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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. I am new here. This is my build log for my new setup. This is sort of a cross-post from www.diyma.com as I had put it there first, but since it's a car audio site I didn't get a lot of feedback.
So now you know I'm coming from a car stereo background. I owned my previous home system for about 20 years. I had bought it when I was about 15 by raking leaves and doing odd jobs. It served me well but I felt it was time for a change. The Kenwood receiver had some channel imbalance issues. The 3 way Jensen house speakers were faded and had tears in the paper cones and one of the speaker jacks was always coming loose. My Sony dvd player was annoying from day 1 because it took so long to load a disc and would only play after it was loaded and you hit play about 10 times/:mad: Enough of the old here is the new.
Originally I had planned on a separate preamp/ amp combo something like a Denon AVR-XXXX but a couple guys suggested I look at the Oppo Bdp-105 as it could serve as my preamp. I also planned on going with some crown xls-1000's but again was steered away as they had too high of a signal to noise ratio. (more to come)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I'd really like to edit my previous post but don't see where I can do that if someone could assist me. Maybe I need more posts? (edit: Yes, I apparently needed 5 posts before editing)

Anyway I was steered away from the Crown XLS-1000 as it had too high of a signal to noise ratio and I was planning on using it for my main speakers. So I ended up with 2 Crown XLS-1500's. One for the mains, Kef Q900's and one for the Sub, an Aurasound NS-15. I had previously purchased the sub to be used in my Car Setup but decided it was just too freakin big and that I didn't want to put a bunch of work into making an enclosure for a vehicle on the downward slope of it's lifespan. So to review here is my setup

Oppo Bdp-105D Blu-Ray Player
2 Crown XLS-1500 Amps
Kef Q900 Speakers
Aurasound NS-15 Subwoofer in a sealed 4 cu ft enclosure from Parts Express.
Blue Jeans XLR>1/4 TRS Patch Cables
Belden 6000 Series 10 Ga Speaker Cable.

I had also bought a Furman Power Sequencer but returned it because it had a buzzing noise, like faint emergency broadcast system tone and it also didn't work with the Oppo since it has a power button and not a power switch. (more soon)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here are some pics of my old setup/ room config.





Here's the Kefs absolutely "stuffed" into my back seats.


I didn't know sweetwater sends candy with every order. I threw it out like "who was the random weirdo from sweetwater trying to give me free candy"? Lol. The other part is a random satellite radio tuner that somehow ended up in my blue jeans cable order.



This was day 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Started gluing the prefab. Had some Dayton binding posts and a Deflex subwoofer pad laying around. Got some speakerspikes from Parts Express. Experimented with sub placement. Seems like front center is the best location so far. Mounted my tv to the wall. Got Netflix, Youtube and Pandora setup on the Oppo. Finally became fearless enough to give the volume knob a crank or three. These amps don't break a sweat even at ridiculous levels. Not even close to clipping( ok, turn down for what came close) and whoa gettin looooud.











 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Oppo has a wireless usb wifi stick. It was too far away from my router. Remembered I had a wired usb extender. Stuck it in between them and viola, internet works like a charm.


Hotdog down a hallway.






Got the wiring soldered and attached. Made a dust booth in the basement. Made some test cuts.



Router safely everybody.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

So I have these. I was never able to implement them in my vehicle but wonder how useful they are in the house.
I have an Omnimic I could use to measure the need.



Also this flock kit came today. Forgot about having to seal the wood first before using. Guess I have to go get some laquor or shellac. Always one more thing to do.



When I test fitted the top piece it was so tight it chipped when I pushed it on. I pried it up and put glue under it and clamped it. Shouldn't be noticeable after flocking. Had to move the build upstairs as my electric heater messed up my gfci wall plug in the basement.





Had one big edge to take down. Did not intend to sand anything else. Went nuts and sanded every last bit flush. Marked my lines for the spikes. Once those are attached I can load the sub.
Flocking will have to wait for warmer weather. Now I am attempting to load omni mic software on my tablet.


The wooden thing I was using for the amps is the perfect size for rack rails. Moved the whole thing to the left side and sub is now dead center where the rack was. Got the Oppo app going on my phone. Takes pictures and music from my Android phone and streams them onto the Oppo. Very cool. I had no idea it did that. Realized I had a bunch of cartoons on a usb hard drive. Woo hoo hoo it works. All I had to do was connect it, no loading software, nothing. Amazing.


And it doesn't fit. Hmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter #7


Off by a thumbnail. Disconnect everything and run 65 lbs of wood down two flights of stairs for a thumbnail. First world problems.


In. 80 grit sandpaper scotch taped to a febreeze can. Ran it around the edge a couple hundred times. I could see where the sub left marks where it hit the wood so I knew how much to take off. Listened to "Shake everything you got" by Maceo Parker off the album Life On Planet Groove. You owe it to yourself to hear that track. Knocked out. The Oppo needs a dust cover. I am feeling uncreative.
Pink Floyd Welcome To the Machine has always been a favorite. Specifically the intro and outro. Had been a while since I heard it. So much fun with a sub. I am liking the tonality of the speakers. Drums sound like drums. You can really hear the tone of the drumstick hitting the different sizes and types of drums. One thing that is not so nice is I think I am experiencing some beaming. Sometimes you can really tell exactly where the sound is coming from, almost as if your head was right in front of the speaker. I am thinking part of that is reflections from my room which is not huge.

Went and tried out the human touch perfect chair. Supposed to be good for your back. I didn't like it. Ended up with a Mac motion chair.

Looking at buying an eq. Thinking about dbx driverack pa2. Open to suggestions.
 

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Nice build log! The KEF Q-series is great, but they do indeed benefit from a capable amp. What are your plans for finishing the sub cabinet? Maybe do the same on your electronics rack, would look good.

If you have the omni-mic, you can take some measurements with test tones and see how the room is behaving. You would probably benefit by putting some panels at the first reflection points on the side walls, and then something on the wall opposite the speakers. You also should try pulling the Q900s off the wall some more, try and get at least 12" behind them so there isn't any port interference.

I don't know if those Crown amps have DSP, but you should probably add a miniDSP to the chain to EQ your sub. This will make a huge difference in the quality of the bass, and help integrate it with your towers better. There is a lot of good information in the DIY sub-forum here at AVS.

You are off to a great start, keep us updated!
 

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WOW..impressed with your craft skill, don't forget to post more pics once you have the sub finished..

BTW, I think the speakers are too close to each other and too close to the rear wall...

Would be a good idea for you to try different speaker placements to see if you can get better sound out of those Q900s
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
WOW..impressed with your craft skill, don't forget to post more pics once you have the sub finished..

BTW, I think the speakers are too close to each other and too close to the rear wall...

Would be a good idea for you to try different speaker placements to see if you can get better sound out of those Q900s
Nice build log! The KEF Q-series is great, but they do indeed benefit from a capable amp. What are your plans for finishing the sub cabinet? Maybe do the same on your electronics rack, would look good.

If you have the omni-mic, you can take some measurements with test tones and see how the room is behaving. You would probably benefit by putting some panels at the first reflection points on the side walls, and then something on the wall opposite the speakers. You also should try pulling the Q900s off the wall some more, try and get at least 12" behind them so there isn't any port interference.

I don't know if those Crown amps have DSP, but you should probably add a miniDSP to the chain to EQ your sub. This will make a huge difference in the quality of the bass, and help integrate it with your towers better. There is a lot of good information in the DIY sub-forum here at AVS.

You are off to a great start, keep us updated!
Thank you sirs. I put the speakers 9" away from the rear wall and 37" from the sidewalls which was the recommended minimum in the manual I will try pulling them away from the rear wall more as you suggest but I don't have much wiggle room on the side dimensions because of my room size. Plans for the sub finish are black flock with a blue stripe. Each piece of equipment (except the Kefs) has a bit of blue color in it somewhere so I guess it's a theme, lol. I hadn't thought of flocking the amp rack to match the sub cabinet. Nice idea. I'm trying to buy a Velodyne sms-1 to eq the sub but no luck so far. I know about the minidsp and I am not a huge fan. I know some have good luck but I probably would not, ha ha. If I went that route I would probably do something like a Helix dsp. I will definitely update when I finish the sub.
Here is a shot of my listening chair. I have a bad back so I needed something I could sit in for a while and not get fatigued. So far this is fitting the bill. We shall see how it holds up.
 

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Looks like a nice place to sit, definitely get some room treatments up, they will make a big difference in the sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got some dsd downloads last night from Hd tracks and Acoustic Sounds. Miles Davis Kind Of Blue, Allman Brothers Eat A Peach and Wilco AM. I couldn't get either of their download programs to work. Ended up using my womans old laptop this morning and finally got them. Not entirely sold on dsd. I thought some aspects like instrument placement were improved to some degree but it wasn't like going from cassette to cd. Thought it would be a bit more dramatic of a change. Also it downconverts to pcm on my Oppo ..so isnt it only as good as PCM then? Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I did not enjoy 311 Transistor. There was not enough edge and vocals way back in the mix. It sounds much better in my car. Same with Phish- Story of the Ghost. Just all muddy and blah with any decent volume. I've been experimenting with room placement. Moved everything around last night. Seemed to lose a lot of the sub bass when I moved things to the shorter length wall. Going to try the opposite wall tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A member here who for the time will remain nameless has graciously offered to give me his Velodyne Sms-1 for the cost of shipping. When it arrives I will post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got a preamp for my record player. It's connected directly to my crown amps. I learned the hard way and somehow did not blow a speaker when I put the needle on the record with the amp gain up. LOUDEST NOISE EVER MADE by my speakers. Not going to forget that anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I plugged a usb card reader into the Oppo with an Sd card full of Simpsons Episodes and it worked. Psyched.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A BIG HUGE shoutout to member dbphd for sending me a Velodyne Sms-1 for the cost of shipping. Very happy.
 
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