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 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.

Dimensional Analysis Engine WIP

Steampunk Art Sculpture made with copper brass and skullsA quick peek into the lab…

Here’s a sneak peek at the latest dementia to come from the lab of Ævil Mike… (Oh great, I’m talking about myself in the third person, that’s never good) The Dimensional Analysis Engine. Following in the footsteps of “The Dream”, this creepy piece of steampunk art explores the fusion of biology and machinery.

I really wanted to have this piece finished in time to send to Dr. Grymm for the Steampunk Bizarre last year, but things just weren’t going my way time-wise, so I decided not to rush it and just finish it at a more natural pace. Well, now I’ve got another show coming up in Vermont in a few months at the Shelburne Museum, and I want to send this along for that show, so it’s time to get cranking!

This photo just shows the top in a semi-finished state. The major soldering is done, and now it’s time to replace the ‘stunt’ skulls with the really-nice-far-more-realistic ones I bought recently, and begin to add the smaller pipes, wires, and such that will bring the piece to life. This piece will have it’s own base, which in itself will be very elaborate, with lots of tubing, etc.. Overall the piece stands almost 6 feet tall. I believe I will build it so the top can be removed to make moving and shipping easier.

The green glass globe on the top is a plasma ball, and when it’s turned on, it glows with a creepy orange glow.. I’m super-excited to see this piece come to life over the next couple months, and I’m sure I’ll be posting more photos as it progresses!

Stay Ævil…

Steampunk Aether Ball


Go ahead and get your Blue Ball jokes out of the way right now.


Here’s a little something I threw together from scraps one day. It’s just a copper fitting soldered to a round copper disk with a coil of 6 gauge copper wire wrapped around it. A wooden base from the center of the Boiler Speakers front panel, a 1 watt UV LED, a Quartz ball, and VOILA!… a.. um… steampunk thing-a-ma-jiggy.

This is a cool little thing that you just plug in and sit on a shelf.. it glows with blacklight goodness, and that’s enough for me!

The Steam Amp WIP

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A Steampunk Amplifier? Why Not!

This is my latest project; a steampunk tube amplifier (or valve amp if you’re a brit). I’ve always wanted to build a tube amp, and it’s been a long road to get here. I think I began this obsession almost two years ago, but just haven’t had the chance to get to it until now. What I really want to do is build a HUUUUUGE direct-wired tube amp, but I figured it’s probably wise to start small with new things.

This is a simple kit to build that I bought from Tube Depot. It’s an 8 watt stereo job, the K-12G model. It wasn’t too terribly expensive either, and considering how freaking amazing it sounds, I’d say it’s well worth the money. Of course the kit didn’t come with a case, so I built my own.. that’s half the fun right!?

I won’t bore everyone with too many details, I think the photos are pretty self explanatory, but a few little notes:

It took perhaps an hour to construct the kit, anyone with a little soldering experience could build this thing. I mounted all the components other than the tube sockets on the underside of the board so I could mount it to the underside of the 1/8″ copper plate.

I actually broke down and bought a full set of forstner wood bits for this project. They are pure bliss, I highly recommend them if you like clean holes in your wood. Also I bought metal knock-out punches for making nice holes in metal, no way you’re getting holes that large in metal that thick without them.. well worth the money.

The glowey-rods in the round glass window are 1/4″ blue ultra violet acrylic. I bought a 6 foot length of the stuff on line for about 10 bucks I think, it really lights up with the UV LED’s I put under each one. It’s a very cool effect. God I love black light.

The LED’s run off a separate transformer attached underneath. It was a sony power brick type, and a very stable 12 volts I might have to pick up a few more of those, as most 12v wall warts actually put out between 13 and 15 volts.. you can seriously tax your LED’s unless you adjust your resistance accordingly. My LED’s had the resisters and leads pre-soldered, so I needed to make sure I wasn’t over 12v.

I’m building speakers to go with this, they hopefully will be done soon, and of course I’ll post pix here when they are.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line!


SteamHat Final Shots


A couple final shots of the SteamHat.

Here are the final shots of my Steampunk Top Hat project, I am for the most part happy with this project, however, there are many things I wish that I’d had time to do better. I’d like to have more going on inside the portholes, I’d like to have cleaner solder joints, and perhaps some small tubing running along the outside between the ports.. Just more detail in general. Unfortunately the timeline I assigned myself didn’t allow for all of that. I’m planning on building a V.2 SteamHat in the future, and hopefully I can address all of my nit-picky issues then. But all in all.. not bad for a couple weeks of harried construction.