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fakeout 19th August 2012 07:08 PM

You lied to me. :(
OK, I'm joking but really. I just hooked up a pair of Visaton R10SC drivers (installed inside Tropicana juice bottles, lol) to a Lepai 2020A+ amp and an Asus Xonar D1 sound card several days ago. People here gave the impression that you'd have NO IDEA how drivers sound like if you put them inside bottles, cardboard cabinets, etc. Well, I find the sound is more impressive than I would have guessed.

I'm wondering though, for those who have tried the Lepai amps, do you find there's sound there even when music is not playing? I mean with my Creative T20 and T12, they are dead silent when there's no music. I hope eventually I'll find an amp that won't produce that kind of "sound of silence" when the speakers are on (like turntable sound).

I haven't had the discipline yet to read Electronics for Dummies or Speaker Building 201 and Bullock on Boxes. This is silly since I've had these books for months. :cheeky:

Does anyone think you can damage drivers if they're made for tube amps and you run them on a chip amp? I have another pair of drivers still in boxes I read were made for tube amps.

Scottmoose 19th August 2012 07:30 PM

Nope. They just might not sound as good, depending on amplifier output impedance &c.*

*Notable exception: a handful of units made for OTL purposes, e.g. the now v. rare vintage Philips 800ohm units. Now those, you'll fry. Mind you, they generally seemed to manage that for themselves anyway, so nothing new there.

Jim Shearer 19th August 2012 07:31 PM

On the contrary! See my thread:

You can even tell a lot about a driver mounted in a cardboard box.

Of course drivers won't reach their full potential in such improvised enclosures, but they can sound quite good.

Cheers, Jim

GM 19th August 2012 08:15 PM

You sure about that? RS and others before them use to sell 'FR' drivers with a Qts at least up to ~2.4, which need all the damping they can get; so cardboard, Styrofoam, foam or fiber board are all viable construction materials.

Back in the mid '50s, David Weems published several $2, $3 DIY designs out of Celotex insulation for loading cheap, tiny motor drivers normally used in radios, etc.. The corner loaded Labryinth [aka TL] performed surprisingly well compared to what this then 11 yr old kid had been exposed to up to that point WRT radio/TV/'HIFI', obviously 'sinking the speaker building hook' pretty deep.


fakeout 20th August 2012 04:25 AM

Has anyone ever made a well-sealed cardboard model of a real cabinet design before making it out of wood? Did it sound about the same?

Bare 20th August 2012 04:39 AM

Not That! many years ago (Late 60's early 70's) one could buy DIY Wharfedales (when the Brand Name actually still meant something :rolleyes:
These came premounted in an enclosure, right out of their shipping container, that in memory at least was bolted together Celotex (acoustic tile Fibre ?)panels.. that one could/would just enclose/encapsulate in the wood coffin of their desire.
A prebuilt 3d model of what a proven enclosure could be built.. Clever actually.
Not surprisingly the sounds produced didn't dramatically 'improve' when finally wood enclosed.
Those Factory supplied Celotex 'boxes' were good insurance that the Final product wasn't messed.

PS: Lepais are really poor quality assemblies (gee who woulda thought a $16 Amp is not of Krell Quality?)
More than possible it's incorrectly/inadequately wired Or the component values are not even those silkscreened on the PCB . Get out your magnifying glass :-)

GM 20th August 2012 08:50 AM


Originally Posted by fakeout (
Has anyone ever made a well-sealed cardboard model of a real cabinet design before making it out of wood? Did it sound about the same?

Made FLH, BLH out of various materials including heavy cardboard and at low SPL/near-field it will obviously be over-damped unless the drivers are very high Q, so won't sound the same except up in the driver's beaming BW, but it will give a good enough frequency response to tell if there's any obvious flaws in the alignment.


mondogenerator 20th August 2012 10:27 AM

ive loaded my TB 3 inch drivers into a 1.2m length of thick card tube. Looked like a 'shotgun' speaker. Worked surprisingly well, with rather more bass then expected. Slightly weird polars due to a sort of dipole action.

Scottmoose 20th August 2012 10:43 AM

About 20 years back, when Bottlehead first started fooling with speakers (I believe they've completely given up now & simply point people to Clark Blumenstein) they stuffed four cheap high Q MCM drivers (also now defunct) into a ruddy great box made from Celotex insulation board. Going by memory, they quickly found the panels were a trifle lacking in rigidity -given that they weren't very well braced, & the enclosure was about 6ft tall I doubt that came as a surpirse. ;) Still, they liked the results well enough to pursue the concept for the best part of a decade in one form or another, albeit with rather more conventional box materials.

fakeout 10th September 2012 06:45 PM

I hooked up a HiVi F5-series mid-woofer and a Vifa D27SG1506 tweeter to a Lepai 2020A+ amp in a carton box and the tweeter in a plastic container with no crossovers. I put one on channel and the other on the other channel.

OK, this is not the ideal way to test out drivers but I'm almost stupified by the clarity of the HiVi F5 series woofer. I think that Kevlar/paper combination is something else. I don't know why it seems to work better with the Lepai amp than with the full range drivers I tried. It's almost dead silent when there's no music is playing and the volume is low.

Of course, I bought the woofer and tweeter to compare with woofer and full range. It might take me several weeks before the 100hr burn-in for all drivers. In any case, I also wanted to find out whether 5.5 inches would give me enough bass for a desktop. I'm not sure the 5.5 inch is adequate but it's not an ideal cabinet and it hasen't been on for 100 hours. One thing that concerns me is if I go with 6.5 inch woofers for a desktop (maximum size I think I could tolerate on a desk), I might be forced to turn up the volume louder just to hear well enough. Which may end up being too loud right in my face.

One comment I can make though about the HiVi F5 series mid-woofer is that if I go to the refrigerator, even at fairly low volumes I can still hear pretty well while I can't easily hear my Creative T12 speakers from a distance.

I also noticed on 20W + 20W Lepai amp was able to push enough power to the mid-bass and tweeter. (Although I'm not sure how well it would do if I had woofer/tweeter with crossovers on each side.)

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