Curly Cherry Custom Loudspeakers
(Click any photo for a close-up view)
As described on my Home Theater page, I have a significant personal interest in home theater and high-end home audio systems. Over the years, this avocation has resulted in a number of projects with local Atlanta engineers and entrepreneurs that are designing and selling custom speakers for AV systems. Out of all of these ventures, none is more impressive, either from a woodworking or an acoustic perspective, than the speakers shown in the photos above. Designed and engineered by Dr. Ray Ridley of Ridley Audio, these ultra high-end loudspeakers are veneered with stunning curly cherry veneer and have been finished with a high-gloss piano lacquer finish.
These speakers are the result of a 4-way collaboration between Ridley Audio (for the speaker enclosure design and specifications), a local Atlanta shop with CNC machining capabilities (for milling the curved profiles and speaker driver openings on all parts), myself at Heirloom Woodcrafting (for all custom veneering, speaker cabinet fitting, and final assembly). and a local Atlanta finishing specialist (for the application and polishing of the high-gloss piano lacquer). Given the high precision of the woodworking joinery, the quality of the veneering work, and the painstaking effort required to produce the polished high-gloss finish, the labor and material costs to produce a pair of these speakers is immense - expect to pay more than $40,000 if you are thinking about buying a pair!!
While such speakers are beyond the financial means of most customers, I take great pride in having participated in the construction of these acoustical marvels. This pair of speakers represents some of the most challenging veneering work that I've ever done. The grain in the curly cherry veneer continues uninterrupted from the top to the bottom on all four sides of each tower speaker. However, since each tower is composed of 4 separate segments, the veneer applied to each face of each segment had to be perfectly aligned, even on the complex curved front faces. Complicating matters is the fact that the joinery and assembly of each speaker enclosure (there are 6 in each pair of speakers) must be flawless to insure that each enclosure is air-tight and acoustically sound. Quite literally, one mistake in the application of the veneer or final assembly would have required the entire project to be started over from scratch with all new materials. This frightening fact, combined with the extremely high cost of the speaker drivers and other electronics, leads to the jaw-dropping cost of these unique speakers. They truly are one-of-a-kind - I only wish I could afford to add a pair to my own home theater!!!
For other home theater and entertainment center installations, please visit the Home Theater page.
Current pricing and delivery timeframes for these ultra high-end speakers can be obtained from Ridley Audio, but expect to pay in excess of $40,000 for a pair of speakers and the associated solid-state electronics needed to power them.
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