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Working with Lii Crystal 10s (Read 987 times)
JBzen
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Posts: 352
Working with Lii Crystal 10s
02/25/21 at 21:50:23
 
The Lii Crystal 10 is a well built single full range driver formally the flagship of Lii Audio from China. These were replaced with a new Silver model last year. Similar in specs and utilizing the same frame the Crystal and Silver drivers can be interchanged in existing enclosures. This presented an opportunity for existing users to order the Silvers and plop the drivers into the Crystal enclosures. There are positive results with the switch as spoken by a few on this forum. Better bass, lusher mids are some of the improvements.  It also gave DIYers an opportunity to purchase the old flagships and witness first hand the previous buzz of the Crystals.
I purchased a set of Crystals here in the classified section from a member who just did the switch in his “Official” Lii cabinet. His impressions were similar with others albeit the Silvers were bass shy as compared to his departing 100 hour Crystals. I’m sure by now those Silvers are not bass shy after some break in time.
I checked out the plans of the official cabinets on Lii’s site and almost started to make plans on a build, but changed my mind because of the complexity. I always enjoy a challenge when it comes to cabinet making and was looking forward to this one. My curiosity got the best of me because of all the previous hype and the fact these would replace the 20 year old Jordans. The other cabinet designed by Leon Huijgen as shown by Lii caught my attention. It would only consume 2 sheets of MDF and take a day to build! No brainer! Ordered the drivers Tuesday, received Thursday, listening Saturday to well driven Crystals. This aligns with today’s computer driven society, right?
All parts cut.
.
Driver hole being routed on the baffle.

Felt being applied to the back horn guide.

Placement marks drawn and top assembled to sides.

Baffle installed after back and horn guide are stapled in place.

Felt stapled back to expose a glue edge.

Horn guide attached to the baffle with glue.

Cabinets ready to roll.


My experience with the Crystals does aligned with what has been said good and bad. Bass shy but much better as compared with the Jordans. Attention grabbing mids and crystal clear highs (no pun intended). Leon’s cabinet has builders mention that a resonance is present and the design drops the crystals response off at 60 hz. I concur with those issues. In my room there is resonance at 86 and 183 hz. 86 hz is the room and 183 is the speaker cabinet. The measured frequency drops like a rock at 60 hz. I knew about the room resonance and have plans to address it at a later time. The cabinet can be tamed with properly placed bracing. All these observations were taken with an frequency generator app on my cell plugged into the ZKIT1. The bass can be improved with cabinet alternations.

Starting with the cabinets placed on the beefed up carpeted covered concrete floor imaging suffered as well as bass. Making some 1 1/2" glued up MDF boards the same size as the base dimensions and spiking the made up bases to the floor improved imaging. Bass was still weak but stable.

Looking at the cabinets, I thought why not glue up some 8/4 oak and replace the MDF with a larger base that can serve as a good building foundation. Reasoning two fold of changing cabinet resonance and boltesting bass response. From the looks the designer cut the horn end at about a quarter wave and left the exposed sides free to resonate. Not sure the reason. My guess would be height issue of placing the drivers too high of the seated listener.

Glued up oak being planed for a flat surface.

Spikes added to the bottom surface.

Bases with cabinets in Chariot.


The bass was enhanced with the new bases but still weak. Building up to open the bottom of the horn a couple of inches made the bass loose but a little stronger.

Moving up to take advantage of the full opening of the horn improved the bass down to 40hz then tapering to 30hz before dropping off. The bass is solid. The height of the driver is a tad taller than the Jordans and more work is instore to mend this base into the design.


I will posts as work is done.

John




John
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AMC CD8b>XO3>Cambridge CXN2>(ASKA>Wicket One>)Stokes DAC>low dilectric 5-9s silver>ZKIT1 Milflex copper 25th>cotton clad #8 silver plate>lii Crystal 10 in Huijgen cabinets. Ortofon 2M Bronze>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation>ZP3. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>Room treatment
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Rob7
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Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #1 - 02/26/21 at 08:01:56
 
Very cool!  Nice shop too!  Anxious to read more.  
I recently built, well assembled, The fostex 20 horn kit and installed the silver eight speakers...very happy! Some issues with howling guitar/vocals on some rock music. Thinking maybe back wave reflections. maybe the recordings just suck!  Will be experimenting with some additional wool felt behind the drivers . For 90% of my listening I could not be happier! Inspired me to get the silver tens.  Was planning on an open baffle build, but curiosity has gotten the best of me. I am going to shoehorn them into the Fostex cabinets.  Going in with low expectations. If they suck I will go back to my open baffle plan, or maybe attempt the build you are doing...with my lack of woodworking equipment that may be challenging.  Thanks for sharing!
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JBzen
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Posts: 352
Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #2 - 02/26/21 at 16:48:13
 
Thanks Rob. Felt will help with shout. Now sure about howling. Might be resonance causing that.

The shop has become my happy place over this pandemic. I started this past summer seeking and acquiring tools to fit. It has become very capable for a variety of projects.

Leon's cabinets are a very capable basic design. 2 sheets of MDF stacked flat and clamped on top 2x4s spaning a set of horses will set up all rips for the build. There are 2 small pieces that have 45 degee crosscuts. All cuts can be done with a good circular saw and good straight edge. I just clamp a good level for cutting the panels down to size for easy handling and working with stationary equipment. Assembly is straight forward with proper marking. The MDF can be painted, veneered, or even clad with some good grade plywood. Hole for the drivers can be cut with a jig saw.

Good luck with the Silvers.

John
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AMC CD8b>XO3>Cambridge CXN2>(ASKA>Wicket One>)Stokes DAC>low dilectric 5-9s silver>ZKIT1 Milflex copper 25th>cotton clad #8 silver plate>lii Crystal 10 in Huijgen cabinets. Ortofon 2M Bronze>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation>ZP3. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>Room treatment
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Rob7
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Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #3 - 02/27/21 at 09:24:42
 
Tempting build. I have been eyeing a track saw for sometime. Might be just the push I need!   I do have a router and a circle jig. Not very experienced with it, but I did manage to open up the Fostex 8  baffles for the Lii  tens  to fit. (The Fostex with the Lii Eights are keepers so I ordered a new kit for the 10s. While not cheap, the kits are relatively reasonably priced. Not much more expensive than sourcing uncut birch plywood locally. There is a lot of wood in those horns).

With a little experimentation I used the router jig to cut a plywood circle that fit perfectly in the original baffle opening...screwed the circle down to a sheet of plywood, put the baffle “over” it and secured the baffle to the plywood sheet then ran a 9 9/16” (I think!) circle with the router jig. Worked great!

The howling was more of a reference to the guitar style than the speaker. Think Boston, “More Than A Feeling”.  Guitars and vocals both sound slightly distant and a  bit shouty on that particular track. Not terrible.. Rock music as a whole is hit or miss.  None of it horrible, just not as good as other types.  Will experiment with the felt. Possibly the speakers are just not the best rock ‘n’ roll speakers and some not all that well recorded.  I find them absolutely mesmerizing with most music with a few outliers.

How much did you elevate the speakers? Are they elevated further than the design above the base, or is the base thickness the elevation? did you enlarge the side openings? Have you done any further modifications?  Any additional Internal bracing?  If I build them I’m considering multiple “broomstick” braces.  

Any further sound measurements? Approximate dimensions of your listening room?  From the drawings, it looks like the bottom of the cabinet is completely open (i.e. the exit of the horn).  Is that correct? Seems like a good design to get floor reinforcement.

Any consideration to modifying the base to where it is “carved out” of sort...slightly lower the edges underneath the side vents to help with floor coupling and possibly transitioning into an and upside down curved V projecting up into the horn to help direct the bass out the sides? 

Ha! Coming up with all kinds of work for you to do with with absolutely zero knowledge and likely limited or no benefit! Can’t help myself!

If the Fostex cabinets don’t work out I may be following in your footsteps.
Haven’t completely dismissed the idea of open baffles but suspect that the 15’s may be more suitable for that. From my limited research, seems the single driver idea is to minimize cone movement so as not to distort mids and highs while at the same time generating sufficient bass.  Adding bass boost on OB 10s seems counterintuitive.

Don’t listen to me though! I’m putting Lii tens in cabinets desidned for 8” Fostex drivers! Ha! All good fun!
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JBzen
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Posts: 352
Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #4 - 02/27/21 at 14:05:44
 
2 years ago I was planning/preparing to see the world with a bicycle in retirement. Retirement came as well as covid. Shifting gears accommodating another passion I decided to build a basement woodworking shop. This led to that - now spring will bring another project of building a shed to accommodate all yard tools. Then I will build a panel saw for the 30 year old 7 1/4" circular saw that is dear to me. I digress...

At present there is resonance at 87, 140 and 157hz with a hole at 104hz. Placing the cabinets on 1 1/2" glued up oak spiked to concrete and blocking the baffle/back panels making the existing bottom openings 4 1/4" bigger for a total area that creates the same area as the inside horizontal plane, created the new peaks of resonance. The 104hz hole did not change. The idea is to get the total resonance closer to the hole. This concurs with what I hear. Ths bass at this point is solid meaning bass notes can be followed with ease. Seperaton from the bass guitar and kick drum is distinct on good recordings. Not chest pounding but filled with pleasant moving  detail.

Placing broom sticks horizontal on the side panels will do little changing resonance. It will just join the two sides and most likely resonate together at the same frequency.

Full range single driver speakers build upon Decware's design of keeping the signal intact. The acronym KISS comes to mind in music reproduction. At the turn of this century, I hung out with a group from the Madisound forum. We use to have competitions with speaker building that actually concluded with an event where our designs were judged live. Of all the speakers that I heard over my life single driver always presented the most detail in any given situation especially OB. Why? Placing two drivers in the same space and fed the same signal creates a fight between the two that is compounded by a designer who adds all kind of circuits attempting to referee the bout.

I am still figuring out how to refine the base keeping in mind not to chock the horn!

If your up for a read here is a thread about my room dimensions and build:

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1581779674

John


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AMC CD8b>XO3>Cambridge CXN2>(ASKA>Wicket One>)Stokes DAC>low dilectric 5-9s silver>ZKIT1 Milflex copper 25th>cotton clad #8 silver plate>lii Crystal 10 in Huijgen cabinets. Ortofon 2M Bronze>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation>ZP3. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>Room treatment
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Rob7
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Posts: 24
Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #5 - 02/27/21 at 22:15:18
 
Fun read on the chariot!  I am confined to a small bedroom, but giving me ideas.

This crazy Covid thing has been a damper on life.  Glad to see you found  creative and fun ways to stay in the game! It’s good to have hobbies such as this.

Being new to the DIY speaker crowd, I’m sometimes overly enthused when I discover some “new” information...even though much of this information has been around for most of the century!

The more I look into the design you built the more intrigued I am. At first glance it looks so simple that I questioned how effective it could be. Sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity.

Researching the design I came across the “voight pipe”. I believe the design was conceived  the 1930s!  There is an excellent online video going into great detail on the concept with props, demonstrations and all. Over 50 minutes long!  I was intrigued and it looked like a fairly simple build.

Then it occurred to me your build seems very similar except  there’s a “fold” in it. (That  led me to the BB design, which appears essentially to be your build upside down!)

There is an elegant grace to the tall slender design of the voight pipes that intrigues me however I’m more inclined to go with a known formula for the Lii speakers.

I’m almost done with the Fostex folded cabinets for the tens but regardless of the outcome, I see this build in my future!  The updates and information you are posting are much appreciated!

Thought I would finish up the current project today but the glue I ordered from Amazon came with the package open and the glue missing! Using Elmers wood glue max.  Would never thought a glue could make such a difference. This glue has an exceptionally long open time (need the time—lots of fiddling assembling these horns to align things) yet cures in one hour clamped.  Stains  better than the others, not perfect, but better, squeeze out cleans up easily and best of all, it stays put!  Far less runny than other Elmers and Titebonds.  Unfortunately I can’t find it local.

Sorry for the glue advert!

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JBzen
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Posts: 352
Re: Working with Lii Crystal 10s
Reply #6 - 02/28/21 at 01:15:55
 
Wow! Voight pipes! I had to jog my memory on that speaker. At one time it inspired me to build but never got done.

John
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AMC CD8b>XO3>Cambridge CXN2>(ASKA>Wicket One>)Stokes DAC>low dilectric 5-9s silver>ZKIT1 Milflex copper 25th>cotton clad #8 silver plate>lii Crystal 10 in Huijgen cabinets. Ortofon 2M Bronze>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation>ZP3. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>Room treatment
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