Vota2 as a traditional floorstanding speaker
For many years, my father has always talked about buying himself “real floorstanding speakers.” Recently, he finally traded in his old squallbox surround system for a later generation of speakers, which made the goal of true music-listening pleasure seem even more distant. After this dubious upgrade and with birthday coming up, it was clear that he needed professional help.
My father mostly listens to rock music on compressed CDs – rarely on LPs, and all of it through an AVR. So I interpreted his desire for “real floorstanding speakers” as follows: Eight corners, 3-way speakers, approximately 1m – 1.2m tall, a traditional but high-quality design with plenty of visible wood, not necessarily Blues Class, but not a tin box. The Vota2 (in the one-piece model) seemed to meet all of these requirements, so I ordered the assembly kit and joined the club of bathroom builders.
The building phase
On the hunt for the one-piece versions of the Vota2, I quickly found what I was looking for in the community and online. A little bit of follow-up work, and soon the plans were finished. At the third hardware store, I finally found someone who wanted my money and was willing to cut the following boards to size for me.
2 sides 1011 x 268
1 rear wall 230 x 963
1 baffle board 230 x 953
2 lid/floor 230 x 268
1 reflex bass floor 230 x 130
3 reflex basses 230 x 100
1 Vota1 rear wall 230 x 258
1 Vota1 floor 230 x 149
1 reflex Vota1 230 x 100
2 reflex channel Vota1 70 x 119
Even without screw clamps, the gluing was fast, clean and sturdy. It’s easy to see where the reflexes go; thanks to a really good cutting job, there wasn’t too much to sand or putty. The little 10-mm boards are used to limit the reflex channel of the Vota1 to 16cm² at the top in the back. Behind the “rear wall” of the Vota1, there’s still plenty of volume left over for the bass. Otherwise, the 19-mm reflex boards were attached the way Intertechnik had suggested in the assembly plan for the Vota2.
I found some veneer for a good price at the auction house. The instructions for veneering with wood glue and an iron, from the Workshop Practice section, made it amazingly easy even for me as a first-timer, so I’ll skip any further explanations here.
Then I sanded the veneer by hand with #100, #150, #180 and #240 sandpaper. I did one pass every evening after the end of work. Moistened it on Thursday evening, and then the final round on Friday with the #240 and very little pressure. Belt sandpaper fits wonderfully on a sanding block and is relatively cheap. My veneer had a woven fabric backing, which gave it stability but made it a little hard to sand the edges, since it kept turning up little pieces of lint.
In order to set the chassis elements into the baffle board, I doubled up a 5-mm MDF board. Coincidentally, that almost exactly fits the chassis for the Vota2. The 5-mm board is 2 mm smaller at the top and sides than the 19-mm board behind it, which automatically creates a groove for setting in the leather around the edges.
I glued the leather to the 5-mm board, pressed it the backward into the opening on the front side, let it dry, cut off the excess and laid it back on its side until the end.
Building the crossover was easy for a non-electrician, even with a three-way box like the Vota. A couple of minor questions were quickly resolved by Intertechnik’s technical support team.
The original Vota2, which had two parts, also featured two crossovers. I wanted to make a one-piece box for my father. So I glued both of the crossovers together onto a scrap of the thin MDF board. They were installed on the side wall behind the bass.
The veneer was treated with two coats of hardwax oil. A test piece shows the difference before and after it was treated.
The approximate 40kg of total weight for the two loudspeakers makes it hard to hand them over as a present, so I used a couple of scraps to put together a quick birthday card.
A couple of structural defects can’t be explained away. One leather corner at the top right didn’t get enough glue on it, so the synthetic leather doesn’t lie flat. If you don’t hold the sanding block evenly, you can also easily sand through a corner with the #240 paper. The synthetic leather covers a multitude of errors around the cutout in the doubled MDF board, but upon closer inspection you can see that the distances to the chassis elements aren’t as exact as they would have been with a router.
Is it enough for me to say that my father is excited?
Please take my description with a grain of salt, since before the Vota I had never heard of terms like film tweeter, stage, etc. Unlike my father, I was much more skeptical about the first few songs we heard on the Vota2, because the sound seemed strange to me, to say the least. With my old boxes, the sound just hits you in the face, and compared to the Vota2, the low notes just aren’t there.
Now I had a loudspeaker standing here that was much subtler overall. There was no longer a direct sound source; instead, the instruments were spread out all over the room. If you haven’t experienced it before, that first moment is confusing – the rumbling deep notes of my own boxes suddenly turned into a hard, defined bass guitar in songs by the band Rise Against. Even in the higher ranges, though, it was simply stunning. During the guitar solo in “Bullet for my Valentine,” it felt like I was actually IN the guitar. The distinctive, deep voices in bands like Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and Disturbed came across just as well as gentler ballads by Funeral for a Friend, Breaking Benjamin and Hinder. I sat there on the couch for hours with my mouth hanging open and a silly grin on my face, and experienced my favorite bands in a completely new wayt.
In conclusion: I’m excited about them, and I was happy to give the Votas as a present. Unfortunately my room is too small to make good use of the Vota2. After my listening experience, though, my old boxes are no longer an option, so I am already looking for an assembly plan for my little living room.
Thank you for the assembly kit, thank you to everyone in the community for all your work, and thank you to my girlfriend for accepting that a bathroom can also be used as a wood shop.
The Vota loudspeaker kits can be exclusively purchased at Intertechnik
Expandability of the Vota kits: