The Mandolin 2 Loudspeaker kit by Jeff Bagby
Jeff optimized the crossover in both the frequency and phase domains at the same time. The frequency response is exceptionally flat from 45 Hz up. The two drivers track each other in the relative acoustic phase. They track together in the crossover region and over a very wide bandwidth. The crossover point is at 1.8kHz. The response on-axis measures flat. The Mandolin would compare to many of the premium commercial designs available today.
How Does it Sound?
The speaker offers a wonderful sense of scale and weight, and bass extension that seems to defy its size. Not many speakers this size can reach into the 30 Hz band with low distortion. Sitting on a pair of quality stands, a pair of these small speakers will provide near-full range performance for the majority of music lovers on most of the music they play, without the need for a subwoofer. However, if a subwoofer is used, these will blend gracefully, and allow a fairly low crossover point to the sub, which helps the subwoofer disappear, and provide a greater sense of realism.
Only a small tweak to the crossover was necessary to bring the “2” version up to date and a slight change to the box tuning. I hadn’t listened to the Mandolin for some time, but it was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with them. This tweeter was the first offering from SB and I am still surprised at the detail that emits from it. The updated woofer still has that low-end punch but the mids are now more present and open.
The woofer cabinet is .53 cu ft or about 17L and measures 8.5″ wide, 15″ High, and 11.5″ deep (3/4″ material) You can download the cabinet drawing below.
Sensitivity is rated at 85dB Easy 8 ohm load.
When you buy the Mandolin 2, here’s what you get:
Included in this kit are the full build plans. You can purchase it in two forms, depending on your resources:
The Bare Bones Version:
- 2 x SB Acoustics, SB29RDAC-C000-4 Ring Dome Tweeters
- 2 x SB Acoustics, SB17NRX2C35-8 Woofers
- 2 x Crossover components with MDL Polypropylene as standard.
- You can choose other brands of capacitors, for the tweeter circuit if you like.
- You may also choose different brands of tweeter padding resistors,
- Specified Air and steel Core Inductors. (Audyn caps and Lynk resistors pictured)
Need all the goodies?
The Full Kit Package:
- 2 x Choice of the Input Terminals
- 2 x Flared Port Tubes
- All mounting hard hardware (screws) Option for Socket head screws
- Internal damping material
- Color-coded hookup wire
- Optional push-on connectors
- Gasket sealing tape
- MDF boards with solder lugs for mounting the crossover parts.
Have trouble soldering or reading a crossover diagram? We can assemble them for you at a nominal charge.
- The crossovers will be built on individual 1/4″ MDF boards with hard-wired, lead-free soldered connections.
- .205 terminal lugs for connection hook up wires
Upgrades – Have another favorite input terminal or preferred capacitor brand? Feel free to call or email with your request. We are happy to accommodate you.
“Listen to the Mandolin Rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away”
Mandolin2 in Maple/Walnut
David LaValley (verified owner) –
Here is my build of this great kit. I’m really pleased with how they sound.
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tuxable (verified owner) –
These speakers sound amazing! I don’t have a whole lot to compare them to yet, but they definitely dig deeper and sound more open and detailed than the C-note kit I built first (which itself is great). I love them! I have used it both for computer speakers and with my receiver and tv where it is currently blasting music throughout my apartment. It works great for both. I got Meniscus to assemble the crossover for me and they did a beautiful job – much cleaner than what I’ve put together so far.
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