It all started so harmlessly. I actually just wanted new speakers for my desk so that I can enjoy the music and not get just a droning in my ears. After some searching and then a lot of reading, the Quickly 14s took their place with me in the basement. Normally, this would have been the end because the plan was carried out. Not so, if you come in contact with loud speaker construction in general and the creations mentioned in this loudspeaker construction magazine in particular.
While listening to music, I sat at my desk and mused about what the next project would be at the change the year 12/13. I wavered between the various types. Quickly 28, Vota 3, FT 11. At the end I chose deaf blind the FT11.
For me, it was the best compromise between price and performance. That is surely very relative. But somehow you have to decide. Unfortunately I didn't have time for a visit to Bochum. So it had to be my gut feeling. In addition to the price/performance ratio, the size speaks for it. I was tired of just standing around and wanted to have something solid in my room.
So I went back to work and started up the Sketchup. My goal was to take not the original size, but to accommodate everything in one cabinet. Added to this was still my requirement to make the cabinet as narrow as possible. When drawing, I pondered whether 2 or 3 mm partitions between the recessed TT chassis and the edge of the baffle would be enough. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The complete plan can be downloaded from the SketchUp Gallery by all registered users.
I chose birch MPX for the wood. It offers the advantage of being relatively easy to work on in the finishing process. The cutting was once again a matter of 15 minute with the friendly beaver* around the corner. After the first production mistakes, I had to find out now what jobs had to be done how and make it all fit with all the grains running in the right direction. But even the best plan and the most accurate cutter does not matter if you use false logic and write down the wrong numbers. So put back on the bike and have 2 new boards cut…
I won't go into details about the assembly. It has already been described often enough. But you should be careful what you use to weigh it down and when it can turn into too much weight. In its semi-finished state, I sealed the whole box including the fire extinguisher and clamps from the table. Except for a small kink on one side wall, nothing was left.
Parallel to the construction of the cabinets, I soldered the crossovers. It was not rocket science due to Intertechnik's good crossover plan. All finished, they shone in a state of operational readiness and like twins sitting on my desk, waited to finally move into their homes.
I could not wait for this move either and tinkered all the faster. The milling of the chassis cutouts went quickly by the hand and it all fit together. Unfortunately, I realized that my old cheap router wobbled and the cutouts were more oval than round. Fortunately, you don't see that from a listening distance! Yet a new Bosch machine was purchased for further processing, which has worked well since then.
The first cabinet was barely finished when I had to try it out. So everything soldered, screwed together, connected... then madness! Up to now, I had thought that the Quickly 14s were a giant leap. But here the ante was upped again decisively. The volume impressed from the first moment. Nothing boomed, nothing thudded. Simply a snappy bass. How they sounded in stereo and after 50 hours of listening to music? Now quickly finish the second cabinet and then finally enjoy them in stereo. And soon I was overtaken by the horror of many self-builders. The rough cabinets are finished and you want to hear just a little sample. Already they're standing there unfinished because you don't want to miss the beautiful sound. For me, this phase lasted 4 weeks at least.
Then everything out and the cabinet went into the workshop. Now they just stood there and waited and waited and waited. In the meantime, I had to deal with other things. I changed my work room, became self-employed and Christmas was on the way. And again nothing happened. They had to wait a while. Because the cabinet was completely enclosed, I could not even use it as Nativity manger under the tree. And then came the Christmas holidays. I was able to get away for an hour here and there to grind and oil the cabinet.
The surface should be slightly darker. Finally, I choose a coat of OSMO decor wax. Then I've oiled it again. At a possible next time in the future, I'll directly stain but correctly. The result will certainly be more even because the stain penetrates deeper into the wood and thus reacts less sensitively to grinding.
After a week of skiing and a forced drying break, I could now finally insert the chassis again and could listen to the sound of the FT 11 for the first time in six months. I was completely flabbergasted just like the first day. The Quickly 14s could simply not produce this volume and power.
I immediately grabbed my computer and the MP3 collection and looked for some good reference songs. They had always impressed me with their speed, clarity and dry tuning. Others are probably more into a bellied bass. But I think they are well matched. You realize that everything except maybe modern pop music has less bass. How will an orchestra produce giant bass thunderstorms without an organ! And no bass is needed in jazz with whisks which punches you in the gut. But if the FT11 want to, they can hit pretty hard.
I was now sitting there, the family was already in bed and dreaming of white ski slopes and I was listening to my reference songs. Beginning with "Tricycle" by Flim & The BB's. There, you can feel how dynamic the speakers are after just 18 seconds. Cleanly beating drums in combination with well played bass mercilessly reveals tired chassis. It continues with "The Expert" by Yello. If you didn't know before what is deeper bass without booming is, you should play this song. Deep voices and extremely low played bass show what can come out of the two Gradient W 218-8s if you just let it. But can the large FT 11s also do large instruments? Sure. Cameron Carpenter played his "Lovesong No. 1" on the organ and show what you can get out of an organ using your feet. With closed eyes and opened ears, you sit in the middle of the nave and feel the waves flow over you. So, that is a stage with speakers. Now I know it.
It continued with the following songs that were able to convince all of the candidates:
Get lucky by Daft Punk
Crystallizer by Lindsey Stirling
Für Frauen ist das kein Problem [For women, this is not a problem] by Max Raabe]
Keith don’t go by Nils Lofgren
I couldn't care less by Leslie Clio
Mediterranean Sundance + Rio Ancho by Paco de Lucia, Al di Meola and John McLaughlin
Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
Behind the wheel by Depeche Mode
After the ears get accustomed to the clarity, everything fits together. This is the way to play the music!
Now I will continue to read in the forum again and think about what the others are presenting. Let's see what's up next in my workshop.
@ LoudSpeakerBuilding.com team: A thousand thanks for the support including the fastest response to questions. That's service!