Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly

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nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #20 on: 18 Jan 2022, 03:10 am »
I would start with an alcohol/solvent base first. I've had great luck with dewaxed shellac, (Zinner Seal Coat) it dries quickly and won't cause swelling like a water based primer.

Standard shellac isnt a good idea, as the wax may prevent any further layers from adhering properly.

Thanks Hobbs!

nadirmg

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Re: Nadir's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #21 on: 12 Feb 2022, 07:44 pm »
Hi everyone! Over the past 3 months I've been watching others do their builds, asking questions, researching/buying my components for my rig, and yes, putting mine together. Currently I'm finishing my cabinets and waiting for the 2nd round of primer to cure overnight, so I figured this is a good time to post my build up to this point.

I thought I had taken more pictures along the way, sadly I didn't that many pictures on my phone. Anyway, here we go!

Speakers:
NX-Studios (I upgraded these with Sonicaps and Foil Inductors)
Amps:
Odyssey Kismet monoblocks (with a number of upgrades, Klaus told me the previous owner pretty much maxed them out with upgrades)
DAC:
MP-D2 MK3 DELUXE (I maxed out my upgrade options on this when I ordered it)
Streamer:
Bluesound Node 2
Speaker stands:
Monolith 24" stands

I'm using RCA cables to connect DAC to the amps and coax to go from the streamer to the DAC. I'll be going cheap on speaker cables for now and still need to get those.

Since I am completely new to Hi-Fi and sound systems, researching my components took me quite a while because I had to learn a lot along the way and I still have 99% left to learn haha. After that planning out how I was going to build the cabinets as frequently a stop-start-stop-start process because I didn't want any "oh shit" moments because I was moving too quickly.

Assembling the crossovers was definitely the most frustrating and anxiety provoking part of this journey. Since I don't have any woodworking/electronics experience it sure felt like I was flying blind with the whole DIY side of this, so I'm incredibly grateful for the helpful community here that's generously shared their experience and suggestions as well as answering so many of my questions.

Finally, figuring out how I was going to finish these speakers was a headache all on its own. Veneer vs paint vs a combination of both etc etc...  I very quickly found out I had no idea what I was doing and had to slow down and spend a bunch of time watching Youtube videos and asking questions. ** Infinite mount of gratitude goes the nlitworld (blue for his insanely cool blue NX Studios) for helping me with paint journey. **

Honestly, when I started this journey, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I've equipped myself with a lot of new knowledge, skills, and grown a lot in my character. No giving up on this journey - there is only moving forward and being patient with dedication.

As I'm nearing the end of my build, I'm getting very excited to move out of the research/build phase of my relationship with HiFi audio..... and finally getting to listen to supremely awesome sound. Hahaha, I joke around with my friends that I'm almost as excited to be done building these as I am beginning to listen to them!  :thumb:

I still have to think about the sound treatment of the space I'm using, and then maybe adding one (or two) dual servo subs... but all that can wait until later. For now, I wanted to post this with my immense gratitude to everyone. From Danny and the team, making all of this possible, to Peter with his NX Studio build (yes, I used Twizzlers in the building of these babies), to all of you who have shared your own build journeys, to everyone who's patiently and graciously answered my questions, and to my dog Doogan who's been my buddy through each step.... THANK YOU!

Okay, I heading to Home Depot to get some 600grain sandpaper to sand the cabinets with so I'm ready to go tomorrow on the basecoat, pearl coat and top coat tomorrow!

Pictures of my progress so far and more updates to follow later today!
Aaron

nlitworld

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #22 on: 12 Feb 2022, 08:49 pm »
I'm super excited to see how your speakers turn out. I'm sitting here blasting my speakers reading your post, and I know your build is going to be amazing. The first time you plug them in, I guarantee you'll have a shit eating grin on your face, just giggling how good they sound. I know I did. The best part about it is that you'll have built them from scratch.  :popcorn:

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #23 on: 21 Feb 2022, 12:07 am »
Paint is done! And I have to say, I LOVE the white color and the pearl coat. Really nice touch. I'll be uploading pics of everything but I've hit a snag with something and I'm a bit worried about how to proceed.

I'm getting ready to install norez, connect the drivers and tube connectors to the crossovers but my crossover wiring keeps breaking in one area and I don't know what to do. I'm considering taking/sending it somewhere to have the crossover wiring completely redone but I don't even know if soldering can be redone.

Here's a picture of what's happening. It's the jump connection that connects the negative tube connector, negative woofer, and positive tweeter. I'm really stumped on whether or not I should try to continue to resolder wire that continues to get brittle and break. Pretty frustrating.

I'm also beginning to doubt if my soldering of the crossover, in general, just sucks and if I ruined it. Can I get some advice on what to do?


Thanks guys... I'm so close to being done. It killed me when this connection broke. Again.

corndog71

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #24 on: 21 Feb 2022, 04:04 am »
What kind of soldering iron are you using?  Remember to make a good physical connection and then add solder to the joint to lock them together.  Heat the joint and add solder to the joint.  There shouldn’t be any big solder blobs.

Tyson

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #25 on: 21 Feb 2022, 06:09 am »




Just strip the wire where it snapped, and solder that copper to the copper stub on the other side.  It's not a big deal to have 1 extra solder joint.

Peter J

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #26 on: 21 Feb 2022, 02:33 pm »
Also if you can bring that wire down to the crossover board, use a small zip tie or two to hold it down it will act as a strain relief to keep joints from flexing. It's not a bad idea on any crossover, but particularly with solid wire. Not to worry, my solders aren't all that pretty, but functionally fine.

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #27 on: 21 Feb 2022, 07:16 pm »
Thanks for the advice, everybody. I'll circle back to resoldering this joint tonight after work. I'm really excited about being done with the build and getting to the LISTENING part!

nlitworld

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #28 on: 21 Feb 2022, 07:21 pm »
We still need photos. Show proof or it never really happened.

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #29 on: 21 Feb 2022, 09:33 pm »
Here's some of the pictures I've taken. I haven't gotten any of the cabinets since I finished painting them but those are on the way!

Dry fitting begins!



Wow... I had so much to learn still when I was at the dry fit stage!



Starting to measure and cut no rez.... being the newbie I am, I used a utility razor to cut (hack/destroy) the no rez to size. I should have used a jigsaw or bandsaw...  :?



Fitting the norez that I cut before gluing the cabinets together.



This is my setup (after gluing the cabinets... wish I had gotten some pics of them in clamps!) with all my components in the room they'll be in. I'll be getting more things on the wall, furniture and a good shag rug for sound treatment.



The Grill fastners, which half of them have already snapped off, so I'll be using velcro to fasten the crossover assembly to the floor of the cabinets.



Crossover before I brought out the soldering iron.



These were my paints! From left to right, (primer, degreaser, base coat, pearl coat, and clear coat).



I had to get creative to paint these cabinets in my garage. They hung really nicely from this shelf and steel pipe.



These have round 1 of primer on them and have been sanded down.



After 2nd round of primer



My paint job could definitely have been better. There are lighter/darker areas on the sides of the cabinets and it's clear this was a newbie DIY. I got the paint too wet in a few areas too and it started to drip. I decided I wasn't going to be a perfectionist since doing that has already slowed me down enough.

Those are the pictures that I have for now. Once I get the wiring done on fixing the crossover and wiring the drivers, crossovers, and tube connectors together, I'll pretty much be done!



nlitworld

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #30 on: 22 Feb 2022, 01:17 am »
 :thumb: Nice work Aaron!

As for the drips, if it was only in the clearcoat it can be sanded and polished to minimize the transgression. Believe me, it happens to the best of us  :oops:. All in all, I'm excited for you to get them playing finally. You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #31 on: 24 Feb 2022, 04:46 am »
Duuuuuudes! I'm nearly done. I did a trial touch sound test and they WORK!!! Final soldering will be done this weekend. These are going to sound so awesome when I put the woofers into the cabinets.




I don't know if my ears are playing tricks on me, but the right woofer doesn't sound as loud as the left one. Is that my imagination? I want to make sure that I address that before I solder the drivers to the wiring. I'm a bit concerned maybe I did something wrong (weak crossover connections?) or that maybe something is wrong with the right woofer. All four drivers are definitely playing though.

It could be that the left speaker cabinet has a wall to the left of it while the right speaker cabinet has an open doorway (no wall) to its right.

Any ideas on this or is this just part of the burn in process/my imagination?

I'm also curious about the 500 hours of burn-in time. They need to be playing for 500 hours... does it matter if they're playing LOUD or can they be playing softly?

Tyson

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #32 on: 24 Feb 2022, 05:03 am »
Flip the woofers around into the opposite cabinet and you'll know for certain.

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #33 on: 24 Feb 2022, 05:21 am »
Ok, it's not my imagination. I checked with a sound level meter and the left woofer is producing in mid-high 70s and the right woofer is only producing at mid-high 60s. I've got them up on stands and temporarily screwed the woofers into the cabinets. The bass DEFINITELY pops more. But sitting back in a chair, I can't even really tell that I have a right speaker cabinet. The left one completely dominates the soundscape.

Thanks Tyson, tomorrow I'll try flipping the woofers to see if it's a the woofer itself or something else.
Hopefully it's not an "Aaron screwed up the crossover" issue... That's my main concern  :o

Tyson

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #34 on: 24 Feb 2022, 05:39 am »
Start with swapping the woofers, if the problem follows the woofer then you know you have a bad woofer.  If the sound doesn't follow the woofer, then try swapping the crossovers.  If it follows the crossovers, then you know it's your wiring of the crossover.

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #35 on: 24 Feb 2022, 05:59 am »
Start with swapping the woofers, if the problem follows the woofer then you know you have a bad woofer.  If the sound doesn't follow the woofer, then try swapping the crossovers.  If it follows the crossovers, then you know it's your wiring of the crossover.

Dang.. how do I troubleshoot a crossover wiring issue? I don’t suppose I can send it to someone who does crossovers as a business can I? I just want to be done with these babies and enjoy them!

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #36 on: 24 Feb 2022, 06:13 am »
I couldn't sleep without trying to switch things out. Here's what I tested:

- Swapped woofers (left side is still louder)
- Sound level meter tested the tweeters (left side still louder)
- Swapped the amps (left side still louder)

In all cases both the left tweeter and left woofer are about 10db louder than the right.

So my operating assumption is that it's a crossover issue. I don't think I need to swap crossovers since I've swapped every other possible piece of the chain. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to trouble shoot from here? At this point it's beyond my knowledge or competency.

Thanks in advance  :bowdown:

Tyson

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #37 on: 24 Feb 2022, 06:42 am »
I'd also swap the speaker boxes around, because it could be your DAC since it's tubed.  A tube might be going out and you're blaming it on the poor speakers. 

nadirmg

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #38 on: 24 Feb 2022, 01:53 pm »
Thanks, I’ll try that today. I bought the DAC brand new from Musical Paradise. That would be interesting if tubes are already going out. 

nlitworld

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Re: Nad's NX-Studio build and rig assembly
« Reply #39 on: 24 Feb 2022, 02:00 pm »
Sending you a pm with photos of my crossover for reference. Just in case.