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Old 23rd October 2010, 06:30 AM   #1
gideon is offline gideon  Israel
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Default CHR-70 for a first time build

Hello all,

I am quite locked onto building a first pair of speakers, and seems like its going to be CHR-70! (fit the budget and have great feedback so far).

From the plans on markaudio's site I think the pensil series from here: MA Pencil Series | Markaudio , described by the designer scottmoose:

Simple enclosure, easy to tailor to various rooms / systems, relatively flat impedance & a reasonably balanced response down to ~60Hz without requiring compensation circuitry in the vast majority of cases
this is probably what i am looking for as a first time builder.

But I cant really find any listening impressions of this build, how do they sound?
I would be very happy if someone that has built it before can share any impressions and tips on the build.

my current speaker set, i got from my friends' parents has great bass which i am a bit accustomed to..
they sound great with my gainclone but they still lack the audiophile type detailing and soundstage i want out of what i am going to build.
BTW the current speakers are labeled "B&B usa" , cant find much about the brand you can imagine what comes up in google.

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Old 24th October 2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Hello Gideon,

I built two sets of the Markaudio Pensil 70 cabinets from the plans on the Markaudio site over a year ago.

I am very happy with the sound they give. Initially, I thought the bass was a little 'woolly', but discovered that to be the stuffing I used on the first set - dacron type fibre stuck to front, back and top per plans. On the second set I used a 25mm (at the thickest part) convoluted foam as suggested by Mark Fenlon. This totally cleared up the 'woolly' bass.

The overall sound is big, clear, wide, good bass (but don't expect to 'feel' it) with a good soundstage. I find the Pensil speakers quite revealing to different equipment. I prefer them driven by valve and gainclone amps rather than T-amps. T-amps sound a little thin compared to the other two on these speakers. However, the speakers certainly portray all the detail of the various T-amps I've tried with them.

I'm not using any compensation circuitry with them. They are used in a room about 4.5mtrs x 3.5mtrs.

The CHR-70 (I'm using the original versions) drivers took a little while (50+ hours maybe) to settle-in initially having a little sybilance on some female voices. This seems to have all disappeared now.

I think you'll be happy with the sound if you build any of the Pensil series for the CHR-70s. They certainly are a good, easy and 'cheap' way to get into the "audiophile type detailing and soundstage" you desire.

Also, I use simple single core cable (1mm copper magnet winding wire) for both speaker cable and internal wiring with mine. I find this works quite well with the detail and soundstage these drivers/boxes are capable of.

Hope this helps,

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Old 25th October 2010, 02:15 PM   #3
gideon is offline gideon  Israel
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Hi Simon,

Thanks, this helps a lot.. just the description and tips i needed and some more!

the convoluted foam tip is great i will sure do this.. i wonder why i've never seen that mentioned anywhere.

I was actually thinking of building a t-amp to use with these speakers and also curious how they would sound compared to the gainclone.
And I am also thinking of building something like this: Oatley 272 as a preamp.
i am not much of a kit person so i want to see how easy it would be to source out the tubes without the whole kit.

anyways, time to get busy! I hope i can find some time in the near future to start building.. i will post my progres when i do.
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Old 25th October 2010, 11:51 PM   #4
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Hi Gideon,

Glad to be of some help. Don't let me put you off the T-amps, I just find the gainclone has more 'body', with still a lot of detail.

I'm sure this isn't the only source for the JAN6418, just the first to pop-up.

6418 Tube [6418] - $1.99 : Piexx Company, Computers & Electronics

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Old 26th October 2010, 03:22 AM   #5
gideon is offline gideon  Israel
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Thanks again Simon, I almost bought from them but shipping to Singapore (where i live) is $32 which is about the same price as the kit
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