Illuminismo Project Kickoff

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Bittermidget

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Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« on: 12 Apr 2019, 12:12 am »
Just beginning the project, but I have been working with Rick on a L/C/R setup to go behind an acoustically transparent screen wall.  I am currently using Jim Holtz/Curt Campbell statements V1 mains and a Statements V1 center channel.  If you're familiar with these speakers, they are a very large WMTMW design for the L/R and a large 3-way center channel that all use variations of the Dayton reference aluminum drivers, Tang Band full range 4.5" midrange, and the Fountek NeoCD3.0 ribbon tweeters.  I have been very happy with these speakers for both music and movies for the last 7 years.  I cannot recommend them enough for a relatively affordable high performance DIY speaker with great dynamics, clarity, and top-to-bottom coherence.

My situation will be changing and I will be moving to a new home where I have an opportunity to dedicate a space to a music/home theater with an acoustically transparent front stage.  Hoping this will be the last and best setup, I decided to go all-in with a Selah design as I've always wanted to take advantage of Rick's crossover and design expertise with high-end drivers.  The requirements that I communicated to Rick were: Dynamics for reference level music and home theater, ability to use the L/R without a subwoofer for  music, bass extension that could cover any music, and midrange/treble that equaled or exceeded the Fountek ribbons.  I also wanted to use identical speakers for L/C/R with the center being located behind the screen.

After a number of productive conversations via email with Rick, he suggested the new Illuminismo kit speakers to achieve the goals I requested.  Rick has been great to work with and has been extremely prompt and thorough when communicating.  So yesterday, I received part of the Illuminismo L/C/R kit and the balance is on the way this week.  All SB Acoustics Satori drivers in a large MTMWW arrangement.  Check out the kit page for details.

I will try to document some of the build on here, but I cannot promise a timeframe with work and family obligations (and a torn rotator cuff!).  I will however post pics as I can and will certainly provide some impressions once they are completed since this is a newer design based off the discontinued RC5.  As a teaser, here is the "waiting to be launched" section of my office.





mresseguie

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #1 on: 12 Apr 2019, 03:42 am »
Excellent first post!

I’m looking forward to your updates.

Michael

Bittermidget

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #2 on: 20 May 2019, 06:04 pm »
Slow progress, but at least wanted to keep the topic alive.  Ordered some nice MDF in 1" and 3/4" for the Illuminismos.  Rick designed a rectangular version of the cabinets, so this is what I am building. 

Decided to round over the front and rear panels with a 3/4" bit since I will not be veneering and just like the rounded look better.  I also decided to use a 1/4" dado on the front and rear panels with a matching rabbet on the inside of the side panels.  I did this because I am tired of panels slipping when gluing and did not want to use brads or screws during clamping.  We'll see how it goes.

Next step will be routing the driver recesses and holes.  Jasper circle jig and lots of test cuts!




Bittermidget

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jan 2020, 09:57 pm »
Sorry for the long delay and lack of updates, but I'm feeling better and have made some good progress lately.

All the baffle holes and recesses have been routed and two of the 3 cabinets have been glued. The matching center channel is in final assembly.




I will say that these cabinets are some of the most challenging I've had to construct due to the substantial bracing and just the sheer number of cabinet clamps required along with the speed needed to get it squarely clamped before glue sets.  I've switched to Titebond III for the longer open time, but it is runnier than Titebond II.  I've tried assembling in stages with the cabinet back and braces individually first, followed by one of the sides, then the other side, then the baffle.








On the 2 assembled cabinets, I've installed the sonic barrier damping material and also Rick's crossover boards prior to gluing the front baffles.







I'll continue to post as I can during the final stages of assembly before moving to priming, sanding, etc.

mresseguie

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jan 2020, 12:56 am »
It appears you are making excellent progress. I imagine those cabinets must be getting pretty heavy, yes?

Is there no need to apply the sonic barrier to the top part of the cabinets?

You mentioned you won't veneer them. What finish have you decided on?

Keep posting!

Michael

Bittermidget

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jan 2020, 01:15 am »
Thanks, Michael.  And yes, they are getting on the heavy side, even without drivers.

The MTM sealed sub-chamber does not get the sonic barrier, but it will have poly fill when completed. Rick could probably comment on the need or lack thereof for the damping material in that area.

I've waffled on the type of finish to use on these because ultimately, they will not be seen behind the acoustically transparent screen wall. Originally, I figured I would just seal the MDF, do some decent priming/ sanding, and use Duratex or a matte black paint and call it a day.  Then my anal retentive side steps in and reminds me how nice these drivers look and how I should take more pride in the finished cosmetics.  It's the battle between wanting to hear them ASAP and just using patience and effort to do it right.  I'm leaning hard toward wait and work!

I'm contemplating using a Benjamin Moore product called Advance. It's target application is for kitchen cabinet refinishing, so it has some good qualities like durability, some degree of hiding ability (MDF seams), and it is supposed to level to a very smooth finish.

I'll keep you posted when I get to that stage because Bondo, primer, sanding, sanding, and sanding for surface prep could take a while.

Bittermidget

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #6 on: 16 Jan 2020, 09:41 pm »
3rd cabinet constructed. Drilled out the binding posts from inside on all three to clear the lower brace. Also cut, hot glued, and taped the ports.

After tonight, it's onto filling imperfections, seams, and getting the cabinets sealed, and prepped for primer.  I've decided on Benjamin Moore Advance paint, so prep will be important and pretty time consuming.

After the sad news of my favorite drummer passing away this week, I've given these internal code names: Neil, Geddy, and Alex.




mresseguie

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #7 on: 17 Jan 2020, 12:31 am »
I think those name choices are excellent.

Have you settled on a color yet?

Michael

Bittermidget

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Re: Illuminismo Project Kickoff
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jan 2020, 01:22 am »
Pretty sure I will go with a very deep intense grey...just light enough for contrast with the black drivers.  Picking from swatches is tough, so I will narrow it down and get several samples this week or next. 

I'm not a big fan of doing all the sanding in my basement shop this winter, so there's a possibility I wait for final prep and paint until April when I can do these in the garage. If that's the case, I'll temporarily install the drivers and test them for a few months before pulling them and finishing. Stay tuned.