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Finished my CSS Criton 2TD-X!


2021-01-27 3:55 am
I've been running a pair of KEF LS50s, powered by a Peachtree Nova 125SE fed by an NAD M50.2 digital vault/player and an upgraded Rega Planar 1 with Nagaoka cart and Schiit Mani preamp. I've been pleased with the sound with solo voices and small instrumental ensembles even when they rock out. But the LS50s sound congested to me with orchestras and complex overlaying voices.
I decided to explore DIY speakers and settled on CSS' Criton 2TD-X two-way standmounts after CSS told me that the previous version's tweeter was being upgraded. I wanted a little more muscle than the LS50 could provide, but I didn't want to sacrifice detail and transparency for smoothness and comfort.
I am absolutely thrilled with the result. I began this project to get better sound, so that was most important to me. The Critons give me impressive bass, rich mids, and you-are-there highs. I'm still tweaking the toe-in, but I have freakily holographic imaging, even though the image is tilted slightly left at the moment (it's my room, not the speakers). I have the Critons on 28" Pangea DS400 stands (filled with sand), and the combination is both heavy and awkward to move around!
I opted for the flatpack and the upgraded crossover. I'd never built either before, and assembling the second one of both was definitely easier than doing the first! Peter Rawlings is both the world's nicest human being and an outstanding woodworker, and he bailed me out more than once during the enclosure construction and veneering.
The only nonstandard things I did were lining the cabinet with GR-Research's NoRez, replacing the interior wiring with 12-gauge, routing 3/8" roundovers on the left and right vertical edges of the baffle, and the veneer wrap. Oh, and I used hurricane nuts and machine screws to secure the drivers rather than just tapping into the MDF. I chose 10 mil paper-backed bubinga veneer and HeatLock glue, and it was my first veneering job ever. I didn't stain it...just treated it with Howard Feed-N-Wax Beeswax and Orange Oil.
My first hifi love was my pair of Martin Logan CLS electrostatics more than 30 years ago. I'm older and wiser now, but I'm very excited to have discovered romance again!


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