The idea here is to use a high grade ceiling speaker, purchased at a discount price off of an auction site, re-package it for surround sound duty. Here I used an EV C8.2. These go retail for about 350$ a pair. I have bought them on Ebay for as little as 20$ used. The EV (Electro-Voice) C8.2 is a solid, well built speaker. It has a 8 inch mid with a 1 inch titanium tweeter, it puts out a full sound with sparkling detail. But, it is made for recessed placement in a ceiling.
Most surround speakers are small, tinny devices. And over-priced. Sure, you can buy great speakers but hey , it's your money. My route is to re-purpose these for surround sound, aimed forward, not down, fill the room with sound.
Step 1: Build the Boxes
The steps to build the faux speaker box are pretty straight forward.
My first plan was to build a six sided box. Fully enclosing the speaker. But this ended up being a huge 16x13 box, way to big to mount on a wall or put on a shelf. This led to the idea of a Hungarian slot shelf type thing. The speakers are kind of angled into the corner at 45* and I only have to cover up the speaker to mate it to the wall.
First build a box. I used 3/4 inch MDF. Screwed together and with wood glue too. Next , I found some Honduran Mahogany veneer sheets. I used contact cement brushed on the MDF and the veneer. Wait 20 minutes then press them together.
Step 2: More MDF
Here are some pics of the box build. I just tried to make the facade as small as possible to fit on the quarter circle shelf. The facade slips on to the shelf and the speaker can kind of rests on the shelf. It appears stable under heavy bass , doesn't seem to be likely to fall off the shelf, also as said before there is a steel cable attached to the speaker box to the wall stud.
I just used 2.5 inch screws with pilot holes and glue, the box is tight.
Step 3: Veneering the Boxes
This page show the boxes after the veneers were put on. I found a seller on Ebay that sold me 75 square feet of Honduran Mahogany for 35$. I use contact cement , foam brushed on the MDF and the veneer, and cut off the excess with a scalpel. Afterward, I stained the veneers with red mahogany stain and then a few coats of helmsmen polyurethane.
Step 4: Staining and Mounting
Here are the pics of the boxes stained , the speakers put in and slid on to the shelves. I am happy with results and the money I saved. Speakers-60$ for the pair, 15$ for the MDF, 5$ worth of screws , glue and stain and eye bolts. The shelves were installed last year and were holding smaller BIC adagio speakers.
The sound is an improvement over the BIC speakers, much more noticeable surround sound details and great 7 channel audio for music.
As a note about the EV C8.2 speakers, I bought 4 off of Ebay, it appears EV has been making these type for some time, as there were different versions . All 4 were labeled slightly different. The ones here in the living room are the newest version. The earlier speakers had 70watt to 300 peak watt handleing ratings, the new version was rated at 100 to 400 watts peak.
Anyway , I thought I would post this Instructable to show a inexpensive way to improve a mutt surround sound system.
Step 5: Two More for the Patio..
Here are some photos of the two I made for the patio area. Again it's a MDF cube, 2x4 legs, screwed and glued. They sound very good.
Step 6: Update to Speaker Boxes
These boxes were located on a patio lanai which occasionally got wet from rain . over the years since these boxes were made, the MDF expanded and warped the boxes. Also, the paint job faded to a yellow and the boxes were sooty from air pollution.
So it was time to re-hab the boxes. I ended up totally redoing one box and partially redoing another. I used 3/4" finished plywood to rebuild the boxes. I just re-cut the panels and made biscuit joints with glue , then screwed the panels in for extra a measure of strength. Then resanded, primed and painted. As you can see , I went with a Thing 1/2 theme due to having extra red paint from a plyobox project I did.