Amish 45/97 Construction Diary - diyAudio
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Old 4th November 2009, 07:31 AM   #1
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Default Amish 45/97 Construction Diary

Having started looking at a speaker project on these very forums about 3 years ago I was drawn towards a scan speak based design such as the Vogue 2 at Wilmoslow Audio. Whilst browsing on Ebay I came across a pair of Scan Speak D2905/9700 tweeters going for a good price and decided they would be a good start and could fit in with the sliced paper SP95 project on Troel Gravesen's website. Having bought them and doing a bit of research it would appear they aren't an easy swap for the 9500, so it kind of knocked that idea on the head.

As luck would have it, whilst doing some more surfing on Ebay I spotted a pair of Scan Speak 18W/8545 and there was a design incorporating both this and the 9700 on Troel's website in the form of the Amish 45/95. So this is where my journey really began..... very slowly!

It has taken a considerable amount of time for this project to get started due to house moves, holidays and various other hobbies getting in the way. Not to mention a lack of tools and space in which to undertake any construction. However, it has recently regained momentum thanks to me aquiring a few tools (router and table saw) and deciding that actually I can use my conservatory as a workshop!

So with drive units purchased, it was time to aquire some cross-over components. This proved difficult to get exactly what I wanted in the UK and during my time searching the Amish project was updated by Troel's to provide a parallel crossover design specifically for the 9700... which was a bonus. I decided to bite the bullet and order my parts from Madisound and have them shipped over, knowing I would get stung for import duty, but it still worked out considerably cheaper than my other searches.

The picture below show the components all laid out in their glory, well bar a couple of resistors that had to be sourced from elsewhere.
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Old 4th November 2009, 07:50 AM   #2
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As I was waiting to collect sheet material and the table saw I figured I would kick off with the crossover now that I had all the parts. I decided due to the size of the coils and caps that I would build a separate cabinet for the crossover network. This would then fit neatly into the rack with the rest of my hi-fi and hopefully make a good talking point. Having spent some time working with pro-audio gear I have become very fond of the Speakon connectors as they support large cables, have four (or eight) pins and are very secure. This made them an ideal choice for the links in and out of the crossover as I mean I could keep the cable count down to single runs of 4-core cable, thus supporting bi-wire / bi-amping on the input side and obviously the split of low and high frequency signals to the speakers themselves. Iíve opted to fit these to the cabinets as well and to ensure that it is all neat and tidy I have a pair of right angle versions of the plugs.

The pictures show the crossover when I was initially constructing it and nearing completion, it needs the lid fitting and the box given some form of exterior treatment.
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Old 4th November 2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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I guess what I have failed to state is a bit of the background and my drivers for this project. I have been interested in audio reproduction from a very young age and I was always looking for things to fiddle with and try and understand how they worked. For my GCSE Design Technology project I built my first pair of speakers using some drive units from Tandy (Radio Shack) and crossover components from Russ Andrews. It was a very simple 1st order crossover using the book I bought from Tandy… terms like Baffle Step Compensation just didn’t even figure for me back then. Still I ended up for a pair of speakers that were better than the old Fidelity ones I had been using and kept me going until my university years.

At this point I bit the bullet and bought some TDL RTL3 SE, which were great, loads of bass and great for parties. The TDLs followed me around faithfully for a number of years, seeing some changes to the kit in my rack, a Marantz CD67SE (later upgraded with a Cambridge Audio DAC), a Marantz PM30SE Amp replaced by an Audiolab 8000S before finally being replaced by a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 9is (which I am still using). Again things moved on again in the rack, the cd player became a two box combo of an Audiolab 8000CDM and Tag McLaren DAC20 and an Audiolab 8000SX was added to the amp section to allow bi-amping.

Along side this I got involved in sound engineering for a soul band, that eventually became a rock back… then another. This gave me the opportunity to play with some bigger toys and also give me more of an appreciation for the sound of live instruments. There were all sorts of combos in this, the very first setup being some strange wooden box amps that knocked out about 200W each and some very badly modified Peavey PA speakers. I had great fun restoring these to factory setup and then embellishing them with some foam insulation. From there it was a blur of powered mixers, mix and match speakers and some new fangled toys in the form of compressors and limiters. On of my favourite set ups was a full Peavey rig with two 15” bass bins with one 15” and horn top per channel powered by a 1000W/ch amp for the bass and 550W/ch for the tops, with a Behringer electronic crossover for good measure. It sounded great, but the amp rack weighed about 60kg! We finally settled on a fully active setup, combining Mackie tops and monitors with Electovoice bass bins, a combined front of house total of about 2500W… :-)

And back to the thread… I was very pleased with my home set up and this was where I had wanted to be for a long time… but (and there had to be a but otherwise we wouldn’t be here) after building some furniture to house said hi-fi there was something niggling me, mainly the fact that all the furniture and the flooring was oak and my speakers were cheery! So I started looking around at what I could replace the MAs with and I was struggling to find something in the right price range that I really liked and that was when one of my friends said, “why don’t you just build some?”

Red rag to a bull!
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Old 4th November 2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Looking forward to hearing more. I bought some 2nd hand 'Vogues' a few years back but it turns out that they weren't actually Vogues at all. The crossover was not the original Wilmslow design and the cabinet actually had a divider to reduce the internal volume by half. I've never been too happy with them but I just haven't got around to sorting them out. I've actually got the components for the Vogue crossover, I just need to connect it all up and give them a go. Maybe this thread will inspire me

I strongly considered building the Amish at one point but already having cabinets for the Vogue (with the full internal volume reinstated) it seemed an expensive option.

Anyway, good luck with the Amish build.

Mike
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:42 AM   #5
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Just in case anyone isnít familiar with Troelís website, the link to this project is:

Scan-

Hi Mike, I was reading about your fun and games with your ďVogue 2Ē. I hope you do find the inspiration to plough on and get them back as intended, itíll be worth the effort I am sure. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Where were we? Oh yes, so my crossovers are practically done and I have been trying them with the drivers arranged on the desk just to make sure that everything was ok. Just from these trials I am excited about how these are going to work out, vocals are already amazing and things like cymbals sound great. This is being fed from a Denon mini-system with either CDs or MP3s, so when they finally get their chance on the main system I am hoping theyíll really sing.

Ok, so now we are in the process of cabinet building and my first step was to find some tutorials on here and on YouTube as to how to build and use a circular cutting jig. Thankfully this is actually fairly straightforward and I got one knocked up for my router pretty quickly. The trick is marking out and drilling all the points that you are likely to need before you start, as it saves time later. I am using a 12mm bit in my router and you can see the marks on the attached photos for the various hole sizes to allow rebating for the flanges and through cutting for the back of the drivers.
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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So with the jig built it was time to get some practice in and see how they work out. Things seemed to go pretty well with the first tweeter cut out, getting a good depth for the rebate and a clean circle. Unfortunately the hole was about 1mm too small, so I had a go at free hand cutting to open it up, which worked ok (not the tidiest job) and then I managed to nick the edge whilst taking a segment out of the actual through hole. DOH!

The woofer cut-out went according to plan and the depth of cut was spot on. So not a bad start really and it gives me a good idea of what these are going to look like.
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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With a woofer hole cut it was time to try a chamfering tool, exciting stuff! I should thank Aldi at this point for my router bit set which cost me something like £7 and has 12 pieces in it. This process is thankfully fairly idiot proof and I love how neatly it looks when itís finished. Shame there is only two of these as I could chamfer holes all dayÖ and not thatís not a euphemism for something else!
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Old 4th November 2009, 12:01 PM   #8
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My next challenge is making some modifications to the table saw that a friend lent me to make it large enough to cut the MDF sheets I have sufficiently accurate for the cabinets to have a goof fit without lots of trimming and sanding. The top plate currently only allows for cuts 200mm wide, so to extend this out a sheet of 12mm MDF will bit fitted to the top with the blade slot routed out. A datum line can then be drawn where the blade protrudes such that it gives a reference point from which to measure. As a guide I’ll be using L shaped aluminium extrusion, which will be clamped to the “new” table top. So basically I have a project within my project!

Fingers crossed I can get this knocked up tonight and a few test cuts made, such that I can report good news… and hopefully there will be no loss of digits along the way!
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Old 5th November 2009, 07:10 AM   #9
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Well, the good news is that I still have all my digits today! The other good news is that I managed to achieve my aim of extending the table saw and even got as far as getting my test piece through.
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Old 5th November 2009, 07:19 AM   #10
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Of course there were lessons to be learnt along the way, such as manhandling a 1.2m x .8m x 25mm sheet of MDF by oneís self and running it through a relatively small table saw is not without challenges. It was when I was halfway through cutting the sheet when it occurred to me that I was going to run into an issue when I got to the end of the cut in the fact that I could easily end up dropping the pieces (more stuff than hands). Itís incredible how a quickly spinning saw blade focuses the mind and I managed to gentle get both out of the way without incident.

The second lesson was the 9mm (I was going to use 12mm, but had a last minute change of heart) extended table top does have some flex in it when faced with the large sheets I am cutting. Tonight I am going to add legs to each corner of the table to reduce the flex and improve the amount of support that the table provides to the work piece. This will have the added bonus of making the cuts a bit cleaner. I may also use my other workbench to provide a supplementary support for the larger pieces.

What I was very pleased with is that using the aluminium extrusion to draw out a datum line has meant that the cuts are spot on the distance from this line, thus no fudge factor is required.

Below is a picture of my very messy temporary workshop!
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