April 15, 2021 at 1:12 am #13184
I wanted to share my upcoming project with everyone. I just joined the forum today and wanted to start to get some community involvement going. I will be working on setting up my shop over the next month then will be starting my bookshelf and subwoofer project (provided all of the items stay in stock at Parts Express).
The design will be for my office area. They will be replacing my modified c-note towers that I built as an experiment. Below is the c-note mod and the location where the new bookshelf speakers will go on stands.
My new project will be Tang-Band W8-2145 8″ full range speakers in a sealed bookshelf cabinet and a 10″ Dayton Audio LS10-44 low profile vented subwoofer cabinet. May have a few things to change or add but this is the basis for the project.
MemberMay 25, 2021 at 1:53 am
I hope this post helps to inspire or inform someone who is looking to build speakers. Toid inspired me so this is my way of giving back. 😉
LPG Edition Speakers and Subwoofer by Gerwig Audio:
This will be a post about my building process with a driver review and the final plans plus images of the project along the way and once completed. The initial project was going to be a low profile subwoofer that was going against the wall along with two bookshelf speakers on stands with one way drivers but that changed due to factors that will be discussed below. Original plans remain in the post above.
Product Purchase & Setup for Fabrication:
Anyone who has tried to build a project during Covid knows that the pandemic has played a large part in the availability of parts. This project suffered from lack of options when I went to buy the drivers so I had to make a change in the subwoofer design. The low profile Dayton Audio 10″ subwoofer was out of stock with a long lead time so I purchased the new Dayton Audio 10″ MAX-X Subwoofer. I was able to purchase the Tang Band one way drivers for the left/right channels per the original plan.
Another issue that I ran into was the availability of plate amplifiers. I wanted a 250 watt Dayton Audio but none were available and any others were a compromise in build quality or the pricing was simply too high. Instead I purchase a 200 watt RMS Class AB Blaupunkt car amplifier and used an existing 650 watt computer power supply I had on hand as the power source. This meant that I got what I wanted at a fraction of the cost, but I did have to build an enclosure for the amplifier and that still needs to be painted.
The next issue due to Covid was the availability and cost of building materials. Wood has gone sky high and is hard to get any sheet goods in my area that are at a decent price. Add the cost of delivery to the sheet goods and it is just out of reach for this project. I had to budget in purchasing a table saw so this cut into the wood budget. I found an alternative to sheet goods at Home Depot. They carry MDF shelving in 12″ x 48″ x 3/4″ thk and 16″ x 48″ x 3/4″ thk that are finished on one side and one edge. These were easier to find and to fit into the trunk of my Mustang so I purchased these instead. They also had the advantage of being easier to cut down on my table saw by myself.
The one deal I did get during this project was on a Dewalt DWE7485 table saw. This is a very good small table saw and it helped to make this job so much easier. It is also compact and lightweight. I used this saw along with a trim router, drill, hole cutter, 3″ hole saw and an orbital sander to make the speakers. Additional items included super glue, wood glue, painters tape, a tape measure, framing square, various screws and a speed square.
The speakers were finished with “Kilz” primer and “Bright White Valspar Door and Trim” paint. All joints and holes were filled with wood spackle per an article I found online for finishing MDF by Bob Villa and Norm Abrams of “This old House”. I have done the bondo method in the past but this was easer and got a finish that was just as good without the smell from the Bondo. For the paint application I used small trays for 4″rollers, 4″ foam rollers for cabinets and a paint brush for latex. It took one coat of primer and three coats of the latex paint.
Initial Driver Inspection:
The Tang Band W-8 2145 Full range drivers are of exceptional quality. I was very impressed with the basket structure, cone design and aluminum plug. The only thing that I would have liked to see would be a better set of terminals. They are only 6mm thick on top of the baffle and mount with eight screws. (Quality Score: 4.5 out of 5 – Needs Better Input Terminals)
The Dayton 10 MAX-X Subwoofer is also extremely well built with dual 2 ohm voice coils and very nice push style binding posts. It has a heavy basket and mounts very flush with the eight screw holes. The rubber surround and x max ability of the subwoofer is amazing. I have had larger subs in the past but none that push like this one. (Quality Score: 5 out of 5)
Prototype Speaker Testing:
My Initial speaker testing was done from assembling test cabinets from 12″ x 48″ x 3/4″ thk mdf to construct a 1.1 CuFt sealed enclosure for the Tang Band full range drivers. This was a sealed cabinet per my design. I did not put any electronics into these test cabinets and used them with my 80w per channel mini amp and 8″ Klipsch subwoofer crossed over at 180hz. The speakers had good response, fast bass and lots of treble. The bass was defiantly lacking in quantity and the highs needed to be attenuated. I worked on a baffle step compensation filter and with Toid’s guidance I came up with a Dayton Audio 2.0mH 14AWg Perfect Layer Inductor and a Dayton Audio Precision 1% 25ohm resistor. I did not try these in the test speakers due to the redesign.
Unfortunately tragedy struck our family at this time. My father suddenly became ill and after a few weeks in various hospitals he passed away. I was, and still am, devastated. My father was a patron of the arts, a painter, musician and lover of Jazz music. He had been involved in the Jazz Holiday in Clearwater for many years as a president and council member. The project that I had started now became therapy for me and a dedication to my Father for our love of music. I scrapped all of my plans and went back to the drawing board. Only the best would do if I was going to dedicate this project to my fathers memory.
I changed the design from sealed bookshelves to full tower speakers to get the most out of the Tang Band drivers. The boxes ended up at approximately 3 cuft each with a 37hz tuning. They have a slot port on the back so the front will have a clean look. The subwoofer is approximately 1.45 cuft and tuned to 28hz with a slot port on one side. The port was done this way for ease of fabrication and to not have any port noise at max wattage of my subwoofer amplifier. It also looks cleaner in my room from my listening position and matches the towers.
Below you can see the images of the fabrication and finishing process. It took me a a few weeks to complete with intermediate testing after the completion of the subwoofer and Towers. I did end up installing the baffle step and then doing slight tuning with the tone controls on my receiver. The single biggest issue with the fabrication process was the weight of the speakers. The subwoofer is around 75 lbs and the towers are over 100 lbs each. They contain quite a bit of bracing along with internal foam glued to the interior walls and polyfill. My office/listening room is on the second floor so hauling these up and down the stairs was a real pain but worth it in the end. The towers are on carpet sliders so I can push them back against the wall when not in use. They are quite tall to accommodate my height when seated so this may need to be adjusted if you are of smaller stature.
The final detail was to add a stainless steel dedication plate to my Father that I had cut at work and a graphic my wife cut out for me on her Cricut Vinyl Cutter. I know he would be proud of the way they turned out and even prouder of the way they sound.
The Tang-Band drivers sound amazing. Being a full range driver you have no issues with timing. The bass is very smooth and surprisingly quick with a nice roll off. They have a great soundstage and are very efficient. My desktop 80 wpc receiver has no problem powering them. The bamboo cones are what really give the smoothness to these speakers in my opinion. The subwoofer hits very hard and can play really down low and is crossed over at 80hz. It is the type of bass that you feel in your chest but is also quick enough to reproduce fast bass tracks. When I watched a portion of Captain American and the Winter Soldier the voices were clear and the soundstage was wide. The subwoofer really hit the big explosions and “thunks” of the bullets on Cap’s shield.
Testing Songs (All from Tidal Music Application) from the Saber DAC in my Computer (192khz):
1) NOFX – Doors and Fours – Punk
2) Opeth – The Grand Conjuration – Metal
3) Social Distortion – California Hustle and Flow – Rock
4) Johnny Two Bags – Hope Dies Hard – Rock
5) Skynd – Jim Jones – Electronic
6) Black Sabbath – N.I.B. – Metal
7) Kenny Wayne Shephard – King Bee (Live) – Rock
8) Maj Majal – Statesboro Blues – Blues
9) Buddy Guy – Cognac (Featuring Jeff beck and Keith Richards) – Blues
10) Imelda May – Johnny Got a Boom Boom – Rockabilly
11) The Reverend Horton Heat – Liquor, Beer & Wine- Rockabilly
12) CCR – Run Through the Jungle – Rock
13) Porcupine Tree – Arriving Somewhere (Live) – Prague Rock
14) The Pineapple Thief – Versions of the Truth – Prague Rock
15) Silverstien – Retrograde – Emo
I tested with my modified C-Note speakers (added a 6 1/2″ woofer cabinet below the c-note to make it a tower) with an 8″ Klipsch subwoofer, the Sealed 1.1 CuFt test speakers for the Tang Band drivers and the 8″ Klipsch subwoofer and the Towers/Subwoofer that was built both with and without the crossover Installed. In the past I have had Klipsch KG series speakers and I would rather have this setup and it costs much less. These speakers are fun and exciting and you can listen for hours without any ear fatigue. i love these speakers and subwoofer. I got exactly what I wanted for a reasonable price (compared to the sound they produce) and got to honor my Father at the same time. Now every time I sit down to have a drink and listen to music I will feel like we are doing it together. 😎
I have attached my build plans for anyone to use. If I were to do anything different it would be during the fabrication. I would buy drywall screws and pre-drill and countersink screw locations for panel assembly. I would use the glue and clamps to start and finish the drying time with the screws. Then you could be more efficient with your build time and have less alignment issues (less sanding). I may also flush mount the speakers. I did not have the ability to efficiently cut out the speakers for this type of installation. I should have ordered a circle template or made a jig but I simply was not that patient. Thanks to all of you whose reading on this forum helped me, even though you did not know it and to Toid for some inspiration to build my own speakers. My next projects include building an amplifier to give better sound to these amazing speakers along with some acoustic panels and new desk furniture. If anyone is interested just let me know in a comment below and I will keep adding to this thread.
ModeratorMay 25, 2021 at 2:23 am
First, my condolences on the loss of your father. I truly understand what you are going through as I lost my own father this past February. May you find peace with every listen and memory of your tribute build.
They look fantastic. The fit and finish is amazing, as I’m sure is the sound. Do you have a link to that finishing article?
MemberMay 25, 2021 at 4:02 am
Thanks so much. Its been a rough time for so many of us during the pandemic. I appreciate the kind thoughts and I hope you do well. Its amazing how much I still relied upon my fathers advice even at 50 years of age 🙄
Now to your question. I cant find the exact article but I did find this and its essentially the same steps.
This is the product that I used along with a 1″ wide putty knife. I purchased a small container and used about half of it.
I covered all of the exposed edges. The product is like frosting so you spread it on the joints, exposed edges or any holes and push it into the surface then wait to dry and sand smooth. I did this twice for all of the joints and they were very smooth prior to painting. Best part is this product dries very fast. Once I was done spackling the third speaker the first was dry and ready to sand. It also takes less sanding than the bondo so that’s a time and material saver as well 👍