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Old 27th April 2011, 09:56 PM   #31
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Memphis
Well I have been quiet because I am in the finishing phase. I am using a product new to me, Deft Brushing Lacquer. Though the smell is unhealthy in the least, but it is going to make a very nice finish I can tell already. Even though I have an HVLP spray system I just didn't feel like setting up the shop for a spray session. In the end that was a good decision as it has been raining/storming like crazy here and the humidity is very high. That is an invitation for blushing when spraying lacquer. Brushing lacquers are IMHO very forgiving. As an example, the can says to stir not shake the product, I shake as it mixed better. I am using a foam roller instead of a brush also. You can't tell the end result from a sprayed finish! Between coats I lightly sand with 500 grit abralon, used for auto finishes. Before the next coat I use a tack cloth, which I believe, makes all the difference. Each surface will get six coats. I have five on the backs now and am please as punch.

One quick construction note. I have not installed the vents ant the top and bottom panels are not glued in place. This way I can easily test and adjust both the vent length and the amount and placement of the stuffing.

The Alpair 10.2s are being broken in on a table in their shipping boxes using a small wattage tube amp (Elekit 879s). I have put together a spread sheet to keep track of time and volume levels so I will know when they are officially broken in. I have to say as soon as I pushed play, though very low, Mozart has never sounded so good in this house. I have progressed from 5 clicks on the volume control to 12 clicks as of this morning. 12 Clicks is about an 1/8 of the volume range. The music is impressive, I am giddy at the prospect of hearing these Alpair 10.2s in the cabinets Jim has designed.

Thanks Mark and Jim! Mark you are a true artist! Also thanks Dave Dlugos for your encouragement. We will be getting together in the future on the project I talked with you about. Pictures when they are done.
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Old 4th May 2011, 01:45 PM   #32
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Location: Memphis

Six coats of lacquer. Acoustastuff in place, binding posts in place, speakers screwed in place, and connecting wire soldered to connection tabs and binding posts. Into approximately 118 hours of breaking in. They sound pretty nice.
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Old 4th May 2011, 01:47 PM   #33
StevenZ is offline StevenZ  United States
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Looks great!
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Old 5th May 2011, 03:18 AM   #34
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Location: Seattle, WA
Those are beautiful! I like the black corners. I'm actively breaking in my 12's right now and agree with your statements about how great they sounded even in the shipping boxes Congrats!

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Old 5th May 2011, 07:05 PM   #35
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dhaka
Originally Posted by naturallmystic View Post

Into approximately 118 hours of breaking in. They sound pretty nice.
Congratulations on completing your build! Good looking pair you have.

Please share some more listening impressions as you slowly tranistion into real listening vs breaking in.

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Old 6th May 2011, 06:09 AM   #36
jamikl is offline jamikl  Australia
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Melbourne
Very well done and informative naturallmystic. Looking forward to the
next project you hinted at.
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Old 6th May 2011, 03:51 PM   #37
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Location: UK
Very pretty.
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Old 10th May 2011, 11:20 PM   #38
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Memphis
Update: I am up to about 205 hours of breakin. Each morning I move the volume knob up a click. At this point I am at half way; 20 clicks. The amplifier is an Elekit 879S, utilizing two ELH6L6, which produces about 8.5 watts per channel. I connected the Alpairs to the 8 ohm output, hope that was the right decision. The first 100 hours were classical genre only. Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Hayden, Brahms, Mendelssohn, you get the idea. After 100 hours I added some world music, including some Tabla music (a very dynamic drum) and Brazilian indigenous music. Then just a couple of days ago I added light rock and folk to the mix which included the Beatles, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Iris Dement, Dido, etc. It's been hard to choose the music.

I grew up in a musical household. My mother was and is still a concert pianist (85), my grandmother was a concert pianist. I have been listening to classical music since the womb. I was considered a prodigy as a child and played blues here in Memphis in bars (not legally, but things can be loose here) at the age of 14. I majored in music in college, went on to do studio work and played in several bands in my youth. My point is I have a really good ear and know it. Soooo let me say this, the speaker/cabinet combination is quite remarkable. It is taking a lot of discipline not to turn the volume up! This driver has it all, really. The bass is there, clean yet really there, not muddy, accurate. You can feel it! Mids are clean and precise and the high end too is clear. It seems a shame to even break the sound down into categories as these speakers, for want of a better word, are pure. I am in love. You just gotta try these folks.

I am eagerly awaiting the new Alpair 12s.
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Old 14th May 2011, 02:56 AM   #39
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Very pretty.
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:14 AM   #40
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Eltham, Melbourne, Australia
Default Well done natural

Fantastic job mate. As a soon to be Alpair 10.2 owner I found this very inspiring. It is good to have a few reminders about proper woodwork skills also, although I do now have to buy more clamps!

I have to ask, what made you choose this cab design over something like the Pencil. They are both MLTL and look about the same size. Does this design have a particular sound/advantage?

Well done again.
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