Kairos Speaker Build

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Eclipsor, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    Happy new year all! Well, this has now officially extended from a winter project to a 2018 project to just a project... However, with some annual leave forced on me with an office closure this week I've done a lot of work and reached a milestone with the speakers. The 2-way Kairos are finished! I'm very glad to have them back playing music. The temporary speakers I'd been running for a couple of months weren't really inspiring me.

    Side and top veneer applied, trimmed and sanded. You can see the J-Roller in the bottom right corner that I ordered after veneering the first panel in early Dec. I was worried about peeling back some grain by just using a rounded piece of ply to press it down.

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    Front chamfer veneer glued down. It was very fiddly and time consuming trimming all the edges around the front due to the angles. I ended up trimming all the veneer with a knife by hand.

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    All veneer trimmed and initial sanding with 240grit. I applied a solid sheet to the front and with a lot more fiddly and time consuming trimming with a scalpel trimmed out the driver holes.

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    I went to some effort to cascade the grain from the top onto the fronts

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    First coat of finish applied (it is still wet in the photo). I ended up using Whitle Waxes Evolution Hardwax Oil in satin. I was aiming to get a finish similar to using Danish oil, but was hoping for something that provided a bit more protection. This product is primarily intended for coating timber floors, so I'm hoping it does this. I wasn't after a very glossy finish, but I may have gone for the gloss if I had the time again, but overall I'm pretty happy with the result.

    For reference, my procedure was:
    - Final sand to 320grit
    - Clean and wipe down
    - Apply fairly thick coat with a foam brush
    - Sand lightly with 400grit to take off the grain lifted by the first coat
    - Clean and wipe down
    - Applied another 3 coats with a rag wiping down between each

    It will apparently take 8-10 days to fully cure and apparently I shouldn't lay carpet on top of it or walk on it before then. ;)

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    4 coats applied

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    Terminal holes redrilled and terminals fitted

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    I'll leave it hanging there for now. I've removed the terminal connectors for the driver and input terminal connections now and soldered direct. I've refitted the drivers and they're up and running. I'll take them outside later on for a proper photo shoot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  2. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    Looks great. How are you liking the sound after a while?
     
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  3. evilasdeath

    evilasdeath Member

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    looks sweet!
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    Just getting used to them again now. Overall I'm very happy with the sound. I think I'll be able to live with these for quite a while. I'll probably actively avoid listening to any others for a while so that I can live in my little bubble that these are the best speakers ever made for a while at least. :p But I would like to think that I'd be hard pressed improving on them for less than $2-$3k (at least at new prices). That said, I'm not under any illusions that building my own was a very low budget way of doing things. Especially being my first pair. Now that I have the baseline tools the second set might be a much better bang for buck, whenever that happens...
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    Some camera shots:

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  6. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    While the sound might be very exceptable now. Give it a few months when there "run in" and the sound will improve very slowly over time.
    Your next challenge will be a quality integrated amp, to really make them shine
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    Yes, the idea of an amp has been niggling away at me for a little bit now.
     
  8. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    The problem is most people think that the only things available with-in there price range is an AVR. If you believe the likes of Gerry and JB, Who only seem to stock AVR, simply because of all the features, we must all have. 90% of them we never use. The other problem is the AVR was never designed for Audio, That together with the over inflated spec's about power outputs.

    You really don't need to spend a fortune or a Kidney, If you still have one left., on a quality integrated, there are meany opportunities to acquire used or demo stock. An example this was a while back when Vincent changed importers, and main retailers like Eastwood, where selling quality gear at half the retail price simply to clear stock.

    An example of what's available is shown here https://www.aussieaudiomart.com/classifieds/18-integrated-amplifiers/ with prices to suit most budgets. While I'm not suggesting you spend mega dollars, believe me the day will come when you will consider something above entry level. Simply play the waiting game, an something will come along to suit your requirements and price
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    I've got a Cambridge 2-channel integrated currently which I'm pretty happy with. I'm mainly interested in the idea of making a DIY amp now.
     
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  10. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    Cambridge make some fine products, Unfortunately there UHD player has gone the way of Oppo, and has ceased production.
    Many people intending to build there own amp's go for a Valve design, probable due to the fact that printed circuit boards are not readily available together with the many small components .

    Valve designs normally have point to point wiring, which simplify's construction. One of the better design sites available, [ even though little known ] is Pat Turners site http://turneraudio.com.au/
    Years ago Pat's designs where legendary in both build quality and performance. It's said that people that own his amps, are buried with them. I have never seen a used PT amp offered for sale His site offers spec's and wiring plans for the home builder

    Another manufacturer to offer pre-assembled components is "Holton" HTTPS://holtonprecisionaudio.com/ While they are very "HighEnd" with there products they do offer a range of components for the home DIY builder https://holtonprecisionaudio.com/collections/diy-audio-products
     
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  11. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    so they're ready to have the carpet laid on them now ?

    nice work on lining up the veneer too, great effort all round.
    If you're going DIY on the amp, have a look at DIYaudio.com, or just buy a nice clean example of a sansui alpha AU-907 ;)
     
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  12. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    You again?
    It's been a few months since he started breaking them in...
     
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  13. OP
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    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

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    Thanks. I'll check out those sites.

    Haha yep. Thanks. I've had a bit of a look around the diyaudio amp section. All a bit overwhelming. Early days though. Always got half an eye on gumtree. ;) I tried to buy a Yamaha A-1020 that had issues the other day as I thought doing up an amp might be a good place to start rather than from scratch, but it was gone within a few hours.
     
  14. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    Power amps go relatively cheap (keep half an eye on SNA too) and you could build a passive pre yourself.
    Just spend up on the potentiometer ;)
     
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