Akai SW-350S 3 Way design

amrutmhatre90

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Hi guys,

I know an old uncle who liked vintage hifi systems, and frequently contacts me to sell his stuff and he has lot, but most are in beat up condition.

This AKAI speaker caught my eye, Akai SW-350S a 3 way speaker design and I always wanted to own such vintage speakers. Sucker for such speakers. He is financially unstable

IMG-20211101-WA0037.jpgIMG-20211101-WA0036.jpgIMG-20211101-WA0035.jpg

Now this is not in its best condition, asking rate is merely 3-4K. Wanted to build a vintage type speaker with modern equipments just to learn and get hang of how speakers are built. If all goes well these can be moved to my farmhouse.

I have seen these personally and heard them, they sound decent and work. But I am planning to change the mid range and woofer driver keeping the tweeter. Give it a complete overhaul in terms of looks and make it look new.

Few notes on this:
1) Unable to find any place with cheap 10inch woofer driver, any sites or places in Mumbai will help.
2) If crossover is kaput, what are the best available which can go with this?
3) Both speakers look identical and are not mirrors :p
4) Note able to find any documents on these online.
5) Any other things to keep in mind?

IMG-20211101-WA0042.jpg
Picture from Google.
 
HI Amrut
Good morning .
If you want your speakers repaired there is a place in Andheri who does it quite well and economical.
I did repair my Old Norge and Pandam speakers.
If you are interested kindly do let me know or PM me.
Thanks
Manoj
 
Hi guys,

I know an old uncle who liked vintage hifi systems, and frequently contacts me to sell his stuff and he has lot, but most are in beat up condition.

This AKAI speaker caught my eye, Akai SW-350S a 3 way speaker design and I always wanted to own such vintage speakers. Sucker for such speakers. He is financially unstable

View attachment 63624View attachment 63623View attachment 63622

Now this is not in its best condition, asking rate is merely 3-4K. Wanted to build a vintage type speaker with modern equipments just to learn and get hang of how speakers are built. If all goes well these can be moved to my farmhouse.

I have seen these personally and heard them, they sound decent and work. But I am planning to change the mid range and woofer driver keeping the tweeter. Give it a complete overhaul in terms of looks and make it look new.

Few notes on this:
1) Unable to find any place with cheap 10inch woofer driver, any sites or places in Mumbai will help.
2) If crossover is kaput, what are the best available which can go with this?
3) Both speakers look identical and are not mirrors :p
4) Note able to find any documents on these online.
5) Any other things to keep in mind?

View attachment 63625
Picture from Google.
Is that uncle staying in khar?
 
Is that uncle staying in khar?

Yes!!!

Picked these up over the weekend, uncle was insisting to hear them out but due to lack of parking couldn't.

Heard them before stripping everything out.
Tested out few songs, one woofer makes thap thap sound. One tweeter sounds bad.

This is how these look after stripping them down.

20211108_182011_resize_24.jpg

20211108_182017_resize_65.jpg

Watch this space, won't be restoring them but complete overhaul.
These won't look like the original ones at all.

Small leak - Will be getting magnetic grills for these.
 
Yes!!!

Picked these up over the weekend, uncle was insisting to hear them out but due to lack of parking couldn't.

Heard them before stripping everything out.
Tested out few songs, one woofer makes thap thap sound. One tweeter sounds bad.

This is how these look after stripping them down.

View attachment 63976

View attachment 63977

Watch this space, won't be restoring them but complete overhaul.
These won't look like the original ones at all.

Small leak - Will be getting magnetic grills for these.
Hope to see to beautiful looking as well as sounding beauties in future
 
Yes!!!

Picked these up over the weekend, uncle was insisting to hear them out but due to lack of parking couldn't.

Heard them before stripping everything out.
Tested out few songs, one woofer makes thap thap sound. One tweeter sounds bad.

This is how these look after stripping them down.

View attachment 63976

View attachment 63977

Watch this space, won't be restoring them but complete overhaul.
These won't look like the original ones at all.

Small leak - Will be getting magnetic grills for these.
Who is this wonderful source in Khar? Curious minds want to know
 
Who is this wonderful source in Khar? Curious minds want to know

His name is Kuldeel Srivastav, he still has few old stuff but mostly will be in beat up condition. Has a technics amp he was saying, but I am done with amplifiers so did not check out.
 
Some progress with the speakers. Happy with the result achieved so far.

Drivers and components where purchased from Swenton Speakers and DIY Audiocart:
1) 10" Woofer Swenton Drivers - Rs. 2560/-
2) 4" Mid Range Swenton Drivers - Rs.560/-
3) 1" HiVi TN25 Fabric Dome Tweeter - Rs. 2750/-
4) DAC - Dual Binding Post - Gold - Pair - Rs. 200/-
5) 2 Gasket tape 2mm - Rs.300/-
6) Cabinet Feets - Rs.400/-
7) Matte white paint 1 nos - Rs.300/-
8) Matte black paint 2 nos - Rs 600/-
9) Corner Protectors 16 pieces - Rs. 450/-
10) Poly Fiber - Rs.200/-
11) Jute Fabric roll - Rs.500/-
12) other expenses - Rs.300/-

Total - Rs.9120/-

I had carbon wrap and marble furniture wrap laying at home decided to use it.


Colored speaker cones to matte white:
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Applied putty and did sanding before coloring them matte black
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Colored the metal speaker and tweeter enclosures to matte white

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Fitting everything back with existing crossovers. Reading showed 8 ohms so everything on right track.

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Started testing speakers with REW and umik

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Final outcome with all things in place except for polyfill and corner protectors:

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After all this here are my observations and thoughts:
1) NO this won't replace my existing speakers, this was a learning curve and a one time goal which I wanted to do always. These most probably will go to my farmhouse.
2) Box had rottened a lot, specially the bottom part. One point I wanted to get new boxes made, but then I already had done lot of hard work, even dad suggested continue.
3) Did REW measurements, both with midrange full or low, both had similar graphs. Freq is between 50hz and up but starts dropping in end.
4) Tried one more crossover but did not like how it sounded. Similar graphs on REW but it did not go well with the speakers, midrange driver was shouty.

Listening observations:
With large woofers one expects deep bass extensions, but no this isn't there. But a punchy tight bass is present just like vintage speakers. The original speakers also did not have deep extension. Love the highs and crispness of these.
I do feel the speakers need break-in and adding polyfill would make things better.

I love the way these sound, I had expected much worse result but this is good starting point.
 
If your cabinets are MDF/particle board and is getting powdery, then keep dripping Feviflex or similar, cheaper in larger bottles. Do that till it saturates. The fumes will be horrible and there will be some heat.

Is its only superficial then just coat it with Fevicol, add till absorption stops and leave a thin layer on top that will dry transparent.

Your sound is via internal volume and dimensions and not the superficial look, if you are happy with the sound, keep the box and just reinforce with glue. Or even aluminum angles glued and screwed all around
 
Thats looks fab, Restoring vintage speaker is really fun besides of it has damaged your pocket.Hope it lives to expectation.
 
Thats looks fab, Restoring vintage speaker is really fun besides of it has damaged your pocket.Hope it lives to expectation.

Yes, it was fun. Yes damage on pocket but they really sound good surprisingly.
Will be finishing everything off this week so will start listening and burning them soon :D
 
Great, But looks like you almost fitted the drivers without any woodwork on cabinets also the Crossover work. Find a nice vintage amp to drive them.
 
Great, But looks like you almost fitted the drivers without any woodwork on cabinets also the Crossover work. Find a nice vintage amp to drive them.

Yup, a known carpenter said no matter how much time you invest in fixing wood, they will give up. He even was ready to build new cabinets for very less cost. But then thought to keep that for some other speaker build.

Thinking to run these with Tube pre amp + O&B power amp now, I have a NAD 320BEE not exactly vintage but old enough which is going to my friends place. If he likes it will be selling it off.
 
Finally speakers have come to life, they sound really really good. Did not expect them to be so good to be honest.

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Love the way the highs sound and are addictive. Bass is punchy and just right, resembling original speakers I could say slightly better.

Here is a short video on the process and some sound tests:

 
Thank you @mbhangui , the whole journey was fun and learning curve. Now pairing them with different pre amps and enjoying them on daily basis.

Infact I start my day with these guys, soft songs at moderate volumes, will be posting a short review how these sound with each pre amp and power amp combo.
 
Purchase the Audiolab 6000A Integrated Amplifier at a special offer price.
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