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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I have been investigating a plan for building my own home theater speakers for some time now on many different forums including this one. With advice from someone at another site (thanks GranteedEV), I decided to build Curt Campbell’s Stentorians for my mains and center speakers. I have been working on the speakers using ideas mostly from a build thread here on AVS Forums (thanks Passing Interest). His build has given me so many ideas and instruction. I have also emailed Curt several times for help with some of the items I have struggled with.


Now, I am a total novice to speaker building so anything you see on here that looks like a complete newbie did it, it’s true. With that said, I have completed a lot of the project with little trouble. For the remainder of my home theater speaker system, I plan on building Curt’s Stenn II’s for the rear and rear surrounds (4 of them) and I am going to build 2 subs. Based on information I got on another site, I bought 2 of the Infinity Reference 1262w’s. They were very reasonably priced and based off the posts, they will sound very good once I have them in an enclosure. Problem is, I have yet to find a good box design for them. I have been told to just “build this box with this size vent”. Being new to this, I have definitely not built a sub before and don’t really know how to just build a box without a good plan similar to Curt’s designs. So, if anyone has ideas for me, please post on here. Other items in my system are a Denon AVR1912 and my projector is an Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 3010. It is 3D. My plan is to build a false wall ( idea here ) and do a DIY acoustically transparent projector screen so I can put my 3 Stentorians behind the screen. I will put the 2 subs in front of the


Now, on to the build. I have been working for a couple months (very slowly) on the Stentorians. I now have them assembled and have hooked them up (have not painted them yet). I also have the crossovers built for the Sten II’s. I have all the components for the Stenn II’s but have not yet cut any MDF for them. In the following posts, I will show my progress to this point. Please feel free to provide any feedback on what you see. I especially would like to have ideas or advice on building my subs, finish for all the speakers and how to measure the performance of the speakers so I know I did everything correctly.


Thanks.
 

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Ok, here are the first steps of my build.


First, starting with the 3/4" MDF.



Then, the most accurate cuts I got (with what I have) was with the circular saw and a guide.



And, the ever popular stack of wood for the build. This is all the MDF for 3 Stentorians.
 

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Next, I cut 4" holes for the full size braces- 2 per speaker (Thanks PI for this idea).




And the holes for the smaller braces. These go behind the tweeters. They are smaller braces because they mate up to the crossover recess in the back. They are slotted to make sure the tweeter has room.
 

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Next was drilling and routing out the holes for the crossover recess in the back. Again, ideas from PI's build.






Oh yea, and I ran a 3/8" roundover bit over it. Don't have a large view of it at this point. Maybe in a later post.
 

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Then, dry fitting and my first glue up. I did put 1 1/2" finish nails in to hold while the glue dried. I didn't feel completely comfortable with my clamping.





Here's a little better view of the roundover on the crossover recess.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For the next step, I needed to cut out 6 inch holes (Used Jasper Jig ) for the front panel. Like PI, I used two layers on the baffle. The first layer has 6" holes to give plenty of room for the smaller holes in the baffle that will hold the drivers.



I used a flush trim router bit with a top bearing to trim the braces that protruded into my 6" holes. The 3/4" braces were a little thick for how close together the holes have to be. No problem though once trimmed.

 

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The baffles come up next. With the brilliant idea from PI, I used my actual tweeter and woofer flange to set up my plunge router depth gauge for the flange cuts on the baffle.



Using the Jasper Jig and a 3/8" straight cut bit, I cut the driver flange recesses and the driver holes. Please remember to always cut your recesses first and then the driver holes. You don't want to have to re cut your entire piece.



Baffle glued up and clamped,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For the crossovers, I cut them out of 1/4" sanded plywood. I laid out the components to see how they looked and drilled the holes in the wood.



I painted the crossover boards with a gloss black paint and then hot glued all the components. Made all the solder joints on the back side to keep it clean.



Then, hot glued all the wires down to keep them tight to the board. I also added standoffs made of the 1/4" ply to the bottom of the board like PI to keep it raised so air could flow.
 

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For the next part, I'm not too proud of it because I was in such a hurry to get it done, I didn't take any photos. I will explain what I did though.


1) I sanded all the cabinets really well and added wood putty to fill the holes where the finish nails were put and to fix any blemishes. I have not painted the speakers yet though.

2) I had to drill my holes for the speaker wires to route after I got the speakers built. To anyone that is going to build speakers, please drill your speaker routing holes during the build. Don't wait til the end. It's very difficult.

3) Inserted the crossovers and routed the wires/

4) Since I am going to take the speakers back apart, I used wire terminals to connect to the drivers. I will solder the connections after I paint and re assemble.

5) I connected the drivers and stuffed about 1/2 lbs of cheap Walmart pillow stuffing into each driver hole.

6) Mounted all drivers.

7) Mounted the terminal cup on the back of the speakers and soldered the connections.


This is where I am at this point. Again, notice that i have not yet painted the speakers. I am looking for ideas. PI used a garage floor paint but I have not been able to find it anywhere. I am open to ideas. I want it to be good looking but pretty tough. I plan to use it on all speakers.



You'll notice that, like PI, I mounted the terminal cups at the bottom of the speaker. I think it looks pretty good there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So again, that's where I am at this point. The next step is to use the cut list I made to cut the MDF for my Stenn II's. Since I already have the crossovers built, these should go pretty quickly. For the Stentorians (and for all of them once finished), I am really interested in learning how to do speaker measurements. Any tutorials anyone might have would be very helpful. What tools do I need? Can I use the calibration mic that came with my receiver? Is the software free or will I have to purchase it? Is it difficult to do and to understand the results?


Also, as mentioned earlier, I really need more advice on my sub builds if anyone has ideas.


I will continue to post my progress here. Any feedback or advice will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,


Matt
 

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Looks great so far Matt, did you use the Aura NS6-255-8A paper cone neodymium drivers and Vifa BC25SC06-04 textile dome tweeters?

How do they sound so far?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by miahallen  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22208036


Looks great so far Matt, did you use the Aura NS6-255-8A paper cone neodymium drivers and Vifa BC25SC06-04 textile dome tweeters?

How do they sound so far?

Yes miahallen, I did use those speakers per Curt's design. Again, I'm pretty new to this and definitely don't have "trained" ear yet but so far I think they sound great. Initially, when I hooked them up, I was pretty disappointed. I didn't really know how to set them up with my receiver. I spent a couple nights messing with the settings. Last night I watched a movie (Puss in Boots) with my little girl and they sounded great. As mentioned earlier, I really need to learn how to measure them so I can give accurate answers on how they sound.


Matt
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathu126  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22207970


This is where I am at this point. Again, notice that i have not yet painted the speakers. I am looking for ideas. PI used a garage floor paint but I have not been able to find it anywhere. I am open to ideas. I want it to be good looking but pretty tough. I plan to use it on all speakers.
For durability, its hard to beat Duratex.
http://store.acrytech.com/Speaker-Cabinet-Coatings/


But it may not be the 'look' you're after.




Kevin
 

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Great build thread with nice attention to detail. Thanks for posting. How long did the build take you?


If i do another build it might be the Statements (also from SpeakerDesignWorks) and i'll need to try my hand at the circular saw + guide technique. Been using my tiny table saw for all my builds to date but it won't cut it
for large panels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathu126  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22207925


The baffles come up next. With the brilliant idea from PI, I used my actual tweeter and woofer flange to set up my plunge router depth gauge for the flange cuts on the baffle.

This is an awesome little trick, but one warning for careless people such as myself. I tried this approach recently and managed to fubar it...


On one cabinet it worked fine, but on the second i must have pushed down too hard on the router when setting the depth gague with the speaker in place. It must have compressed the gasket material too far and measured too shallow of a depth. In the end one of my cabinets has countersink holes that are a bit too shallow and the drivers stick out a bit.


Anyone with some experience should know you should always test fit your drivers and not assume everything fits... I think i test fit in the first cabinet and it looked good so i didn't bother on the second. When will i learn...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathu126  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build/0_50#post_22207970


One thing to remember - speakers should be set up so that the tweeter is at ear height. Since you built these with the tweeter centered you'll need stands to get the speakers set at the correct height.


I'm guessing you centered the tweeters deliberately (since you are planning to put them behind an AT screen) and would want to use stands, but I figured better safe than sorry.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathu126  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build/0_50#post_22207984


Also, as mentioned earlier, I really need more advice on my sub builds if anyone has ideas.

You mentioned that you already have the drivers (Infinity Reference 1262w’s), do you also have an amp for them? Do you have a preference on the type of cabinet (sealed, ported, etc) or even what the trade-offs are? Do you have size constraints? Do you have any other specific goals?


There are lots of people here that can help you design a sub, but they'll need more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin A  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22208788


For durability, its hard to beat Duratex.
http://store.acrytech.com/Speaker-Cabinet-Coatings/

But it may not be the 'look' you're after.


Kevin

Thanks for the Duratex idea Kevin A. I think that is more of the professional "gig" type look. I like it but I am looking for something a little more smooth or sleek. I want them to be black. I am not looking for a piano type finish but something nice. I really liked PI's finish with the garage floor paint but, as mentioned, I can't find that exact paint.


Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowpolyjoe  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22209034


Great build thread with nice attention to detail. Thanks for posting. How long did the build take you?

If i do another build it might be the Statements (also from SpeakerDesignWorks) and i'll need to try my hand at the circular saw + guide technique. Been using my tiny table saw for all my builds to date but it won't cut it
for large panels.

Thanks lowpolyjoe. It has taken me a couple months to get to this point. I have been working some on the weekends and a few minutes in the evenings for that length of time. This is something I enjoy doing so it's been fun. Finishing my basement on the other hand, is not something I enjoy. Very hard to hang sheetrock and do everything by myself. When I am able to get help, I cherish it.


For the circular saw, everyone may not get the same results I have but I was very impressed with it. In the end, I built some pretty accurate cabinets.


Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #20

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty  /t/1419699/new-home-theater-speaker-build#post_22210059


One thing to remember - speakers should be set up so that the tweeter is at ear height. Since you built these with the tweeter centered you'll need stands to get the speakers set at the correct height.

I'm guessing you centered the tweeters deliberately (since you are planning to put them behind an AT screen) and would want to use stands, but I figured better safe than sorry.

Good point BeerParty. Yes, I do plan to elevate them behind the AT screen. I have do not have any stands to put them on now. I will just use them temporarily in my living room until the theater is finished.


Matt
 
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