Lazy but not Cheap

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by alan halvorson, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Has anyone ever hired someone to build a speaker box? I have plans for a speaker I've wanted to be built for more than a dozen years. There is nothing equivalent in the marketplace, and even if there was they would cost a horrendous amount of money. I don't want to build the box myself; it is not my ambitiion to build speakers but to get the speakers I want, even if they have to be built. I don't have the tools or, more importantly, the space to build a speaker. I can install the drivers and wire them (I'm not totally inept). As an aside, these will be tri-amped and do not require a passive crossover.

    The plans are pretty straightforward; there is nothing unconventional about them. They're tower speakers a bit taller and wider than my Legacy Focus speakers. They will require a subwoofer, but I'm not concerned about that at this moment. I'd just like to find a good cabinet maker who knows that speakers (good ones, at least) must be screwed and glued and not stapled.

    So - anyone? Especially anyone in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Have you tried looking in your area for someone who builds custom audio setups? They're sort of a dying breed left over from the 70's hi-fi era but there may still be a few shops around. I know there are a couple here in Milwaukee that still build custom stuff and do reconing and such.

    Otherwise, you may want to check with a local cabinet or furniture maker, they're accustomed to dealing with MDF and veneers. Building an enclosure isn't too far a stretch from building a kitchen cabinet.

    Then again, you may find someone here... good luck.
     
  3. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Actually, good speaker enclosures shouldn't be screwed at all. The glue adds much more strength to the cabinets than screws ever will. Screws are only necessary to provide clamping power if you don't have clamps to hold them together. We use a brad nailer just because it makes the build process faster, but I've built several speakers with glue only and have never had any trouble with the cabinets whatsoever.
     
  4. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Contact Brian at www.rutledgeaudiodesign.com he just responded to you. His craftsmanship is amazing (I have bought several speaker cabs from him), he is a GREAT guy to deal with, and his prices are reasonable.

    Go with Brian, you wont regret it.
     
  5. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    I've solicited the help of a local cabinet maker that works out of his home. His normal rate is $50 per hour which isn't cheap, but he has 20+ years of experience. Now that I've gotten a little experience I don't go to him much anymore. If you have the plans drawn up and they're easy to follow it shouldn't be too bad. I should add that if the person you choose has no experience building loudspeaker enclosures you'll have to spell out your requirements exactly. I've seen them get creative, or make what they think are minor errors which to us have major impact on the performance. Things like recessing the drivers too far or making the baffle a little wider because it's easier to work with.
     
  6. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Hire a cabinet maker. Assuming you have plans, he/she should be able to crank it out in no time at all. Make sure the plans are detailed and exact. Total cost should not be more than a few hundred + materials.
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Hey George, don't forget your fellow Texan.[​IMG]
     
  8. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Hank,

    I am so sorry, for some reason I thought you were not doing it any more except for personal use.

    Hank is another great guy, and his work is stellar also.

    BTW, Hank how is your daughter doing, this should be her last year at TCU shouldn't it?
     
  9. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Yes, Hank does some very nice work as long as you want rosewood cabinets! [​IMG]

    George, I met Hank's daughter on my visit to Austin last summer. She's a very nice, very pretty young lady. She obviously gets her disposition and looks from her mother's side of the family! [​IMG]
     
  10. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Hey, I resemble that remark, Brian, but it probalby applies to your family also.[​IMG]
    George, I'm still making speakers, a set of 7 for a recent customer for instance. And I have done oak veneer, plain finished and dyed also. Brian's remark about rosewood comes from the fact that it has always been my favorite veneer. But, I'm now deciding on some really exotic stuff; considering among three beautifully figured hardwoods that have a fantastic 3D grain. I just don't know what cabinet size to do. I'm building a pair of GR Research A/V-3's now and I'll probably use some rosewood that I have on hand, but after that, it'll be time for one of the very exotics...hmmm...

    George, Holly is doing great and loving it at TCU. Another year would normally be it, but she's had to slow her course completion to a dictated pace, which results in another half year or so. Then, she'll need to choose a university that offers a graduate degree for Nurse Practitioner, which TCU doesn't.
     
  11. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Hank,

    Ok, now I got it, I am a bit slow sometimes. Yes you do good work.

    Good to hear about Holly. If she needs anything, send her over to my office. As to grad school, when the time comes, I think the UNT Health Science Center up the road has a program for NP. If she wants to stay in the area, let me know, I am also on the faculty at the HSC, and I'll see what I can do.

    Have a good one.
     
  12. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Great! Now I've got to find a reasonable price on the drivers, amps and electronic crossover, and this project just might be a go.
     
  13. Tim Brewers

    Tim Brewers Agent

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    Hey Alan. I have a co-worker that just built a house near red-wing. He had custom cabinets made for his home by a guy in hastings I believe. I can ask him tommorrow for a name/number if you want me to. I am a carpenter by trade myself, but I am building my home this fall and wouldn't have time myself until next year.

    Let me know if you want me to ask him. I know he did say his cabinets were very nice and pretty reasably priced.

    Brew
     
  14. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Yeah, Tim, you can ask him, but it may be awhile before I actually go forward. I wonder if I might know that guy in Hastings. If it is who I think it is, he does very good work.
     

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