Blog #1

Posted on March 2, 2014

Well here we are, up and running! Welcome music lovers. First I want to thank my friend James Barsalou. Without him this website would not be as great as it is. When I started all my research and designing a couple of years ago, I had no intention of selling products (The Simple Mat and Custom Speaker Enclosures). I just wanted a mat that would work for me. And I wanted to build a kick butt speaker! Through persistence, hard work and luck I just happened to come up with some things that are just too good not to market.

I am not performing any more. Though my friend Rocky still has big plans for us (that boy can pick!) Why not try to make some extra coin doing what I love. To help bring great sounding music into our homes. And to be honest, this body is getting worn out fixing homes all day.

So this site is designed to do that and also help us get the absolute best from what we already have or plan to get or build. I am full of sound ideas and knowledge of woodworking and fabricating that I will share on a regular basis. Thanks for joining in this adventure!

Let me talk about these speakers. I didn’t expect to have them done before the website. Originally, the Slopes were going to be on the home page. That explains a few things on this site. It’s all good. I have to say they exceeded my expectations. You are never really sure what you will get from someones kit design. All you can do is get all the information you can, design your cabinet properly and go for it!

I am glad I did! They are a little better than the slopes in every way, except the bass. They have the best unassisted bass I have heard. As it should be from 2 sealed 12″s. Zaph designed for an f3 of 37hz. I think we can get 34 hz, but the cabs get even bigger. And I figured I would just stick with his design and still get (real) bass in the high 20 hz range.

What surprised me the most was hearing more music. Hearing percussion, grace notes, and individual vocals in the harmonies, etc. that I never heard before. Have drivers gotten that much better in 30 years? Maybe the Caps in the Slopes are tired. I don’t know, but I like it.

This is the speaker I always wanted, musical and loud. And they don’t look like something that came off the dashboard of the space shuttle. They are not too critical of room treatment, but very critical of placement and toe in. Right now there is 94″ between drivers to the LS with 8 degrees of toe in. I’m still playing around, but it’s pretty darn good. At a 5′ LS they almost disappear. And at 8′-9′ they are nearly invisible.

I know these speakers are big for some people. But I always thought if you were going to make a musical statement, why not make a visual one as well! Everyone that sees them are floored, including my wife (Hi W.A.F.). That’s a plus. When I asked her how they sound, she said “better than the real thing.” Is that good or bad? I don’t know!

For anybody thinking of this build, it’s a real good speaker. I wish I had something to compare it to. There’s nothing around here for 100 miles or more. But I think KEF’s Blade is in Orlando, Florida. We’ll see.

If you are considering it, make sure you consider, all of Zaphs design goals, large room, away from walls, little to no toe in, and an LS of 8′-9′ or more. I think John’s box design will be sufficient for most people. But if you want something truely special in build, design, material and looks, I’m the guy!

By the way, the 20 liter mold is almost done and I can use it to get almost 40 liters for Zaphs vented option or some of Troel’s designs.

If any of you are in the area (I am 2 hours from Disney) I welcome you to call and stop by. I would appreciate your opinion and critique. Bring some music!

Special thanks to John “Zaph” Krutke and all the folks at Madisound especially Brian.

 

God Bless!

Jeff


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