This page contains a list of little tweaks, modifications and improvements that you can make to your kits.
Why are these not included in the kits to start with? Usually for reasons of cost, or because the modification makes it difficult for some people to finish off the kit and we need to cater for these customers.
Some of these tweaks require a basic knowledge of electronics or more advanced woodworking tools and should only be attempted if you are comfortable with the level of knowledge or tools required
Rebating basically means cutting a shallow circular trench around the driver holes in the front panel of the speaker kit equal to the depth of the lip of the drivers and the same diameter as the driver itself.
We originally did not rebate the drivers in our high end kits because this made them difficult to accurately veneer without specialised tools for most people. With the advent of the DIY vinyl veneers this issue went away and now all the speakers in the Cinema and Deluxe range come fully rebated.
If you have Baseline speakers, or older kits with rebates, then rebating the drivers improves the smoothness of the frequency response of the kits and can also be more asthetically appealing. To rebate, you need to use either a circle cutting jig for a router or use a rabbetting bit in a router. A conventional circle cutting jig won't work as the main hole has already been cut so you need to make up a pattern hole and use a router guide to route out the rebate. A rabbetting bit is an easier solution but it can be difficult to find one with the right diameter to suit.
Veneering a rebated hole with natural (iron on) type veneers is quite difficult with a hand tool such as a Stanley knife as the rough edge left behind will no longer be hidden by the flange of the driver. Two approaches work here: Firstly, you can modify a flush trimming bit for your router by grinding the fixed bearing down until it is only 2mm deep and then use this to trim the hole. This only works for router bits without a ball-bearing guide. Alternatively, you can simply veneer the whole front panel prior to cutting the rebate, although this may make placement of the circle cutting jig difficult. Otherwise, use a file and have patience...
Veneering a rebated hole with vinyl is simple. Apply a little pressure to the middle of the veneer, cut a star shaped incision in the veneer which covers the hole itself and then use a craft knife to trace out the edge whilst maintaining a slight pressure on the loose veneer. It really is very easy to do.
Rebating the drivers is mostly about minimising reflections and diffractions coming from the tweeter. Surrounding the tweeter with a piece of felt or rubber can acheive nearly the same result (this is not necessary with flush mounted drivers such as the TL6, F6 and C6 kits feature). Use a piece of felt, rubber, neoprene or similar material roughly about the same width as the speaker panel and cut out a hole in the middle big enough for the tweeter to sit in. A little double sided tape or contact adhesive should keep it in place. Choose a material that is about the same depth as the tweeter fascia plate - old rubberised mouse mats work really well for this!
A small amount of air may leak through the sides of the drivers and this can affect the bass performance of the kits. The tweak to eliminate this is to use a material such as blue tack, silicon or door weather seal strips underneath the driver flange to prevent the air leaks. This is very useful for the subwoofers, and in particular the S60 and S250 sealed subwoofers as well as the dipole/bipole speakers
It makes only a minimal difference to the ported kits and in most cases is not necessary but worth trying if you do have noticable leaks.
We chose to supply all of our kits with push to fit crimp connectors on the crossovers to ensure that a constructor did not need a soldering iron for assembly. If you do, however, have access to a soldering iron then go ahead and solder these connectors onto the relevant driver. A soldered connection will have better strength, less noise and make a stronger electrical connection
You can coat the inside surfaces of the kits with an acoustic deadener material. This material comes in many forms and is typically sold in spray or paint on applications at automotive stores as a "road sound deadener" or similar. By applying this to the internal walls of the kits a more natural sound can be acheived.