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Turning BeoLab 8000 into BeoLab 18 lookalike DIY?

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Kruel
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Kruel posted on Sat, Feb 11 2017 1:08 AM

Hi All!

I'm new here, it's my first post actually. I'd appreciate if someone enlightened me if this is a madman's idea that I have or something doable.

So my plan is to buy BeoLab 8000 speakers in the coming days and replacing the original frets with ones that would make the speakers resemble BeoLab 18s. I just like the looks of BL 18 much better but don't feel like spending this much on speakers, especially with my 1.5yrs old son around and getting curious about stuff - I don't want to risk that he destroys +5kCHF worth of equipment (I live in Switzerland), whereas I estimate that for a pair of decent second-hand BL 8000s + the planned "tuning" I'd need to shell out less than 1kCHF 

- I should be able to find someone able to cut for me 2 x 19 "lamellas" from wood of my choice for a reasonable sum of money

- Then I will need to mount them onto the speakers - I was thinking of buying used BL 8000 grills in poor condition, stripping them of the "tights", leaving just the bare frames and somehow attaching the lamellas to them.

What are your thoughts? Crazy? Impossible? And if possible, how would you do this? Of course, the most tricky part would be attaching the lamellas to the 8000s in a sturdy manner.

Or perhaps someone tried this before and found out that actually the original BL 18 lamellas:

http://img2.iwascoding.com/0/paid/2016/06/18/24/052E7BB252A54826BA7B3BBC22E22AE7.jpg

can be attached to BL 8000s with no problem?

Many thanks in advance for all your comments.

Cheers

Robert

 

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graemeben
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Hi. Welcome to Beoworld.

This is an interesting idea. I personally feel it would not be worth the extra expense and of course the speakers were never designed to have what is basically strips of wood in front of them to perform well. The BL8000 lasted unchanged for around 20 years, largely because it is such an iconic design. The BL18, although similar in appearance, is a completely different speaker and designed accordingly. 

My thoughts - and I guess most on this forum- would be to get a nice pair of BL8000 and enjoy them just as they are. Of course it's your money and you can do whatever you wish with them but another consideration is that if you modify the front it will make them worth much less should you sell them at a later date. 

Graeme.

 

graemeben
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Hi. Welcome to Beoworld.

This is an interesting idea and I can see why someone might want to try it. However, please remember the BL8000 were never designed to have what is basically strips of wood in front of them. The fact their basic design remained unchanged for so long and is what is undoubtedly an absolute icon is testament to B&O. 

My thoughts would be to get a nice pair of BL8000 and enjoy them as they are. Of course it's your money to do as you please but I feel it would present more problems than would be worth it, and that any modifications would de value the speakers significantly.

(This is my second attempt at replying, the first disappeared on my iPad when I pressed 'post' so apologies if it suddenly reappears.).

Graeme.

 

Duels
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Duels replied on Sat, Feb 11 2017 11:45 AM
I think you would have a problem with the sound especially from the tweeter being disrupted by the wood. There's a reason the alt is on top of the BL18.
Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Feb 11 2017 2:31 PM

Duels:
I think you would have a problem with the sound especially from the tweeter being disrupted by the wood. There's a reason the alt is on top of the BL18.

Absolutely right, putting slats in front of a speaker not designed for them will significantly alter the sound. A friend of mine used to work in video sound for a major TV maker, and wrote a paper showing how they altered the frequency response of the driver, using the driver design and electronic equalization, so that it had an opposite curve to the aberrations introduced by putting the speakers behind the grills and into the small enclosure of the TV set, so that the sum of the effects would be flatter. Now you may or may not like the results, but personally I would live with the 8000s as is.

Jeff

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

NessimelliM
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@Jeff,

I would tend to agree with you, but....

....what about the wooden lamellas on a BV14?

This is an upgrade of the standart front.

I have never heard of different audio settings (with the BV14) for the different fronts!

And these new lamellas can also be used for (some of) the BV11's too.

Could be one for Geoff Martin - how much/in what way does a wooden grill affect the sound from a speaker?

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

tournedos
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Millemissen:

....what about the wooden lamellas on a BV14?

This is an upgrade of the standart front.

Those are horizontal, so the problem probably isn't nearly as bad.

To the original question... in my extremely humble personal opinion, you would be turning a perfectly good pair of Beolab 8000's into something that looks like a cheap drunken plastic imitation of something else and sounds accordingly. I'm not looking forward to any pictures.

--mika

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Feb 11 2017 11:40 PM

Horizontal would not affect horizontal dispersion as much I believe, plus they probably do affect the sound but since it's mainly used as a dialog speaker B&O may not think it matters as much. If you look at how much even slight unevenness in the mounting of drivers and cabinet shape can affect response it's pretty much impossible for the lamellas not to muck up the sound. Martin Collums' book High Performance Loudspeakers is a great resource to look at how these things impact freq response, some excellent plots there.

Jeff

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

Kruel
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Kruel replied on Sun, Feb 12 2017 12:47 AM
Hi there,
Many thanks for the warm welcome and all your helpful answers - which basically could be summed up to "don't bother" - but, as you'd expect, I'm not going to give up so fast. Some thoughts:
- I'm not worried at all about any potential loss of value since the idea would be to keep the original frets, the proposed mod being something completely separate. If I were ever to sell them, it would be with the original frets fitted onto them and I might then throw in the wooden lamella front free of charge as a potential deal sweetener. It's like you buy your perfect car but the one thing you hate about it is that old-fashioned four-spoke steering wheel. You replace it with a much sportier three-spoke steering wheel which is much more to your liking but when you sell it, you switch back to the original specs, because you know all well, that no one (sane) is going to buy a car with a replaced steering wheel
- Regarding the potential disruption of sound esp. from the tweeters. First, it might not be noticeable after all. Second, maybe this could be mitigated by opting for thinner/fewer (17?) lamellas than in BL18?
- Again, assuming I manage to get beautifully cut walnut lamellas that perfectly fit BL8000 size - any suggestions how to mount them in a rigid way?
Many thanks
Robert
graemeben
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Hi.

It appears you have already made up your mind to give this a try. Assuming you have ( or will soon) already got the 8000's I suggest before making any modifications you buy a wooden venician blind from a local DIY store and just lie this on top of the speaker with the slats open. Just ask yourself is this really the look you want for the speaker? If it is, fine, but I think when it comes to actually seeing what the finished idea may look like you might change your mind. This is before any performance issues.

The BL8000 isn't just any other wooden box speaker, it is a design icon which many, me included, feel should be left as is. Any modifications to what is a beautifully crafted piece of design would have to be up to the same standard to do it justice. 

Ultimately it's your money to with as you please. 

G. 

 

 

leosgonewild
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I mounted acoustic lenses on my Pentas once. I think it looked cool, but I got a lot of negative comments from Beo-lovers.

If you want to do it, do it. Don't care what others think.

I think it is cool that you are trying to build and modify something on your own.

Just be careful so Mr. Trump doesn't accuse you of tampering with the B&O brand Stick out tongue

https://youtu.be/cw73naJ71PY

"You think we can slap some oak on this thing?"

Duels
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Duels replied on Sun, Feb 12 2017 9:33 AM
Kruel:

........as you'd expect, I'm not going to give up so fast.

If you do go ahead, please post some pics when you've finished. It would be interesting to see what you can achieve.
CB
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CB replied on Sun, Feb 12 2017 9:57 AM

leogoeswild:
I mounted acoustic lenses on my Pentas once. I think it looked cool, but I got a lot of negative comments from Beo-lovers.

If you want to do it, do it. Don't care what others think.

I think it is cool that you are trying to build and modify something on your own.

Well said Leo!

And if this can be of any help...

How to remove BL8k fret --> http://archivedforum.beoworld.org/forums/t/38255.aspx

Dante
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Dante replied on Sun, Feb 12 2017 11:46 AM

It would be nice if someone with a pair of BL18 post a picture of the back face of the freet...anyone?

Kruel
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Kruel replied on Sun, Feb 12 2017 9:51 PM

Just to repeat what I would like to achieve because it seems it's still not clear and some think that my only objective here is to destroy a pair of beautiful, iconic speakers. Well, quite the opposite! Let's recap:

1. I like the looks of BL18 so much better than BL8000 + they would better fit my living room (nothing black in there, only some exotic wood https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/62/20/a7/6220a7c6320d282dbd490664179499fb.jpg  I reckon the speakers would look great on both sides)

2. Price-wise BL18 vs BL8000 with BL18-style lamellas would roughly be 5:1, I estimate

3. I know that BL18 are slightly more slender etc. but just look at them side by side:

http://assets.coolhunting.com/coolhunting/mt_asset_cache/2013/10/BangOlufsen-BeoLab-18-comparison-thumb-307x449-69900.jpg

They share virtually the same pencil-shaped design, which I love, I just happen to prefer the wooden lamella front over the black "tights".

4. I know that 99% of you will not agree with this but I think that BL8000 fitted with BL18-style lamellas would look even better (simpler and more elegant without those tweeters on top) than the BL18 itself! So IMHO the outcome would be a product superior to both BL8000 and BL18 in terms of aesthetics, and it's only top aesthetics that I'm after here.

5. I would still keep the original grills just to have the flexibility to change to the originals if I happen to change the design of the living room and of course in case of re-sale.

6. The only option for me is a no-compromise approach. If the ordered lamellas are not of absolutely perfect quality, I just wouldn't even bother mounting them onto the BL8000s and wasting my time. The fronts should look as close to BL18s as possible. (If anything, I might decide not for walnut but for a different type of wood, such as palisander or zebrawood, not offered with BL18)

7. So no, I'm not going to buy any wooden venician blinds from a local DIY - same as no one considering the purchase of BL18 would ever buy any. I know exactly what I want, it's just that I don't know whether this is feasible, and that's precisely why I turned to the Forum for help.

Okay, I'm sure it's all clear now. Thanks a lot for all your responses and comments, also the critical ones, but let's really get more specific and to the point and the point is the feasibility of such a mod.

CB, thanks a lot for the instruction on how to remove BL8k frets, this is going to be very useful.

Great question from you, Putzgrilous, that would be very helpful, too!

And of course, ideal would be that someone with experience in removing/replacing frets in BL8k and lamellas in BL18 shared some thoughts on how similar lamellas could be fitted on BL8k.

Cheers

Robert

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