893 Speaker Build

Discussion in 'DIY Speakers and Subwoofers' started by LuisV, May 14, 2016.

  1. I finally have a trio of 893s! Woohoo!! After dinner, I'm going to run out and get a couple of growlers filled as I plan to listen, take measurements, listen and take more measurements... Should be a fun filled night.


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  2. Very nice. Are you going to install the trim ring?
  3. Thanks, I'm undecided on the trim rings as I kind of like them as is. o_O Was hoping to build stands today, but as luck would have it, mother nature decided to dump some snow. I hate not having a workshop. :mad:
  4. After another couple of weeks, numerous movies, sound tracks, etc., I'm kicking myself for not going DIY sooner. Dynamics are simply effortless. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm comparing the 893s to 20 year old B&Ws; however, for HT use there is simply no comparison and I can only imagine what the 1099s, HTMs or newer Titans would do in a HT setting.
    sugarbear likes this.
  5. Sitting proudly on it's "stand". :cool:

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  6. Why not do a compare and contrast with your B&W's? A shootout of sorts? Which has the better highs, mids, etc.

    It doesn't have to be fancy but I think a lot of people would be interested in your opinion.
  7. I read the entire thread, and was encouraged to build a 893 LCR. The web site mentions that it's a little harder to build because of it being a 3 way. I now see what Erich means. This was my first 3 way crossover build, and I ended up putting it on 2, 5x7 pieces of pegboard. It tests out fine, and will do the job, but took a long time. I decided to look into buying PCB boards for my left and right, so I contacted Joemar at abetongj@sbcglobal.net. He turns out to be a great guy to deal with, and sent me some boards that will work beautifully for my next builds.

    For my center, I will paint it because it goes in a place where no one would ever see a veneer job. I also build a grill cover to hide what some might call a "massive array of drivers" And it will score higher on the WAF - easing the way toward 2 more 893's. Might do the same with the mains. No need to post build pictures, because LuisV has done such a good job of that. Mine will have a different look with the grill cover and bevels on the edges, so I'll post them when I get finished.

    Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this thread. It gave the information I needed to start the project.
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  8. It's tough to do such a comparison as I've lived with the B&Ws for so long; however, here's what I can say without using any audiophile type terms, so don't expect comments like this speaker has buttery smooth vocals nor will I say that a particular speaker can impart or extract additional details, nuances that I never heard in X recording before. :rolleyes:

    But before I begin, please understand that I'm not in a dedicated room, I use a horizontal center; however, I do have acoustic panels and bass traps throughout the room. I'm not a measurement geek, I'll leave that to those smarter than me, but I do run Dirac and dabble with REW. I want to learn and be better with REW, but I just haven't had the time to sit down with it. I don't listen at ear bleeding levels, but I don't listen whisper quiet either; however, I do like dynamics, quick bass notes and not muddy nor slow bass tones. My kids are 17 and 21, so I don't need to lower the volume at night, I actually never have, but I know better than waking up my wife at 1am with house rattle bass.

    The B&Ws as most know, have the typical English "refined" bell curve sound signature. Most call it laid back and dull, but some prefer the way they sound... I've had them for the last 20 years, so I obviously liked the way they sounded and I still do. My B&Ws are the 804 Matrix and HTM center and I'm the original owner. I still think they sound great and they amaze me at times, but the center is the weak link for HT duty as it's a single mid-woofer with the typical B&W tweeter in an external pod design. To my ears, it strains during dynamic passages at louder volumes.

    I feel that the B&Ws have a wider and taller sound stage than the 893s. Don't get me wrong, the 893s image very well, but if I'm going to compare and be picky, the B&Ws are better in that regard; however, are they by today's prices, $9,000 or more better, that's something that you would need to decide, but to me, the huge gap in price doesn't warrant that difference and yes I auditioned the 804 Diamonds as well as the CM10 S2 with matching centers, and I couldn't justify their costs. I can afford them, but I just couldn't justify parting with that much cash for a trio of speakers. Remember, I'm not sitting in a chair, sipping cognac, rolling tubes and spinning vinyl listening for the slightest difference to justify a mega dollar system... I'm simply enjoying movies with a heart pounding soundtrack. :cool: Please understand that in my home, music is streamed from Pandora or other similar sources and is played in the background. I still enjoy listening to music, but I'm not listening critically these days... I sold all of my tube gear years ago as my focus changed to HT.

    The 893s, like the SVS Ultra towers and center I auditioned in my room, are more neutral sounding, as least to my ears, they don't impart any specific sound signature on the music nor sound track... they just reproduce it, so garbage in, garbage out. I really liked the SVS Ultra speakers, but the center had a chesty / nasal type of sound to it, so I returned them after about a week and a half or so of auditioning them in my room.

    So fast forward to today... to my ears, the 893s are more dynamic than my B&Ws, they sound much better than their price point suggests and they don't have that chesty / nasal quality like the SVS center had. Are the 893s perfect, no, no speaker is, but they do very well within the HT space and that was my requirement. They have reproduced every soundtrack I've listened to with ease and never strained regardless of volume level without breaking the bank. When I was finished building them, I found myself smiling after dynamic passages and my wife can't stop commenting on how much she prefers these for movies. Remember, to my ears, the B&Ws beat the other speakers I auditioned, so that says a lot for the 893s. Can you build a sound system using the newer B&W Diamonds or other high end brands, sure, will it sound match the price tag, that depends on your preference... myself, I prefer to sink that money into my daughter's college tuition than into 3 or more speakers. You must also remember that you're paying for the furniture quality enclosure and exotic drivers. I can appreciate the R&D, cabinet finishes, craftsmanship of the higher priced speakers, but for HT use, I don't believe you need to spend astronomical amounts of money in speakers to obtain a great sounding system that rivals most cinemas.

    Below are crappy cellphone pictures of some of the various speakers I auditioned in my home... the 20 year old B&Ws remained supreme through these tests, but for HT use they were dethroned by the 893s. I initially performed side by side tests, then I removed the B&Ws from the room for a few days so I can get better acquainted with the test subjects. After a few days, week or longer, I brought back the B&Ws and removed the test subject. Depending on how my wife and I reacted to the B&Ws being back in the room dictated the next steps... all were returned.

    The B&W 804s are going into my home office as part of a small 2 channel system and I'll probably sell the HTM center.

    Hope that helps... but if you have any questions, please ask away.





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  9. Yes, but by working hard and dreaming big, you'll get there one day. You'll get there.

    Thanks for the great review, just the kind I like.

    Buttery smooth and airy, with just a touch of presence. :cool:
  10. No problem, anytime.

    BTW I've rolled a bunch of tubes in my day... I had a 2 channel setup with Audible Illusions Modulus 3A preamplifier, VTL ST-85, and Anthem CD-1 tube CD changer back in the day. The amp was a space heater and I loved the glow from the tubes. I just changed focus into HT once I had kids...
  11. Very nice setup.

    How much improvement did you get from the acoustic panels and bass traps? Also how does the 893 play along with the UM18 (I assume)?
  12. Thanks! I don't have any before / after measurements, but after we installed them in the room, my wife and I heard a difference. I had some slight "slap" echos in the room that disappeared completely. Imaging seemed better as well as bass seemed tighter. The room sounds less "lively", if that makes sense. To our ears, it was a great project and money well spent.

    Thus far.... the 893s and UM18s are working out great and we're really happy with the way they sound. I might build some MBMs to get some additional mid-bass, but I was also missing that with the B&Ws and HSU subwoofer I had previously. The pair of UM18s dig deep and pressurize the room very well... my wife says it sounds more balanced with the dual subs.
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  13. Your build thread has been my inspiration to go 893, and I'm thinking about towers before the paint dries on my center. I am tempted to build 70 liter ported towers that can get to the lower frequencies. I'm using a pair of subs anyway, so maybe big ported boxes is not worth the effort. After running your left and right sealed, do you feel the need (itch) to go ported?
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  14. Great, that's nice to hear and if you have any questions during your build, let me know.

    For HT, I can't say what the benefit would be with the ported enclosure as I typically crossover my L / R / C speakers at 70 - 80hz. I've been tossing around the idea of building MBMs and crossing the mains even higher, say 90 - 100hz and allowing the larger drivers to handle the mid-bass and lows, but it's just an idea for now as I'm not in a dedicated room at the moment.

    For music, if you don't want to use subs, the larger enclosure would be an obvious benefit as they would go lower, 35hz if I recall correctly. Without question, the sealed 893s need a sub.

    Hope that helps....
  15. IMG_1395.JPG IMG_1396.JPG
    Thanks LuisV

    I have 2 subs, so it's hard to justify the ported boxes - I just like the idea of harder hitting lows. I could build cabinets 40 inches tall by about 14 deep that would work out perfectly, especially if I could get Erich to have a baffle made with the horn and mids on top....

    I finished my center last night, and have not fired it up yet. Will do that tonight, and share my thoughts. Check out the pics:
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  16. Very nice! How did you finish it? I love the grill, you'll need to post details on how you made it. :D
  17. b
    Will do.

    Tomorrow, I'll take some pictures of the screen and explain the finish
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  18. I've been listening to the speakers for a day now, and really liking what I hear. Bass is better than I expected, and the mids and highs seem so clear and undistorted. I can see where this is going - gotta have the left and right next. I only did a manual setup with the avr, and will do a YPAO later today to see if it changes much.

    I wanted to make a grill cover, so asked for a baffle w/o round over. The paint is just interior latex that I had the paint store mix to a color I liked. Applied with a low nap weenie roller. It was worthwhile to carefully prime and sand first.

    The grill cover is pretty simple. Frame is 1/2 BB plywood with a 45 deg bevel - just like the cabinet corners. I went to Home Depot and got a roll of screen door repair rope to anchor the cloth in a groove I cut with my table saw. (Just set the blade depth at about 5/16 and cut the groove about 1/2" from the edge. You will have to fill the over cut at the corners. I added a dowel across the center so I could stretch the cloth without causing the sides to bow in. After I got the cloth on, I pulled the corners tight and tacked them down with a hot glue gun. The cover worked out great, and it's a definite plus for WAF - but I am also starting to like the naked look.........

    This project has been fun. I probably spent too much time getting all the details 'just so', but I'm happy with the results. Now trying to decide if the mains will be ported or sealed.
    IMG_1406.JPG IMG_1401.JPG IMG_1400.JPG
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  19. scary, I implore you - you have to set up your own build thread with all of this information! It would be a shame to have your build buried in this thread.

    I have scoured the net looking for a good example of a DIY grill setup for some of the DIYSG build kits. Yours, by far, is the best I've seen yet! No round over, classy bevels, tight grill work and you've achieved exactly what I'm looking for. The look is very reminiscent of Power Sound Audio's speaker line.

    Thanks again for sharing. If you're willing, please set up your own, Google-able, 893 with Grill Cover build thread and go into as much detail as you can. The community will appreciate it!:D
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  20. Thank you for your kind words, Sugarbear!

    To be honest, I followed the examples of everyone else who has done a build. Looking back, I would only say that it pays to be a friggin perfectionist when it comes to fitting cabinet panels during glue up. I used 8-32 Hurricane Nuts to secure the drivers. I lined the box with 1.25" open cell foam, then stuffed it lightly with polyfill. I built my own crossover on pegboard, but have since learned that a printed circuit board would be the best approach. Go slow. Take care of the little stuff, and the big stuff takes care of itself.

    I was thinking about the grill cover before I even started the cabinet. I wanted to bevel it to match the bevel I put on the cabinet corners. I chose a 1/2" thickness because it would give me enough stiffness with those narrow, (about 1") side rails. Blank out a piece of plywood first. Bevel it. Then, lay out the holes for the mounting sockets (or magnets). Transfer the layout to your baffle to insure a good fit. Of course, you want to do that before you attach the baffle. Cut out the interior last. Use wood filler and spackle as needed. The idea for screen door rope came from another thread - and I'm glad I did it that way! It helps to use blue tape to hold the cloth tight while pressing the screen rope into the groove. You can get a tool for that, but I made one out of hardwood that seemed to work OK.

    That's about all I know. PM me if you have any questions, because I would be more than happy to help. And I'm flattered that you like my work. I'm pretty proud of it myself.
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  21. Thanks for the additional details! Time to order my kit: I now know what I'm gonna do! :)
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  22. Thanks for the info on the grill and glad to hear you like the 893 thus far. Wife asked me a few times about grills, so I'll take a stab at making some. Your center looks great and I'm looking forward to your L / R builds and seeing which way you go, ported or sealed.
    scary likes this.
  23. Make sure you start a build thread as well... there aren't many 893 posts out there. :cool:
  24. I've actually decided to go with the Fusion 8 Center and (hopefully) the Fusion 8 Towers. The F8 Center is nearly exactly the same size as the 893's so all the build ideas apply.

    What might change my mind is if scary (or someone) gets and builds some 893 towers with the waveguide-mids section on top... (drool :D)

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