Answering request to post my DIY system in this section. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-19-07, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

As per your request Sonnie!

I purchased a pair of Sound Spinter RLP 15's and built a subwoofer, posting it in Soundsplinter's project display section, and was asked to also post it here along with the mains I built with pics and descriptions.

The subwoofers weigh 235 lbs each and are driven by a bridged QSC 1450 watt amp per sub. I love my music low, loud, and clean at all levels. I incorporated passive radiators which provides a clean and pronounced at the low levels. Just about any design using these drivers will sound good cranked up! I show you how to load the passive radiators on Photobucket that I have linked to at my website.

I first built the mains in '95 with Radio Shack speakers including an 18" woofer and toilet jacks with a 90 degree elbow for my porting. They actually sounded good with my 32" TV until I built my new house and got a 65", and then they didn't match the picture. It's kinda like going to your local movie theater with the sound coming from a pair of old Advent or Kenwood home speakers. The retail outlets didn't have anything close to what I was looking for either. My Radio Shack stuff sounded better. So in 2003, I started studying the internet (spending literally 100's of hours), reviewing others' designs, buying books and software, and many, many drivers and crossover components. I read comments in forums and asked questions. Half of what I read in the forums I discarded like empty coke cans. I kept the same cabinet and kept redesigning them. The finish on all of them are the black slate Pionite (Formica). I built red oak grill frames, and used speaker quality fabric. Each of these speakers went through at least 4 designs until I got the sound quality I was looking for. I auditioned every speaker I could listen to at high end retail outlets, and nothing came close to the sound quality these are giving me. My toughest challenge was the crossovers. My mains' woofers are the Lambdas TD12s, Nick McKinney's handbuilt gems from Florida. Other drivers include Davis Kevlar from France, Scan Speak from Denmark, Morel from Israel, and the HI VI Research planer ribbon tweeters from China.

You can visit the two links in my signature to view the construction photos I have posted at Photobucket and on my Yahoo DIY group. Both links have very good descriptions of my projects. You have to subscribe to my Yahoo group, but I hide your email address and block spammers. You can unsubscribe after visiting.

I sincerely hope you all end up as happy with your DIY projects as I am with mine. I've ended up spending a fortune with the R & D, but it's **** well worth it. I don't go out anymore, and don't need to with this system. I was fortunate enough to have my system photograph and an article I wrote published in the Electronic House Magazine.

On Xmas day of 2008, I started a 4 day project of covering all 13 grills for my speakers because my upholstery man had heart surgery. I decided I needed to learn how to do everything myself, so I bought the right upholstery gun and taught myself the art of the grill covering. It was quite a challenge and more of a surprise how well they turned out. I had them covered over the years by others as I built them, but colors changed and faded due to sunlight and time. Now it is complete and I can move on to another project. Maybe basket weaving.

Thanks for asking me to post..

If it is too loud, then you may be too old!
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Last edited by Mike Cason; 12-30-08 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Updated photos
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-19-07, 09:34 AM
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

NICE! Now that system looks like it might have a little SPL behind it.
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-19-07, 01:14 PM
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

Thanks Mike... I'll say again that this looks like a really nice project...
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-19-07, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

Thanks Darren and Sonnie....

I have a hand held SPL meter and I pegged 115 db at about 6 feet away, and had more gain left on my main Rotel amp. It was sensless to go any further!

Distortion doesn't live here!

I'm happy I didn't buy my system at the store!!!!!

If it is too loud, then you may be too old!
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Last edited by Mike Cason; 03-19-07 at 02:23 PM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-20-07, 02:34 AM
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

I don't think your speakers are big enough .

Great job! I would love to hear your system.
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-20-07, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

Thanks Kano32,

Quote:
kano32 wrote: View Post
I don't think your speakers are big enough .

Yea....the sales guys at the high end stores slam them by calling them refrigerator speakers but their refrigerators don't sound as good as mine!

Great job! I would love to hear your system.
I see you live right around the corner so stop by on your way home from work tonight and we'll crank em up fer ya....

Seriously, any DIY'ers who live in the area are invited to listen to them.
PM for setting up a time.

If it is too loud, then you may be too old!
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Last edited by JCD; 09-13-08 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Didn't think posting a telephone # would be a good idea
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-20-07, 10:10 PM
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

Quote:
Mike Cason wrote: View Post
I see you live right around the corner so stop by on your way home from work tonight and we'll crank em up fer ya....

Seriously, any DIY'ers who live in the area are invited to listen to them.
PM for setting up a time.
Ummmm, I live in Alaska. So I guess I won't be coming over any time soon (unless I'm in Texas).
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-31-07, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

Mike, I want to thank you for the two new replacement drivers you sent me. Here is the update on the rebuilds....

BTW for those who don't know what happened. My wife blew out my last two drivers due to switiching to a Jurassic Park movie with the gains still set at full. She doesn't mess with the settings on the equipment. I have been running a QSC 1450 amp to each driver. A 1450 watt amp is too much power for these drivers if you don't keep the gains turned back for the rest of the family to use! I over amp to get low bass at low volumes for my music. Since then, I've built a second sub to match, and now am using one amp per sub, bridged with an 8 ohm load being presented to the amp for about 800 to 900 watts, a safe level for these drivers.

I divided the cabinet with heavy partitioning and made two cabinets in one reducing the cubes down to about 2.2 per cabinet, each having their own driver and two passives. Each driver is still being driven by it's own 1450 watt amplifier. It sounded absolutely disgusting. I tried to fix it with polyfil but that didn't help at all. I really didn't think this design would work but that is what this DIY is all about.

I went by your website specs for the cubic feet recommendation of around 5 cubes and removed the partion. I blocked one driver hole and two passive radiator holes and ended up with a single cabinet with a single driver and two passive radiators. It really sounded good, and if I had the time and patience I could have built a second cabinet and had a dual sub configuration in the LR but really don't have the room for the extra cabinet.

Yesterday, I removed the plugs and reinstalled the second driver and the other two passive radiators. Now I'm back to my original design with two active drivers and 4 passives in the single cabinet and the results are absolutely astounding. It sounds so much better. I wouldn't do it any other way.

One important note on the equipment setup with my design is that I have the preamp set to send everything from 60 hz and lower to the sub.

For all you looking to buy one or more of these Soundsplinter drivers, you won't be disappointed. If they don't sound good enough for you, that's an indication you didn't build the box right or don't have it powered correctly. I've now had 5 or 6 rebuilds with different drivers and the Soundsplinter still remains the King!

Mike is the best and most responsive driver supplier I've ever had to had the pleasure of working with!

Cudos to the Soundsplinter products and the awesome support!

Mike Cason

If it is too loud, then you may be too old!
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Last edited by Mike Cason; 03-11-08 at 10:00 AM.
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-26-08, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Answering request to post my DIY system in this section.

New TV and I rebuilt the mains and subwoofers again....

I've installed 8-1800 gram flat passive radiators in my subs, bringing the tuning down to 20 hz, and installed the Eminenance passives that were in the subs into my mains, 4 per main, bringing the tuning frequency from 30 hz to 23.8 hz I eliminated the ports and the associated port noises and resonance.

I've dropped the center speaker under the new 1080P DLP Mitsubishi with a tilt up to the listening area.

It just keeps getting better........

Thanks go out to Mike P. for his help with the graphs...

I'm looking forward to the Houston Soundsplinter DIY meeting at my home tomorrow for my audition.

UPDATE 7-29-08~~~~

I received a post from one of the members who attended the meeting and am pasting it here for you to view:

"The sound and clarity of Mike's set up was amazing. Dynamic and powerful. The visual impression looking at the array of speakers was awesome enough; the impact of his creation was truly impressive. As much as I was in awe of the sub's - the center speaker was the star in my opinion. Listening to the demo disks displayed a whisper as clean and clear as branches breaking and even explosions; there was never a need to struggle to make out any sounds. The sub's fill the room in a wave that's felt before heard - not something that I've experienced in theaters, not to that extent!

I was excited to see the system in person, but more excited after I left. Truly a successful DIY experience and it was great to hear what's possible "away from retail."

My 2c...

Oh, thx for all the grub. Truly a gracious host!"



I've had some requests for my center speaker design specs, so I pulled out my old files to double check the values of the caps and inductors in the speaker. I opened up the speaker and wasn't happy with my wiring and some of the parts I used, so I completely re-designed and built a new crossover installing better caps that can be see below in the finished product.

I have made my full specifications for my center speaker available for free on my website for those of you who would want to spend the money to have a really high end speaker. My twin Davis kevlar drivers are expensive for a center speaker, but very well worth it. This speaker really has a lot of authority! It is so much better than when we auditioned it at the Houston DIY group meeting.

Best to all,
Mike

If it is too loud, then you may be too old!
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Last edited by Mike Cason; 12-28-08 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Update
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-05-08, 04:43 PM
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Wow great build. if i can ever make up my mind what i want i will DIY some speakers myself. btw, i'd love to see some response curves if you have them.
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