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

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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #20 on: 28 Feb 2021, 04:15 pm »
Thanks!  :thumb:

And, yes, that is a consideration.  I have seen that suggested for other speakers.  In the design of the X-CS, Danny’s sketches show the outboard braces with no middle web and a shortened lower brace leg.  I see now that might be a practical compromise between having stiffness in the cabinet and having access to the crossover.

I have ordered the components from Danny for both the X-CS and X-LS.  My plan is to hold off going any further with these, other than make the corner braces.  When I get the hardware from Danny, I will “test” assemble the crossovers (not solder them) and see how they will fit.  Then I will decide on a path forward.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #21 on: 17 Mar 2021, 08:00 pm »
I got my “care” package from Danny yesterday.   :dance:

Time to get back to work.  I have waited as I wanted parts in hand before making hole cuts and recesses so I can practice and ensure everything fits properly before tackling the actual parts.

I did find out something interesting while I was waiting.  I didn’t have the top baffle for the X-CS well support while it was just sitting around.
It warped!  :slap:

Not a lot; maybe 1/16 inch, but still.  MDF has no structural rigidity at all.  No wonder Danny designs in so much internal support.  Judging by how much that one piece warped, one might think my X-MTMs would look like pretzels in just a few weeks without all that they have in the way of braces.

That aside, back to work now...  :green:


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #22 on: 17 Mar 2021, 11:08 pm »
I just finished my X-CS crossover over the weekend and mounted it to the bottom before gluing it on.  This allowed me to mount the board and attach the no-rez in one solid piece..  The spacing between brackets for the crossover looks about the same as the MTM, so the same board size and layout works.  In my case, I made the mistake of soldering before the final mounting on the board, so my resistor is off the board a little and I needed to carve out the foam a little :duh:.  Lessons learned.  I didn't make the same mistake on my MTM crossovers.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #23 on: 18 Mar 2021, 02:55 pm »
Thanks for the warning ...
For my MTMs I did lay the crossover parts out on a board, without soldering and then made sure it would fit.  With that trial fit I made sure it would fit through the opening for the woofer, just in case I had a need to remove it at a later date.

My plan is to do something similar with the X-CS, only I think I will leave the top baffle for last for gluing.  Not sure on quite yet.  One reason I have waited to proceed with gluing is I want the crossover parts to do a trial fit.  In particular I cut the outboard braces the same as those in the MTMs, which is different from the plans for the X-CS, and I wanted to see if the crossover would fit in or if I need to modify those braces.

JW - I have seen others who have mounted the resisters on top of the caps.  I know functionally what you have should be OK, but if for some reason you don’t want the overhang, you could do that...  Just bend the wire to the resistor 180 deg and tie the resisters to the cap that is next to it.  I see the board is already mounted, so this might be an academic thought.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #24 on: 18 Mar 2021, 03:17 pm »
Opps in the making...   :duh:

Last night I went through the box of goodies, checking what I got, and sorting all the parts out in those for the X-CS and X-LS.  While I was labeling everything it dawned on me that while I have 2 woofers for the X-LS speakers and 2 woofers for the X-CS speaker, and they look the same,  they are actually different woofers... And I wondered if I mis-marked them as to which design they go with.

This could have been a mess if this came to light in my feeble brain after I finished the assembly.  Or worse yet, if I mixed up the 4 and had miss-matched woofers in the X-CS and between the 2 X-LS and had them all finished...   :bawl:

As it was, I looked for marking, admittedly, not too hard.  Didn’t readily see any, so I pulled out the trusty ohm meter and checked them.  Yup, mis-marked them.  At least the wrapping for them is now correctly marked.  Later, when the wrapping comes off I will mark the drivers themselves with a really bright silver Magic Marker... 


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #25 on: 18 Mar 2021, 05:49 pm »
At least you caught it. Would have been really weird when you finished them and they all played at different volumes!


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #26 on: 18 Mar 2021, 06:39 pm »

“Weird” - that would be a word for it.

Then would come the:





Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #27 on: 3 Apr 2021, 04:50 pm »
A bit more progress.  I have received all of the hardware for both speakers.  The last bits were the ports for the X-LS.  I know that people complain a lot about the USPS, or at least the complaints make the news, but wow, I think they have nothing on UPS:

I wonder what this would have looked like if it was marked “FRAGILE”?   :nono:

It looks like there are some molding channels that need to be remove...

Not a big deal.

More practice.  Fortunately, all of the driver holes are the same between these speakers and the X-MTMs.  Also, I was “smart” to have saved all my notes from that build... : :roll:

I am using a hole cutting jig for this...

To cut the holes.  This works really well, with a little practice.  For the base drivers the sketches call out a 5-3/4 inch hole.  For the X-MTMs I found that a slightly smaller, 5-11/16 inch, hole worked well to give a bit of snug to the driver.

I am using a 1/8 inch up spiral cutter, which mean the center pin location for the jig needs to be increased by 1/8 inch to compensate for the fact the jig’s scale is based on a 1/4” cutter.

So, practice with the pin set for a 5-13/16 inch hole

Perfect.  Same as I got for the X-MTMs, go figure ...   :lol:

As you can see I did the hole cutting on a board, using a couple of clamps to hold the piece being cut.  The clamps bow a little when tightened, which holds the piece in place.

Once I cut the holes in the front baffle for the X-CS I did a dry fit of the pieces making up the cabinet, except for the top.  Because I made the outboard braces like the ones in the X-MTMs instead of what is shown in the X-CS sketch, I wanted to make sure I could fit in the crossover through the hole for the driver.  I used a piece of 2x4 to mockup the approximate size of the crossover that would being going in there and slid it in through the opening and around the braces...

So, it fits, with room to spare.  From here I will lay out the crossover parts on a piece of cardboard and make sure that fits before going any further on this speaker.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #28 on: 3 Apr 2021, 05:24 pm »
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.

True, you can split the crossover up if needed Jon. Check out the boards Hobbs made for his X-statiks.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #29 on: 3 Apr 2021, 08:54 pm »
True...  :thumb:

I need to do the crossover layout and doing it on cardboard will make easy to try it as one piece.  If it doesn’t fit, splitting it will be an easy solution.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #30 on: 10 Apr 2021, 03:22 pm »
Best laid plans of mice and men...

Or, is it - measure 4 times and cut twice.

Ok, a fixable screw up...  :P

It seems that even practicing, measuring twice, and doing a layout of what is to be cut doesn’t not prevent errors.

Practice I did.  In particular I did a practice run of the tweeter cutout with the recess.  The cutting order is important here with the recess needing to be cut first, then the through hole is cut.  The recess needs to be “right on” as once the hole is cut, it will be difficult to fix it afterwards.

I always do a pencil layout, in particular to ensure I have selected the correct pin hole in the router jig.

I routed the recess using an up spiral 1/4” cutter.

I was a bit surprised to see that the exposed surface was more torn up than it was when I did the X-MTMs.  It could be the quality of the MDF sold at Lowes has gone down.  Yup I bought the “cheap” stuff again.  But, I also wonder if the cutter has gotten dull.  Probably not as it has been little used.  So, I going to blame the MDF.  I was able to clean this up with some light sanding.  So not bad.

In the past I have used the 1/8” up spiral cutter for doing the through cuts in the the MDF as it draws less on the router’s battery.  For the tweeter cutout this meant that I would use the 1/4” bit for the recess and change over to the 1/8” bit for the through cut.  But this time I opted to use the 1/4” bit for everything.  This worked just fine.  The router has plenty of power to handle the larger bit and, with the hole being small, the battery lasted plenty long.

With practice done, time to do some real cutting.  All went great...

Until I noticed that one thing didn’t look like the other...

Don’t ask me how this happened.  I did the layout of the 2 front baffles at the same time and I used the same tape measure for both...   :scratch:

But it did happen and, no, I didn’t go back and check the layout a third time just before cutting.  Nope, didn’t do that.

Well, after a few choice words... :shake:  I thought this would be a good time to see how good that hole cutting jig really is and I used it to cut a plug for that misplaced hole.

On the first try, I achieved a plug that was almost a perfect fit.  With a little light sanding, it was a light press fit to get it into place.  The thing I did notice is that the router cuts holes with a slight taper.  Not a lot on a 3/4” thick piece.  Maybe a total of 1/64” with the 2 pieces fitted together.  Not sure if that all of the pieces and parts of the router and jig being slightly off.  Or is the router bit pulling everything off at a slight angle  :scratch:  Curious.

The plug fit nicely and a little excess glue to ensure everything got covered well

I did wipe the glue off while it was still wet to make sure it didn’t affect staining later on.  I re-did the layout, this time checking it against the other front baffle before making the cut.  It is interesting that I found not only was the vertical dimension wrong, the horizontal dimension was wrong as well.  I really missed the mark with this on.

With the new hole cut, I am back in business.

There is a bit of uncut material at the bottom of the holes.  This is a result of the plunge cutting depth on the router being set just slightly less than the full thickness of the MDF.  I do this to ensure the plug being cutout does not move while cutting it. I cut the hole in the MDF using 3 cutting depths passes so as to not overload the cutter and/or router. After I make the final cutting pass the plug pops out nicely.  A little light sanding cleans all of this off.

You will also notice that the 1/8” cutter I used to cut the hole for the woofer made a much cleaner cut than the 1/4” cutter I used to cut the tweeter opening.   Neither is a “cheap” cutter, with the 1/4” cutter being a Whiteside....  Hmmmm :scratch:


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #31 on: 24 Apr 2021, 01:32 am »
Finally I have been able to get back to these.   I have pre-drilled the holes for all the drivers and binding posts screws.  I did these on the drill press just because it is easy.

Next comes gluing.  This is being done in steps - Sides, top and bottom first then the fronts on the X-LS.  This will allow me to easily glue in the corner braces, and install the No-Rez and the crossover before I put the backs on.

I use the front and back baffles as a fixtures to square the sides to the way these have been cut.  I have the front and back covered with plastic film to keep them from being glued in.  Each side was glued to the top and then the bottom was glued in.  And, no, I didn’t forget the dowel cross side brace.  This is held in place with the PL adhesive as Peter R shows in his video.  The sockets for these have a lot clearance which allow the adhesive to squeeze out easily.

I could have glued the front in as part of gluing the sides, but this makes the gluing a bit less rushed.

There is no such thing as too many clamps...   :lol:

But there can be too much glue...   :nono:


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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #32 on: 24 Apr 2021, 01:42 am »
Looking good so far! :thumb:


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #33 on: 24 Apr 2021, 03:34 pm »
One of the things I did on the X-MTMs was to switch out the magnetic parts from the binding posts.  Yes, I know, tube connectors are the way to go.  But, considering that these are going into system that is quite a ways from ideal, the binding posts with this upgrade will be fine (seem to work well on the X-MTMs. :thumb:).  They can always be upgraded.... :wink:

This is what I found:

And the signal path is through these magnetic parts and all of it goes through that skinny lock washer...  :nono:
And I should note that the thick, spacer washer is not overly magnetic, so it is not attracted to a weak magnetic.  And, while it is not directly in the signal path, I replaced it just in case it has an influence on the signal.  Also note, it takes 2 regular washers to get the thickness of this spacer.

The upgrade I did was to get rid of all of the magnetic parts and greatly increased the contact area to the internal wiring tab:

You can see how much better the signal path is.

On the binding posts, it looks like this

I bought the parts from Fastenal.  While there surely are other places to get these parts, this is the order listing of the parts I bought:

1      SKU MN2530000BR0000
M4-0.7 DIN 934 Plain Finish Brass Hex Nut
There are 2 nuts for each binding post, one each side of the wiring tab to increase the contact area.

2      SKU 75233
#8 Silicon Bronze Medium Split Lock Washer
There is 1 split washer for each binding post

3      SKU 0179456
#10 x 0.437" OD Silicon Bronze Small OD Flat Washer
There are 2 of these washer for each binding post. 

There are two of the washers needed for each binding post to replace the thick washer that is shown above.  These are a spacer on the outside of the cup.  The rest of the parts go on the inside of the cup.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #34 on: 26 Apr 2021, 02:32 pm »
Glueing the sides together went well and as I said, I remembered the internal cross brace.  I like Peter’s idea of using a dowel.  Also, as Peter shows in his video I used the PL adhesive to attach the dowel, but unlike Peter, I was a little excessive with the stuff...  :roll:

When I glued the sides together I used a plastic film to keep the front and back panels from being glued in.  These panels were snug, as expected, with the front requiring a little remedial sanding to make it a little less snug to ease assembly with the glue.

As I have said before, there is no such thing as too many clumps...

After sliding the glued front into place, I flipped the cabinet over so the front was down and resting on blocks.  I did this so any excess glue would not run down the sides (not that i would have excess glue on a part...  :duh:).  One thing I found with glueing the front is that it is very flexible and that a lot of clamps were necessary to compress it evenly into the sides.

I am following Peter’s video where he describes the number of corner braces, where they go and  shows how he does the installation.  He uses 6 braces, 2 side to top, 2 side to front and 2 side to back.  The 2 side to front don’t show up in Danny’s sketches, but they make sense given how flexible I found the front to be when glueing it.  A difference is that I have left the back panel off to provide access to the interior to facilitate installing the braces, No-Rez and crossover.

For glue, I used the Titebond Quick and Thick, which, as it says, is thick and stays in place.  It is also a quick set, with a bit more tack than their other glues.

Following Peter’s lead, I used a spacers to locate braces, with the one for the side to top shown. The side to front braces are also shown in place.  I will put in the side to back braces after I finish glueing the back in.  I will have the No-Rez, which will already be installed at this point, slotted to accommodate the braces.  Like Peter did, I will install them through the bass driver opening.

While glue was setting up, I took the opportunity to layout the crossover for the X-LS.  Danny’s video ( is perfect for this as it is exactly the same as the one I am building, which includes the “hot rod” caps he talks about.  So as to not to reinvent the wheel, I followed his handy work (pun intended... :lol:):

Here is mine laid out on a sheet of cardboard:

Looking at it, the junction in the upper right corner is of 6 wires.  I expect this will be a royal PIA to assemble.

...  :P

A thing to remember is to not actually twist any of the individual wires, but to bend them together when “twisting” them together.  Twisting an individual wire can cause it to break, which would not be good to have happen on these expensive parts.


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #35 on: 4 May 2021, 04:21 pm »
With that knot of wires in the tweeter circuit, I decided to buy a new soldering iron; a Weller 40W.  This is quite a step up from the 25W one I have.  Wow, does it get hot.  But it works.

Soldering went well.  The two X-LS crossovers are assembled.  For that knot of wires in the lower right of the crossovers (as shown) it turned out that I could join the 3 wires of the 2 caps and the coil together, then join together the 2 long pigtails from the brown caps and then join together the 3 wires from the 2nd brown cap, the small white cap and the resister.  Not a big knot at all.

I am pleased with the way they turned out.  The boards are 1/4” lauan that I have coated with shellac.  I added a 1/4” high rest for the lead-in resister in the tweeter circuit.  I added a thin wood strip for under the tweeter circuit coil because the last winding layer is less than the full width of the coil and this will allow it to be mounted fully upright.  The wood I used is from a quart can paint stirrer.

I plan to mount the boards on rests that will raise them about a sheet of No-Rez on the bottom baffle.  I know, this is more than what is called for, but it will allow me to screw the mounting screws into a piece of wood that is above the MDF and the No-Rez will add more dampening to the cabinet.  The downside of this is that I will need to buy another sheet of No-Rez.  The X-LS can be lined with one sheet of No-Rez without this extra piece I am doing...   :roll:

I just need to cut the pieces of No-Rez for the back panels.

Because I am working with the back off, the No-Rez pieces can be larger and the cutting is simplified.  The side pieces are cut with about 1/2” space to any side and about 1/4” space to the internal braces.  The top, bottom and back pieces are cut about 1/4” less than the width between the side pieces of No-Rez.

Of course the contractor making these didn’t have a contract penalty clause for not meeting the required delivery date and let other priorities take over.  That date pasted without having a completed birthday present  :cry: and I was left with having to apologize profusely to my daughter for having missed her birthday.  None the less, she got to see a preview of them the other day and she is extremely excited about the prospect of having them.  She is great and is very understanding about those other priorities.  I promised her they will get done...


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Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #36 on: 6 May 2021, 08:49 pm »
Excellent write-up.  I am on the verge of purchasing an X-LS kit, and your post will be very helpful!
Thank you


Re: Amateur build of the X-CS and the X-LS
« Reply #37 on: 6 May 2021, 11:42 pm »
Ok, don’t do what I just did...  Cut the wires to the tweeter a little to short...  :duh:  3 more inches would have been great.  Oh, yah, there are about 5” of each color laying on my work bench.  So, there was enough.  Danny doesn’t short you on wire, but then again, there is not a lot of excess.  So one needs to not over do it, but then again one doesn’t need to scrimp... :nono:

Well, it will do.  The wires will reach out of the hole for the tweeters, just by not a lot. 

The other thing I didn’t realize at the time was where was the best location to put the recess in the the tweeter opening to make way for the driver’s terminals.  I put mine 180deg from where they would be ideal.  So I will route in another set on the other side of the opening before putting anything more into the cabinet.  Not sure how I would have avoided this situation except to  have laid out the crossover much before this point which would have showed me where the wires would be best positioned.  In this small box it makes a difference, whereas in the X-MTMs, with its size, it wasn’t a consideration.  Something to remember for the future.

One thing I did do was to label the wires...

Yes, I need a few more labels...  :wink:  The shiny white stuff is dry erase board and the tape barely sticks to it, which is nice for doing this...

With the crossovers boards all mounted with parts and all tired down, it is starting to look like a set of speakers.

The crossover boards are setting on the stand-offs to allow No-Rez to be located under it.  The board does come close to the woofer, but the parts are more than an inch away from it..  The other thing I realized is that if the larger coil were to be on the other end of the board it would be directly under the magnet for the woofer and I would be willing to bet this would not be good for the speaker’s sound quality.   :shake: