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Klipsch Heritage Speedsters

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  • Klipsch Heritage Speedsters

    I have the itch to replace my Klipsch Heresy IIs with some DIY speakers like the Fusion 12s, but I wanted to start smaller since I haven't used a table saw, made grills, or used edge banding before so I figured this would be a good way to learn.

    One of the first "draft" boxes that didn't come out square. Now I'm using it as a test bed for different stains. Leaning towards the one closest to the camera. It is Varathane "dark walnut."

    Box construction. Folded miters just like the "real thing." There are braces glued into the sides to provide support for the front and rear panels. Front braces are recessed 1 1/8" to account for the speaker baffle and the grill. Rear braces are recessed 1/2".

    Some of the edge banding miters come out looking pretty good. I iron on the straight portions and leave the corners loose. Then I tap a razor through both layers with a hammer and remove the excess. Leaves a nice seam.

    The seam is nice, but my alignment could certainly be better in some cases. I trimmed the veneer with a flush trim bit in my baby router and squared the corners with a utility knife.

    I'm pretty happy with how tight the rear panel sits.

    Painted speaker baffle. The baffle came cut for the drivers, but was unpainted. I couldn't order it without the roundovers on the edges, but those won't be visible anyway.

    First shot at upholstering the grill using Klipsch cloth. I'm not very good at it yet. Just using staples right now, but will move to adhesive next. I'll also need to paint the grill frame black so the wood doesn't show through.

    It's a little too big so the cloth gets pushed out a bit. The pattern is also not perfectly aligned across the front. Time to try again.

    Different approach for a grill. This is 1/4" MDF I routed a couple holes using my circle jig and then painted black so it doesn't show behind the cloth. MDF is really easy to work with, but the dust is nasty. I did the work without a respirator or dust collection on my router. I'll be using at least one of those in the future. My throat was sore the rest of the day.

    Second (final) attempt at upholstery. Used my red Swingline stapler for this, then switched to a real stapler. Maybe next time I'll glue the frame to the cloth first before I pull the fabric around. I used a lighter to seal up some of the frayed edges. Worked great!

    Crossover #1 done. I ended up having to replace the resistor closest to the camera. It was under too much strain and just snapped the lead off.

    Port, drivers, and crossover installed. Since I modified the dimensions of the originals and made them shallower, the port hit the tweeter. I cut about half an inch off. That probably raises the tuning frequency, but it's not really a big deal since I'll use a subwoofer with these. I used double sided foam tape to hold the crossovers in. Not sure I'll stick with that, no pun intended. Maybe later I'll stuff the cabinets.

    Didn't solder on the terminals. The crimp connectors work, but were a bit of a bear to get on since I was lazy and didn't want to remove the drivers. Turned out to be a good thing since I wired the woofer out of phase the first time I installed them!

    Finished rear, sort of. It's a very tight fit, but it's not gasketed or screwed into place. Maybe I'll do that later.

    I'm not the best finisher. I used the Varathane Dark Walnut as planned which went on great, but I found a couple of these "boogers" under my poly (Varathane water based satin). I'm guessing I was a little careless with the glue? Oh well, they're not all that noticeable.

    Another "booger."

    First time using a countersink bit. In hindsight I would countersink the holes before paint, but I didn't, and you can see the MDF below.

    Took the screw out and touched up with a Sharpie.

    Finished speakers without grills. Got some glue squeeze out that I didn't clean well enough and the stain didn't take well because of it. Better luck next time!

    Grandfather and grandson. The big speakers are oiled oak Heresy II's. I used the same grill cloth Klipsch uses. I wish it were cheaper (like everything else) but it looks the part.

    Final closeup. The grill isn't perfectly taut, but I think it's presentable.

    I learned a lot going through this build. Hopefully I can apply some of that knowledge towards future builds.

  • #2
    Wow for a first effort I think you did great, how do they sound?


    • #3
      They sound great. I built a set of Overnight Sensations from a flat pack before these. The OSes are a touch smoother and easier to listen to at high volumes without fatigue, but these have more detail. They're similar to the Heresys in that regard, but are obviously much less efficient.


      • #4
        They look great! The only thing I can say is that the 2 inductors that close will interact. You might want to stand the small one on its side as if it is rolling toward the large one.


        • #5
          Very nicely done. I honestly wouldn't have thought to do this speaker in the style of an old (mini) Klipsch, but you pulled it off!
          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
          Twitter: @undefinition1


          • #6
            Took a design and added your own flare. That's what Diy ia all about. Looks like you had fun doing it too. Good work.


            • #7
              Just Awesome! I love the old Klipsch look. It's too bad the tweeter is upside down, now the reverse null will be inverted
              Did I miss what ply/veneer you used?


              • #8
                I think for a first try it's a great job and all the little Klipsch Klone touches are really cool.


                • #9
                  Seems like this thread has been revived. If you haven't seen, I also made a set of Apollo MTMs in this style: