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xrk971 17th July 2013 11:23 AM

Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's
5 Attachment(s)
Edit June 23, 2019: 0.53x Karlsonator plans in BB plywood by Jhofland here:
Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's

Edit: Feb25, 2018 - New "Score and Fold" CAD plans of 0.53x Karlsonator by Mudjester in metric and English units! A huge thank you to Mudjester for making this very comprehensive planset - one of the best I have seen ever!. These plans are in 1:4 scale in case you want to print out and use a ruler to measure and scale. Thread discussion here.


Edit (Apr 29, 2015): Latest 0.40x K'nator Score-N-Fold Plans by Mudjester available here: Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's - Page 137 - diyAudio

EDIT (Mar 29, 2015): The Dayton PA130-8 driver ($18) works exceptionally well in a 0.53x scale Karlsonator. Very rich full bass and great sensitivity too.
Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's - Page 133 - diyAudio

0.53x with PA130-8:

Here is the measured response of the PA130-8 in the 0.53x (at 0.5m with speaker in 29in high stand) - the red trace. Note that scale is 5dB/division and this is gated to 4ms and 1/48th octave averaging. The performance of about +/- 3.5dB is very good for a K aperture and good for many speakers in general:

In stereo as a stand-mount speaker the imaging is fantastic and with a wide sweet spot afforded by K aperture:

EDIT (12/1/2013): There is a 0.4X single driver version that is only 12 in tall x 6 in wide that works very well. Go to post 160 for details

Here is a photo of the 0.4x

Here is the predicted response of the 0.4x with a single TC9FD with 2 watts power and listening near field at 24 in (on a desk for example) and a wall located 5 ft away.

Edit: Hot off the press! Sept 17, 2014 - Here is the measured response of the 0.40x with a Faital Pro 3FE25 driver (4ohm):

Here is the sound clip with the 3FE25:

Here is a nice drawing of the 0.4x plans by Bl21de3 (Blaides):

Here is the Cut and Fold Razorlab or Ponoko File version of the 0.4x for a smaller Visaton FRS8.

Edit: Sept 18, 2015 - Plans for 0.44x tall x 0.44x deep x 0.55x wide K'nator for FE103SOL or FE103/RS 40-1197:

Here is the post showing details of the build process for a Score & Fold 0.4x:

Post 198 has a nice CAD drawing of the dual driver 0.53x plans by Tb46.

Edit Mar 8, 2017: Here is a nice plan for a 0.50x & 0.42x wide Karlsonator for a Pluvia 7

I started this idea in the Speaker that Kicks Butt thread here: , and found that the speaker I built worked so well, and there has been interest shown by others for plans and construction details that I thought it deserves it own thread. I have to give credit to GregB who designed the Karlsonator (full scale) as this speaker was simply scaled down in size by approximately 0.53X to accomodate the dual drivers on a vertical orientation. The Karlsonator original plan can be found here:

This speaker could be built out of plywood certainly, but as a foam core build, it was very easy to make (about 2 hrs) and is a very cost effective great sounding speaker. If you are familiar with my work, you will notice the recurring commonality: the Vifa TC9FD driver. This is a great sounding inexpensive little driver and I was surprised that it works in this type of enclosure given that it is relatively high Qts. I would not have built it had I not simulated it in AkAbak first (

The initial sim shows a nice punchy bass shelf down to about 70 Hz:

I then proceeded to build it in an evening, and it was quite a fun and easy build that can be done with exactly 2 sheets of $1 foam core board from the dollar store.
Here is the finished speaker:

The plan, optimized for standard 20 in x 30 in x 3/16 in thick foam core material looks like this:

And when I plugged it in and turned it on, WOW! Even in pseudo mono (left channel to top driver and right channel to bottom driver) I was just amazed at the clarity, depth, and naturalness of the sound. The bass was tight and punchy, and easy - not strained. The sounds from vocals was just wonderful, and bass guitar and bowed double bass just had a very natural presentation. The other thing I noticed was that the speakers were very efficient (that is quite loud) with very little cone movement compared to some of the other cabinets that these Vifas had been in before. I immediately just loved the rich natural sound. It works very well with classic rock like Dire Straits as well as female vocals, and jazz. So you may wonder how it really sounds, well I recorded some sound clips and zipped them so they can be uploaded here. Check them out and see for yourself, they are recorded with a Zoom H4 with XY mic at 3 meters away and stored on pretty lossy 128 kbit format so that I could fit them into the max file size limit. The full size files sound even more amazing.

I highly recommend this build, as it sounds great, is inexpensive, easy to build, and gives you the unique opportunity to experience what a Karlson type speaker is all about. I would not have gone about doing this had it not been for my extensive modeling and simulation of a Karlson, which led me to see (on paper) the unique capabilities: wide spatial dispersion, high efficiency, natural lifelike sound, punchy bass.

I will continue this thread with a build log of the second speaker box so that I will finally have a stereo pair and I will document the build process for you to follow.

I hope you give it a try - you will be pleasantly surprised, and you will have a unique speaker that can be used for a variety of purposes. It excels as a table radio in pseudo stereo for great background music that fills the room with a rich full lifelike sound.

Below are the sound clips. Enjoy! :)


Edit (7/24/2017) - I forgot to include this link for a nice min Karlsonator with CHN-70:
Improving the CHN-70

Edit (Sept 13, 2017): Bonjonno reports that the 0.40x Mini Karlsonator kicks butt as a studio monitor. See post #2120.

Edit (Aug 23, 2018): Skylar made some nice 0.53x dual 3FE25-8 plans here:

Edit (Dec. 12, 2018): I have figured out how to make the Karlsonators out of wood without sounding boxy. Here is a great example built by Jhofland for me and I finished with boiled linseed oil and hand rubbed wax. Internally lined with melamine foam pads adjacent to driver in rear chamber seems to do the trick. Also added some pads on sidewalls on front chamber and lined backside of aperture with paper faced foamcore. This particular example is fitted with dial 3FE25-16’s.

Sketchup plans for above wooden 0.53x by Jhofland here:
Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's

Tips on how to apply melamine foam pads to break the "wooden box curse" here:
Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's

bcmbob 17th July 2013 11:52 AM

I'm on-board but it will be a couple weeks as I need to get two more Vifas and wrap up another project. Sounds very promising. Did you consider the Aurasound NS525 for this one? I have four of those.

xrk971 17th July 2013 12:18 PM

Hey glad you are on board! :) I will run a sim of the Aurasound - you will probably only need one, unless you want a larger box for two. This cabinet is very forgiving with a variety of drivers. One thing with the NS525's is that they don't have much of a top end, and you need that to balance out how powerful the bass is on these guys. Although you can do what you did with the DNA Decware horn and add the tweeter on top. That will let you experiment with a K-tube attached to your tweeter, which I have heard sounds really good. Can you send me a couple of those Vifa's while you are at it? :D

bcmbob 17th July 2013 12:28 PM

As reported, I agree the NS525 is an exceptional value but needs help on top. I would lean toward just one of those because I suspect two would require the 1/2" foam to avoid excessive bracing. That's not really a bad thing, but being able to get really good base using the standard thin foam core is what makes all these projects so special.

Watch your mailbox for the free Vifas, and if they don't show - just keep watching.:whazzat: :D

IG81 17th July 2013 12:40 PM

Next FC challenge: a 3x3 array of TC9F in a 12:10 Karlsonator scale-down! :D (works out to a ~10" if adding Sd)

Doing a serious build and trying to get a fair balance of bass extension versus cabinet bulk, I'd probably go with GregB's suggestion on the forum and use a Fostex FF165WK. It would need some help on top though.


xrk971 17th July 2013 01:03 PM

I like that - a 3x3 array. Way cool! :) I will sim that as soon as I can. That's serious money though at $108 for the drivers, but the efficiency will be something killer, combined with sparkling highs.

xrk971 17th July 2013 01:28 PM

0.6X Karlsonator with Single NS525
4 Attachment(s)
It looks like it can work if you scale cabinet up to 0.6X (9/15). There are some big dips though as you get farther away from the speaker. Up to you...
First plot is 1 m, second is 3 m, third is impedance (a little high - may be a problem for amp), last is cone displacement - seems well controlled.
Go for it! :)

IG81 17th July 2013 01:39 PM

Did you post a sim of the full-size K'ator yet, I'm looking but can't find, am interested in impedance mostly. The 0.6 scale-down above would ~ work from my TL length guesstimation. As said in other thread, choking the TL a bit more could bring this tuning down if required.


freddi 17th July 2013 02:11 PM

he might have ?? I'm also interested in the full size Karlsonator 12 vs GB's kluged sim (with a 12" speaker) to see what it might do versus classic Karlson. I've got Kappa12A,etc.

xrk971 17th July 2013 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by IG81 (
Did you post a sim of the full-size K'ator yet, I'm looking but can't find, am interested in impedance mostly. The 0.6 scale-down above would ~ work from my TL length guesstimation. As said in other thread, choking the TL a bit more could bring this tuning down if required.


Which driver were you looking to run in a full size K'nator? The FE166EN? I have done that (in a scaled down one), a Kappa 12A, and an FF225WK. I can do any driver - just let me know. I finally spent some time consolidating my AkAbak driver database so that I can quickly copy and paste any one of 55 drivers that I have sim'd so far.

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