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Building Tenson's LBM (Little British Monitor) kit

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by JimmyB, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Just finished a build of the Little British Monitor (LBM) kit by Audiosmile (Tenson of this forum) for a friend. These are the first incarnation off Kickstarter with the copper pipe port firing out the bottom.

    First pair I made were pretty standard with vinyl wrap which didn't do them justice so with blind faith and vague knowledge gained from veneering a home made bath panel, I went for a more exotic look...

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Not everyone's taste but I do think the zebrano suits them and matches the plywood front edges nicely.

    I'll post a few build pics tomorrow and maybe a quick summary of sound quality but for now let me just thank Simon (Tenson) for helping me get these over the line after a blown regulator.
     
    337alant, coupe-sport and narabdela like this.
  2. Darren

    Darren All Business

    Liking those very much. They look great. Hope you are proud. :)
     
  3. Manimal

    Manimal Well-Known Member

    Good job. I've just read up on the LBM and it looks an interesting bit of kit. I'll look forward to reading your impressions re sound quality if you get time.
     
  4. Operajulian

    Operajulian Opera Julian

    I have been running a pair of these for four years now. Currently in the kitchen system. Not the best place for hi-fi listening but I like them a lot. I use both Bluetooth ( from my phone ) and an old Apple DAC for input.
    I used to have them in my work office and listened to lots of music at all hours.

    Not bad at all for their size/price and fun to have in the collection.

    Happy listening
    Julian
     
  5. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    [​IMG] As mentioned, here's a quick look at the kit and building it. I'm no artisan mind you, bodging only from here on in....

    The kit......

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It's CNC routed 6mm plywood and had to be cleaned up a bit with a sharp knife and sandpaper...

    [​IMG]

    and glueing it all together...with lots of clamps

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Getting the veneer sized up, had to buy a lot more than needed but worth it for a decent finish. Couldn't get iron on so this was bare veneer and I used wood glue to stick it in place.

    [​IMG]

    I used a single piece for the rear and glued it to the back panel only, then cut it out so that I had a seperate 'window' piece to do the edge on the rear. Means it's a seemless look on the back which I'm quite glad of.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The front panel used faux leather but I replaced the original black with a cream. The tweeters were glued in but the woofer was four screws as standard.

    [​IMG]

    There's an egg cup (yes, an actual egg cup used at the rear of the tweeter and the cable holes sealed with hot glue..you can see the small tweeter crossover glued to the side of the cabinet too.

    [​IMG]

    Most switches are glued in position into pre-cut holes in the main back panel. The main board has a ribbon cable for the connections which are a fiddle to fit and check. You also have to run a small grounding wire from the heatsink through to a GND point on the board. Bit of soldering to be done in a tight space. The hardest part was fitting the plastic screws to through the board to hold the amp chips to the heatsink.

    [​IMG]

    At this point it was up and playing, awesome...a quick trial fit of the board into the cabinet then resulted in a crackling sound and then no more music......oops.

    Turns out there must have been a short somewhere (still don't know where) and it had taken out the +15V regulator (got very hot).

    At this point I e-mailed Simon to confirm the spec for a replacement but he kindly offered to replace it for me if I sent it over to him......and about 2days later...

    [​IMG]

    A nice fully tested and working board fitted to the rear panel, OSUM.

    Fitted some 10mm feet to raise them up and allow the port to do its stuff:

    [​IMG]

    and the finished things are (to my eyes) a thing of beauty!!

    [​IMG]

    I'm quite happy the way the veneer flows and matches from the sides, up and over the top (and indeed the bottom). It would have looked awful if I'd just stuck random pieces on each side.
     
    Snufkin, booja30, Marra and 1 other person like this.
  6. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    On the sound front. My first pair were used in a small 'office/study' room and sounded great. They're now at the friend who had this kit (that I'm now keeping!).

    This pair have been set up on top of my main speakers for testing and it's apparent that they can do a lot more than just fill a study with music.

    This was highlighted by my wife who when she heard them said ahe was seriously impressed by the scale of sound from such small boxes and went on to question why we have big speakers at all....oh dear.

    Got to say, I think I wasted the original pair in the study, they can easily fill a large room and sound great. I've not done any really critical listening but I'm not about to either. I'm just going to enjoy these and the convenience of a decent set of speakers with bluetooth.
     
  7. fur

    fur pfm Member

    interesting, I shall have to find out more !
     
  8. DAVEDWACK

    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    Hi JimmyB,

    Very nice job there,

    Now for the blatant plug: I just happen to have a pair of Simon’s matching stands surplus to requirements at half retail price if you should be interested, no worries if not, but pm me otherwise.

    Cheers....Dave
     
  9. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the offer but I just fitted large clear silicone feet to the bottom for the port clearance instead of the stands and it works well. I think if I was using them in near-field or on a poor surface then the stands would be more useful.

    Having said that, if anyone is reading this, these stands would be useful for anyone using a small mini-monitor with a computer or office and are smarter than your average one's from other sources.

    Cheers,

    J
     
  10. DAVEDWACK

    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    Hi J,
    No worries.

    Yes as you say, I was using them underneath JBL Control 1's (available as well...haha) on my desk but once I got the KEF LSXs the stands wouldn't really take the additional weight, hence being surplus!

    Cheers....Dave
     
  11. wylton

    wylton pfm Member

    Great write up! I'd be interested in building these for a future project, but it seems that they won't be available until all of the Kick Starter orders have been fulfilled; I wonder how long that will be?
     
  12. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Just pop him an e-mail, he's very helpful. I thought the LBM2 Kickstarter would be completed by now but as with everything, it can take longer. Even if up to his eyeballs in the Kickstarter builds I'm sure he'll let you know.
    From what I can see of the newer model, he's massively improved the design for building of this one (easier to put together and back plate fully assembled, subwoofer out, better connections etc.). Shame the rather nice copper pipe has gone but then again, you never actually see it in practice on the Mk1's.

    I'd recommend putting some nice veneer on them too. Actually quite easy to do as they're so small. All you need is wood glue, clamps, sandpaper and an iron (can be used to speed up glue so that when clamping, the veneer stays aligned, assuming you're trying for a nice seamless 'wrap').

    https://www.audiosmile.com/contact
     

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