SDA 3.1tl resto-mod

Picked up a pair of "well loved" SDA 3.1tl speakers for $200. Yuck, but sounds like a fun project. All the drivers were in place and in good shape except for pushed-in dust caps.

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Comments

  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    Off with the end caps (which are glued in place). Used a hand sledge from the inside. Not too bad.p2ovkcf0m2z7.jpg
  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    edited June 2016
    Built some new end caps with 3/4" mdf and made them flush with the cabinet using a router, trim bit, brads, glue, and good old bondo. Then I used a heat gun to remove the damaged black vinyl from the front and back of the cabinets.au8506ub5yik.jpgju8il5rdq3rk.jpg

  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    With the side panels off the grills no longer fit flush with side of the cabinet. Time to break out the router again. I clamped the grill frames to the cabinet and cut them flush with the side of the cabinet using a trim bit and then did a 1/2" round over (as was used on the original grill). qhorptc7hw9c.jpg
  • What are you going to use to replace the vinyl? Nice job getting them cleaned up
  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    Thanks! I'm covering all sides with raw cherry veneer.
    vqzkom7cbmav.jpeg
  • Dennis GardnerDennis Gardner Posts: 4,589
    edited June 2016
    Interesting choices, awaiting the finished product..... if I was going that far with the reveneer, I would choose a inlaid magnet system for the grills so that the ugly ball joint system was replaced. meniscusaudio.com/grille-fasteners-c-108.html
  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 5,561
    They're going to be beautiful, and a very unique pair for sure.
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,004
    Interesting choices, awaiting the finished product..... if I was going that far with the reveneer, I would choose a inlaid magnet system for the grills so that the ugly ball joint system was replaced. meniscusaudio.com/grille-fasteners-c-108.html

    I would second this idea, when the Cherry Veneer is finished, you will always want to leave the grills off when listening, just to admire them.

    I also like the way you have trimmed the top caps and grill frames to be flush with the cabinet, I never really like the slight over-hang either.

    Looking forward to the finished product, I'm betting your new 3.1's will be gorgeous!

  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 650
    Great project. Very nice work. Looking forward to seeing them when you are finished.
  • machonemachone Posts: 694
    Very nice!
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 3,691
    Looking great.
  • Gunther16Gunther16 Posts: 245
    Awesome idea with the cherry veneer, Will you be updating the electronics too? Looking forward to the finished product. Good luck and good sound. You will be a happy camper.
  • GospelTruthGospelTruth Posts: 242
    Looks amazing.

    I have a set of 3.1s that I will look to revive one day as well. I wanted to refinish the caps on mine due to water damage. I know that the endcaps on the 3.1s are not the "removable" type like on the 1.2s and 2.3s. I thought about trying to build that functionality into mine once I take the caps off - like you've done with making it flush but then putting the caps on top of that. However, I wondered if the slight change in volume on the speaker interior would somehow affect the sound at all. I figured they were built with a certain volume in mind, and if basically putting in two sheets of plywood on the inside would somehow alter things. Maybe someone can answer that - or you can once they are up and running. They do look pretty amazing though. Don't know if I have the skills at this point to do what you're doing. Wish I did.
  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 5,561
    Definitely the nicest pair of 3.1s I've seen, simple, eloquent. The slab top and bottom with wrap-around grill cloth is old hat. Add some nice spikes, or even outriggers with spikes, running front to back. Excellent work.
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,004
    Looks amazing.

    I have a set of 3.1s that I will look to revive one day as well. I wanted to refinish the caps on mine due to water damage. I know that the endcaps on the 3.1s are not the "removable" type like on the 1.2s and 2.3s. I thought about trying to build that functionality into mine once I take the caps off - like you've done with making it flush but then putting the caps on top of that. However, I wondered if the slight change in volume on the speaker interior would somehow affect the sound at all. I figured they were built with a certain volume in mind, and if basically putting in two sheets of plywood on the inside would somehow alter things. Maybe someone can answer that - or you can once they are up and running. They do look pretty amazing though. Don't know if I have the skills at this point to do what you're doing. Wish I did.

    I did this very thing to my 3.1TL's, the original caps were trashed so I added a new base (recessed inside the cabinet) for replacement caps to be glued or bolted onto.

    DSCN0291_zps44b890e6.jpg

    The new cap in place

    010800x600_zps081e585a.jpg

    I also wondered about the internal cabinet volume dimensions that was displaced by the new "cap bases" that I installed, I installed the new top and bottom bases on both cabinets.

    I think they sound wonderful and wouldn't concern myself if I were you!

  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,004
    gwg_97 wrote: »
    Great idea to use the magnets but unfortunately I already used the Titebond II iron-on method to glue the veneer down. I'm happy withe results but the veneer ended up splitting a bit (not a big surprise). I will do the Crossovers, dynamat, RD0198s, etc. after the cabinets are done. Sonicaps on the high pass and either sonicaps or a less expensive set of caps on the low pass (daytons?). Any suggestions?

    I would stay with Sonicaps throughout, you don't want to have any "what if's" with this beautiful set of SDA's!!!



  • BlueBirdMusicBlueBirdMusic Registered User Posts: 213
    All the work is certainly IMPRESSIVE!!
  • Gunther16Gunther16 Posts: 245
    Nice!!!!
  • GospelTruthGospelTruth Posts: 242
    I did this very thing to my 3.1TL's, the original caps were trashed so I added a new base (recessed inside the cabinet) for replacement caps to be glued or bolted onto.

    I also wondered about the internal cabinet volume dimensions that was displaced by the new "cap bases" that I installed, I installed the new top and bottom bases on both cabinets.

    I think they sound wonderful and wouldn't concern myself if I were you!

    Awesome! Thanks for the reply and glad to hear your thoughts on what impact the new caps have on the overall sound. I'll probably go that route then when I get around to restoring the ones I have. Of course, looking at the creativity with the 3.1TLs in this thread could make me want to try something else. :)
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,004
    I did this very thing to my 3.1TL's, the original caps were trashed so I added a new base (recessed inside the cabinet) for replacement caps to be glued or bolted onto.

    I also wondered about the internal cabinet volume dimensions that was displaced by the new "cap bases" that I installed, I installed the new top and bottom bases on both cabinets.

    I think they sound wonderful and wouldn't concern myself if I were you!

    Awesome! Thanks for the reply and glad to hear your thoughts on what impact the new caps have on the overall sound. I'll probably go that route then when I get around to restoring the ones I have. Of course, looking at the creativity with the 3.1TLs in this thread could make me want to try something else. :)

    Ha!, yes gwg_97 has me daydreaming about a "Winter Project" ;)

  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 5,561
    I did this very thing to my 3.1TL's, the original caps were trashed so I added a new base (recessed inside the cabinet) for replacement caps to be glued or bolted onto.

    I also wondered about the internal cabinet volume dimensions that was displaced by the new "cap bases" that I installed, I installed the new top and bottom bases on both cabinets.

    I think they sound wonderful and wouldn't concern myself if I were you!

    Awesome! Thanks for the reply and glad to hear your thoughts on what impact the new caps have on the overall sound. I'll probably go that route then when I get around to restoring the ones I have. Of course, looking at the creativity with the 3.1TLs in this thread could make me want to try something else. :)

    Ha!, yes gwg_97 has me daydreaming about a "Winter Project" ;)
    Get 'er' done Mike
  • willwillywillwilly Posts: 183
    Sweet build... I'm hooked!
  • Are you taking measurements by any chance? I am not sure anyone would ever want to do scratch built cabinets but it would be nice to have accurate measurements just in case.

  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    Hey everyone! Thanks for all the comments! I got a few coats of Daly's Profin on them over the weekend and that's it. My Dynaco had some magic sparks on Saturday :'( and I was really busy.

    I think I'll build some outriggers for these guys ASAP (great suggestion). Also, I'd be happy to take some measurements if anyone is interested.
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 14,199
    gwg_97 wrote: »
    Hey everyone! Thanks for all the comments! I got a few coats of Daly's Profin on them over the weekend and that's it. My Dynaco had some magic sparks on Saturday :'( and I was really busy.

    I think I'll build some outriggers for these guys ASAP (great suggestion). Also, I'd be happy to take some measurements if anyone is interested.

    If your lazy like me (which given what your doing is doubtful) there is a company that MAKES outriggers so you'd just need to install them. May save you time later on.

  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    Fantastic choice with the cherry veneer!
  • gwg_97 wrote: »
    Also, I'd be happy to take some measurements if anyone is interested.

    I am interested in having measurements. Thank you
  • lawdogglawdogg Posts: 221
    I'd LOVE to see pictures of the finished cabinets!
  • gwg_97gwg_97 Posts: 329
    Update, I have about 5 coats of Daly's ProFin (wiping varnish) on them now. I need to wait about a month before I can do a "hand rub" with a 2000 grit Abralon pad. If all goes as planed, they should have a nice satin finish when I am done. Time for the crossovers, dynamat, etc.

    I'll post measurements/dimensions tonight. m492dcm7pppc.jpg
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