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Thread: Custom TAD-JBL Studio Monitors

  1. #1
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Custom TAD-JBL Studio Monitors

    Hi everyone. I thought I'd share with you the fruits of my summer weekends. With much planning, guidance and help from forum members -- you know who you are -- I designed and built a pair of custom studio monitors based around a new pair of TAD TD-4003 drivers and solid resin clones of TAD's TH-4003 horns. The crossovers are TAD TN-4 units and I have mixed the 15" woofers: JBL 2234H on top and JBL 2235H on the bottom. Each woofer is in its own chamber and is separated from the other by a slanted, internal double-walled panel.

    The boxes themselves are double-walled -- outside 3/4" birch plywood panels each glued to an interior of 3/4" MDF. The veneer is 22.2 mil thick "bubble-free" rosewood from Oakwood Veneer Company (which I highly recommend). The baffles have an extra layer of 1/2" plywood and are 2" thick. The woofers are countersunk 1/2" in order to be flush mounted. The interior is filled with Sonex foam panels. The horn and 2234H on top are connected to a TAD TN-4 crossover mounted inside the cabinet. The 2234H's higher sensitivity matches almost perfectly with the TAD 15" units for which the TN-4 was designed. The deeper reaching 2235H on the bottom is hooked to a 100Hz low pass filter that is wired directly to the lower (jumpered) inputs (very similar to the JBL 4435 except that I'm mixing drivers). I'm guessing these weigh close to 400 lbs each.

    Right off, perhaps not surprisingly, they sound fantastic. They have a full-range, clear and coherent sound to them. Very well balanced with a wide and stable image. Even my wife, who rarely comments on the music, noticed a dramatic difference over my previous DIY efforts.

    That's enough for now. Time to sit back and listen! Cheers,

    Jerry

    Here are pics of the cabinets and my workshop:
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    They look gorgeous - so if they sound HALF as good as they look ... I'm sure they are wonderful! So - they are basically 2 1/2 way speakers? Paired 15s to spread over the low end, and the TAD 4003 on top? ... very intriguing!
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
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  3. #3
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Thank you Heather! Yes, that is exactly what they are (2.5 way). I was advised against running both 15s full range in order to avoid lobe effects. The image is better focused and stable with just one (the 2234H) running up to the 800Hz crossover point.

  4. #4
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    GREAT choice with the TAD - 4003! One of the VERY BEST compression drivers you can get. Known for exactly what you describe, the most coherent, and clearest sound possible. The TAD passive crossovers are GREAT, as well.

    VERY NICE LOOKING SPEAKERS, INDEED! Enjoy them, you do great work!

    scottyj

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Those look great! So does your work space. Nice choice for a cabinet saw too!
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  6. #6
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1audiohack View Post
    Nice choice for a cabinet saw too!
    Yeah right, I noticed that too. Looks like a POWERMATIC! Those are GREAT MACHINES!

    scottyj

  7. #7
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Good eye guys! Yes indeed, the Powermatic PM 2000 with an extra heavy duty 50" extension table. I wouldn't try this with anything less. Thank you all for the kind words.

  8. #8
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    I am all for it, use the BEST tools you can afford. It definitely makes a difference. I also have a POWERMATIC table saw. I plan to get myself a FESTOOL Router, and a Plunge Cut Saw, too!

    Besides audio, I am a TOOL WHORE too!
    scottyj

  9. #9
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Congratulations... and yes they do look pretty damned serious!


    Widget

  10. #10
    Super Moderator yggdrasil's Avatar
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    Looking really good. Great toys to enjoy!
    Johnny Haugen Sørgård

  11. #11
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Very Nice! Bet they sound great!

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

  12. #12
    Senior Member spkrman57's Avatar
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    Nice looking speakers!

    And a great design to go with the looks!

    Regards, Ron
    JBL Pro for home use!

  13. #13
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry_rig View Post
    Thank you Heather! Yes, that is exactly what they are (2.5 way). I was advised against running both 15s full range in order to avoid lobe effects. The image is better focused and stable with just one (the 2234H) running up to the 800Hz crossover point.

    great to know, and timely for me!

    thanks for sharing your admirable work!

  14. #14
    Senior Member richluvsound's Avatar
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    very tasty !

    love the rose wood ... you have triggered my TAD envy again


    Rich

  15. #15
    Senior Member pos's Avatar
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    Very nice speakers!

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry_rig View Post
    The deeper reaching 2235H on the bottom is hooked to a 100Hz low pass filter that is wired directly to the lower (jumpered) inputs (very similar to the JBL 4435 except that I'm mixing drivers).
    At these low frequencies the 2235H and 2234H have almost exactly the same response and efficiency

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