Drive unit construction. Spendor remains one of the very few U.K manufacterers who designs and builds it's own drivers. Having complete control over drive unit performance is the only way to take speaker performance a step forward from the opposition.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Spendor uses a special material for their cones known as EP38. In this picture you can see raw sheets of this material which ultimately becomes drive unit cones appropriately sized, shaped and tempered.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Maybe not the flashest looking machine around but a very effective choice for moulding the cones and tempering the cone through periods of heating and cooling.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Philip demonstrating the sequence of events when moulding a cone. Not very effectively captured using my mediocre photographic skills.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Aha, the final result! To maintain even thickness a considerable quantity of the EP38 is required to make quite small drive unit cone.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. A close up of the tooling piece the cone is moulded over
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Another less than scientific looking machine , in combination with careful hand management punches out the centre of the cone and removes the waste from the outside of the cone.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Here we see the various parts starting to come together. A driver consists of quite a few parts. Cone, roll surround, dust cap or pole piece, frame, spider, voice coil, lead out wires, terminals, magnet, pole piece, screws and maybe a shielding cap if a magnetically shielded driver is being built. The driver is assembled with various glues and is done while the magnetic parts are yet to be magnetised.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Here the cone/coil assemblies are being acurately aligned and glued in place within the frame/magnet assembly.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. This little jig is to assist with accurate alignment of the cone to coil assembly process.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. S9e bass unit cone/coil assemblies waiting to be 'joined' to their alloy frame/motor assemblies.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. Almost finished S9e bass units.
Click for bigger image of Spendor factory. All done and now waiting to be screwed into the finished enclosures. Building your own drive units is a huge undertaking and hence why 99% of so called loudspeaker manufacturers just buy them in from Vifa, Peerless or (in many cases these days) from some nameless far eastern supplier. Spendor has made the commitment to in house driver manufacture simply because it would not be possible to achieve the performance they are chasing using an "off the shelf" drive unit. Another incredibly important part of the Spendor magic is unlocked in the crossover design and manufacture. Go to Factory Tour Three to read about how these are made.
This site was last updated 01-07-2007
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