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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?
Building some classix for my bedroom.

 

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Discussion Starter #27
5 hours of sanding 1000, 2000, rubbing and polishing just the tempests... finally done the finish. That was after 5 hours sanding 400 grit. All I have left is to put some insulation in and put the drivers in. I didn't really plan the crossover size to fit in between my bracing, so it's in diagonally in the bottom haha. I can still see swirl marks from the polish, which is supposed to remove swirl marks so I'm not sure what's happening there. They aren't really noticeable though.

There will definitely be a difference in the quality of finish between the sub and the speakers. I spent probably 4x longer bondo'ing and sanding the sub, partly because I was less efficient but it's definitely a better job than the tempests. By the time I had sanded for 20 hours I was getting lazy. I won't be doing 3 giant boxes at the same time again :p

There are a couple imperfection on the back bottom of the tempests, that's ok, the back bottom will never be seen. I sanded through the top corner clearcoat a tiny bit in the top corner, hopefully it's not too noticeable, it was on literally my last swipe of 2000 grit :(. I can only see it if I inspect it up close, the colour is still the same, just duller. I think wax will help fix that. After polishing they are perfectly flat and feel really nice. They don't have the shine they originally did right after spraying, so I think wax will hopefully bring that back. No seams are showing and it's perfectly flat right now, hopefully they don't show through on the tempests. I'm not worried about the sub, it's been perfect for seams ever since the second coat of primer. It probably helps the sub was a flat pack so the seams were better than what I made. My next build I'm definitely getting a table saw, orbital jigsaw and orbital sander. I never want to hand sand 34 square feet of speakers again !!

Stands are done with their second coat of paint, it takes a LONG time to dry so I will probably wait like a week before I put the speakers on them. I still need to 1000, 2000, compound and polish the sub, I'll do that this weekend probably, and take my time so it's perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Listened to them for a while. Really like them so far. I'll update more pictures and stuff later.

Before and after rubbing compound:


I was just listening to them positioned like this. The soundstage is amazing. I turned the receiver to + 20 dB by accident for a second, it really hurt my ears. Didn't listen to them with a sub as it's still unfinished.
 

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Go to the "Hey Guys" thread page 1 for links to two discussions on toe-in for waveguide speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
All I see is the PDF, and it just shows an equilateral triangle with the speakers directly facing LP. Should I move the speakers wider and toe them in more? Or toe them in more from right where they are? They should "cross" each other's paths right at LP right? If I toe them in more the direct line sound path will "cross" way in front of me, or is that what you're supposed to do with the waveguides?

I've always just made an equilateral triangle and faced the tweeters at my face.
 

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That depends on your goals. If you want just the MLP to be the best aim at that position. If you want a larger sweet spot angle the right speaker at the left seating position and the left speaker at the right seating position.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Initial listening impressions:

Very, very clear. I had to skip A LOT of tracks, anything poorly recorded sounded really bad. I could easily, easily hear the difference between 128 kbit mp3 and 320/cd quality. Like a HUGE noticeable difference. Within literally one second of hitting play I would hit skip. I didn't know which mp3's were which quality so it was basically "blind". One of my favourite albums, U2's The Joshua Tree, I did not enjoy too much, it is not a great recording. It does have quite a bit of lower bass though so it will be better with a sub. Other's I briefly listened to were Rumours, The Stranger, Aja, Dark Side, and Wish you were here.

Soundstage was really good, I could move all around and it still sounded like it was coming from between the speakers. The only time I've ever heard a soundstage like this was when I auditioned B&W 802D2's last summer in a high-end show room. These sounded just as good, definitely could play WAY LOUDER.

The volume is INSANE. It can go so loud and so clear just off this 10 year old denon that's 5 channels and only rated at like 60w a channel. When I did +20 dB on the receiver by accident, it really hurt my ears, but for the second I heard it, it didn't even sound that bad haha. If I did this on my other speakers they would just sound like garbage and the tweeters would probably blow. This happened because I thought it wouldn't go above +3 because another time I was listening on the paradigm's I couldn't turn it up for some reason. So we switched sources and turned it up with the CD on play, but my dad switched to the DVD source by accident instead of CD, which was still playing music. I never got to a volume where the ports moved more than a tiny trickle of air. All my other speakers really blow air at what I would consider a decent listening volume. My other smaller speaker also get a ton of cone movement, these BARELY are vibrating. This is what makes the mid's so awesome, as the smaller speakers distort so badly when they are moving. Sitting on the floor they definitely were putting quite the vibrations all through the cement floor and walls, so they should really improve when I put them on my stands that have spikes.

The finish isn't as good as I hoped it would be, it's not that shiny, and there is still swirl marks when you look closely, as well as a few tiny spots the clear sanded through, and two spots on the back bottom where the basecoat sanded through. Hopefully it gets back to how it was after being sprayed when I wax it in a month. The sub will be really beautiful though, it is PERFECT. I figure in a few years I will just 80 grit sand the tempests and the alchemy mtm and re-do the primer, basecoat, clearcoat. The paint is VERY smooth so it would be very easy to make it perfect with a new coat of paint. I actually like painting too, it's fun. I did not sand these long enough in the bondo stage, and I did not do two separate sessions of primer (I ran out, and the store is 45 min away, and it's 50 bucks for a quart), which would have really helped. I should have spent more time sanding but I was in a rush to hear them :p. The sub had turned out really well so I went a bit quicker on these, thinking the primer was the reason. But really, I just did a really good bondo job on the sub, I think I did like 3 separate coats, it took me like 40 hours to bondo it haha, and it was a flatpack. Oh well, they look amazing from a distance, you can only see the minor flaws up close in good lighting. I'll get some high quality pics when I get them on the stands and after waxing.

I will do better listening impression after I get them on the stands and after they've broken in, as well as a comparison thread later on.

Can anyone recommend some REALLY GOOD quality recorded CD's? Or if there is a list of them somewhere?

For the speaker comparison, can people suggest a couple songs that are PERFECT quality to compare?
 

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For what it's worth I find Nickel Creek's self titled album from 2000 a great reference when reviewing speakers. It's an analog recording by Gary Paczosa


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Really nice to hear you like these speakers. I have had them on my list to build to replace some Klipsch Reference series. I am just finishing up a huge backyard redo adding a 700 sq. ft. Covered patio with an outdoor kitchen, bar and firepit. Also redid the landscaping. I am tired of working in the AZ heat and probably won't get to the Tempests until fall. I am jealous.

How far have you toed them in? Did you try different amounts of toe in?
 

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Other's I briefly listened to were Rumours, The Stranger, Aja, Dark Side, and Wish you were here.

- snip! -

Can anyone recommend some REALLY GOOD quality recorded CD's? Or if there is a list of them somewhere?

For the speaker comparison, can people suggest a couple songs that are PERFECT quality to compare?
Your tastes seem to line up with mine to some extent, so let me list a few faves, along with a few ringers:

Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms is kind of a speaker roundup benchmark you'll find all over
Donald Fagan - The Nightfly
Eagles - Hell Freezes Over (available in stereo and 5.1)
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (light female vocals, very good quality though)
Two Against Nature is another good Steely Dan album, more recent and very well recorded
Tears For Fears - The Seeds Of Love

If you have any interest in modern studio jazz (big band variety), check out anything by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. XXL is a good one.
In a similar vein, Brian Culbertson - Bringing Back The Funk. More smooth jazz oriented (sorry) but heavily leaning toward high-energy funk with great dynamics.

My favorite female vocalist lately is probably Holly Cole, if you like such stuff (smoky jazz covers). The songs "Alley Cat Song" and "Waters Of March" from her self-titled album are great benchmarks for vocals with acoustic jazz backing IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Cool, thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, I have seen Brothers in Arms recommended pretty much everywhere, but I don't think I've ever even heard that album before. I found a re-mastered The Joshua Tree I'm buying, I have the original recording, apparently the remastered one is way better.

I haven't tried too much toe-in, just two positions, the above picture, and the new position on their stands, both tweeters pointing just in front of my face in the LP. I don't think I notice a big difference, the main difference I notice is between different CD's soundstages, like Wish you were here has a really nice soundstage and the voice is right from the center of the speakers, but Dark Side of the Moon is like random stuff out of L/R speakers so you can really tell which is coming from what speaker.

I look forward to hooking up my sub, probably on Saturday, as I can really tell there is limited bass out of these. I don't really get how it's a 37 hz tuning frequency but there is like no output down there, and the frequency response shows flat to 40 hz? Maybe because I only have a few hours of break-in on the woofers so far?

Also there is no EQ or anything on these speakers right now, no room treatments, and it's an L shaped room which is horrible.
 

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I will do better listening impression after I get them on the stands and after they've broken in, as well as a comparison thread later on.

Can anyone recommend some REALLY GOOD quality recorded CD's? Or if there is a list of them somewhere?

For the speaker comparison, can people suggest a couple songs that are PERFECT quality to compare?
For a really good sample of 1 song, there's a free download from an AVS forum thread dealing with tests of 24/96 vs. Redbook. Go to this post, scroll down near the bottom of the post and download the "Just My Imagination A" track. Unzip it to a WAV file. It's from AIX Records, digital recording at 24/96, no compression. The artist is jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney. Most of the AIX artists are in my view mediocre, but Wallace Roney is top notch and so is this recording. You'll need to turn it way up to get the equivalent loudness of more compressed material.
 
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