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New 3Pi build [message #86096] Sun, 10 September 2017 17:03 Go to next message
tubemax  is currently offline tubemax
Messages: 27
Registered: February 2012
Location: Netherlands
Chancellor
So I finally got some time and spare money to start collecting parts for 3Pi speakers... crossover is made with left-over PCB's I had with good/standard/whatever quality parts I could find for reasonable price: Jantzen Cross-Cap's and Bigger gauge coil for the woofer (1,4mm wire) and Metal-film non-inductive 10Watt resistors. I'm still waiting on delivery for 100Watt 8 Ohm dummy load resistors to be mounted off-board as per drawing.

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For the speaker components I wanted to start with all-standard Eminence - but I got lucky and found a good deal on summer fire-sale and got myself B&C DE250 for just 25.- Euro more than PSD2002 per piece.

For the woofer I wanted to jump right on the upgraded part but it's price in Europe is just silly high (300,- Euro per piece) so I settle down for stock part Delta 12LFA.

Now that the funds are exhausted, I have to wait till next month to start working on the box itself, I will surely post many pictures of the build...

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Initially I wanted to make 4Pi but after years of waiting to save some money for JBL 2226 woofers, I realized it is not going to happen as the JBL components are awfully expensive in Europe - asking price of 440,- Euro for just one woofer is pretty steep when you combine all other costs of build... so I re-read all reviews of anybody ever build 3Pi's and decided to get going with basic design and see for myself what is all about!

I know that many owners have upgraded from 3PI to 4Pi or even 6PI but in my case I won't be able due to costs of entire project. I hope I made right decision as I really want to have some serious sounding speakers in my room and hear that proper horn sound as I was never satisfied with normal woofer/mid/tweeter configuration.

Even the best ones where never good enough except for some older JBL 4412A series I had in the recording studio some 20 years ago and on occasion listening to 4425 - a two-way with the horn... well it had precision and fantastic insight in recorded music other speakers could not achieve. Even the big UREI 813A I had pleasure/pain to listen for extend period of time where honky, aggressive and coarse sounding and really needed a lot of power to sound best - so not the best speaker for home usage at all and this very experience made my final decision in favor of 12 inch woofer instead of 15 inch for the time being.
Please chime in with any suggestion or ideas regarding the decisions I made!

Re: New 3Pi build [message #86097 is a reply to message #86096 ] Mon, 11 September 2017 08:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 17022
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Looks like you're off to a great start!

The four π loudspeaker model is not an improvement over the three π model. They just use different midwoofers.

What are improvements are the upgrades. So you might listen to the stock model for a while while saving money for the Definimax midwoofer. It's worth the money, and offers smoother sound. This is especially true in the midrange.

See the links below for more information about models and upgrades.
But don't worry - The stock build sounds good too. They are going to be some great speakers when you are done!
Re: New 3Pi build [message #86098 is a reply to message #86096 ] Mon, 11 September 2017 12:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tubemax  is currently offline tubemax
Messages: 27
Registered: February 2012
Location: Netherlands
Chancellor
Wayne, thanks a lot for clarifying about 3/4Pi models!

I thought always that 4Pi being bigger ( bigger woofer ) and pricier would automatically means better sound, but I guess in your designs is maybe less important because they are based on same principles.

I actually wanted to go for all Eminence - upgraded Definimax woofer and psd2002 but it went other way around due to price difference.
Never mind, I would like to go myself slowly through the upgrade path and find out for myself differences in quality.

Can't wait to make some dust, you will hear from me very soon!
Re: New 3Pi build [message #86099 is a reply to message #86098 ] Mon, 11 September 2017 15:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 17022
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

The 2226H midwoofer used in the four π loudspeaker is a very high-quality driver. But so is the Definimax used in the three π model. The 2226H does have a slight edge in that distortion is lower and efficiency is higher. But it's not night and day - Both are very good loudspeakers.

Re: New 3Pi build [message #86422 is a reply to message #86096 ] Sun, 29 October 2017 16:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tubemax  is currently offline tubemax
Messages: 27
Registered: February 2012
Location: Netherlands
Chancellor
Well, I finally started with cutting some wood, also sourced 2,5 inch drill for bass port ( was not easy find in europe ) and my 100WATT 8 Ohm dummy load I ordered 2 months ago never came so I had to order this time from USA and wait again some 2-3 weeks... we will see, I hope soon to start assembly...

In the mean time I was breaking-in those Eminence 12LFA's in a guitar box - open back and they sounded ok, but need a tweeter to sound best... in short 12LFA's are not great guitar speakers, for BASS guitar they are awesome but need proper enclosure with the port...


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Re: New 3Pi build [message #86423 is a reply to message #86422 ] Sun, 29 October 2017 18:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 17022
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Makin' progress!

Re: New 3Pi build [message #86448 is a reply to message #86096 ] Tue, 31 October 2017 22:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tom-m  is currently offline tom-m
Messages: 39
Registered: December 2009
Location: Texas
Baron
You mentioned the 100 watt resistor. I know it is used in the 4pi, but not sure it is used in the 3pi? Wayne, does he need the big resistor with the woofer he is using?
Re: New 3Pi build [message #86456 is a reply to message #86448 ] Wed, 01 November 2017 12:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 17022
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Yes, the 100 watt Zobel resistor is used in the three π loudspeaker just like it is on the four π model.

Re: New 3Pi build [message #86515 is a reply to message #86096 ] Fri, 10 November 2017 16:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tubemax  is currently offline tubemax
Messages: 27
Registered: February 2012
Location: Netherlands
Chancellor
OK, so here I'm again with some progress... trimmed all the panels to exact same size, succeeded to cut openings for woofer & horn along with T-nuts, it took me forever just to drill those bass ports, probably most difficult job I ever done with MDF ( I wish Wayne had some alternative design with standard plastic port size... ).

Now I can finally move to glueing everything together, then sanding, painting, sanding again, placing isolation, wiring... Shocked it could be ready in two weeks if all goes according to plan and yes I received Dummy load 100WATT 8 Ohm resistors from Parts-express so now is crossover complete as well...

btw, 100WATT resistor is actually not needed for 3 Pi if you using AE 12TDS if I'm not wrong?

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Re: New 3Pi build [message #86516 is a reply to message #86515 ] Fri, 10 November 2017 16:39 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 17022
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Looking great!

You could have used a plastic or cardboard port tube if you wanted. Many of our speaker models use a cardboard duct. For those models, we use tubes that are made for storing or mailing large blueprints. They have really thick sidewalls - so thick they're tough as baseball bats. Cut their length to size with a table saw and they work great for speaker ports. But the port on this model is pretty short so we glue small wood blocks on the baffle and drill through them, same as you've done.

About the Zobel resistor, you're right that the AE woofer doesn't need it. Eminence and JBL woofers do.

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