X-Statik Build: Step by Step

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kwatz

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X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« on: 20 Dec 2020, 07:06 pm »
Hey y'all. Taking my first stab at DIY audio, and ordered the X-Statiks last night! I have absolutely no experience with either woodworking or DIY audio, so this will be a big learning experience for me. I plan to build these over the next couple of weeks, and will include as much detail in here as possible for others who are total newbies like myself.

Some preliminary questions before I get started:
  • What tools would you recommend for cutting out the clearance for the tweeter terminals? I will be using a rabbet bit and router to make the counterbore around the tweeter hole, but am not sure how to precisely cut the clearance.
  • Is stuffing in the box recommended? I plan to use no-res, and don't know if stuffing offers any additional advantages in deadening the box.
  • Is there a specific type/brand of no-res you can recommend?
  • Should I make the base removable, or should the crossover be easy enough to access through the driver hole? If removable is the way to go, would I just screw on the base? I plan to use Titebond on everything else.
  • Are speaker grills recommended? I have no children so prying fingers shouldn't be an issue. As an audiophile noob I don't know what impact a grill would have on sound, but I assume it can only be negative

Thanks for any advice. Looking forward to this project!

corndog71

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #1 on: 21 Dec 2020, 04:39 am »
Great choice.  Enjoying mine as I write this.

You can get No Rez from Danny. 

My Statiks were factory built and the crossover is mounted to a panel on the bottom of the cabinet.  The wider base is another piece that covers the bottom.  The wider base helps to minimize tipping the speaker over. 

Mine didn’t come with grills.  I don’t miss them.  It’s diy so do what you like for that.  I’ve seen some that look really good.

Peter J

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #2 on: 21 Dec 2020, 04:13 pm »
kwatz, do you have, or intend to have circle cutting jig like a Jasper or similar and a router? Lets start there and so I can give relevant advise.

kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #3 on: 21 Dec 2020, 05:19 pm »
kwatz, do you have, or intend to have circle cutting jig like a Jasper or similar and a router? Lets start there and so I can give relevant advise.

I had actually just planned to use hole saws (I'm guessing that will make any woodworkers here cringe). Would a circle jig be preferable? I'm not familiar, but then I'm not very familiar with any of this. Definitely want to have the smoothest cuts I can get, and am open to getting the circle jig you referenced.

Peter J

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #4 on: 21 Dec 2020, 05:59 pm »
Well, if you plan on any future speaker building, I think you'd find a jig invaluable. A plunging router might also be handy although not a necessity. If using Jasper, I always plan on having a sacrificial sheet under what I'm working on and drill the pivot pin into it a little ways. Wouldn't hurt to double use double sided tape to temporarily attach to sacrificial sheet.

I'd cut rabbet to diameter and depth first, then either partial cut through for terminal clearance or alternately, thru hole and freehand clearance for terminals. 1/4" down spiral cutter for all.

The problem with holesaws is they're don't necessarily correspond with thru-hole vs. rabbet widths available, where Jasper jig is much more granular in hole size increments. This assuming you want a fairly nice fit for tweeter.

If you get all in hand and have more q's about technique, I typically check in here at least once a day. How are you intending to cut out components?

mlundy57

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #5 on: 21 Dec 2020, 05:59 pm »
I had actually just planned to use hole saws (I'm guessing that will make any woodworkers here cringe). Would a circle jig be preferable? I'm not familiar, but then I'm not very familiar with any of this. Definitely want to have the smoothest cuts I can get, and am open to getting the circle jig you referenced.

I haven't found hole saws to be accurate enough. A Jasper jig is adjustable in 1/16" increments. I've found this to be close enough for speaker holes. If the diameter in the plans is between to 1/16" marking, use the larger position. The markings on the jig are designed for use with a 1/4" bit. You can use any bit you want but you have to compensate for the diameter of the bit. It's a lot easier to use a 1/4" bit. I prefer an upcut spiral bit with a plunge router base. Secure the baffle to a sacrificial board. Double stick tape works well for this. Make sure both the baffle and plug will be secure to the backer when you cut all the way through.

The way I use the jig for the tweeter holes is:

1 - Mark the center of the driver hole and with a 1/8" bit, drill a pilot hole.
2 - set the router with the bit installed on the baffle and push down until the bit is touching the baffle. Lock the plunge base so the depth doesn't change.
3 - put the tweeter flange on the plunge base depth stop and lower the stop rod until it is tight on the tweeter flange.
4 - lock the depth stop rod so it won't move. You have now set the depth for the flange rabbet.
5 - Put the guide pin in the Jasper jig for the size of the outside diameter of the tweeter hole.
6 - place the jig with the guide pin in the pilot hole.
7 - turn the router on and plunge it to the depth the stop rod is set at then cut a rabbet.
8 - Set the guide pin in the jig for a 1/4" smaller diameter circle and cut another rabbet.
9 - Continue cutting smaller diameter rabbets until the ledge is wide enough for the tweeter flange.
10 - set the guide pin in the jig for the diameter of the through hole then cut it.
11 - cut or sand the offset for the connectors to fit through the hole. I use a Dremel with a sanding bit.

Mike



kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #6 on: 21 Dec 2020, 07:49 pm »
Well, if you plan on any future speaker building, I think you'd find a jig invaluable. A plunging router might also be handy although not a necessity.

I'll get the Jasper then. I have a fixed base router. This jig says for plunge base - is it fine for fixed base as well?

1/4" down spiral cutter for all.

I ordered a 1/4" flush trim bit for dealing with veneer. I'm assuming I'd need a separate down spiral cutter like this, and can't remove the bearing on the flush trim to use it as a standard cutter?

How are you intending to cut out components?

Planning to use a circular saw to cut the MDF boards.


kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #7 on: 21 Dec 2020, 07:50 pm »
I haven't found hole saws to be accurate enough. A Jasper jig is adjustable in 1/16" increments. I've found this to be close enough for speaker holes. If the diameter in the plans is between to 1/16" marking, use the larger position. The markings on the jig are designed for use with a 1/4" bit. You can use any bit you want but you have to compensate for the diameter of the bit. It's a lot easier to use a 1/4" bit. I prefer an upcut spiral bit with a plunge router base. Secure the baffle to a sacrificial board. Double stick tape works well for this. Make sure both the baffle and plug will be secure to the backer when you cut all the way through.

The way I use the jig for the tweeter holes is:

1 - Mark the center of the driver hole and with a 1/8" bit, drill a pilot hole.
2 - set the router with the bit installed on the baffle and push down until the bit is touching the baffle. Lock the plunge base so the depth doesn't change.
3 - put the tweeter flange on the plunge base depth stop and lower the stop rod until it is tight on the tweeter flange.
4 - lock the depth stop rod so it won't move. You have now set the depth for the flange rabbet.
5 - Put the guide pin in the Jasper jig for the size of the outside diameter of the tweeter hole.
6 - place the jig with the guide pin in the pilot hole.
7 - turn the router on and plunge it to the depth the stop rod is set at then cut a rabbet.
8 - Set the guide pin in the jig for a 1/4" smaller diameter circle and cut another rabbet.
9 - Continue cutting smaller diameter rabbets until the ledge is wide enough for the tweeter flange.
10 - set the guide pin in the jig for the diameter of the through hole then cut it.
11 - cut or sand the offset for the connectors to fit through the hole. I use a Dremel with a sanding bit.

Mike

Thanks for all the detail, this is extremely helpful. I only have a fixed base router. How does that change things?

mlundy57

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #8 on: 21 Dec 2020, 08:34 pm »
Thanks for all the detail, this is extremely helpful. I only have a fixed base router. How does that change things?

A lot. For one, you are going to have a difficult time getting the jig positioned with a bit protruding from the bottom of the router. Another issue is going to be safely engaging the router bit. Is a plunge base available as an accessory for your router?

You are correct about needing a bit without a bearing to cut the holes. A flush trim bit won't work.

Keithh

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #9 on: 21 Dec 2020, 10:33 pm »
I think you would be fine with a hole saw. While I have never used one on a speaker, I do use
them at work and get acceptable results. The 4 woofers are surface mount so they don't need the hole
to be the exact size. The tweeter might be the problem but a rabbeting kit might work fine. That is a
rabbeting bit with many different size bearings so you can increase the radius of the hole 1/16" and up.
If you can cut a nice hole with a hole saw then a fixed base router and rabbeting bit will work fine.

I always use a rabbeting bit to cut the tweeter recess. So I always make the thru hole the outside flange diameter minus
2 x the depth of cut of the rabbeting bit. You can just cut a hole with the hole saw and keep enlarging it with the rabbeting
bit and flush trim bit until you have the correct diameter.

Jasper jigs and fixed base routers are not a good combination. And with all the hole saw sizes available there should be
one that allows for a pretty good fit.

My base is removable and the x-over is attached to the base. Just some door foam weatherstripping to seal it.

kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #10 on: 21 Dec 2020, 10:53 pm »
A lot. For one, you are going to have a difficult time getting the jig positioned with a bit protruding from the bottom of the router. Another issue is going to be safely engaging the router bit. Is a plunge base available as an accessory for your router?

You are correct about needing a bit without a bearing to cut the holes. A flush trim bit won't work.

I may spring for a plunge router. They're not terribly expensive. There don't seem to be plunge base accessories available for the fixed base one unfortunately.

I think you would be fine with a hole saw. While I have never used one on a speaker, I do use
them at work and get acceptable results. The 4 woofers are surface mount so they don't need the hole
to be the exact size. The tweeter might be the problem but a rabbeting kit might work fine. That is a
rabbeting bit with many different size bearings so you can increase the radius of the hole 1/16" and up.
If you can cut a nice hole with a hole saw then a fixed base router and rabbeting bit will work fine.

I always use a rabbeting bit to cut the tweeter recess. So I always make the thru hole the outside flange diameter minus
2 x the depth of cut of the rabbeting bit. You can just cut a hole with the hole saw and keep enlarging it with the rabbeting
bit and flush trim bit until you have the correct diameter.

Jasper jigs and fixed base routers are not a good combination. And with all the hole saw sizes available there should be
one that allows for a pretty good fit.

My base is removable and the x-over is attached to the base. Just some door foam weatherstripping to seal it.

Debating whether I should just stick with the hole saws or go for the plunge router. I do have a rabbeting set and I have 5.75" and 3.75" hole saws. I was planning to use masking tape around the bearing of the 1/4" rabbeting bit to get to the .18" counterbore for the tweeter flange. I'm going to be using a buddy's router, but maybe I should get my own... I have a feeling I might catch the woodworking bug from this. Just doing the research alone is pretty fun

kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #11 on: 21 Dec 2020, 11:33 pm »
A lot. For one, you are going to have a difficult time getting the jig positioned with a bit protruding from the bottom of the router. Another issue is going to be safely engaging the router bit. Is a plunge base available as an accessory for your router?

Do you have a recommendation for a good plunge router for this work?

mlundy57

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #12 on: 21 Dec 2020, 11:39 pm »
Do you have a recommendation for a good plunge router for this work?

I like Porter Cable. You can get them easily, aren’t really expensive, and work well.

kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #13 on: 22 Dec 2020, 03:14 am »
I like Porter Cable. You can get them easily, aren’t really expensive, and work well.

Thanks for the rec. Will be picking up a router next week. For the cutting bit, you recommended upcut. Would downcut be alright for such a deep hole? From the little research I've done it seems upcut is better for clearing chips but downcut is a smoother cut.

mlundy57

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #14 on: 22 Dec 2020, 07:45 am »
Thanks for the rec. Will be picking up a router next week. For the cutting bit, you recommended upcut. Would downcut be alright for such a deep hole? From the little research I've done it seems upcut is better for clearing chips but downcut is a smoother cut.

Either will work but I prefer an upcut for these holes because of chip clearing. However, you want to make multiple passes for the through cuts.

Peter J

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #15 on: 22 Dec 2020, 03:22 pm »
Thanks for the rec. Will be picking up a router next week. For the cutting bit, you recommended upcut. Would downcut be alright for such a deep hole? From the little research I've done it seems upcut is better for clearing chips but downcut is a smoother cut.

The theory is sound, but I've found cutting MDF to be somewhat different than anything else. Unless moving at really high feed speeds, chips are almost a dream...it's dust. Swarf in the cut essentially gets pulverized in most cases. The biggest difference you're likely to notice is that upcut will leave a little chipping at the material surface, while down spiral will chip out at the bottom of through cuts.

The plunge router is a good idea, especially for someone new to the game. Once you get familiar with circle jig, I think you'll agree that's it far more versatile than hole saws. The biggest issue with hole saws is clearing the swarf from the cut, this evidenced by burning of material. There are ways around that, but it sounds like you're on a different path, so I'll digress.


russellberg

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #16 on: 23 Dec 2020, 04:42 pm »
If you only plan on building one set of speakers and you already have the required sizes of hole saw then go ahead with that plan but a circle cutting jig and and a router can cut just about any size hole.  I use the small Jasper for holes under 7" and a home made jig for anything bigger.  So if your plan includes say, an open baffle sub... or a set of bookshelves... or... (once you start its hard to stop ;) then you might want to get a router and a jig.

lacro

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #17 on: 24 Dec 2020, 08:45 pm »
I used a fixed base router, and didn't buy the jasper jig. I removed the router base and replaced it with a scrap piece of masonite. See post #6 in link below for how I did it. If you measure correctly, the home made jig creates absolutely perfect size holes, and counterbores.

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=108371.120




kwatz

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #18 on: 10 Jan 2021, 10:51 pm »
Ended up spending the holidays building a workbench for myself. Will hopefully be starting the cabinet assembly in two weeks. I now have my workspace ready to go and all the necessary tools on hand! My kit came in the mail a couple of days ago, as well as some beautiful madrone burl veneer for the baffle.

A couple more questions:
  • For sealing tube connectors, should I be soldering them as Danny does in this video? I saw someone mention in the comments there that it might be preferable to use 100% silicone dielectric grease for sealing instead of soldering.
  • What's a good technique for bending veneer around the radius of the baffle without breaking it? I was planning on an 1/8" roundover on the front baffle, but the paper-backed veneer I have isn't quite flexible enough to bend over it without snapping. Is it possible to use water or steam? Or should I forget the roundover and just cut separate strips of veneer for the top and sides? I'm using heat-lock adhesive and an iron to attach the veneer.
  • For the board the crossover is built on, do I just lay it inside the box, or should you fix it to the base somehow? I'm planning to use zip ties to fix the components to the board but that'll introduce some issues for fixing nicely to the base of the box.
  • What size crimp tool should I get? The diameter of the crimping end of the tube connector is about 3/16", which is around a 4 AWG, but when I look at crimp tools for that size they seem a bit large. I know Danny used a much smaller one in the assembly video that I watched.

Thanks for all the help so far!

Peter J

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Re: X-Statik Build: Step by Step
« Reply #19 on: 11 Jan 2021, 01:43 am »
1. Hmmmm, never considered that. What's the supposed advantage?

2. I can't say I've tried going around a radius thaa small, but imagine it could be done with Veneer softener and tight grain species like cherry and perhaps others. I wouldn't introduce a bunch of moisture in any case as it will most likely surprise you when in dries out. You could also cap ends with, say, 1/4" hardwood, then veneer, then roundover.  Something that small would be hard to see the transition as long as color is close.

3. I'd screw it or at the very least use velcro. Foam on back, or some kind of standoff would also do the trick.

4. Most, if not all, common striper/crimpers I've seen have two as standard fare. One with a titty, as Danny describes it, and one without. Use the with, it's more fun and works better.