It all started with a 100-euro gift card from a large hi-fi store and my girlfriend’s desire to have proper music in her living room. When I found out that she wanted to buy a stereo system, I had the idea of making it a joint project. My attempt to convince her to forget about the gift card and build some speakers with me was surprisingly well-received. In fact, it was such a surprise that I didn’t have anything specific in mind until a friend of mine came into the picture and told me about this ingenious website.
Now the real planning phase began. Our budget was tight; after all, we were trying to stay within the 100-euro range. Of course we couldn’t make that happen, but it didn’t take away from our fun with the boxes. After spending what seemed like 100 hours looking through the website, I realized that first impressions are always the best after all. The first boxes I had looked at were the ones we decided to build: the Axis AX HR-8.
We ordered them right away and couldn’t wait to get started. The package arrived at my house within 3 days of ordering it. Amazing!
I bought some MDF boards at the hardware store, which is by no means as easy as it sounds. The Hagebau store had decided to stop stocking 19-mm MDF boards, and there were no other options in our small town, so that meant a 45-minute drive to the next closest hardware store. That’s where I found the next surprise: the Hornbach store doesn’t cut boards to size, and getting a 2-meter-long board into my car was completely impossible. Fortunately they also had some mini flooring panels, which were absurdly expensive, but at least they fit into the car.
It wasn’t a great start for our speaker-building project, but at least now we could get going. Glue, paint, tools and girlfriend were all waiting for me at home. Thanks to the detailed sketches, building the speaker cabinet was no problem. Here are a couple of impressions:
Of course we had to test the speakers as soon as possible. Even before the priming and painting, we assembled the whole thing and had a test listen. My father took care of all the electronics for us, since I have a healthy respect for that stuff. In retrospect, though, it wasn’t such hard work, and I’ll do the soldering for the next project myself.
Our ears were now ready, with great anticipation, to hear the first sounds from the boxes. We connected the DRA – 565RD amplifier, which we had bought in an auction ahead of time, and heard the first notes of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” My father, my girlfriend and I were all very enthusiastic. We listened to several songs in a row, and I didn’t want the speakers to leave my living room. But my girlfriend had some objections to that.
The sound from the first chassis was very exciting. Clear high notes and an amazingly deep bass range – a real sound experience at a great price. Since I had connected two amplifiers to my computer at the same time, I could switch back and forth between my music system and my girlfriend’s new system with the click of a mouse. The verdict: I need new speakers!
Neither I nor my girlfriend realized that the hardest work was still ahead of us: sanding, priming and painting. We sanded the boxes several times, then primed them, sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, etc.
But the nerve-wracking work was worthwhile. Finally, we set the speakers on some small shock absorbers and drove them over to my girlfriend’s living room, where they are now performing to her complete satisfaction.