Thanks to Tom, one of my best friends and also one of the owners and director of Halwema, one of the largest woodwork and aluminum machinery suppliers in Belgium, I was able start this new project.
Now that my
AccuPulse Front speakers where finished
the need arose to build a matching pair of rear speakers that would match
the front speakers.
Of course in order to have a compatible sound quality, and simply because there is no better alternative on the world, the choice for the mid/high unit was fixed in advance. It will again be the sublime Manger MSW. After finishing the AccuPulse and listening to them for an extensive period of time now and also having heard, thanks to the kindness of Sammy from one of the top high end shops in Belgium Alpha , the world finest commercial speakers (like the Avalon Eidlon Diamond from which I think it is one of the best speaker in the world, or the Audio Physic Kronos which I do not like at all or the Dynaudio Evidence Master about which I am not thrilled either). I became even more convinced that the Manger MSW, when correctly used is a masterpiece but, as mentioned so often, one should permit oneself some listing time to dis-learn the errors the conventional speakers make and which most of us have been brainwashed to accepted as the right way to reproduce sound (But which of course in not true) and as everything in this world (especially divas as the MSW) it is not perfect and has it shortcomings too.
This website illustrates the different steps in the construction of these new speakers.
Ready, OK Here we go.
Spraying the glue
As I wanted to make the new speakers also out of a
sandwich consisting of three different layers.
13mm of Phenol Resin (HPL from Resopal) 16mm of MDF and on top a layer of 3mm called SSV from Wilsonart (it is the same stuff as Corian, an aluminum oxide filled acrylate).
So we started of gluing whole boards of the the three composite layers together.
The special glue we used Sealbond (from Novation), which forms an viscous elastic thin layer between the boards, is sprayed on the boards.
The sandwich in the press
After Spraying the glue the HPL and MDF boards where
put in the press where they where bounded with several tons of pressure.
After this the whole process was repeated to finish the three layer sandwich with a Corian layer.
Cutting the boards
Once dried the sandwich boards where cut to the approximate size using a huge numeric panel saw.
Here you get an idea of what large means, and this is not even the biggest one.
Stack of precut panels
So now that we have our boards cut up we can start
processing them on the CNC.
The stack you see here is for 2 pairs.
Making the inner cabinet parts
But first we have to make the smaller parts which
will be used for the inner cabinet.
Here we are making a 30 degree edge for a panel that will be used as separation between the Manger and the woofer compartment.
The Altendorf panel saw
For this we used one of the best panel saws
available in the world.
A numerically controlled Altendorf.
The Weeke CNC
So now we are ready to mil the precut parts on the
As you can see we utilized not the smallest one available, not really build for the fainted one among us.
First we milled the sleeves and the trapped contours of the panels.
The Speaker holes
Then we made the speaker wholes. Here we just
catch'ed the CNC changing tools.
First it used a rough mill and it is now just changing to a fine one to finish off the job.
Finished front panels
This is the stack of the four finished front panels.
The center of the speaker holes is still attached by a very thin layer of HPL to the body of the front panel.
Removing the rest
This is a finished front panel. I was just removing what is left of the speaker hole.
Here is the stack of finished panels.
You can see how the borders of the panels are
The wholes you see accept join rods which will assure perfect fit of the panels when assembled.
Time to see if everything fits as planned.
Therefore we assemble the whole cabinet but without any glue.
Seems we where lucky again this time.
Pressing the cabinet
Now for the real work. After glueing the parts. The
cabinet is put in the corpus press.
To apply the glue is a job of its own. There are three different glue's used in the assembly.
First the MDF parts are glue'ed with normal white wood glue.
The HPL parts use a special two component glue Novabound 2, (from Novation),
The third glue used to bound the Corian parts and which is also a two component glue but this time acryl based.
As the two last mentioned two component glues have an open time of 15 minutes we had to rush like hell to finish before curing started.
Details of the speaker holes
Here you can see some detail of cut out for the
Manger as well as for the Scan Speaks.
The reinforcements in the cabinet are also distinguishable.
So here are our two pairs
The cabinets are nearly finished. We have just
milled a 45 degree angle on all the sides.
Now we just have to polish them, but we will postpone that task till we installed the lining in cabinet,
mounted the drivers and finished the measurements on the filter less mounted speakers.
Up in the air
We used a fork lift to place the speaker as far as
possible from any (reflecting) surfaces,
this way our maximum length sequence analysis would be valid to as low a frequency as possible.
The measurement microphone.
I use a Earthworks Measurement Microphone with the DAAS32 system.
The master (Hmm?1) at work
To have as little influence from the computer noise as
possible I placed the DAAS32 computer controlled measuring equipment
as far away as possible from the setup. Don't look at the cable spaghetti, I know i should have cleaned it up a little bit for the show.
The polishing specialist at work (what are brother in-laws good for)
Now the time comes to start polishing. We opted for
a medium high gloss polish.
We started of with a 180 grain then continued with a 220, 320, 400, 800 and finally finished with a 1200 grain polishing paper.
This resulted in a very natural stone look.
In the bottom you can also see the inserts for the spikes.
The result after the 6 steps
It takes approximately 6 hours to polish one cabinet.
This is what it looks like once mounted
Looked at from the side you get a better idea of the polish
Here is a close up, I left the finished pictures in a relative high resolution
so sorry for you guys who are still using a conventional modem
And here you have them both, admit not bad for a couple of self made rear speakers.
The VP300D from Sitronik Industrie.
I wanted to make these speakers active but due to
lack of time I decided to leave the job to a firm who specializes in speaker
amplification and filters.
I used the high tech modules from SITRONIKINDUSTRIE.
Here you see their VP 300D which I used for the low end. I took the 750VA version, it delivers huge 350Watt in 4 Ohm.
The unit also has a digital filter which not only includes crossover function with selection of different slopes and cross over frequency,
but also has contains a set of extremely useful set of parametric equalizers to easily compensate for any deficiencies of the speaker and or listening room.
This unit is completely controllable using the standard included remote control and display and there is an even more
comfortable graphic windows application included which makes it even more fun to operate.
The engineers at Sitronik where so friendly to modified the upper limit of the crossover frequency from 200Hz to 500Hz.
This now makes this module also usable in active speaker and not only as a subwoofer amplifier.
I must admit that I was very astonished about the really professional build quality of all there modules.
So it is not very surprising that Sitronik also manufactures the electronics for the speaker of some some very renowned speaker companies.
Here a look on the digital filter (DSP and A/D D/A converters) of the VP300D
Here the VP102 which I used in bridge to drive the Manger MSW
Here you see their
VP 102 which I used to drive the MSW.
The module can be used both as stereo or 2 channel amplifier delivering 2x90 Watt in 4 Ohm but I use it in bridged mode.
In the bridged mode It delivers 180 Watt in 8 Ohm.
There is a separate circuit board which handles both symmetric and asymmetric input
and also includes the possibility to configure some basic first or second order filter.
I am not using the filter on this unit.
Here a closer look on the amplifier electronics of the VP102.
As you can see the VP102 uses a couple of integrated
circuits for the amplification.
This makes the whole circuit very compact.
Using such circuits may seem a little weird in a good quality amplifier but remember that even companies as Linn
use these kind of circuits in there famous and extremely expensive amplifier.
Of course before we started with the real cabinets
described above I made two prototypes on which I did measurements to verify my
calculation and presumptions.
The internal volume for the woofers of the first prototype was a bit to small so I had to make a second one after correcting the dimensions,
Here you see the first prototype with the two Scan Speak 18W8531G00 mounted.
The Scan Speak 18W8531G00
Last Modified 07/06/2006
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