Lola Redux – for when off the shelf just won’t do.

Like any good idea, some bad ideas and a few truly great ideas, this one came about over a couple of bottles of beer. True story. Anyhow,  this one also stems from my hunt for a decent table top radio that ended up me comparing the Bose wave, Tivoli, Boston Acoustics Receptor HD, Denon and Cambridge audio 730 over several weeks where the Cambridge audio radio trounced the rest handily. This time it wasn’t for a bedside, instead, i wanted one that sounded as good but for use on the patio and it had to be wireless. So, not so much of a radio but a wireless speaker of sorts, just in the form factor of a table top radio. Not that its not available commercially, its just that, after looking around at the DIY world, i found there were so many options that could be as good, better or as creative as i wanted it to be. With the help of some well regarded designs already available on the internet to give me a leg up (Paul Carmody’s Sprite) and a whole lot of elbow grease, this is what i came up with.

Lola Redux. (it being the second version of my first much much less aesthetic one). She started off as one piece of MDF and a handful of parts, after much sawing, dremel-ing, sanding, painting and buffing later turned into a bluetooth connected, T-amp powered portable tabletop speaker. Hi tech retro as the Mrs put it. Ve meters of yore married to bluetooth connectivity.

For what it is, i certainly cannot complain about the sound quality it outputs. Where commercial products have volume dependant digital signal processors shouldering much of the work to make a small box sound large, Lola manages with a reasonable internal volume with 3 inch high excursion drivers in a vented enclosure. Bass and treble adjustments are available to fine tune the output. Sort of like a manual DSP. Its not like DSP’s are not available to be integrated into the design, just that i did not see the point of it. Place it adjacent to a wall and the bass output is very good. Not just lower midrange thumpy but actually properly bassy (positioning, like all speakers require, matter here).

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It took two months and one huge revision, Lola Redux does not fail to impress sonically or aesthetically. The satisfaction though….  priceless.

-asmd.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Lola Redux – for when off the shelf just won’t do.”
  1. John Talbert says:

    Nice looking project

  2. asmd says:

    Thank you for the compliment. It was a fun project albeit with a high learning curve. This is version 2, and am not entirely happy with the aesthetics, A version 3 is in the works. 🙂

  3. Dan says:

    Is it possible to show the inside and how you wired the amp in there? Great looking work.

  4. Love this project. I am an artist (not an electrician) but want to try a DIY boombox like this. I would be grateful to know your parts list including brands and model numbers. I’ve got a great design, but I’m really in the dark as to the electronics part. I’d love to get a Lepai LP7498EA 200W Class D, but I’m not sure I can disassemble the face from the knobs. To set the knobs into my facia piece. It looks like that might be what you’ve done. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks

  5. Austin Krier says:

    Great build!

    I’ve started one of my own. How did you deal with the vertical brace inside the box when mounting the lepai?

    Thanks!

    • asmd says:

      I used 1/4 inch ply to create a space just enough for the Lepai to slot in. Each filter sits in its own speaker enclosure with the wires running through the vertical brace (its actually more than a brace, it separates the the two halves to its appropriate size for each driver. You could just extend the original design to make space for the amp housed within two vertical braces or do as i did, which is to create a space with 1/4 inch ply.)

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