The HE8.1 center finished

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jeff Hoak, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    It’s DONE!!!

    I’ve built myself a “custom” center to match my entertainment center. The speaker and crossover is an Adire Audio HE 8.1 kit. The cabinet where the speaker is mounted is resized slightly to reduce the height but overall within 1 cubic inch of Adire’s plans.

    Here’s the before shot:
    [​IMG]

    Here’s the after shot:
    [​IMG]

    Construction is very straight forward. .75” MDF everywhere except the top which is .75” oak veneered plywood. The drawer fronts are solid .75” oak cut from a piece of 1X12. The grill is cut out of a piece of scrap plywood. All of the facing edges are rounded over .5”.

    There are drawers on either side of the center. As near as I can tell the'll hold about 70 jewel cases each. I guess it's time to get out there and acquire some more discs.

    As I type this the speaker has been playing for about 4 hours. At first I wasn’t too excited about the sound coming out but the more it plays the better it sounds. I’ll know more after it’s got a few more hours on it.

    Here are the rest of the construction photos if anyone is interested.

    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-a.jpg
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-b.jpg
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-c.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-d.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-e.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-f.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-g.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-h.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-i.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-j.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/const-k.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/drawer-1.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/drawer-2.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-1.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-2.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-3.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-4.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-5.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-6.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-7.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/he81c-8.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/xover-1.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/xover-2.JPG
    http://hoakhouse.com/HE81-project/xover-3.JPG
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I like it, it's got plenty of WAF to spare. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    You have "NO IDEA" how important WAF is around here.

    THANX!
     
  4. Joseph Sabato

    Joseph Sabato Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, that looks real nice, integrates well with the entertainment center. Post some feed back on the sound after it breaks in.

    BTW, is that a N or S Center you replaced, and how does the HE 8.1 compare? Just curious as to why you didn't just hide the current center behind a grill with oak end caps to get a similar look to your finished project. Are your mains a different series speaker, or is this the first step of a general upgrade?
     
  5. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    That was a S-Center.

    So far the 8.1 smokes it in terms of "clearity". I always liked the S-Center but there IS a definate difference. The 8.1 is a bit more efficient than the S-Center. I'm at a total loss to understand why a 2-way system can be better than a 3-way but it is. At least to my ears anyway.

    Actually the new center is the second step in a general upgrade, I started out with JBL S38's as mains (thus the S-Center) but built a pair of Adire 10.1s to replace the JBLs. They reside in the upper sections of the cabinet on either side.

    I do have a pair of stands and some longer cables so that they can set up outside of the cabinet when I want to do some "serious" 2-channel listening. Honestly... I find myself moving them to the stands less and less. The difference between stand mounted and in the cabinets is just not that much.

    The final step is 2 more 10.1s as surrounds. I already have the kits, I just need to get busy and build the cabinets.
     
  6. Joseph Sabato

    Joseph Sabato Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting. I have S38's and an S Center in front and S36's in back, I liked the idea of even higher efficiency speakers; how do the HE series compare in dynamics? One of the things I really like about the JBL's is the ability to stay clean at high volumes, and how little compression they have going from soft to loud, which is great on movies. I have been considering horn type speakers for that very reason, but good horns are expensive. I have not seen a review of the HE8 yet, but it should cross over better to the horn tweeter than the HE10. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    Joseph,

    OK... You asked for it...

    I really like my JBLs. For the $$$ I don't believe that there's another speaker even close. In fact they're still in use in another room.

    That said... They're simply no match for the 10.1s. Dynamics are just great. The 10.1s are capable of very high volume levels (rated at >110db @ 100W "in room") and still maintain clarity. I always thought that the JBLs became a little "harsh" at higher volumes. The extra efficiency allows me to use a lower powered amp but still have the extra volume "punch" when needed. I went from a 150x5 amp to a 100x7 amp with NO loss of available volume.

    While I have the capability for insane volume levels I don't go there very often. I have an IB sub that puts out a LOT of bass energy and once I hit high volume levels thing in my living room begin to shake. All I need is to vibrate one of the SO's ceramic pieces onto the floor and me AND the audio system will be on the curb.

    I'm more into the music side of the system than I am movies. My big thing with speakers is detail. I listen for those tiny things that sometimes get "lost" with some speakers. Things like the sound of a finger sliding on a wound guitar string, kind of a buzz, hard to describe but easy to discern once you've heard it. I have a couple of "reference" songs that I use for comparison and one of them has a very faint bell sound in the background (a triangle I think). The JBLs can reproduce the sound but it sounds like a hollow "ding". The 10.1s produce a definite "ting", I can hear the bell being struck. Again... hard to describe but easy to hear.

    As you can tell I'm NOT much of a speaker reviewer. I just don't have the vocabulary or at least don't know how to use all of the "reviewer" words properly. I also don't have the ability to have both sets of speakers installed at the same time for A-B comparison. I have to rely on memory.

    I think the biggest compliment for the 10.1s came from the SO. One day just for grins and giggles I swapped the JBLs back into the cabinet. That evening I had some music playing, not real loud but not "background" level either and she looks over at me and says "what happened to the stereo?". I asked her what she meant and she replied "all of background stuff is gone". Understand that while she has a good "ear" for music she really doesn't pay much attention to what I do with the system. Or at least I never thought she did.

    The 10.1s went back in the next morning and have been there ever since.

    Keep in mind that I'm talking about what MY ears hear. As with all things speaker related YMMV...
     
  8. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    Joseph,

    I guess I should have read your WHOLE post...

    Why do you thing the HE8.1 would crossover better than the HE10.1?

    I'm still playing the 8.1 to break it in so I'm not yet ready to write a "review", even if I could. Even once broken in I'm still not sure that I'll be able to say all that much since it is being used as a center as opposed to a main.
     
  9. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    > Why do you thing the HE8.1 would crossover better than the HE10.1?

    Smaller woofer, which means it should go higher, which makes integration with the tweeter easier/smoother. On paper, anyway. Similarly, the HE10.1 has better woofer-tweeter integration than the HE12.1 (which I own, well, a modded HE12.1). Dan Wiggins is a very experienced designer though, so you can trust his crossover designs without having to think about them [​IMG]
     
  10. Josh Meier

    Josh Meier Agent

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    I like the construction... very well integrated, adds a very nice "finished" feel to the whole thing. Good job!
     
  11. Joseph Sabato

    Joseph Sabato Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    One of the reviews linked from Adire's site commented on measured distortion rising below the crossover, likely due to cone break up. The distortion came down again above the crossover when the horn took over; physics at work. Having both to compare side by side, you can give your opinion as to whether it is an audible difference.

    Sounds like a sweet setup; I will keep those in mind for future consideration. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  12. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Does the unshielded spk produce any magnetic interference on the TV?

    BTW- I'm running ported HE12.1's and have been thinking about an 8.1 center---just worried about the shielding.
     
  13. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    With the center being above the TV the magnets are far enough away from the CRTs to not cause any distortion.

    Had I tried to place the center below the TV it would have been another story.
     

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