Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores

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russellberg

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Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« on: 13 Aug 2020, 04:37 pm »
I was thinking about a pair of X-LS Encores for on my desk but I didn't want to give up any desk space and I figured rather than put them on stands I would build the X-SLS version.  I did entertain the idea of the X-MTM's but I wanted a smaller footprint.  I decided that I would build the boxes in MDF and then clad them in 3/4" quilted maple.  I was partially inspired by the maple X-LS's that Ron had on New Record Day and partially inspired by the absolutely dead solid sound I got when I knocked on the top of my recent build. https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=171283.msg1812536#msg1812536 They had hardwood glued to MDF on the top.  Anyway here is the build so far.


I decided to cut dadoes for each of the braces with my dadoe blade. 


Dadoes make everything go together so nice and provides extra glue surface area.


I cut out the braces with a jig saw and smoothed them out with a spindle sander.


Round over with a ½" bit.



The glue up.  I forgot to smooth off the end of the half brace but I did fill the empty dadoe.


I glued and nailed the side braces into place.  I was struggling with the sequence of putting it together as I don't think that I can reach my arm all the way down through the speaker hole to install the cross over.  I am planning to glue the front on, cut the driver holes, wire everything up, and then glue the back on. 


Danny's design includes some dead air space at the bottom, he suggests filling it with sand but I decided to use up my extra MDF pieces to provide it with enough weight on the bottom to help prevent them from tipping over.  I'll provide more details as I proceed.



Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #1 on: 13 Aug 2020, 04:42 pm »
Looking great! I cant wait to see your quilted maple panels, that's going to be gorgeous!
I'll most likely be using stained quilted maple veneer on the sides and rear of my NX- Studios. So im doubly excited to see your results!

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #2 on: 1 Sep 2020, 05:34 am »
I continued on with milling the maple for the exterior treatment/dampening material. 


Wood this beautiful is just fun to work with.


I get it close with the jointer and then...


... do touch ups with the hand plane.  The variable grain structure means that I get some tear out with my not very sharp jointer knives.  My hand planes are very sharp and they clean up the edges nicely.


I've made a mistake here.  It's always good to alternate sides of the board when clamping.


Several of the panels, glued up and drying.


These are the tops.  I decided to use the board with knot hole because it has such interesting grain.  The hole goes right through so I am going to fill it with epoxy and die it black.




I am planning on using a box joint to join the sides to the top so I made this jig to give me an accurate joint.  The router bit cuts a ½" slot then you pull the board off the jig and slide the slot over the registration key, (the 1/2" piece of cherry), and then you cut another slot.  It creates a nice box joint.

Danny Richie

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #3 on: 3 Sep 2020, 01:08 pm »
Man, that is some good looking Maple.

hawkeyejw

Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #4 on: 3 Sep 2020, 01:38 pm »
Can't wait to see how these turn out. I love the look of those maple clad XLS's too.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #5 on: 3 Sep 2020, 03:06 pm »
I wish i could afford to work with maple slabs rather than just a veneer, but that is some excellent wood.
Looks like Curly Maple?

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #6 on: 4 Sep 2020, 05:59 am »
In this part of Canada we call it quilted maple but I'm sure its got different names.  It is very beautiful bu unfortunately my attempt at box joints did not work out.  When I ran my test pieces it worked fine and I'm not sure how but when I cut the joints into the top and side of my first speaker they were misaligned.  I had extra length on the side piece so I could just cut off the fingers of the joint leaving a square edge.  I've come up with a different idea for the top but I'll show you that later when I finalize it.


Here I am gluing the maple cladding, its about ⅝" thick around the MDF box.  I know that I am perhaps taking a bit of a risk with wood movement but I think that the wood and the location where I will be keeping the speakers has a very stable level of humidity, that and the fact that I have a massive long grain glue surface on the MDF will help resist any movement.  We'll see.


I have oversized each piece so that I can flush trim it to exact size with a router.


I learned about this spiral cut flush trim bit here on Audio Circle.  It makes a nice slicing cut that resist tear out.  I know that the wood in this picture looks a little rough but the grain direction on quilted maple is so variable that I am pretty sure I would have had big chunks flying out if I had used a traditional flush trim bit.  This will clean up very nicely with a hand plane.


Here is what it looks like from the top with three sides on.  I am leaving the back dry fit until the end so that I can take it off and reach everything to wire in the cross over.


Here is what it looks like without the back in place.

hawkeyejw

Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #7 on: 4 Sep 2020, 03:28 pm »
Can't wait to see these finished!

What kind of finish do you plan to apply to the maple?

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #8 on: 6 Sep 2020, 02:11 pm »
What kind of finish do you plan to apply to the maple?

I haven't made my final decision yet but I have developed a sanding buffing and polishing technique that uses carnauba wax and that's what I am aiming for right now.

Jon L

Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #9 on: 6 Sep 2020, 06:44 pm »


Danny's design includes some dead air space at the bottom, he suggests filling it with sand but I decided to use up my extra MDF pieces to provide it with enough weight on the bottom to help prevent them from tipping over.  I'll provide more details as I proceed.

X-SLS really is a great sounding speaker.  I've only heard the ones with sand-filled bottom. 
Use quality crossover components and you will enjoy music coming out of them for sure  :thumb:

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #10 on: 6 Sep 2020, 07:19 pm »
X-SLS really is a great sounding speaker.  I've only heard the ones with sand-filled bottom. 
Use quality crossover components and you will enjoy music coming out of them for sure  :thumb:
Yes, I did order the upgraded Cross over parts.  I'm looking forward to it.  I don't suspect that sand filled will make much difference from MDF filled?  I was assuming that it is was just for weigh in the bottom to keep it from tipping over.

pierre.ch@outlook.com

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #11 on: 8 Sep 2020, 12:36 am »
Where do you plan to locate the crossover? I am starting an X-SLS as well and still not sure where is the best place because no-rez will be on the walls and the D bracket is so deep i am not sure if i can reach it by woofer hole. Thx!

mlundy57

Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #12 on: 8 Sep 2020, 02:21 am »
Where do you plan to locate the crossover? I am starting an X-SLS as well and still not sure where is the best place because no-rez will be on the walls and the D bracket is so deep i am not sure if i can reach it by woofer hole. Thx!

When I built a pair I separated the circuits on two boards and mounted them to the sides of the cabinets below the woofer.

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #13 on: 8 Sep 2020, 04:40 am »
Where do you plan to locate the crossover? I am starting an X-SLS as well and still not sure where is the best place because no-rez will be on the walls and the D bracket is so deep i am not sure if i can reach it by woofer hole. Thx!
Yes, I have the same concern.  So I have left the back of the speaker unattached.  My plan, next is to wire the crossover, install the crossover in the bottom compartment then attach the back, apply the finish, then wire in the drivers.  I see that mlundy57 has a good idea here as well.  I may have to consider that.  It would certainly make things easier if I had to pull the crossover out at some point.

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #14 on: 8 Sep 2020, 04:48 am »


The holes are cut.  You can see here the thickness of the walls.  They are a total of 1⅜" thick.  Very inert.


I did not cut the recess for the tweeter deep enough so I had go around lip very carefully to avoid cutting into the side wall.  It is important that the tweeters be flush with the exterior of the baffle as the woofer sits right on top of it.


Its always nice to get to the dry fit.  The backs are still not done as I am saving that for after completion of the crossover.

Danny Richie

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #15 on: 8 Sep 2020, 02:22 pm »
Looks pretty, but you just added more baffle width all around the drivers and that will REALLY affect the response and add a lot of diffraction from those sharp corners. You really need to go back and put as large of a radius on those edges as you can.

And since the baffle got thicker then you also need to increase the size of the radius on the back side of the woofer through hole. Make it as large as you can too.

pierre.ch@outlook.com

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #16 on: 8 Sep 2020, 10:08 pm »
For the crossover, i was thinking to intall it flat on B bracket and secure it with tyrap somehow, is this feasible?

pierre.ch@outlook.com

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #17 on: 8 Sep 2020, 10:37 pm »
When I built a pair I separated the circuits on two boards and mounted them to the sides of the cabinets below the woofer.


Do you install them over the norez or direct on the MDF without norez?

Danny Richie

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #18 on: 9 Sep 2020, 01:18 pm »
The easiest place to mount it is on the back wall right behind the lower woofer.

And you mount it straight onto the MDF.

russellberg

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Re: Building a Pair of X-SLS Encores
« Reply #19 on: 12 Sep 2020, 05:31 am »
Looks pretty, but you just added more baffle width all around the drivers and that will REALLY affect the response and add a lot of diffraction from those sharp corners. You really need to go back and put as large of a radius on those edges as you can.

And since the baffle got thicker then you also need to increase the size of the radius on the back side of the woofer through hole. Make it as large as you can too.

Thanks Danny, Yes I am going to be rounding over the baffle corners with a large (2½" diameter) thumbnail bit.  I have also hogged out the inside of the woofer hole with a very agressive rasp to make big radius there as well.