It started when I was on my way home from a trade fair and decided to take a detour through the loudspeakerbuilding.com listening studio. I was completely set on the Duetta at the time, and I thought it was the best, which is easy to tell after you’ve spent the day at a trade fair. I finally left, saying, “those are the ones, the order’s coming soon. I just need to save a little more money.” While I was getting the money together, I started thinking about the cabinet, and I screwed together this and that with thin plywood and a couple of slats so that I could see the dimensions 1:1. It was very helpful. But unfortunately it also meant I didn’t end up with the Duetta after all.
Well, now what? I kept going, with nagging questions and headaches: the only possible alternative was the MiDu – which at 120 cm tall is anything but delicate – and I had wanted the Duetta, with its wonderfully round, clean sound – but a 34-cm-wide baffle board wouldn’t work either – or should I go in a completely different direction? – no – dammit, I want the Duetta – but the width – so MiDu after all – but the bass wasn’t as low – but the same high and mid-range – … It went on like that for quite a while. But on the plus side, my bank account got up to the necessary level in the meantime. ;-)
At some point I finally decided on the MiDu, for the following reason: my music room, at 24 m², is not exactly huge; the room will surely add a bit of bass, and it won’t be so obvious without a direct comparison to the Duetta – fine, that’s what I’ll do! (Which turned out not to be correct. But more on that later…)
I probably don’t need to describe my reaction when I discovered, after making my decision, that they don’t make that version of the MiDu anymore, but rather a MiDu2… This time the new decision was much easier to make, though. It must have something to do with experience. ;-)
So I sent in the order and started building the cabinets !
I had already thought up my plan for the basic shape. They were going to be oval. In reality, that makes for a small cabinet, but visually it makes a huge difference because you only see the true dimensions from the side. I had already calculated the dimensions for the oval. So I went off to the hardware store and bought the appropriate amount of MDF and a multiplex board. Then, using the trial and error principle, I transferred the dimensions of the oval to a piece of scrap wood using three nails, a not-very-flexible string and a pencil. The width worked right away, but I needed a couple of tries to get the length. Once the distances between the nails are right, you can transfer them to the multiplex board, draw the oval and then make the template for the router as precisely as possible.
Once the template is finished, you draw the shape onto the MDF boards with a pencil and then cut it out roughly, with a 2-3-mm overhang.
After that, the boards are attached to the template (I just screwed them on) and shaped accordingly with the trimming cutter.
I glued on the inside cutouts with flexible masking tape, cut around them with a jigsaw and then rounded them off with the router. I also made the cutouts for the baffle board with the router and routing templates (unfortunately without taking any pictures). This is what the whole thing looked like before I glued it together.
Next I used the Lamello router to cut out the corresponding grooves for the inside pieces. I glued in the rear wall for the tweeter and started putting the cabinet together.
The cabinet for the mid-range tweeter is triangular, and also consists of angled MDF boards. Since it’s not possible to miter them, they just meet at the edges and are connected by an attached strip, which also makes them air-tight.
I built the side walls from 4 layers of bent plywood. It works really well with tension straps. But you do need to clean up and make sure there’s plenty of space first. 10 minutes of drying time for the glue sounds great, but in practice that means you really need to hurry. I can only recommend doing a dry run of the whole process, from picking up the board (theoretically with glue on it) to attaching the strap and pulling it tight. This is how the whole thing looks as a shell, then the even-sanded side walls and the basic shape from the top.
… and here is the current interim result, humming along to itself and waiting for a surface finish in the form of veneer and paint. But I’m still deciding on that … ;-)
Well, so how does it all sound?
First impression: Stevie Ray Vaughan lives! After all, I can hear him standing right here and giving a private performance!!
Second impression: a little thin, definitely not as deep as the Duetta.
Third impression: after one or two hours – compared to everything I had before, it’s like someone has finally drawn back a heavy curtain from the speakers. It has potential!
Then I turned the control knob a little to the right, pressed the repeat button on the CD player and just left it alone for 15 hours or so …
Fourth impression: another private performance by Stevie – great!
Fifth impression: let’s hear the new one from Steven Wilson – Luminol – with a little more volume. At first, words fail me ……………….. holy cow! …………….. that’s what they mean by dynamics! ………………. And who said anything about sounding thin? That’s what you call resolution! Everything sounded murky before. Now there are suddenly real details in the bass ……
Anyone who says there’s something missing from the MiDu2 should try putting on Sarah K., A Perfect Circle or Pink Floyd. It’s all there, except for maybe the very lowest basement range. For rock and jazz, though, that range is almost nonexistent. I don’t think there’s anything missing – on the contrary, I gained an infinite amount.
I do still have one small complaint, though: I’m actually a fairly quiet music-listener – but that seems to have been resolved, since I’m always turning up the volume now. I only realize how loud it is when I go out for a little bit and come back in a few minutes later. But it’s always a very, very short moment of recognition …
And now one other little question: how do I get this stupid perma-grin off my face??
So much fun. Thank you, Loudspeakerbuilding team. It’s a great show!!
PS.: Once they’re veneered and painted, I’ll send in a couple more pictures for the community.
PPS.: Just to be at least somewhat thorough: 106 x 37 x 51.7 cm (HxWxT)
Baffle-board width (MDF only) 24 cm