The thought put into speaker design is astounding. It nearly makes me forget all about the chipper/shredder sound emanating from my car speakers. We’ve admired Portland-based Grovemade design for a while. They have an awesome habit of showing what goes on behind the design. We highly recommend following their journal (and taking note if you’re a designers/studio).
Their latest entries tell the tale of the Grovemade Speaker & Amp. They teamed up with industrial designer, Joey Roth to make something that’s just unabashedly beautiful with a mix of CNC machining and handcraftmanship that makes us drool ever so slightly. The speakers are a fully analog system made from domestically sourced walnut or maple hardwood. Though we’ve yet to hear the sound up close, the speaker set and amplifier together look mighty fine. But even more interesting is the process that went into creating them.
Where did the design inspiration come from? Well, there are two parts to this speaker’s unique design based on the material and manufacturing process used. After some discussion with Joey about wood speakers, they had an idea.
“We had an idea inspired by our friends at Renovo Bicycles, builders of incredible wooden bikes using CNC technology. Their painstaking process involves machining two halves of the frame separately, carving out the inside and outsides of their tubes and then gluing the two halves together to create a full, hollow tube. Using this technique, you can build complex three-dimensional shapes and undercuts that are otherwise impossible.”
But what about the internal design? What shape would best lend itself to the size and construction? For this speaker, Joey created at back-loaded horn design which, through specific ratios in design of the air chamber and throat in relation to the horn flare rate, length and output area, is capable of providing big sound from a small enclosure.
“Rather than a traditional bass reflex design, Joey came back to us with a back-loaded horn design which we would CNC machine out of thick blocks of solid wood. In this design, the lower frequencies are reinforced and directed out of the horn, and the high and mid frequencies come straight out of the driver, which removes the need for Digital Signal Processing. With the extraneous removed, the speaker would create clear, crisp sound, handling the most subtle details with ease.”
There are no flat surfaces on this design and the internal grooved geometry eliminates standing waves that may cause distortion. Through testing and various iterations they worked out the final design to the structure and shape you see today, in a process that really makes us appreciate the thought and effort put into the product.
Material: American Black Walnut, Eastern Hardrock Maple
Size: 7.5″ x 3.5″ x 8.75″ (LxWxH)
Weight: 1.75 lbs
Shape: Back-loaded horn design
Power: 2 x 25W amplifier at 8 Ohms
Drivers: Fountek FR58EX Drivers
Frequency: 20-20,000hz Frequency response
Inputs: 2 RCA inputs for connection to any audio device
It also comes with 18 gauge custom speaker wire with banana plugs, RCA to 3.5mm and power cable. Oh, and yes, it also comes in a .