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  1. #1

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    Default External crossover enclosure - side panels....marble or solid wood?

    Good afternoon, gentlemen. We have made some serious strides with the mods I am doing to my Tyler Acoustic Signature Reference speakers. If you didn't know or you haven't read before, the crossovers are being upgraded and literally everything between the output of the amplifier all of the way to the drivers are being overhauled, upgraded and custom made to make these the best of the best of this particular speaker. With that said, I have ran into a decision I'd like some input on from those who might know more than I on the subject.

    What we are currently looking at building is a custom made 3/8" thick aluminum chassis that the exterior will end up being will be one piece, with the exception of the access panel in the back. Custom outriggers and spikes will also be made to order and both the outriggers and the aluminum chassis will be powder coated in black. I have had a hard time sourcing Ribbon Mahogany panels and today, I just so happened to talk with a stone shop. I told them about my project and while they normally do not do things like this, they agreed to do it and actually went above and beyond the call of duty to be involved with such a project.

    I was able to find a absolutely stunning piece of granite out of an extensive collection of stone. We were able to locate a 2C stone that was about a half inch thick, probably a little bit thicker that they will be polishing the facade, edging and polishing the edge as well. When I provide the template of the sides of the actual aluminum enclosure, they can insure an exact fit. Didn't think this was possible with stone but you learn something everyday. Here's a not so detailed picture of what I could find online of the granite mined from India [not sure which mine]. The pics don't do the actual granite justice. That or the slab I saw was just an extremely eye appealing slab from the quarry. There were a plethora of "tiger eye" type effects within the granite with colors that were off the hook.



    So, I'm left with a decision though I'm not sure how it would affect the final outcome of the project. The crossover enclosures will be sitting in between the speakers and they will be low enough as to not disturb the MTM drivers. The estimated weight of each enclosure is already at around 40 pounds give or take and since they both will be isolated from vibrations with each internal circuit isolated from each other on shelves made of Delrin, I do not think that the weight would be a factor but I do not know for sure. Here's my question now that you know the facts...

    With the knowledge above, what would you use....solid Ribbon Mahogany [If I can locate 4 (approx.) 30"x22" panels] or the aforementioned granite slabs and what would be some possible pros/cons of each type of material?

    Thanks for looking and I'm open to any suggestions thoughts or experience you may have to share on the subject.

    Tom
    Last edited by treitz3; 03-20-2013 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Corrected typo....must proof read better....
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  2. #2

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    These panels, if granite need to be no more than 5/8 to 3/4" thick, FWIW
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  3. #3

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    Hello, Trey. The 2C is 3/4" thick with an eased edge. An example of the eased edge is seen below and they will cut it to any template we provide including rounded corners and the angle...



    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  4. #4

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    3/4 is good - 1.5" would be crazy! :-P
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  5. #5

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    1.5" is ridiculous for this project. I'm still trying to find a source for solid Ribbon Mahogany but most places I talk too only have veneered. Frustrating, to say the least.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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    Hello Tom, I don't know if you have tried the wood web yet.Its a pretty big community you might find your Ribbon Mahogany there.

    http://www.woodweb.com/index.html

    I hope it helps your search.
    Dan

  7. #7

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    Thank you, Oldfatdogs.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  8. #8

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    I would not use granite. Everything I've read about it when used in audio applications (shelving, amp/speaker platforms, etc.) says it rings. I think you'd be better off with wood, especially a tone wood of some type.

    I do love the look of granite though.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    1.5" is ridiculous for this project. I'm still trying to find a source for solid Ribbon Mahogany but most places I talk too only have veneered. Frustrating, to say the least.

    Tom
    Quarter sawn Sapele is very close. I'm using some to make my new equipment rack to match my Tylers.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.

  10. #10

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    What's wrong with veneer? Solid wood can be troublesome, why not use something stable and a veneer that matches your cabinets?
    "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

  11. #11

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    Hello, Face. With the design we have in mind, veneer would be next to impossible to apply to where it would look good. I'll see if I can't post something here in the near future to give you folks an idea of what we are looking at.

    Decal, what is 1/4 sewn Sapele? Never heard of it before...

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  12. #12

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    Look up quarter sawn...it is a different direction of grain

    We will reveal the design in the next fees weeks.

  13. #13

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    Oh, it's a secret...

    My lips are sealed. Didn't say a thing, can't prove it, nobody saw a thing..... *looks quickly both ways*

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Decal, what is 1/4 sewn Sapele? Never heard of it before...

    Tom
    Name:  sapele.jpg
Views: 285
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    Flat sawn Sapele on left Quarter sawn Sapele on right


    I got mine from Woodworkers Source
    Last edited by decal; 03-21-2013 at 08:15 PM.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.

  15. #15
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    Thought I might mention when working with some of the exotics, it is important to have good ventilation (from my custom knife making experience).

    Cocobolo would be excellent, and beautiful and offer resistance to vibration, but not easy to work with, and hazardous if precautions are not taken.

    Now back to your Regularly Scheduled Program!

  16. #16

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    Hmmm, looking at that photo decal, perhaps the veneer on the Tyler's were made with quarter sawn. I don't know to be honest. Here's a really good example of what my mains look like...



    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  17. #17

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    I was able to find a beter pic of the type of granite I'm talking about. You can't see the tiger eye effect but you'll get the general gist...



    Or the ribbon Mahogany that matches the mains....



    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  18. #18

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    I would use the wood that matches the mains. It will help the resale when you sell them lol.

  19. #19

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    If you really really want to push the performance level of these up a few notches remove the passive bass to mid crossover components entirely and go active.Sure you'll also need another amp and a good electronic xover but by removing the insertion loss of the large inductor in series with the woofers the amp will be directly coupled to them thus better able to control them.The result is increased dynamics with tighter and more detailed low end.
    Last edited by FTGV; 03-22-2013 at 12:24 AM.

  20. #20

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    Eh active crossovers are no fun, besides, I have a hard time understanding how a pro gear $200 crossover can sound any good...

    :-P
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  21. #21

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    I'd have no problem using an active circuit for the woofer.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by VR3 View Post
    Eh active crossovers are no fun, besides,
    Scratch building one sure is.
    I have a hard time understanding how a pro gear $200 crossover can sound any good...

    :-P
    Who's suggesting such?There are better choices with ofcourse DIY offering the best value. a couple of examples http://www.marchandelec.com/xm9.html http://www.audio-kits.com/page/page/4071180.htm

  23. #23

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    Hello, guys. We are not going active because I have yet to hear an active system that pleases my ears. Now that doesn't mean that they do not exist, I just haven't heard one that struck my fancy yet. There is just something about all of the ones I have heard that doesn't sound right, even though they sounded better than the stock counterpart. They don't sound musical and flowing and not one of them made me want to tap my toes. Plus, I do not like knobs. It's just something to constantly fiddle with and I'm a plug and play type person.

    The system sounded really, really good before this project started and after hearing Trey's Super Towers before and after the crossover upgrade, I know what to expect with these drivers....and it's gonna be mind numbingly awesome. I have built my entire system by ear and my ear is telling me to go external and upgrade the crossovers. Perhaps when I hear an active system that pleases my ears, I'll reconsider but for now? Not even an option I'd consider.

    Mike, the woofers have resistance that is so low [very close to nothing], I don't think active would make that much of a difference on the bass network but I do appreciate your thoughts.....and Eric, these will not be sold. That's also an option that I will not consider.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  24. #24

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    Get the mahogany.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  25. #25

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    We are not going active...
    Yes I assumed as much since there appeared to already be a complete commitment to the equal value passive parts swap.Going active (or in this case semi active) is not going to be everyones cup of tea because of cost and complexity etc. But done correctly can IMO push the performance level further than a simple passive parts swap can, atleast in the low pass section of a 3way design.
    ... even though they sounded better than the stock counterpart.
    Kind of my point.I and others I have spoken with who have heard good active systems have liked them.Aswell many an accomplished designer(ie.Pass,Vandersteen,Linkwitz etc.) are on record touting the advantages of active systems.

    ... the woofers have resistance that is so low [very close to nothing], I don't think active would make that much of a difference on the bass network but I do appreciate your thoughts...
    Actually it is in the bass section where the greatest benifit can be gained since that is where the largest series inductor with the highest DC resistance resides.Removing the coils extra series resistance improves damping,allowing the amp to have better control of the woofer.

    Good luck with your endevour.
    Last edited by FTGV; 03-22-2013 at 10:02 PM.

  26. #26

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    What was interesting about this design is the stock inductor is a super low DCR on the inductor. So it kind of opened our options with nicer inductors...

    I think that is what Tom meant
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  27. #27

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    ^^^ What he said ^^^

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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    I assume then a heavy guage iron core?

  29. #29

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    The stock inductor is a 14 gauge iron core
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    Going to parrot Jesse here...do the mahogany. Wood not only has a warmth to it aesthetically that stone can't match, but you also don't risk the resonance or ringing that you are going to end up with un-dampened marble or granite.

    And of course now I want to build some custom wood amp cases. *sigh*
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