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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
MoleHole v1: DIYSG Fusion8, Volt6,Icepower Amp,HTPC,JLW7s Build

Screen wall build for those interested: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/110-diy-screen-section/2140098-father-son-diyht-sony-hw40es-128-5a-spandex-screen-screen-wall-build-thread.html

So first and foremost I would like to thank everyone on this damn forum, without which all of this would likely not have come to fruition. I’m not super active on the forums, but rely on all you beautiful people to be the leaders in making mistakes, or as it's commonly known, learning and sharing knowledge. And to my father, for all his help on all this and putting up with my crazy ideas, love ya pop


Backstory (skip if easily bored)

I’ve always had the AV bug, started long ago when I helped my father put in an alpine CD player for one of my older brothers friends. From there the car audio bug hit hard. When I received my first car it already had a makeshift system in it, quickly grew out of hand when I put 12” Rockford Fosgate DVCs and 3.5” front dash speakers, musical fidelity on wheels as you can imagine. Started putting in systems for friends, that transitioned into building our own subwoofer boxes etc and the rest is history.

Few years back, purchased a home, a split ranch with a nice sized basement. It’s just me and the GF so no real usage for the basement. So I decided to claim it as my own. I always ‘talked’ of putting in a projector down there, but never really had the itch to get it done. Well then started football Sundays, would have friends over to watch the games, would be pulling TVs from all over the house (2 Kuros and a Samsung from my GFs parents) and had the NFL Gamepass running on all of them. This off season I said f-it, time for a projector. We are big time tv/movie buffs, and the icing on the cake was the last few times we’ve gone to the movies we’ve had to literally move our seats due to annoying movie talkers. Going to the movies is just terrible these days, so bring the theater to our house!

I’m a bit of a nerd, build computers on the side, do our own car work, few summers doing construction…certainly handy people my father and I. My father was always the tweaker, could build things, has a **** ton of tools for every job, so naturally I’d need his involvement and brain to help put this all together. I’ve always been aware that the DIY is the way to go to extend your dollar, thus why I follow all you idiots.


Shut up! On to the important stuff!

SPEAKERS: I had a dream of one day building the Jesen Next speakers from Troels, saw some other MTM designs, then stumbling upon the DIYSG speakers which seemed more feasible and fit my needs better (move movie than music/critical listening). I landed on the Fusion 8s for a few reasons, mostly being size, but also that they were a highly sensitive speaker that would be perfect for movies, all the other speakers I'd evaluated all seemed more geared to music. I’d never owned any HT speaker that had larger than a 4.5” woofer on it (klipsh promedia, then the polk RM101s, to the RM301s) so I was looking forward to a much more blended front stage (where the sub didn’t have to pick up all the slack in the 80-160hz range). In my car audio days I loved a great sounding silk which I have on my RMs, but they were a bit too soft in the HT realm for me. I figured the compression drivers would be a perfect fit between in your face and far too soft.

The volt 6’s naturally made sense as I don’t do any 5ch music listening, so just handling SUR duties, which the volt 6 is likely overkill for, but I guess that’s the whole point isn’t it.

SUBS and AMP: Few years ago I bought a 10w7 from a friend of mine (already had an 8w7 lying around). They hadn’t been installed in any of my new cars so were just collecting dust. I originally planned on taking the JL500/1 to power up the 10w7 and use it in my HT, but finding a power supply to power it was a PITA, and super damn expensive. I found one that worked (not a computer power supply) but it was BOILING HOT, was not going to have that in the house. Well crap, so I started looking at DIY amps and stumbled on the whole class d community on DIYAUDIO. I narrowed it down to the hypex and icepower modules, now the tricky part was finding them. Someone happened to be selling some icepower ASP and A modules on the classifieds of the forum, and I scooped em up: 500asp for the 10w7, and a 250a for the 8w7. I know I know, you could buy new drivers blah blah, but these JLs are pretty freaking ridiculous in their own right. I already had em, so why spend the extra $. I figured if I hook them up and really don’t like them, I’d worry about it then. Heck the fathoms receive so much praise, the drivers had to be playing a part in that (I know their tuning system is also pretty amazing as well).

HTPC: not much to say here, quick BOM: i3 4330 (hd4600 graphics is what I was looking for here), asrock h97itx-ac (thought was built in wifi, and it had a 30MIR, got this thing for like 50bucks), 8GB Kingston, Intel 530 120GB SSD, Coolermaster 110, simple small footprint.


FINAL EQUIPMENT CHECK:

Denon 2310ci (few years old, but still gets the job done, looking into a DIY 5ch AMP in near future)
Sony HW40ES
3xFusion 8 Alchemy (LCR)
2xVolt 6s (SUR)
HTPC – win7, WMC, PlexHT (likely moving to jRiver) powered from a 9TB Media Server in the office
JL10w7 powered by a 500ASP
JL8W7 powered by a 500A –not hooked up just yet (burned the 250a during the build…oops….purchased a 500a to replace it for future proofing)


Well, anyway, thanks for reading, enjoy the build pics. Thanks again everyone in the community here, much appreciated reading all of your build threads. Hoping my experience can help others! There is still plenty to be done from a finish standpoint until I'm ready to call it completed (I'm the same as all you junkies so it'll never truly be 'done') But done enough where i can sit down and really enjoy it while the finishing touches are added. Also headed to post another thread on the DIY Screen and Screen Wall, will check back in after to update with a link.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Week 1 (8/15) - less than a month away from football

Computer building time, started with this because I knew it was the quickest thing i could do and could get that out of the way:



Showing off the ole battle station



Final build



Time for cutting of the wood for the sub boxes. I looked everywhere for 1" MDF but couldnt find it. Went with a 3/4" all around, then glued a 1/2" sheet on the face for additional structure. Boxes would be 16x16x16.5 = 1.76 cu ft. Wanted big, but not overwhelming. The fathom 110 external dimensions would yield ~1.4 cu ft, so I figured I would keep it around there. I made the 8w7 also 1.76 so it would play a little louder as well. The 8w7 will be right next to the couch and much closer to our ears, modeled, it should be actually a little louder than the 10 due to proximity, should keep them well balanced



pops "whats with the picture, you gonna put them on the internet or something" --
me "YEAUP"

in reality he's looking at me like put the freaking phone down and grab the damn board



Dont freak, not glued, just taking a pic getting it lined up. Bought an extra MDF board that not only came in handy (screwed up one of the hole cuts) but also made a lovely working space with some plastic covering like a doctors office



Mounted the top down, not glued, while we routed the cutout. Box was glued and stapled, who has time to let things dry




Boxes mostly assembled next to JLs, my mancala game was strong back in the day



Next night we got to routing out all the faces, and working on the amp cut outs







it fits! hindsight 20/20, should have gone vertical, can't get to the bottom mounting screws once it's wired....




Ready to get painted



My father works for a company where they powder paint, took it to work the next day. I'm an idiot, I bought the case from Mouser, and didn't realize the top of the case was a separate part. So in stead of ordering it and chopping up a bunch of holes for ventilation, we went with a screen topping, worked out great! The two different screws were to show me the thumb screw look vs the regular screws







The speakers arrived, great packaging Erich! thanks again for the quick turn around, I'm the jerk who ordered while you were trying to get the website updated...blame me if the update took longer than it should have...





Later that night, i started working on mounting the amp modules and the connectors, big mole started gluing the flat packs





Oops, one of the brads got away from him, oh well, will touch that up in post production

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Week 1 cont (8/21) through Week 2 (8/28)

Figured I'd move to a new post

Anyway, more pics of the crossovers getting wired and the flat packs being glued. the PCB boards were worth every penny, made the process that much easier, although, the Fusions were labeled, the Volts were not, I had to do some searching on the interwebs to find the right spots for the schematics





Big mole working on the volts




After the gluing, he went on to put in the speaker terminals, we went with a flushed look, which in hindsight was probably not the best idea since the denovo terminals aren't that deep and don't take a banana clip super deep (ha), but it actually looks pretty cool on the finished product



And finally, the fruits of our labor!!! the mound of speaker boxes in all their glory



----------- Cut Scene to Next Weekend ---------------------------

So not much went down between 8/21 and 8/28. I spent a lot of time finding products i wanted to use to finish the boxes, as well as getting the foam for the lining. I think one night i went over there to finish soldering the crossovers but pretty much was lazy.

Back to it, now it's time to get these speakers assembled. Volts getting their foam and crossover



And on with the fusion 8s. Getting the crossovers in there was rather tricky. Not really any room in the box with the bracing that would fit the PCB. I heard others used double sided tape/velcro, but the last thing i wanted to do was pull down my screen to open up my speaker to fight the small cutouts to refasten if it ever fell. So i wanted something more secure and permanent. Went with some standoffs and screwed them into the boards, had a hard time getting all the right distances with the screws i had available, but got it working perfectly. My only concern is if this is a reflection point and if i should be covering it with foam? i left it uncovered, however not sure if it's affecting anything





Time to glue the faces, i believe we put in two brads to hold it in place on the wave guide cutout (not on the face/edges of it) and hit the box supports. This was to make sure it didnt move when we mashed em down





Back at my house now that all the cutting and gluing is done. time for wood filler, sanding, priming, and painting



Wood filling



First few that were sanded, by HAND. I had a belt sander but the wrong pads so they wouldnt stick, hand sanded down with 120 grit, then 320



A good shot of the screen being built in the background (see my linked thread above for my screen build)



Sanding gets messy, this was the top of my toolbox



Sanded and masked



Speaker stands getting painted



The trusty garage work area

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I lost track of this whole week thing...its getting close to football, too close....

So at this point we are on to the finish work. All the boxes have been sanded down. I was going to go with this duratex everyone loves so much but I didn't really order it in time for everything, so I went a different direction. Rustoleum truck bed liner, spray on (the paint product was all watery....maybe i got a bad batch..who knows). The finish was exactly what i wanted, not too shiny, a bit of a rugged look, faily flat without being too flat. Worked out well

First i went with the rustoleum spray on primer, f-that....was chewing through $$ spraying these boxes. Then i bought an $8 can of primer from the hardware store, barely even dented it and did 3 coats of primer (well two, and a third on all the MDF seams). Put the lady to work while me and big mole got the screen up




Masking the holes, i think this is how the pros do it?



All sprayed up with their first coats



A quick pic from a week or so later so you can see how we mounted and sat them



Ok, everything was all painted and time to start wiring the speakers and soldering the terminals:





One done, tested, on to the next four




TADAAAAAA (and screen had just gotten masked earlier that day...was a big win. Had to go to Chicago for work that very next morning (actually my flight had gotten cancelled that day so i got an extra day of working, i probably wouldn't have finished on time with it)





Now, time to finish this freaking AMP. I wired it all up, after hours of reading schematics and hoping it was correct before i powered it up, to my surprise (and i'm sure many of you) it fired up, and worked perfectly the first time!!! however...i f'd up the 250a, i wired the power supply from the ASP to the speaker outputs and fried the damn thing. not literally fried, but when i turn it on (properly wired now) it just makes a buzzing noise....oh well, a replacement 500a should be on it's way. figured keep them modules the same for future proofing





 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Finished product, listening impressions, and a day from hell

Well, it was time to get these all wired up and sound test. I put them on the wall, wired the terminals, and turned em on, holy f-ing balls....these things CRANK, then it turned them up louder...they just took everything i threw at it and then some. What a beautiful sounding set of speakers, well done DIYSG, just absolutely amazing

And now the day from hell....it all started with the realization that i blew up my 250a, so i took a break to come down to get the speakers hooked up. Well i'm hearing this rattling noise out of the front right speaker. i can't pinpoint it, but i figured it was just a wire banging against the crossover so i go to take the woofer out, and the top most screw that drills into the bracing is a little tight, so i have the drill pressed down, screw shoots up, drill does too, i'm still pushing down, and BAM, right through the speaker....YES I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW, put your freaking hand over the woofer when doing any drilling. honestly i was just rushing trying to get everything ready, this is SAT before go live. I loudly scream the f word over and over and over again. so i sulked a little, then evaluated the damage. the hole wasnt too bad, and it ripped perfectly so that it sort of flapped back into place. i went into the garage, put on some RTV and let it cure. So as this is drying, i put the other woofer from the center into the enclosure. i'm trying to determine if it was the enclosure or the driver or the whatever. so i put in the new driver, and same noise (phew). so it's something to do with the enclosure. after pinning down ever god damn wire in there, and even going as far as putting in padding on the bracing, still, the same noise. then i had a random thought, the port. i took a hammer and lighted banged on the port, clicked FULLY into place, and that was that. the port was 'farting' if you will. f-in aye. well the RTV cured, and the woofer seems unaffected. i dont have a pic (will get one soon) but holding up perfectly. i'm probably going to replace the driver just cause, but ****...later on that day i went to hang the surround sounds...drilled a test hole, hit power wire and took out my oven (240v, luckily i didnt kill myself). then in my haste of wiring up the speaker, audyessy was reporting phase issues, turns out i miss wired the RTV'd woofer. Was just not my day

anyway, enough rambling, here's the finished product. thanks again everyone!!!

The 10w7 had a minor hole as well in the surround, RTV to the rescue!!! honestly if it doesnt hold up they sell repair kits for like $30, but it's doing just fine for now. Girlfriend asked if I was ok with the 'semen' stain on the speaker....speaker grills coming soon



they are positioned so that the center of the tweeters pass through the half way point of the screen to bring the sound stage up based on some other reading i'd done on here











Yes, yes, the wiring is still very much ghetto, all the little finishing touches are coming in the next few weeks. speaker grills for the subs, painting the projector opening and shelf (finishing the shelf as well with some sort of decorative edge)...etc.





 

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Almost as great as the build are your comments :D:D:D I rarely enjoy reading build threads this much!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Almost as great as the build are your comments :D:D:D I rarely enjoy reading build threads this much!
Thanks! What a process to get slammed into such a short period of time while still trying to manage regular life on top of all of it. Had a blast doing it, and every time it turn it on I get such great enjoyment of knowing that somewhere on all those components my blood is there from all the freaking times i managed to cut myself, ha

Thanks again to such a great community, glad I could hopefully share a laugh or two.
 

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Great build! You're right, blood sweat and tears makes them more sentimental but unfortunately kills the resale. I was looking for details on the home built amp but had a hard time finding them. Could you talk about it a little bit?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great build! You're right, blood sweat and tears makes them more sentimental but unfortunately kills the resale. I was looking for details on the home built amp but had a hard time finding them. Could you talk about it a little bit?
Absolutely, so after much deliberation on the amp build i knew one thing for sure, i didnt want to get a PCB and start wiring in resistors, caps, and all the other lovely things that are required for amp building. I did manage to learn quite a bit during my research, but honestly i was leaning a bit more towards plug and play.

this lead me to the hypex, new class d, class d audio, and icepower modules (probably more but these are the major ones i see out in the class d world). they are all for the most part pre-assembled and really just require some housing and a little bit of solder to get off the ground. after much reading and feedback on all the different modules i landed on the icepower. there are a number of highly reviewed amplifiers on the market that are literally just an icepower module wired in a case, all well over $1000. they hypex stuff looks great too, but for the 10w7 i really only needed 500w and the hypex were either 400w or 700w, so that also paired nicely. actually, the sub is 3ohm so i figured i'd be getting a little more than all the specs as they were rated at 4ohm

i managed to find someone selling the modules for a reasonable price, i think i got both for a little over 300. The 500asp is a 500a with a power supply. They also have what they call a dc-bus that allows you to daisy chain two other modules off it, so i grabbed a 250a which was to be powered from the 500asp dc-bus (has an 80v and 50v output, the 250a needs a 50v). this made the entire build that much easier because now i didnt have to buy the traditional massive transformer and build a power supply that i know nothing about.

popped onto mouser and grabbed some RCA terminals (only need 1, but always order back ups), grabbed an enclosure box from bud industries, picked up the IEC power inlet from amazon (fused), the speaker terminals were from parts express i believe. the amp module shipped with the proper terminals, just needed to run the wires. the icepower site appears to be down, and has been for a few days now, but i luckily downloaded the PDFs of the schematics. after that it was just connect x wire to y location. the longest part was fighting these damn little connectors (these little ****s: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/TE-Connectivity-AMP/170265-2/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMvz8LftK4jerjA1Ujv6lEWyBv44Cj%2bz48Q=, not these exact ones, but similar, tiny as hell, came with the module)

was a fun and easy little project, i'm actually contemplating just moving to a USB DAC and building an icepower 5ch amp in the very near future and retiring my denon

hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice build thread. Guess what? You're probably going to need bigger subwoofers to keep up with those Fusion-8's. Most people don't realize just how loud those buggers can get. :D
you aint kidding, they slam, i was a little nervous going with these over the 10s, but just wow, they have exceeded all the expectations i had

and my space is pretty small for the most part, 12x16. the jlw7s absolutely rip in the sealed box and i've got them turned pretty far down or else they are very overwhelming. i'm excited to get the new amp module so i can get both of them up and running to see if i've got enough bass.

but you are absolutely right, soon enough i'll get the itch for some bigger drivers, dual 15s sound like a nice place to be. nexts years budget might have those on my list
 

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Absolutely, so after much deliberation on the amp build i knew one thing for sure, i didnt want to get a PCB and start wiring in resistors, caps, and all the other lovely things that are required for amp building. I did manage to learn quite a bit during my research, but honestly i was leaning a bit more towards plug and play.

this lead me to the hypex, new class d, class d audio, and icepower modules (probably more but these are the major ones i see out in the class d world). they are all for the most part pre-assembled and really just require some housing and a little bit of solder to get off the ground. after much reading and feedback on all the different modules i landed on the icepower. there are a number of highly reviewed amplifiers on the market that are literally just an icepower module wired in a case, all well over $1000. they hypex stuff looks great too, but for the 10w7 i really only needed 500w and the hypex were either 400w or 700w, so that also paired nicely. actually, the sub is 3ohm so i figured i'd be getting a little more than all the specs as they were rated at 4ohm

i managed to find someone selling the modules for a reasonable price, i think i got both for a little over 300. The 500asp is a 500a with a power supply. They also have what they call a dc-bus that allows you to daisy chain two other modules off it, so i grabbed a 250a which was to be powered from the 500asp dc-bus (has an 80v and 50v output, the 250a needs a 50v). this made the entire build that much easier because now i didnt have to buy the traditional massive transformer and build a power supply that i know nothing about.

popped onto mouser and grabbed some RCA terminals (only need 1, but always order back ups), grabbed an enclosure box from bud industries, picked up the IEC power inlet from amazon (fused), the speaker terminals were from parts express i believe. the amp module shipped with the proper terminals, just needed to run the wires. the icepower site appears to be down, and has been for a few days now, but i luckily downloaded the PDFs of the schematics. after that it was just connect x wire to y location. the longest part was fighting these damn little connectors (these little ****s: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/TE-Connectivity-AMP/170265-2/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMvz8LftK4jerjA1Ujv6lEWyBv44Cj%2bz48Q=, not these exact ones, but similar, tiny as hell, came with the module)

was a fun and easy little project, i'm actually contemplating just moving to a USB DAC and building an icepower 5ch amp in the very near future and retiring my denon

hope that helps!
Great build and commentary, I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for the info on building your amp. I'm very interested in doing something similar for my desktop system.
 

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Nice build thread. Guess what? You're probably going to need bigger subwoofers to keep up with those Fusion-8's. Most people don't realize just how loud those buggers can get. :D
Beautiful build thread, thank you for taking the time to create it.

I also built the Fusion 8 and I'm thrilled by the SQ and output, they can eat everything my AVR can deliver without breaking a sweat. I run mine on an older entry level Yamaha AVR and it is enough to drive them through the damn roof. There is no way any 10" subs I have every heard would keep up with the Fusions.

For subs I built a pair of the 4' sealed box/Ultimax 18" bundle subs from PE and I think much less would fail to keep up. I power them with a cheap-o iNuke and they provide that heavy slam needed for movies and do great for music to. I thought these subs were going to be way overkill but they match up pretty nicely. I'm sure what you have will get you through ball season but I highly recommend the PE sub bundles or something similar. I feel like I totally cheated and got FAR more sound quantity/quality than I paid for with both the subs and Fusions. It's not fair to the commercially prepared speaker lines that we can do it this way:D
 
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