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Beolab 18 Wooden Grills on Beolab 8000 Speakers

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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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Sanjay replied on Sun, Jun 9 2019 11:22 AM

Hello yes very interested


thank you  

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Jeff replied on Sun, Jun 9 2019 4:02 PM

Beautiful installation, the wall mounted speakers and BS9000 with no wires showing, truly represents "peak" B&O to me. And I think the wooden slats look much better on the 8000 than on the 18 with that tacked on tweeter on top. Well done!Yes - thumbs up


I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

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Brilliant project and posts, very well done!
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Bzguy replied on Thu, Feb 13 2020 8:39 PM

Looks beautiful, yo're lucky to get a real set of 18's frets ;)


I saw online that you can buy aftermarket sets for Beolab 8000, based on the Beolab 18's look, but they seem rather expensive (for what it is), I was thinking to create a set myself, as it looks to only be like some 3D printed parts and some wooden parts ... I'll give it a try soon ...

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