My 5 year audio plan

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 & 12.2 Speakers

newlash09

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So we started off with 5 yearly plans post independence, to keep a firm sight on our expected goals. I had decided on a similar path 2 years back, and every new purchase has been focused in that direction.
So this is my self rant thread, of what's left to be done. And I plan on keeping this thread updated with all my experiments irrespective of wether they improve or end in disappointment.
So a little about myself, I've realised long back that I can enjoy music on any Bluetooth speaker just as much as I enjoy on the 2 channel rig. For me it has always been the track and never the kit :)

So 2 years back when I was looking to change my speakers from PMC twenty 26, I took a long and hard look at my buying habits. And it is no surprise that when we dig our pockets and find a few coins, the upgrade bug immediately bites :D

So I decided on a alternate path to keep me busy and excited for the next 5 years, researching on various aspects of improving my audio and actually implementing it. As a sailor, I stay upto 4 months at home on vacations, so have all the time in the world to spend a full day tweaking in my room.
So I started with DIY speakers from a forum member, which sound absolutely great, and I could happily live with them for the rest of my life. But the tinkering itch never stops. So I got them made with external crossovers so that when I got all the kit I needed, I could bypass the external passive crossovers and go active triamping.

And I also wanted to add dirac, dsp and active crossovers so that in future I could even upgrade the drivers as and when funds permitted.


So kit I've got so far:


Minidsp SHD for dirac live correction cum dac cum preamp.
Dbx venue 360 speaker management system as a 3 way active crossover.
3 pairs of mono block amps.
One pair of 3 way speakers with bypassable crossovers.


Things presently under way as we speak :


1. My speakers are very heavy at 120 kgs each, so I have them on very wobbly washing machine stands with wheels to move them easily. As the stands are wobbling, this is making the bass sound soft. So will be replacing these with speaker plinths from sound foundations. Order is ready in their warehouse at the moment. And will be shipped to me upon my return.

2. I've been using some wooden tables stacked above each other as a rack. So have bought the sound foundations epsilion rack and 2 power amp stands to improve on the rack part. Order is ready and awaiting shipping.

3. Presently discussing options with a good friend, who happens to be a generous and benevolent forum member to build 2 ripole subs with 4 x 15 inch sub woofer drivers. These will be driven by 2 x crown xti 4002amps. And once the subs are ready, they will be hoisted on indipendent stands to avoid touching the speakers to minimise transfer of vibrations. As i dont have floor space for subs.

4. Waiting for availability of sheiled mains cables from sound foundations, as I run a PS audio power regenerator so have very pure power for the system. And don't think I need any power filterance that exotic and expensive power cables inherently do. I could be completely wrong but that's my stream of thought. Invest once in a robust power generator and then only need to get any well built shielded mains cable to prevent air borne EMI and RF from getting into the power supply. Then I have immense savings by not using expensive power cables as I need at least 14 of them at the moment to run the whole chain.


Things planned to do in the future in sequence:


1. Get my room treated to reduce 3 things - ambient noise and reverb time. Since my system is in my daughter's bed room on begged and borrowed real estate, I can't adress bass via treatments, but will try dirac and dsp to tame the same to the extent possible.

2. Next will be to chop up the speakers in halve. So that the bass enclosure is seperate from the other halve housing sealed mid range and treble drivers. And add a townshend seismic podium in between to prevent transfer of bass vibrations to the mid range and tweeter. The speakers presently are transmission lines with 10 inch bass drivers. And I plan on sealing the line, to make it a sealed box. And limit the driver to bass only upto 100 or 120 Hz. The bass from below that will be handled by the stereo subs. This I expect will have twin advantages , one that since Iam not pushing below 100 Hz this will reduce cabinet vibrations even further. And by sealing the box, I will avoid bass coupling with my small room. The ripole subs are supposed to couple better with a room than a sealed or ported sub and sound more natural without any box colouration that normal subs supposedly have. I might be completely wrong. But when you spend too much time on the internet reading on all the wrong forums, you get all these funny itches, that need to be scratched at least once. Atleast for me :D

3. Next I want to get 1 inch thick aluminium plates CNC'ed to screw down on the front baffles ( of course with champered opening for the driver fronts ). I would be adding rubber gasket between the wooden baffles and these aluminium plates for better vibration absorption. Speaker manufacturers spend a lot of R&D and build cost on speaker bracing. Being a commercial product that has to be aesthetically pleasing, they adding bracing in the inside. Since mine is going to be a frankenstein monster of a speaker anyway, I will add external metal bracing to possibly achieve the same. Though as of now I cant feel any part of the speaker even barely vibrating as the baffles are all too thick and heavy. But I would still like to experiment with this .

4. Next would be to try various drivers, mainly mid range. I would have loved to try a ATC 3 inch mid range dome, but sadly ATC don't sell them separately any more. But volt of UK, have a similar highly acclaimed 3 inch mid rnage dome that I would like to try atleast once . And will also try a accuton ceramic piston mid range driver, which are highly acclaimed for their resolution, detail and transparency.


Well that's the thought process for now. I know iam going to be throwing a lot of money at this down the road. With uncertain results.

I could possibly be ruining the best pair of speakers I've ever had. And even if the results were astounding, I could never pass these speakers onto anyone else, and no one would even buy them for the parts cost as it will all be unbranded DIY. Besides one will need 12 channels of high quality amplification to drive them. Not to mention that 6 of those channels have to be very high powered :(

But to hell with all that :D ..Iam sure it's going to be one exciting journey of discovery for myself. All failing, I can always buy a Bluetooth speaker, and win back my wife's and daughter's affections again :D

So once I get back home by end of April as presently being anticipated, I will keep updating this thread with things as they are done. And will post my findings. Thanks for reading such a loooong rant :D

And may I add, that I've not missed out on cables. I will consider them once all my above experiments are done. But if there are any tweaks to better a system that I might have missed. Please feel free to suggest them, I will sincerely consider them with thanks and a open mind.
 
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newlash09

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Please Call me When you get to do this ; it'll be a sight for a lifetime... ;)

Jokes apart, I admire your perseverance and resilience on sticking to the decided path. I'll be glad to help you in the process.
Thanks a ton kritik :)

You have always been one solid guiding guru for me in this hobby from inception. And I still love that speaker cables you gifted me :)
 

newlash09

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Things move fast once you are intent i guess. I remember shahrukh shan saying about the entire khaynat working to make things happen for you :D

So, as it turns out, I Just bought the townshend seismic podiums a little while back. They were on stage two, in the things I planned for the future... but will be here soon, so time to chop my lovely speakers in half I guess :(
 
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ssf

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In other words...music first and hifi doesn't matter :D
.... says the good sailor and then proceeds to pump in lakhs of rupees into audio gear. :p:)

All the best for the new project. Will definitely be following the thread.
 
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ssf

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Quite a while back, when I wanted better sound than what my Sony Mini was giving me, I approached a gentleman who was well respected for his knowledge on audio and requested him to make me 'Big' speakers to be used with my Sony amp. He told me to go home and be happy with my Sony as if I go down this path I will end up spending money that I don't have :D However, I insisted. After a week, he calls me and tells me that he has a 'Big' speaker for sale. Took my amp to audition the speaker.

Guess the design of the speaker .... 10" woofer enclosed in its own separate sealed enclosure, mid range and tweeter mounted again in a sealed separate enclosure. The speaker sounded much better than my sony especially in the mid range. He charged me all of 20,000 rupees for the speaker. I used this speaker for a good 7 years or so before changing to Quad 12L2's.
 

newlash09

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Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
979
Points
113
Location
hyderabad
Quite a while back, when I wanted better sound than what my Sony Mini was giving me, I approached a gentleman who was well respected for his knowledge on audio and requested him to make me 'Big' speakers to be used with my Sony amp. He told me to go home and be happy with my Sony as if I go down this path I will end up spending money that I don't have :D However, I insisted. After a week, he calls me and tells me that he has a 'Big' speaker for sale. Took my amp to audition the speaker.

Guess the design of the speaker .... 10" woofer enclosed in its own separate sealed enclosure, mid range and tweeter mounted again in a sealed separate enclosure. The speaker sounded much better than my sony especially in the mid range. He charged me all of 20,000 rupees for the speaker. I used this speaker for a good 7 years or so before changing to Quad 12L2's.
Very pleased to know that you ended up being happy by investing your faith in the design skills of a knowledgeable gentleman. I've done similar and Iam absolutely smitten with the results. These are the best speakers I've ever had, and I've had more expensive branded speakers in the past.

So it definitely was a rewarding experience trying DIY. It was a lot of time and love poured into building these speakers by the designer cum builder. I could live with them for a life time and not expect more.

But such is the itch in this hobby, that we always want to better what we already have. And I have tons of time at hand, as I sit idle at home for almost 3 to 4 months at a time. So would like to try own hand at tinkering an excellent design and try to improve it further. There is a real kick in it for me and a real joy, rather than moving the speakers and upgrading to a more expensive branded speaker for a betterment. I've given myself a 5 years time window to throw every thing, including the kitchen sink to better them :D

So let's see how this goes :)
 
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