for my HT build, and couldn't be happier. For these bookshelves I wanted something capable of giving me a broad range of sound, with good efficiency and solid clarity. I'm not 100% sure about whether I'll add a sub down the line, so after much consideration I went with a pair of Apollo-7 MTs. In the past I've built the boxes from scratch, but this time I decided to give his flatpacks a go, and let my DIYness focus on potentially prettying them up with some veneer when I finish.

First step: Unboxing
We've all had to deal with Erich's shoddy packing jobs in the past, and this time was no exception.

Literally a box, stuffed with popcorn, another box, with more popcorn, protective wrapping, and beautifully sorted components within. I've never seen anyone who puts better time and effort into ensuring their product arrives safely. They do an incredible job!!









After playing with the flatpack, I'm 99% sure it'll take me less time to glue it up than it did to unbox.
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post #2 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 05:45 AM
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Cool project. I’ll be watching for sure, as I believe I have the same flat packs here for a pair of helix dome speakers I just bought. I also plan on veneering mine. So I’ll be subbed and watching your progress!
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post #3 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 06:30 AM
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Would be great to see a comparison between the Apollo and Helix Dome as both are 7", seemingly similar designs. I do wish there were more measurements available for some of these designs. The measurements available on the HTM series are one of the big reasons I felt comfortable trying that design.

The Apollo woofer is supposed to be pretty amazing but I wonder what, if anything, it might give up above the low bass with its very high excursion. The Helix is 8 ohms and more efficient requiring far less than half the power(1/4?). I think it would be very interesting to hear these compared to the HTM's. Basically, comparing wide dispersion speakers to controlled directivity.

Both of these designs have caught my eye as far as a possible project, just to do something different.
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post #4 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Would be great to see a comparison between the Apollo and Helix Dome as both are 7", seemingly similar designs. I do wish there were more measurements available for some of these designs. The measurements available on the HTM series are one of the big reasons I felt comfortable trying that design.




Well the SE mi gtg will have the helix dome, htm-8, htm-6, HT-8’s, and those are just my speakers. Others may bring more. Join us and have a listen.
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post #5 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jk7.2 View Post
Well the SE mi gtg will have the helix dome, htm-8, htm-6, HT-8’s, and those are just my speakers. Others may bring more. Join us and have a listen.
What are your thoughts concerning the Helix dome vs the HTM's, or other well known retail "hifi" speakers?
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post #6 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 08:31 AM
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DIYSG Apollo-7 MT build

Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
What are your thoughts concerning the Helix dome vs the HTM's, or other well known retail "hifi" speakers?


I sent you a PM
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post #7 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, challenge #1 :

Normally I'd glue up the whole box, minus face piece. Drill out holes for terminal posts, pre-drill for crossover board. Spray glue, add denim insulation. THEN glue on front baffle piece, sand down the whole box, prime, then Duratex. THEN when the whole thing is ready, screw in the board, install drivers, et voila.

I was planning to go through the same steps, replacing the "Duratex" step with "Veneer, stain, seal". The challenge is that the board is a pretty good size, so I won't be able to screw it to the back panel, due to a cross brace being in the way. The board can either go on the bottom or a side, and I'm not 100% convinced of my ability to hand-screw it into place with such a tight fit.

Pics of the dry fitted pieces, with the board lying against the bottom panel:





I'm thinking the best thing to do is glue the 6 sides together w/o the front, drill out terminal posts, add insulation, install crossover board. THEN glue the front on, veneer, etc...

Thoughts? Am I missing something?
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post #8 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougUSMC View Post



I'm thinking the best thing to do is glue the 6 sides together w/o the front, drill out terminal posts, add insulation, install crossover board. THEN glue the front on, veneer, etc...



Thoughts? Am I missing something?

This is what I do most of the time. It’s easier to get the internal cab crossover mounted, wired, and lined without the baffle on.
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post #9 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougUSMC View Post
Hmmm, challenge #1 :

Thoughts? Am I missing something?
That's how I do it - those are going to be awesome

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post #10 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 12:47 PM
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I cut the terminal cup holes prior to putting anything together. Easier to handle a 2" hole saw on the drill press than in a hand drill.

I also mount the crossover (usually pre-wired) prior to gluing the baffle.
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post #11 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, I guess I've been spoiled in the past. To me it's always been easier to have a single "gluing stage", followed by "electronics", "finishing", "final assembly".

I also don't like doing finishing with the board already installed, I prefer to have it safely set aside. "Board + spray glue" doesn't work well...
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post #12 of 45 Old 06-15-2019, 01:00 PM
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Waiting to see how this sounds . . .

I do remember your HT build /posts

as i'm thinking about a good for 'ordinary" stereo as close to full range as might be "reasonable"

I asked @mtg90 about the HTM12's and a possible cab / port mod since redoing the baffle is not usually "simple"

If the HTM-12 was built as 18"w x 25"h x 18"d it will give an F3 in the upper 40's and in room should give decent extension and output down to the low 40's upper 30's. Ports for this modification do not need to be changed from the 3" stock length.

The imaging of the SEOS horns works very well for my 70 y.o.+ ears

not the least bit uncharmed with the HTM6's BTW

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post #13 of 45 Old 06-16-2019, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
I cut the terminal cup holes prior to putting anything together. Easier to handle a 2" hole saw on the drill press than in a hand drill.

I also mount the crossover (usually pre-wired) prior to gluing the baffle.
unless your spray glue has corrosives or metals in it, I don't see why youd need to worry?


Are you planning on joining these using spray glues?
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post #14 of 45 Old 06-16-2019, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asarose247 View Post
Waiting to see how this sounds . . .

I do remember your HT build /posts
Hey asa, long time! I didn't realize you were getting up there that far??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimlock View Post
unless your spray glue has corrosives or metals in it, I don't see why youd need to worry?


Are you planning on joining these using spray glues?
Nope, just spraying them w/3m to adhere the denim insulation. I joined them w/regular wood glue.

Segue...

Got everything glued up today, about as simple as can be. It took about 15 minutes to get both glued up, and next to zero tools. I've decided to start including some add'l info, for any that thing these are too tough to take on. For this step I used 8 clamps I have from other projects. These fit together so well that the clamps are really just to squeeze out excess glue and hold it while it glues up. Anything you have around will work. Other than that, just a brush I use for spreading glue, a wet rag (cleaning up while gluing is easier than scraping later), and the glue.

Current status: drying overnight

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post #15 of 45 Old 06-19-2019, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Not much time today, but I at least got 15 minutes on the boards.

Step 1: Find a couple of blocks, so you can screw the boards in slightly elevated. This will let you finish the rest more easily



Step 2: Take out all components, straighten then slightly bend the leads downward so they can be placed on the board properly (markings showing, slight bend with an even curve, well spaced for the holes in the board)

Step 3: Dry fit all of the parts, to make sure they're ready for final attachment and soldering

Current status:




Lastly: I have no idea what these are for. Anyone have a hint??
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post #16 of 45 Old 06-19-2019, 07:08 PM
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Insert them just as you have them oriented into the holes in the corners of your board. Use the supplied little screws to mount the board with these "stand offs" into your enclosure. Gives a little space between the bottom of the board and the surface you are mounting to.

Maybe it shows up in this shot of my board:

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post #17 of 45 Old 06-19-2019, 07:17 PM
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You missed Step 4: Hot glue the components to the board, then solder them. Huge help as they won't move around on you while doing so.

I don't affix mine to anything while soldering. Align component, hot glue, solder is my preferred method.
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post #18 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 04:15 AM
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Just finished my mtm helix build. Would be cool if we were neighbors so we could do a comparison. I would love to see how they stack up against each other.
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post #19 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Insert them just as you have them oriented into the holes in the corners of your board. Use the supplied little screws to mount the board with these "stand offs" into your enclosure. Gives a little space between the bottom of the board and the surface you are mounting to.
Ah, very cool. I usually just buy 1/4" rubber spacers and use them, but these will save me a trip. THANKS!

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You missed Step 4: Hot glue the components to the board, then solder them. Huge help as they won't move around on you while doing so.
Maannnn, you just stole the thunder from tonight's update! I was going to do steps 4 (glue) and 5 (zip ties) tonight, but ran out of zip ties!! Those should be posted later tonight.


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Just finished my mtm helix build. Would be cool if we were neighbors so we could do a comparison. I would love to see how they stack up against each other.
Yeah, that would be super interesting. I was considering something larger but I went with these out of aesthetics for the future furniture build I'll be doing for the turntable.
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post #20 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 11:54 AM
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I glue and zip-tie before I solder. Is there a reason to do it the other way around?


I like the Apollo 7 kit, but the 4 ohm nature of it somewhat concerns me (given the receiver I want to run them on).
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post #21 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 02:12 PM
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all tremendously attentive to the details

should be a great build / how they sound/perform post at the diysg site. . .

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post #22 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickreagan120 View Post
Just finished my mtm helix build. Would be cool if we were neighbors so we could do a comparison. I would love to see how they stack up against each other.
Theses are the two I'm considering for surrounds. i would also love to see how they stack up against each other!

Darren A.
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post #23 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I glue and zip-tie before I solder. Is there a reason to do it the other way around?


I like the Apollo 7 kit, but the 4 ohm nature of it somewhat concerns me (given the receiver I want to run them on).
Nope, you're right. Apologies if I worded it badly, but that's my plan too:

1) Dry fit parts (last night)
2) Secure parts (zip tie/glue - tonight)
3) solder (maybe tonight)

Why does 4 ohm worry you? Most receivers can run that? For me personally I'm looking for a nice tube amp to run these w/my record player, so it shouldn't be a problem.
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post #24 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The boards are done!

I started by hot gluing everything down, and zip tying everything that had holes allowing for it.



Next, I unscrewed the board from the block, flipped it over, and straightened all of the leads poking through


Finally, soldered everything, then snipped off the excess leads


All done!!


To top it off, here are the tools used tonight: a cheapo $6 hot glue gun, moderately priced soldering station, snips, and a screwdriver.




All in, probably another hour or so tonight to finish it all up and clean up
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post #25 of 45 Old 06-20-2019, 06:51 PM
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Whoa, had no idea there were that many parts in a 2 way crossover. Imma have to take a look at these for 2 channel.
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post #26 of 45 Old 06-21-2019, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougUSMC View Post
Why does 4 ohm worry you? Most receivers can run that? For me personally I'm looking for a nice tube amp to run these w/my record player, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Running with a vintage Marantz. It'll handle 4 ohm, but I'd rather keep loads a bit less.

Out of curiosity, why did you choose this kit vs. the Helix Dome MT (that is 8 ohms)?
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post #27 of 45 Old 06-21-2019, 08:58 AM
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I sent you a PM
Can you post that info here? I too am curious about the Helix vs the Apollo kit.
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post #28 of 45 Old 06-21-2019, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
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Can you post that info here? I too am curious about the Helix vs the Apollo kit.


Haven’t heard both. I gave him someone else’s name to ask.
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post #29 of 45 Old 06-21-2019, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _tk View Post
Running with a vintage Marantz. It'll handle 4 ohm, but I'd rather keep loads a bit less.

Out of curiosity, why did you choose this kit vs. the Helix Dome MT (that is 8 ohms)?
That's cool. I'm planning to build a tube amp kit, which will be just as happy w/the 4 ohm.

Given that it's tubes, I'll pick up some more warmth. Most of the kits I've seen dig 4 ohm setups, and need lower wattage numbers to drive solid speakers. I'm really hoping that I don't feel the need to add a subwoofer for the LF, but anything that won't cover 30Hz makes me doubt it.

Basically, I'm hoping that extra 4-5Hz of LF that the Apollo has on the Helix keeps me happy. That's what drove the choice over to the Apollo.
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post #30 of 45 Old 06-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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I'd like to see a DIY shootout of the Helix vs Apollo vs Classix II. All are roughly the same style of build and size, but by three different designers.



You will have to post your impressions on the Apollo after you get them built. But...85db sensitivity and 4ohm speakers typically require a lot of power really to sound their best, dynamically.
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