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nico boom

The rebirth of the University Classics

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Again I was staring at the screen, showing the add of a set of black theatre- monsters called "University Classics".

-I had no transport to get them home and no place to store them

-I promissed my wife the La Scala's were the biggest loudspeakers I had dragged into our livingroom

-The La Scala's sounded fantastic after all the work I had put into it, we had no desire for other speakers.

SO; I called the owner and agreed to pick them up next weekend.

After that call I told my wife what I had done, she reacted with " it's your passion dear, pick them up and we'll see if they fit in here".

After pickup we dragged one of the cabs inside and swapped it for one La Scala; after a few minutes we knew these were our next speakers....

Next day began a project that became a experience to remember.

Out of the blue my father [a old carpenter] offered to store them and help with the woodwork I had in mind; our relation never was good enough for me to expect that....

After a few weeks the cabs were ready to take home and finish there; we rearranged the livingroom so that the cabs could stay there, work would be done outside.

The rest of this story will be told by some pics; give me some time to post them and I hope you'll enjoy.

Nico

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After removal of the units not everything prooved to be re-usable.

First the cabs were taken care off; removal of all parts that did nothing for the sound but only made the cabs square and big.

Next the fabrication of supports [braces] and sanding off the black coating, then painting the inside with primer.

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Oops, pics appear in the wrong order.... but we'll go on.

Next My dad and I glued a layer of 9mm birch onto all sides, making the thickness of the panels 27mm [more than one inch for you guys].

Everytime I had time and the weather was good, I dragged them outside and continued sanding the cabs and putting the colour on the cabs. In the end two layers of cherry, and one layer walnut prooved to be what we wanted.

You can see them together with the La Scala's in our livingroom.

I wanted the big woofer-panel fixed into the cabinet, and a window to be able to see the monstrous C-15W woofers.

Making the frames to hold the 15mm lexan was a pain; special alloy aluminium prooved to be tough to work with..

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Still going backwards with these pics, simply look from bottom left please.

You can see the lexan material, the frames, and front panels ready to be mounted with braces.

Next the crossovers; the well-known ALK Universals [funny how the name fits] ; these crossovers are indeed universal as they let these monsters play loud and clean.

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Last pics, it was still difficult to choose from about the hundred pics made during the build.

I integrated the CT125 tweeters [Crites] into the Cobreflex midhorns by removing some material from the middle; they fitted right in after that, I removed the flanges.

Well....then after constructing a pivot for the mid-high section and bolting everything together it was time to drag them into place and hook them up to the Decware Zen tube amps.

Right from the start these speakers fill the room with authority, can't find a better description.

We were used to the balanced sound of the heavilly modded La Scala's but were immediately struck by the richness of the Universals.

Let me say that my wife is VERY happy with the endresult, it made her forget all the mess we had in our livingroom during sanding, coating and working on them.

Hope you enjoy looking at this thread, I learned a lot from looking at all the threads you guys posted!

Thanks,

Nico

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Crikey, mate. From 8 inch guns to the Guns of Navarone....

Magnificent! Your family, both voluntary and involuntary, are exceptional.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

Dave

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Very nice job! Great looking speakers. In case you need a center channel there is an original one on the Sarasota/Bradenton (FL) craigslist! been on there for quite a while,would like to see it go to a good home.

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Those are absolutely beautiful. i've never heard of that particular speaker before but love the looks of them. You should be very proud.

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Thanks for your all your comments, nice to see that this make-over looks decent even for people who know about their horns....

Some modifications came during the build itself, like the placing of the tweeters; others had to be prepared from the beginning like the added braces.

We will be selling the original N-3 crossovers and tweeters as we plan to first use the ALK's with the CT125's and later go two-way active with a 2 inch driver that reaches up to 20Khz.

I've seen the single one for sale, thanks for the tip.... but I think I reached the max size this time :D for speakers to be placed inside our modest livingroom.

The upper half of the basshorn-mouth will have a frame covered with a speakergrille so that the big Cobreflex horns do not stare at you anymore, sitting in "the sweet spot".

We're happy you enjoy this project with us!

Nico

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Edited by nico boom
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Strange how things come together sometimes; about 7 months ago I had bought a pair of Beyma CP750Ti drivers [2 inch]. These prooved to be a mismatch for the EV horns I had in the La Scala's [1.4 inch], I simply did not pay attention when I bought them.

Now a friendly forum-member in The Netherlands just offered a set of EV940 horns on the Dutch version of Craigslist.

These horns would make a good match for my drivers and we made a nice deal, so after arrival I bolted the massive drivers onto the horns and my wife said; "those would fit in the Classics as well, wouldn't they..?"

NOW SHE DID IT.... I had to try and on a rainy Sunday I removed the cobreflex horns with tweeters and fitted the 2 inch combo.

Using a active crossover at 600Hz 18Db slope, the two Decware mono's for mids and a 100W Denon amp for lows I played some music.....

This played more " lifelike" and with more punch than I expected and after some finetuning my wife predicted; You've got some work to do on the speakers again dear".

I had to admit it simply sounded way better and it looks awesome too!

The Beyma's do a terriffic job playing from .6K all the way up to 20K and I'll never play them hard enough to do some damage, even crossed that low.

Bottom line; we're going two-way active for sure, I already cut the flanges off the 940's [they are just slightly bigger now than the Cobreflex], sanded and spray-painted them in the same colour as the interior of the Classic.

Next I'll be making a holder to mount the massive combo inside the basshorn-mouth.

To be continued [as always].

Nico

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Just picked up three more HP940/DH1A sets, recycled from a church.

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Just picked up three more HP940/DH1A sets, recycled from a church.

Guess I need to go to church more often, Nico nice rebuild.

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Just picked up three more HP940/DH1A sets, recycled from a church.

God's word must have been heard loud and clear.

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So since this afternoon, we're playing active two-way with the massive Beyma CP750Ti drivers and EV 940 horns inside the basshorn-mouths of the Classics.

What stands out right away is that the C15-W woofers defenately like to be driven by more than the 6 Watts from the Decware Zen tube monoblocks; the Denon 100W amp keeps a firm grip on them even when fed bass-heavy material.

They go deeper and with more control...not such a surprise ofcourse, but remember I sit only about 3metres from these monsters when listening. Also going from 3-way passive to two-way active is... well ....reveiling to say the least.

We found out the resonance frequency of about everything in our livingroom by now [the neighbours probably did so as well].

Beeing concerned that the 940 midhorns would "fill up" the basshorn's mouth too much, I cut off the flanges so they are only slightly bigger than the original mounted Cobreflex horn.

Also painted the 940's so they won't be visible behind the speaker-fabric that will be placed in the top-half of the cabinets.

They sit on a wooden circle that in turn sits on a heavy steel bracket; those Beyma's weigh about 8Kg each.. The wooden circles allow me to rotate the horns horizontally plus vertically as the magnet can sit at any angle in there.

After finding the best position I'll attach the horns themselves to a bracket which will fix that position.

I feel like a "Frankenstein-creator" sometimes so to speak, but this is actually my REAL hobby, experimenting with all kinds of gear, reading and combining stuff with new ideas to find better sound.... hope I'll never actually find it ! :lol:

Nico

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Edited by nico boom
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