Paul Carmody Speedster Design

M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I am going to have to build it soon. I am a fan of his designs. I have been really enjoying the Classix2 design in my bedroom for a year by now, even though I built them about 3 years ago, and I cannot imagine parting with them. I almost pulled the trigger on his Tarkus design, but I don't really have the room for anymore large speakers. Even more contrary to my usual habits being, I am generally underwhelmed by bookshelf speakers with small woofers. I always hear that nearly cliche description of, "It sounds like a much bigger speaker." Perhaps if you are a desktop listener, that may be apparent between one design or another. But to me, not so much. I built the C-note kit. I didn't expect much for a c-note, and figure I got just what I paid for. Again, I have too many speakers that are more potent than those in basically the same class, and the low price is now forgotten.

Currently, I am on Jeff Bagby's Continuums I built back in like 2017-ish, matched up with my twin Dayton RSS315HF subs in sealed boxes and holy crap, these are good. These are really special. They have the NLA RS28A tweeter. I know they did an update with a different tweeter but I am glad I have these. Between the Fusion Tempest, and these, there's two Jeff Bagby designs. The Tempests are behind these in the photo. I was going to listen to the Continuums for a day, and they frig'n hooked me again.


Anyway, that brings me to Paul Carmody's Speedsters. He designs speakers my ears find agreeable, with regard to fun listening. He's not afraid to design what sounds good, instead of being so attached to the numbers. The other thing is that lately I have been doing a lot of tabletop, and near field listening. Especially late at night when I don't want to rattle the neighbors. After 10:30 pm, if I am still feeling like jamming, I can move to a more central part of the house and get my fix there on a smaller scale. Is why I built the small, class D amp, too, which should also work very well with the Speedsters. The final reason is really based on whimsy. I just think the speakers are cool looking and I want to own them.

Here is the Speedster design/writeup, even though most in the DIY arena are well aware of this model by now. I'll be ordering the kit sometime this week for a holiday project.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
It is a neat looking little beast of a woofer and I ordered the kit already.
Tang Band W4-1720 4" Underhung Midbass Driver

1607398455856.png
 
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slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
Tell me more about the Classix!

You really enjoy these?

How can you describe them? Do they compare to anything else you have heard? It is refreshing to see a speaker designer get away from the norm.

Do they really sound good with pretty much any source material? They tend to gloss over poor recordings?

Clearly, I am intrigued by the design goals on the Classix, and the real-world feedback!

I have built a pair of Paul's Overnight Sensations. These are currently my garage speakers.

I have also been looking hard at the JB Solstice kit (ever since it was released), and had an eye on the PE Sambas too.

On a side note, I tend to agree with you on the cliche of "sound like much bigger speakers". Seems like every time I expect that from the online reviews, I am underwhelmed! I think this get my expectations up to unrealistic levels, even just reading that is a bit of a peeve to me.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Tell me more about the Classix!

You really enjoy these?

How can you describe them? Do they compare to anything else you have heard? It is refreshing to see a speaker designer get away from the norm.

Do they really sound good with pretty much any source material? They tend to gloss over poor recordings?

Clearly, I am intrigued by the design goals on the Classix, and the real-world feedback!

I have built a pair of Paul's Overnight Sensations. These are currently my garage speakers.

I have also been looking hard at the JB Solstice kit (ever since it was released), and had an eye on the PE Sambas too.

On a side note, I tend to agree with you on the cliche of "sound like much bigger speakers". Seems like every time I expect that from the online reviews, I am underwhelmed! I think this get my expectations up to unrealistic levels, even just reading that is a bit of a peeve to me.
I love the classix2 design. Unpretentious, and with just the right amount of bass. Great with mainstream music and better recordings just make them better. The tweeter (perhaps the waveguide has something to do with it) does 'just' enough without being splashy, or bright. It reveals everything it should. I am using them with no EQ in my bedroom. They keep me in bed hours longer than I should be there, some days. 6.5" woofer has just enough umpf and they will rock your socks in the near field. I almost gave these away, thinking they were pretty average until I actually gave them a fair chance. I found Paul Carmody's assessment to be spot on. Definitely worth doing for what they cost. You will hear all the clicks, tings, shimmers etc. from the percussion section of the music. If you didn't notice so much before, they will make you listen out for it from there on. They make me grin when I use them. I would not part with these speakers. Now because he nailed the performance description so well, I tend to trust what he says about his other designs, too.

I built the rear ported version.


The pictures don't really do the walnut justice. They are pretty snazzy for a speaker that is kind of sold on the "slumming it" vibe.


The Speedsters I just have to try. I do not care if these sound like small speakers. I intend to use them for travel with the little Icepower amp kit I assembled.

I too, looked at the Solstice kit but the type really doesn't fit my space. The Sambas are news to me, but I hadn't been keeping up with designs lately but they look promising, albeit out of stock until next year sometime. There is also a Classix 2.5, which is a TMM design with a pair of the same woofers. I almost went for that one too, thinking, more of a Classix can't be a bad thing.

I currently own two of JB's designs. Incredible speakers.
 
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M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Kit arrived, safe and sound. May start the cabinets this weekend.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Hey, any news on the build?
No. Thought I was going to get right on it when I posted this and a bunch of other things suddenly needed my attention. I'll get to it eventually.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I did make some headway today. Someone thought it a good idea to sit on my other renegade router table and broke it. Today I put this one together to sit evenly on saw horses. Same horses I use for everything else, so I reckon that makes this an accessory. :)



I use a circular saw for all the cuts. This carcass didn't want to be exactly square, so this old trick helps it until the glue sets. I add just an RCH over, so that it springs back perfectly.


I used a half lap on all the rabbets. Helps things match up a little better than the 1/4" lap. Rear panel will fit on here. Front baffle will mount right to the front edges without rabbets.


Tomorrow I'll take it to work and true up the baffle side on the table saw.

I still have all the parts from Meniscus in the box. I took the drivers out yesterday to look because I was cleaning house. It inspired me to get with it.
 
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M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Well now, I'd forgotten all about this.
When it looked like I was going to be having a bunch ot time off due to covid, I stocked upon projects. Well, the covid plan never worked out because to the contrary, I have been busier than I have, in years. My day job is drawing, measuring, cutting and assembling. By the time I get home, I have not been feeling like building anything else. My shop at home is/was a total disaster, and yesterday, I took everything out of it, swearing to toss everything I don't need relatively soon and starting over. It got to the point where if I couldn't instantly find something I needed, I was buying it yet again, as needed, instead of trying to find it, so now I have duplicates of the same things. I found 6 full rolls of Teflon tape. Every time I need to do plumbing, I buy a new roll instead of looking for the last one I bought. :D
 
Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
Again, I have too many speakers
Anyway, that brings me to Paul Carmody's Speedsters
There's a lesson for me in this that I'm going to ignore. I only have 1 extra set of speakers and they're not that special. The special ones are all in use. It would be nice to have a special set as a spare. Somehow I ended up looking at the Carreras ... the $900 price tag kept it at just looking though.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
There's a lesson for me in this that I'm going to ignore. I only have 1 extra set of speakers and they're not that special. The special ones are all in use. It would be nice to have a special set as a spare. Somehow I ended up looking at the Carreras ... the $900 price tag kept it at just looking though.
The Philharmonic Audio BMR Speaker Kit is now available at Meniscus. If I build another serious speaker, that will be the next, and likely last.

I use all the speakers I have, at different times. I have one setup on my table, and if I mess with it, I will get lured in for a lengthy session. It's also for when I get the urge to jam in the wee hours, since it is a centrally located near field setup that doesn't pound the neighbors.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I do a little before work each day. The ribbon tweeters have two heat sinks that needed clearance, as well as the terminals for the woofer. The magnets on the woofers are rather large, for a 4" driver. I still need to clean up the holes a bit an back bevel a bit, but the hard parts are done. Front baffle will get saturated with epoxy, including all fastener holes. This way, I can get away with using lag screws to hold the drivers in. Epoxy on the threads in treated holes on wood/MDF, is equivalent to medium loc-tite with metal threads.

I had to freehand the woofer holes a little larger. I cut it the measurement that typical drivers use, but in this case, the magnets are unusually large. The basket would have cleared fine, otherwise.



As long as the tweeter sits flush, I am happy, and it did. There's about 2 coats of paint room around the tweeter, but it only needs one coat there.


I'll sand the baffle flush, once it's all glued. These things are kind of cute. Oh yeah, I still have to build the crossovers. I could have done that tonight, and I'm just sitting here like I have nothing better to do. :D
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Well now, I'd forgotten all about this.
Me too. I'm excited to hear impressions. I've thought of doing this kit myself more than once.

I still need to stain my first build.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I knew I had a couple days, so I saturated the MDF crossover blanks that came with the kit with thinned epoxy. This makes them more like a plasticized, circuit board material. Now I can drill it without it fuzzing out around the holes. The epoxy soaks in about an 1/8".

Here the boards are cured, and I am sanding the drips and stuff out. Now I can give them a coat of poly varnish from a spray can just to make them nicer. I give the inside of the cabinet an epoxy wash as well, since I will have some leftover from other glue processes that I don't want to throw away. Just add denatured alcohol to it and it makes an exceptional, if not the best, penetrating primer for paint.



 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Got the crossovers tested and completed.



Can see how much cleaner the holes come out, since the MDF was hardened with epoxy.
 
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