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Apr 10 2014

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The MK V dilemma

So, now I came to a point where I have a technical assembly dilemma.

The issue is as follows:  This here below is what I am currently listening to and evaluating, and UNFORTUNATELY this is the BEST sounding configuration thus far ….

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I say unfortunately in the tooling and assembly sense, and not the “musical” sense. The thing is, as yet, I have, of this moment at least, not the slightest idea as to how to “glue” this together, in pure carpentry sense.  Will need to sleep over it, maybe some ideas will pop up along the way.

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Anyways, this configuration, with some additional “triangles” filling in the voids on the output side of the horn, will be the thing that I shall try to assemble, in end effect.

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To a certain extent, this is about the limit of what can be achieved without taking a single tool into your hand.  All that has been constructed thus far is based upon plain simple pre-cut standard boards, as sourced from a local construction market, which have been

CUT – TO – ORDER on those big, huge, professional cutting machines that they have there in those wood product departments.

The only tools used thus far was a pack of Pattex glue for wood, two carpenter presses (those pump-to-tighten and quick-release types), a sharp knife, a load of paper towels to clean the excess of glue that comes out of those pressed glue joints.

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Thus far, the only thing that is “glued” together is the outline of the rectangular box. It is basically glued in such a manner so that the “HEIGHT” of it’s internal cavity is STANDARDIZED and … COMPATIBLE.

The Internal Height of the box cavity is equal to the “standard WIDTH” of the boards from the supermarket. In my case, I concentrated on boards that are 20 cm wide, and this just happens to blend in well and coincide with the dimensions of the  Fountek NEO CD 2.0 Ribbon Tweeter, which I purchased for this project. This Fountek Ribbon is about 16 mm height and this is slightly less than my “standard height” raster.

B.T.W. … this is by no means the most expensive Fountek Ribbon. There is some top notch model avaliable, but the price tag was kind of like prohibitive for me – at least then, for what started off as some preliminary crude test of concept thing.

But now, if I had a second chance, and hearing what I am currently LISTENING to, in terms of the QUALITY of the sound, I would not hesitate, given the chance, to exchange these current ribbons for the highest model available.

But returning to the glued box, …. the basic “four walls”  have proven to be a very versatile “diverse pieces of board” holder.   Having the box outline, with the height of exactly what the width of any and all piece of board that I happen to have pre-cut and available, I simply slide in the pieces of interest, in a vertical position, set the required angles, and can concentrate on the listening tests, and not on the woodwork.  Mind you, depending on how you actually pressed the glued box together whilst drying, you may actually come across a situation, where the inserted boards actually sit in a very tight fit … sometimes it may be even difficult to slide it in … But that is actually a good thing .. because I slide it in … and it sits there, and the whole thing instantaneously becomes quite a stable and sturdy construct. Very sturdy, as for a temporary make-shift setup thing.

In Poland we have a saying that goes:

“All that is temporary has a long life …. ”

We shall see. When I finally hit the optimum configuration (which at this point I most probably already DID ), I will glue the whole thing together and put in the bells and whistles and all the finishing touches ….

By “standardizing” the HEIGHT, using the “height” as a strategic modus operandi, I basically trivialized the problem of testing a whole myriad of potential variants, configurations, listening options and tests, to the trivial task of cutting-to-order the individual pieces of wood … by simply cutting appropriate lengths off of a standard width board, and hence obtain whatever I need.

As simple as that.

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In Poland we have a saying, and it goes:

Laziness is the (second) Mother of any and all Invention


{ The “first” Mother is called “Arms Race”  / “War” / “Military Conflict” , but about that you can learn from other sources }


Alas, the concept of the “Standardized Height” has herewith, with this MK V version, actually fallen to pieces, as you can plainly see that now I am going for the Vertical deflection panels, which are tilted not horizontally, as till recently, but now … also vertically.

So now I have a true dilemma, as to how to put it all together…



P.S.   I have a riddle for you:  What is the easiest way to convert your cozy little (or not so little) living room, into the size of a huge monumental Concert Hall ?  The answer is very simple …

Take two boxes like those above, and then take a record called:

“ADELE – Live at the Royal Albert Hall ….”

Throw it onto you record or CD player, wire it through some decent push-pull vacuum tube amplifier, press the “PLAY” button … and close your eyes.

Listen, and you shall SEE
( … as the old Marantz saying goes )

The size of the Hall, the distance to the audience, the sheer SIZE of the place, the height of the ceiling, the densely packed distribution of the people within the audience, the funny “circular” nature of the applause that is coming in from that funny, circular shape of the Hall, a shape that you can HEAR – all this is simply breathtaking.


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