DIATONE P-610FB cabinet refurbishment - diyAudio
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Old 7th August 2012, 06:16 AM   #1
Toppsy is offline Toppsy  United Kingdom
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Default DIATONE P-610FB cabinet refurbishment

A few weeks back I was asked if I could recover some speaker cabinets in Santos Rosewood Veneer. Having seen the photos of the original cabinets I realised there would be quite a lot of prep work required before I could cover them.

However, I decided to take up the challenge and here are some before and after photos of the results. The 'suprabaffle was bolted on the front due the original fixing holes had been chewed to buggery.

My wife has likened this conversion as making a silk purse from a sows ear! I have to agree.

The keen eyed amongst you will note the front cut 45-deg chamfer is not perfect. Well neither are these cabinets. They are very poorly put together and are nailed along all joints! They are not true square and the sides are also not true. As the originals had a roundover to the front baffle I had to machine cut on my table saw the chamfer to allow for veneering. I cut this on my table saw with an old blade due to the nails! Doing this brought to light the poor build quality of the original cabinets. It's amazing what you can do with a tub of car body filler, some sanding blocks and a final covering of veneer.

Anyway here are the photos sent to me of the original cabinets.

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And here is the end result:

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The Santos Rosewood was a right pain to use. Around the highly figured contours it is very wavy and not flat. Great care is need to avoid splitting the very hard close grain veneer. This job really needs to be done on a proper veneer press or vaccum bag with a 2-part glue. But I done my best.

I've had a quick listen to these, mainly out of curiosity as these drivers seem to have a cult following.

Well to be honest I cannot see (or more like hear) what all the fuss is about. These are quite thin sounding and bass is quite poor. They are very directional and need lots of toe-in to get a decent stereo image soundstage. Without the toe0in they remind me of the old Quad57 that too are very directional. You can clearly hear the cabinet with these but I put that down to little or no internal damping of these largish floorstanders. The only damping is some Monacor MDM-3 wool damping just behind the driver. Having queried this with the owner of the speakers he said the guy who designed the cabinets said that's all would be required. Me, I think these cabinets are seriously underdamped.
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Old 7th August 2012, 11:48 PM   #2
ejfud is offline ejfud  United States
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Those turned out beautiful! Nice work.
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Old 10th August 2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Great work! Too bad they don't sound the part... shows we've come a long way since vintage gear.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 07:31 PM   #4
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I got a pair of Diatone 610MA from EIFL Japan years ago, and if it weren't for the fact that I already have a pair of Ocellia Tillia's in my home I would be happy to keep these alone for the rest of my life.
As a nightclub manager I spent decades listening to live music and there is a truth to the sound of these drivers that is difficult to deny. Of course, I am running them with multi-thousand dollar tube amplifiers, and that does make a difference.
They are in Bell Wood Lansing BR cabs, and the bass is sufficient to run them alone, although I do have a pair of Carver subs and a pair of Velodynes I can also play with, both to great effect. I haven't felt the need for an additional tweeter, as when I tried a few different pairs they simply lowered the quality of the sound.
I am currently playing them with a Mac 1700 I had Terry DeWick restore, and I am running them alone, with a slight boost in the bass and treble, depending on the source and the recording. It's a great match, since the tone controls on the 1700 don't spill over into the mid range until the boost/cut is very high and I would never go there.
I would LOVE to hear these driver in the graphite enclosure, but at $7k they are too pricey for a mere hobbyist with limited funds.
In my video I use Gallo Micros with a Gallo sub, and my computer setup has a pair of Mackie HR824's with a Musical Fidelity X-CAN v8 as a preamp/headphone amp (my cans are ATH-W1000's), in case anyone thinks I am a vintagephile...
Here's to good wine, good music and good friends!
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Old 22nd January 2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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Glad you like yours. Different model units to the ones in the boxes Colin refurbished, which as I recall, were knackered.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 12:26 PM   #6
IG81 is offline IG81  Canada
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Great job, these were pretty ratty to start with!

I'd like to hear a P610 sometime. The affordable copies on Ebay look interesting, don't know how they'd compare though. What baffles me most is how you always see P610's in reflex enclosure, what with the Qts figures I often see for these, 1.5+...

IG
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Old 23rd January 2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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It depends on the model, some were lower than others. For many of them though I'd agree. Miserable damping & technically lousy for reflex loading. The copies (well, basically new drive units that look a bit like the old Diatones) do look pretty decent though, & certainly the specs. are more useable than many of the original units ever were. Whether the quality / quality control is there is open to question though since we don't actually know who makes them. For the money though, they might be reasonable, although shipping, import duties & tax will ramp the price up.

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Old 23rd January 2013, 01:29 PM   #8
IG81 is offline IG81  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
It depends on the model, some were lower than others. For many of them though I'd agree. Miserable damping & technically lousy for reflex loading. The copies (well, basically new drive units that look a bit like the old Diatones) do look pretty decent though, & certainly the specs. are more useable than many of the original units ever were. Whether the quality / quality control is there is open to question though since we don't actually know who makes them. For the money though, they might be reasonable, although shipping, import duties & tax will ramp the price up.
Up-close pictures seemed to show a fairly good quality assembly, hope that was not a "choice unit" and that it's representative of the average. Leather suspension is always interesting too. Something with specs that make it workable in a small/medium sealed box with f3 around 100Hz and Qtc<1.0 might be quite enjoyable. A TL/TQWT could be workable if Qts is not sky-high, for added bass.

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Old 23rd January 2013, 01:33 PM   #9
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Toppsy very nice! Have you tried some baffle step compensation?
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