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Going Rogue with Skiing Ninja Crossovers on Ref 1s

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  • Going Rogue with Skiing Ninja Crossovers on Ref 1s

    This thread is the second in a series, this one about Skiing Ninja’s Crossover for the Onix Reference 1 speakers performing the full build DIY option.

    This build covers the Ninja Master crossovers without the Platinum caps, but full SSC wiring. It may have been a mistake leaving the platinum caps off, but I did since these are surround speakers, not mains. The way the boards were laid out I can install platinum caps in the future if they are done the same way as the Ref 3 boards. I opted for the cabinet upgrade kit, consisting of pre cut pieces of NoRez to dampen cabinet vibrations and act as the absorption felt supplied from the factory.

    Once again I ordered DIY, so it’s up to me to do the assembly and wiring. As mentioned in the Ref 3 thread, I’ve done a good amount of wiring and assembling over the years and really enjoy doing it. I also have my own way of doing things. Not that I consider anything wrong with Sean’s assembling of the boards. While I was building the boards my wife decided to visit me in the garage to see why I was spending so much time down there lately. To her dismay, I wasn’t making her a Christmas present. I wouldn’t even try to spin the crossovers as my gift of better sound to her. Anyway, explaining what I was doing came the revelation this is my new modeling.

    Years ago I used to build models. Some people just take a plastic model, build it and paint it. Not Modifying Jack. Here are current pictures of one of my favorites that I built in 1984 taking about 80 hours. Based on a 1/32 Monogram kit, it was painted with automotive paint and buffed, many of the body panels were made from aluminum sheet, plus a few other things. It’s still referenced by some Shelby club members today.

    Cobra Model

    Sean’s layout of the Ref 1 boards is well done and very logical. But as you now know, I’m Modifying Jack. And the layout was done in the same reasoning and logic as in my discussion in the Ref 3 thread. And to quote the Ref 3 thread, “The $65 that Sean charges for the board’s assembly is the cheapest $65 you will ever spend”. Once again planning the layout and then drilling the hardboards, mounting of the components and wiring everything up to completion took 4.5 hours for both boards. If you follow Sean’s layout and wiring for DIY, these should be done in about 1.5 hours. Or for a few dollars, 0 hours.

    Removing the drivers and internals followed the same methods mentioned in the Ref 3 thread. The felt damping material in the Ref 1 is more substantial then the Ref 3s, both in thickness and coverage. Looking at it, I wondered if the NoRez really needed to replace the OE dampening. But then again, the Ref 1 is build of MDF and thinner then the Ref 3’s plywood. Again, cleaning the interior was easy using a paint scraper and a few other tools. The complete disassembly and cleaning of each cabinet took 40 minutes.


    The installation of the XO into one cabinet went off smoothly. The second was the proverbial square peg in a round hole. The board was 1/8” too wide to fit through the woofer hole. That’s a little problematic after you’ve spent so much time building the boards. I had noticed this when I was first drilling the boards for the wire ties and through holes, but I didn’t think about checking fitment of the boards into the cabinet. So my first thoughts went to one of the 3 Sawzalls I own. A few moments of reflection brought a brief period of sanity and I used a scroll saw that I had just used for cutting out electrical wall plates (another story).

    Once cut, the board fit right in. Sean’s layout would be a snug fit. With my standing the one capacitor upwards rather then laying it down made this a tight fit. But I had checked for this when I made a trial run layout using the cardboard. The only mounting screw I had an issue with was at the back left since an inductor obstructs its view. Once again a mirror and my Snap-On light stick made this doable. The in-feed connections to the binding posts were done next to get them out of the way. Due to my running the wires under the board itself, the tweeter wires for the binding posts as well as the tweeter itself were sparse in length. Following Sean’s layout, they would have been abundant. With the thinner section of the cabinet wall compared to the Ref 3, the nuts for the binding posts were easy to install.

    The NoRez is precut, but there is one thing I found to help in the installation. The #6 piece goes to the back of the cabinet. Sean’s instructions are to install the crossover before the NoRez install, which makes this tougher. I just cut #6 in half with a utility knife and scissors, which made it easy. As with the Ref 3s, the port region in the cabinet is bare, so I took it upon myself to stuff some of the OE felt into this area. A section of the thicker felt was cut and blanketed the new crossovers. It takes about 15 minutes per cabinet for NoRez installation.

    The drivers soldered in fine. The total time from initial disassembly, cleaning the cabinet, installation of the XO then NoRez, and re-installation of drivers: 1 hour and 45 minutes per cabinet.

    So for my total time invested for building up the boards, installing the NoRez and installing the new crossovers was 7.5 hours for both speakers.

    Again, there’s a more detail pictorial is in my Webshots album if you’re interested, although not as detailed as the Ref 3 album:

    Ref 1 Crossovers

    Who can it be knocking at my door?
    Go 'way, don't come 'round here no more.
    Can't you see that it's late at night?
    I'm very tired, and I'm not feeling right.
    All I wish is to be alone;
    .......................... (so I can listen to my new Onix Reference speakers).
    Stay away, don't you invade my home.
    Best off if you hang outside,
    Don't come in - I'll only run and hide.

    Who can it be now?
    Who can it be now?
    Who can it be now?
    Who can it be now?

    Oh, it’s the UPS man. He’s got my Ref 100 kit! :whoopie:

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Can't wait to hear more on the ref100 Ninja. I need to think about doing that to my center as well.