Simon Regan of SR Woodworks has built a remarkable pair of VTL transmission line cabinets for his Jordan Eikona full-range speakers. The skilled craftsmanship is so evident we asked if he would share the details and his listening impressions:
I recently purchased a pair of your Jordan Eikona 2 Drivers from Wilmslow Audio. I was really keen to have access to great sound quality at home, and after a lot of research chose your drivers and your VTL design. I wanted a pair of speakers which were really realistic, detailed and musical. I was also drawn to the idea of one driver per speaker and no crossover.
I am a professional cabinet maker and wanted to machine and build the cabinetry myself over the 2017 Christmas break. I spent 2 weeks making the speakers, which was a really enjoyable process. I kept all the dimensions as per your drawing apart from the walnut framing which added a bit of extra depth to the exterior to take the speaker grille (note the actual baffle where the driver is mounted is positioned as per your recommended drawing). I also made the foot slightly deeper to follow proportions of the slightly deeper cabinet. My aim was to make a cabinet which displayed craftsmanship, complementing the Eikonas and the music played through them.
- Walnut veneered birch ply cabinetry. The veneers on the fronts/backs are book matched for visual interest.
- The top, back and sides are constructed as a mitred box and the grain wraps around the cabinet. Veneers were chosen from Capital Crispen veneers.
- Solid American black walnut framing. Japanese mitred frame
- Mitre joint with rebate and tenon.
- The feet were made up from a cross ply lamination of solid walnut. Visually I like to highlight long grain against end grain, and it also adds a great deal of stability to the timber, ideal for a foot.
- Project Damp it sound isolation rubber feet. These are slid onto dowels on the walnut foot.
- Fender style speaker grille wrapped around a walnut frame. Oxblood with gold stripe from All Parts. These are fixed to the speaker using Wilmslow Audio standard grille fixing studs.
- Finished with two coats of Osmo Oil (clear satin matt) and a final coat of Liberon black bison wax polish.
Whilst building the speakers I spent some time thinking about what songs in particular I would like to trial once the speakers were made. I narrowed it down to two songs.
The first song I chose was ‘Holding Hands’ by The Magic Lantern. I chose this track as I knew the song featured some interesting layering of instruments and an emotive vocal line. I was really pleased with the clarity of the saxophones and the VTL’s ability to distinguish them. Each line was so detailed you could hear all the subtleties and accents made by each musician and their instrument, making it quite an intimate experience. In my opinion, these are all characteristics which allow you to listen to the song in its true form, how the musicians played it and how the song would have been heard in the studio.
The second song was ‘Tethered’ by Rationale. I chose this song as a contrast. I wanted to hear a multi-tracked song which used synthesised instruments. Firstly I was struck by the sense of weight the VTLs produced (even at low levels). There were times you felt very grounded by the bass. I think the depth of field the VTLs produce is my favourite part, in my opinion as a result of their ability to access the full range.
These were just some details that stood out whilst listening to two songs. I have enjoyed listening to many other songs through the VTLs, and am constantly hearing and feeling music in a new light. They really do allow you to hear the full picture, where you have no option but to sit and listen.
Simon has indicated that he is very happy to undertake commissions for the Jordan Eikona, whether based on the VTL or any of our other designs. Visit the SR Woodworks Facebook page or contact us and we will put you in touch.