Somewhere on line I had seen someone who had added speakers to an old upright bass, creating an amazing work of art.
From there I started looking for an upright bass, but instead found a musty old plywood cello.
Here are the materials:
Old set of speakers with crossovers
Beat up student cello
Bluetooth 100watt amp
Speaker mounting foam tape
Drill and bits
I ordered up a set of mid-range Dayton's from Parts-Express.com, while I was there I picked up some 5.25" Woofers as well, since the cello didn't have space for a 10" woofer.
At this point I thought the project would be passive.
It had been in the basement for 20+ years and had this sort of... smell. That, family of mice kind of smell...
I used a light mix of water and bleach to kill the stink.
From there I used a compass to mark out holes.
I drilled holes then used a jig saw to rough out the holes.
Once the holes were roughed out, I used a Dremel Tool with a sanding drum to smooth out the holes to the compass markings.
Initially I was planning on having the speakers rear mounted, but without a smooth circle, it just wouldn't look right. So we were going to surface mount.
So I used a paper cup to mask off the cones and sprayed the frame black.
The cello is curved, I used some speaker mounting foam tape to fit between the speaker frames and the cello, then tighter things up till it was snug, careful not to warp the frame.
Good solid capacitors and coils. Say what you will about the late 70's, they had some great audio gear.
It was more than I wanted to spend, just about $130.oo bucks, but the project would jump to a new level of coolness. Audio from my iPhone via Bluetooth to my cello speaker.
The best way to say this, is I hogged out the hole. Due to the proximity of the neck, and the thinness of the material, and then the supporting material where the neck connected to the body of the cello needed a combination of techniques.
Basically I used an xacto blade to cut through the thin material, then the Dremel Tool again to smooth and gouge out the rest.
The scrapes in the finish will sand out.
The end result was the amp sliding right in with a compression fit.
Big question, how does it sound? Sweeeet!
The original speakers were rated for 200watts, the new amp is 100watts, so we're safe there.
The ability to fire up my iPhone and play some jazz without having to connect to a cable is very cool. I'm already thinking how this could be used in a stage performance production.
The student cello could have been repaired, probably, but it will get used now, verses being a nice looking mouse house. The plan is it will lean in the corner of the office, and the computer speakers on the desk will disappear.