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Linkwitz Pluto (v.2.1) loudspeaker build

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Bet you don't see too many of these on here!

 

Me and two friends are making ourselves a pair of Pluto's each. We a) can't afford b) haven't got the room for the Orions, but maybe one day, in my case anyway, so we're going to sewer pipe it up in style and see how we fare with Siegfried's smaller, yet equally well-received Pluto design. This will be the 2.1 revision, using the late-2011 boards, which use more readily available parts. The intention is to copy the reference design 95% accurately, with the only changes being more or less cosmetic (a nicer looking base unit, woofer basket and some paint/vinyl wrap to make it look pretty). 

 

This is obviously very early days, as so far we've 

1) Ordered a set of plans and 6 boards from Linkwitz Labs - they've arrived here in the UK (no customs charges, hurrah!). The Orions are active speakers as all the amplification is contained within the base unit of the speaker, using very high quality components.

 

My friend has a decent camera so is doing all the pics:

 

linkwitz-02.jpg

linkwitz-1.jpg

 

2) we had a 40% code for one electronic components supplier outlet, mostly the more expensive parts of the board and have ordered those. The majority of bits and bobs for the boards we've yet to order. The 'third guy' is kindly doing all the soldering as he's a whizz at it. 

 

http://linkwitzlab.com :D

 

I would also like to note that Google Docs is VERY helpful, as we have a shared online doc all three of us can access which is kept up to date as far as what's been ordered, what we need to order and how much of it, who's paid for what and so on. Being able to change in inside your web browser is a great time-saver.

 

Obviously updates will come as and when parts arrive and we can think of interesting ways to photograph them!

post #2 of 32

I've had a set of Orion's on my wishlist for a while now. Hadn't really thought about the Pluto's because I wasn't interested in the active aspect - but they are very cool indeed. 

 

Curious to see how your build goes! 

post #3 of 32

The orions are something I would love to build someday too, unfortunately apartment life limits woodworking pretty much.

 

Don't see too many speaker builds here, good luck with the project!

post #4 of 32

Right on, I've thought about building a set of orions before, but they are a bit cost prohibitive.  I'll be keeping an eye on this thread....

post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

Cheers guys. It'll probably take a while to see visible progress because one guy has to solder all 6 boards, check everything's working etc, and once that's done we'll start ordering things like the drivers and pipes.

 

We will be using PVC-U pipe from the UK rather than trying to find the ABS/PVC Schedule 40 stuff Americans use, because it's REALLY difficult and expensive to get here. The Class E pipe for the woofer tube is only a hair thinner than the pipe used in the original version, but PVC-U is stronger than regular PVC so it shouldn't matter (the internal volume of the tube is the most important thing).

 

Tomorrow if I get time I'm going to be designing some ideas for the base of the speaker. The reference design is quite basic and although our wood-working skills are limited, we'd rather come up with something a little more aesthetically pleasing.

 

PS - Uncle Erik is making some Orions. He should make a thread himself. ;)

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 

Third guy has received the boards from my friend and the parts he ordered, although he's still got to get a bunch of other components and he's currently moving house so it will be a while before he gets started. After Christmas things should start to pick up a bit hopefully.

post #7 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcg27 View Post

The orions are something I would love to build someday too, unfortunately apartment life limits woodworking pretty much.

 

Don't see too many speaker builds here, good luck with the project!

 

The Orion cabinets can be ordered or you can have a cabinet shop cut them for you.

 

I'm pretty close to having a local shop cut them for me.  My shop isn't going to be done for a few more months and I'd like to (finally) get my Orions together.  I have the amps and everything else except the cabinets.  I hit 40 next July and am highly motivated to have my "end game" speakers together.

 

And i'm very, very interested in this Pluto project!  The temptation to build a pair is strong, bu I already have too many speakers.  Please keep this thread updated!

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

 

We will be using PVC-U pipe from the UK rather than trying to find the ABS/PVC Schedule 40 stuff Americans use, because it's REALLY difficult and expensive to get here. The Class E pipe for the woofer tube is only a hair thinner than the pipe used in the original version, but PVC-U is stronger than regular PVC so it shouldn't matter (the internal volume of the tube is the most important thing).

 

Just a thought but over here at least there may be several varieties of pvc pipe or conduit. As an example there are standards for what communications and power use in regards to dimensions and thickness etc. then the telecommunications carriers have their own standard which is slightly different again and then there are water, reticulation, vent or air conditioning pipes amongst others.

 

So as an example there may be 25mm pipe/conduit but there may be various versions with slightly different internal and external diameters.

 

Just an example is 25mm pressure pipe with a wall thickness of 1.7mm whereas as heavy duty electrical conduit has a wall thickness of 2.65mm. Dimensons are also off for the pressure pipe which is actually almost 33mm diameter, the pressure pipe is also often made with PVC-M instead of PVC-U.

 

That is how it is here at least.

 

Anyway my point is that if you look at the various trades and what they use, you may find something close to or spot on to the right material and dimensions you need and be careful, the dimensions can be sometimes way off what they are actually called.
 

 


Edited by splaz - 12/20/11 at 5:30am
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I hit 40 next July and am highly motivated to have my "end game" speakers together.

 

And i'm very, very interested in this Pluto project!  The temptation to build a pair is strong, bu I already have too many speakers.  Please keep this thread updated!


 

Heresy!

post #10 of 32

Out of curiousity, what amp are you going to be using with the Orion Uncle Erik? The recommended 8 channel ATI thing or something DIY?

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

Well, the Plutos typically use ABS or PVC pipe such as is used in sewer piping. The pipe I'm looking at is sold by a Koi shop for the purposes of plumbing, so it's a similar sort of usage. I've talked to them and got the dimensions, ID and OD etc, it's near enough the same thing, and Siegfried intended the Plutos to be done in such a way as for people to use locally available materials. If you go to the Pluto gallery page, there's all kinds of pipes, the main thing is that the dimensions and internal volume are within 5% of the reference design, and it's a rigid pipe. If all 3 are satisfied you should have something near identical.

 

I also plan on building the Orions + Thor subs when I'm older, since my other dream speakers are the Focal Grande Utopia EM's and at $180,000 dollars a pair (obviously excluding the rest of the set up), I think I'm more likely to be visited by aliens or see a flying whale, so while quite expensive, at least Linkwitz's design is within reach for 'the 99%'. Currently I don't have the space/room, and I think the Plutos fit better for a smaller single guy earning average 20-something wages. When I'm a bit older, wiser, and living in a bigger place, then I'll let my parents enjoy the Plutos and get cracking with the Orions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by splaz View Post

 

Just a thought but over here at least there may be several varieties of pvc pipe or conduit. As an example there are standards for what communications and power use in regards to dimensions and thickness etc. then the telecommunications carriers have their own standard which is slightly different again and then there are water, reticulation, vent or air conditioning pipes amongst others.

 

So as an example there may be 25mm pipe/conduit but there may be various versions with slightly different internal and external diameters.

 

Just an example is 25mm pressure pipe with a wall thickness of 1.7mm whereas as heavy duty electrical conduit has a wall thickness of 2.65mm. Dimensons are also off for the pressure pipe which is actually almost 33mm diameter, the pressure pipe is also often made with PVC-M instead of PVC-U.

 

That is how it is here at least.

 

Anyway my point is that if you look at the various trades and what they use, you may find something close to or spot on to the right material and dimensions you need and be careful, the dimensions can be sometimes way off what they are actually called.
 

 



 

post #12 of 32

http://gainphile.blogspot.com/2008/05/linkwitz-pluto-sewer-pipe-omni-p.html

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Gainphile did.

 

 

 

 

His application of the miniDSP is interesting too.

 

 

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/minidsp/174145-minidsp-linkwitz-orion-asp-4.html#post2337173


Edited by Redcarmoose - 12/20/11 at 11:29am
post #13 of 32

Subscribed. Been interested in these so-ugly-they-are-interesting speakers for a while now. Just don't know if I have a room big enough for them.

post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 

We will be trying to make them less ugly!

 

My room is around 11x12ft, so it's not huge, but should be big enough. One thing I'm quite excited about is one of the neat tricks these speakers are apparently capable of: when tracks have a volume fade at the end, it can sound like the band (who sounded like they were playing in your room) are receding further and further away, rather than it simply getting quieter.

 

We will be ordering the drivers and Acousta-stuf material from Madisound (I think) as they sell it as a complete kit. Probably get killed with shipping charges but we're ordering everything 'for three' so we save a bit of money compared to ordering individually.

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the lack of updates:

1) RS took ages shipping all the parts and we only just got the final bits of the order

2) Guy is v. busy, soldering will have to wait a little while

3) Speccing out the woofer basket in terms of manufacture/materials/adhesives which will work

 

My friend has been doing drawings with measurements etc based off me mucking about in 3D. Also, we'll probably be using a mitre joint for the tweeter pipe rather than relying on the (ugly) PVC elbow joint. I've been messing about with (in addition to the basket) some base designs. I started with the reference design but it's a bit... well, basic. Materials and what tools are available will dictate more than what we like the look of the most, I'd say. I'll upload some screen grabs of my models when I'm not at work.

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