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Home theater by Klemens
SB home theater by Klemens
It all started when my wife expressed a desire for “surround sound” while we were watching a movie. And so it began: days and nights of reading forum posts and reports. The effect of my internet research is probably already familiar to most readers here: the more you read, the more you realize that you need to read even more. First let me describe the path from gathering knowledge to ordering the do-it-yourself components. As a starting point, I had a stereo set purchased in my youth (about 20 years ago), consisting of an Acoustic Research integrated amplifier, Goodmans shelf boxes and a Harman Kardon CD player. The price for the set from Schilling at the time: 15,000.00,-.
It goes without saying that the stereo amplifier wasn’t designed for 5.1. But surely I could keep using the same boxes? Well, sure, but Goodmans hasn’t been around for years, and it would probably be hard to find other loudspeakers that go well with their sound. Inspired by the internet community and the test reports, the Wharfedale and Dali speakers made it into my final round of decision-making. Fortunately I happened to stumble across a retailer in Linz who sells (and demos) both brands. After the first listening session with shelf loudspeakers, the Dali Zensor series was judged to be good. Unfortunately the pedestal loudspeakers weren’t in stock, so I decided to wait until the retailer had them back in the store.
Unfortunately for the retailer, I ran across the creations at Loudspeakerbuilding.com in the meantime, and it was quickly clear that it needed to be a DIY project, especially because the necessary resources were available in my father’s workshop. The site’s support features are first-class – most of you already know that, but it’s still important to mention. After a couple of emails, I decided on the SB36, SB30 Center with SB-26-STC and SB15PC.
The next step was planning the box shape. The original shape of the SB36 wouldn’t work because the conditions in the room called for a front box about 70 cm tall. In order to keep the front of the BS36 from getting too bulky, I decided to use round sides. Given that it was my first DIY attempt, I had no idea how much extra work that would involve. Udo approved my sketch was approved, and the shape of the AB36 was decided. With an interior floor area of 598cm², that meant about 63cm interior height (with consideration for the inside reinforcements). The SB15PC and the SB30 Center were allowed to keep their original shapes for the time being.
Now we come to the assembly phase. I had the wood cut to size in my local hardware store, using 19-mm MDF. To my surprise, the cutting was free of charge. I won’t go into any more detail about the assembly of the rear boxes (SB15PC) – a few pictures can speak for themselves.
Building the center speaker was just as unspectacular, with two exceptions. I discovered that my original plan did not pass a visual quality check, and it needed to be integrated into the shelf. In addition, the beech veneer I had been given was so stubborn that it inevitably ended up with cracks along the edges. I fixed these quirks with a beech putty mixture, so they are barely noticeable in the finished product. Looking back, I can say that these cracks could have been avoided with a little more practice, even using the beech veneer...
Compared to the other boxes, building the Custom SB36 was a completely different caliber. First I transferred the interior floor area and cut it out roughly with the band saw. Then I held together all of the lid, floor and frame panels with C-clamps. Thanks to the belt sander, they ended up with identical shapes in just a few minutes.
I cut out the holes for the chassis using a router template I had bought on eBay. This additional tool really makes it very easy, but it is time-consuming. It probably took me several hours to finish the eight holes for the front panels. In order to keep the skeleton at the right angle while I was gluing it with joint glue, I gave the lid an additional frame. The projecting MDF on the front and back sides was trimmed using an electric hand-held planer. You need to know that the planer can easily rip out pieces of wood at the end of the stretch. It’s not so bad for surfaces that will be veneered or painted later, since those patches can still be puttied over.
For the round sides, I chose a combination of 3-mm HF boards and 19-mm flexible MDF. I made the flexible MDF boards myself on the circular saw, by making deep cuts (1.5 cm) in the boards about 1.2 cm apart. First the 3-mm HF board was shaped. Even for these relatively thin boards, the small radius of about 33 cm required a massive amount of force. During this step, it is good if you have four hands to help out. After a curing time of at least a day, the sealed cabinets were made one step at a time. I spread a generous amount of joint glue along all of the inside edges just to be on the safe side. For the flexible MDF, the “bending ridges” were filled with a mixture of polished meal and glue. In my opinion, the advantage of this method is that the glue doesn’t run right back out, so you can keep your glue consumption in check. I still needed more than 2 kg of glue for both boxes. The bending involved more brute force. In addition, the very slippery side panels were held in place using Spax. Once it had hardened, I took out the screws and puttied over the holest.
Since the floor and lid surfaces were hard to sand because of the glue that had oozed out, and I wanted to avoid more puttying, I decided to glue 3-mm HF boards over them. That was a very good decision, as it turned out. The HDF boards were cut out roughly with the band saw, and then cut flush using the router once they were glued on. Oh yes, and the often-used magnets for attaching the stretcher were also countersunk into the front.
I got the satin walnut veneer from a local dealer, the Keplinger company in Traun. This wholesaler also has a real stone veneer in stock that looks amazing. But since I’m sure it is very tricky to work with, I didn’t dare use it for my maiden project – especially because it’s many times more expensive than my not-especially-cheap wood veneer.
In order to achieve a beautiful “butterfly look,” I had to join the veneer. First, I very carefully gave the sheets nice even edges with the cutter. It works well along the grain as long as you apply gentle pressure and go over each veneer sheet at least three times. Then I clamped the two matching sheets between two 45° 19-mm wood planks and sanded the edges until they were even. That way you can have the two sheets overlap slightly. I assembled them using veneer adhesive tape that I bought at the veneer store. IMO it’s really important to reinforce the veneer with painter’s tape on the front before you iron it on, to keep it from tearing off like it did on the center. The ironing itself has been described several times already, and after the how-to in the workshop exercise, it works perfectly with a little practice. I did replace the method with the triangular file, using #120 sandpaper stretched over a 90° angle. Then I sanded it using #120, 240 and 320 paper, and sealed it with three coats of clear Clou hard wax oil. Before the last coat, I sanded it again with #400 paper. That gave me a matte shiny surface.
Let me mention something else that could probably only happen to me: a #17 chassis disappeared during the four-month assembly process, and it never turned up again. “Fortunately,” you can always order another one… ;-) Oh well, maybe someday I’ll want to build the SB18, too.
Finally, the installation of the crossover, which was mounted to the rear wall with hot glue, the insulation, the chassis, the terminal and the BR tube – that was the fun part.
About the sound:
Except for my old Goodmans boxes, I don’t have any grounds for comparison in my own four walls; but what comes out of the SB pieces speaks for itself. In home-theater surround mode, the sound is amazing, assuming you have the right source. You can hear details that you’ve never noticed before. Voices come across very well, and they can be heard clearly even when there are loud background noises. Still, I don’t think you really “need” the Blues Class for a home theater.
For stereo mode, let me first say something about the SB15PC. I had been using it for about two months before it was replaced by the SB36 speakers. The little guys are fantastic! I would never have thought that so much sound could come out of such a small “PC box.” When I replaced them with the SB36 units, I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the SB36 – but there were two reasons for that: First, my expectations were too high; and second, the chassis needed to be broken in. In defense of the SB36: Why should it sound that much better than the little SB15PC? Aside from the bass range, it can’t and shouldn’t really sound much different. Now that the chassis has been broken in after a month and a half, with many hours of playing, I am very happy: the sound is great in every musical genre I own, whether the system is converting Massive Attack, Manowar, Metallica, Reinhard Mey or Maria Callas into sound waves.
Summary: The DIY community has a new member. I’m already thinking about which boxes will come next. But first I need to build a decent stereo amp. ;-)
Thanks to Loudspeakerbuilding for presenting the various projects and for the support; thanks to the model builders, and to my family for doing without me for so long...
You can order the assembling kits at SB 36 at Intertechnik:
The complete assembling kits include all loudspeaker drivers, capacitors, inductors, resistors, Sonofil damping, cable, terminal, cross over plan and screws for one box. The wood for the cabinet is not included.
Kostas SB 36
I wanted to quickly introduce you to my SB 36 and say a few words about it. Before I begin, let me say a big THANK YOU for this wonderful website, to the community members and above all to “Köder” from the forum. Thank you for the fantastic loudspeakers and for all your help in my decision-making process. Especially Köder, because he was the one who really got me interested with his Symasym version and his SB 417.
So I was on the hunt for a small but elegant project for my guest room / home office / lounge. Since the room is only about 15m² and the listening distance is only 2.5 m, I was looking for smaller boxes. After a lot of back and forth, I ran across the SB 18 on Loudspeakerbuilding.com. There were nothing but positive reports about this speaker. So I got in the car and drove over to the listening studio. Arrival 4:30 pm, departure 8 pm. What an afternoon! I felt like it was over in no time. My last visit had been about 9 years earlier, and I still had very positive memories of it. Once again, I was not disappointed. I would recommend to everyone that they visit the studio and have a consultation. Unfortunately, though, neither the SB 18 nor the SB 26 were available for a listening session at the time, just the smaller SB 15 and the large SB 417. But I was assured that the tonal characteristics of the SB series were very similar.
No sooner said than done – the SB 18 assembly kit landed at my front door just a short while later. Over the next few days I had to get a couple of old boards to build the test cabinet. What awaited me was already pretty impressive. Rarely have I heard a loudspeaker that sounds as balanced as this one. No matter what the volume, everything is finely resolved and you don’t have the feeling that something is missing or too dominant. I always have some trouble with the sound description, but I can’t remember ever hearing such a fine box before during countless listening tests at typical hi-fi stores. And if I did, it was outrageously expensive. Of course, that’s my subjective personal opinion.
Still, I couldn’t shake the idea of building the SB 36 – after all, the extra cost was less than 100 euros for each box. So I went back to the listening studio, talked to Udo about it, and ordered all of the parts for the SB 36. This time I didn’t want to build a test cabinet; I went straight for the final cabinet. In keeping with the motto “Build it the way you want it,” I came up with a different cabinet shape. I opened SketchUp and constructed a new cabinet (naturally with the same volume and BR tube).
There are pictures of the assembly process too, but not very many.
I glued the crossovers onto a Plexiglas board and screwed them to the back wall behind the lower bass.
The boxes were veneered in figured walnut.
The results confirmed my decision. Everything that the SB 18 already impressively demonstrates, the SB 36 can do just a bit better. Naturally it also offers significantly more pressure, so the fun factor is even higher. Finally, the tweeter is a little more subdued, which works better in my room. Since then I’ve been diligently testing it out, now with a borrowed tube amplifier. That rounds everything out even more. I can only hope that my planned Symasym amplifier works just as well. I am always fascinated by how much information the loudspeaker provides at a low volume. You have the feeling you are getting to know familiar songs for the first time. As far as the volume, all I can say is that the SB 36 is completely impressive in my living room, too. That should be enough for now.
Holger`s SB 36 home theater
As we all know, nothing lasts longer than a temporary fix. Mine consisted of some well-aged DIY boxes that I had supplemented with additional loudspeakers from the Holocene period of Dolby surround sound and that didn’t harmonize in the least. The tired sound from my old boxes meant that I listened to music almost exclusively through my iPod, and watching movies wasn’t all that much fun either. Since I had built all of my previous boxes myself, there was no reason to take the “risk” of buying a finished product; so I ended up on this site a few months ago. I was actually interested in the FirstTime 8, and if things hadn’t kept getting in my way I probably would have ordered it sight unseen. But in the meantime, I used my time wisely and kept up with it on Loudspeakerbuilding.com pages and in various forums. Everyone said that you needed powerful subwoofers with subterranean basses for a home theater so you could feel the gunshots in your own gut. All well and good for someone who has a home theater in the cellar of his solitary farmhouse, but maybe not the best for me, since I live in a thin-walled old building in the middle of a large city. Why should I knock the fillings out of my teeth and the pictures off my neighbors’ walls whenever I want to watch a movie ?
In one forum, someone reported that with his previous home theater sets, the speed with which the neighbors started complaining had much more to do with the lower frequency limit than with the volume. Since music is very important to me too, my attention was finally drawn by the SB 36; it doesn’t offer thundering basses, but the music reproduction is very fine and it would perfectly supplement the SB 18 as a center and rear loudspeaker. After looking at countless frequency responses and reviews, I was still plagued by doubts as to whether the bass would be strong enough; the only solution was to fill up the tank and drive to Intertechnik studio to hear it for myself. The demonstration started with the SB 36; after 10 measures I could have driven home again, because I was convinced right away – not only did the basses reach much lower than I had imagined.
Planning and construction
Unfortunately, the limited availability of the SB chassis at the time SB Acoustics started meant a long waiting period, so I had plenty of time to play with various constructions and designs in Google SketchUp. The center would be an SB 18 laid on its side; the 17-cm woofer doesn’t make it very elegant, but it would fit perfectly with the main speakers in terms of its tone. That was essential for a home theater. For the rears, I had originally planned to be stingy and use cheaper assembly kits like the Quickly 14, but given the overall cost, I decided to build two SB 18s here as well. And when you have too much time for planning, you tend to give yourself a lot of work: since my sofa is right next to the wall, which is less than ideal – no, I’m not prepared to turn my whole apartment upside down for the sake of the TV – I didn’t want deep cabinets with speakers that would radiate the sound right past me into the corners of the room. So I gave the cabinet a sharp 45-degree corner in the back so that the rears could either be squashed into the corner of the room or played indirectly off the wall. Rear speakers are actually supposed to be placed significantly higher than the listener’s head, but I ignored that for aesthetic reasons and let the reflex channel end on the underside, which was set on a stand – surely reasonable for the loudspeakers in the back. If some day I decide it’s too much of a shame to reflect the nice SB 18s off the back wall, they can still serve as very good little free-standing speakers. To make the plan work, I had to saw some edges at 22.5 degree angles; a short survey showed that buying a cheap circular saw was no more expensive than hiring a cabinetmaker. And once you have the saw, you can also go ahead and miter the baffle board and the lid, which worked very well with a little practice. For the sake of my camera, I didn’t document the long, dusty day I spent in my plastic-sheeted kitchen with the circular saw, router, vacuum cleaner and dust mask. Since the assembly kits still hadn’t arrived, I left the interior of the chassis cutouts alone for the time being after I was finished with the router, so that I could do some more shaping if needed. Fortunately, that turned out not to be necessary.
SketchUp was amazingly helpful with the styling, and I was quickly able to create what I thought were very nice-looking results without too much effort. For the body, I used black MDF like what Udo had chosen for his SB 36; even when varnished, it is still not really black, and it keeps its typical MDF pattern. The side walls were made of simple multiplex wood from the hardware store. After the surface-grinding and circular milling of the vertical edges, I glued together the middle pieces, made a rag from an old sheet and stained the sides with two coats of teak stain. The result, after barely two hours of work for five boxes, was a wonderfully warm wood color. Smaller defects in the wood were filled in more or less successfully with wax, or I just left them. A wise man (with a white beard) once wrote that do-it-yourself boxes should still look homemade from up close, and I followed his advice. ;-)
Once the speakers had finally arrived and I confirmed that they fit into the openings, I rolled on the last of my three coats of stair and parquet paint, which provided a satin finish. The mitered edges of the baffle board and lid look amazing, and they are almost impossible to see – especially when you compare them with the glued butt joints on the back sides, which still look dull after the third coat of paint. Most of my visitors have trouble believing that I built the boxes myself, which is actually a bit of a disappointment – maybe I should have chosen a more exotic design, but integrating them smoothly into the living room was a higher priority in the end.
When the chassis elements finally arrived, I was running short on time, so I started by assembling the two SB 18s for the back and finished them around midnight. Just to hear whether they worked, I quickly connected them. Not until well after 1 a.m. was I able to bring myself to turn off the stereo. I quietly listened to the legendary “Live in Hamburg” concert by e.s.t., and I heard jazz exactly the way I had always wanted to hear it. I was fascinated by the airy sound and the analytical high notes that let me locate every musician on the stage even at the necessarily very low volume. The next morning I finished the two SB 36 units and set them up on the sides. In comparison – and I’m probably one of the only people so far who have done a comparison in their own homes – the SB 26 is much rounder. The basses are deeper, and the box has a wonderfully full sound that is never aggressive or annoying. Even with a harder musical style, the SB 36 pulls a wealth of detail out of the music that I personally had never heard with my old boxes or with very good headphones. In any case, you can start to see what Udo meant when he called this the Blues class. Set up right next to the wall, the SB 18s also have a wonderful, very analytical sound, but with rock and pop they lose their steam in the bass range; the SB 36 units were just what I needed to add a little bass. By the way, there is also a small difference in the high ranges: the SB 18 sounds slightly sharper here, while the SB 36 is just a touch more reticent and balanced. The SB 18s should not face the listener directly, which Udo also mentioned in his description. More proof that you can trust his sound reviews absolutely.
Now that I was completely satisfied with my sound when it came to listening to music, and with the “5-channel disco” program of my AV receiver filling the room very evenly with sound from all five boxes, it was high time to put in a movie. All of my fears that I would notice a shortage in the bass and be tempted to start looking through the subwoofer catalogue were laid to rest right away in the first few scenes of “Casino Royale.” My musical home theater, with its five “full-range” boxes, is perfectly capable of sending bullets whistling very plausibly through the room, and it convincingly reproduces the inevitable bass rumbling for action scenes. It also proves that honesty and neutrality are not out of place in a home theater. The brilliant film music from “The Big Blue” sounds just fantastic, and the voices are natural and believable. Above all, they don’t change tone when they move back and forth between the three boxes in the front. Of course, if Godzilla or a T-Rex decides to stomp through my living room someday, the vibrations in my wine glass will be fairly restrained, and my belly will still be able to handle it – but there is really no danger of missing any of the sounds. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to add a subwoofer right now, which die-hard home theater fans might have trouble understanding. But I’d rather stay on good terms with my neighbors.
My SB 36/18 home theater was a much bigger jump for me than I originally planned. I hardly think that the 1000 euros I spent on the assembly kits, wood and paint could have gotten you anything of similar quality in the ready-made category. Especially not if your priority, like mine, is music reproduction, which is where most home theater sets run into trouble. Customizing the system to your own taste is what ultimately makes do-it-yourself kits so attractive. My only problem: in order to showcase the boxes, I should really trade my old AV receiver in for a much higher-quality model, and the big sound is suddenly making my television seem awfully small. But that’s another story…
It started as it so often does whenever, after a nice weekend filled with music from our borrowed test boxes, Monday rolls around again. Boris had subjected the SB 18 to a test at home and thought that everything in my sound description was realistic. He was very impressed by the detailed contrast and the harmonic interactions of the SBAcoustics chassis. Now, his listening room is fairly large, and there’s plenty of room for a free-standing box. If he ever ran across the famous good fairy, he said, he would only have one wish to make: just a little more pressure in the bass – then he could say he had found his box. To keep him from waiting for all eternity, I invented the SB 36 for him.
As we know, size is relative, and even in a large room there’s much more to set up than just a couple of overgrown loudspeaker boxes. So Boris refused right away when I suggested putting an SB29NRXC75-6 under the SB 18 on each side, which would give him a -3dB point of less than 30 Hz with just under 90 reflex-tuned liters. Too big, he said. He couldn’t sacrifice more than the footprint of the SB 18, and it didn’t need to be much deeper. He just wanted a little more air movement. That made the structure of the boxes clear, and all I had to do was add a second SB17NRXC35-8 to the SB 18, which already includes the ferrofluid-free SB26STC-C4 doing its work as a tweeter, which is worth at least twice its very reasonable price.
It also gives me the opportunity to finally clear up an old hope that is far too often associated with dual-bass systems. The second chassis doesn’t give you more bass depth if the volume is simply doubled. Nonetheless, in direct comparisons that’s what it feels like. The larger membrane area moves more air, which comes toward the listener across a wider front and thus seems like it has more pressure. Aha – wasn’t that the wish for the good fairy? That’s how the SB 18 became the SB 36. Coincidentally, the suffix also shows the volume of enclosed air in liters.
The complete data sheets, along with the measurement value download, can be found here. The membrane of the BMT looks slightly different now – it comes in a solid black, without the gray specks and thus slightly more neutral – but the parameters for the chassis have remained almost identical, within the scope of the normal tolerances.
There are also a few things worth mentioning about the “dual bass” cabinet type, so we will take some time for that here. First, it is always a matter of debate whether every bass needs its own chamber in order to work with a precisely defined volume, or whether both basses should share a home. In my experience there is no perceptible difference, even if there are minimal physical distinctions. In my case, I decided that the benefits of the shared reflex tube, which would be in the front because it caused fewer setup problems, made it worth having an undivided structure.
The second question that comes up when designing a box with two basses has to do with the chassis placement. The D’Appolito look is popular – it involves putting the tweeter between the two parallel bass mid-range speakers. That creates a kind of single-point sound source, since the sound from all three chassis elements meets at the level of the tweeter. The result is the wonderful spatial reproduction that wide-range speakers are known for. There are two downsides to this structure: above and below the tweeter axis, the sound-pressure curve is very wavy because the paths from the lower and upper mid-range speaker to the listener’s ears have different lengths. That causes breaks in some of the frequencies. As a result, the box needs to be tall enough that the music consumer sitting in front of it is looking right into the tweeter.
The alternative is the almost traditional chassis structure in which the basses are stacked under the tweeter. Because of the different distances that this creates to the ear, the lower driver is only used to supplement the low notes, while the upper driver transmits the mid-range. This setup is commonly known as the two-and-a-half-way box, and the benefit is that the lower range can be emphasized more or less depending on the uncoupling of the support bass and according to personal taste. That was my compromise, which Boris immediately accepted in part also because of the lower height.
SB36 construction plan as a Sketchup-file
My cabinet design once again followed the motto: make it as easy as possible. I had four identical boards for the front, sides and back wall, along with two matching lids and floors, cut to size from black MDF for each box. Because of the small interior surface and the heaviness of the boards, I was even able to leave out the reinforcements with a clear conscience. By contrast, Boris made a little more work for himself; he built an inner cage with rounded sides and then glued an alder veneer to the outside. He also decorated the front and back walls with edges and curves, and stained them black to provide contrast. Unfortunately he didn’t take any pictures of his more ambitious woodwork, so my readers will have to be satisfied with my documentation of the gluing process yet again.
There’s not much more to say about gluing six boards with joint glue, so I’ll just give you the sequence as an overview: I glued the first side, the lid, the floor and the second side to the front wall. The glue is always applied to the cut edge, and the individual boards are flush with each other. Once the glue dries, the boxes are carefully sanded so that no traces of glue are visible when the clear varnish is put on. In order to make the cut edges a little less obvious, I separated them from the adjacent boards with a shadow gap. I liked it so much that I applied the same visual loosening to the front, too. I had bought a triangular trimming cutter for this job many years ago; it was first used for the article on the FirstTime 10 in the February 09 issue. That issue also shows how to cut out the chassis holes, so I will skip any further explanations. I gave the wood three coats of Hornbach acrylic PU paint with my Wagner W 660 sprayer, and I did an intermediate sanding step by hand with a #240 abrasive sponge. Given the low level of effort involved, the results are more than satisfactory.
The crossover network
The frequency response for the two parallel-connected SB 17s doesn’t look too bad if we can just ignore the strong waves above 900 Hz (green). They are the result of the different distances from the microphone (standing in for the ear in the measurements) that I mentioned earlier. A large coil in front of the lower bass, whose effects can be seen even at 100 Hz and up, removes the spikes. It can be used to “set” the voice reproduction; at higher values, men sound slimmer, and at lower values they are fuller. As always, we chose the happy medium as a neutral compromise, and we recommend that do-it-yourselfers try it out for themselves to see what works best in their homes. Don’t worry, you won’t break anything – you can’t break off any connection wires with coils.
With the SB 18 I had more or less followed the recommended connections from SBAcoustics, but I gave my imagination free rein in developing the mid-range section of the SB 36. The upper bass mid-range got a low-pass filter (a filter that lets low frequencies through) made of a Corobar coil with an overlaid MKP Q4 capacitor that reduced the peaks above 3.5 Hz; behind it was a smooth electrolytic capacitor parallel to the chassis. The tweeter was given just as many upstream components as the two big chassis elements; its volume level was reduced by two Mox 4 resistors, and a capacitor and a small air coil protected it against too-deep frequencies of 12 dB/octave below 2.8 kHz. The total frequency response dips a little bit around 3 kHz, thanks to the width of the baffle board, which no longer reflects the high-tone signals that are radiated in all directions.
You can see how well the crossover is tuned by looking at the addition of the amplitudes under 0, 30 and 60 degrees; all of the dips and peaks are nearly balanced out. Naturally, we also smoothed the impedance for people who like to pamper their ears with tube systems.
To clarify the circuitry, we placed the components on the crossover plan; the next image shows them glued onto a wooden board and welded together. Those who prefer a slightly cleaner look can also assemble them on a universal grid-style board. The three impedance correction components are ideally placed either inside or outside, at the terminal to which they are connected in parallel.
With five bags of Sonofil, the insulation volume is pretty significant. The damping plan, for which there is not enough space here, shows you how to insert the insulation.
Who could really fault me if I just used the exact same text as my sound description for the SB 18, unabridged and just with the phrase “even more pressure!” despite the completely new crossover topology? I could hardly provide a more accurate review of this assembly kit, which simply includes an additional bass. And yet the SB 36 does offer a slightly different quality; it really does sound much more grown up now, with more pressure in the bottom range and more apparent depth. Even if the SB 18 already reproduces music very convincingly, it naturally has its limits when compared to its big sister. The kettledrum was a bit bigger and of course had more pressure, but the SB 36 didn’t lose any of the fine details that had earned the little single-bass box the “Blues class” label, very rare for its price range. The SB 36 didn’t show any sign of pudginess in the bass or the lower mid-range, which all too often ruins the fun of the music. The fact that singers gain stature over the course of many years became clear in listening to the slim free-standing box, when Leonard Cohen performed his famous “Suzanne” first as a studio recording and then, immediately but forty years later, on “Live in London 2008,” as if he were a time traveler making two visits to Kerpen near Cologne, Germany. Once a young man with an already fairly sonorous voice, he now sounded like he had just been waiting for the opportunity – now at age 75 and with his voice half an octave lower – to tell the story of the young woman from the port of Montreal one more time, with more expression. The tweeter was outstandingly matched with the lower section. Calmly and with great self-assurance, lacking any sense of pushiness, it played its role in the outstanding performance. For at least two and a half hours of pure emotion, the old man and great artist transformed the listening room with his poetic texts and fairly simple melodies – and I enjoyed every minute of it.
We’re not trying to hide Boris’ SB 36 version – it deserves to be seen. Instead of a tube, he preferred a slit under the front as a reflex outlet; the baffle board was covered in black synthetic leather.
|Chassis||2 x SB17NRXC35-8||Wood list in 19 mm MDF per piece:|
|95,0 x 22,0 (4x) front/ back wall/sides|
|Sales||Intertechnik||18,2 x 22,0 (2x) lid/floor|
|Principle||Bass-reflex||Bass.Midrange: 6 mm|
|Nominal impedance||4 Ohm||Tweeter: 3mm|
|Damping:||5 bags Sonofil|
|Pole clamp/Terminal||K 30-AU||Wood cutting black MDF: 40 EUR 42 USD|
|Reflex port:||BR70/HP unshortened|
|Approx. cost per Box:|
|Kit without wood||230 EUR 245 USD|
Expandability of the SB 36 kit:
- SB36 can be expand with 1 x SB36center (as center speaker)
- SB36 can be expand with 2 x SB18 (as rear speaker) or
- SB36 can be expand with 2 x SB36 (as rear speaker)