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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Completed Pictures of Tempests, stands and UXL-18 on post 53.

Piano Black Fusion 8 MTM



I didn’t glue the front pieces together again, it creates a double seam on the top which is annoying, I try to put all my seams on the bottom, back and on the inside front piece now.


I’ve stopped trying to cut pieces perfectly and fit them together, I find it is IMPOSSIBLE to get them to line up perfect, so I cut them with overhang and flush trim. I would have flush trimmed this box if I knew at the time that I had a flush trim bit that came in my MLCS router bit set… haha

This box was definitely better than the first sub box I ever built, I used wood screws and had to drill and fill probably 100 holes… I use a brad nailer now.






I made a big mistake using wood filler, it sucks. I also sanded it with too high of a grit sandpaper (220 grit) and did not use a sanding block. Now I use a drywall block that takes a half sheet to sand, and I sand filler at 80 grit so it actually goes flat. The way I sanded this box basically rounded everything over and polished it instead of actually making it straight. I also suspect that the wood filler absorbs moisture from the wood and from the primer which caused seams to show through this past winter.



Painted with a brush and Zinsser bin primer sealer (shellac base). I kept sanding through the primer hitting the high spots from the wood filler. I probably put too many coats of primer on trying to make it perfect. I'm going to paint my speaker stands with Zinsser, but I will spray it this time and I used Bondo, so I will see if the seam problem is Zinsser’s fault or the wood filler’s. I used 220 grit to sand, it worked well, left it pretty smooth but took enough paint off.



3 coats of Rustoleom black lacquer from a spray can. I have no idea why I painted the bottom of the speaker piano black, I should have just did one coat of random black paint and left it. It caused a lot of problems now that I think about it, because I kept rotating the speaker so I was painting it horizontally. So paint would get chipped off if I turned it over before it was fully dry, and I always put too thick of paint so it dripped sometimes when I turned it.



Made a grill with square dowels and L brackets to hold it together and double as the magnet connection. I don’t think I would do a grill like this again, it doesn’t hold as strong as I would like. It’s never fallen off, but I can just touch it and shift it. It also looks kind of weird on a roundover. I was going to make grills for my tempests, but I think I will leave them bare this time, as there is no room on the Tempest’s baffles for a grill, and it’s already rounded over so a grill wouldn’t look right. I'm going to embed magnets just in case, for the future.





It gets dusty a lot. It takes like 3 seconds to dust with a microfibre cloth though.



Picture from the front, the flash made it really blue for some reason.


You can see the seam showing through, again picture is blue from the flash. There are seams on the top, and both sides that appeared in the winter when it was super dry. Now that it's summer and humid they have mostly gone away, though you can see them if you look really close. Hopefully the urethane paint and Bondo I am using on my tempests and UXL will not do this. I don't think it will. I was going to try to fix the seams, but after thinking about it for a while I would have to sand the entire speaker flat ( because I didn't do it properly originally) and then would have to completely re-paint it. I will do it at some point, but I'm busy this summer with the Tempests and UXL and only have exactly enough paint for them. When I build another UXL in the future I'll fix this speaker.

I didn't brace the Fusion 8 MTM and I just put a single Walmart pillow on the inside for stuffing. I used a double baffle even though it didn't need it, so I think it's fine without bracing. I also think I didn't use the gasket tape, but the parts fit in so tight they are definitely sealed, no air comes out other than through the ports. I won't be able to get the drivers or waveguide out without severely damaging the box. I just mounted the crossover on cardboard and glued it in the box, I like using cardboard as I can build a complete crossover in about 10 minutes total.

I wet sanded the paint in between with 400 grit. I finished it with 800 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 grit, Meguiar's polishing compound (with D/A polisher) and then Mother's caranuba wax (with microfibre cloth).

Piano Black UXL-18 in Sealed 4 cu. ft box

I bought the 4 cu. ft flat pack this time to try them out.





It went together really easily with glue and brad nails. I did it in the wrong order though and had to squeeze the front in. My only complaint with the flat packs is that the bottom is a seamless piece, I like the bottom and back pieces to have all the seams, to minimize the seams on the top and sides that are visible. The bottom is like this so that the bracing all has grooves it sits in.





Rounded over edges and filled seams with Bondo.



Painted bottom with one coat of Zinsser and one coat of black spraypaint, not painting the bottom with the expensive automotive paint as it will not be seen.

I'm using these for the finish:

Transtar euro classic black 2 part primer 7374/7357

Transtar jet black base coat 9504/6714-F

Transtar Kwik finish clear 6574/6877

Big thanks to N8DOGG for all the painting advice.



Made a paint booth in my garage for about $15.00



Flush mounted the speakon, not flush mounting a speakon ever again as it was really hard and I don't think it would even be noticeable if it's not flush mounted as it's on the back and has a speakon cable plugged into it... I definitely love the speakon connectors though they are so quick, secure and easy to use.

I picked up an organic filter mask and a HVLP spray gun to paint with.





3 coats of primer, 220 grit sanded. Went through the bondo on the roundover slightly, I didn't sand the bondo flat enough at that point I guess. The paint was quite thick so it sprayed very slow. It left it quite textured. It is way easier spraying paint with an HVLP than spray cans though. No shaking the can constantly and it's easier to go slow and even.








3 more coats of primer, haven't sanded it yet. Keeping it inside for 2 months to make sure the seams don't show through. I don't think they will.


Just this single 18" sealed driven by one half of a NU-4 6000 is quite nice in a large open room (open to the entire house), it can shake the walls on the opposite side of the house and knocks objects off shelves 40 feet away from it. I haven't EQ'd it or stuffed it so it is a bit boomy around 50-70 hz. I am definitely looking forward to hearing this in the 10' x 16' x 8' room it's going in and with some low-end EQ.

Will put the topcoat and clear coat on at the same time as the Tempests. Haven't decided if I want to wax it yet. I'm using mostly Meguiar's products and a Meguiar's D/A polisher drill attachment. I have rubbing compound (and pad) and polishing compound (and pad) and wetsand paper from 400 to 1500 grit.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Piano Black Fusion 12 Tempests and Matte Black DIY stands

Doing the stands a bit differentl











Flush trimmed the edges








Wood cut for Tempests, stands and I'm also making two 2'x4'x8" bass traps out of 1x8 poplar.


Internal bracing cut for Tempests. My jigsaw is awful, 2.2 amps and a 10 year old blade. Picking up a 6 amp orbital jig saw next time I see a sale.

I have a bunch more pictures I'll upload tonight of the Tempest build. I have the boxes fully built and flush trimmed, just need to cut holes, roundover, Bondo and paint. Crossovers are done too.

Once the Tempests are done and I've listened to them for a while, I'm going to do a subjective comparison thread of Paradigm Monitor 9 v2's, Paradigm Studio 20's v5, Polk Audio RT25i's. They are in various rooms with various amplication, subs, sources, room treatments, placements, etc. so it won't be a very scientific comparison, but I'll figure out what I like best for music and what I like best for movies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update!



Stand's roundovered, bondoed and sanded.





Internal bracing of Tempests



All sides on, everything flush except for one seam. Not sure how that happened. Filled with a slice of MDF.



Boxes all flush trimmed.



Front baffle fits on perfect. Traced holes to cut.





Holes cut, edges roundovered, seams Bondoed and sanded.
 

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A direct comparison between the DIY Tempests and the well known, favourably reviewed manufactured options you have available would be appreciated by many on these forums. Unfortunately any subjective comments based on listening in different rooms would be virtually useless and potentially misleading. Setting the speakers up in one room, crossing them with a competent subwoofer, level matching and running with no eq is the only way of making a meaningful comparison. Even better would be to use an a/b switching device and conduct the listening blind. A lot to ask of course, but in the name of objectivity there really is no other meaningful approach.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I woudn't say useless, no one will have the same room as me, so an objective test isn't any more misleading than a subjective review. And objectively, it's easy to see tempests should blow any of them out of the water at high volumes. All these speakers have measurements available online. I don't see the point of doing an objective comparison as there have been many done.

The Tempests will be compared in the same room as each of the other speakers, but the other speakers won't be compared to each other. So for example tempests will be compared to Polks in room "A". Tempests to Paradigm in room "B". I've compared the Paradigms in room "B" before already.

If you have any ideas on how to improve the test, I'd be interested in hearing them. I can measure them and do an objective comparison but I don't see a point in that, it's just going to show their response in my room. Blind test would be pointless I would know what speaker is which anyway.

They all will be crossed with a competent subwoofer as well as ran full range. Of course level matched and audyssey on / off.
 

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Hey, you changed your name :p

Here I was PM'ing you not knowing who the heck you were. Just thought it was some random bassment guy who stumbled onto the DIY forum, ha :D
 

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I woudn't say useless, no one will have the same room as me, so an objective test isn't any more misleading than a subjective review. And objectively, it's easy to see tempests should blow any of them out of the water at high volumes. All these speakers have measurements available online. I don't see the point of doing an objective comparison as there have been many done.

The Tempests will be compared in the same room as each of the other speakers, but the other speakers won't be compared to each other. So for example tempests will be compared to Polks in room "A". Tempests to Paradigm in room "B". I've compared the Paradigms in room "B" before already.

If you have any ideas on how to improve the test, I'd be interested in hearing them. I can measure them and do an objective comparison but I don't see a point in that, it's just going to show their response in my room. Blind test would be pointless I would know what speaker is which anyway.

They all will be crossed with a competent subwoofer as well as ran full range. Of course level matched and audyssey on / off.
Sorry, I misunderstood. Thought the Tempests would be in a different room than the speakers you were comparing them to. I will have to do dome searching because the few comparisons I have seen have been with less well known speakers (at least to me). Do you have any links at your finger tips to post?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, any speaker that you are familiar with, that you want to objectively compare with the Tempests, google the speaker name and measurement and most speakers have reviews by stereophile or another site like that with pretty detailed measurements. I don't know off the top of my head where the Tempest 12 measurements are, other than frequency response and phase plot. There is lot of info on the SEOS waveguide on the "We need a little rallying here" thread, which shows how good the waveguide is. Objectively it will beat any other non-waveguide speaker's high-end. Maybe ask Erich or Jeff Bagby if they have the detailed measurements.

The nice thing about objective measurements is you can directly compare different reviews/measurements. I think you might be confusing subjective and objective a bit in the middle, something like an A/B blind test comparison is still subjective, as you are relying on someone's ear's/opinion. Objective is purely measurement/science. You can tell a lot just from FR, sensitivity and power handling.
 

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Tempest's both have 5 coats of urethane primer on them now. Tomorrow will sand all 3 boxes, topcoat, and clearcoat. Should be completely finished monday night.
Did you shoot the primer with a spray gun? Did you sand in between coats? How many top coats will you use and will they be sprayed with sanding In between or do you just sand in between the primer coats?

These babies will look beautiful when completed! I have never seen any piano gloss black Tempest, and am looking forward to seeing them once they are done!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you shoot the primer with a spray gun? Did you sand in between coats? How many top coats will you use and will they be sprayed with sanding In between or do you just sand in between the primer coats?

These babies will look beautiful when completed! I have never seen any piano gloss black Tempest, and am looking forward to seeing them once they are done!
Yes, 1.4 mm hvlp, 60 PSI. The primer was pretty thick it would have been better with a 1.8 mm but I don't have that size. On the sub I did 3 coats, sand 220, 3 coats, sand 220. On the tempests I did 4 coats, sand 80 lightly (dripped a little and a few spatters), sand 220. I ran out of primer, I would have liked to do another coat or two on the tempests. Oh well, hopefully they turn out alright. I guess it will be interesting to see the difference between the two primer techniques between the sub and tempests. I'm doing 2 top coats, lightly sand 400 grit, one top coat, no sand. Then 3 clear coat 800 grit, sand, 3 clear coat, sand 1000, 1500, rubbing compound, polishing compound. Grits might not be exact I'm not sure exactly what grits I have but they will be in the ball park. I should have them pretty much done tonight as far as painting goes.

Also, check your PM, I messaged you a couple days ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got all the topcoat on, and 2 coats of clearcoat. Waiting 2 hours before sanding with 1000 grit, then doing 3 more coats. Then wait 2 hours and sand 1000, 2000, rubbing compound, polishing compound, done. They are already extremely shiny, can easily see my reflection in them. I'll take a picture of the clearcoat before sanding, after sanding it, and then after polishing it.

The seams were showing a bit through the primer on the tempests, but after the topcoat they are basically gone. The one it's 100% gone, the other speaker is a tiny tiny line on the top front. Just didn't have enough primer to cover them, there are ZERO seams on sub.

Still have to finish hot gluing crossover, put a light coat of zinsser on the bottom of the speakers, install the speakons, spades, feet, and insulation. Stands are still unfinished, will spray with zinsser monday probably, as well as benjamin moore black satin impervo. I shouldn't sand the satin black or anything after it's done, once it's sprayed on, that's the final finish right? I've never done anything matte before haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #14




Boxes bondo'd and sanded



Sanded primer on left, primer on right.



Top of subwoofer, biggest surface I painted, it's a little bit textured



Front of Tempest, I don't think there will be many reflections off the fronts, there is not a lot of flat surface area.





Tops of Tempests :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What is the best way to polish the roundovers and the small areas like between the driver and waveguide, between the ports, and around the front of the speakers? Would it be good to use a microfibre cloth and compound instead of the D/A polisher for these tight spots?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd hand polish them so you don't burn the edges. I'd also block those flat first and get rid of the peel.
Yeah I'm doing 1000 and 2000 grit wetsand with a block. The pictures look worse than in real life for the texture.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Ok, wetsanding with 1000 grit was taking too long to get it smooth, so I did all the sides with 400 grit. Tonight I'll 1000 grit wetsand with a block, 2000 grit wetsand with a block, D/A compound and D/A polish. I'll just lightly hand sand the roundovers and front baffle with 2000 grit and then D/A compound and polish. There isn't a lot of material so just 2000 grit should be ok on the round parts. Should be able to listen to them tonight, I'm hoping the sanding and polishing doesn't take more than 4 hours. Probably will take me an hour to install insulation and the drivers and crossover and carry them inside.

Any suggestions for wax? Does carnauba wax give the best shine? What brand/item # should I get? Do I even need to wax it? I used mother's carnauba wax on my center, it seemed good but it's the only kind I've ever used, and it's probably 10 years old.

Stands got a coat of zinsser bin last night with the hvlp, it is 10x easier spraying it than brushing haha. Did a coat of Benjamin Moore Satin Black Impervo, I have the one that is for metal only, hopefully it works. I mixed too much paint thinner and it was still wet this morning. Hopefully it's dry and I can recoat tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know if you'll need wax for an indoor speaker. I hadn't planned on using any.... I cleared my speakers the other night, had to block them back down to 400 since i wasn't happy with it, going to clear them again tonight.
It definitely improved my center's shine after I waxed it, that was on crappy lacquer spray can without a clear coat though. And I think I waxed it too early, it's supposed to cure for a month, I did it right away. I think it might have been part of the cause of the seams showing through, as it sealed the lacquer and forced it to cure into the MDF instead of the air. I don't know though I'm just guessing.

What speakers are you building? Or you're just touching up your JBL's?
 
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