Home > 3-way, 40-60lbs, 5-8, Acoustic Suspension, Ribbon > Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and Lightning


Designed and built by Chris Wilson

Gonçalo alves is a Brazilian hardwood. It is sometimes referred to as tigerwood — a name that underscores the wood’s often dramatic, contrasting color scheme, that some compare to rosewood. It is considered one of the most beautiful of tropical woods, has a tough reputation, too. Strong and durable, it’s used for construction in its homeland and secondarily for fine furniture.

I wanted my speakers to be different. So I built a Lichtenberg machine and burnt Lichtenberg figures into the front side of my baffle. Finished by filling with blue glow-in-the-dark resin, I think I fulfilled my goal.

Since I invested so much time into the outward appearance, sound quality would have to be top notch. That is why I bought ribbon tweeters and ceramic woofers for the desktop monitors. The combination of those two provided the widest possible range (55Hz-22kHz) while having the flattest response. The subwoofer had to go as low as possible while still being inconspicuous and out of the way. The final design follows closely the form-factor of the footrest that is beneath my desk and is painted black. With its 10″ subwoofer and sealed cabinet design, it can get as low as 28Hz.

Design Goals

  • Visually appealing in a unique way
  • Flat response
  • Full range
  • Relatively Portable

Key Features

  • Unique lightning bolt effect
  • Beautiful wood grain with hand-rubbed oil finish
  • Sealed enclosures for increased transient response
  • Flat tuning



  • Measured F3 of 28Hz
  • +/- .7dB from 100Hz – 22kHz
  • Sealed box including sub
  • Fountek Neo X 1.0 ribbon Tweeter
  • 6″ SB Acoustics SB17CAC35-8 ceramic woofer
  • 10″ Dayton Audio RSS265HF-8 subwoofer
  • Desktop monitors 8.5” x 11” x 14”
  • Subwoofer 15”H x 15”D x 20”W with integrated legs

Overall Frequency Response

Overall PerformanceThe subwoofer and desktop monitor were placed on a tall stand to simulate anechoic conditions. Because of this, the subwoofer is not receiving the 3-6dB boost from the boundary effect from the floor.

Horizontal Off-Axis Response – 0º, 15º, 30º, & 60º off axis

Horizontal Off-Axis ResponseThis measurement was taken closer to the floor. The flat frequency response is being affected by floor reflections. The main data points to look at are above 5kHz.

Overall Waterfall Plot

Waterfall Plot - Full

Impulse Response

Impulse Response

Photo Gallery

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