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Beolab 18 Wooden Grills on Beolab 8000 Speakers

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diablo2112
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diablo2112 posted on Sun, Dec 10 2017 6:49 PM

Thought some might like a description on how to install Beolab 18 Wooden Grills (Frets) onto Beolab 8000 speakers.   It can be done, as you'll see below, though it requires some special tools and comfort in grinding and drilling.

Our new kittens decided the Beolab 8000 Speaker Grills would make a great toy.  Hence, my desire to find an attractive alternate.  The wooden grills on the Beolab 18s look great, but they're not made to fit the older 8000 speakers.  I found a set of Maple Beolab 18 Grills on eBay for very cheap, and was willing to alter these to see if I could get them to fit the 8000s.  

I want to say up front that I tested the 8000s both with and without the wooden grills.  To my ear, I couldn't hear any difference at all, including high-frequency notes.  I know that in prior discussions of this retrofit, there's been concern expressed that the wooden grills would interfere or dampen the sound.  I didn't notice this at all, but your hearing may be different than mine, of course.

Also, you need to click each picture, below, to see the full frame. (The IMG code here seems to crop to a specific size, not sure how to fix that...)  

So, here you go.

Here's a few views of the stock 18 Grills.

 

The problem is the plastic tabs that prevent the wooden grills from sliding over the 8000 speakers.  The other challenge is finding a way to mount the side "slats" on the speaker without the magnets, since we'll be removing those as part of this retrofit.  I choose to screw the side-slats to the main frets.  

Now - this is important - you want to drill and locate the side slats before you grind away the tabs, removing the mounting magnets in the process.  First, drill a pilot hole through the side slats.  You drill this hole centered for each plastic part, just to the outside of the metal mounting tab in the slat.  This is easier to see in the pictures, below.  I used 3 screws on each side.

Put the slide slats back on the grill and carefully locate them in the correct position, using the magnets to hold them.  Now, drill through the pilot hole in each slate into the plastic mount on the main grill.  Be careful you don't drill too-deep, you'll drill through the next wooden slat if you go too far.  To be safe, use a piece of tape around the drill bit to set depth.  The diameter of your drill should match the threads of the screws you're using.

Finish this for all 6 locations (3 on each side) of the grill.  Here's the hole that remains after drilling, and a picture of the screws I'm using.  I've enlarged the holes in the side slats to allow clearance for these screws.

 

 

I now screwed both side slats onto the main grill to check and confirm the fit.  

 

 

Ok, now for the fun part: grinding off the tabs.  This isn't a beginners project, obviously.  You'll need to be very comfortable using a bench grinder.  I'm going to grind down each tab to make it level with the rest of the plastic mount.  Here's a bunch of pics to show you how much I removed, etc.  Note that there's a metal piece on each plastic frame, and you really do need a grinder for this job.  It's not practical to saw these off, unfortunately.

 

You need to do this for each tab, a total of 10 on each Grill.

FInally, the wooden slats on one end are too-long to fit over the speaker.   These too need to be ground off.  Be VERYcareful here.  grind at 90 degrees to the wood, or you risk cracking the slats.  Here's a before and after picture to show you how much I removed.  Take your time for this step.

And after...

Yeah! The hard part is over.  Now it's just a matter of screwing the side slats back on and slipping these over the 8000 speakers.  Here you go:

These modified grills slip over the 8000 speakers pretty well.  I loosened a few of the screws to help, and retightened them once they were fully installed.  The Grills are very firmly held on the speakers.  They don't rattle or make any noise, even with heavy bass music at high volumes.

Finally, the grills are shorter than the full length of the 8000 speaker.  There's a roughly 2.5" gap at the bottom that's uncovered.  You can choose to leave this uncovered, or you could fabricate a small wood plate to cover this.  I cut some 1/64" Birch Plywood (from my local hobby shop) to create the panels, below.  It's stuck with doubled sided tape to the side, and the front panel is glued on. 

And here's the finished result:

 

That's it!  Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

 

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Sal
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Sal replied on Sun, Dec 10 2017 7:14 PM

Amazing job! Looks great! Too bad my DIY skills are that of a neanderthal!

Thanks for posting!

diablo2112
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Also meant to say, forgive this as my first post here.  Been lurking for ages, and used this forum to research this project prior to purchasing the grills.  FIgured I owed something back for all the help provided here.

David
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They look amazing. Are they mounted on BeoLab 18 or 8000 wall brackets? 

diablo2112
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Those are 8000 wall mounts.

diablo2112
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updated with pics of wooden cover panels.  

Djkb211
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Wow it’s amazing what you did, do you have any pictures of the top? I’m curious how it fits , like how does the grill not slide down

Aussie Michael
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#beohacks

#beocats

Well done Diablo. You have done a stellar job :-)
diablo2112
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The fit is quite firm, no chance of sliding.  They've been solid for many months now, no problems at all.  I'll try to get a picture from the top for you when I'm back at my house.

Sanjay
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Sanjay replied on Tue, Jul 10 2018 8:12 PM

Hello  I have just purchased some 8000s and I would love to have the look you have done would you be willing to make thiese again and sell them because I would be very interested in purchasing them they look amazing all the best

 

sanjay1970@gmail.com

07956545473

 

 

priklep
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priklep replied on Wed, Jul 11 2018 10:00 AM

Very nice modification. Now there speakers look ethereal and chick.

Would you think about mod in case of normal price of maple covers?

Earle
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Earle replied on Wed, Jul 11 2018 6:31 PM

Stumbled upon this... gotta say, they look damned good. I very much prefer the solid cone over the tapered one of the 18's. 

Might just be me being nit-picky, but I prefer the look with the bottom 2.5" exposed. Either way though, quite an accomplishment!

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