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I recently acquired a pair of LaScalas that appear to have come from the factory with organ amplifiers. The top was screwed on, there are tone knobs (tweet/mid) and an AA crossover. Built late 79 (high 800s and they are within ten digits of sequential.) The finish at the seam is perfect (BB) and the screws are matching. These were rescued from the church rafters after 40 years and are mint, they even have a warranty card still tacked to the back. I can’t find any info on these, but I can’t see anyone breaking the top off of these and returning with a perfect seam….
I had a set of series 1s for 10 years or so, cabinets had typical pealing veneer, water damage to top and bottoms. I originally had plans to black lacquer them and once I got started I realized that there was much more to it than expected. So I did what everyone does and just left them black with grain showing. After redoing several speakers in black lacquer over the years, I decided to do a set of series 2 that were in bad shape and did a complete money no issue type restoration that included rebuilding the corners edges and seams with a much more harder material. It took a good chunk of time and money but they turned out great. So after I picked up a 3rd series 1 for $30 which had a terrible cabinet and what I found later to be a water damaged but still working woofer, I decided the next project was to fix the bad job I started 10 years ago and turn the 3rd one into a center channel. I also came up with an unusual themed look for these 3 speakers that would set them apart from any other set in the world. I always figure that there's no sense spending time on anything if you're going through the trouble you might as well make it your own creation. A simple veneer job will never be a project I would be planning. I would have a hard time getting excited to do it knowing it will end up looking like so many other thousands of speakers that are out there already. I want mine to be recognizable as my build just from seeing a picture from 10 feet away. After much thought I had to improve on the original design by removing a few of their weaknesses or slight imperfections without losing the original sound, since they were going to be stripped and I had full control. I felt the best way to start was to move all driver's to the front of the motor board to remove the diffraction that was part of series 1s problems. Not only the diffraction at the edge of each hole but at the cabs front edges. They needed to be rounded or mitered. I chose rounded which may be the harder of the 2 since the paint was going to show any tiny defects. I opted to work with all original parts once again for the 2 mains which meant completely grinding down all sides to get a perfectly flat and true surface on all sides of the cabinets. Removing any cupping and maintaining edge thickness around the front was crucial. The way that the series 1 are built has the motor board screwed to backing strips (¾“x¾” blocks of plywood) that are stapled around the front inside edges (definitely not the best way to build the cabinet since they offer little strength and lack ability to seal air tight) and they are not cut to be precise leaving gaps at the corners and do not offer an airtight seal. So all seams and connections were sealed with glue and large gaps were filled with Bondo to make them air tight where glue alone could not fill them. The next issue was the drivers themselves were not made to be front mounted, the casting was made with the side flanges were thicker in the middle than at the edges. This raised area made a V shaped flange on the back side where the seam was and made them not able to be mounted without possibly cracking the the edges of the flanges and also making it difficult to seal and mount evenly. Both the tweeters and mids displayed this casting issue. They had to be filed flat so all 4 sides were level, this took much more time than expected to end up with perfectly flat flanges. Moving the drivers in front of the motor board gained some interior volume, I also moved the tweeter down closer to the squaker, originally I did this to get them to blend together better and for looks but later realized it was a necessary in order to be able to mount the tweeter without the magnet hitting the backing strip. I had to make the drivers appear to be inset into the board without actually cutting away any material. It also wanted it to have a very original look, a new texture that would make the entire speaker look as if it was made to not be covered up and hidden from sight. I then carefully cut pieces that fit like a glove over the drivers. Great care was used during the trimming of the new cut outs. There's a 3/16” strip of wood left behind the front trim piece between the tweeter and mid just so they seal tight. The tweeters corners were ground to fit inside the mids. Foam tape was used to make airtight seals. The painting part was no longer as difficult as I had seen on other speakers, the plywood had a better more solid foundation that was much easier to seal especially on the edges. I found it did not need to be ground away and rebuilt as the series 2 cabinets needed. They did have their own set of challenges that needed to be addressed but there was much less ”redoing” as I progressed in comparison. The center channel needed to be completely fabricated and I drew up a plan for 2 designs, 1 would use a pair of 6.75“ DCM 5.5 ohm dual voice coil woofers and the other was for a pair of 10” woofers single 16 ohm voice coil or a pair of 5.5 ohm dual voice coil. The 10” just called for a cab that was going to be quite a bit larger just to mount them. I went with the DCM and packed everything in tight as possible. I also made the cabinet to fit around the motor board. Grooving the sides and notching the front to make a tight dato fitting that could be glued airtight during assembly. I had a piece of 3/4” 10 ply veneered plywood that was big enough to make the cabinet no room for error. I did the same front mounting and covered the front with the same textured hardboard 3/16” panel, cut to fit exactly as possible. The ports were from some speakers I tore apart and tossed, I had 2 sets of them no idea what they came from. But they needed to be modded as well to flare the opening and make them smooth. JB Weld did the trick, I have plans to cover the 12” woofers with a similar metal grill but haven't found the right one. It has to fit directly on the edge of the basket as the smaller ones do. I cannot have a frame under it or anything that's larger in size since it has no room available with the front cover cut exactly to fit. I may have to make my own by hand. The sound has greatly improved even better than the series 2 by a long shot. I did have to move the autoformer settings for the center channel and added a 15 ohm 10watt resistor in parallel with the mid to smoothen the response. The overall look was exactly what I was looking for and the bonus was the much improved sound. I think I have made a near perfectly timbre matched center with the most unique look possible, all pieces are mirror finish black lacquer (that has become my finish of choice on anything I do now) just to make sure that these will stand out as another one of my creations and very less likely to ever see another in existence. This set of 3 has been named the ”Tiki Series” the mask of the warrior is a very close rendition of my final creation.