Kairos – An exceptional speaker kit using the Satori line from SB Acoustics – by Jeff Bagby.
How it started – the Tweeter
I returned from the Consumer Electronics show with a pair of sample tweeters from SB Acoustics – a preliminary version of the new, Satori tweeter. I knew Jeff was always interested in new technology so I sent them off for his analysis. After putting them through their paces, he remarked that they measured very similar to the other SB ring domes, but had much lower distortion. He considered several designs to use them in, but what woofer might be equal to this technology?
It would take at least another year, but the first of the Satori woofer line was released and what the SB engineers had done with this unit was quite remarkable. I suggested that Jeff try this woofer with the Satori tweeter. If you are familiar with any of Jeff’s previous designs, he usually builds with units that most would call affordable. He was a bit hesitant to work with drivers that weren’t normally on his go-to list. But, after a few measurements, he was convinced this combination could allow for a design type that was rarely possible and was now jumping at the chance. Please see Jeff’s, pdf write up for the full design process. (end of page when available)
The Network Components
What does it take to make a pair of these? (The design itself is detailed in the pdf write up.) Once again, if you follow Jeff’s design, he is not one to insist on boutique capacitors, etc. but he did remark to me that perhaps a design of this magnitude should utilize quality network parts.
The inductors were an easy choice. A few years ago, Meniscus Audio had a small exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I brought a sampling of our products – drivers and crossover parts. I had an assortment of the three types of inductors that we carried, the typical air core, the steel laminate core and the latest copper foil type. From time to time, other exhibitors would stop by to chat. Three of those happen to be engineers in areas unrelated to loudspeakers. As they picked up the foil inductor for examination, all remarked in similar words, “You know, the only type of inductor that would really measure any sonic benefits would be the “Litz” wire inductor.”
That wasn’t one of the inductors I had brought. Those comments had always stayed with me and when it came time to choose the inductors for this kit, I remembered Litz. The good news is that Solen still makes these and we secured the proper values just for this kit if you prefer.
We suggest the Sonic Caps for the upgrade. If you prefer another brand, we are happy to source them and charge accordingly. Same with resistors, Lynk are standard. Photo above shows premium parts.
The biggest test is the cabinet. As you can see from the photos, the angled front may cause some problems for beginner cabinet makers. Otherwise, if you’ve been looking for that “Best Speaker Kit on the Planet”, then this might be the one. Just add to the cart and start the journey!
Here is what you get in the full kit:
- Satori, TW29R, Ring Dome Tweeter
- Satori, MW16, 6.5″ Papyrus Cone Woofer
- PulseX Capacitors
- Std Air Core Inductors – 18ga Laminate core for woofer, 20ga AC on tweeter (Premium coils are pictured above)
- Lynk Resistors
- Big Post, Gold Binding Post Terminals
- 16ga stranded copper Wire
- Mounting Hardware
- Damping material (not pictured)
- Port Tube (not pictured)
A fully assembled and tested version of the crossover is available.
A “Bare Bones” version of the kit is also available, which includes just the drivers and crossover components.