Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build

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Vince in TX

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Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« on: 21 Jun 2021, 03:29 pm »
I supposed I should break out from the Home Theater thread to document my experience building these Servo Sub 4 kits.   First, these are A LOT heavier than you might think.   The cabinets alone without the sides and top are probably close to 30-40 pounds.   I can hardly imagine building triples without having a helper.

Things I've learned so far (or painfully recalled after years of being dormant):
  • Don't try to sand before the primer is fully cured
  • Don't expect the paint to cure the same way when it's over 100 degrees outside with the heat index (something I used to know, but I haven't painted anything in probably a decade, so this was a painful reminder)
  • The drivers have two sides, one with gold connectors marked "Driver Coil" and one marked "Servo Coil" - I never spun them around to notice two different connections and thought I had two Servo-only Drivers in one kit   :duh:

Next step now that the bases are attached is to sand flush the outer surfaces of the inner cabinet with a portable belt sander.   Then I'll mask off the mating surfaces for the side and top panels and finish priming the base and inner cabinet.   I'm planning to pick up some walnut veneer for the outer panels, which will get done through a buddy of mine before they are attached.   Meantime, here's the progress as of this morning:



















Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jun 2021, 10:27 pm »
Oh, how I envy all of you with your fancy, climate-controlled woodworking shops.   And here I am just kicking it old-school with a rattle can in the Texas summer heat.    :lol:





subsonic1050

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jun 2021, 12:22 am »
Well there's no question that the climate control is nice, but you're getting it done and it's looking good!

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2021, 12:27 am »
Those are looking great so far!  :thumb:

Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jun 2021, 03:05 pm »
You know, I'm a fan of wet sanding, but this "sweat sanding" is not fun.    :o






Chewbacca

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jun 2021, 03:39 pm »
From the research I've done, I think I'm going to go with B-I-N Shellac-Based Primer fed through an HVLP gun. Looks like people have good results with it on MDF.

Comes in an aerosol spray as well:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-B-I-N-13-oz-White-Shellac-Based-Interior-Spot-Exterior-Primer-and-Sealer-Spray-01008/100398390

Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jun 2021, 03:49 pm »
From the research I've done, I think I'm going to go with B-I-N Shellac-Based Primer fed through an HVLP gun. Looks like people have good results with it on MDF.

Comes in an aerosol spray as well:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-B-I-N-13-oz-White-Shellac-Based-Interior-Spot-Exterior-Primer-and-Sealer-Spray-01008/100398390

Looks like good stuff.   I guess I'm just being lazy because if I use black primer I don't have to use as many top coats to cover it up (in theory).   Besides, most of these inner surfaces will be covered with no-res, so I wasn't planning on a show-quality finish.   I'll save that for the outer cabinets.   I just ordered the walnut veneer for them this morning.    :thumb:

Chewbacca

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jun 2021, 04:21 pm »
Looks like good stuff.   I guess I'm just being lazy because if I use black primer I don't have to use as many top coats to cover it up (in theory).   Besides, most of these inner surfaces will be covered with no-res, so I wasn't planning on a show-quality finish.   I'll save that for the outer cabinets.   I just ordered the walnut veneer for them this morning.    :thumb:

Understood! Unfortunately it looks like they don't make it in a black version... which kinda sucks, because I'm most likely going to finish my cabinets in a semi gloss black lol.

Awesome veneer choice!... I was contemplating veneer for a bit, but I'm still just thinking a full paint job on them. I have little experience with finish painting, but I have a steady hand, and I'll certainly be practicing beforehand! Most likely make the sub cabs first... Definitely less worried about replacing those panels from a crappy paint job than the Otica's :lol:

mlundy57

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jun 2021, 04:42 pm »
Understood! Unfortunately it looks like they don't make it in a black version... which kinda sucks, because I'm most likely going to finish my cabinets in a semi gloss black lol.

Awesome veneer choice!... I was contemplating veneer for a bit, but I'm still just thinking a full paint job on them. I have little experience with finish painting, but I have a steady hand, and I'll certainly be practicing beforehand! Most likely make the sub cabs first... Definitely less worried about replacing those panels from a crappy paint job than the Otica's :lol:

You can add a universal dye like TransTints https://www.woodcraft.com/products/transtint-dyes-black# to shellac to make it any color you want.

Chewbacca

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #9 on: 24 Jun 2021, 05:02 pm »
You can add a universal dye like TransTints https://www.woodcraft.com/products/transtint-dyes-black# to shellac to make it any color you want.

Awesome, thanks Mike! I'll most likely do just that! :thumb:

mlundy57

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #10 on: 24 Jun 2021, 05:17 pm »
Another option is Speedball Super Black India Ink https://www.amazon.com/Speedball-404696-Bottle-Height-Length/dp/B07BQK7Z37

This has shellac in it to help it dry which makes it compatible with tinted shellac. I have used the two in combination many times. It is how I got the black on the base of my servo subs




Use two to three coats of the Speedball to dye and seal the MDF then use the tinted shellac to get depth and shine. The tinted shellac works best when used as a 1 pound cut or less and applied rubbed on like French polish. If the shellac product you buy is a 2 pound cut, dilute it with denatured alcohol in a 1:1 ratio.

Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #11 on: 24 Jun 2021, 05:31 pm »

...

Use two to three coats of the Speedball to dye and seal the MDF then use the tinted shellac to get depth and shine. The tinted shellac works best when used as a 1 pound cut or less and applied rubbed on like French polish. If the shellac product you buy is a 2 pound cut, dilute it with denatured alcohol in a 1:1 ratio.

Those are beautiful.   And that idea sounds much better than the semi-gloss enamel rattle cans I just purchased to finish the bases.   My goal is to match the X-Static / X-Voce speakers, and they look to be similarly done to what I'm planning.   Maybe in the future I'll get a wild hair and refinish the X-speakers.  Since my application is in the front of a theater room, the less reflected light, the better.

dryan01uk

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jun 2021, 02:05 am »
I supposed I should break out from the Home Theater thread to document my experience building these Servo Sub 4 kits.   First, these are A LOT heavier than you might think.   The cabinets alone without the sides and top are probably close to 30-40 pounds.   I can hardly imagine building triples without having a helper.

Things I've learned so far (or painfully recalled after years of being dormant):
  • Don't try to sand before the primer is fully cured
  • Don't expect the paint to cure the same way when it's over 100 degrees outside with the heat index (something I used to know, but I haven't painted anything in probably a decade, so this was a painful reminder)
  • The drivers have two sides, one with gold connectors marked "Driver Coil" and one marked "Servo Coil" - I never spun them around to notice two different connections and thought I had two Servo-only Drivers in one kit   :duh:

Next step now that the bases are attached is to sand flush the outer surfaces of the inner cabinet with a portable belt sander.   Then I'll mask off the mating surfaces for the side and top panels and finish priming the base and inner cabinet.   I'm planning to pick up some walnut veneer for the outer panels, which will get done through a buddy of mine before they are attached.   Meantime, here's the progress as of this morning:





They look great.  I assume they are Danny's CNC kit?

I'd be interested in knowing how well they sound and integrate with the X-Voce / X-Statik units.  I've just place the order for my X-Voce/X-Statik kits and am aiming for a similar set-up .... 'eventually'.

Be glad you are in the middle of summer ... its cold and mostly wet down here, at this time of the year.

D

Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jun 2021, 02:30 am »

They look great.  I assume they are Danny's CNC kit?

I'd be interested in knowing how well they sound and integrate with the X-Voce / X-Statik units.  I've just place the order for my X-Voce/X-Statik kits and am aiming for a similar set-up .... 'eventually'.

Be glad you are in the middle of summer ... its cold and mostly wet down here, at this time of the year.

D

I'd take some cold and wet right about now.  And, thanks!   Yes, these are Killian's flat packs through Danny's site.   I tried to add a second coat of primer today, and it was so hot that the paint literally dried before it hit the cabinet and turned into black dust.   So I'll probably just hit what's on it with some 2000 grit and be done with the painting for now.   I'll start the electronics rough-in tomorrow.   Meantime, I'm trying to debug a wiring issue.  All 11 speakers worked great, but the sealed subs were misbehaving during Audyssey calibration.   I ran RG6 for the LFE channels, and the RG6 to RCA compression plugs I got apparently aren't worth a crap and would only intermittently connect.    I'm using a different connection method (F-connector on the RG6, then F connector to RCA adapter) with parts hopefully arriving tomorrow.

Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #14 on: 6 Jul 2021, 05:48 pm »
Not much happening lately since I'm still waiting on no-res to show up, but at least they have their feet now.   I also picked up the veneer last week, so that will get started on soon as well.



Vince in TX

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #15 on: 6 Aug 2021, 02:38 pm »
Everything seems to be moving in slow motion these days, including the shop I had do the veneer.   But stuff is finally starting to show up again.   Unfortunately, they missed the memo about not putting veneer on the short edges of the side pieces.   But, no worries.   It was nothing a flush bit on a router couldn't handle.    :thumb:














Tyson

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Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #16 on: 6 Aug 2021, 03:38 pm »
Oh snap, looking good!

Theronbo

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #17 on: 6 Aug 2021, 11:03 pm »
Wow!

Gorgeous work…


But….

Aren’t the drivers supposed to be facing opposite directions?  Not, both same direction.

The picture on the product page has them that way… & I thought that was part of the open baffle design…

But, never built one… never seen one & certainly never heard one.

emailtim

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #18 on: 7 Aug 2021, 12:26 am »
Those look great.  You are going to really enjoy them.

subsonic1050

Re: Amateur Servo Sub 4 Build
« Reply #19 on: 7 Aug 2021, 12:41 am »
Wow!

Gorgeous work…


But….

Aren’t the drivers supposed to be facing opposite directions?  Not, both same direction.

The picture on the product page has them that way… & I thought that was part of the open baffle design…

But, never built one… never seen one & certainly never heard one.

They can be set up either way - either all facing forward or alternating. Cabinets are slightly different depending on which option you choose.

Great job vince!