March may just be the month during which the Vivace will be born.
In the past month, we have made some minor refinements to the mould that is used to produce the carbon fibre carcas and this part is now within our tolerance level. We made a dummy part using glass fibre, and it was within spec and carbon versions will be made this week. We also decided on a 2 step production process, namely first the laying up the A side, moulding and then curing whereafter the core and the inner side (B) carbon layup will be done, once again moulded and cured. This is a bit more labour intensive, but the quality is so much better this way. We need to program the final cut outs and trimming of this part, but that should be relatively straight forward.
We are happy with all the aluminium parts, and more units will be machined next week.
We tested aluminium samples of powder coating, anodising as well as bead blasting the aluminium and then anodising it. Power coating is a safe option but is a bit dull and lifeless in our opinion. It does not make the best of the natural beauty of aluminium. Bead blasting alumunium creates a stunning finish that even tempted us to use it just like that.. but anodising the pre-treated surface is the way we will go in line with our design ideas.
The UPM Grada panels mould is currently reworked for the spring-back of the 13mm panel that we got on the 1st samples. 88.4 degrees gave an acceptable fit but we will give a 88.7-degree radius a try. We also will do samples with walnut now to see if veneering on side will have an impact on spring-back in the material.
All these actions and corrections are enhancements, and we are confident that we can, even notwithstanding some improvements, assemble the speaker if we want to. No more.. will it work?
We have made progress with the port's design but still need to make a few more decisions. It will be a carbon moulded part, but not sure if the external flare will be machined from aluminium or whether we can are going to expose the carbon fibre maybe as a cheeky hint of what will never be visible to the listener, the advance monocoque carbon fibre structure around which the speaker is designed.
Terminals, cross-over layout and other details are well advanced and although still not final, need not delay the 1st build. The same with signage etc. We have mapped a process of how we will assemble and this, of course, needs to be tested. It is quite intricate as there will probably only one of 2 ways of doing it. Recall besides the port and crossover there won't be a bolt, screw or any other fasteners in sight.
I am tempted to show you pics of our work, all the mistakes and changes but maybe at a later stage. Let me see if we cannot surprise you all
with photographs of the 1st production units later in March. Maybe even an initial auditioning of the 1st units for a few interested enthusiasts, not a formal launch but a sort of preview.
Knowing Alex and my style and personalities we will still make many improvements over the next few months, so no promises. Oh yes, quickly looked, and realised that I said in my 1st post in this thread it will be 2016... so yes no promises.