Using the Alcone Dirac XT as an example we want to explain to you how to turn a kit into a finished loudspeaker.
But with little patience you'll identify the crossover components, the connectors, the screws for fitting the drivers and the damping material yourself.
The crossover comprises most components, but due to the supplied crossover building plan it quickly becomes clear which components should be used for the crossover. Polarity is immaterial since all our components are bipolar.
It's best to lay out all components on a PCB or wooden board, exactly like shown in the plan. Afterwards they should be connected by soldering them.
Important is to connect those components according to the plan – components not connected in the plan should not have any contact with one another.
It's also important to determine where the drivers are going to be connected. Those points should be clearly marked, after they have been soldered. Polarity is crucial. Therefore, it's mandatory to mark plus and minus.
The loudspeaker cable should now be soldered to the marked locations on the crossover. Generally, one of the two wires is marked; cable with transparent insulation usually have a red or black line as marking. It makes good sense to always use the same marking for a specific polarity (we always use the marked wire for +).
The second crossover should be put together the same way.
Important is that you check the individual sizes together with the carpenter when picking up the wooden boards. The next step is to draw all holes on the correct panels, like bass reflex port, cut-out for the terminal or binding posts and the hole in the bracing panel.
For the cable entry point into the sealed cabinet you just drill two small holes (roughly the diameter of one wire) next to one another and use a file to remove the wood between the two holes. This ensures that the holes are as small as possible and are easy to seal with glue. Only now, the bracing panel, the cover and the bottom panel are put in place and glued.
The three panels have to be flush to ensure that the baffle rests perfectly. We used a baffle that was cut by a carpenter, since the cut-outs, especially the one for the Alcone AC 5.25 HE-S, could be quite complicated. If the baffle is a hint too large that can be fixed with a grinding machine.
Finally, when these panels are fitted and the glue has dried, the side panels should be fitted. Also here, it's important that the boards are flush with the front. Attach and glue one side panel at a time and use some weights to keep them in place. At this time a base might be attached to the bottom panel if the wood is not thick enough.
After all panels are in place and the glue has dried any gaps can still be sealed with glue, e.g. the cable entries to ensure that the cabinet is completely sealed.
Only the baffle is still missing. It makes sense to order the baffle after the rest of the cabinet has been put together. There is always the possibility that the wood gauge wasn't 100 %...
Before you fit the baffle the damping material has to be attached to side and rear panels or pushed into the tweeter and midrange compartment. With a little glue the damping material can be fixed in position.
Now the baffle is going to be fitted and glued in place using some weights.
Before fitting the drivers the terminals have to be soldered firmly to the crossover and the sealing tape has to be attached around the driver cut-outs.
After the drivers have been screwed into place the loudspeaker is finished.
The reward for all the trouble is listening to the first record.
March 2007 Philipp Zukowsky