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Build of gr-research X-LS Encore

KaiserSoze

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Cool tag Kaiser. I am sure that all of this feedback Danny is taking onboard for his new website and packing instructions. The more mentioned here I think will help all of the the future GR customers and others selling kits. Keep it coming guys. It is great for a newbie like me. :)
For a speaker born of an initiative by the members of a DIY group it is fully appropriate for everyone to contribute as they see fit to what kinds of improvements should be applied to the speaker. A speaker that is sold as a kit is a different kind of thing. Hobbyists who like to tinker need to take care not to confuse the two. Just because it is a kit doesn't mean that the buyer assumes responsibility for doing whatever needs to be done to make the sound measure up to what had been represented by the seller. Where would the line be drawn?
 
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OK. I’ve definitely learned something here. Outside of the actual testing, I could probably build a set of speakers from a well designed kit....and certainly know where I can find answers to questions I might have, though perhaps I’d just end up with more questions... The carpentry, no problem. It is past profession, (retired) and still current hobby.
What I couldn’t do is keep up with all these inquiring posts that you have had to deal with Rick. No shortage of opinions or expectations here!

It has made sharing your journey a most interesting experience.

Thanks to both you and Amir. I’m loving the process...; )
 

amirm

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A few concerns:

1. Don't ever wear shorts while soldering. I say that from experience, living in hot place like he does and having molten solder drop on my legs. Ouch!

2. Why is he using solid wires in high vibration environment? On boats where your life depends on electronics working, solid wires are not used because they can fatigue and cause breakage. The solid wires will also sing and resonate with the driver. Not that I worry about that but if folks are concerned with type of caps, speaker terminals and such, they best worry about this too!

3. If solder causes oxidation on that wire, then he should use a different wire. Tin-coated stranded wire is again the choice in harsh (humid) environment of boats. No need for heatshrink but if one lives in a humid location, then heatshrink with epoxy should be used. Then again the rest of the connections between parts are going to oxidize just as well.

4. Boy does he put a lot of strain on solid wires coming out of capacitors and resistors as he twists them. Bend these back and forth one too many times and the wire breaks. This is another reason to use stranded wire and wrap that around the solid wire of the components. No stress then.

5. Soldering a bunch of wires coming together will require a soldering iron with high thermal mass like the old school one he is using. Even he seems to struggle with it at times. A standard pencil solder iron may be very difficult to use for such junctions as the wires act like heat sinks and pull away the heat, causing the solder to not want to melt.

Outside of the above, tutorials like this are very helpful and Danny does a good job on them.
 

maty

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Shorts. I suppose it will be for the camera. The logical thing is to be better seated.

Cables. Some time ago I decided that if I rebuild the KEF Q100 (very good driver in a cheap and highly upgradeable implementation) I would use star-quad cables: Canare 4S11. The same to connect them to the amplifier. Neutrik SpeakON connectors.


PS: Days ago I got another improvement so I am lazy to do it. I have more bass than before despite having closed the front bass reflex again, thanks to improved / increased current filtering from my dirty power grid because of the Electric company.
 
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Rick Sykora

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Alright, back to building! Have started to glue the second speaker. Since will be the same as the first, unless someone asks for something specific, do not plan to post much. Will not be twisting wires either as I did not do before and the solid wire is already hard to work with.

With the interest in damping, I do plan to show some internal pics that were not possible with the earlier one. :cool:
 

KaiserSoze

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A few concerns:

1. Don't ever wear shorts while soldering. I say that from experience, living in hot place like he does and having molten solder drop on my legs. Ouch!

2. Why is he using solid wires in high vibration environment? On boats where your life depends on electronics working, solid wires are not used because they can fatigue and cause breakage. The solid wires will also sing and resonate with the driver. Not that I worry about that but if folks are concerned with type of caps, speaker terminals and such, they best worry about this too!

3. If solder causes oxidation on that wire, then he should use a different wire. Tin-coated stranded wire is again the choice in harsh (humid) environment of boats. No need for heatshrink but if one lives in a humid location, then heatshrink with epoxy should be used. Then again the rest of the connections between parts are going to oxidize just as well.

4. Boy does he put a lot of strain on solid wires coming out of capacitors and resistors as he twists them. Bend these back and forth one too many times and the wire breaks. This is another reason to use stranded wire and wrap that around the solid wire of the components. No stress then.

5. Soldering a bunch of wires coming together will require a soldering iron with high thermal mass like the old school one he is using. Even he seems to struggle with it at times. A standard pencil solder iron may be very difficult to use for such junctions as the wires act like heat sinks and pull away the heat, causing the solder to not want to melt.

Outside of the above, tutorials like this are very helpful and Danny does a good job on them.
Personally I was surprised to see someone assembling a crossover this way. There is no reason for the individual components to be laid out in the pattern that matches the way the circuit would typically be drawn. Not everyone would draw the circuit exactly the same anyway. There is reason to orient inductors to minimize interference among their fields. The inductors should be located first, then the other components however they happen to fit. It would never occur to me to do it the way he does it. I use a piece of hard board and start by tracing out the locations for the individual components. I drill holes for the wire leads and also for the nylon ties to hold down the component. I don't bother with a heat gun but instead I use either some silicone goopy glue or else just some double-stick foam tape. I insert the wire leads through the holes while placing the component, then fasten the component to the board using a wire tie. Obviously I do the soldering on the other side, using any scraps of medium gauge wire that are handy. I look it over to make sure there isn't a place where in incorrect contact could accidentally occur. Anyone who can't sort out where to run the stranded wire (jumpers) after flipping the board over should maybe stick to preassembled crossovers.

As I think about it, if I were selling a kit speaker of this sort, I would probably include two paper templates that would add about two cents to my costs. One template for laying out the components on one side of a piece of hard board and another template showing where to run the jumpers on the other side.

If the intent is for people who've never done anything like this to assemble the crossovers, he should point them to some of the better YouTube videos that explain what kind of solder is best, why flux is needed, what a cold solder joint is and how to avoid it.
 

KaiserSoze

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Shorts. I suppose it will be for the camera. The logical thing is to be better seated.

Cables. Some time ago I decided that if I rebuild the KEF Q100 (very good driver in a cheap and highly upgradeable implementation) I would use star-quad cables: Canare 4S11. The same to connect them to the amplifier. Neutrik SpeakON connectors.


PS: Days ago I got another improvement so I am lazy to do it. I have more bass than before despite having closed the front bass reflex again, thanks to improved / increased current filtering from my dirty power grid because of the Electric company.
Hey maty, here is an experiment you can try. Get yourself some really cheap speaker cable with no shielding and no fancy twisting. Take a piece of it about ten meters in length. Wrap it around a couple of fluorescent light fixtures and run it alongside some computer cables carrying digital signals, e.g., HDMI. Then connect it to your favorite speaker. At the far end either leave the two wires not touching each other, or else twist them together as you prefer. Now lean in really close to the speaker and listen very carefully to see if you can hear any of the noise that the speaker wire has picked up. Can't hear any? In this case connect some diagnostic equipment equipment to the cable and measure the voltage level of the noise that the cable has picked up. Then, armed with knowledge of the voltage level, see if you can figure out why it did not produce any sound at the speaker.
 
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Rick Sykora

Rick Sykora

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Personally I was surprised to see someone assembling a crossover this way...

If the intent is for people who've never done anything like this to assemble the crossovers, he should point them to some of the better YouTube videos that explain what kind of solder is best, why flux is needed, what a cold solder joint is and how to avoid it.
You are correct that there are other videos and each experienced hobbyist will layout the circuit how he prefers.

The target here is a novice builder as they need extra guidance and good correlation to the schematic helps.:)
 
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Rick Sykora

Rick Sykora

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Thread Starter #153
Braced and damped (note: would normally tack foam in, but is removable to keep it clean while sanding/finishing)..

xls encore braced and damped.jpeg


Along with some Acousta-stuf (to be added after back is attached), this is per GR specification as No Rez substitute. :cool:

Still have to complete wiring to terminal cup and then can attach back panel.
 
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You are correct that there are other videos and each experienced hobbyist will layout the circuit how he prefers.

The target here is a novice builder as they need extra guidance and good correlation to the schematic helps.:)
It is certainly helping this novice. I have my boxes cut (holes for woofers and tweeters) and now onto finish routering them....Wish me well :)
 
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Rick Sykora

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Thread Starter #156
Almost done with second one. Was just about to pack it up and realized I needed to glue in the port. Last time I overdid the polyurethane glue and it expanded out the port edges (if you are observant, you may have noticed it in the review picture as it did not clean up entirely :facepalm:). This time was much more careful with how much I applied.

Since the tuning frequencies matched the first one with just some masking tape around the port, it was much more air tight. Am gluing this one just to be sure. This was another area of question as the instructions did not specify. Could probably use some caulk or some Liquid Nails if you do not have polyurethane glue. :cool:
 
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Personally I was surprised to see someone assembling a crossover this way. There is no reason for the individual components to be laid out in the pattern that matches the way the circuit would typically be drawn. Not everyone would draw the circuit exactly the same anyway. There is reason to orient inductors to minimize interference among their fields. The inductors should be located first, then the other components however they happen to fit. It would never occur to me to do it the way he does it. I use a piece of hard board and start by tracing out the locations for the individual components. I drill holes for the wire leads and also for the nylon ties to hold down the component. I don't bother with a heat gun but instead I use either some silicone goopy glue or else just some double-stick foam tape. I insert the wire leads through the holes while placing the component, then fasten the component to the board using a wire tie. Obviously I do the soldering on the other side, using any scraps of medium gauge wire that are handy. I look it over to make sure there isn't a place where in incorrect contact could accidentally occur. Anyone who can't sort out where to run the stranded wire (jumpers) after flipping the board over should maybe stick to preassembled crossovers.

As I think about it, if I were selling a kit speaker of this sort, I would probably include two paper templates that would add about two cents to my costs. One template for laying out the components on one side of a piece of hard board and another template showing where to run the jumpers on the other side.

If the intent is for people who've never done anything like this to assemble the crossovers, he should point them to some of the better YouTube videos that explain what kind of solder is best, why flux is needed, what a cold solder joint is and how to avoid it.
Hey Kaiser,
Not looking for a flaming here but my background is manufacturing with both through hole, surface mount PCB's and straight production. Your right that Danny is going overboard, he is an audiophile after all. :)

From experience there are always cheaper or smarter ways of making a board work. When you are looking to make things cheaply or to a budget then you crowd the PCB to make the bare board as small as possible and use cheap components and surface mount them (surface mount resistors and capacitors start 0.5c). Most speaker crossovers do still use through hole though.

The crossovers I have seen Danny say have cheese on them are usually industry standard. Most people don't have the audiophile equipment that would extract that extra performance anyway. So those cheesy PCB's without exotic caps and resistors are perfectly fine for 99% of buyers. The price of the upgraded caps almost floored me. But I picked myself up and will get them down the road. I love to tinker

Your method is sound and would work really well when a board is not supplied with a kit. Layout and soldering Danny's way or as you mentioned the way the others on youtube will net a good result regardless. Newbies don't have to stick to pre-made crossovers with either methods mentioned but you make a good point for crossover newbies in regards to flux/cold solder joints but again they can learn this on youtube. :)

The template and improved instructions out of the box is a great idea. Marking out or pre-drilling the breadboards that come with the flat packs would help newbies if they want to use Danny's method. I hope Danny or Maty are reading this to help with the kits as criticisms/feedback should always be seen as a chance for improvement.

Take care and keep up the great commentary kaiser as it is all learnings for the future. ;)

DIY Newbie
 

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