Well... it exceeded my expectations big time! (Tony Gee LBS & HifiMeDIY TK2050) - diyAudio
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Old 24th September 2011, 05:42 AM   #1
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sydney
Default Well... it exceeded my expectations big time! (Tony Gee LBS & HifiMeDIY TK2050)

Well, after what is way over a 100 hours of research and labour (probably more like 200 hours) spread over more than 8 months, I've finally substantially
finished my Tony Gee LBS floorstanders, powered by a HifiMeDIY TK2050 and 27V SMPS.

To do is to create the frame for speaker cloth - the aim being to reduce the attraction factor of nice squishy drivers to rampaging toddlers. The rough black
paint is simply to make sure the MDF color doesnt show thru the cloth (it shouldnt anyway).

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Over time, I may also polish the paintwork to a high gloss using cutting compound - the paintwork is at least a couple of dozen coats of sealer, automobile
spray putty, primer, topcoat and clearcoat to finish (and still the MDF butt joints still show thru faintly). I constructed it with the butt joints on the
side rather than front, as in years to come when the child danger is past, I may remove the grille and therefore want the front to be unblemished with

These speakers knock my socks off! and when ramped up to near their full volume can deliver a nice punch to the guts. At full volume its actually a little

I'm not really a huge audiophile, but I can't say that I've ever heard speakers that approach it for clarity and power, outside of pro gear.

The little TK2050 amp is simply amazing for its size - it effortlessly powers speakers with barely getting warm and has never clipped.

But I gotta say, this little project took waaay longer than what I thought, cost at least twice as much as I anticipated, most of the parts needed shipping from Germany and the US.

It was full of little frustrations and setbacks. I cut up one box because it wasnt square enough; had to build from 25 mm MDF since 22mm doesnt exist here, and due to the weight managed to drop one of them on the corner, bashing in the MDF and deeply scratching the paint, requiring that wonderful hand kneadable putty to fill in and a respray of two panels; not to mention trouble getting the back panel square and those damnable threaded inserts coming out; plus learning the hard way that paint doesnt like dust, nor being dried with a heat gun just because I'm impatient.

But the outcome is simply amazing and vastly exceeds my expectations! Aside from the sound of them, I just love the crossover, since its simplicity is such that I can just look at it and understand exactly what each component is there for - I paid a premium and got close to the best quality components out there (glad I did, since the cost of the crossover paled in comparison to the total!)

Its time for a new DAC now, since the cheap Chinese DAC I'm using has a nasty hiss and the onboard DAC from my HTPC has a weak signal that can't seem to be
amplified to the same volume as the Chinese DAC output. Also gotta get that amp into a box and do away with the alligator clips.

Then maybe a subwoofer ;-)

Tony has taken down the design from his website, but I've got a PDF of it if anyone wants to try this build. Let me know.

I'll post another pic when I've got the grille on.
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Old 24th September 2011, 08:38 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cheltenham
Originally Posted by Billyo View Post

Tony has taken down the design from his website, but I've got a PDF of it if anyone wants to try this build. Let me know.
The LBS is now in the download section. I bet they are a lot of fun !

I'm tempted to try a TK2050 based amp myself. I've got a little Muse M20 EX2 TA2020 T-amp that i'm quite impressed with.
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Old 24th September 2011, 09:51 PM   #3
Francec is offline Francec  Australia
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Melbourne, Australia
And that is the reason why we DIY; after all of the research, design and work to constru t, we love the fruits of our labour.

Congratulations and well done.

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Old 11th February 2012, 11:37 PM   #4
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sydney
Finally got around to completing the second grille after the first one was finished in about October last year.

I'm still happy with them overall, but I have found some limits with them - I guess I might be catching audiophile disease?

Click the image to open in full size.

The little speakers behind it are Logitech 5.1 PC speakers used for general TV viewing.

The amp is a HifimeDIY TK2050 that I've enclosed in a little plastic instrument case - at first I was concerned about heat venting, hence the big hole... but in real life it runs only slightly warm. Lives second drawer down with the XBox360.

Click the image to open in full size.

Because that TV unit is also occupied by a HTPC and an old xbox that my older son loves, the SMPS is separated and lives behind it on the ground.

Click the image to open in full size.

I replaced the hissing Digital Signal Processor with a Fiio D3 DAC doesnt hiss at all.

I will say is that I think that speakers have more to give than the amp wants (not can) to give it - in the sense that even with the amp volume at max, I think that the speakers could deliver more if there was more gain. I think its probably the DAC output is a bit low. The DSP seemed to be able to drive the amp and speakers to a higher (albeit hissing) volume.

As there isnt anything on the Hifimediy amp board to adjust gain (other than the volume pot), I think a pre-amp might be next (anyone got any other ideas?)

The other thing is that the plans call for stuffing with MDM-3 speaker stuffing. I can't find any of that anywhere, but have tried the polyester quilt stuffing - and it makes the speakers dull and lifeless. In fact, it virtually kills them. MDM-3 is made out of wool and something else, but wow, it must have completely different acoustic properties from polyester for Tony Gee to recommend it.

The inside is lined with sound absorbing tiles pressed up against some walls, that I figured were better than the carpet in the plans - but I'm not so sure about this. Does anyone think that taking them out and just lining with carpet or underlay would be an improvement?
Epoxy Resin fixes everything!

Last edited by Billyo; 11th February 2012 at 11:39 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 14th February 2012, 08:48 AM   #5
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sydney

Does anyone have an opinion about whether I'd be better off getting carpet underlay or something else to line the inside of the speakers with, instead of sound absorbing tiles?

I don't really know whether sound absorption tiles are appropriate.
Epoxy Resin fixes everything!
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