|Project by ferstler||posted 05-17-2014 12:25 AM||1304 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
Years ago, Boston Acoustics produced a lot of good speakers, and one of their nicer budget-level models was the A-60. It had an 8-inch woofer of good quality and a small cone tweeter (later versions opted for a dome tweeter), and a pretty basic first-order crossover network.
Anyway, I recently picked up a pair of 34-year-old units at an estate sale for ten bucks. The foam woofer surrounds were shot and it had the older tweeter. Still, I saw some potential.
I re-foamed the woofer surrounds (kits are available from various sources) and replaced the cone tweeter with a good domed version from Parts Express. It was on sale for about $17. The surround kit was about $28.
The original enclosure was in OK shape, but it was vinyl-clad chipboard, and so I re-cladded it with 3/4 inch thick poplar and gave it a mahogany stain and six coats of spray on semi-gloss lacquer. This stiffened things up considerably and since I could not similarly stiffen the front and rear panels, I installed a short front-to-back brace between them. I replaced the cheap press connectors in the back with five-way binding posts and built a new second-order crossover network, following basic industry guidelines. I even installed a two-position level switch, labeled “bright” (flat output from the tweeter in relation to the woofer) and “mellow” (rolled off about 3 dB above the 2.5 kHz crossover frequency).
The grills were in fine shape, and all I did with them was to replace the factory logo-plate with a new one with my initials on it.
I also built some 22-inch-high stands for the speakers (mdf top and bottom plates, with poplar verticals) that include a hollow vertical tube running top to bottom at the back that would hold the speaker wires and make for a better cosmetic appearance.
The result was a small (roughly 20×13 x 19) and solidly built pair of speakers and stand combination that can hold their own with most commercially made versions. I should know. I was an audio writer for many years and reviewed and reported on quite a few speaker systems for magazine articles.
I really have no need for the speakers and will look around for a friend to sell them to. I have about $200 invested, and to match their quality one might have to spend three or four times that amount on a factory built pair.