With the new versions of the First Time 2 TL and its home theater offshoots Quickly 14 and 28, along with the Quickly 36, we are slowly approaching our goal of completing at least the first of the magazine’s most popular series. The Quickly 18 represents the last building block; more than any of the other assembly kits, it keeps an eye – or is that an ear? – on the prices, on behalf of people with slim wallets who want to try a do-it-yourself project for the first time. This is clear from the size of the bass speaker, which has enough membrane surface and 40 Hz of free-to-air resonant frequency to reproduce almost every natural instrument without any subwoofer support. The smaller Quickly 14 and 28 models can’t do that because they aren’t full-fledged loudspeakers, harsh as this verdict may sound. But to be fair, I have to say that this is true for every other chassis smaller than 17 cm, cheap and expensive ones alike. The high praise for their incredible bass power usually comes from the visual impression – no one expects a small box to produce very deep tones – combined with a fat exaggeration between 100 and 200 Hz that generates louder overtones in the compact class, skillfully simulating the bass range. Such manipulations are no longer necessary for the 17 cm models, which voluntarily give the music everything it needs to sound complete.
For the new Quickly 18, we followed the template for the old one, using the four-ohm version of the W 176 to create the deep and mid-range tones. That gave it a reasonable job to do. Since it hasn’t been introduced in the magazine before, we will take this opportunity to present first its data and then the associated diagrams.
|Membrane:||coated paper||Air gap height:||6 mm|
|Surround material:||rubber||Winding height||not given|
|Pole piece hole:||no||Mounting holes:||4|
|Centering:||raised flat spider||Outside diameter:||178 mm|
|Shielding:||no||Installation opening:||142 mm|
|Voice coil diameter:||25||Milling depth:||4 mm|
|Voice coil former:||aluminium||Installation depth:||78 mm|
|Frequency response and phase||Impedance||Distortion for 90 dB|
|Frequency response under 0/ 30/ 60°||Step responce||Waterfalll|
Naturally the W 176-4, as with all of the new FTs and Quicklies, was joined by the Gradient Select GDT 104 N; and the last letter definitely doesn’t stand for neodymium. So far, it has always proven worthy of its price of less than €20.00. You can find its measurement data using the Search function or by clicking here. If you want to see a slightly larger version, you can also click on the image.
Despite the significantly changed parameters, I had no intent of breaking new ground with the cabinet. LSPCad didn’t want an 18-liter reflex, but since I’m not a slave to technology, I made myself the master of the machine. My basement made sure that my laziness, the driver behind my usual approach, didn’t gain the upper hand – when the Quickly 18 cabinets were no longer needed, it didn’t save them for me. But I did unearth a pair of old treasures that once, in ancient history, contained chassis elements that today are largely unknown. Beautifully covered in oak veneer and with a cutout for the tweeter that perfectly fit the GDT 104 N, I had thought they were much too nice to throw out. Now they could blossom again. This might have been the right moment to mention my amaryllis bulb, which didn’t bloom for four years and which my wife – rightly, she says – had long told me to remove from its place on the windowsill. Two weeks ago, my flower proved that it was much too early to make that call, reaching two beautiful red bells into the kitchen. Too bad we’re only talking about speakers here – I would have loved to tell that story in more detail. Instead, I’d better show you the construction plans for the Quickly 18. Despite their own fairly advanced age, at least they relate to our actual topic.
Here is the Quickly 18-construction plan as a zip file so that SketchUp aficionados have something else to download.
An update is only an update if it presents something new or at least different from before. We did learn at one point that a new chassis will wobble in a Quickly, but all of the rest has been around for a long time. So this article will finally provide a twist – this time the crossover is new, too. Here I drew inspiration from the Quickly 36, with which the Quickly 18 is intended to be used as a rear speaker. So I used the same connection technique, with 18-dB branches. Choosing the four-ohm model made my work much easier – except for two small changes, I was able to transfer the entire #36 crossover to the 18, which produced the auxiliary branches and the blue cumulative curve as a flawless addition.
As the connection diagram shows, the two chassis elements are connected out of phase. That’s not a mistake in the diagram, as do-it-yourself novices sometimes suspect; it’s a logical consequence resulting from the phase shift of electricity and voltage at the components.
Wrapping up the technical page, here are the measurement diagrams for the new Quickly 18 – there’s no shameful reason for hiding them.
|Frequency response and phase||Impedance||Distortion for 90 dB|
|Frequency response under 0/ 30/ 60°||Step response||Waterfall|
Anyone who was hoping to read a long-winded treatise about the wonderful sound that took me completely by surprise while testing the compact boxes, given their amazingly reasonable price, will unfortunately be sorely disappointed here. I’m going to skip that step, because you can all imagine that the compact boxes with the amazingly reasonable price sounded damn good. Otherwise they would have been marched right back into the lab and improved upon until they could keep up with the in-house competition. The only reason my report isn’t already finished is thanks to my playful nature, which felt a little left out by the straightforward update of the boxes. Every so often I like to try something different, so I looked around the warehouse and found the Dayton 17 AL under a big pile of boxes and cartons. No, LSPCad told me vehemently, 32 liters is much too big! The W 176-4 will never fit in there. Once again I refused to believe the software. I quickly took out the planned chassis and screwed the Quickly 18 components, including the crossover, into the “wrong” cabinet. My simulation program was right about one thing – the installation size, which was three millimeters smaller in the DA 175-8 and 6 mm larger in the DC 28 F-8. I could ignore that, because we know that every corner in the high range causes a small wave in the measurements, which doesn’t bother us in the least. The important thing was to respond to the common request for a free-standing cabinet for the Quickly 18, like the one our reader had built for the old version. It was easy to redraw the construction plan for the 17 AL to use the Gradient Select dimensions, but because of its advanced age it wasn’t available in SketchUp. On the other hand, the diagram is so big that no one can complain the numbers are illegible..
I then also measured the alleged aberration, and the results clearly showed what I had already expected. The bass is slightly lower but is also slightly quieter; the larger distance between the chassis elements reduces the slight waves in the transition area, but that can only be measured, not heard.
Naturally, the subsequent listening comparison of the two Quickly 18 versions didn’t result in any new findings; the expectations I described a few lines earlier were met exactly. For about 65 euros per box, there are only a few downsides in terms of sound. The resolution, dynamics and clarity of speech it provides are by no means standard for this price class. Truly high volumes beyond the pain threshold aren’t their thing, but no one would expect them to be. In a home theater, they not only supplement the Quickly 36 – in a five-pack with the matching SD 315 BP or Sub 275 subwoofer, they competently turn your living room into a large theater, finally completing our product range for AV receiver owners who enjoy both film and music.
|Nominal impedance:||4 Ohm|
|Damping:||1 bag Sonofil|
|Approx. cost per box:|
|Loudspeaker Kit:||65 EUR 70 USD|
|Wood list in 18 mm OSB||Wood list in 19 mm MDF|
|per box (compact version) :||per box (floor standing version):|
|38,6 x 30,6 (2x) sides||100,0 x 24,2 (2x) sides|
|19,0 x 30,6 (2x) lid/floor||18,0 x 24,2 (2x) lidl/floor|
|19,0 x 35,0 (1x) back wall||18,0 x 96,2 (2x) front/ back wall|
|19,0 x 34,0 (1x) front||18,0 x 10,0 (3x) reinforcement panels|
|19,0 x 14,0 (1x) Reflex board|
|Wood cutting:10 EUR 12 USD||Wood cutting:18 EUR 20 USD|
For the free-standing version, an additional 2 bags of Sonofil and an HP/ BR 70 reflex tube need to be ordered.
If you want to build this assembly kit yourself too, you can order it from Intertechnik .