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MONTAC Enterprises
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Azle, TX 76020


Sound Decisions


The first set of "Home Theater" speakers I bought was an Energy "take 5+1" system.  Barely passable speakers even for a "beginner" in my humble opinion, but budget dictated them at the time.  In May 2002, I ordered four Adire Audio Kit 281 kits (mains and surrounds), a Tempest subwoofer driver, sub kit, and an extra FP3 vent kit.  Later that same month, I ordered an Adire Audio Kit LCC center channel speaker.  Somehow, I managed to get distracted from my home theater projects and never got them built.  Here it is almost 2 years later, and I am just now getting these speakers built.


Article Index:
This project involves the construction of 5 speakers and a subwoofer all at the same time, so you will see things presented from multiple speakers and in the general order that I completed them.  Adire provides instructions for each of their kits individually just in case my presentation gets a bit confusing. 
Note:  You may click on any image to see a larger (higher resolution) version.
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Cut Sheet #1
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Cut Sheet #2
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Cut Sheet #3
Since I took the time to create these "Cut Sheets", I figured that I'd make them available to the "next guy".

Sheet #1 includes the Adire Alignment Tempest (vented) exterior cabinet, the LCC sides, LCC mid-chamber pieces, and a single Kit 281 internal brace (to minimize the waste a bit).

Sheet #2 contains the LCC front/back, top/bottom, Tempest internal braces, the Kit 281 tops/bottoms, and 4 more Kit 281 internal braces.

BTW, these plans are all based on 4'x8' sheets of MDF, single thickness cabinets, and a 3/32" saw kerf.

Sheet #3 contains the Kit 281 fronts/backs, one side piece, and 3 internal braces.

Of additional note is that if you are not doing a full 5 speaker plus subwoofer build, you might very well have to arrange the pieces differently to get a more efficient use if the woof.

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Cut Sheet #4
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Cut Sheet #5
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Panel Stacks
Sheet #4 is easy.  It contains the balance of the Kit 281 side pieces... all seven of them.

BTW, in case you haven't figured it out yet...  The sub parts are "orange", the LCC parts are "green", and the 281 parts are "purple".

Finally, sheet #5 only has the remaining 3 Kit 281 internal braces on it.

Now, I didn't spend a ton of time optimizing the cut sheets, but I don't think it is possible to get it down to 4 sheets, especially considering that the above cut sheets do not include grill frames and a few other odds and ends. Five sheets is probably the minimum.

Panels are cut and stacked in kit form".  From left to right: Kit LCC, 4 Kit 281s, and the Adire Alignment Tempest (vented).

That table is an 8' long commercial model, and it is just about at its max gross weight!

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LCC Crossover Boards
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LCC Crossover Plan
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Crossover Board Drilling
The Adire instructions for the Kit LCC crossover boards specify 2 boards with dimensions of 3" x 8".  I cut mine from some scrap 1/4" "Handi-Panel" material... basically 1/4' MDF. After playing around with the printer settings just a bit, I was able to print out the crossover placement diagrams from the instructions (PDF file). (My printer required me to set it at 104% to get the board outline set at exactly 3" x 8".)

Note in this image that I have edited the layout to reflect ACTUAL component size differences, through-hole relocations, AND through-hole sizes (in # of 32nds of an inch).

The sizes for the lead locations (amp, mid, tweeter, woofer) were increased some from those recorded in the image due to the lead wire diameter being a bit larger than anticipated.

Here is just the same view after drilling the holes. I used a drill press simply to make it easier and a bit neater. I suspect a hand drill would work just fine.

Once again, the lead wire locations were re-drilled to a larger size to accommodate the larger diameter lead wire.

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Components Secured (front)
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Components Secured (back)
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Finished Crossover (front)
Keeping the layout diagram handy and properly oriented to the board, I placed the components back on the board and secured them with small wire ties (not the larger ones included in the kit).

Adire's instructions say to temporarily mount them until after testing...  I say, "Wire ties are cheap! Strap 'em down." It is wayyyy easier to test, manipulate, et al. with them strapped down.

Here is the reverse side of the boards with components mounted. One thing about using these smaller wire ties...  In general, they will snap prior to doing any damage to a component.

Note: In this image and the one previous, you can see the 1/4" through-holes in each board. These holes will be used to "float-mount" the boards into the cabinet. More about that later.

Here is the front view of the "finished" crossovers. i say "finished" because they have NOT been tested yet. Yes, I jumped the gun and soldered everything in before actually testing them. This IS a general "No-No" in crossover building, but I KNOW they are built according to the plan (quintuple checked visually and electrically).

If there is a problem when I test them in the cabinets, I'll repair/fix it then.

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Finished Crossover (back)
Here is the reverse side of the completed crossovers. I am NOT a professional board assembler, so I may have not done all the connections the "right" way. But they are all good joints.

I am actually considering building completely new crossovers at some point with higher end components.  I would likely do one other thing differently as well.

On all the "longer" point-to-point connections, I will likely use good wire to make all the connections similar to the one long run on the woofer crossover. Simply bring the component leads straight down through the board and solder to the wire.

It took me about three days to get to this point, but I was not working full time on the project. It would have gone a LOT faster with a larger tale saw, or a panel saw. Due to space constraints, I have neither of those. I used a Porter Cable circular saw and a saw board. Although you CAN get very good results using this method, it is VERY slow.  All of my cuts are within 1/32" of the required measurement, and the vast majority of them are within 1/64".

Part two of this series s just around the corner, so check back soon! 



Copyright (C)2003 MONTAC Enterprises.  All Rights Reserved©
Revised: March 03, 2006 .