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  • TARKUS Build Thread

    Hi all,
    Thanks for all the help on the subwoofer build. I have learned my lessons from there regarding cheap plywood. So, I have a big box of drivers and crossover parts for Paul Carmody's Tarkus. I also have 4 sheets of 18mm Baltic Birch ply. The infuriating thing is that I got this ply for the same price per sheet ($41 CAD) as for the much cheaper ply at Home Depot. These speakers are for my uncle who would like them done by spring. So I have lots of time to build and do it right!

    Here's a sketchup shot of my box (with conversion to mm for the birch thickness). My main questions at this stage are:
    1. How does the bracing look and will this be relatively easy to pull off. The braces will all be routed with circles to cut down the mass and allow air flow.
    2. Any easy ways to cut the angles on the top and bottoms? Not sure how to get the right distance on the table saw from the fence. Do I need a sacrificial board on the fence?

    You guys are great. I'll be sure to keep you updated as I go. Planning to start making sawdust after the long weekend. I'm picking up a new table saw tonight!

    Cheers,
    Scott

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  • #2
    That front panel looks a bit lonely as regard bracing, and IMO, that's the most important part to get right- keeping it stiff and massive, and a clean launch platform.
    the AudioWorx
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    Comment


    • #3
      To make the angle cuts with the table saw, put together a crosscut sled, they work great for what you have in mind.
      Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



      WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Steve, I have been looking into table saw sleds, and they don't look too hard to build. Is 3/4" melamine a good base? Can I use the Baltic Birch for the fence if I laminate two 4" wide pieces, or even laminate the melamine? What can I use for the miter tracks? I've heard hardwood, but I don't have a planer or jointer.

        As an alternative to the sled, can I use the circular saw to do the long angled rips and then use the table saw to do the end angles?

        Here's some NEW TOOL (new to me) porn!

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        Top was a little rusty, so the guy knocked $50 off, so purchased for $350 CAD.

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        An SOS pad and some sandpaper and 35 minutes this morning, and looks much better. Also, top is flat, blade is square, fence is solid, and I'm a happy camper!

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Scott ..... nice find on the table saw. You can use just about anything that is good and stable, melamine would work well. For mine I just used 3/4" mdf ...... here is a few pictures from a previous build of mine cutting some angles like your planning on doing. You can make the runners out of hardwood, though I used some Incra track slides that can be adjusted for track width. The biggest thing is to get things nice and square to the blade and then your good to go. This is a good video on how to square things up ...... I've found several others that are variations on the same theme.
          Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



          WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Steve is this what I could get for the track runners?

            Comment


            • #7
              Scott, I used these for my sliders - expensive but saves time. https://www.amazon.com/Incra-IMS2-24...ds=incra+slide

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok thanks Bob

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually Scott, I miss spoke, I had intended on getting the Incra slides, which Bob listed and will work great, but I ended up going with these. They were 6" longer and allowed to me to have a little more capacity on my sled. I used them with Incra miter slots on the replacement top I made for my saw.
                  Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



                  WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So, turns out cutting a few 3/8" strips out of 3/4" stuff I had around was pretty easy.

                    It appears that it is more or less square from the test cuts I made, so I forged ahead on the Tarkus sides. I did circular saw with a straightedge guide for the angled side and then used the cross cut sled to cut the top side. They have turned out pretty good, all within 1mm of my sketchup drawings in each dimension.

                    Next steps are to cut the angle for the next one, rip the lengths, and crosscut the tops to within dimension, then rip a few long boards for the top/bottom/bracing widths and I can keep moving forward.

                    Thanks for all the input guys! And also thanks for all the inspiration on the Ardent builds - very very beautiful work. Ron, I think I will use your finishing schedule that you mentioned:
                    - Stain (you had mentioned dye, which I may still do)
                    - Shellac to seal
                    - Gloss poly to finish

                    That sounds nice and easy and straightforward for my novice skills.
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                    and some parts!
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Looks like you are good on your way with the build.
                      Enjoy the process and continue to share :-)
                      -TEK


                      Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And for all you guys who have all the Clarity Cap and Mundorf hardware, please don't look too closely at the parts bags!

                        Thanks Tek!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Made some good progress on the weekend.
                          Have cut all the sides, baffles, and rears. Have two long pieces ripped to the top/bottom width, and should be enough for top to bottom window braces for each tower along with some front to back ones.

                          Also, having some fun trying out layouts for the crossovers. Doing this a few times is helping me understand (sort of) the connections. Working to get it on half of an 8.5X11 page. Plan will be 1/4" hardboard with holes drilled and connections underneath.

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                          • #14
                            That's a good way to get familiarized with the network and connections before you have to do it with the actual parts! :T
                            the AudioWorx
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Crossovers Functional!

                              With some delay due to minor back injury that put me out for a few days, I have tested and assembled one crossover per the diagram above with just a minor change to the resistor locations (but not electrically changed from the previous post).

                              Pics attached
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                              • #16
                                Some minor progress, but leads me to some questions:

                                I have the outer panels for the bass cabs all cut, angles and all (these not shown in pic!), and a brief test fit is looking good.

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                                On thinking of the next steps, I have the following questions:

                                I need to do binding posts and terminals for the TM wires and the port cut out on the back. These need to be done prior to final box assembly, BUT also AFTER veneering (I think?). Also, driver holes and recesses. Should these be done before or after veneering?

                                So put another way, do I veneer the back panel and the baffle prior to cutouts and glue up? Or should I glue up 5 of six panels (leaving one side panel) and then do the veneer on the front and back? Can anyone enlighten me on the most efficient order of operations here? Braces and such all need to go in as well, but my question is more on if I should veneer the front and back now or glue up and then veneer and then do cutouts... Anyways, you can see my confusion.

                                Thanks

                                EDIT: Forgot to mention, my second kid was born on October 12th, little Logan is being treated pretty good by his bigger brother so far! Hence the lack of progress!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Congrats on your new arrival.

                                  I'm no expert, but I prefer veneering after doing the cutouts. I used a utility knife to get close to the edge of the hole then a very sharp chisel to trim to the edges. With the veneer in place when you do the cutouts you risk tearing the veneer while making the cutouts.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BobEllis View Post
                                    Congrats on your new arrival.

                                    I'm no expert, but I prefer veneering after doing the cutouts. I used a utility knife to get close to the edge of the hole then a very sharp chisel to trim to the edges. With the veneer in place when you do the cutouts you risk tearing the veneer while making the cutouts.
                                    Generally true, but this depends on the quality of the veneer gluing, and the sharpness of the router bit, as well as the quality of the veneer. Avalon and others do it that way. I, on the other hand, follow the Dark Side. With veneers that have more consistent and less fibrous qualities, (such as maple) veneering first and routing second produces high quality results- note even the results achieved by that neophyte woodworker Jonmarsh in the original Ardents.

                                    In many cases now, I also design cabinets to not use veneer... this has it's advantages.
                                    DFAL
                                    Dark Force Acoustic Labs

                                    A wholly owned subsidiary of Palpatine Heavy Industries

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thanks all for the input.
                                      My in-laws took the 2-year old today which gave me about 2 hours in the garage. Cabinets cut and starting to dry-fit. Since I had good success doing cut-outs and then veneering for the sub enclosures, cut-outs are next before glue-up.

                                      I also bought a pattern bit for the router. The Tarkus design does not call for flush mounting the woofers, but I'm going to flush mount all of them and practice Bill Schneider's excellent tutorial for the truncated frame mounting.
                                      Attached Files

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by scottvalentin View Post
                                        Thanks all for the input.
                                        My in-laws took the 2-year old today which gave me about 2 hours in the garage. Cabinets cut and starting to dry-fit. Since I had good success doing cut-outs and then veneering for the sub enclosures, cut-outs are next before glue-up.

                                        I also bought a pattern bit for the router. The Tarkus design does not call for flush mounting the woofers, but I'm going to flush mount all of them and practice Bill Schneider's excellent tutorial for the truncated frame mounting.
                                        Sounds like me .... put the new puppy down for a nap and run to the garage to get something done. I think the flush mounting looks a lot cleaner.
                                        Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



                                        WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          It's been a while, but have made some progress!

                                          I have tested all the circle cut outs and have the rough pattern template done. I have some scheduled garage time on Thursday, so hoping to get the cut outs done and some window braces cut. One question, how do I centre the pattern cutout over where the driver centre will be?

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                                          I have also glued up and lined the smaller TM cabinets as well as veneered the back panels and the baffles. I will be veneering the woofer cabinet baffles and backs today and tomorrow (hopefully) so that they are ready for router work on Thursday. I had initially planned on doing the cutouts and then veneering, but it will just work out better to veneer first, then I'm only using the power tools once. Time in the garage is limited by sleeping children (also awake children, now that I think about it!) as well as the -20 to -30 C weather we've been having!

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                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Looking good, but I'm not sure I understand your question- do you mean the pattern cut out for the veneer? or the hole cuts in the cabinet? Please explain your process and we'll try to help.
                                            the AudioWorx
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                                            Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                            Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              To clarify, it is the pattern cut out for the driver rebate. I am using Bill Schneider's template method to do that for the mid. So my question is, with the template/guide that I have made, how do I clamp that down on the baffle so that the centre will be in the correct spot? I will have a hole drilled for the circle jig for the actual cut-out, so the centre will be marked, but how do I place the template/guide precisely?

                                              You can see the template in the first pic below (to the right!) the veneer sheets. Somehow I have to put that on top of the baffle so that the guide will be exactly centre. Bill's guide doesn't explain his process, although it looks like that is because he cut the rebate and hole and then cut the baffle around that.

                                              Any ideas would be appreciated!

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                I've done it by measuring the distance from the edge of the cutout to the rim of the template. As long as you measure through the center or at least a consistent angle, once you have 3-4 hole to template distances the same you're set. Clamp and verify that the template didn't move as you clamp the template. If the cutout is 1/16" oversize it gives you a little wiggle room that you won't see once the driver is installed.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  If your template is larger than then the cabinet, you could use a couple of indexing blocks on the bottom of the template to reference off of a couple of the cabinets sides. That way you just drop the template in place and it automatically references itself from say the top and a side.
                                                  Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



                                                  WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    Great ideas Bob and Steve thank you! Pics when I get that done!!

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      Update: These are actually coming along!

                                                      Quick question for the EE gurus - my crossover is currently mounted 3 inches away from the woofer magnet. Will the magnet affect the crossover (I think inductors?)

                                                      Thanks! Pics to come!

                                                      Comment


                                                      • #28
                                                        Thats a bit closer than I would prefer... if you're willing to make the effort, you could quantify that effect. (with an LCR meter)

                                                        Potentially more of an issue is if the magnet is close to cored inductors, as it may somewhat skew the initial resting point, creating a non-linear flux situation, with overload coming faster in one polarity of current.

                                                        Can't you move them a bit further away?
                                                        the AudioWorx
                                                        Natalie P
                                                        M8ta
                                                        Modula Neo DCC
                                                        Modula MT XE
                                                        Modula Xtreme
                                                        Isiris
                                                        Wavecor Ardent

                                                        SMJ
                                                        Minerva Monitor
                                                        Calliope
                                                        Ardent D

                                                        In Development...
                                                        Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                                                        Obi-Wan
                                                        Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                                                        Modula PWB
                                                        Calliope CC Supreme
                                                        Natalie P Ultra
                                                        Natalie P Supreme
                                                        Janus BP1 Sub


                                                        Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                                                        Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                                                        Comment


                                                        • #29
                                                          I can move them but was hoping to keep the crossovers accessible with the driver removed. The only other place I have to put them is behind the middle window brace.

                                                          I have a multi - meter, how do I measure?

                                                          The erse laminate inductor is probably 4" away, maybe more.

                                                          Thanks for the response!

                                                          Comment


                                                          • #30
                                                            Update - complete

                                                            It has been a very fun journey building these. They are now complete!

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                                                            I learned a lot once more on this, my third project (first being Overnight Sensation MTMs, second being 2 12" sealed subwoofers) and each build keeps getting better.

                                                            A few brief listening impressions:
                                                            - The mids are just better than the OS with voices sounding richer and fuller.
                                                            - Very capable low end
                                                            - Highs are detailed, I'm hoping they aren't a touch bright and will see after a few more hours of break in, but I haven't had a chance to turn them up to 11 yet.

                                                            I sat and just listened to music for about an hour and a half after I first set them up, and it was very enjoyable and satisfying to hear after many months of work!

                                                            Here's another shot:

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                                                            The finish is three coats of Livos oil which turned out pretty nice. The advantage for me of this product was also that there is no odour and I could apply it in my basement without worrying about fumes. I would like more gloss on the next one, so I will do some scrap tests of the Livos and then add some gloss poly on top. The Livos oil leaves a very smooth feeling texture after the second coat and does cure after 30 days into a durable finish. I think I will have to test that, as these need to be transported to my uncle who is very excited to see and hear these.

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                                                            I will also be doing further measurements to test these and confirm I built them right! I did test already (see final attached pic) and they measured pretty flat, so I will do a few more sweeps and do some listening position sweeps as well.

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                                                            On a few of the items that came up in this thread:
                                                            - I ended up just moving the crossovers into the back half of the cabinet, so that simplified things, but I don't really have a way to access them now.

                                                            - I also gave up on recessing the mid driver after a few failed attempts. The Peerless driver has a pretty thin frame, so it really isn't an issue aesthetically. However, I did get the hang of using the router and that bit when cutting the brace windows, and figured out where I was going wrong on making the template, so I think I could get it right if I tried again. At the time I just needed to move on to the next step because I was frustrated!

                                                            - For the driver cutouts, I ended up veneering the panels first and then doing the cutouts, and I think I prefer this method to doing cutouts first then veneering and flush trimming the cutout holes after.

                                                            Thanks again to all who helped along the way! Also a thanks to Paul Carmody for publishing this design.

                                                            Comment


                                                            • #31
                                                              Those turned out very nice ...... and glad you enjoyed the journey in getting there.
                                                              Hold on to your butts - It's about to get Musical!



                                                              WEBSITE: http://www.smjaudio.com/

                                                              Comment


                                                              • #32
                                                                Looks great! I bet they sound great.
                                                                Love the feet shot. :T
                                                                Enjoy!
                                                                - Ryan

                                                                CJD Ochocinco! ND140/BC25SC06 MTM & TM
                                                                CJD Khanspires - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS225 WMTMW
                                                                CJD Khancenter - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS180 WTMW Center

                                                                Comment


                                                                • #33
                                                                  great project!

                                                                  spiffy looking socks. :T

                                                                  oh, & Mr Potato Head will need his ears so he too, can appreciate all your hard work......
                                                                  _


                                                                  Bill

                                                                  Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
                                                                  ....just an "ON" switch, Please!

                                                                  FinleyAudio

                                                                  Comment


                                                                  • #34
                                                                    Haha thanks wkhanna - My 2 1/2 year old will get right on that!

                                                                    -k- and Steve, thanks for the compliments, I'm very pleased with the end result but also have learned a bunch on how to further improve the next end result.

                                                                    I think the biggest challenge was the glue-up. Since I was just using butt joints, the angled cabs were difficult to clamp and to keep them from sliding when clamp pressure was applied. The solution for me is to either fire some quick brads in or get a biscuit joiner, or maybe use some pocket screws on the inside. Also, I should really take the time to use the dado stack I have. I also need to optimize and plan the table saw order of cuts to improve exact duplication of parts.

                                                                    Also, my crosscut sled broke and I think my fix was slightly out of square! Steve any tips on building a good sled?

                                                                    Comment


                                                                    • #35
                                                                      detailed buy list?

                                                                      Hey @scottvalentin really cool build on those Tarkus. I'm planning on some here real soon myself. I modified the design a bit, I'll attach my Sketchup pic too for prettiness. I'm curious: do you have a buy list for the crossovers? I'm finding there is quite a big variation in many of the parts on Parts Express. Also, Carmody listed a 65uF capacitor, and made that up with a 50uF and a 15uF, for instance. You still enjoying the Tarkus? I have a pair of Speedsters that are just kick ass. I'm really looking forward to this next build.


                                                                      Comment


                                                                      • #36
                                                                        curious if you have a buy list from Parts Express or something? There are a lot of options with regards to the cross over! Thanks

                                                                        I'm going to start some modified Tarkus' here are a couple pics to spice up this post

                                                                        Last edited by mrdrew; 01 March 2020, 20:46 Sunday.

                                                                        Comment


                                                                        • #37
                                                                          Hey @mrdrew I didn't see this until today! I will see if I can pull up my order from PE for the parts. Note that I built the original crossover even though I had the newer version of the tweeter. It seemed to measure fine and it sounded great to me, but do as you will with regards to the changes Paul notes for the updated tweeter model. Let me go check PE!

                                                                          Comment


                                                                          • #38
                                                                            Originally posted by mrdrew View Post
                                                                            curious if you have a buy list from Parts Express or something? There are a lot of options with regards to the cross over! Thanks

                                                                            I'm going to start some modified Tarkus' here are a couple pics to spice up this post

                                                                            Quoted so you get a notification

                                                                            Comment


                                                                            • #39
                                                                              Originally posted by mrdrew View Post
                                                                              curious if you have a buy list from Parts Express or something? There are a lot of options with regards to the cross over! Thanks

                                                                              I'm going to start some modified Tarkus' here are a couple pics to spice up this post

                                                                              Easier than I thought - here is the parts list from my order:
                                                                              Attached Files

                                                                              Comment


                                                                              • #40
                                                                                awesome thanks!

                                                                                Comment


                                                                                • #41
                                                                                  Originally posted by mrdrew View Post
                                                                                  Hey @scottvalentin really cool build on those Tarkus. I'm planning on some here real soon myself. I modified the design a bit, I'll attach my Sketchup pic too for prettiness. I'm curious: do you have a buy list for the crossovers? I'm finding there is quite a big variation in many of the parts on Parts Express. Also, Carmody listed a 65uF capacitor, and made that up with a 50uF and a 15uF, for instance. You still enjoying the Tarkus? I have a pair of Speedsters that are just kick ass. I'm really looking forward to this next build.


                                                                                  Note that moving the woofer to the side will significantly change the on-axis performance unless it is crossed VERY low. If you look at some of Vance Dickason's polar plots, 90* off-axis can be -6dB down even below 100Hz. Localization is not the only issue when moving the woofer from the front to the side (e.g., differences in perceived baffle geometry, room reinforcement, etc.).

                                                                                  If there's not a defined option from the designer, you may need to tweak the crossover or room placement (e.g., jam them against a wall to cover the on-axis shortfall).
                                                                                  Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.

                                                                                  Comment


                                                                                  • #42
                                                                                    Originally posted by Bear View Post
                                                                                    Note that moving the woofer to the side will significantly change the on-axis performance unless it is crossed VERY low. If you look at some of Vance Dickason's polar plots, 90* off-axis can be -6dB down even below 100Hz. Localization is not the only issue when moving the woofer from the front to the side (e.g., differences in perceived baffle geometry, room reinforcement, etc.).

                                                                                    If there's not a defined option from the designer, you may need to tweak the crossover or room placement (e.g., jam them against a wall to cover the on-axis shortfall).
                                                                                    Good point Bear - I think it is crossed above 300 maybe even 400 (can't quite remember). Paul did note that you could make the cabinets flat with no angles and that will have no audible difference on the design.

                                                                                    Comment


                                                                                    • #43
                                                                                      Originally posted by scottvalentin View Post
                                                                                      Good point Bear - I think it is crossed above 300 maybe even 400 (can't quite remember). Paul did note that you could make the cabinets flat with no angles and that will have no audible difference on the design.
                                                                                      I would expect that is flat in terms of the front baffle, which is an entirely different subject. Here's the polar plot for the SW223BD03 -- an expensive, but high-performing small subwoofer:

                                                                                      Note that at 63Hz, the FR is -3dB at 90 degrees and -6dB at 250Hz. A larger woofer would be a bit worse. Throw in the change in baffle diffraction (which is now turned 90 degrees, as well), and you have a fair bit of complexity happening.
                                                                                      Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.

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