The Loudspeaker-1, built by Tobias, Germany

Copyright 2020 © Troels Gravesen

Hi Troels,
I have been enjoying music with The Loudspeaker (LS-1) since I finished the build around the beginning of May. I have to say they are a bit special indeed! Even after a couple of weeks and the best part of my record collection they still leave me stunned and speechless! Thank you so much for this amazing design and of course another big “Thank you” for your support and answered questions as well as the very good support and delivery from Jantzen Audio!
Since I spent countless hours on your website and enjoyed the numerous articles, background stories etc. I would like to give a little more detailed feedback about my project for everyone who wants some additional reading about The Loudspeaker – feel free to put it on your site!
Tobias from Germany! Stay safe and keep on designing! Thanks a lot!


About my project:
As the photos show, I did not stick to the original plan on the website. Instead I designed a two-piece version with a separate bass cabinet and a mid-horn-tweeter piece. I read “choices” and “crossovers” very carefully (and more than once, I am not a fool) and then asked for Troels opinion about moving the vent from the middle to the bottom (as it was done in Loudspeaker -2 afterwards). But apart from that, the front panel design and driver placement follows the original plan to the centimetre. The two-piece design has some advantages in my opinion:

1. It’s easier to move – well still pretty bad but I guess it is a little easier to carry than the original.
2. To my eyes it looks better (but I am just not a big fan of boxy designs – a matter of taste)
3. I guess the build was slightly easier since I do not really own workshop equipment to match the size of the original.
4. If I remove the top part, I have two Fusion-powered, easily reprogrammable, approx. 185 litre subwoofers with (I dare to say) world class bass drivers for any future application. That is really something! Should I ever want to experiment (and I probably will, no matter how good the sound is right now) with something like a smaller full-range/a small dipole/a high-efficiency stand-mount/a horn or whatever – the two subs can just be reprogrammed for the adequate support in the lower registers (and I don't want to miss this bass no matter what)! Tuning these Hypex modules in place is actually not that hard.

The cabinets are made from 28mm high-quality MDF for the “inner” parts, then these pieces were covered with Tolex, some vinyl wrap that is usually used for guitar amps (gives the speaker a nice “Professional-Studio-Equipment” look). The outer sides and bottom/top are made of 27mm lacquered BB. I added braces for the bass cabinet and the mid cabinet. The Fusion module is in a little sealed compartment on the rear of the bass cube, the crossover behind the mid cabinet. Since neither the horn, nor the super-tweeter need a cabinet I went for an open baffle for the upper half of the top part. I like the look of it, but again – purely a matter of taste! I admit I underestimated the work a little bit. Some 150-200 hours went into the project and with the corona-related shutdown and having a lot of time instead of a social life helped me getting it done in around three to four months (still had to work my regular job so only on weekends and after work). One very helpful idea was adding four cut outs that serve as handles on the bottom of the bass and adding handles to the top part as well. Moving these beasts is just better with a firm grip. Of course you need to seal these cut-outs airtight!

I had them broken in by an old AV-Reciever and radio-tuner for around 30 hours and then moved them to the new dedicated room (thankfully still had the moving Van for this task – they would be quite a squeeze even in something as big as a VW Passat).
Setting them up was quite a challenge. I use them in a room of approx. 16 sqm so it’s not exactly spacious. I tried every possible setup and now I’m  happy with the result: Set up with the speaker on the shorter wall of the room. The baffle some 90cm from the front wall and around 60-70cm to each side wall. Around 130cm between the baffles and slightly turned in. I tried the horn/mid set up to the inside and outside and settled with having them to the inside, with a clearer soundstage and more depth. Some work had to be done with room acoustics, since at first the bass was extremely boomy. So I built two bass traps in each corner behind the speakers and added some flat absorbing pieces to the back wall. I had such an extreme effect, that I cannot recommend this enough! The bass quality is on a level, like I have never heard bass! Some room modes in the mids were cancelled as well. So easy to do and cheap, just some old curtain around some cheap wood and two packs of mineral wool (with “acoustic”- damping properties, available in your regular Hardware store in Germany- 40 Euros in total).

The programming of the Hypex, signal splitting and so on was not as bad as I feared – but I suppose the updated version with the Hypex 501 would have been cheaper and easier! My first Hypex-“program/setting” turned out to be quite too loud (I guess the 30,5dB amplification factor of the mid/high power amp was just wrong) but by simply using the original file on the USB stick everything fell into place. I initially experimented with  the DSP a little bit and tried to fight the room modes in the bass. I had acceptable results even with only using a sine wave generator and my ears but eventually set the DSP back to the original curve after I installed the bass traps (Yup it is THAT effective). I plan on lending some measuring equipment in the future and trying to flatten the bass response even more with DSP, but I am really happy the way it is at the moment, so it can wait. As I didn’t try them in another (bigger) room, I can’t tell you what or if my room is lacking in comparison, but from feedback of numerous friends and my own experience I would definitely say that big speakers in small rooms work rather well (in this case).

The rest of my system is a Brinkmann-Audio stereo solid state power stage (80 W @ 8Ohm) and a Moon-Audio 350P preamp with high-end DAC and Phonostage. CDs are played on an Onkyo device (digital output to DAC) and I use a Thorens 147 for vinyl playback. I love way the system sounds right now and some improvements may come over time (especially the Phono part will be improved). The Loudspeaker does something very rare: It depicts every little detail, some things I have never heard on my recordings before, but at the same time it’s not analytical or “dry” but very much alive and transports the feel of a live performance. If a live record is done properly it’s especially satisfying, because you can have a level close to the original with no sacrifice of transparency or resolution. The crazy dynamics are really well described in the original article, nothing to add there. I listen to various musical styles and found everything improved with the new kit, especially classical music highlighted the difference (dynamics, again). It is easier to spot bad recordings, yes, but I still enjoy CDs and Vinyl that do not meet highest recording standards.  I sometimes wonder if the Hifi-community puts too much emphasis on the record quality instead of what song matches your taste most! Believe me, I even listened to mp3s on it and had a laugh!
One final comment for all the potential builders: This speaker often (if not always) made me enjoy music at really high levels. I never heard at these volume levels with older systems, it is just so immersive and stunning! So beware of proper sound insulation of your room or choose a suitable room in the house in order not to disturb neighbors or your family too much! You don’t want to feel bad every time you turn it up!