DIY Cabasse Sphere Archipel 17 ICD

Inspired by Cabasse's La Sphere high end system, I went on to design and build my own tiny spheres. I like coaxial speakers for their realism in human voice reproduction and cabasse may have a lead in that with their SCS technology. I have been a happy user of their Java MC40 using such technology.

I decided on affordable Archipel 17 ICD (300€ the pair delivered). Like with the JBL SB210, datasheet for the low frequency driver were not published. But contrary to JBL, Cabasse gave me no love in providing detailed specs. 

I could have attempted to bypass the passive filter and measure it myelf but I was young and hasty. So this is no-calculation enclosure. Cabasse documentation did provide recommendations for a closed load though (59cmx35.5x10.5mm giving about 22L) but I went for about 16L to keep the spheres size manageable.

Archipel 17 ICD Specifications

  • Use: in ceiling / in wall
  • Ways: 2
  • Drivers:
    • 1 x DOM25 pivoting tweeter - Kaladex® dome
    • 1 x 17M20 IC midrange-woofer - Duocell diaphragm
  • Cross-over point: 2,600 Hz
  • Frequency response: 58 Hz - 22,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity 1 W / 1 m: 87.5 dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Minimum Impedance: 7.2 ohms
  • Power handling: 40 W
  • Peak power: 320 W
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 24 x 24 x 10.2 cm - 9.4 x 9.4 x 4 in
  • Weight: 1.6 kg - 3.5 lbs
  • Standard finish: white (paintable grill)

To optimize my cuttings and approximate the shape of the sphere I used the least suited software : Illustrator. But it got the job done. Teal is 10mm MDF, red is 12mm MDF.

Rings of MDF in 10 and 12mm were cut using a jigsaw. They were then glued and pressed to approximate the two halves of a sphere.

I made a simple rig to allow for the sanding of the rings into a smooth sphere. MDF sands out quite well. This type of sander also put the half sphere in rotation around my rig, allowing for homogenous sanding.

Once roughly there, I spread some thick then thin wood paste to fill in the tiny inperfections and seal the wood. On this picture the front half are almost done but the rear half are not even sanded down yet.

Above we can see the raw sanded MDF material with some patches of wood paste.

The four halves before final glueing.

Above is the painting step, as you can see the spheres were standing on my new SB210 custom enclosures.

2018 Update

Initialy painted black with a brush they were exposed to direct sunlight in my office for quite some time and needed a new paint. I repainted the spheres bright yellow with a paint gun.