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Full Range TC9 Line Array CNC Cabinet
Full Range TC9 Line Array CNC Cabinet
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:24 AM   #1
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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Default Full Range TC9 Line Array CNC Cabinet

Hi Guys,

I have had this project in the pipeline for a long time and finally getting some progress made on it. It will still take a while for the project to be completed but I thought I would start to post some information as a build log.

I really like the tall and thin format and think that it will fit in very well as a living room system. Inspiration came from Wesayso’s Two Towers build and the feedback on that design has given me new motivation to get going with mine. Other designs from OPC, Koldby, Halair and one I found on a Scandinavian site have all provided a wealth of information and different strategies to use.

Parts Express had a sale on TC9 drivers and after somewhat of an impulse purchase I had more than fifty of them so I had no choice but to build a line array!

I weighed up all the pros and cons and decided to keep it simple because my other speaker projects have had a habit of dragging on for years. The design I have gone for is most closely related to OPC’s in that it is a rectangular box with five separate sealed enclosures to keep the possibility of pipe resonances down and to allow the series and parallel speakers to have separate volumes.

To make my life easier I designed a cabinet in MDF that could be cut by CNC and would enable me to assemble it fairly easily. I settled on MDF because it is cheap and relatively stable after it has been cut. Plywood would need to have been assembled almost straight away to avoid warping. Birch ply is almost unobtainium in Western Australia, the only place that has it is AUD$300 per 8x4 sheet. I have used Hoop pine ply before which is also very high quality but still $200 a sheet and because it is a softer wood it warps even more unless weighed down.

I also live in a more remote part of WA almost 1200KM from the capital city so transporting sheets of wood is either difficult or costly sometimes both.

I was in Perth for the birth of my son so I was able to get the CAD design done and I had my car to take the cabinet pieces back in so the plan started to come together.

The CNC Company wanted a 2D DXF so the plans were drawn up in AutoCAD, I later created a 3D model from the 2D sketches to verify that it all fitted together and luckily it did. This is the basic design and some shots and animations from Fusion 360.

Here is a link to where the impedance comparisons started as that was useful information

Full Range TC9 Line Array CNC Cabinet

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Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 9.54.11 pm.png (275.7 KB, 4999 views)
File Type: png Cabinet v5 Side Open.png (263.5 KB, 4985 views)
File Type: png Cabinet v6 Top Down.png (101.2 KB, 5022 views)
File Type: png Cabinet v6 Behind Baffle Chamfer.png (176.5 KB, 5350 views)
File Type: png Cabinet Baffle Back wireframe iso.png (235.9 KB, 5019 views)
File Type: gif Cabinet Isometric.gif (350.8 KB, 4937 views)
File Type: gif Cabinet Top to Side-21.gif (333.1 KB, 4918 views)

Last edited by fluid; 30th January 2021 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:07 PM   #2
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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Join Date: Jan 2009
The CNC fairy paid me a visit and dropped off my cabinets.

IMG_2075.jpg IMG_2076.jpg

The drivers fit in the cutout, which is a relief.

IMG_2102.jpg IMG_2103.jpg

I have some strategically placed 6mm holes to allow the base to mate with the top and bottom plates so it lines up without needing to measure.


The base will be made out of 19mm Oak Hardwood flooring; the MDF will be used as a router template. I bought some pyramid spikes and washer feet so they can be used on carpet or hard floors.

IMG_2133.jpg IMG_2117.jpg

I tried two ways to seal and mount the drivers.

First is an idea from Troels Gravesen to use thin packing foam as a gasket. It works nicely but compresses too much and leaves a slight gap.


Second is to use foam weather stripping, this works better and lines the driver basket up perfectly. In the test I mounted it to the back of the driver but I think I will mount it to the baffle recess for the finished baffle.

IMG_2121.jpg IMG_2123.jpg

The screws I bought have turned out to be a little short and don’t have the best thread for holding in MDF. New stainless steel chipboard screws of the right length are on the way. A little superglue in the pilot hole should harden up the MDF and provide sufficient holding power.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:12 PM   #3
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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Join Date: Jan 2009
The cabinet is well braced and holds together without clamps due to the accuracy of the CNC cuts. The cabinet is quite stiff and has a high-pitched ring with a knock test. To damp that down some I have a sheet of 3mm rubber, which will attach to the side panels of the cabinet. I looked into all sorts of different compounds, which were too expensive, but I already had the rubber so decision made.

IMG_2130.jpg IMG_2131.jpg

I also had a roll of leather look vinyl with a fabric backing. I bought this when I thought I might use a finish similar to Sonus Faber (Leather and Teak) as I think it looks amazing on the little bookshelf speakers I have (Concertino Domus).


The plan now is to wrap the outside of the cabinet; it will be easier than painting a tower over 2m in length. I also think that this will help with damping as well.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:14 PM   #4
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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I am still undecided on the audibility of cabinet edge diffraction as according to some it falls into the realm of something the ear ignores. But to make sure I have a foot on either side I plan to make an attempt to reduce it where I can. I have recessed the drivers into the baffle so they sit flush reducing any sharp edges near the driver.

I am going to use a ˝” roundover on the edges front and back as I have used 16mm MDF and I don’t want to compromise the structure in favour of a bigger roundover.

The other strategy is to use pressed wool felt around the edges of the front baffle in a Dunlavy style. I have seen some experiments where this has had quite a significant reduction on measured edge diffraction so the jury is still out as to whether it will work.

I am going to wrap the finished cabinet in a black fabric sock in the same way that OPC did with his. The secondary benefit to the felt is that it will act as a spacer to allow the drivers excursion without hitting the fabric. Test sock is working!

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Old 7th February 2017, 12:22 PM   #5
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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Join Date: Jan 2009
For wiring I am going so use some knock off Wago lever clamps.

IMG_2108.jpg IMG_2109.jpg

The plan is to run a length of wire the length of the cabinet in small sections according to this schematic from Roger Russell.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.13.47 pm.png

Where there is a need to branch to the driver the middle wire will go to the driver, the upper to the rest of the cabinet. I will use glue or another fastener to mount them to the the solid baffle bracing.

Quick Disconnect terminals will be crimped to the end to allow the drivers to be easily mounted and removed if necessary. The series drivers will just go from terminal to terminal with short wires and crimps.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:30 PM   #6
fluid is offline fluid  Australia
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I already have the Amp and DAC that I plan to use with this system.

I have built up a First One MOSFET Amp

P1000702.jpg P1000703.jpg

P1000712.jpg P1000704.jpg

and an LKS ES9018 Stereo DAC, this has all the possible connections I might need

P1000708.jpg P1000723.jpg P1000735.jpg
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Old 7th February 2017, 01:01 PM   #7
BYRTT is offline BYRTT  Denmark
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Subscribed : ) love this driver and later on when heard it 50 times in wesayso's living room is never to forget, nice amps and socks too : ) thanks sharing so far.
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Old 7th February 2017, 03:47 PM   #8
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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Full Range TC9 Line Array CNC Cabinet
Nice work!
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Old 7th February 2017, 06:12 PM   #9
oneplustwo is offline oneplustwo  United States
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Looks fantastic! And those Wago clamps look nice! Very clean and easy. I'll have to find a source here. Not to cross-contaminate threads, but what volume did you end up with per driver?
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Old 7th February 2017, 08:51 PM   #10
wesayso is offline wesayso  Netherlands
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I'll grab some popcorn and sit back . For the longest time I was planning a sock covered speaker as well. It wasn't until kolby showed his alu array(s) that my plans changed.

Looking forward to read about your journey.
Use Science to design your speakers and they will sound like a piece of Art...
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