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Going Rogue with Ref 100 Ninja Master Crossover

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  • Going Rogue with Ref 100 Ninja Master Crossover

    This thread is the third and final in a series, this one about a DIY build and install of Skiing Ninja’s Crossover for the Onix Reference 100 speaker along with the NoRez dampening.

    By now everyone knows I ordered DIY, doing the assembly and wiring. As mentioned in the Ref 1s and 3s 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.

    Once again Sean’s layout of the Ref 100 crossover is well done and on separate boards compared to the one stock board. My layout was done in the same reasoning and logic as in my discussion in the Ref 3 thread. And to paraphrase the Ref 3 thread, “The $40 that Sean charges for the board’s assembly is the cheapest $40 you will ever spend”. With having to deal with only one speaker this build would take less time, or so I thought. Planning the layout took about 10 minutes. There is not much to vary from Sean’s layout. Drilling the hardboards, mounting of the components and wiring everything up to completion took 2 hours for both boards.

    Removing the drivers and internals followed the same methods mentioned in the Ref 1/3 threads. Again, cleaning the interior was somewhat easy using a paint scraper and a few other tools. The 100 had glue runs all over that had to be removed and the interior of the cabinet is much tighter the way the braces are in there. The complete disassembly and cleaning of this cabinet took 40 minutes and one watch crystal. But now my wife has something to get me for Christmas.

    Goin’ WAY rogue. Got some ‘splaining to do.

    Sean’s layout has the two crossover boards in the opposite back corners, and real easy to get to when screwing them into the cabinet. But to me they were just begging to be located in the center location. Plenty of room, it gives the woofer chambers full application of NoRez, and the wiring just falls into place. With the inductor layout on the boards, there would be no flux field interference either. The majority of the screws would be a little tighter to get to with the angle driver, and the two next to the cabinet face needed some real thought. But it worked.

    I need to talk about the Spax screws. They are great screws for this application, but I think these need a #1 Phillips bit or screwdriver, not the #2 that Sean has in his literature. It just seemed to work better.

    Need to talk about the binding post nuts, too. While it was easy to use a 12mm or ½” open end wrench on the retaining nuts in the Ref 1 and 3 cabinets, it is frustrating in the Ref 100 due to the bracing. With my automotive toolbox, I just grabbed a crow’s-foot wrench (3/8” drive, ½” size) and some socket extensions and worked with that, making it a breeze.

    Since I was altering the location of the crossover(s), the NoRez installation needed to be altered as well. I (and Sean) found that there are some variations in the Ref 100 cabinets, and Sean supplied 5 pieces that were a little too large. The ones that were not going to be altered just had to be cut down, and with this opportunity I discovered that the NoRez could be easily cut with regular scissors, not the aviation snips and utility knife that I previously used. I leaned something new. I revamped the NoRez around the binding post location, too. Instead of one big piece with holes, I made them in little sections like the Ref 3 pieces.

    Even if doing Sean’s locations, I would do the NoRez install different then in his install guide (shocked, I’m sure you are). First the sides, then the back wall, center bottom, then the crossover install, followed by the top NoRez, and finally the bottom. It just gives you more room to work if you have bigger hands like me. Since I screwed around a lot figuring out what I wanted to do, I would have to estimate that a standard NoRez and crossover installation would be about 45 minutes.

    With all the NoRez installed, I cut a section of the original dampening felt to fit over the crossover area. This was cut a little larger and tucked into the edges to hold it in place.

    The tweeter was soldered in first. I put heat shrink tubing over these connections as they are so close to the metal shielding used to prevent CRT distortion that without it (and the stock setup is without heat shrink tubing), an electrical short could develop. The woofers do not need this and go in fine. With the boards related from Sean’s design, I had to cut back the woofer leads.

    So for my guesstimated total time invested for building up the boards, installing the NoRez and installing the new crossovers would be 3.5 hours. With Sean’s completed boards, it would be about 1.5 hours.

    Again, there’s a more detail pictorial is in my Webshots album with 30 pictures if you’re interested:

    Ref 100 Ninja Master Build Album