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Discussion Starter #1
I've been following all these great build threads for a while now and am finally to the point of doing my own. I've learned so much watching everyone else so I wanted to share back. Hopefully, my even my mediocre skills will help even one just person on theirs.

I just received these on Thursday and it took a couple of days to get everything unpacked. As has been said before Erich is a master packer. Everything arrived in great condition and the cuts on these look great.

I picked up some Titebond III wood glue from HD and some clamps from Harbor Freight so I'm ready for the build.

First major question before I get started - I've seen some people use both glue and finishing nails and others use just glue. Is one preferred over the others? Seems like just glue works fine especially since I don't have a nail gun like some use.

Boxes have arrived


Opened


Everything ready to go
 

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.02

go for glue only, be generous, don't hurry, clamp well (practice the clamp up before applying glue),
be prepared for the glue to "help" things slide around and probably not end up exactly where you want them . .

give the superior chemistry of the glue time to set properly

the precise fitting of the flat packs is some modern science at its best

because you are working with MDF you'll want to keep surface "defects" like nails/ brads holes to a minimum, they can be tough wrt viewing/achieving a final finish

Duratex is wonderful for "sins" as a preferred finish,

you should supply more info wrt how they may be finished as this can go several ways, MDF can be challenging

be unhesitant to ask more questions

Now hit the ground running . . .

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #3
.02

go for glue only, be generous, don't hurry, clamp well (practice the clamp up before applying glue),
be prepared for the glue to "help" things slide around and probably not end up exactly where you want them . .

give the superior chemistry of the glue time to set properly

the precise fitting of the flat packs is some modern science at its best

because you are working with MDF you'll want to keep surface "defects" like nails/ brads holes to a minimum, they can be tough wrt viewing/achieving a final finish

Duratex is wonderful for "sins" as a preferred finish,

you should supply more info wrt how they may be finished as this can go several ways, MDF can be challenging

be unhesitant to ask more questions

Now hit the ground running . . .

HTH

Glad to hear I'm ok with just gluing. I know glue chemistry is second to none nowadays so I should be ok. For the finish, I leaning towards Duratex. These will be behind an AT screen so they won't be seen. Plus Duratex would be quick to do. Part of me says that since I'm going to the extent of making these instead of buying that I should do something like veneer to make them look good (in case they're ever used in front of the screen for whatever reason). Veneer is relatively cheap and seems easy to do for the most part so I think it would be fun to try.

Just finished gluing the first box. Everything seems to have come out ok. I might have overglued a little bit. Lots of glue dripping out the sides. First time using Titebond and it's a little runnier than the wood glue I am used to.



 

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at $70/gallon, Duratex is still a bargain,
however, wrt to MDF edges, they really really suck . . . paint..

Kilz in a rattle can can do wonders for the raw rounded over MDF, several light coats with some sanding after the 3rd,
it will seal that sucker . . .

For primer wrt to sanding and other prep I've used Olympic Accent flat black, paint primer combo, about $20/gal and 1/2" napped roller,
go full strength and don't over work it. each coat needs at least 2 days to dry, weather depending,

you have 3 cabs, so that process will get a few extra miles from the duratex

I have some shelves about 2 years old and stuff still gets "stuck" on the flat black, but a coat of Duratex looks and bonds great

I've also been a professional painter so I can say that patience wrt this project, even behind a screen,
sounds like you want that, Yeah, this Is the right way . .

you're gonna love it . .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've made a little progress on this. All three cabs are built. Putting these things together couldn't have been easier. They all fit together very well. Titebond III also worked great. Definitely no need to nail these things. They are rock solid.



I picked up a egg crate mattress pad from Target so I've got that to put in once I determine what finish I'll use.

They are all sanded and I'm still debating what kind of finish to put on these things. Part of me wants to try a veneer, but the other part just says put some paint on there and be done with it. Really tough to decide.

I need to give a big shout out to @mtg90. Erich gave me his info for the crossovers. I was a little nervous about putting together the crossovers so I was just going to have him assemble. He gave me the option of just buying the boards so that's what I went with. He had them in the mail the same day I paid and they came 2 days later. He sent pics and they were very easy to assemble. There are a lot of experts on here, but for any newbs out there like me who still want the satisfaction of feeling like they built their own, but want a slight head start. Give Matt a call. Very reasonable price and well worth it overall. Does the forum frown on posting pictures of the crossovers? I thought I saw somewhere that people shouldn't post other's crossover designs. If that's wrong, I'll post some pics.

I will need some help figuring out how to wire up the speakers to the crossovers. Not 100% sure on that even though it was in Matt's pics.

I took a pic of the cabs in the spot they will sit in the future once the theater is done and I can't wait.
 

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I haven't posted an update in a while so I'll add the latest. I decided to go with veneers so I had to wait for them to come in and them for them to acclimatize to the room. I picked up some Zebrawood veneer from http://www.veneersupplies.com/. Veneer, supplies and everthing ended up costing me about $200. Even though these will be behind my AT screen I wanted something that looked really good if they were ever visible. Plus I've never done a veneer before so I was interested in trying it out. I spent about 7 hours today putting the veneer on the boxes. I watched a bunch of You Tube videos before doing it -- there's nothing you can't figure out after watching some You Tube videos. I think they came out pretty good. There are some mistakes if you really look around, but overall I think they came out very nicely. Very pleased with the look and I think my wife actually like them, which is a plus, even though she won't admit it. I still need to stain them and add some poly. Wife would like me to stain them with a darker stain. Now that this is done, I'm hoping to finish the rest of the speakers in the next week. I'll be painting the baffles all black. Glad I went with veneer instead of Duratex. Looks much more professional and really wasn't that hard to do.

Zebrawood 8x4' sheet laid out.

Laid out the cabs on the veneer (it's flipped upside down) and cut it by tracing the edge with a razor blade. Worked pretty well for the most part.

Got my Better Bond Titan DX with the roller. I purchased the paper-backed veneer starter kit. Veneer Starter Kit

Rolled the contact cement onto both the paper backing and the MDF cabinet.

Finished cabs



 

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I haven't posted an update in a while so I'll add the latest. I decided to go with veneers so I had to wait for them to come in and them for them to acclimatize to the room. I picked up some Zebrawood veneer from http://www.veneersupplies.com/. Veneer, supplies and everthing ended up costing me about $200. Even though these will be behind my AT screen I wanted something that looked really good if they were ever visible. Plus I've never done a veneer before so I was interested in trying it out. I spent about 7 hours today putting the veneer on the boxes. I watched a bunch of You Tube videos before doing it -- there's nothing you can't figure out after watching some You Tube videos. I think they came out pretty good. There are some mistakes if you really look around, but overall I think they came out very nicely. Very pleased with the look and I think my wife actually like them, which is a plus, even though she won't admit it. I still need to stain them and add some poly. Wife would like me to stain them with a darker stain. Now that this is done, I'm hoping to finish the rest of the speakers in the next week. I'll be painting the baffles all black. Glad I went with veneer instead of Duratex. Looks much more professional and really wasn't that hard to do.

Zebrawood 8x4' sheet laid out.

Laid out the cabs on the veneer (it's flipped upside down) and cut it by tracing the edge with a razor blade. Worked pretty well for the most part.

Got my Better Bond Titan DX with the roller. I purchased the paper-backed veneer starter kit. Veneer Starter Kit

Rolled the contact cement onto both the paper backing and the MDF cabinet.

Finished cabs



Nice work!
 

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beautiful work especially for a first time out . . .

pays to do the homework

congrats
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It took me about 6 weeks, but I finally finished everything. I tried out about 4 different stain colors and finally went with Minwax cherry with clear gloss poly on top. I used Duplicolor Truck Bed Liner for the baffles. Bought 2 cans at AutoZone and had more than enough for 3-4 coats on each. Pretty easy to use and it came out nice. It was a little more rubbery than I expected, but pretty durable. These will be behind a screen to no one will have access to ruin them.

It took me about 7 hours yesterday to line them with foam, place the crossovers, solder the wires to the drivers, and close it all up. Longer than I was expecting. I used hot glue to glue the crossovers to the back of the speakers.

I was a little nervous that for some reason they wouldn't play. I had to triple check MTG90's crossover pics to make sure.

I connected them to my 14 year old home theater in a box Sony receiver with some crappy 18 awg speaker wire and they sounded absolutely great. I put them through the Pantera test and they were incredible. Sound was amazing. Also put them through the final fight scene in Avatar. I maxed out the receiver and they had no problem handling it.

Here are all the pics.







 

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Those look great. The woofers will loosen up after a while and sound even better IMO. Unless you use a separate amp you will never give them more power than they can handle. If you hear bad sounds it's because your AVR has run out of clean power.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Did you order actual zebrawood veneer or did you order the reconstituted zebra veneer sheet?
I bought the zebrawood veneer and supplies from Veneer Supplies online. Here's the link to the veneer I bought Zebrawood Paper Backed Veneer

It is not reconstituted wood. The veneer was very nice. Very good quality wood. I did look at buying zebrawood from another online supplier http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/ since they had actual pictures of the piece you receive. Veneer Supplies was cheaper so I took a chance with them. Absolutely no issues.

Here's a pic I posted earlier of the actual sheet I received laid out.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Those look great. The woofers will loosen up after a while and sound even better IMO. Unless you use a separate amp you will never give them more power than they can handle. If you hear bad sounds it's because your AVR has run out of clean power.
The only thing that made me scratch my head is the tweeter in the speaker on the right sounded louder than the one on the left. At this point I'm almost certain that it's because of the crappy AVR and speaker wire I'm using. The end of the wire was kind of shredded so not sure how much contact with the terminals there was. I'll reserve judgement until I get my new AVR. Otherwise, they sound great. My daughter said they were too loud for her. They're absolutely going to blow the doors off my theater room when it's finished.
 

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the tweeter in the speaker on the right sounded louder than the one on the left. At this point I'm almost certain that it's because of the crappy AVR and speaker wire I'm using.
It's unlikely to be the AVR or wire. You could swap the wires and see if the problem follows but I doubt it. A measurement with REW would be able to tell. If you hadn't glued in the crossovers I'd suggest swapping them. You could run long wires from each XO into the other cab but that's a pain.

And make sure your levels are equal in the AVR. You might have one channel louder than the other or the balance adjusted towards one side.

Either way, you'll want to figure it out somehow. They should play identical.

The XO for the center channel is different so check to see if you accidentally put the center XO in one of the towers.
 

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It's unlikely to be the AVR or wire. You could swap the wires and see if the problem follows but I doubt it. A measurement with REW would be able to tell. If you hadn't glued in the crossovers I'd suggest swapping them. You could run long wires from each XO into the other cab but that's a pain.

And make sure your levels are equal in the AVR. You might have one channel louder than the other or the balance adjusted towards one side.

Either way, you'll want to figure it out somehow. They should play identical.

The XO for the center channel is different so check to see if you accidentally put the center XO in one of the towers.
I'm hoping it's from some bad settings on the AVR. It's from a Sony HTIB set I purchased about 14 years ago. I don't have anything to do REW and everything is glued together so hopefully when I get my new receiver it will take care of it. All the crossovers were installed correctly - I was paranoid I'd wire something wrong so I triple-checked things before closing them up.
 
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