Support for the DIY speaker builder

 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Finalists Build

Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:46 pm

Hey Everybody.

Recently picked up a kit from Meniscus to build Jim Holtz's 3way design, the Finalists.

http://speakerdesignworks.com/Finalists_1.html

I had already started a detailed build thread elsewhere before i found out about this forum, but I wanted to post some info here for anyone else who might pick up this kit.

I put some time lapse videos together that some may enjoy:

Rear panel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49xkXQ-SKM4

Baffle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i55alzr5nI
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:53 pm

Test fitting driver countersinks and through holes

IMG_2151.JPG


IMG_2152.JPG


IMG_2154.JPG
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:56 pm

Rear panel pretty much complete

IMG_2263.JPG


Baffle holes cut. I ran a chamfer on the rear of the baffle panel before assembly. Then i fully assembled the box. Then i veneered. Then i cut the countersinks and through holes. Worked out pretty well.

IMG_2268.JPG



Driver dry fit

IMG_2269.JPG
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:02 pm

I assembled the crossover on some 1/4" MDF.

photo%202.JPG


Meniscus supplied a pic with their suggestion for mounting the near/far crossover switch and resistor. I followed it pretty close but did not create a second negative post as they did.

photo%204.JPG


photo%205.JPG
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:58 pm

A little before and after of my finish work.

The before picture has some dark spots that are still damp from a wipedown to get rid of the dust before applying the finish

IMG_2278.JPG


Finish is Zinsser's clear shellac from home depot. Nice because it doesn't stink, but doesn't offer quite the same level of protection of other finishes.

IMG_2279.JPG
 
blue934
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:03 pm

what is the veneer? it looks funky. looking forward to your reviews, this design interest me.
David
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:58 pm

Hey David.

The dark colored veneer on most of the cabinet is Bubinga. I believe this selection is actually referred to as "Waterfall Bubinga". I saw a few builds using this species and just had to have it. Beautiful stuff. My selection was somewhat difficult to work with because it was a bit wavy. I treated it with veneer softener but i still ended up with some small ripples in the final product :( I used clamps, perhaps a vacuum press would have worked them out a bit flatter. I heard Bubinga is known for being somewhat difficult to work with so be advised.

The baffle is Karelian Birch. I thought it had a nice contrast against the darker Bubinga. I'm pretty happy with it.
 
blue934
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:57 am

interesting. great job so far.
D
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:56 pm

Finally done... not much time for listening impression yet except to discover some depth that i haven't heard with my other speaker setups. More comments to come as i do some critical listening :)

IMG_2291_small.jpg


IMG_2295_small.jpg



Some measurements with mid tunnel open and closed and resistor switch open and closed.

Finalist_Measurements_smal.jpg
 
lowpolyjoe
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Finalists Build

Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Appologies for more or less a direct cut-and-paste of my post from another forum, but it sums up my experiences pretty well and anyone browsing the Meniscus kits may only check this forum as a reference.


I wired them up in my home theater setup, running off my Denon 3312. I had my Zaph 5.3 L/C/Rs previously and kept the center at first. After a little listening and hearing how full range the Finalists can run, i decided to switch off the center completely and run 2 channels up front. Sounds great. Dialog and imaging is much clearer than i expected. Funny that i got into this hobby to get cleaner dialog by buildling a nice center channel and now i'm back to 2 front channels and it sounds better than ever

One thing i should point out. I hadn't thought much about efficiency. I think the design is rated at about 84db. I had to turn the receiver up a bit higher to get these babies singing. I still didn't go above about -20db volume and they play plenty loud for me. Just something for other builders to keep in mind.


Last night i had some buddies over to watch the fights. We were commenting that it *really* sounded like there was a sub hidden somewhere. Obviously not a monster SPL sub, but a subtle, perfectly blended, bottom-fill sub. You hear notes that none of my previous speakers could produce and things are balanced perfectly. It's nice because i was hoping to run without a sub and now i probably will. You're not going to rattle the rafters but you get very wide coverage with this design without throwing an eyesore in the corner to do the grunt work.

Speaking of subs - i used to be a die hard basshead. I absolutely destroyed my ears in the car audio days. As such, i'm not the best person to relay the subtleties of a great set of speakers. I did some critical listening this afternoon. Maybe an hour or so before my wife got impatient waiting to watch tv. As much as I love this hobby, i've never gone out and collected a great selection of quality recordings. What I had to work with was some Beatles, Cranberries and Simon and Garfunkle.

The Finalists do great across the board. I already mentioned that they seem to dig very deep in supplying the lows. The midrange and highs are clear and balanced. Imaging is very convincing. I can't think of much more to say except that i'm happy with the sound

I was running them about a foot+ out from the back wall with the mid tunnel closed. I wanted to pull the plugs and listen open-back as a comparison but i couldn't get the plugs out They're very tight and i'm going to have to pull the mid drivers and push them out from the inside or risk breaking something if i yank away at the pulls. I sanded down the plugs a few times but they're still just a little too tight.

I'll report back as i get more listening in and if i can get some open-back experience under my belt.

Thanks again Jim for your design and continued support.

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