LS-9's Completed

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Bioman

LS-9's Completed
« on: 17 Feb 2008, 03:18 pm »
I purchased the driver and crossover kit from GR Research.  Finished these over the Holidays; all in all they came out pretty nice looking.  The sound ain’t half bad either ;).  Used a veneer called KEVAZINGA which I suspect is just a varietal of Bubinga.  Booked matched the consecutive sheets into a pattern I liked.  Can you find the two Wolf faces in the veneer?  The front, back, top and bottom are finished in high gloss black lacquer.  The front baffle is 1.5” thick; the rest of the cabinet is ¾” MDF.  The base was laid out using ellipses which I think gives a nice appearance.  It took about 120 hours to complete these, so I put in some long days that vacation.  Happy to get back to work so I could rest a bit  :wink:







The rest of the system consists of an OPPO DV980H Universal Player, Eastern electric Mini-Max Pre, and Parasound HCA-3500 amp.  Cabling is DIY 29 gauge silver and Teflon Interconnects between the DVD and Pre; DIY OFC French braid interconnects between the Pre and Amp and Onyx speaker cables.






The room is hard to describe.  This area of my home is semi-open architecture, with the living room separated from the dining room by a free standing fire place making the effective room length around 60 feet.  The right side wall is a row of windows leading to the sunroom; the left is a hallway that acts as a foyer also connecting several bedrooms.  The ceilings are all 10’.




I am still playing with the bass management system, somewhere between nine and ten 39 ohm resistors lays the optimal setting for this room.
The system sounds great.  If you like Classical or Rock, this system will do those genders in spades.  I am referring to frequency extremes, transients, detail and Soundstaging.










mr_bill

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #1 on: 17 Feb 2008, 04:10 pm »
Great speakers and nice work!
Thanks for sharing your project.

I don't see the LS9 kit on the GR Research website - am I missing something.  No info or pricing.

Bioman

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #2 on: 17 Feb 2008, 04:47 pm »
Not sure if Danny is still selling it, give him a call if you're interrested.  Runs around $2,700 and it's a bargain.

TRADERXFAN

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Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #3 on: 17 Feb 2008, 05:14 pm »
.......................................WOW.................................................. My hat is off to you sir...  :thumb:  Thats a big project and it looks great.

I really like your choice of base design. I think it adds some curvature element as a nice offset to the rectangularity of the rest of the cabinet.  The base looks to be a bit oversized to others that people have used, which adds to the impact of the speakers presence.   

Would you please share more on the finishing you did? I am new to this and very interested in how you finish the enclosures. I am working on some myself.  -Things like what were the steps on the baffle lacquering and the veneering? How much sanding, and what you used on it, etc...


Have you done a lot of woodworking?

-Tony

jonwb

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #4 on: 17 Feb 2008, 05:36 pm »
Yes indeed that is a BIG project!  Literally AND figuratively!  Looks like they turned out very well.  I'll be curious to hear how you think that giant Parasound does driving them.  My experience with my Alpha LS's is that they like lots of current to keep a tight grip on all those woofers.  You should have plenty!

Great job!  Enjoy!

Jon

Bioman

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #5 on: 17 Feb 2008, 05:48 pm »
Essentially you veneer the side panels.  Assemble the cabinets.  Tape and paper off the areas you don’t want to get the black lacquer before spraying, and do the opposite for the clear lacquering when you do the side panels.  If you'd like more detail I can talk to you off line.  Black lacquer is not an easy finish to do particularly if you have never done it before and would take a lot of practice before getting it right, but these are the basic steps:
Here is a general finishing schedule for lacquer that I followed.
Seal the entire cabinet.
1st day - Apply a thin but complete coat making sure the entire surface is wet by the lacquer spray. Wait an hour, recoat, wait an hour, apply a third coat. Work quickly, but carefully, avoiding enough spray to cause runs, drips. Let dry overnight (at least 8 hrs, preferably 12).
2nd day - Using a rubber or felt sanding block, level with 320 grit paper used dry. Take down all ridges, runs, etc. The goal is to take down the "mountains and hills." Valleys of shiny, untouched lacquer will remain. Don't try to achieve a perfectly uniform result at this stage - you'll sand through to the wood.  Use a flexible sanding pad on any curved surfaces.  Spay a light complete coat and let dry one hour, recoat and let dry one hour then recoat and let dry over night.
3rd day - Level with 320 on rubber/felt block. The "mountains" will come down quickly and the areas of smoothly-sanded lacquer will be much larger, leaving much smaller "valleys" of shiny, un-sanded lacquer. The purpose of this leveling sanding is to eventually achieve a completely uniform, dull surface devoid of any irregularities, ridges, nibs and drips.  Apply 3 coats as above, one hour apart and let dry over night.
4th day. Level the surface as above. It should sand very easily and the valleys should completely merge with the hills. The entire surface should look completely uniform and flat with a ground-glass appearance. If there are still some shiny valleys that do not easily sand out, go through another day's spraying schedule.
Let the job dry for 2 to 3 weeks at least.  Rubbing out phase. "Lacquer" is a solution of a synthetic resin (nitrocellulose, cellulose acetate butyrate acrylic), plasticizers, other solids which affect adhesion, evaporation retardants and solvents and thinners. When dry, it's the residual resin, modified by the plasticizers and other solids that is the actual finish.
Start with 400 grit wet-or-dry abrasive paper. You can use it dry, or wet it with paint thinner or naphtha or with a water solution containing one drop of liquid dish washing detergent per quart of water. Achieve a perfectly uniform scratch pattern at that grit. If working dry, you can see your progress as you sand. If working with a lubricant, you have to dry the surface from time to time.
Then switch to 600 grit. It should go very rapidly. You simply want to remove the 400 grit scratch pattern with the 600. No leveling is done at these grits, that all was accomplished at 320.
Then use 4-0 steel wool, then automotive polishing compound (white). This will leave a highly polished, glass-like surface that may appear slightly cloudy. Follow with Meguiars  "Scratch X" (a fine clay called Kaon).  For small jobs a soft cloth and hand power will work beautifully. For large jobs you can get a power polisher.  In a few minutes, you will have a blemish-free, mirror finish that looks a foot deep.
Hand matchting, saw splicing and taping veneers also takes a lot of practice, but can be mastered.  There are some good books that can be found on vneering on Amazon.
These things end up weighing around 225 lbs each, so you will need some help with them during the build process.
There are easier ways to do this project if any of this is a bit overwhelming.
I’ve been hobby woodworking on and off for about 30 years; a mixture of furniture for myself and speaker enclosures for a few designers who were acquaintances.

Bioman

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #6 on: 17 Feb 2008, 05:51 pm »
I'll be curious to hear how you think that giant Parasound does driving them.  My experience with my Alpha LS's is that they like lots of current to keep a tight grip on all those woofers.  You should have plenty!


Jon, the Parasound is doing a great job, there is definitely enough current and to spare.  No sense of limiting whatsoever.  I coupled it with the tube pre to warm the sound up.

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Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #7 on: 17 Feb 2008, 06:09 pm »
Ok thanks very much for taking the time to write out that lengthy response.

I actually got a little self conscious about what I was planning to do when I saw you post this, not realizing you have so much experience.  As I was literally sitting here having a good internal debate about doing a bedliner versus a vinyl veneer finish, and then having that nagging thought that I really should try and do something nicer with a wood veneer... then I see this post of this awesome work and thinking you just got your first speaker kit or something and whipped out something like that! -why couldn't I? Thanks for clarifying my misunderstanding and laying out the the straight dope on the work that goes into something like this.

I think a line from a Clint Eastwood movie goes "a man has got to know his limitations". I know mine and as much as I would like to, I am NOT going to try to do the black lacquer.  :lol:

I am going to take your advice and order a veneering book off amazon. I have some time to kill while waiting on the weather to warm up so that I could spray on the beliner outside, so maybe by then I will be able to tell if I really want to try veneering on this project. I definitely will down the line but maybe on a subwoofer or something that isn't so conspicuous in the room.

Thanks again.
-Tony

Hank

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Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #8 on: 17 Feb 2008, 10:24 pm »
Good for you, Bioman!  They look fine and I'm sure you are really enjoying the sound. :thumb:

S Clark

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Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #9 on: 17 Feb 2008, 10:34 pm »
Very nice job.  My kit is still sitting in the garage, waiting for the open weekend to get started. I also like the lacquer black front and was thinking about using some black car enamel that I have left over from a repainting a truck lid after a teenage daughter had a fender-bender. 

How much trouble was cutting and routering the panels and bracing?  I am considering having someone do the front panel for me. 

Scott
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2008, 10:54 pm by S Clark »

Bioman

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #10 on: 17 Feb 2008, 11:14 pm »


How much trouble was cutting and routering the panels and bracing?  I am considering having someone do the front panel for me. 

Scott
[/quote]

Scott as regards the front and rear panels not terribly difficult, but pretty time consuming.  Also you're dimensions need to stay right on the money or fitting the drivers will be a pain.  Bracing was not difficult, but tedious as it was repetitive.

KCI-JohnP

Re: LS-9's Completed
« Reply #11 on: 18 Feb 2008, 03:15 pm »
Nice work!  :thumb:  Those babies look sweet and for some reason they just don't look as big as they really are, again, great job! Man I wish mine
would get here....

Regards,
John

Bioman

KCI-JohnP
« Reply #12 on: 18 Feb 2008, 05:56 pm »
Nice work!  :thumb:  Those babies look sweet and for some reason they just don't look as big as they really are, again, great job! Man I wish mine
would get here....

Regards,
John

It must be the 10 foot ceilings :icon_lol: