The title says it all, really. This new speaker set from Grovemade has got to be one of the weirdest, yet coolest pieces of tech I’ve seen in a long time.
It’s a collaboration with Joey Roth, whose rounded, organic designs and interesting materials made me a fan years ago — and he continues to do good work (and wood work). Grovemade, of course, knows how to shape and treat wood, although it must be said that, engineering-wise, this is a good deal beyond anything the company has yet made.
The wood is a single piece, bored out and shaped according to a CAD model, and as you can see in the cross section, the resonation chamber has a structural frequency separation built into it. Real talk: I just kind of made up those words, but I think they’re more or less correct. Grovemade says it has a “back-loaded horn design.” Does that seem any more legit to you? Be honest, mine sounded cooler.
Fortunately, Joey emailed me to give an authoritative take on things.
“It’s easily the most productive collaboration I’ve ever done,” he wrote. “Working with them enabled me to specify materials and tolerances that would be very hard to execute well in a typical manufacturing situation.”
“To design the back-loaded horn, for example,” he continued — he just had to use the phrase I’d denigrated in the already written draft of this article — “I simulated an ideal horn given the driver’s parameters and enclosure size. At that point I would usually have to translate that ideal horn into a shape that could be manufactured using panels and fasteners. With Grove’s total mastery of wood CNC, the ideal horn is reproduced exactly in the enclosure.”
Each speaker has 25 watts of power going from the amp hidden in the volume puck into a 2″ Fountek FR58EX driver, and sits on a stainless steel stand with a leather covering (so you don’t see the screws). They come in walnut (shown above) and maple, which will run you an extra $100 on top of the initial $499 price tag.
Yeah, they’re five hundred bucks, did I not mention that? You’re definitely paying for the looks here, but what looks! As with Joey’s ceramic speakers, these are conversation pieces, objets d’art that happen to work pretty well as gadgets to boot. Everyone will be jealous, and honestly, that feeling of superiority is priceless.
I’m hoping to put them through their paces in person, so watch this space for ears-on impressions.