Luv.Kem's BiOdinsOrbs provide the following:
1 - The imaging is the best I have ever experienced. Near-field or 18' back, speaker placement close together or far apart, on axis or off, it doesn't appear to matter. The soundstage is eerily wide. Close your eyes and it feels as if you are listening to a live performance where the artist is directly in front of you.
2 - These speakers will gladly play on very low power sources. In fact, on the (modded) lepai 2020 these play cleanly and loudly (20w at best). Feed them more power and the ability to crank the volume grows. Using a NAD d3020 (30-65w) allows clean sound to un-listenable levels.
3 - From day 1 of enjoying these speakers I have experienced no listening fatigue. I have not been able to say this for most speakers (commercial or otherwise).
4 - The spheres roll off naturally at the lowest end. They are very pleasant to listen to without a subwoofer and require no active crossover, however most folks will find that adding a subwoofer in fleshes out the audio experience.
5 - The balance between Critical and Relaxed listening is well forged. Poor recordings will still be highlighted, however they remain enjoyable to listen to.
DIY option for those not seeking to purchase a custom built set directly.
Main Materials **
- Tang Band W4-1337SA midrange
- Peerless/Tymphany/Vifa OT19NC00 2/3" Ring Radiator Tweeter - 4 ohm
- Ikea Blanda Matt 11” Bowls Article Number: 602.143.43
- C1 – 5.6 uF Jantzen Superior Z-Cap
- C2 – 8.2 uF Jantzen Superior Z-Cap
- C3 – 0.11 * 0.1 uF Mundorf MCap EVO Oil axial
- Run in parallel with a 0.01 uf Mundorf MCap EVO Oil axial
- C4 – 4.7 uF Jantzen Superior Z-Cap
- L1 – 0.25 mH Jantzen Audio 18 AWG Air Core
- L2 – 1.5 mH Jantzen Audio 18 AWG Air Core
- R1 – 4.7 Ohms MOX Mundorf Supreme 20W
- R2 – 8.0 Ohms Mills Non-Inductive 8 Ohm 12W
-square nuts (0x10x3mm - 10-32 Menards part # 85611)
Crossover Note **
A comment (condensed) from Paul Carmody / Undefintion – who very kindly has helped with the measurements and crossover design: The MLS gated measurements in the frequency response do not mean anything below 200 Hz. The speaker rolls off around 100-150 Hz smoothly, so integrating a sub is trouble free.
Bamboo Bowls *****
Cutting holes in Bamboo bowls is tricky and potentially dangerous. If you are not highly skilled and comfortable in this craft, please source a woodshop to do this step for you.
.....Failed: Using a hole Jig with a flush collet. Basically a table with a hole in that the bowl sits in.
.....Failed: Using a perfect circle cutter with the bowl on a flat surface
.....Win: Using a perfect circle jig with the bowl fixed by 4 angled blocks screwed into a base (to prevent any movement). I used mobilesolutions-usa’s The Perfect Circle Jig with a slightly undersized guide hole drilled. When routing, I attached a plunge router and held a lot of pressure down with my off hand on the top of the pin location.
The speaker/terminal holes need to have 1mm of clearance all the way around… I bolted the speaker in a warm/humid/heated garage, came out the next morning after the garage cooled with frost outside… and the bowl had split. Likewise, the holes drilled into the bamboo for the bolt pass-through need to be larger than the screw size to minimize split potential.
The bowls vary in circumference a bit, but they are slightly flexible (and not fully round). Using tape, pull the sides in towards the mounting ring to achieve a more uniform bowl lip diameter and roundness. After drying this is VERY resistant to flexing (see Center Spacing IMHO below)
all glue surfaces have been sanded/scuffed to bare bamboo
Titebond II was used on both surfaces for wood to wood
Loctites PL 3X construction adhesive was used as a gap bridging reinforcement between the center spacer ring and bowls
Automotive goop was used on wood to abs plastic
Center Ring *****
I had MDF CNC rings made Via CustomMade via Mike Budd https://www.custommade.com/by/mbdesigns/
To do over, I would go with 1/8" bamboo ply laser cut by a shop such as Ponoko
The Center Spacing ring is critical IMHO
1 – the speakers are not a true sphere. More like a sphere cut in half with the top 5mm stripped off and the bottom 10-30mm (bowl bottom) stripped off. It looks very odd without the spacer between.
2 - the grain direction of each layer of ply is different on the bowls. This allows them to rest into slightly different diameters/heights. The middle layer break helps to hide this imperfection from the eye.
3 - the bowls diameter is somewhat flexible. By using glue and tape to hold the bowl lip to the ring --- flexing the diameter to a consistent spacing on each of the 4 rings, it is really easy to get these bowls to more perfectly mate.
4 – the bowl halves are rather flexible. Adding the ring makes the bowl rock solid stable
5 - I placed 1 pound of roma plastilina #2 Clay softened with mineral oil in bottom of each enclosure. I rolled it flat and placed 1/2" pound rectangle in each bowl half to help with balance and dampening of the bamboo
- Tweeter Pod (ensure to chamfer inner edge by 1/64" to prevent the tweeter face from making contact
*Mounting Ring with square nuts (0x10x3mm - 10-32 Menards part # 85611).