White Pearl (reader project)
It doesn’t happen every day, and in fact we don’t usually have the time for it, but if a project suggested by a reader really interests us, we can always find a couple of minutes to take a closer look. That’s what happened when Klaus was daydreaming about his idea for a large Duetta with a double #7 and a bigger bass to set up in his spacious listening room. The result was the “White Pearl,” a passive version of our old Intertechnik Empire – a dream come true, no exaggeration.
The story began when I decided, in the fall to fulfill a long-held desire. I had enjoyed building my own loudspeakers for some time, and I had used the experiences of well-known loudspeaker developers to help me design and dimension the system technology. The results of this work, at least in my opinion and for the time, were completely satisfactory. Still, my own projects were still far from matching the acoustic performance of a Quadral Titan or a Cabasse Albatross.
Now I needed to find a way to build a first-class loudspeaker without giving up on high sound quality and my own design. In this regard, the old saying made sense: “All roads lead to Rome.” In my case, though, it was not Rome but the Loudspeakerbuilding.com (Lautsprecherbau.de) website.
We quickly set an appointment for a listening session, and it didn’t take long before I was hopelessly infected by the acoustic reproduction of sophisticated musical material from the Duetta. I had never heard a sound converter that projected music into the room with such ease, constructing an imaginary stage and separating the music completely from the speakers. I was especially impressed by the fact that the direction of the Duettas wasn’t critical, given that my listening position was not even centered between the two boxes. I was completely won over by the listening experience, and the fulfillment of my dream finally seemed within reach.
It’s almost impossible to improve on perfection; nonetheless, I still weighed the possibility of integrating a d’Appolito construction into the side for the Eton mid-range speakers and the bass, despite various concerns, because I was picturing a very slim cabinet design (see Picture 1, 2)
They gave my unusual design a chance, and two simple test cabinets were put together fairly quickly so that the crossover could be measured – which in those hallowed halls was finished in a single weekend. The first listening test revealed a sound similar to the “Queen of Blues,” with an extremely clean, neutral presentation of the music material we provided. Still, after listening to the boxes in my own four walls for a while, I wasn’t a hundred percent convinced. Only when I decided to move the bass from its side position to the front of the cabinet after all was the sound presentation nearly perfect. My friend Burkhard Bessler, a cabinetmaker, was immediately charged with the unusual and extremely complex task of building the two cabinets out of 25-mm MDF, once I had made a 3-D model according to my precise specifications. I made sure the individual cabinet chambers didn’t have any parallel walls, and that they were thoroughly reinforced. The ER4 was given the familiar little extra chamber with a depth of 22 mm.
Click on “White Pearl” to open a PDF file that shows all of the drawing elements at a decent size.
High-gloss white paint and TKR’s special feet, designed and manufactured in house, were the final steps before my “White Pearl” was completed, equipped with speakers and premiered – after the necessary crossover adjustments due to the relocation of the bass.
Running with a Marantz KI Pearl, the matching CD player, it provided a tonal experience that exceeded my wildest expectations. There it was again, that fantastic resolution, the perfect spatial representation and detailed depths that I had heard from the Duetta. The neutrality with which the Eton chassis handles the provided music material is unmatched. The music never gets annoying – in fact, the tendency is to keep turning it up. When I showed a friend my new acquisition, he sank into the listening chair with his eyes closed and had only this to say: “It’s not about listening to music – you are actually feeling and experiencing it … it’s just amazing.“
My “White Pearl” fulfilled an important dream for me. I enjoy the loudspeakers every day, and it’s hard to believe the sound quality of these boxes, which would be hard to find in readymade speakers under 20,000 euros. If anyone is still skeptical, my advice is to visit the listening studio and talk to Udo. It’s worth it! Not only did I make a new friend, but I also met people who lent their saintly patience and outstanding technical skills to help me build my dream speakers.
Technical data “White Pearl”:
1x Eton 12-680 Hex
2x Eton 7-360 Hex
1x Eton ER 4
Cabinet: Burkhard Bessler/ Wetter Vollmarstein
Feet: TKR-Group/ Gevelsberg Silschede
The "White Pearl" is available at the Intertechnik.