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New Campbell/Holtz Travelers build
New Campbell/Holtz Travelers build
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Old 16th September 2020, 11:07 PM   #1
Jesserue is offline Jesserue  United States
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Default New Campbell/Holtz Travelers build

Hi everyone,

Finally getting around to posting some pics of my Travelers build I started back in July. Ordered the full kit from Meniscus and just finished them up a couple of weeks ago.

Since I spend a lot of time in my wood shop and most of that time listening to music I decided to upgrade my 25 year old Sony speakers. Figured that the Travelers fit the bill perfectly.

Used 3/4" MDF all around except for the front 1/2" baffle section. Didn't have any 1/2" MDF laying around but did have some nice baltic birch ply. Worked out perfectly. I assembled the cabinet completely and cut the speaker and port holes afterwards. This allowed me to use my vacuum bag system to apply the Koa veneer. Worked out perfectly, the cabinet is plenty strong to handle the vacuum pressure. Finished the cabinets with a sanded in Liberon Oil finish prior to cutting holes as well. This is a super easy finish that looks very nice. I probably would have sprayed with lacquer if they were going in the house but I'm really happy with how they turned out. Have had a few folks give me a hard time about these being shop speakers!

As you can imagine fitting them in the shop has been a challenge due to equipment, shelving, floor space, etc. At the moment they are actually sitting about 66" off the floor and I have them angled downward. Initially I had them in an equilateral triangle position about 15' apart. Wasn't super happy with the sound stage so I moved the speakers closer to about 11' apart. I'm liking the new positioning much better. My listening position is behind my workbench 15' away. The right speaker is about 20" from the back wall while the left is about 15". I'm going to extend the shelf on the left one so they are the same.

They are being driven by an Adcom GFA535II amp, 60wpc conservatively at the moment. Thinking about pulling some heavy iron out of my living room setup to see how the bass compares with higher wattage. I did allow for bi-amping in the setup so may try that route as well. They get plenty loud as is and I'm really starting to enjoy them. Separation is just outstanding, fun to hear all of the instruments.

I was hoping to get some comments from @jholtz in regards to the option to plug the mid. I did build the plugs and you can definitely hear a decrease in volume when plugged. I understand that their is a resistor change in the Finalist design but wasn't sure if the same values apply to the Travelers. Any input would be appreciated, always looking for an excuse to play with my new toys!

Thanks for everyone who's posted Travelers and Finalists build in multiple forums. And thanks to Jim Holtz and Curt Campbell for an awesome design.
You definitely saved me a lot of time on this build.

Cheers, Keith
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Old 17th September 2020, 03:56 PM   #2
jholtz is offline jholtz  United States
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Hi Keith,

Your Travelers are beautiful! OK, I'm going to join the crowd with a "garage speakers"???? Really??? They are living room/listening room quality sound wise and your finishing skills are superb so looks wise they could fit anywhere! Beautiful job!

Now that I got that out of the way, the Travelers were not designed with an option to plug the mid tunnel. Basically, the Finalists plugged were just like other conventional speakers sound stage wise and included for temporary use closed back for difficult WAF situations.

Curt designed all of our collaborations to be positioned without any toe in for me with the optimum listening position 15-20 degrees off axis. Ear level should be between the tweeter/mid for best imaging.

The Travelers will benefit from listening room positioning in a normal sized room with 100+ real watts. You might consider giving them a listen in the house with more power and try my positioning suggestions. I think you'll be surprised at what they can actually sound like.

Beautiful build and we appreciate your feedback!

Enjoy the music!

Jim
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Old 17th September 2020, 07:13 PM   #3
prairieboy is offline prairieboy  Canada
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New Campbell/Holtz Travelers build
Nice work on the book matched veneer! Looks great.
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Old 17th September 2020, 08:15 PM   #4
Jesserue is offline Jesserue  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jholtz View Post
Hi Keith,

Your Travelers are beautiful! OK, I'm going to join the crowd with a "garage speakers"???? Really??? They are living room/listening room quality sound wise and your finishing skills are superb so looks wise they could fit anywhere! Beautiful job!

Now that I got that out of the way, the Travelers were not designed with an option to plug the mid tunnel. Basically, the Finalists plugged were just like other conventional speakers sound stage wise and included for temporary use closed back for difficult WAF situations.

Curt designed all of our collaborations to be positioned without any toe in for me with the optimum listening position 15-20 degrees off axis. Ear level should be between the tweeter/mid for best imaging.

The Travelers will benefit from listening room positioning in a normal sized room with 100+ real watts. You might consider giving them a listen in the house with more power and try my positioning suggestions. I think you'll be surprised at what they can actually sound like.

Beautiful build and we appreciate your feedback!

Enjoy the music!

Jim
Thank you Jim! Appreciate the compliment. And thanks for the positioning advice, I did have them toed in. Just re-positioned them to zero toe in and I'm measuring about 18 degrees off axis. HUGE difference in the sound stage! Now I'm making progress.

And I'll be asking, I mean telling the wife that they're coming in to the living room this weekend! She'll be thrilled, lol. But she's a singer with a great ear so she'll play along. Looking forward to the comparison.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers, Keith
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Old 17th September 2020, 08:17 PM   #5
Jesserue is offline Jesserue  United States
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Thanks! Veneer is a lot of fun to work, so many ways to make your projects stand out.
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Old 17th September 2020, 10:47 PM   #6
jholtz is offline jholtz  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesserue View Post
Thank you Jim! Appreciate the compliment. And thanks for the positioning advice, I did have them toed in. Just re-positioned them to zero toe in and I'm measuring about 18 degrees off axis. HUGE difference in the sound stage! Now I'm making progress.

And I'll be asking, I mean telling the wife that they're coming in to the living room this weekend! She'll be thrilled, lol. But she's a singer with a great ear so she'll play along. Looking forward to the comparison.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers, Keith
Keith,

Please provide sound quality feedback from both you and your wife after you listen to them in your living room. Optimum distance from the wall behind the speakers is 18" - 36" and similar to side wall if they are there. Only other caveat is large items between the speakers that will block the reflected midrange backwave is hard on the soundstage. A wall mounted TV with an entertainment system that has a top below the midrange is no problem.

One other thing, the better the source music, the better they sound. Well recorded CD's or similar work great!

Just some thoughts. I'm really looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Jim
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