Blog Forums DIY Speakers and Subwoofers The Uglies Tower and Surround Build Log

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    • #8664
      123toid
      Keymaster

      I am Getting ready to build a new Home Theater Tower Speaker and Rear Surrounds.  You may be wondering why no center.  Well, I plan to use a third tower, since I have an acoustically transparent screen.  However, if these are well received, I am sure I could be persuaded to build a center speaker. Each tower speaker will consist of two W8-2096 midwoofersand each surround will contain the W6-1721.  I am still undecided on the tweeter, but am leaning toward the Peerless Corundum 1″.  I was leaning toward the Wavecor, which are one of my favorites, but I am really trying to keep the cost to around $600.  And that would push me closer to $700.  Plus the Peerless can take more power (more on that later).  Let’s look at the drivers and talk about them. 

      For theater speakers, I want something dynamic, that can handle bass.  If you can’t tell, these can handle bass!  I put a picture of them next to a GRS 8PF-8.  Which is an 8″ woofer.

        These are massive in comparison…and heavy!  But that is the reason they were chosen.  Each of the W8’s have an x-max of 8.5mm!  That is better than some 8″ subwoofers.  In fact, it is only 0.5mm less than Dayton’s reference sub.  Looking in WinISD, it looks like you can easily tune these to 36hz (F3 of 35) and still give them max 250 watts before they hit their mechanical limits of 17mm. This should give you plenty of headroom when big dynamic bass scenes come on the screen.  Which should really benefit those who cross their mains low or run them full-range.  

      IMG 2272
      IMG 2275

      The W6 was chosen for the rear to match the dynamics of the front.  Unfortunately a ported cabinet is probably out of the picture due to the size the enclosure would have to be, but I am still thinking about it.  So we may do sealed. But even sealed can give an F3 of around 69hz.  Add in room gain, and you got a very formidable rear speaker.

      IMG 2266
      IMG 2267
      IMG 2270

      Now all of these speakers will be able to take a lot of power.  So having a dedicated amplifier seems to be best for these, but I will test them both with a dedicated amplifier with headroom and an AVR to see and hear the difference. 

      Dowload the FRD and ZMA Files here:

      840-Uglies.rar


    • #8665
      123toid
      Keymaster

      *Note I picked the Name Uglies, because I am hoping that even if they are the ugliest speakers in world…once you start playing music/movies on it…people will be so blown away, that they won’t care about the looks.

       

      How’d you like that run on?


    • #8671
      mike2273
      Member

      I am looking forward to this as I am doing the same thing one set at a time so far my center then the surround last the towers because I have already did the sub.

    • #8676
      123toid
      Keymaster

      That is awesome!  What did you end up building?  I would love to see some pictures. 


    • #8709
      mike2273
      Member

      Well I have 1 picture lol.

    • #8921
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Uglies Update.  These sound amazing! Wait let me backup. I went ahead and made some braces for the inside and cut out the port. The fort is actually really small when you think about the size system. The bottom woofer is only handling subwoofer duties, which makes this a very powerful speaker. In fact it really does a fantastic job for movies. I need to get these sanded so I can get some frequency response charts to you guys. But my dad was here listening to them and he was amazed at the sound quality. Because it has that bottom end bass, but still the high-end clarity. This can often lack when people try to put too much bass in their system. I really think these will be very good theater speakers. The only problem is the impedance is going to be too low for some people to be able to run. More on that later.

      *The impedance changed due to the crossover changing.  I ended up changing this to a two way and ended with a nominal 8ohm load.  That way they woudl be easy to push with any amplifier.

      20190617 202643
      20190618 013600
      20190617 034525

    • #8925
      lionelc
      Participant

      I cant wait to see how these turn out. I am interested in building a set of towers to replace some aging Klipsch Ref IV RF82s.  I would love to pick your brain on these once you have them completed. 

      Keep up the good work.

       

      LionelC

    • #8932
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Definitely pick away.  I am always in the mood to teach.  Lol, well when I can.  I’d be happy to help if I can. 


    • #10096
      barrel
      Participant

      Any update on the surrounds?

    • #10097
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @barrel

      Not yet.  I just finished my move to TN and made an offer on a house.  I am hoping to finish the towers in the next week or two.  I really wanted them done about a month ago, but my house ended up selling the first day it was on the market, so it through my world in a tailspin.  But thankfully, things are starting to straighten themselves out again.  I am thinking of even building a center speaker.  However, I might just build a third tower for the center.  I haven’t decided yet. 


    • #10100
      barrel
      Participant

      @123toid

      Hope you decide on a center speaker.

      If you did, I might be interested in buying the plans.

    • #10692
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Finally got to pick this back up. It took a while, but it’s worth it. I decided on a slot port and put some dampening material in as well.

       


    • #10721
      123toid
      Keymaster

      First tower ready for paint. I ended up porting it to 27hz. They go incredibly low without port noise. Ended up being a nominal 8ohm speaker. Currently I’m driving them with my Ice amplifier..

      796-VID47090505032115153.mp4


    • #10722
      123toid
      Keymaster
    • #10740
      123toid
      Keymaster

      The Uglies are being primed. I can’t wait to get paint on these. I did use new primer. It’s oil based so perfect for MDF. It also goes on thick and is sandable. So far, I’m loving it. We will have to see how it goes from here. But I’m thinking this might be my favorite primer for MDF. 

      EDIT: The primer took forever to dry.  It might have been the weather, but the jury is still out on whether or not I really like it.  

      IMG 20200131 224632
      IMG 20200131 224611

    • #10751
      kingsanguine
      Participant

      @123toid

      Looking good!

    • #10757
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @kingsanguine

      Thanks.  I am still trying to work in the drivers and come to a crossover that I am happy with.  Right now, I am literally shaking the walls.  It sounds nice and relaxed, but maybe a little too relaxed.  So I am off to brighten it a little. 


    • #10827
      123toid
      Keymaster

      The towers are complete along with the crossover.  I do not wish to say how long this crossover took.  I made a lot of minor changes until I got to where I am now.  But I am really happy with it.  So now it is time to start on a center channel.  

      @barrel


    • #10832
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Since I was asked and forgot to mention it, the center channel will be sealed with tentative dimensions of 22″ wide, 9″ tall and 12″ deep. Components used will be:

      2 – Tang Band 6″ Underhung drivers

      1 – Peerless Corundum tweeter

      The plan is to make these an LCR.  In this way you could use these as front, left, right and surround speakers.  The anechoic F3 will be about 70hz. In room, you will probably expect more. 


    • #11084
      123toid
      Keymaster
    • #11088
      gerard
      Participant

      Hello,

      Good build, these TB are massive and can probably pushed a lot of air, can we compare with the Solstice speakers (2 Morel 6″ and morel tweet). about clarity, crisps and for sure bassssss 🙂

    • #11089
      angus
      Participant

      Hi Toid

       

      Great build will be getting plans.

      Quick question can these be used for a center channel as is, making LCR the same

    • #11092
      mikekel
      Member

      Toid, just a quick question, I’ve been looking at those Peerless tweeters for a build, I was just wondering how they sound and can you tell me how low you crossed them??? Did you use the 1″ or the 1 1/4″?

      Cheers

    • #11093
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @angus

      You could use them as an LCR, but I am working on an MTM, which can be used as a center or rear speakers. 


    • #11094
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @mikekel

      I really like them.  I used them in my Esoteric builds and now this build.  I crossed these aropund 1200hz in this build, but it did need an aggressive crossover.  The L-pad can be trickier than some other tweeters, just doe to how linear it is already. 


    • #11095
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @gerard

      I would need to get some solstice in.  I don’t have any on hand to directly compare them to. But they are really good speakers.

      The one thing I really like about the uglies, is this is the first DIY speaker and first commercial speaker, minus my definitive technology towers, that Odyssey automatically set up as a large full range speaker. Many of my speakers that were designed to go larger, I would have to manually change that. 


    • #11097
      mikekel
      Member

      @123toid

      Thanks for that, 1200hz sure is nice and low, I was considering a similar build with the W8’s but with the Aurum Cantus Areo Striction tweeter. They cross nice and low and are supposed to have a very fast and accurate response. This however adds some cost… 🤔

    • #11098
      gerard
      Participant
      Posted by: @123toid

      @gerard

      I would need to get some solstice in.  I don’t have any on hand to directly compare them to. But they are really good speakers.

      The one thing I really like about the uglies, is this is the first DIY speaker and first commercial speaker, minus my definitive technology towers, that Odyssey automatically set up as a large full range speaker. Many of my speakers that were designed to go larger, I would have to manually change that. 

      Thank’s a lot,

      After building the dinas i want to build a 2 way speakers with 8inches woofer. The Uglies seems to be very good, Tang Band made well manufactured speakers. 

      Did you use in Bi -amp ? 

    • #11099
      angus
      Participant

      @123toid

      Thank you will keep a lookout for those, will they be small enough though for surounds or if big can they stand vertical in columns 

    • #11103
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @mikekel

      Yeah you really have to crossover low with the W8’s and add an aggressive filter on the W8’s otherwise you can get distortion.  This is the main thing that took me so long on this crossover.  If you were going to use the Aurum Cantus I would strongly suggest running a three way.  Or temper your expectations of how loud you want to play it cleanly. 


    • #11104
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @gerard

      I set them up with a biamp terminal cup, but I do not biamp them.  I like to set up a biamp terminal cup on tower speakers, so I can easily adjust the crossover outside the box before I finalize it.  I hook the tweeter up to one terminal and the woofers to another.  Then run the crossover outside until it is finalized.  You could biamp them if you want. 


    • #11105
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @angus

      I have been throwing a few ideas around and haven;t settled on one yet.  I have a few ideas.  Maybe you can help me narrow it down.  The first would be a normal bookshelf style speaker.  In this case, the speaker would be 4ohm, which might be problematic for some people.  ANother possibility, would be to design something like these Definitives.  I haven’t got a chance to sim any of these arrangements yet.  Of course, the other way is to use the center channel as a typical MTM, which would be a really nice way to add surrounds.  


    • #11106
      angus
      Participant

      @123toid

      I would say the the bipoles it gives more room filling space and maybe if the design has one of the speakers on the center support might give the direct sound some guys are looking for just my thoughts and if they will be at 8ohm will help😜

    • #11113
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @angus

      Thanks for the input.  I’ll look further into the Bi-pole Design.


    • #11121
      imcokeman
      Participant

      After this quarantine stuff maybe you’ll have your theatre built with a full set of uglies and atmos, then I’ll need to check it out, I’m sure these speakers are awesome hope to hear them sometime soon-ish? haha

    • #11122
      tvor-ceasar
      Moderator

      @Angus

      I remember seeing some dipoles with the center support speakers sometime in the the late 80’s or early 90’s, but I haven’t the faintest clue as to who made them. For all I know it might have been in the DAK Catalog, now seen here. That was back in the early days of surround, and there were so many diy ways to get the center and rear steering from standard stereo. Good God, has it been that long ago?


    • #11123
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @imcokeman

      We are working at redoing our main floor.  If I do that, I think I will put atmos in there.  I plan to use in-ceiling speakers though.  The Uglies will be for the Theater room.  That might be a while though. 


    • #11124
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @tvor-ceasar

      I think for my own rears I plan to just use another center channel, but turn it 90.  That way I can have a typical mtm.  Either hang it on the wall or build it into the wall….I haven’t got that far yet, lol. 


    • #11243
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Started working on the center. So far, I’m happy with it.



       


    • #11246
      123toid
      Keymaster

      Watching the new Bad Boys on the Uglies. Man these sound great! I’m definitely going to build some surrounds.


       The question is do I make more like the center…or use the W4’s….


    • #11248
      Elliott
      Participant

      @123toid

      I’d say make more like the LRs as you want as similar sound signature as possible for that seamless panning. 🙂

      If not, the next best thing would be to make them like the centre!


      Elliott Dyson – Elliott Designs (YouTube) – 3rd year MENG Student
    • #11249
      Elliott
      Participant

      Also, next time you do a centre channel try to have the tweeter lifted higher than the midbasses as it massively reduces comb-filtering when off centre, to the left or right. 😉


      Elliott Dyson – Elliott Designs (YouTube) – 3rd year MENG Student
    • #11252
      123toid
      Keymaster
      Posted by: @diyaudiphileelliottbridge

      Also, next time you do a centre channel try to have the tweeter lifted higher than the midbasses as it massively reduces comb-filtering when off centre, to the left or right. 😉

      Where did you hear this?  This isn’t accurate information.  It does affect diffraction, but doesn’t really affect comb filtering, unless the spacing is too great to begin with.  Which is really the only time it needs to be off-center. 


    • #11267
      Elliott
      Participant

      @123toid

      Sorry Toid, not comb filtering, I meant lobing. Oops!

      Here is an article on it: audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/center-channel-designs-1


      Elliott Dyson – Elliott Designs (YouTube) – 3rd year MENG Student
    • #11269
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @diyaudiphileelliottbridge

      I got you. Interesting enough, if you read about the nested MTM even in that article they talk about only slight improvements. and that in and of itself is probably being generous (ie inaudible) of course thid depends on proper spacing. One thing they neglect to talk about, is the further you get away from the center channel, the less those minor improvements. With a design like this, it can be used either as a center channel or rear surrounds or even front speakers flipped in a normal MTM configuration. Once you start nesting that tweeter, you’ll need to flip your speakers opposite orientations to get the better tweeters response. You start sacrificing off-axis response when you set it up like a normal MTM. Every design has its advantages and disadvantages. To me the nested configuration does not make enough of an audible impact, to make it worth it. 

       


    • #11270
      Elliott
      Participant

      @123toid

      Fair enough, I have a small room you see so these things are easier for me to notice. I didn’t think about the fact that your room might be bigger than mine. 🤦‍♂️

      You said you were thinking about making this into an atoms build didn’t you? If so you should really consider trying to get each of the speakers to voice as similarly as possible, if the centre channel sounds a bit different to your left and right, maybe try a different design for the rears. This is also a good consideration to make with buying in-ceiling speakers (I think you mentioned that), which is why I prefer height speakers instead, but not everyone has the luxury of not caring about speakers protruding from the tops of walls. 😀

      Good luck with this project Toid.


      Elliott Dyson – Elliott Designs (YouTube) – 3rd year MENG Student
    • #11274
      oneway
      Member

      I haven’t read the whole thread yet but op I think you can do better on making the ugliest speakers in the world,next time maybe. I don’t think they look that bad. It is unusual to try and do that with such nice looking drivers though. Those woofers look like a subs. 

      That tweeter looks great also. 

    • #11277
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @oneway

      Thank you.  I didn’t take my time on the finish.  Just to kind of prove, that the looks are secondary to the sound in DIY.  Or stated differently, it is okay to make mistakes in the finish when you first start off.  You can always redo that. So your finish skill should not stop you from DIY work. 


    • #11279
      oneway
      Member

      @123toid

      the 4” version of your woofer looks like it would be great  for a small Bluetooth project. Thinking about doing something for a Christmas gift this year.

      Seen the video hopefully she lets you keep them for a while lol

       

    • #12068
      kanaaudio
      Participant

      @123toid

      I know it’s an old post, but looking at your pictures of the inside of the towers I am wondering – what are the vertical holes for? Is it just a structural plate allowing air to pass or does it mean something for the sound? They are cut very straight and symmetrical 🙂

    • #12069
      kanaaudio
      Participant

      @123toid

      btw, it’s super cool that you blog about these projects of yours, it really brings substance to the forum

    • #12071
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @kanaaudio

      They are braces to help deaden the cabinet and reduce/stop unwanted resonance.  I added the holes to allow air to still flow freely in the cabinet.


    • #12072
      kanaaudio
      Participant

      @123toid

      I thought as much, but then I became unsure because the holes are cut so perfect and symmetrical, I thought there might be a different reason to it as well  🙂

    • #12282
      cbw_vt
      Participant

      @123toid

      I know it’s been a while since this thread was started, but I was wondering if you had a suggestion for another woofer to include in this design other than the tang band?  Looking at parts express they are only selling these in large quantities and I cannot find another site to purchase the same driver.

    • #12291
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @cbw_vt

      I wish I did.  It really does require that woofer.  Typically when PE does this, it is because they either have more on order or a seeing the level of interest, etc.  I would give them a call and see if they plan on restocking these regularly again.  This Covid pandemic has really changed a lot. 


    • #12790
      etmike99
      Participant

      @123toid Did you ever get any further on a clone of those Definitives you mentioned, or did you decide it isn’t worth the time?

      I’m super interested in a set of DIY bipole surrounds for my theater build. 

       

      My plan currently is to do:

      5 of your THX clones for LCR and rear surrounds

      4 of your Eminance ATMOs builds for the ceiling

      and possibly two more for the side surrounds, however, since I will have multiple rows of seating, I would love to play around with bipoles in these locations. 

    • #12791
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @etmike99

      You are going to have a killer setup!

      I didn’t.  It really felt like a waste of time.  It was going to cost too much.  By the time you were finished, you might as well buy definitive towers. I may pick it up in the future, but I have no plans.  I do want to later this year design a n speaker inspired by the Klipsch KPT-800M.  These are rear surround designed for small commercial theaters.  If I can pull it off, I think they will make excellent surrounds.  But as of now, this is just a thought process.  I have not taken any action on it. 


    • #12796
      etmike99
      Participant

      @123toid That makes sense. I’ll probably just end up doing the ATMOS speakers as side surrounds optimized for my seat, and the second row will just have to be happy with whatever sound it gets!! Lol. The more reading/research I do  the less it seems bipole/dipole speakers really add anything to the mix anyway. 

    • #12798
      etmike99
      Participant

      @123toid The Klipsch KPT-800M look like a fun build! I hope you do get around to doing that one. I know I’d be more than willing to pay for those plans if you pull it off. 

    • #13272
      aeleks
      Participant

      Hi all,

      I come back to this forum for a while now. I highly enjoyed building the Dinas. They just sound fantastic. Often came back here to get some advice posted to this forum. Thanks to all for that.

       

      Now that I’m finished with my Dinas build I’m looking for a new project. That`s when die Uglies caught my eye on Toids Youtube channel. Sadly the shop tells me, that the plans are no longer available for sale. Couldn’t find any reason why in the forum. Any chance to get to the plans or are they for a reason disabled in the store?

       

      Greetings

    • #13273
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @aeleks

      These really are a great build. Unfortunately the reason why they are out of stock or unavailable is that you can’t get the woofer right now. If you have a way to source the woofer and the Tweeter, I’d be happy to sell you the plans. But I won’t do that unless I know you can get the parts. I just don’t want you to buy the plans and not be able to build the speaker.


    • #13274
      aeleks
      Participant

      @123toid Man that was fast. Thanks for the answer. As it seems I would be able to get my hands on to the W8-2096B – are these the right one for the build?

    • #13275
      123toid
      Keymaster

      @aeleks

      Yes they are. If you can also get your hands on the tweeters. Let me know and I’ll sell you the plans.


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