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Old 7th Feb 2013, 14:22   #1
jrs77
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Visaton Vox 80 - desktop speakers | assmebly and testing

Hello there.

I'm not building that much stuff anymore and rather go with stock-components. Allthough I used to build a new PC-case every other year before.

Anyways, as my pair of Cerwin Vega XD3 died a few weeks ago, and I'm currently using a cheap backup system (Labtec Pulse 285 2.1 for 20) I decided to build me some nice speakers.

I'm a music-addict and allways listen to music everywhere I go, and the first thing I do after booting up my PC is to launch foobar firing up some tunes.
So I searched a few shops in the interwebs for some new speakers, only to find out, that nothing really matches what I was looking for - i.e. some nice and small 2-3way stereo-speakers.
I'm not really a fan of those 2.1 or surround-systems as I'm only listening to music really, and music is still best enjoyed in pure 2.0.

So, it came down to buying a new pair of Cerwin Vega XD3 or some AudioPro Addon Five, which are both some 160-190 here in Finland.

I thought that for that money I could aswell look elsewhere and maybe build some high quality speakers on my own, and I soon stumbled upon the Visaton Vox 80. Allthough the Vox 80 don't come with an integrated amp I thought about giving it a shot and simply pair the speakers with a mini-amp like the Scythe Kama Amp Kro, which seems quiet suitable.

My original plan was to modify the speakers like so, original to the left, modified to the right...



Little bit less tall, and a bit wider. Volumes stay the same, but the speakers get a lower center of mass to increase stability, when you accidently shake the desk or whatever.
Talking to more experienced people in various forums I found out, that this was possible to do without totally wrecking the sound of the speakers.

I changed my mind tho, when I built a cardboard-model of the speakers. The cardboard-model has very good stability allready, allthough it's very lightweight. The real speakers will weigh some 1.5 kg. Additionally, after having the cardboard-model sitting on my desk next to my screen, I grow fond of the dimensions, as the speakers are basically exactly in the horizontal middle of my screen.

So I fired up SketchUp loaded a model of a screen and started thinking about the design of the speakers design and colour.

As my hole desk is black and silver this is what I came up with...



So. The speakers and the amp are being shipped as we speak, and I'll go get some 10mm MDF from my carpenter within the next few days. I won't do alot of cutting besides the holes tho, but let my carpenter cut the MDF in the right dimensions.
The frontplate will be made of 1.5mm aluminum, which I've got lying around. I'll be brushing the frontplate and give it a layer of clearcoat afterwards.
I decided to add a frontplate, as the midtone speakers would've to be glued to the chassis, which I'm not quiet happy with, so the frontplate will hold these in place instead.

See you, when I got some materials to start with this project.

EDIT: I got bored and fooled around a bit...

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Last edited by jrs77; 25th Feb 2013 at 20:41.
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Old 14th Feb 2013, 19:50   #2
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All the materials needed have arrived, so let's have a look at them...

First some pictures of the Kama Amp Kro.











All the MDF cut into size ...



... and arranged to see, if they all fit together.



What's that white stuff doing there?



It's the dampening material, which was in this box before



All the parts included in the kit...



...and the Visaton logo-plates I ordered seperately.



Last picture for today, some scrap 1.5mm aluminum I got lying around to make the front-covers.



Additionally I got all the materials not shown in the pictures, like the primer, the black paint or the woodglue. Tools that will be used is a soldering iron, rotary tool, a fretsaw, some files, assorted sandpaper and some clamps.

For the kit I paid 100, then another 40 for the amp and all the small stuff was some 30. The MDF was a killer to the budget as allways: 6.40
So alltogether we're looking at less then 200 for a pair of 3-way speakers and a small amp that all fits on the desk nicely and will top the sound of most 2.0-speakers in that pricerange
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 02:34   #3
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Thats a nice Ben-Q monitor you have there! I have one that looks just like it. I find it to be a lovely little monitor for personal use.

Excited to see how this project comes out mate, I've seen some speakers built with various degrees of success so I definitely wish you the best!
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 11:56   #4
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The monitor I found in the SU-warehouse, as I didn't want to make a model myself. It looked fairly generic, so I used it.
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 16:28   #5
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Started measuring, drilling, cutting and glueing...



As the wholes are too small for the router, I first drilled alot of holes before I'm going to saw them out roughly with a fretsaw. As this is only 10mm MDF the rest will be sanded down with a rough woodfile afterwards. Finetuning will then be done with a drum-sander attached to the drill-press.

It's better to go little by little here, so that the speaker-chassis fit very tight in the end, as I'm not going to glue them into place. They'll be hold in place by the faceplate in the end.
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 17:22   #6
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Neat project.

...how does a speaker die? I'm kinda curious because I bet you could fix them unless it was some kind of catastrophic failure. (Like, the cone shooting across the room trailing voice coil wire, and upon landing bursting into flames.)
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Old 15th Feb 2013, 18:00   #7
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Neat project.

...how does a speaker die? I'm kinda curious because I bet you could fix them unless it was some kind of catastrophic failure. (Like, the cone shooting across the room trailing voice coil wire, and upon landing bursting into flames.)
Lightning struck and my speakers were not attached to the surge-protected circuit So the speakers themselves are possibly unharmed, but the integrated amp is fried.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 01:19   #8
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Nice project. Are you going to try and fix the integrated amp in the cerwin?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 01:23   #9
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Nice project. Are you going to try and fix the integrated amp in the cerwin?
Nah, I allready got rid of them, as they weren't anything special anyways. Still some good speakers for the desktop tho.
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Old 17th Feb 2013, 20:17   #10
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After cutting out all the holes with the fretsaw and hours of filing later...



The holes are all a perfect match now, and I started glueing some parts.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 21:26   #11
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Another day, another post

Today I managed to glue the two bodies together. The only thing not glued yet is the frontplate for several reasons...



I also soldered the wires to the speakers, but I didn't take the wires that came with the kit, but settled for something nicer...





The diameter of these now matches the wires that are allready attached to the tweeters, additionally they simply look better.

The last thing I did today was to cut two pieces of the aluminum I had lying around. These two will become the frontplates, to give the whole thing a more interesting look.



Tasks for tomorrow are some fretsaw-action to cut the holes into the aluminum, and some filing and sanding of the frontplate and the boxes.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 22:05   #12
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This looks great. I bet that sound will be great too.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 22:10   #13
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I too hope that they'll sound great, atleast it's what I expect from a pair of 3-way bass-reflex speakers.

Otherwise I would've wasted some €150, but gained some experience
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 22:14   #14
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Don't break your windows.

Are you going to put some lights inside them?
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 05:21   #15
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Really nice project!

hmmm... could you please write me som dimensions? im not relly sure i get the size of them, by eyeballing i would guess about 30x12x7 cm or something but i some pictures it looks ridiculus small and other a lot bigger, as it's also a 3-way speaker, how small can it be?

And final question, where are you going to place the electronics?
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 09:53   #16
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What a cool project. I am interested in the results. Why didn't you go with bigger drivers?
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 12:15   #17
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Don't break your windows.

Are you going to put some lights inside them?
Wouldn't make sense as it's fully closed

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Really nice project!

hmmm... could you please write me som dimensions? im not relly sure i get the size of them, by eyeballing i would guess about 30x12x7 cm or something but i some pictures it looks ridiculus small and other a lot bigger, as it's also a 3-way speaker, how small can it be?

And final question, where are you going to place the electronics?
The outer dimensions are 367 x 75 x 137mm (height x width x depth), so you were quiet on the right side there.

The electronics. What electronics? The only stuff that will go in there are the speakers, the wiring and the crossover-board.

Quote:
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What a cool project. I am interested in the results. Why didn't you go with bigger drivers?
Why would I want bigger drivers. The woofers are 80mm, the mids are 45mm and the tweeters are 13mm. That's actually quiet normal sizes for some desktop-speakers.
My Cerwin Vega! XD3 had 80mm woofers and a 20mm tweeter.

Glad you like the project so far
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 17:29   #18
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The electronics. What electronics? The only stuff that will go in there are the speakers, the wiring and the crossover-board.
the crossover-board i guess(green board with pink "thingies" on), i guess you put in in the bigger chamber? is that what splits the sound between drivers and tweeters.
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 18:21   #19
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the crossover-board i guess(green board with pink "thingies" on), i guess you put in in the bigger chamber? is that what splits the sound between drivers and tweeters.
Yes, it's "splitting the frequencies" and it's going into the big chamber, below the bass-driver. It'll be only put in between the dampening-material, without being fixed anywhere to the box. As the bass-driver is screwed into it's place, this is where it'll be put in through.
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 18:37   #20
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Yes, it's "splitting the frequencies" and it's going into the big chamber, below the bass-driver. It'll be only put in between the dampening-material, without being fixed anywhere to the box. As the bass-driver is screwed into it's place, this is where it'll be put in through.
ah, i was wondering how you would get it in there... thats why i asked in the first place, thought i didn't see you mounting it in the first place.. :P
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