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Building a center-channel speaker

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Project by ferstler posted 05-17-2014 12:44 AM 818 views 2 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I recently submitted a project that had me updating a pair of vintage Boston Acoustics speakers.

I have also built, from scratch, a rather good center-channel speaker, the Ferstler FC-3. It is a horizontal MTM device (although it was built so that it can also be positioned vertically), and it makes use of two RDL Acoustics midrange drivers and a Dayton domed tweeter. The tweeter is identical to the ones I used in the refurbished Boston Acoustics A-60 units I reported on in the previous project message. The crossover is fully second order (my preferred type), with the transition point at about 2.5 kHz. Both the tweeter and midrange sections are protected by self-resetting polymer fuses.

The fiberglass batting filled enclosure has a tad less than a half a cubic foot of interior space and is almost entirely MDF, which is kind of rare for me, since I prefer solid wood. However, the front panel is unusual, in that a 3/8-inch thick sheet of Pergo-styled, high-gloss Masonite material was glued over the 0.75-inch thick of MDF. The stuff is extremely tough (I tested a spare piece by rubbing it down with acetone, with no sour effects) and I really like the surface pattern. The front edges are trimmed with thin strips of pecan-stained redwood, given five coats of lacquer, and the MDF side and top/bottom panels were given a primed coat, a second coat of textured paint, and three more coats of dark brown enamel. The back panel got just two coats of the dark brown, with no texturing. I decided to forgo the usual black paint and, since I am an artist as well as woodworker, make the speaker an artistic statement as well as an acoustic one. The screws visible on the back panel were used to secure the panel in place while the glue dried.

The grill is a spider-frame type (to allow the driver outputs to breath through the openings maximally over wide angles) made of cut-down oak strips, glued and screwed together, and then stained black. The rear panel has standard, gold five-way binding posts. I also affixed an HWF (Howard W. Ferstler) brass-plate logo on the front panel, with its small mounting piece made of stained bamboo. The logo, which uses two-sided tape) can be easily removed if the user wants that, or it can be rotated 90 degrees for a vertical-cabinet positioning – which generally works better acoustically than horizontal positioning. The system weighs in at a solid 24 pounds.

Like the upgraded Boston Acoustics speakers I described and pictured in an earlier submission, this thing will be for sale. I have about $100 in it and would prefer the prospective buyer look it over in person before making me an offer.

Howard Ferstler





1 comment so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11746 posts in 1796 days


#1 posted 05-29-2014 11:36 PM

That is a real nice speaker enclosure!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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