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Evolution of the DemerBox speaker grill

One of my favorite design elements of the DemerBox is the speaker grill. When I built my first Pelican Case speaker box I used Fostex FF85K speakers because I had a pair lying around and they are capable of reproducing audio with amazing accuracy and detail. These Fostex speakers use a paper cone so I needed to protect them from getting punctured. I looked around my workshop and found a couple of old computer power supply fan covers. These became the first DemerBox grills.

 

 

DemerBox #1 with Fostex FF85K speakers and grills made from computer power supply fan covers.

 

As I started making DemerBoxes for family and friends, I continued to use the fan cover grill. Because the fan cover mounting hole placement is different from the speaker hole pattern, I had to heat up each grill eyelet with a propane torch and bend it into shape with a pair of needle nose pliers. I then painted each grill with flat  black paint, let it dry, and painted it again. Needless to say it was a laborious process. Here's a photo of what they looked like on a DemerBox.

This is an image of an early Bang with a computer power supply fan cover for a grill. As stated above, this grill was heated, bent, sanded and painted. It was a lot of work but protected the speaker well.

 

I also played around with making some bar style speaker protectors. I was inspired by the clean curvy lines on art deco furniture and rugged brush bars that I saw on trucks while on a trip to Australia. For this design I modified some drawer handles that I scavenged from the dump. I cut them down to size, tapped and threaded new screw threads and sanded and painted them. When installed they looked like this-

and this-

 

And here's a photo that shows the bar style speaker grills being modified-

 

In time I realized that the speaker grill needed to be more robust, scratch and dent proof and still provide audio transparency. I liked the retro aesthetic of the power supply grill so I had my friend and very talented designer and architect, Ian Parlin, design a grill that looked like the fan cover, but could be cut from a flat sheet ABS plastic. That grill looked like this and although its no longer in production, there are hundreds of DemerBoxes around the world that have this grill protecting the speaker from all kinds of abuse.

Here's a photo of a stack of flat grills ready for installation. Note that we only use stainless steel nuts and bolts because I gave a DemerBox to some dear friends who live in St. Croix and the non stainless hardware rusted out in no time. We've made mistakes but we learn and are constantly figuring how to make the DemerBox better.

 

 

The all new next generation DemerBox grill gets me really excited. The crack design team at Vim & Vigor Design 

kept the elements I loved about the old grill ( tough looking, retro "bakelite radio" feel) and incorporated them into a design that is domed, soft and hard, has nice little standoff feet and "keepers" for our gaskets. This new design allows for more movement of the speaker cone, better fit and finish, and even more protection from water and protruding objects. It will be installed on every DemerBox from now on and it looks like this!-

 

The DemerBox is different from every other boombox on the market. We dont use perforated metal or fabric for speaker covering. Why? Because metal gets dented and the paint scrapes off and cloth? That's a bad idea for any boombox that leaves your home.

When I was young one of my favorite toys was a big yellow Tonka Dumptruck. It looked cool as hell and I could ride it down dirt piles and driveways. We want the DemerBox to be fun to look at and be able to take a beating. This grill evolution blog post tells you the story of just one of our special DemerBox parts. We've put as much elbow grease, love and sweat into every part of our boombox, so you can enjoy your DemerBox for a lifetime.

Thanks for reading,

James Demer