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Old 8th January 2012, 02:08 AM   #241
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Default Now to the electronics

I had my wood box, now I needed to fit those PSU components in there... Opps, I would not have minded going a little bigger, esp on my first PSU build... ended up having to cut the rectifier board in half. I was lucky I could, as I could not "see" all the traces, but the multi-meter said it was a go, so...

I tested everything out before installing it in the box, and it worked! There is nothing as gratifying as seeing that little LED light up, on flicker in the bulb tester and no sparks!

It was even better once it was installed in the wood box

I do have a metal case that will wrap around the top bottom and sides - I am hiring out that part as I do not have the tools to do that well.
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File Type: jpg rectifirecut.jpg (539.1 KB, 160 views)
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:13 AM   #242
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyAllen View Post
I have a lot to share with you today... your patience has paid off!

I will start with the begining of the end, share the journey to the end and end with the present begining.

I am pleased to announce that after breaking in the Alpair 12s in for 14 hours unbaffled on the floor hooked up to my working chip amps, I was ready to install one into one completed Avebury "in the raw" cabinets...

First impression - Holy Wow, that is a lot of bass, and this was with classical music. I have to say, I was skeptical that a 6" driver could do that! Excellent engineering Scott!..

But then I heard the midrange... Have you ever had one of them dry oranges, it looks like an orange, smells like an orange, but you eat the slightly shrivelled up insides hoping for that rehydrating juice and it is not there! Oh my, maybe I should have stuck with open baffles!

But I am getting ahead of myself, lets go back to where in left you...
Allen,

Have you broken in the drivers? These drivers need 200+ hours.
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:32 AM   #243
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Default shrivelled-up, dehydrating mid range

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyAllen View Post
I have a lot to share with you today...

But then I heard the midrange... Have you ever had one of them dry oranges, it looks like an orange, smells like an orange, but you eat the slightly shrivelled up insides hoping for that rehydrating juice and it is not there! Oh my, maybe I should have stuck with open baffles!...
Hi there: Noticed in the last open picture through the driver hole numerous blocks of wood. Could those blocks be reflecting various frequencys that are clouding the mid range sound? Often sound deading material is placed behind the driver to prevent reflections back through the cone material. ...regards, Michael
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Old 8th January 2012, 03:33 AM   #244
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Default Now the amps

I ordered the Penn-Elcom Heat Sink boxes for the amps. These are some well manufactured products. You can order fronts and backs also, but I didn't becuase I was using the wood. I tried several types of screws with these. The #4 machine screws held in two of the 16 holes (4 per panel) and the medium thread were no better. The #6 machine screws I had broke while screwing them in, but these where "gold" colored screws, made out of cheap metal. The best screws where #6 medium thread 1" length screws. I would like to find better looking ones then the silver colored ones I used, but these did not brake. The picture of the wood panels screwed on the cases are on a later post.

These pictures show the grove you can use in these cases to bolt down the chip. I also cut a piece of alumium because I wanted the whole chip to have contact with metal (without a groove down the middle). The #4 machine screws I had fit down this groove well. I shopped around for a nut head screw that would fit this groove, but no one here had anything. I had to add solder to the screw heads to prevent them from spinning around while I tightened the nut to bolt the chip and alumium down to the case. I used thermal paste on both the chip and alumium. I am amazed that I did this without making a mess. The cost for all this was a lot of figuring time. Designing custom cases requires creativity and time... I am really glad you all have patience!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ampkits.jpg (175.5 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg Ampcasegroove.jpg (85.0 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg Ampscrewingroove.jpg (138.0 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg solderedgroovescrew.jpg (113.6 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by ArtsyAllen; 8th January 2012 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 8th January 2012, 03:58 AM   #245
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Default Wow, you guys are on!

Hang in there michael droke and zman01, I still have a lot of typing and pictures to post, there is more to the story I have not shared yet, but your comments are very encouraging! Thanks for being a part of this journey!

Okay, after many hours turning into days of threading screw holes and mounting hardware, jacks and crimping wires, it came time to solder the signal and power wires to the boards. Actually, I had the wires on before I moulted the chips to the heat sinks cases.

PSU tested out perfect, now time to plug in the amps and test the DC off set. A little high with no load, but the bulb did not light and there where no sparks. I can not believe how excitingly nerveracking (in a good way)this simple circuit is. The last photo shows my JVC Hi-Fi Stereo VHS machine that recently bloke. Look at the board in that thing, and it has worked, stills works faithfully to this day since 1990! It is a mechanical problem that I am not willing to fix, time to upgrade to blu-ray. Anyway, I digress...

Do you know the elation you feel when you plug an input signal into an amp you built from a kit in a custom designed case and it produces clean music thru your test speaker... then you have the chance to experience it again with channel 2!
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File Type: jpg Ampwires.jpg (197.5 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Ampsincases.jpg (203.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg VCRboard.jpg (297.4 KB, 28 views)
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Old 8th January 2012, 04:27 AM   #246
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Default Out come the Alpair 12s with light music

Okay, so begins the breaking in process. Alpair 12s unbaffled, playing classical music at a low volume level thru completed chip amps still hooked up to the bulb tester...

Now it is time to install the denim product. I am thinking at this point if I had it to do again, I would build the amps first!

So I cut the denim to fit in the gap between the disfusion assembly and the back chamber walls. The big piece goes in front of the disfusion chamber and up the rest of the sides to the horn throats as per Dave's instructions. I tacked this in with small dabs of wood glue in case I want to change it later. This denim product was very agreeable to work with. I have not installed any fluff into the horn throats yet, i want to hear it raw first... which brings us back to the dry orange...

My thoughts where the same as micheal's and Zman's, they need more time, oh God! More Time! Aghhh!... yes, deep down I knew that! This project has been all about Time, so much time, and carving out more Time from nothingness and still needing more, so much more! Overtime at work. Artwork to create for ChristMas presents, hand made cards to 64 people, brownies and big dinners. I absolutely Love it! That is what makes the journey so great! I am so glad I can share the joy and tribulations with you all out there. But there is more...
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File Type: jpg Denimcut.jpg (319.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg denimdiffusorgap.jpg (246.0 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg denimincavity.jpg (187.2 KB, 35 views)
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Old 8th January 2012, 04:57 AM   #247
arny1 is offline arny1  Australia
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Nice work Allen,
Re the dry orange, I broke my drivers in for 200+ hours before installing them yet they still had that same sound. Once they had been playing for a few more hours in the new speaker they settled in very well.

Keep at it, arny.
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Old 8th January 2012, 06:24 AM   #248
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Lightbulb The rest of the story...

So there I was, two Avebury cabinets built in the raw, producing sound. all day long. I was very concerned about the mid-range, but the bass kept catching my attention. By this point, the Alpairs had 30 hours of break-in (not including what Dave had done before he tested and EnAbled the drivers). So I stepped the music up to Orchestral movie soundtracks. All of the break-in music came from Internet radio...

Off I went to do yoga, upstairs. They sound great in that room. Volume was at 24% on the computer, and I could gently feel the bass in the floor! I had to come down to make sure I was not over doing it... ...the drivers where moving 1mm at most! Impressive!

Okay, time to play some of my music library: Emma Shapplin "Carmine Meo". @#$%, why does it sound like I just rubbed my hand across some fibreglass insulation! something is off here! Now, lets keep in mind I am listening to this thru my PC, thru the mother board. Yes, you know where this is going...

I have not built my light speed yet, but I decided to hook-up my laser disc player to my TV which has an audio out... Okay, sounding better, now more like rubbing my hand across a nice thick rug that needs to be vacuumed. I also could try my PC thru the HDMI hook-up, and actually that was better then the mother board. TV adds hum and noise, but I can minimize it with the visualizer in I-tunes.

Discovery #1: DAC matters. What is better, HDMI - Philips TV DAC or Pioneer CLD-3070 DAC?..

Now comes discovery #2...
The pioneer has more gain, and I forgot to lower the volume on one of the comparisons. No, I did not blow the drivers, I instead got a light show form the bulb tester! What surprised me with this, is the song I was playing was just vocal and paino, but when Emma was belting it out, the bulb lit. That bulb tester is the coolest thing! I have read that this is a normal occurance. I also noticed that when the bulb lit, my rug get dirtier! So I pushed the bypass button... like a vacuum - the dirt gone. Out come the bulb tester, I am present, so I can keep an eye and ear on the amps... They have been running fine since and the heat sinks seem to be sufficant so far...

Sounding much better, the war of the DAC's continue:

-1- Mother board is the quietest (I know that is hard to believe) And has the deepest bass, but it is the lifeless of them all.

-2- HDMI thru Philips - noisyest, has something to do with the computer to TV interface, it even affects all the other inputs on the TV when the computer is on. But this DAC has the silkyest high. Soundstange is confined to the front of the room to between the speakers.

-3- Poineer CLD-3070 - as noisy as the HDMI when the computer is on, as quiet as the mother board when off. The highs have less resolution. This player is from 1991. I was not kidding you when I mentioned that I was starting this system from anew, look at my VCR above!! Anyway the nice thing about this DAC is the Sound stage extends to the sides of the room and sneeks a little bit to the back. I would like more in the back but maybe the light speed will bring that, along with more break-in.

-1B- I tried the mother board thru the TV also (PC volume all the way up) It sounded better, but still not as good as the HDMI. Sound stage is almost mono on this set-up.

I am researching DAC's, have been for some time, I would enjoy any options any of you may have. I am looking to up grade to blu-ray real soon. I would like to go PC based thru HDMI and exteral DAC, but there are cavets with current software. A stand alone player is an option too, but I want one that plays DVD's without skipping! I am looking at Oppo for $800 which is too much, excellent DAC though. I know twisted pear has this DAC DIY, but still $500? for parts without case??? V-DAC looking like a good option.

So, I have realized that these speakers, eventhough they are not fully broken in, they are very resolving. In fact, today, I noticed that the left channel was more lively then the right. I switched amps, not it. I switched channels, not it. I switched interconects, not it. It is good to know that my amps are in balance but what about these matched drivers?..

Out come the cat-5 wire. I still had the zip cord test wire in place between the amp and speaker. So I set up one run of cat-5 for each side, that is four strands per connection. Hang on Dave, I am getting to that... This fixed the problem! This is when I realized that these speakers can produce a soundstage!

Discovery #3 - Wire matters! We all know this kind of stuff matters, but it is nice to prove it!

So, Dave, I am sure you noticed that I wired the speakers with four strands per connection - 3 reasons:

#1 In case one or more broke durring glueing or down the road.

#2 In case I get a chance to get the frozen wire done, I will have a big enough hole to feed it thru, or any other wire choice I may want later.

#3 So I can compare 4 strands to one.

So that brings us to the present moment. As you can see from the photo below, my amps are not staying put due to that tooo thick speakon cable. I will not use that again. I will figure out some way to "harness" these to look good on my shelf. I am very happy with the amps, eventhough I will not do one this small as it was very difficult to wire them up. I will post better pictures when I have the PSU fully enclosed with "wholy" metal.

Also I have the outsides of the Avebury cabinets to finish, because I am sure the diffraction I have now is hearable! I have to say, I have never heard a full range driver that has as smooth as a mid-treble as these do. Thank-you Dave and Mark Audio! We are at the tip of the iceburg here. There is more to come, including a light speed volume control.

I will also add at this point, that this is the lowest bass and biggest bass I have ever heard from a six inch speaker. I have watched parts of a few Laser Disc movies like Star Trek Generations (THX version) and the original Star Wars (non-THX) and liked very much what I heard. I have not pushed it with volume and I really do not feel I need to yet. These are satifying at moderate levels. I got a little more felt bass with my subwoofer on my old system, but I get more impact from this system. The bass is lead by the mid-range, which is very hard to get with a subwoofer. This system is strong that way. I think this system can belt out some felt bass at higher volume levels. And if not, there are always butt shakers if I have the desire.

The highs are not quite as resolved as my old system's Hi-Vi R-II Pro (removed back for open baffle use), but I do not miss that. I like the connection between the mid-treble to the highs, again very hard to do on a multi-way system. So I guess I won't be selling the Avebury cabinets on swap meets!

God Bless you all, I had better get to my night job, it is getting late and I have dinner to eat yet! .

Allen
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File Type: jpg Ampsintheraw.jpg (186.0 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by ArtsyAllen; 8th January 2012 at 06:51 AM. Reason: grammer
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:21 AM   #249
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:36 PM   #250
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Dont' overlook the Oppo BDP-93. $500 and great DAC (equiv of what you're talking about).



Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyAllen View Post
I am researching DAC's, have been for some time, I would enjoy any options any of you may have. I am looking to up grade to blu-ray real soon. I would like to go PC based thru HDMI and exteral DAC, but there are cavets with current software. A stand alone player is an option too, but I want one that plays DVD's without skipping! I am looking at Oppo for $800 which is too much, excellent DAC though. I know twisted pear has this DAC DIY, but still $500? for parts without case??? V-DAC looking like a good option.


Allen
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