Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS

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jonsk2514

Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« on: 11 Feb 2021, 01:10 pm »
Well, I am back at it.  This time it is a combined build of a X-CS center channel and a X-LS pair.  There is a lot to be said about the X-MTMs that I just finished.  The X-CS should be a good compliment to them.  The build of the X-LS is a result of having my youngest daughter over for a listen of the X-MTMs.  She remarked that she has been thinking of building a set of speakers herself.  She has the talent to do it.  But, there is the time and money, both of which I have a bit of.  Her, not so much.  She only works about 9000 hrs a week (Ok, I exaggerate a little, just a little).  Plus her birthday will be coming up.  These should be a great present for her.

For these builds I will be drawing heavily from my experience from my build of the X-MTMs (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=170542.0).

And I found someone (Thanks Mike) who did the exact same build and posted a link to it in the GR Research Build Threads sticky:
(https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153612.msg1642306#msg1642306).
What a great resource!  There are a ton of other resources showing the assembly of the X-LS speakers including Danny’s own set of videos:
https://youtube.com/c/GRResearch
Just look for his X-LS Encore play list.

And Peter Rawlings did a great assembly video of the X-LS speakers
https://youtu.be/5n3ZYGnEjgE
Peter has other videos showing finishes he as done.

I plan to use a mix of ideas for putting these together, which I hope will make the build go more quickly for me than the build of X-MTMs.

I have already laid out the cut plans for the 3 cabinets and found that they easily fit on one sheet of MDF.

Let the fun begin!

Starting with the cut plans:



Peter J

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #1 on: 11 Feb 2021, 03:34 pm »
And so it goes. The long slide down the slippery slope of speaker building. Insidious in some ways, but on the bright side, there's always something on the horizon to pursue so it's rarely boring.

Good on ya for inducting your daughter...err, maybe not...


jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #2 on: 11 Feb 2021, 05:09 pm »
I am very familiar with slippery slopes and rabbit holes.    :o

A while back ago I got into taking one of my cars to race tracks for “Track Days”.  The friends who got me into doing that called it “Track Crack”  :lol:  Just think about the car upgrades one can do.  And that was, like, 2 months after buying the car for this and telling my wife that “I am going to do nothing to the car”...  :roll: When I can’t do that (winter time) I do down hill skiing.  Again, there is always a new and improved set of skis to try.  So what’s one more addiction.  :rotflmao:

The best part about this “hobby” is that I can do it at most any time.  It is not a function of weather or schedules.  And once the builds are done, I can just sit a listen to them.  Talk about the best of all worlds  :thumb:

And today that slope just got steeper when I realized that I had another room that could use a set of speakers... Oh Ya... :lol:

mlundy57

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #3 on: 11 Feb 2021, 11:38 pm »
I am very familiar with slippery slopes and rabbit holes.    :o

A while back ago I got into taking one of my cars to race tracks for “Track Days”.  The friends who got me into doing that called it “Track Crack”  :lol:  Just think about the car upgrades one can do.  And that was, like, 2 months after buying the car for this and telling my wife that “I am going to do nothing to the car”...  :roll: When I can’t do that (winter time) I do down hill skiing.  Again, there is always a new and improved set of skis to try.  So what’s one more addiction.  :rotflmao:

The best part about this “hobby” is that I can do it at most any time.  It is not a function of weather or schedules.  And once the builds are done, I can just sit a listen to them.  Talk about the best of all worlds  :thumb:

And today that slope just got steeper when I realized that I had another room that could use a set of speakers... Oh Ya... :lol:

Lucky you, an extra room! I just finished a pair of speakers for a customer and liked them enough to try and figure out how I can get another room so I can have a pair myself.

To preempt any questions, no I do not like them better than my NX-Otica MTM/servo H combo. They are not in the same league. What they are is a great sounding fun pair of speakers to listen to. Norman posted about them over in the Enclosures circle.

I know, I can build an addition on the house ....  :lol:

Mike

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #4 on: 12 Feb 2021, 12:51 am »
Quote
Good on ya for introducing your daughter...  err maybe not...
:lol:   But,
No, no problem there.  She and I spent several hours jumping through YouTube posts and listening to great stuff... Jazz, classical, rock, blues.  She is musically inclined and really appreciate the X-MTMs (actually blown away by how great they sounded).  She is also really hard working.  So, I am happy to do this for her.

Quote
I know, I can build an addition on the house ....  :lol:

I love it!

To be honest, I have 2 rooms that need speakers, beyond the room I am already working on.  A while ago I concluded that there was one room that needed a speaker upgrade and I think the X-Oticas would do well in there.  I haven’t decided what would go well in the other room.  I am just planning ahead... :lol:  And then there will have to be a full sound system upgrade to go along with the X-Oticas...  When will it end?????   :duh: Never... :roll:

On the build front, I have finished making the long cuts of the MDF.  I have proceeded with the same method I used for the X-MTMs (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=170542.msg1806558#msg1806558).  I really like the cordless router.  This paired with the 1/8” down spiral bit works great for making these cuts.  These cuts could be done on a table saw or with a track saw, but for my shop capabilities, the router works the best.   And, Yes, I remembered my dust mask...

I will note that I always measure down from the far end of the MDF to size the next cut location.  This way I always have a constant edge to measure from.  If I measure up from the previous cut edge, any error (even a 1/32” from one side to the other) in the angle of the last cut will translate to the next cut.  This can be compounded over several cuts.  This way I ensure things don’t get skewed too much.  Also, these cuts are a bit “rough” and there is room to make small corrections on the table saw, if needed.

Router with the 1/8” router bit and showing the extended router base on the router.  I made this base from some 1/4” thick plexiglass for doing these kinds of cuts.


A piece cut showing the cutting setup.  The MDF has been raised so a vacuum hose can be placed under it to suck up dust.  Works well for this.


jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #5 on: 13 Feb 2021, 10:14 pm »
Progress is coming much more quickly than it did with the X-MTM.  Surely using them for “practice” helped...  :roll:

I have all of the MDF cut into panels for both the X-LS and X-CS speakers, and the braces for the X-CS.  The pieces have been sized to be assembled with rabbits on all of the outside pieces, except the back, which will fit into the rabbits in the top, bottom and side panels.  My arrangement of the rabbits is in a different order than what Peter shows in his video of the assembly of his flat pack (https://youtu.be/5n3ZYGnEjgE), but the idea is the same.

For my assembly, the front will have a rabbit on all 4 edges, the top and bottom will have rabbits on 3 edges, the side panels will have a rabbit on the back edge and none on the back panel.  Each rabbit will be 3/8” deep and ~3/4” wide.  All of the outside panels except the back are cut slightly oversized, so that will mean that the width of rabbit will need to be slightly greater than 3/4” to adjust for that.

Using rabbits also means that the length and/or width of each panel (except the front) will need to include the depth of the rabbit that it will be fitting into. The dimensions shown in sketch in the first post include the rabbit depth.

Once I made the long cuts in the sheet of MDF, the remaining cuts to lengths were, for the most part, done on my miter saw.  Fortunately it has a pretty large throat and can accommodate the 12-3/4” board...



But that is as large as the saw will take.

The remaining 15-1/8” board was cut on the table saw.  I am not a fan of making a 15+ inch long cut on a table saw as I find it is way too easy to have a result that has edges that are at something other than 90deg to each other.  Maybe that is just me, my saw or both, but is has happened to me in the past.

This time was a success!  :dance:  Moving on, and not looking back at that one...  :D

I did remember to double and triple check measurements and layout on each piece to be cut.  More than once I found I had measured an inch less than what I wanted or that my square wasn’t square on the piece when I drew the cut line.  Putting a full cut line on the piece was especially helpful when cutting on the miter saw as I could check the saw’s travel along the line and see if it was making a right angle cut.  Doing this showed that I needed to re-align the saw (who bumped that out of wack?  I don’t know...  :duh:).

The resulting cut pieces for a pair of X-LS speakers and a X-CS center channel:



I still need to cut the 45deg braces for the X-LS cabinets and see about getting a piece of dowel rod for the cross brace as Peter shows in his video.  I like that better than the suggested 3/4” x 3/4” square piece shown on Danny’s sketches.

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #6 on: 18 Feb 2021, 10:24 pm »
Hey everyone...

2 questions about braces for these things...

- The X-LS uses only corner braces and a small side to side brace.  Danny’s plans show 4 corner braces; 2 side to top and 2 side to back.  However, in Peter R’s assembly video of his flat pack he shows a third pair going in; 2 front to side, in between the woofer and tweeter.  Did I miss something in Danny’s sketches, or is Peter just making his flat pack cabinet more rigid?

- The X-CS has 4 braces.  2 of them (Brace “B”) are 10” long with a 5.5” dia semicircle cutout, and with one long leg and one short leg.  Is that short leg necessary or can they both be of the same long length?  From  mlundy’s build (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=117653.msg1247635#msg1247635) it looks like the crossover will fit without making that one leg shorter.  So, part “b” to that question... if both of the legs can be of the same length would there be anything wrong with making that a 5.5” hole a full circle and have a semicircle of some diameter to finish it off?  My thought is to make the box even more rigid...  Not that it isn’t rigid enough now, which may be the case.

So, any thoughts?

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #7 on: 18 Feb 2021, 11:16 pm »
More progress...
I have finish the rabbits on all of the panels for both speaker designs.  This was really quick compared to the X-MTMs, which are a much larger speaker.  I did these the same way as I did for the X-MTMs (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=170542.msg1814590#msg1814590).  That is, I roughed in the rabbit on the router table in 2 passes.  The first being a little less than 3/8” deep from the edge and the second being a little less than 3/4” deep from the edge.  The final sizing of the rabbits was done on the table saw with the fence set to 3/4”.  While this sequence of cutting takes a little more time, I fell it gives me a bit “cleaner” rabbited edge on the pieces.  This being a sample showing the top panel for the X-CS:



One of the things I did was to layout on each panel where each rabbit was to be made.



This way, I can make and correct mistakes in pencil first...  Yes, I did make a few, like, too many rabbits on the side panels which only required one...   :duh:  And it was a good thing that it was in pencil because if I had done that with the router, it would be off to cut a new panel... :cry:  Even at that, I did route one on an un-marked end.  Fortunately, the end that was cut could have been used anyway, but just a bit frustrating that I didn’t pay attention to the markings I made and it could have been more serious mistake.  :nono:

Dry Fitup Time!   :bounce:



Pretty much of a success.

The panels for the X-CS all fit perfectly.  The width of braces (top to bottom wise) is a bit smaller (~1/6”) than the height of the interior but that will be filled by the Titebond “thick and chewy” glue  :lol:  Ok, that is Titebond Quick and Thick.  I plan these to be just butt joints as others have done, so that glue should work well for that.

Now the question is, how did I get the panels for the X-CS all sized about perfect and I missed on the X-LS?  I don’t know, but a few of the X-LS panels are a touch oversized which is affecting the overall fitup and there are some gaps as a result.  This will take some minor trimming to correct, which is OK.  I guess, just expect this to be the case and plan on a few corrections.  This happened on the X-MTMs, too.  The X-LS panels will be easier to rework than those just because of their smaller size.

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #8 on: 21 Feb 2021, 04:28 pm »
As I noted, the panels for the X-LS cabinets were a little more oversized than those for the X-CS, so there was some trimming that needed to be done.  The table saw came in handy for that.



The gap in the back panel to the top was more that I anticipated.  This was also reflected in the gap between the front panel rabbit and the top panel.  Both side panels needed to be trimmed to adjust their height by less than 1/16”

Similarly the fitup to the rabbit on the top and bottom panels was off slightly.



The width of the back panel and the rabbit on the front panel needed to be adjusted slightly to correct this.  With this done, the dry fitup was deemed a success.

Moving on to cutting holes in the X-CS braces
The longer of the 2 set of braces have “C”  shaped cutouts at each end.  These are best cut by placing the blanks end to end and cutting the “C’s” as a single hole.  I held the panels together with pipe clamps and had a thin board between the braces and the clamps to keep from nicking the metal clamp with the router bit.



Swapping ends, I did the same cut in the other ends.





I went off script here with the smaller set of braces for the X-CS.  These are the same size as the respective braces in the X-MTMs I just finished, but in the X-CS design these are cut out more than in the MTM design. 

It seems that the cutouts are for the crossover, but in other posts the crossover seems to fit within the spacing of these braces.  So, I went with the more rigid brace design the X-MTM uses.  I know this takes up a little more volume inside the cabinet, which will slightly affect the low end response.  However, given this is to be a center channel, where low end is less important, I expect this will be acceptable.  I will wait to glue these in to make sure the crossover fits.  These can be easily modified back to the X-CS design if needed.

Braces fitted into the X-CS cabinet.


The modified (or X-MTM style) brace can be seen in the right side of the picture.  The front panel also has the layout for the drivers on it...

Getting to be time to order components.  Now if the weather in Texas would get better...  :shake: 

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #9 on: 21 Feb 2021, 05:13 pm »
Off to a great start! :thumb:

Tyson

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #10 on: 21 Feb 2021, 05:39 pm »
This one's going so much faster!

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #11 on: 21 Feb 2021, 09:05 pm »
Off to a great start! :thumb:

This one's going so much faster!

Great start and going so much faster... Great combination...   :thumb:

It helps that I had all of that “practice” with the X-MTMs, plus these are easier.    :roll:

I have been following the Texas weather issues and reading Danny’s posts about how it is affecting him and getting kits out.  I may have a bit of a delay while I wait for the kit parts to get delivered.  I’ll talk to Danny tomorrow about placing an order.  I want to wait until I have drivers in hand to cut holes and the tweeter recesses. This way I can make some practice cuts with parts in hand so I know I have setting that will allow everything to fit.

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #12 on: 25 Feb 2021, 01:35 pm »
Components for both speakers are on order.   :dance:

With the remnants of weather issues in Texas still lingering, I expect that these will take a bit to get here.

In the meantime, I am working on the corner braces and the cross brace for the X-LS.  I like Peter’s idea of using a dowel for the cross brace and locating it in a round pocket in each side.



This is a screen shot taken from Peter’s X-LS assembly video - https://youtu.be/5n3ZYGnEjgE - This has been a go-to video for me.

RonP

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #13 on: 25 Feb 2021, 02:53 pm »
When in doubt, Listen to Peter  :wink:

Peter J

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #14 on: 25 Feb 2021, 03:28 pm »
Thanks for the vote of confidence, I did spend a little time figuring out how to make that work and not have the potential to bow the sides or interfere with assembly. Give some clearance in the pocket to dowel interface, and use PL Premium as the adhesive in this one place only. The dowel in my kit is a little shy of the pocket floor to pocket floor dimension, which the expanding characteristic of the PL takes up as it cures.

hawkeyejw

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #15 on: 25 Feb 2021, 03:39 pm »
Looking great so far, and yes a bit quicker now that you have the first build under your belt. Very cool that you’ll be able to share the hobby with your daughter too!

jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #16 on: 25 Feb 2021, 05:18 pm »
When in doubt, Listen to Peter  :wink:

 :bowdown:

 :thumb:

Thanks for the vote of confidence, I did spend a little time figuring out how to make that work and not have the potential to bow the sides or interfere with assembly. Give some clearance in the pocket to dowel interface, and use PL Premium as the adhesive in this one place only. The dowel in my kit is a little shy of the pocket floor to pocket floor dimension, which the expanding characteristic of the PL takes up as it cures.

I learned a lot from that one video.  From simple things like the idea of brushing the glue out, to the edge rabbits and the dowel.  A lot of these things seem obvious to anyone who has done this before, but in building the MTMs this was all brand new to me.  So, thanks for taking the time to make that video.

Looking great so far, and yes a bit quicker now that you have the first build under your belt. Very cool that you’ll be able to share the hobby with your daughter too!

Thanks.
And I know she will appreciate them for what they are.   :thumb:

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #17 on: 25 Feb 2021, 05:38 pm »
Peter's videos were great learning material, especially for my NX-Studio assembly. I think he used something like 12 clamps per speaker?  :o
I made do 8 clamps & 2 strap clamps. :P

But the info also really came in handy when gluing up the cabinet portion of the X-Statik. Being larger and more complicated, you gotta learn to work quickly and make adjustments asap.

Better to learn all the info sooner than later before you make a mistake that can't be corrected... :P


jonsk2514

Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #18 on: 27 Feb 2021, 10:14 pm »
And practice.   :thumb:

How hard can it be to use a template guide and router to make a small circular recess in a piece of MDF? :shake:

For some of us less talented people - 2 days... :dunno:

It is a good thing I am in the habit of practicing new things, even if they seem simple.  I have a nice set of template guides that I got while working on the X-MTMs and never used.  Here’s my chance to do something new...



I even figured out the math for selecting the right guide...

(template hole dia) - (guide OD) + (bit dia) =  recess ID....

So ...  1.25” - 0.625” = 0.625” + 0.25” = 0.875”

Perfect for the 13/16” dowel rod (otherwise known as an old broom handle) I had laying around.  Just enough clearance for the PL adhesive, as Peter recommend.



Day 1 and an hour+ of practices.  You think I could get a recess that the dowel could fit into?  No.   :icon_twisted:  Do you know many times I checked my math?  How many times I measured the dia of the recess and the dowel rod?  I even tried a different combination of template hole and guide diameters, with no success.... :banghead:

My wife is a very smart person...  Much smarter than me.  Sleep on it.  It will look different in the morning. - She says....

Day 2 - Get the template out.  Install the guide in the router base.  New piece of scrap MDF.  Take another shot at getting this right.  Make my first pass and lift the router out of the way.  The recess is filled with MDF dust.  Not surprised as I saw this yesterday.  Vacuum the dust out and take one more pass with the router.  Take the router away and clean out the recess again.  Try the dowel... It fits perfectly...   :bounce:

What’s different?  Different day?  No, I never thought to take that second pass with the router when I was practicing the day before.  :duh:  It seems that the router dust was enough to interfere with the guide and template and it was enough to prevent me from getting the right diameter recess.  I had a vacuum attached to the router and was using an up spiral cutter, which I thought would be enough to keep that from happening.  But apparently not.

I actually went with a straight flute cutter as it made a smoother surface at the base of the recess.



I took several shots at getting a smoother edge to the recess, but I think it is just the “cheap” MDF I am using.



Not too worried about the edge as a little sanding will take care of that.  Dry fitup and a perfect fit.



One of the things I did was to layout the location of the template hole on the side where the recess will go.



This provided me with a way to make sure the template is located correctly and that serves as a back check for doing the layout correctly.  The template is a match to the sides that the recess will be in.

I should also note that per Danny’s sketches this cross brace is a little higher than center in the bottom to top direction.  This makes the sides “handed” and they need to be installed correctly.

I finish the day with routing the corners of the braces for the X-CS cabinet and did a dry fit.



There is not a lot of room to fit the crossover board into places between the outer and inner braces.  I will see what I can do with the layout of the crossover to see if I can make this fit as-is.  If not, I can return the outer braces to the design shown for the X-CS.

Edgar77

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #19 on: 27 Feb 2021, 11:45 pm »
There is not a lot of room to fit the crossover board into places between the outer and inner braces.  I will see what I can do with the layout of the crossover to see if I can make this fit as-is.  If not, I can return the outer braces to the design shown for the X-CS.

Looks good!

As far as I know the crossover board does not have to be one board. Maybe when you put the high and low circuits on different boards they will fit better.