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Gallery Thomas S

3-way Active multiple plywood loudspeaker boxes with expensive drivers

This project will be described with Thomas' own words below


"Here is a short presentation of my latest DIY loudspeaker that I made using the digital crossover, DCN23. My old Focal-based loudspeakers which I build a long time ago were damaged because of rotten foam, so I decided to get a replacement. I first thought of simply buy some new loudspeakers right away and that would be it, but..."

"I went to some shows and visit some dealers to listen to some brands like B&W, Monitor-Audio and so on. The only one that sounded okay was the REVEL Salon 2 which would have cost me 20000 € and at the show was powered by Mark Levinson - stuff that would have cost another 50grand or so."

"So I decided to do it the hard way again and build another set of DIY loudspeaker. It took some time to find out which drivers are top of their class today."

"I also had a chance to listen at the Magico loudspeaker at a show and I found the cabinets very attracting, but I think the loudspeaker is a bit pricy, so I decided to go for a DIY inspired version of the Magico cabinets and the best drivers of today."

"I chose the Audio-Technology 15H midrange because this is one of the fastest mid-range drivers on the market according to the specs. It also has an under-hung voice-coil and the overall build quality is flawless, unfortunately itís very expensive."

"The ribbon is a RAAL 70-20XR AM with Amorphous Core. This model is normally not sold to DIY but I was lucky to get a pair, unfortunately itís very expensive."

The bass is an AURASOUND NS 10-794 4A. This driver also has an under-hung voice-coil and a VAS of 32 litres which means it will fit in a relatively small enclosure, unfortunately itís very expensive.

The building of the cabinets really was a pain in the a.. ! First I made a laser-cut steel template as you can see in the picture. Then I had to cut out the wood with my router; layer by layer 50 birch plywood in each box, which I think took about 5 weeks of spare time. Then I had to glue them together which were even worse, and after all of this I had to sand and polish the loudspeaker boxes.

Donít do this at home!

Above left you see the template costing 80 € for the loudspeaker box layers and on the right the Ground Sound recommandation for the damping resistor network for optimum resolution and low noise - click for large picture

Close up picture of the RAAL 70-20XR AM ribbon tweeter and Audio-Technology 15H midrange

The front, the back and the top side have an inlay of beautiful American walnut


"I got the boxes ready and I had decided to go active because I didnít want to mess around with passive crossovers another few weeks. Finally I decided to go for the DCN23 kit because everyone that bought it seems happy with it. I choose the Hypex-amps because:
a: the Ground Sound modules wonít fit into the cabinet and
b: there was a really good deal on EBay that was too good to miss."

"After finishing building the speaker I borrowed a microphone from a friend of mine, made the measurements and then I listened to music and thought:

"What the f... is this. It sounded harsh and not even close to what I expected."

"I then bought a real microphone with a pre-amp and I made some new measurements. It turned out that the Audio-Technology needed to break in for at least some weeks before they began to sound like they should. Per Skaaning should have told me."

"After some breaking-in time and fine tuning these beasts now sound like I was expecting it from the beginning.
And with 800 Watt horsepower per box it is like listening on steroids - Very controlled bass and the soundstage is almost holografic."

"Thatís it about my DIY loudspeakers - Thomas"

PS. Robert, I am looking forward to see and hear more about your upcoming High End model DCN28 © Ground Sound * Products of Denmark