DIY Overnight Sensations & X-LS Encore (upgraded)

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Josh, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Josh

    Josh Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    30
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Hey Everyone,

    Background

    Recently I got back into diy audio after a few years off the wagon. My background in audio like many young people started in car audio, largely because it was where I spent a good amount of time driving and I enjoyed the ability to work with my hands building and fabicating new enclosures. I worked as a side job for a Top 100 installer here in New Jersery for numerrous years, working with some of the best car audio brands in the industry (McIntosh, TRU, Dynaudio, Brax, etc) Home audio was always something that intriqued me, but compared to costs associated with car audio, where 10k would get you TOTL system, including gear, install, and tune. Home audio 10K is what people spend on cables :) and I wasn't about to open my wallet or mind set to that level of spending. It wasn't until recently when I went a local SBAF NYC meet-up did I come across the Overnight Sensations, and knowing my expertise in woodworking & painting it was something that I felt could be a nice easy DIY project. In addition, knowing that I would be gifting these, I also was very interested in the Encore X-LS by G-R Research.

    Currently as most of you know Parts Express sells the entire kits of the OS online including the box for $138. This kit, pretty much includes everything except for terminal plugs, the breadboard, and needs tools to solder/desolder.
    http://www.parts-express.com/overnight-sensations-mt-speaker-kit-pair--300-706

    The Encore X-LS was well reviewed speaker design originally produced by AV123, when they went out of business stock was sold to GR-Research. The Classic Kit starts @ $169, but it's recommended to upgrade to the Encore version to by-pass all of the poly caps in the tweeter circuit with Gen.1 Sonicap by-pass caps and add better Mills resistors. These upgrades will increase the price to $292. Not bad when dealing with award winning sound.
    http://gr-research.com/x-lsencorekit.aspx

    The Build
    This wasn't intended at all means to be a DIY thread, but it was suggested that people might be interested in the build and thus this thread was formed. I don't have a lot of pictures, but can share what I learned and guide users in choices that I made along the way. In both cases, these were my first speaker builds, I originally had thoughts of using WinISD to come up with a curved design and enclosure, but that was quickly scraped as I realized I wanted to spend two weekend MAX into both of the builds and that would extend my timelines to weekend I wouldn't be able to commit to. Additionally you will note that the Overnight Sensations already come with a prefab box that is precision CNC cut. NOPE! That wasn't going to cut it for my build as seeing it in person left me with little to desire. For inexperienced builders or users that don't have access to needed tools, it's a decent start, just not for me. So going back to my choice, 3/4 MDF was choice as I already readily had many sheets from previous Subwoofer enclosure builds.

    Cuts
    Cutting the box was uneventful, anyone with a table saw or throwing $10 to the Home Depot guy should be able to get all the needed cuts to assemble your own box.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are building your own boxes, over cut sides and front panel by 1/4in. I'll explain wihy later.
    For the holes, you WILL need a Jasper Jig and router with a spiral up-bit. I highly recommend if you don't know how the measurements work practice on some junk peices of wood to ensure that fitment is correct. Even as many times as I used the jig before I somehow jumped up a slot and overcut my tweeter hold sizes on the OS which caused me to having to remake the entire panel from scratch. Don't be like me... do the practice run.

    Assembly
    Now you have all your peices and your ready to assemble, you will need wood clamps and wood glue.
    Make sure you spread everything evenly across your wood cuts. Remember the extra 1/4 for Front and sides I mentioned above, this is key to get a bit of overhang when glue together, you DON't want to have undergaps that you have to sand down or later fill, rather this overhang will allow you to use a router and a flush trim bit to get perfectly smooth. When clamping down, use spare small peices of wood between the clamps so that you don't leave marks.
    It will take 8-24 hours for the wood to dry, go have a beverage and check back the follow day.

    Sanding & Prep - Part 1
    So now you have a box, you're feeling like it's all coming together and it you might want to just install the speakers and call it a day. Don't! You need to decide how you want to finish them. There are different options and finishs that you can choose, but basically comes down to paint or veneer. For my project I choose paint, and not just paint, gloss and mirror like finish paint. This is an important milestone because you can just quickly paint them and for all intensive proposes you might not care, but I wanted my speakers to be a focal item in the room if someone looked at them. This requires ALOT of prep and work to get them properly finished, and that is sanding.
    MDF is very poreous and tends to suck up paint like nobody's business, you need to prevent that. During this process I tried 3 different processes found one that I liked best.
    Option A.) Bondo - tried and true, but is messy and takes mutiple applications, I don't recommend until later stages
    Option B.) BIN Primper - This actually was a very nice option but took a few applications but definity better than option A.
    Option C.) Poly Resin - When mix properly it will paint on and get very hand and become sandable. It closes the MDF edges and seals them nicely.

    One your box is sealed, begin to sand using 180/220/320, being careful not go to down to bare wood.
    After I use a High build Primer to do a light coat and sand down to 320. By now you should see any low marks or areas that need filler.
    I used Bondo filler for touching up deep marks or low spots. Once this was sanded to 320, I was ready for full primer. Apply 3 coats, each within 15 minutes of each other, this should be applied rather thick as it will smoot out and get sanded for base color.

    Boxes built

    [​IMG]

    Crossover Built
    [​IMG]

    Painted
    [​IMG]


    Assembled
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    Zampotech, Cspirou, Dino and 7 others like this.
  2. Josh

    Josh Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    30
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Hold for
    Sanding & Prep - Part 2
    Paint
    Assembly
     
    thegunner100 and sphinxvc like this.
  3. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,406
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Nice, Josh. Glad you took the plunge to post, looking forward to part 2 and the photos. :)
     
  4. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, ME
    These have been on my radar ever since a NY sbaf meet where they were close to or equal to the KEF LS50's. Also looking forward to some pic's! Congrats!
     
  5. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,288
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NYC
    Josh, I'm glad you could make it to the meet and check out the amazing Overnight Sensations MT. I look forward to seeing pictures when you are done!

    These things scale so damn well. I can't wait to try them out with the Lynx AES16 and Schiit's upcoming stuff.
     
    OJneg likes this.
  6. Josh

    Josh Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    30
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Photos added

    I'll be updating Part 2 tomorrow on build

    I'm still in the process of doing the X-LS painting, I had to start from scratch because my dog decided he wanted to come and knock over the table on stage 3 of paint :(
     
  7. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,288
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NYC
    Wow, the OSMT looks tiny next to the X-LS!! Nice paint though, it looks like an automotive red. Reminds me a lot of the limited edition red Kef LS50s too.
     
  8. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,697
    Dislikes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Ohio
    @Josh, Great contribution to the community!
     
  9. DaveFred

    DaveFred Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Any updates on the X-LS Encore build? Final thoughts on how they sound?

    Thank you, David.
     

Share This Page