It's not as if I'd nursed the ambition to build my own loudspeakers for a long time. I had recently acquired a 5.1 system, mostly to watch films. But was still on the lookout for a good solution for listening to music. The need to get some decent stereo speakers was therefore evident. And it only took a few minutes of googling to hit upon the subject of do-it-yourself speakers, and on Udo's page not much later. After intensive reading and study I then decided to just give it a try. I opted for the Elip-2. Don't ask me why I went for these speakers, the things just immediately appealed to me. Call it intuition :)
Planning and shopping:
So I ordered the required technical bits and made a list of all the materials needed to create my own customized cabinets. The intention was to complete the cabinets before the parcel with the technical components arrives. That the latter was already at my place Zum Glück stellte sich heraus, dass ein Freund der Familie, der gleich um die Ecke wohnt, eine 1A-Holzwerkstatt samt Oberfräse besitzt. Bin also hingefahren und wir haben die Sache gemeinsam in Angriff genommen. Fräszirkel gebaut und alles drum und dran. Das Ergebnis hat mich mehr als zufrieden gestellt, bin im Nachhinein tatsächlich froh, dass das gekaufte Gerät defekt war. Hätte das ohne jegliche Erfahrung niemals so gut hinbekommen. Am gleichen Abend habe ich noch die Gehäuse zusammengeleimt und über Nacht trocknen lassen. Am nächsten Morgen habe ich dann die Kanten geschliffen. Es folgten 2 Grundierungen, nach nochmaligem mehrstündigen Warten habe ich dann die erste Schicht Farbe aufgetragen. Mit dem Ergebnis, das ich mit einer gewöhnlichen Lackierrolle erzielt habe, war ich mehr als zufrieden. Ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass man two (!!!) days later took me by surprise. I hadn't even managed to get to the DIY superstore by then. Given this additional impetus, I hit the road the very next day and got everything I needed. Back home I immediately started marking everything out on the front panels. Directly afterwards I was going to work with the router I'd just bought in the DIY shop. Power on, 30 seconds of milling, and that was it. The thing started to smoke and the drill head was jammed. So back to the DIY store the very next day in the hope of getting it exchanged. When they told me that I can't have a replacement but need to send in the broken appliance I initially thought that this was the end of my holiday project. So I went back home in something of a funk...
But I happily found out that a friend of the family who lives just around the corner has a top notch wood workshop, including router. So I went there and we tackled this together. Built a milling circle and what have you. I was more than satisfied with the result and am actually really glad in hindsight that the appliance I'd bought was defective. I would have never been able to wangle it this well given my lack of experience. I glued the cabinets together the very same evening and left them to dry overnight. The next morning I sanded the edges. This was followed by 2 coats of primer before applying the first coat of paint after another wait of several hours. I actually found the results I achieved with a no-frills paint roller quite impressive. Who would have thought that I would be able to spread the paint so evenly with that? After a second coat of paint I then brought the parquet sealant into play and coated everything 3 times. I'd also bought a replacement roll for the paint roller for this. And as I was not completely wowed by the results yet, I finally oversprayed the whole thing with a satin finish varnish.
Creating the crossover:
This is the part that had intimidated me the most in the run-up. I had never soldered before or studied electric circuits and all they imply to any extent. I did have the reassuring comfort, though, that I would always be able to resort to an electrician in case of an emergency. But I would have much preferred to do it all on my own, naturally. So I just took a calm and very relaxed look at the thing and was able to discover that it is much simpler than I'd originally thought. And then I installed the crossover on a small piece of MDF that I had left over.I drilled holes at the respective places, glued the components down and then threaded their wires through self-same holes. The individual elements were then connected at the back. Careful study of the included leaflet will quickly reveal what goes where. The rest was just a formality. Having no previous experience with soldering, I initially made the mistake, however, of bridging the gaps between individual components with the soldering tin itself. But then when I asked if that was OK here in the forum I was told that copper wire would be better for this So I changed the bits in question again which only took about 20 minutes, no problem.
When I connected the loudspeakers to my AV receiver I had huge expectations and was most of all very excited. Switch on the music and Bob's your uncle! But then....what a disappointment! Everything sounded totally tinny. After 20 minutes of wild button pushing I finally came up with the idea of providing a new setup for my surround system (now including the Elip-2 as front speakers), and voila! The sounds coming out of them were heavenly, all of a sudden. So my initial shock had only been attributable to my own stupidity after all, and not the speakers. I have been using them for ca. 2 weeks now, listening to music, watching videos and playing with the Xbox, and everything is just great. I really get a lot of fun out of them and would readily recommend them to everybody! Already hatching plans to build an Elip-2 center, too!
Kind regards from Nicho