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February 13, 2020

DIY Coaxial Stage Wedge on the Cheap for My Church

As some of you may know I volunteer my time with my local church as a Tech Director. If you’ve volunteered with a church you may have realized that in most cases the funds aren’t always available for ongoing projects. This means at times we have to get creative and come up with cheaper solutions.

It’s been on my mind lately about how I would go about building a DIY stage monitor or wedge for our church. In this video, I’ve already started the designing process and share some ideas on what I would like to do with this project.

Deciding on the Approach

A couple of different approaches were considered before deciding on how to proceed with this project we considered in-ears for the band. With so many musicians it just wasn’t practical for the church’s budget. After some consideration building, our own stage monitor was going to be a better fit for the project.

At the church, we already have some wedges but they are out of date and sound terrible. My theory is because they are not clear we need to make them louder for the musicians to hear. We’re also working with a small space so if we decrease the volume of the wedges we will be able to lower the overall volume and have more clarity in the room. These are all good things!

One of the pieces to consider for this build are the drivers we’re going to use. There are different brands and types I considered and after some research, I decided to go with the Selenium D220Ti Horn Driver and the Eminence Beta – 10CX Coaxial Driver – they seem to be a “80/20” rule combination – giving us the most possible bang for the buck!

Stage Wedge Design

After deciding on what I wanted to use I now needed a design to build the wedge off of. I was able to find a design from a man named Michael who worked with the drivers I had decided on and was able to make it work. He shares the results and the frequency response here, Osprey-II Revisited.

Considering the output and the low cost of the drivers I was impressed with the results he gathered. I was able to reach out to Michael and as long as it is for non-commercial use he will send you the crossover information that he built.

Now that I know what will work I was able to sketch up the design I want to use for the stage wedge. I used an online app called SketchUp to create the design.

The next step for this project will be actually building it and I’m excited because I’ve never done a project like this before.

In this next video of DIY Stage Monitor part 2, I share the latest update of the project so far. For the most part, it is close to being put together and ready to be tested.

But first, here is the parts list:

(1) Eminence Beta 10 CX

(1) Selenium D220ti

(1) Crossover made with Osprey II design.

12mm Baltic Birch Plywood (about 1/2 a sheet)

(2) Neutrik Speakon Jacks

Screws, Glue

Used Grille

The Journey So Far

Once I was able to get all of the parts in I decided to start with building the crossover. While it may not be the prettiest looking I was really happy when testing it and how great it sounded. I was also able to set up the wires going to both of the drivers.

For future projects, I would like to try a different and more organized approach for this board. But for now, it works and does exactly what I need it to do.

Building the Cabinet

The next important component of this project is actually building the stage wedge itself. With this part of the project, I have some ideas on how to do this better in the future but for now, I am happy with the outcome.

For the material, I decided to go with baltic birch which I purchased from WoodWorkerSource.com. This was a bit more expensive than purchasing it locally but it was convenient and they did cut the pieces for me and ship it to my front door!

For the cabinet, I will be sure to provide dimensions of this once the project is complete.

The first part of building this cabinet was cutting the polygon side pieces which was done with a circular saw. If you do have a table saw that can tilt the blade I would recommend doing that instead.

For the next step, I did cut out the rest of the pieces except for the front piece where the speaker will mount. The measurements for the rest of the pieces were not exact but it was close enough.

Then, once I had all of the pieces cut I glued and used Kreg screws to hold everything together. Once everything was put together, I then measured what size I needed for the baffle.

Once I had the baffle cut out and attached I did freehand on cutting out a hole for the speaker. I don’t recommend this and if there is a better way to do this than you want to do it that way.

Next Steps

The next step for this project is finishing it out by priming the cabinet and then Duratex it. Duratex paint is a durable paint that is often used for speakers.

Before painting the cabinet I do have to cut out another hole for the handle and then build a tripod mount so I can mount the cabinet.

After that, I’ll be able to put everything together, plug it in, and be able to test it out to see how everything sounds. So far, I am happy with how everything sounded so it’ll be great to have all of this put together.

Completing the Build

Life got a little crazy these past few months so the DIY Wedge project was placed on the back burner. Once I had a moment available I was able to finish the build and actually test it out.

After some finishing touches and audio testing, we’re happy with the outcome! Here are the finished product and results.

Finishing Touches

As I mentioned in the previous video, I really wanted to take a more organized and planned approach for the layout of this board. But to get the project done, I sauntered everything together and finished the board.

DIY Wedge Board

Next, it was time to finish out the wedge cabinet. After putting everything together and adding the final touches it was finally time to test this out and see what the audio sounded like.

Testing the Audio

Once I painted the wedge and added some final touches with it, I brought it into the church for some testing. Overall, our musicians were really happy with the sound. Everything went well and for the cost of this unit, we were all fairly impressed.

After a couple of weeks of using it at the church, I had connected with a friend who is an audio tech. We set up the wedge and equipment to run the testing and measuring the sound.

After running the tests and measuring everything we both felt the results were very impressive. Especially with these wedges being used on a small stage the sound was really good.

My Conclusion

Overall, I am very happy with this project and the results of it. The unit looks really good, performs well, and for the cost of $275 – $325 it’s an investment that was worth it.

I do plan on building 5 or 6 more wedges with this design and it will work very well compared to what we have been using.

Until then, if you want to build this, here is the SketchUp file and gear list:

Sketchup File: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s1umweo7hcwg8sh/10CX%20Wedge%20-%20Improved%20Angle%20and%20Volume.skp?dl=0

Gear List

(1) Eminence Beta 10 CX

(1) Selenium D220ti

(1) Crossover made with Osprey II design.

12mm Baltic Birch Plywood (about 1/2 a sheet)

(2) Neutrik Speakon Jacks

Screws, Glue

Grille that I will use on the final monitors: https://www.reliablehardware.com/customspeakergrill-14diastaggered.aspx

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David Henry

David has been involved with church AV and networks since around 2003. He's played a variety of roles in church tech, from Intern to Audio and Lighting Lead, and also is a Professional Lighting Designer and Lighting Teacher. But don't let those fancy terms scare you, he's really a nice guy, and wants to help you!

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