Speakers and Speaker Enclosures
The new Speaker Enclosure range:
Making a long story short, we go to great lengths to design and build very high end electronics for the professional musician and in some cases, our work is foiled by the use of poorly designed speaker enclosures and/or the usage of incorrect or inferior speakers.
As Stacy says, everything matters!
So, since we needed very high quality enclosures for our own usage in the laboratory and at shows, we invested engineering time and expense to design the very best from the ground up.
The attached sheet shows our 15 inch enclosures with a natural finish speaker baffle board. We have since added a "black face" series for those musicians who want their speakers to disappear into the back line on stage.
We have also added 12 inch speaker baffles for the open-back models for those musicians who double on Tele's or fiddles and/or who want the very high end sound like the old twin amps.
We are an electronics company and we had no desire to delve into carpentry, however we really had no choice as we were unable to buy enclosures of the quality we wanted - at any price. So, we designed the speaker enclosures with the same approaches we use for our electronics systems, and guaranteed consistency and quality by making the entire process an automated CNC process.
We start with the highest quality, void-free structural Baltic Birch plywood (which is normally used in the construction of experimental aircraft).
The basic structures are CNC machined to fit perfectly, with Dado'd grooves for the front and back bulkheads (four sides) and special dovetail work on the joined ends which was designed to prevent ply separation of the Baltic Birch. The main structure of top, bottom, sides, the front bulkhead and the rear bulkhead is then glued and clamped firmly together. No screws, brads or clips are used in our construction. There are no wood strips (or "stringers") at all in our enclosures. Both the closed backs and the open backs are made from a solid sheet of B-Birch; the front bulkhead also starts out as a solid piece of B-Birch from which an opening is cut out, leaving a bulkhead for the speaker baffle to mount up against.
The only major component to be added at that point is the speaker baffle. On early units, the speaker baffle is mounted to the front bulkhead with substantial wood screws. On the newer black-face units (great for speaker experimenters), the speaker baffle is attached with 10-32 bolts which mate with drop-forged propeller nuts which have bee CNC seated in the front bulkhead. This makes it possible to remove and replace the baffle board repeatedly with no damage or wear to the forward bulkhead. (We do NOT use conventional "Tee" nuts at all, as they tended to be much weaker and tend to deform and turn in the wood in our experiments).
On natural-finish baffle units, the entire cabinet - exclusive of the baffle board, is then sprayed with high-temperature urethane, no glue-on coverings are used at all. This coating is similar to pickup bed liner material, it is almost impossible to scratch or wear. It is very costly (about $100/cabinet for that process alone), but it is the very best process available. The baffle board is finished inside and out with clear lacquer. A person can easily remove the natural finish baffle boards and paint them to match guitars, etc. if desired.
On black-face units, the basic construction is exactly the same as the natural-face units, however the baffle board is finished with a black lacquer and the attachment process for the baffle uses the 10-32 bolts and drop-forged propeller nuts as previously mentioned. This increases the cost $10, but it is perfect for people who want to change out their speakers easily.
In the case of either the natural-face, or black-face baffle enclosures, the only remaining steps are to mount the handles (again using the high-strength 10-32 screws and drop-forged propeller nuts), and finally we protect the corners with black polymer stacking corners (we use the "plastic" corners because they have grooved mating surfaces for stacking vertically, they do not rust and they can be easily replaced in the future if desired.
The cabinets are normally supplied with standard ¼ inch jacks on both the front and back of the cabinets, however we also offer the (far superior) Speak-On type connectors at additional cost, of course they require the more expensive Speak-On cables as well.
As mentioned previously, these enclosures were designed to round out our amplification systems with a top-end unit. Accordingly we offer them essentially at our cost to produce them, plus shipping. We also make them available at the Arizona and Texas shows without shipping costs. The prices are the same for either 15" or 12" units.
The black-face open back enclosures are priced at $265 and the closed-back enclosures are priced at $275. Frankly, they are a steal at these prices and they will not always be available. My friends and I have been playing 1-4 gigs a week through these cabinets for over two years and we have found them to be ideal for our purposes. That view is shared by an increasing number of professional musicians.