Hobbs X-LS build

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Hobbsmeerkat

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Hobbs X-LS build
« on: 17 Jun 2020, 04:36 pm »
Ordered an X-LS encore kit & some Norez this morning.
Funds are still a lil tight so I've kept with the stock crossover, which should still be head and shoulders above anything else I've currently ever heard or owned. (It wont be difficult, tbh)

I also picked up a pair of the spare cabinets from Killian since I don't currently have the tools for any wood working.

But the basic plan is to coat the cabinets in smooth black Duratex, and get brass/gold hardware to help accent the black.

Hopefully by next week I'll have everything here so I can get started!
I'll be sure to share plenty of pictures as things progress!  :thumb:

Tyson

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #1 on: 17 Jun 2020, 06:40 pm »
Ordered an X-LS encore kit & some Norez this morning.
Funds are still a lil tight so I've kept with the stock crossover, which should still be head and shoulders above anything else I've currently ever heard or owned. (It wont be difficult, tbh)

I also picked up a pair of the spare cabinets from Killian since I don't currently have the tools for any wood working.

But the basic plan is to coat the cabinets in smooth black Duratex, and get brass/gold hardware to help accent the black.

Hopefully by next week I'll have everything here so I can get started!
I'll be sure to share plenty of pictures as things progress!  :thumb:

One thing to keep in mind - if you don't want black, you can use different paint on top of Duratex, after it dries.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #2 on: 17 Jun 2020, 09:01 pm »
One thing to keep in mind - if you don't want black, you can use different paint on top of Duratex, after it dries.

That's good to know! I'm sure black will be fine since most everything on my desk is already black.

I'm assuming a quart of duratex is enough to coat both speakers?
Are the stock binding posts compatible with banana plugs?

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2020, 08:56 pm »
My kit and cabinets just arrived this afternoon! And the painting has begun!  :D

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2020, 12:24 am »
Gave them a good sanding to soften any height differences after the first coat. Ill give them another coat of duratex in the morning and sand them down again after work. Then, for the last couple coats add a little water to make for a smoother texture/finish.
I'll begin working on the crossovers tomorrow night.

Really happy with how they're looking already!  :thumb:

hawkeyejw

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2020, 02:09 am »
Looking good so far! I think we both will be listening to new x-series speakers this weekend.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2020, 02:19 am »
Looking good so far! I think we both will be listening to new x-series speakers this weekend.

Thanks! Thats the plan! My next day off is Sunday so hopefully I can manage to get them assembled & ready to enjoy before the end of the day!

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #7 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:16 am »
Does anyone have any tips for how to best thin out Duratex? Most of the time I've tried, its ended up foamy mess at best. Should i mix it ahead of time in a separate container and stir it slowly?
Going directly from a foam roller, its got a tight texture, but shows roll edges too readily..
Thanks!

mlundy57

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #8 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:27 am »
I put the first coat on kinda thick then keep going back over it very lightly in opposing directions as it dries. Subsequent coats can be thinned with water but not too much. To get a smoother texture I use a smooth foam roller normally used for epoxy at least on the second and/or third coat.

Peter J

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:39 am »
It's water based so that's its solvent as well. I haven't used it all that much so I'm drawing on my knowledge of acrylic paint. There are some foam rollers that have rounded ends...that may help. Does it have a thinning percentage max? Typically says on the can.

 If it's hot and drying too fast to flow out, FloeTrol might help. It's designed to keep a wet edge with acrylic paints and I suspect would have similar effect, but again no experience with putting it in Duratex.

As Mike suggests, I suspect the absorptive nature of raw MDF is part of what's happening. It would tend to pull moisture out quickly. Ideally moisture would evaporate rather than be absorbed into substrate.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:47 am »
Thanks for the tip! I'll see if I can find a way to get thicker coats on.
I've been trying to use a foam roller, but subsequent coats have had issues with lots of surface bubbles, or the roller streaks instead of rolling. But ill see what i can manage.  :thumb:

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #11 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:49 am »
It's water based so that's its solvent as well. I haven't used it all that much so I'm drawing on my knowledge of acrylic paint. There are some foam rollers that have rounded ends...that may help. Does it have a thinning percentage max? Typically says on the can.

 If it's hot and drying too fast to flow out, FloeTrol might help. It's designed to keep a wet edge with acrylic paints and I suspect would have similar effect, but again no experience with putting it in Duratex.

As Mike suggests, I suspect the absorptive nature of raw MDF is part of what's happening. It would tend to pull moisture out quickly. Ideally moisture would evaporate rather than be absorbed into substrate.
Thinning max is about 10% some have mentioned 10-20% but that seems to be those using spray guns.

The foam roller im using has rounded edges, but leaves streaks at the edge, even with light texture

PZ

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #12 on: 26 Jun 2020, 04:41 am »
My kit and cabinets just arrived this afternoon! And the painting has begun!  :D


Looking good.
Interested in knowing how well Duartex hides seams. Post some close ups if you get a chance. 

maty

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #13 on: 26 Jun 2020, 05:33 am »

Sonicjoy

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #14 on: 26 Jun 2020, 01:48 pm »
Hey Hobbs, glad to see you are finally getting some GR speakers. They should be a good match for the PS Audio Sprout and probably fit on your desk better than the NX-Studio's.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #15 on: 26 Jun 2020, 03:04 pm »
Hey Hobbs, glad to see you are finally getting some GR speakers. They should be a good match for the PS Audio Sprout and probably fit on your desk better than the NX-Studio's.

Thanks! Im still struggling to get the texture the way Id like it, but might not be a bad idea to sand it down smooth and use spray paint to finish them off. With a more consistent texture, using the duratex as a protective under coating.
I have a feeling the current 90°+ weather is curing the duratex before it gets a good chance to settle down to a smoother finish..

That issue aside, i have no doubt that these will be killer speakers. They're roughly the same size as my current active monitors, but should smoke them in every way!  :thumb:
I plan to start working on the crossovers tonight

hawkeyejw

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #16 on: 26 Jun 2020, 03:34 pm »
Thanks! Im still struggling to get the texture the way Id like it, but might not be a bad idea to sand it down smooth and use spray paint to finish them off. With a more consistent texture, using the duratex as a protective under coating.
I have a feeling the current 90°+ weather is curing the duratex before it gets a good chance to settle down to a smoother finish..

That issue aside, i have no doubt that these will be killer speakers. They're roughly the same size as my current active monitors, but should smoke them in every way!  :thumb:
I plan to start working on the crossovers tonight


Having recently attempted to get a smooth and consistent flat black finish using a rattle can, I can say it's no easy task either. Make sure you have a very consistent surface from your sanding, and are spraying thin coats in a calm, wind free environment.

Peter J

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #17 on: 26 Jun 2020, 05:05 pm »
Here's another thing to consider about Duratex or any other water based product. It will swell wood fibers and likely kinda lock those fibers in their swelled state. It's the nature of all finishes to some extent, but water is especially so. Duratex doesn't sand well because it's sorta rubbery in nature.

One way to deal with the issue is to seal the surface before applying the D-Tex. Mike suggested epoxy, but other things could work also. Shellac is a favorite of mine because it's easy, inexpensive and dries fast.  I rarely use it as a finish topcoat, but rather a sealer and barrier coat. Another single component sealer I use is Zinsser oil based Cover Stain. Dries fast, powders when sanded and can be had in spray cans. 

Any of these base coats should make Duratex move even in sheen, easier to apply and require fewer coats.

mlundy57

Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #18 on: 26 Jun 2020, 05:29 pm »
Here's another thing to consider about Duratex or any other water based product. It will swell wood fibers and likely kinda lock those fibers in their swelled state. It's the nature of all finishes to some extent, but water is especially so. Duratex doesn't sand well because it's sorta rubbery in nature.

One way to deal with the issue is to seal the surface before applying the D-Tex. Mike suggested epoxy, but other things could work also. Shellac is a favorite of mine because it's easy, inexpensive and dries fast.  I rarely use it as a finish topcoat, but rather a sealer and barrier coat. Another single component sealer I use is Zinsser oil based Cover Stain. Dries fast, powders when sanded and can be had in spray cans. 

Any of these base coats should make Duratex move even in sheen, easier to apply and require fewer coats.

Peter's points about shellac are good ones. Just be sure you use a dewaxed shellac. If you buy it off the shelf it usually comes in a 2 pound cut. Dilute it 50% with denatured alcohol. It is a lot easier to apply two thin coats than one thick one.

Mike


spains69

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Re: Hobbs X-LS build
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jun 2020, 07:07 pm »
Hobbs,
I recently decided im gonna return my XLS kit,
I found that theres not enough good info on the Xovers,no detailed illustrations and Ive been hounding Danny to do a vid
on just a step by step on one crossover.
Can you clearly document your step by step,you can exclude the wire tie part and stuff,just
the way its connected .It might save me from abandoning this project.
Steve
not sure if they allow contact info