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  1. #1

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    Default Hawthorne Audio DIY Speakers

    Has anyone built a Hawthorne kit?

    I'm starting the 15" Duet Speaker Kit as a summer project and may possibly convert it to a trio. I think this will be a nice speaker to learn and begin my DIY hobby.



    http://www.hawthorneaudio.com/catalo...&products_id=6

    http://www.hawthorneaudio.com/speakers.html

    one day I will plan to make these: http://www.linkwitzlab.com/orion_challenge.htm


    Basically, I love open baffle speakers. I think they are the best balance between planars and traditional box speakers. My intent is to see how these compare to my newly established Emerald Physics CS2.3/Spatial Computer rig.

    Thanks,

    Mike

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    Wicked, wish I had the skills, tools.

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  3. #3

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    Well the Hawthorne should be much easier than the Orion. If I do the Orion, I'll probably have the cabinets made for me, but we'll see. My Dad was a carpenter before he owned his own construction business, so I've picked up some woodworking skills along the way. And, I got his tools to boot. We'll see what happens.

    Hawthorne is supposed to have great manuals that not only tell you how to put the speaker together but also explain some important concepts not apparent to beginners like me.

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    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Yeah, that looks sweet, but I don't see an available kit yet. I like the Hawthorne because its fairly inexpensive and simple compared to the others. I am drawing up some nice plans to really make these things beautiful.

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    A few quick questions. When cutting the holes in the baffles (15 inches +), is it best to use a router with a circular jig? Anyone have other solutions? Also, I want to create a bit of a waveguide with the wood holes. If I create a 15 inch hole to mount the driver and then create successively but slightly larger diameter holes with each additional piece of wood (all of which would be laid upon one another), could I then sand down the gradation to make it smooth, or would it be better to use a filler in the steps and then sand down?

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    I would use a router with one of the good circle cutting jigs to cut the holes.

    You could go either way with the build up to make the waveguide. Assuming you don't want any hollow areas below the surface I would probably opt to build it up with an easily sanded/formed material, which could possibly be an extruded foam instead of wood. Once I had the form to shape I would make sure the surface is filled and smooth, then use a veneer as the final finish.

    Just my thoughts.
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    Interesting, that's kinda what I had in mind. Thanks for letting me know I'm on track. I think the Waveguides are going to be the hardest part. I'm going to toy with a few construction methods before I commit.

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    You can also saw kerfs across the back of 3/8" plywood to make it bendable and then glue it to supports. It usually takes some sanding to get the telegraphing of the kerfs out of the face, but once smooth then it's easy to veneer with your choice of finishes.
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    I've played with the coax eminence drivers, but not tweaked for OB. Those hawthornes are on my shortlist, since I'm pretty certain that they've got a lot in common with the Emerald physics, but for a lot less.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ight=Hawthorne

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    Did you get the Emeralds yet?
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    I've played with the coax eminence drivers, but not tweaked for OB. Those hawthornes are on my shortlist, since I'm pretty certain that they've got a lot in common with the Emerald physics, but for a lot less.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ight=Hawthorne
    Yeah, I want to know what the Emmys do better than the others. I think when it comes to these speakers, it's all in the crossover. Plus, I just want to build my own speakers. I think the Hawthornes will give me a good idea of just how good the active crossover of the Spatial Computer system actually is.
    Last edited by SolidSqual; 04-21-2010 at 03:13 PM.

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    This is what I use for making circles, it works pretty well: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=365-250

    As for routers, you'll need a plunge type. Craftsman's routers are ok, but something like Dewalt or PorterCable would be better.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    This is what I use for making circles, it works pretty well: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=365-250

    As for routers, you'll need a plunge type. Craftsman's routers are ok, but something like Dewalt or PorterCable would be better.
    Awesome thanks for the recommendation. I stopped by my Dad's offices' today and picked up a bunch of Dewalt gear. IT pays to be a carpenter's/small business owners son.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Yeah, I want to know what the Emmys do better than the others. I think when it comes to these speakers, it's all in the crossover. Plus, I just want to build my own speakers. I think the Hawthornes will give me a good idea of just how good the active crossover of the Spatial Computer system actually is.
    Gotcha- there's a lot my Jordan's won't do, but it was still fun making them. Plus it's easier to build a speaker when there's no cabinet :D

    Anyhow, I'd dig up a DCX2496 (if you don't still have it) and play with that for the cross over between the augies and the coaxial, and compare to the passive crossover. I think you're going to lose some low-end bass that the active XO can boost back up.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Awesome thanks for the recommendation. I stopped by my Dad's offices' today and picked up a bunch of Dewalt gear. IT pays to be a carpenter's/small business owners son.
    Make sure the model # on your router will fit that jig. My dewalt doesn't match up on the holes.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    Make sure the model # on your router will fit that jig. My dewalt doesn't match up on the holes.
    Actually, I got a whole jig kit here with me right now. The garage at my Dad's shop is like a candy store for carpenters.

    And, yes OB speakers definitely seem easier to build than boxed speakers. That's why I thought this would be a great place to start. The added benefit is that I prefer boxless.

  18. #18

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    Ok, I got the left baffle cut with three 15 inch holes for the drivers. This was a lot of work. It took me a ton of time to make sure everything was lined up straight. Measuring the spots to drill where the drivers will be eventually screwed down was a major undertaking. I think I have a good system now. I hope the second baffle works out a little easier.

    The whole baffle is about 24 inches wide and a little under 60 inches high. I can see the speakers taking shape.

    Should I stain the wood when the time comes, or cover the whole panel ala Emerald Physics CS2? I guess my real question is whether the drivers would be ok left open with no covering?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    This is what I use for making circles, it works pretty well: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=365-250
    That looks like a simple but great jig. Will have to get one next time I go to P.E.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Should I stain the wood when the time comes, or cover the whole panel ala Emerald Physics CS2? I guess my real question is whether the drivers would be ok left open with no covering?
    That's more of a WAF question... Got one, ask her. But don't blame me when they end up covered in a nice floral print.

    The drivers will be fine as long as you don't have any metal filings flying around your house. They will get a bit dusty and it's a pain to get dust off of paper cone drivers. Anyhow, point being that it's mostly a cosmetic question.

    What kind of wood are you using? You could do a nice veneer- just veneer right over the holes, then use a trimming bit on the router and those circles will take two seconds.
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    To be honest, I have no idea what kind of wood I'm using. I just went to home depot and bought some affordable, unwarped pieces with a nice grain. I think I'm just going to stain the wood a dark shade once I'm done.

    If there's no reason to cover the drivers, I'm not going to worry about it.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    EDIT: My receipt says the wood is Birch.
    Last edited by SolidSqual; 04-22-2010 at 04:47 PM.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    To be honest, I have no idea what kind of wood I'm using. I just went to home depot and bought some affordable, unwarped pieces with a nice grain. I think I'm just going to stain the wood a dark shade once I'm done.

    If there's no reason to cover the drivers, I'm not going to worry about it.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    EDIT: My receipt says the wood is Birch.
    I just made my new sub out of birch. You should be very pleased with the look once it is stained, even my fiance liked the way it turned out:D Less mess and easier than veneering MDF. Good luck with the build!!
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  23. #23

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    Birch is easier to stain/paint than MDF.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  24. #24

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    http://www.hawthorneaudio.com/forums...php?f=2&t=3297

    Check out these awesome open baffle pics on this thread.

    Update: I'm practicing staining the wood on some pair scraps to see exactly what kind of results I can achieve.

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    This:

    is what I was warning you about...

    Gotta say the Jamo knock-off is pretty impressive.

    Back to yours- birch stains ok. Usually doesn't have any nice figuring, but the bigger problem is that the stuff you get at Home Depot/Lowes frequently has voids. Not as big a deal for the not-a-box design, but check the edges of your cuts and try to fill any gaps. On the other hand, occasionally you'll find the better stuff at the hardware stores & it'll cost the same (least it did for me). Count the layers on what you have- if it's 13 (for 3/4 ply) odds are you've got some good stuff.

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