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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello there HTS'ers, It's been a while since I've built anything aside from a quick and easy DIYsoundgroup Volt-10 surround build using flat packs. Those have been in place as my temporary front speakers since I sold my entire Polk Audio setup earlier this year. I want my entire system to be DIY so this build marks the next step in achieving that goal.
Since I set the precedent with my curvy subs, I cannot just simply throw together some boring rectangular boxes, so here we go. I am focusing on the center channel build first because that is the position that is completely pathetic in my temporary setup. The center position is currently being held with a 15 year old el cheapo JBL center channel. Let's remedy that first!

Finding a nice radius for the curved top of the center channel build:


This one works:



A few notes about my setup....
Last year when I was building my Stereo Integrity 18" sealed curvy subs, I was still slowly collecting tools and was very limited with what I could do. I made all of the cuts using a 20 year old terrible Craftsman circular saw and a DIY saw guide. It was very challenging. Even when I could get a mostly straight cut, the edges of the boards would have a slightly beveled edge one way or the other. Additionally, I made all the cuts with the sheet of MDF sitting on 2x4's on the floor of my garage. It was quite painful and I think that I spent 2 full weekends just trying to get the basic boards but to my satisfaction.
Fast forward a while and now I have built a solid saw horse table that holds full sheets and uses 2x4's as sacrificial boards. The table is at a great height for me to work comfortably at and there is no more shifting heavy panels around on the floor. For tools, I am now the very proud owner of a Makita track saw with (2) 55" track rails. This allows me to make a perfect 110" cut through a sheet of whatever. In conjunction with being able to hook up my shopvac to the saw, this was the first time I have ever been able to cut MDF without using a mask! My garage is thanking me for it. Enough rambling....

The table:


Beginning to take shape:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
After I had created the plywood template board that had the radius on it, I decided that I wanted to redo it using MDF. I was afraid that the somewhat ragged edge of the plywood I had used would end up being a problem when making copies of it using the router.
Once I made my new MDF template, it was really easy to create 3 more copies of it that will be used for the sides and two middle braces. Again, a note about tools and the setup: Last year on my subs, I had just purchased the Bosch router which I used extensively on that build. To make a copy of another board I had to set everything up using clamps and a flush trim bearing bit. It worked fine but was tedious to set up and if I was not perfectly careful running the router around the edges of panels, I would mess up and have to fix it. Again, fast forward, and I bought a router table. Now, I just took my template board, put it together with the second board with a couple of brad nails, and slid it around on the router table with a flush trim bit. Amazing. And again, the best part is that I can use my shopvac for dust collection while I'm at it.
Final Radius:


Braces in place and back attached:



 

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Wow. Somebody sure turned pro! This is going to be a lot of fun to follow along with - your subs turned out great (have you finished them?) and judging by your meticulousness, these will be just as high quality :T
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow. Somebody sure turned pro! This is going to be a lot of fun to follow along with - your subs turned out great (have you finished them?) and judging by your meticulousness, these will be just as high quality :T
Thanks, man! Yeah, I have bought a bunch of tools over the last year and I can't express how much easier it has made things. All said and done (without finish, of course) This center will take me about 4 days from start to finish. I spent 8 months on my subs and they are still raw MDF....lol
 

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Haha, yeah, that's what I was wondering. Well, at this point you may as well finish (constructing) all of them and then do the finish on all of them at the same time. If you're anything like me, the construction is the fun part and finishing (painting, veneering, whatever) is a tedious undesirable chore.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Leading up to laying the wood for the curved top, I decided to only glue (and brad nail) the sides, back and braces together so that I could bend the 3 layers of wood and have them overhang on all sides. I did this so I didn't have to worry about getting a good seam between the front edges of the curved layers and the back top edge of the baffle. Once all the layers are done, I can just lay the track for the track saw along the top front edge and get a nice clean cut.
To stabilize the partial structure, I temporarily mounted a couple of boards to the front.


Finally, the first layer went on.



I had forgotten how difficult this first step is! Also, I bought my MDF at lowes this time because it is the newer CARB 2 compliant stuff that is much less smelly but discovered that lowes does not carry the dark brown tempered hardboard stuff that I used on my subs. I ended up buying this 1/4" underlayment plywood stuff that I am not so sure about. Once this first layer is set, I am going to pick up some actual Italian bendy ply at a local lumber shop and do this up right. It just takes so much work to pressure bend stuff like this, I need a better way.
I've actually had the 2 kits for the L and R for a couple months now (just sitting there) and just got the center kit last weekend. Fortunately, when I cut the 1/2" MDF and laid out the crossovers for the L and R, I also cut and drilled a board for the center kit since that has been my plan all along. 2 out of 3 are wired and ready to go.


That's all for now!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Haha, yeah, that's what I was wondering. Well, at this point you may as well finish (constructing) all of them and then do the finish on all of them at the same time. If you're anything like me, the construction is the fun part and finishing (painting, veneering, whatever) is a tedious undesirable chore.
Exactly my thoughts. Veneering and finishing is the part that scares me the most. I've gotta buy a spray gun and figure all of that out too!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some updates here. First off, that Sureply stuff is terrible and was not the right choice for this application. Don't try it if you want to make something curvy! Once I had the first layer done, I really didn't trust that it would stay put and not springback flat and delaminate itself. So, I ripped it all off. :( I had also neglected the fact that the top front edge of the curved layers would need something to bond to between the braces. This was a gross oversight by me the first time around. Because I had no bracing between, the front edge of the Sureply have some serious waves going on.






Keep in mind, this was put on using PL Premium, so removing all of the splintered leftovers was not an easy task. This was a setback that took a couple of days to fix.

Here I added the braces that should have been there the first time around:



In looking for a different material to use, I figured out that my local HD sells 1/8" "tempered hardboard". I used that stuff in the 3/8" thickness on my sub builds, so I knew that the 1/8" stuff would be even easier to work with. I picked up a sheet of that for less than $9 and proceeded forward!
Another mistake that came up is that the temporary braces I added to the front edges to give the ratchet straps something to wrap around, did not stay put once they had tension on them. Again, I should have thought about this earlier. The remedy is that each corner that the straps will be wrapped around needs to have an "L" shaped brace the full width of the box in place. That way when the pressure starts to jack up from the ratchet straps, everything stays in place. This one on the front bottom edge shows what I'm talking about.


Here are some pics with the first 4 layers of 1/8" hardboard glued up.




Honestly, I was a bit overzealous to have laid up 4 layers all at once. Since I was using Titebond II, the working time was really not long enough for what I was doing. It was also at this phase that I discovered my previous ratchet strap bracing effort was a fail. I was really racing against the clock at this point and I feel that if I had to do it over again, it would have gone way smoother.
That's ok though because all that matters is that all the layers are laminated tightly together across the entire surface area and that the layers are tight around the edges after I trim.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is a quick pic of the little plywood blocks I added to the baffle for the woofer screws to bite into.


Moving on to the last (5th) layer of hardboard. Roll out the glue!


And....done with that step!


Before any trimming:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
My plan from the start was to use my track saw to cut the extra off the front edge of the layered top so that it mates up nice and tight with the back top edge of the baffle. I knew getting this right was critical so I spent quite a while setting up the cut.



After the cut:


Just a little time spent sanding with a block made the edge nearly perfect.


Next up......The Glue-Up!!!




I used PL Premium again for this final assembly and that confirmed it for me, I am not using that stuff again. All of my cuts were nearly perfect and I didn't need any expanding/filling to occur in the joints. All it ended up doing is spreading apart some of the joints more than they would have been with Titebond. Lesson learned, again. Personal preference, your results may vary. Fortunately, the results were just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Next step was final trimming and then sanding. The trimming steps here were the same as they were for my sub builds. Used a flush trim bit on the router to go down the side edges and then used the plunge trim setup that Passinginterest came up with to trim the back edge of the curved top flush with (and at the same angle of) the back panel. These are the pics of it from my sub build:



I've just refined the jig and added a support block on the other side of the bit since then.

I also ran a flush trim bit around all other edges including the baffle/curved top joint. Using a block sander and then a random orbital sander, I cleaned up the whole box and all the joints.




Using forstner bits, I routed out a recess and hole for the speakon jack:



Somewhere over the last few days, I finished up the rest of the crossover work. 3 completed crossovers!:

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Final Assembly!


Crossover installed:


Done!



This thing is unbelievably heavy. It must weigh 90 pounds. Brought it in the house and hooked it up.


It completely dwarfs my 52" TV, but I'm ok with that! You can see I moved my Volt-10's off of my subs and put them on temporary stands for now. Again, these will be moved to surround duty once my 1099 fronts are built.


The back edge of the speaker fits right under the front lip of the TV. I planned it this way. :bigsmile:


Final shot:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After running Audyssey with the new setup, my AVR set the center channel level at -12, the lowest it can go. If that doesn't immediately speak to the high efficiency of this design, I don't know what does! Even during running the Audyssey tones, it was hilarious to hear. The AVR would hit up the front left speaker...brap..brap..brap, then move on to the center....BRAP..BRAP..BRAP!! It sounded huge! Haha

I spent some time listening to music and watching some movie clips the rest of the weekend and all I can say is WOW. It is ridiculous. It offers clarity that is downright scary and exciting dynamics that I could have never imagined. I am so thrilled right now, I can't wait to get started on the fronts! Stay tuned and I hope you enjoyed the center channel build. :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Really nicley done, dtsdig! I like seeing some interesting different designs come through, and this centre channel is definitely interesting. Very clean work, especially with the router and the edge trimming.
Thanks, Owen! I appreciate it.
 

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I commented on this almost exactly a year ago, just based on your construction and creativity (both A+). Now I've found this thread again, after reading more and more about SEOS designs, and having talked myself up from Fusion-8's to the 1099's. THESE are the speakers I now want in my room someday. I might compromise and go with a slightly smaller model, but it's that clarity and detail you specifically mentioned that has me stuck on these things.

Any updates on your thoughts a year later?
 

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I commented on this almost exactly a year ago, just based on your construction and creativity (both A+). Now I've found this thread again, after reading more and more about SEOS designs, and having talked myself up from Fusion-8's to the 1099's. THESE are the speakers I now want in my room someday. I might compromise and go with a slightly smaller model, but it's that clarity and detail you specifically mentioned that has me stuck on these things.

Any updates on your thoughts a year later?
if you like the 1099's and want a slightly smaller model, check out the Fusion 10 Max... very VERY similar to the 1099, but a bit smaller with a slight tonal change
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I commented on this almost exactly a year ago, just based on your construction and creativity (both A+). Now I've found this thread again, after reading more and more about SEOS designs, and having talked myself up from Fusion-8's to the 1099's. THESE are the speakers I now want in my room someday. I might compromise and go with a slightly smaller model, but it's that clarity and detail you specifically mentioned that has me stuck on these things.

Any updates on your thoughts a year later?
Hi Owen, I guess I've done a terrible job on updating this thread! The build continued over on AVS. Long story short, I've been using the center channel in raw MDF form, just like everything else, for the past year and it's still a complete joy to listen to. The surrounds on the Delta woofers are very stiff to begin with so over the first couple of weeks/months, they broke in quite a bit and became warmer and smoother. The box is such a monster that my Onkyo wants to set the crossover at 40hz after running audyssey, though I would never leave it running that low.

I have been building my front matching towers since the December time frame and sadly, they are still not loaded up. They'll have a completed height of 50" and were pretty challenging as far as the build was concerned. At this point, all that's left in order for me to get them loaded and running is to add a couple more layers of 3/4" MDF to the bottoms of each and then finish filling and sanding some mess-ups and imperfections. It's not much work, but life always finds a way to prevent further action. Additionally, I've jumped into wood working and have acquired the tools necessary for a proper fully functional shop with a goal of building custom furniture, etc. within about 5 years. Because of this and the ambitions involved, I want to do something very special for veneer on these. With the expenses involved, I can only imagine they won't be in a completed form for a while yet.

I recommend the 1099 whole-heartedly and I believe that there is no better option for folks who have the space. In addition to the Fusion 10 Max that was mentioned, there will be a smaller "younger brother" of the 1099 coming down the line soon that uses the same setup (2-woofers, 2-mids and the horn) called the 893 (name may change). It uses 8" woofers instead of 10"s, smaller mids and an 8" SEOS.
Thanks for checking in with me!
 
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