Good Deed Speakers

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Tyson

Good Deed Speakers
« on: 12 Jun 2019, 05:31 pm »
Background
There is an older lady named Mary Lee that leads my Lifering meeting every Sunday (a sober living group).  She is an amazing person that constantly gives to others and never asks for anything in return.  I also know she's a big music lover as I've taken her to the symphony and the ballet several times. 

She came over a few weeks ago to check out my new, post-divorce home (same home as before, but redone mad-men style, lol).  Took her downstairs to show her the system with the Super 7s and my all-tube setup.  Put on some Anna Netrebko on DSD.  Within 2 minutes, Mary Lee was in tears at the sheer beauty of what she was hearing.  Wow, I did not expect that much of a reaction! 

The Idea Percolates
Clearly music brings this woman joy!  Unfortunately Mary Lee has a fixed income and very little savings.  So telling her she needs to buy a tube amp is sort of out of the question.

On a side note, my parents recently moved to Colorado and brought with them a bunch of old speaker parts I'd totally forgotten I had.  2 of the drivers I had just sitting around in storage were the Peerless HDS Nomex woofer and the SEAS 27DFC tweeter, both are at the upper end of sound quality/performance, even compared to some very expensive drivers from Scan Speak.  Here's what they look like:





I realized I was never, ever going to use these drivers for anything in my own life as I already have 2 amazing systems, the Super 7s downstairs and the Klipsch Forte IIIs upstairs.  Hmmm, maybe I could use them to make a speaker for Mary Lee?  But, what about the box, I don't really have the time or skills to build a speaker box from scratch.  Well, as luck would have it, that very day I got an email from Parts Express is having a sale on these cabinets - CNC cut and only $35!  What???!!!  Well OK then:

https://www.parts-express.com/denovo-audio-knock-down-mdf-056-cu-ft-bookshelf-speaker-cabinet--300-7064

Just need some holes cut, and my buddy Mike Galusha (mgalusha here on AC) just happens to have a badass workshop where we can router out the tweeter, midrange and port holes.  Oh, so things are coming together.  But then I hit a brick wall.  The crossover.  Crap.  No way in hell I can build a crossover for these things, it's just way beyond my abilities. 

Danny is the Man!
I reached out to Danny here on AC to see if he'd be willing to take on doing a crossover for these speakers, he said yes (without hesitation).  I just needed to pay for the parts, once the crossover was finished.  WOW!!!!!!!!  Thank you DANNY!! 

OK, ship the speaker boxes and drivers to Danny and within a few days, he's not only got a working crossover, he's actually built it out to have some of the best measurements I've ever seen on a speaker using these drivers.  Below are the graphs.  Danny is da Man!!





Sanding.  Painting.  Sanding.  Painting.  Sanding.  Painting
These are going to be PURPLE!!!  It is by far Mary Lee's favorite color.  Now to get them assembled and prepped.  Thanks to my dad for letting us use his 3 car garage as a temporary work space.  And also, huge thanks to Jason (Pez) for help during the sanding/prep stage, there's NO WAY the speakers would have turned out as nice, without his involvement at this stage.  Thanks buddy! 












OK, here's a pic of the speakers after the prep and with their first coat of paint, hanging to dry.  You can see they look pretty good but are a bit splotchy.  The 2nd and 3rd coats of paint really gave me a completely smooth, beautiful finish. 

The paint I picked was a glossy oil based paint, I don't think I will use that type again.  Don't get me wrong, it looks great but it takes several days to fully dry and even after fully drying it's pretty soft and very prone to scratches and scuff.  OK, lesson learned. 






Assembly
Painting is done!  I did 3 layers so it took about 10 days to get it all finished and everything perfect.  Luckily Mary Lee has no idea I'm making these for her, so I have the ability to take my time and do things right. 

Now to get the crossover built, put some nice footers on the speakers, the No-Rez installed, the crossovers hot-glued into the speakers, the ports installed and the drivers soldered.  If you look at the crossover, there's some bypass caps I used that I just happened to have laying around in my parts bin - Sonicap Platinums on the midrange caps and Audyn True Copper on the tweeters:







But What About the Tubes?
So this all started with the realization that what Mary Lee really responded to in my system was the emotion that the tube amps are able to generate so easily.  So went into hardcore research mode and I found a perfect amp for her.  It's a small amp that uses a pair of 6AD10 tubes, which are dual pentodes (ie, they have 2 pentodes in one glass envelope).  They were used back in the day for television sets.  I found one on eBay that was an open box item for $110.  Wow, that's freaking cheap.  So I order it and just hope it doesn't sound like ass.  Here's a pic of the amp:




ALL DONE!!!!
Here it is, fully assembled.  It took a long time and a lot more effort than I thought it would, and I was really nervous that either the speaker or the amp would only sound mediocre.  But that worry was completely unjustified.  These 2 sound phenomenal together!  The speakers are brilliant - incredible clarity and detail, very good bass punch, and they sound BIG.  The amp is amazing - it brings a ton of emotion to the table and controls the speakers very well.  With 3.5 watts on tap, it actually goes quite loud.  It'll go loud but not LOUD, if you get my meaning.  But Mary Lee's in a fairly small apartment and prizes beauty over volume, so this will be perfect. 

Final pic of the system, and next thing to do is drop it off at her place this weekend:




A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HELPED ME PULL THIS OFF!!!!!!!!!!

gab

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #1 on: 12 Jun 2019, 05:46 pm »
nice! Kudos to Danny for doing the crossover for you.

gab

Nick77

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #2 on: 12 Jun 2019, 05:48 pm »
What a great read Tyson, nice work. God bless you!

Look forward to seeing pics of delivery.  :thumb:

Pez

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:00 pm »
Looks great man! I had a great time working on it with you on getting it sanded and filled. Lots and lots and lots of sanding.  :o

rockdrummer

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #4 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:05 pm »
Awesome story Tyson!  Great deed indeed.

An example of why I come back to this online community every day, multiple times a day. 

Looking forward to hearing about her reaction.

Ben

mcgsxr

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #5 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:10 pm »
Love the custom setup you built for her.

What a really nice thing to do for someone who helps you Tyson.

What, no shot of the flared precision port on the rear of those Prince customs?  Just in case she ROCKS out, that won't make any surprising noises - I have used the 3 inch precision port in a car sub before, great products.   :rock:


Danny Richie

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:22 pm »
Nice job guys. Those look great.

S Clark

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #7 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:26 pm »
Nicely done, Tyson.  and Pez.  and Danny.   :thumb:

mlundy57

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #8 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:30 pm »
Great job! I’m glad you were able find by-pass caps.

Mike

Early B.

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #9 on: 12 Jun 2019, 07:10 pm »
This is awesome! It's wonderful to see everyone pull together for such a great cause.

RusskySam

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #10 on: 12 Jun 2019, 07:28 pm »
Nicely done! Straight from the heart.

Just don't forget a source. If she doesn't own a turntable or a CD player, perhaps, you could show her how to connect it to her phone and use something like Pandora or Youtube.
Granted, sound quality is not going to be the same but, at least,  she will be able to use it easily and enjoy a decent sound. I know, I have to keep it simple with my wife, so...
« Last Edit: 12 Jun 2019, 11:12 pm by RusskySam »

rollo

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #11 on: 12 Jun 2019, 07:35 pm »
  Nice story with great ending. Bless you all. Heartwarming American Deed well done.


charles

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #12 on: 12 Jun 2019, 07:47 pm »
Great, really great!  Nice work, you guys rock.

LesterSleepsIn

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #13 on: 12 Jun 2019, 08:12 pm »
Good on ya, Tyson! Well done.

mresseguie

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #14 on: 12 Jun 2019, 08:25 pm »
That's awesome, Jason.

I can't wait to learn of Mary Lee's reaction.


Norman Tracy

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #15 on: 12 Jun 2019, 08:42 pm »
This post took me to my happy place where people live by the golden rule and love, in this case literally, their neighbors.

Danny Richie

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #16 on: 12 Jun 2019, 09:42 pm »
Yeah, the story kind of makes me wish we could all be there to see Mary Lee's reaction to them being given to her.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #17 on: 12 Jun 2019, 09:50 pm »
Good deed indeed! Nicely done Tyson  :thumb:

Best,
Anand.

Captainhemo

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #18 on: 12 Jun 2019, 10:13 pm »
very  cool Tyson , Danny,  Jason.  Better  take the keenex with you   this weekend   man !!
We did something  similar a while back for someone,  pretty cool how   not only this type of thing  enriches the  recipient but   how it also   is good for your own "state"

Again, nicely done  :)

jay

randytsuch

Re: Good Deed Speakers
« Reply #19 on: 12 Jun 2019, 10:24 pm »
You could video her reaction to share with Danny, Pez, Mike etc

I'm sure they would appreciate it.

and this is a very nice, feel good story.

Thanks for sharing it.

Randy