This is a pair of Mini Monitors loosely based on the Troels Gravesen 15w75/Esotar speaker project. Bothered by an upper-midrange glare in my Totem Acoustics Model One’s I had at the time, I was bitten by the DIY bug in a quest to make a better small loudspeaker. It was during my research that I stumbled across the designs of Troels Gravesen of Denmark. After modeling some speakers based on his 18w/8545 loudspeaker projects (The scan-speak 8454 is a timeless midbass driver used in some of the best speaker designs today) for myself and friends, I wanted something like the Totems without that upper midrange glare I remembered so well. The 18w/8545 projects resulted in great loudspeakers, but I continued to keep my desire to build the 15w75 based loudspeaker as a future project. So I jumped in head first to build this speaker. After many months of fine-tuning I came up with these, my best project…yes better performance overall to my 8545 projects. I have enjoyed them immensely as part of my mini-monitor arsenal to this day. I no longer build speakers and now I am cleaning house so to speak to fund an ultimate speaker purchase.
Description: I used the Parts-Express Gloss Black .38cuft cabinet. Dynaudio stopped selling the 15w75 OEM (totem still sources these however) by the time I started this project so I substituted a Chinese clone, which is still sold by Solen of Canada...the MaxFidelity 135. This is an awesome driver! Though it bears a resemblance to the original 15w75, the cone is a different material. The tweeter I selected for this project was an interesting selection. To be honest, I never warmed up to the Seas tweeter in the Totem. So I went through many tweeters from Scan Speak, Vifa, and Morel. I finally settled on the LPG Titanium unit. Very smooth response with great extension and the ability to delve deeper in to the midrange than most. I paired these together with modifications from lessons learned from Troels and accounted for baffle size, driver differences, etc. The result is a monitor I've been unable to let go of for five years. Only the best crossover components from Solen were used including Air core inductors, Metalized Poly caps and Metal Oxide resistors hardwired using Wonder Solder. All who have heard them are impressed. I have a lot of time invested in these speakers and if using normal retail markup would cost over $2000/pr.
Sound: In a nutshell, they sound like music. They possess a palpable 3D image with phenomenal depth and disappear which renders the human voice in all its glory. The highs are smooth and extended. The midrange is to die for with a slightly forward presentation, which I like. The bass goes deep without the excursion popping noise made by the Totems when driven hard with very low notes. So far they sound too good to be true, but it is. The only weakness I have ever heard in these speakers is that they are not for head-bangers. I listen to Jazz and Classical music using tubes and have seldom pushed them hard. When I have, the sound stage collapses somewhat and they get slightly congested. (Just being honest…no speaker is perfect) At realistic volume levels the speakers are scary good! That's it. Ohh...If you want subterranean bass, forget it. The laws of physics do apply. The go as low as many commercial speakers I've compared them to, namely the Totem Ones (Original Version) which they get darn close too, but I designed them to roll-off smoothly which they do. However, double bass tonality is dead on and the impact of symphonic climaxes through these speakers is amazing and must be heard to be fully appreciated. The bottom line is that these speakers don’t get in the way of good music reproduction in the home. They just sound right.
I rate the overall appearance of the speakers conservatively a 7/10 due to swirl marks from cleaning and s small linear chip in the rear of one speaker…see photos. Anyone who has black lacquer cabinets know these swirl marks are inevitable over the years. There are NO speaker grills as I have never use them and found no need to use them in this design.
I'm letting these go for $350 which is more than reasonable. Buyer pays shipping/packing plus 3% PayPal. There are no original boxes but will be packed professionally by FedEX to ensure safe arrival. US Sales only...no exceptions.
Please fell free to e-mail me with any questions. Thanks for looking