Fireside - building it

Building the Firesides is quite easy. I used 16mm MDF "wood" (well MDF is certainly not as pleasant to work with as wood). I used screws + glue to hold everything together. This is less convienient than simply using glue, but I find the result more solid.

Prepare all the parts; cutting the hole and using the plunge router is maybe the most difficult part. Take your time.

Start by assembling the visible pieces, but beware of the port part, that must be carefully sanded to fit correctly.

Start of assembly

I dont't cut the port hole yet. I wait until the glue has dried, because the MDF parts at the side of the port become very small when the opening has been cut out. The smaller hole is for the speaker terminal.

Here the parts are in place. We can see the port from below, this time it has been cut.

The boxes with the edges chamfered to get a softer look. The holes have been filled and everything has been sanded. Note that I didn't sand them enough here. It doesn't show up at first but when you apply the first coat of paint, you simply regret having been so hasty.

After the painting. Here is the almost final result. What you can't see here is the pain that I had applying 5 or 6 layers, because of social distancing I couldn't get access to correct paint, so there were a lot of painting problems. Luckily they don't show up that much...

The boxes in place, without the speakers.

The stuffing is important. B.J. recommends about 80g. After my first listenings I chose a bit less. This can be corrected later anyway.

Putting the stuffing in.

The stuffing in place.

Preparing the speakers with autoadhesive sound insulating tape.

Putting the wire-spring terminals in place.

Putting autoadhesive sound insulating tape to prepare the stand.

Now fixing the stand. The stand is not glued, so we can keep an easy access to the box to make repairs or add extra stuffing or a baffle step compensation circuit (which was not necessary to my taste, but after more breaking-in of the speakers, maybe I can change my mind).

Everything is in place !

The little amplifier that you can see between the two boxes is a chinese Wondom A2100 (from Sure Electronics), it is sounding very good and can deliver 2 x 100W into 6 ohms. I don't recommend to put all this power into this humble Tang Band speaker, though. You might blow it up quickly. I saw that quite some people had trouble with it, so beware. For me it works well, I got it cheap (43 $) from a clearance sale on eBay. It has all sorts of inputs : analog (RCA and 3.5mm), optical, bluetooth, and even USB (this is how I made the recordings).

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