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The First Speaker Page


  Speaker with grill cloth
  The first set of speakers that I made are a pair of two-way bookshelfs known in the internet DIY speaker world as AR.COMs. They were designed by Ed Frias, a world-class, very high-end speaker builder as a gift to the DIY community. I built them from the detailed assembly instructions that used to be posted at the AudioReview web site, but appears to be gone now,, and from exact cabinet specifications that you can find by searching the DIY Speaker Forum.  
  The speakers contain a 6-1/2" woofer and a 2-1/2" tweeter, and are ported in the rear. The crossover is a standard 2-way, but uses very high-quality components.  
  Speakers, Front and Back
  The cabinets are made with 3/4" MDF, covered with edge-mitered, oak-veneered, 1/4" plywood, and finished with tung oil. All of the cabinet work was done with a hand-held circular saw, a hand-held power saber saw, and a hand-held power drill, with the use of several custom, hand-made jigs. I spent about one mouth of evenings in the basement constructing and finishing them.  
  The grill cloths are mounted with staples on 1/2" chipboard frames. The frames are attached to the speaker baffles with little plastic grill snaps from Meniscus Audio. I describe the process in detail here. When I really want to listen, I remove the grills; the music sounds better without them.  
  The components in these speakers are definitely high-end, but it is the perfect design that makes these babies so remarkable. The total cost to build the two speakers was about $300, including $140 for the four drivers, $60 for the crossover electronics, $50 for the accessories (wire terminals, grill cloth, grill snaps, port covers, internal stuffing, etc.), and about $50 for the cabinet materials.  
  So, how do they sound? I haven't heard enough high-end speakers to really compare, but people in the know say they sound as good as speakers in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. All I know is they sound absolutely fantastic to me!  
  Note: Because I bought two sets of the woofer and tweeter drivers, I subsequently built a second set of these speakers, as described here.  
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Speaker Specifications
Woofer Make/ModelPeerless 6-1/2" model 850122
Tweeter Make/ModelPeerless 3-1/2" model 812687
Driver Impedance8 ohms
Speaker Sensitivity90 dB @ 1 watt/1 meter
Woofer Resonance Frequency (Fs)36.5 Hz
Port2" diameter / 6" long
Cabinet Dimensions13-1/2" H x 9-1/2" W x 9-3/4" D
Cabinet Volume0.38 cu ft