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Old 11th September 2014, 01:25 PM   #1
oculi is offline oculi  Australia
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Default old radio cabinet antirestoration - old empty box new insides

Hi all, sorry if this is in the wrong section but it's a bit of everything.

A few years ago I bought an empty radio cabinet for not much because I liked the bezel on it. I've since gotten around to stripping off all the old shellac/whatever, sanding it back and re-polishing it, and it has come up good enough to proceed to phase two, which is stick an amplifier and speakers and some kind of bluetooth or other source in it as some kind of oversized sound dock.

I'm no audiophile and I don't want to spend much on this so bear that in mind.

as it is now

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

an old one of the (now removed) rotten shelf that needs to be replaced

Click the image to open in full size.

the challenge now is speakers, I basically want it to sound like an old radio, which is usually reasonable bass and not that much high frequency, I don't want to put tweeters in it.

the grille measures roughly 185mm (7 1/4") wide by 380mm high (just under 15 inches) so I can either use

- side by side 4" speakers, 2 X 4Ω or 4 X 8Ω

- top and bottom 8" speakers, 2 X 4Ω ideally

- some other system with two different sized speakers

- something else?

Some of these setups will probably require mono downmixing (which brings issues itself) and then there is the question of enclosures. mounting the speakers on a baffle will basically result in a dipole setup which is probably about right for an old radio, was looking at doing transmission lines but lost interest due to all the other constraints and I want to keep it pretty simple.

any ideas on speaker selection? there isn't that much selection here and I'm not keen on doing an international order, so just after general thoughts on size.

is some sort of loudspeaker enclosure worthwhile?

will cheap 8" speakers sound "better" than more costly 4" speakers (is size king?) the speaker previously in this box would have been ~10 inches or so based on the old baffle.

I'll be mounting whatever speakers I use to a 16mm MDF baffle to start, if it is all wrong I can add an enclosure later.

still need to make volume/tuning knobs and other things too, and work out something interesting to stick behind the bezel glass window...

Cheers!
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Old 11th September 2014, 01:39 PM   #2
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Cool project.

I think there is little use in going stereo, since the drivers would be so close together that their output would mix anyways, but with unpredictable results.

A nice, large, efficient full range running open baffle would best bring the original sound back. You only need a small class D amplifier with a wall wart to get pretty loud. I don't know what is on sale in Oz, speakerwise.

Depending on your measuring equipment, you might consider adding a MiniDSP to flatten the frequency response, which is bound to be ragged without correction.
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Old 11th September 2014, 01:48 PM   #3
oculi is offline oculi  Australia
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yeah stereo is not required I'm just not sure if I want L fighting R each other with electrons or with air.

The amp I've got is 2 X 15watt per and based on the TA-2024 I believe, so I either need to use two speakers or let half of the power go to waste.

i'm going to wire this so I can run external speakers too if required as the amp sounds surprisingly OK and will be more useful that way.

My listening standards are very low, so as long as it sounds OK and has some semblance of low frequency i'll be happy.
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Old 11th September 2014, 01:52 PM   #4
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Does it need to be stereo? Old radios like that are designed for a single speaker, so the easiest route would be just that. Something like a single Selenium 8mb4p would give you that old radio sound and a lot of volume for not too many watts of amplifier. A full range driver wouldn't have that old radio sound, but would be a bit more hifi. The bigger the speaker, the more lows that will come through and the less highs as a general rule. The cheeper large speakers have even a bit less highs, but you often have to give them lots of power for little volume.

What's your price range?
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Old 11th September 2014, 01:55 PM   #5
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Out of curiousity (my daughter lives in Brisbane, who knows where I will wind up) I checked what down under has, loudspeakerwise, and it is not impressive. The only driver I found is this one.


PS220-8 8" Point Source Full-Range Neo Driver - Dayton Audio

In the US, there is much more choice.

This one would work, but is $$$$:
The Madisound Speaker Store

And this one probably is a bargain, even with transportation. Pioneer made some very nice drivers.

GRS 8FR-8 Full-Range 8" Speaker Pioneer Type B20FU20-51FW

Don't think cheap drivers can't be good. The specs on this one are pretty OK.

Last edited by vacuphile; 11th September 2014 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 11th September 2014, 01:58 PM   #6
oculi is offline oculi  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootwhistler View Post
Does it need to be stereo? Old radios like that are designed for a single speaker, so the easiest route would be just that. Something like a single Selenium 8mb4p would give you that old radio sound and a lot of volume for not too many watts of amplifier. A full range driver wouldn't have that old radio sound, but would be a bit more hifi. The bigger the speaker, the more lows that will come through and the less highs as a general rule. The cheeper large speakers have even a bit less highs, but you often have to give them lots of power for little volume.

What's your price range?
doesn't need to be stereo, just makes it easier in a lot of ways.

budget for speakers is about $60 (laugh if you want, I don;t mind )

can I link to sites here for reference? so far i've found a place that sells Visaton speakers (though my budget only buys their 4" range) and there are a few electronics stores that sell varios "generic" speakers, don't want to spend much as I can't imagine a 1 or 2 inch wide baffle directly in front of a loudspeaker will let it sound the best it can.
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Old 11th September 2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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You might check out guitar speakers. They are pretty wide range, have decent lows, and are usually pretty loud for the wattage. I was just looking at the modest priced Jensen c8r 4 ohm version that looks almost exactly like what you are asking for, only a little over budget for two.

Go ahead and put links if you think it would help.
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Old 11th September 2014, 07:33 PM   #8
JoeDJ is online now JoeDJ  United States
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FWIW.... ...

Years ago my father used tell me abut the old" Philco" radio that his parents had when he was a kid.

When his mom passed in the '70s.... he got the radio and it was like very much like your pics and it was still quite pristine and worked perfectly.

Long story short........by this time I was no longer living at "home" .
One day. I was heart broken when he had the museum quality " Philco" in his cellar workshop and had completely butchered it----cutting it in half etc to fit on shelves .

I felt like he cut the "Mona Lisa" in half !

In any event, I agree that you should keep it mono.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 11th September 2014 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:39 AM   #9
oculi is offline oculi  Australia
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this is the 4"4 ohm speaker i'm considering Soundlabs Group FR 10 - 4 Ohm, LSK as linked earlier has 4 ohm dayton RS100s for about $30 each but I would have to cut down the frames to make them fit nicely which is a shame.

if I used two pairs of 4" 8 ohm speakers they would be about 10 bucks a piece, such as Radio Parts - Electronics Components - GENERAL PURPOSE probably better off going with fewer and better speakers.

these are the only easily sourced cheap 8" speakers i've found so far

Radio Parts - Electronics Components - GENERAL PURPOSE

this one would be OK (single only) would need something for the high frequencies too.

Soundlabs Group W 200 - 4 Ohm

what's a good way to go from stereo to (dual) mono between the source and amplifier? the most promising solution i've seen so far involved putting a 10k resistor inline with the left and right level outputs, then joining them together for a single output, but no real explanation as to why this resistance was chosen.

Running a single speaker would be ideal, but I could also run a woofer off one channel and another speaker off the other channel,

JoeDJ the main reason I bought the box was it was empty, not terribly collectible (as far as I know) and cheap, it was about $30 when I bought it, which is only a little bit more than I paid for the bottle of shellac based polish .
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Old 12th September 2014, 01:51 AM   #10
JoeDJ is online now JoeDJ  United States
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Quote:
JoeDJ the main reason I bought the box was it was empty, not terribly collectible (as far as I know) and cheap, it was about $30 when I bought it, which is only a little bit more than I paid for the bottle of shellac based polish
That was understood.

My little story was not meant to criticize in any way what you are doing:

Last edited by JoeDJ; 12th September 2014 at 01:54 AM.
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