Final Shots of the Æthereal One Speakers

Here are a series of photos of the newly finished Æthereal One speakers that go along with the DEUXamp system. These were a blast to build, and by blast I mean I lost sleep and grew a few more grey hairs in my beard during the process! And yes, they sound as great as they look! Actually they sound pretty amazing if I do say so myself… I am going to have a very hard time parting with this system when someone decides to take them off my hands.


Building a Copper Flared Port


Well, halfway through the construction of my Æthereal One Speakers project, I decided it would be really cool to have copper ports instead of the store-bought black plastic ones. This is of course one of those times when I should just say to myself.. no.. really Mike.. you don’t want to do this… just get the plastic ones… it’ll be so much easier.

Apparently I have no internal dialog because I went ahead with this idea.

So I ran down the copper-flared-port road, hands waving in the air squealing like a little schoolgirl about how cool it was going to be. That was when the harsh-reality bear dragged me into the woods and had it’s way with me. It will take years of therapy to get over this experience, BUT.. I come out the other end with some good experience, a rather bad case of carpel-tunnel, and a couple of kick-ass flared ports.

I actually went out and bought a slip-roll to pull this off, it’s something I’ve always wanted, and I just couldn’t see any way of doing this project properly without it. It took me a couple weekends to just get to the point where my wooden form was ready to use, then it was a painstaking and tedious process of shaping each section of copper to mate perfectly with the one next to it, then soldering the joint.

After all of the sections were together, I soldered a second layer on the underside of the flange to add strength to the lip, and to prevent the solder joints from separating along the outside edges.

Building the Æthereal One Speakers

After finishing up the DEUXamp, it was time to get moving on some matching speakers. It has been quite a many years (probably close to 18) since I’ve built a proper pair of speakers. The last pair I built were a small bookshelf pair with some Dynaudio 6″ woofers in them. Those were less than a foot tall, and didn’t take a whole lot of effort. This new pair I had in mind were almost the exact opposite of those.. tall, ported and clad in solid wood veneer. I started by choosing a driver; the Tang Band 18-1808. I originally wanted to build these speakers without boxes, and suspend the drivers in some sort of funky brass swivel-type mount reminiscent of those old microphones, but after I’d finished the amps, I started having a hankering to see more wood in my system, so I decided upon ported boxes. I fired up Bass Box Pro and plugged in the driver specs, and came up with a tall ported box design that had the same footprint as my amps, so at least for kicks, they could be stacked. That’s probably not the most sonically prudent course because tube amps are microphonic, and thus sensitive to vibration. But hey, they look super cool that way.. Anyway. Long Story short, I decided to cover them with the same wood I used with the amps, and added some maple stripes on the front to add some spice. A design decision that I may not have made had I known what a pain in the ass it was going to be to execute.