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Reposted from an email I received with permission of the author:

From: Jim Sweeney [mailto:swimgenie@attbi.com]

Sent: Friday, September 13, 2002 5:01 PM

To: webmaster@arsenal.net

Subject: re Cizek Koa-1

Sometime in the late 70's I met with the man who'd purchased Cizek the company at the Jockey Club in Las Vegas, where that year's high end portion of the CES was being held. There was another fellow present, a young audio designer, and together we designed the Koa-1, named for the Hawaiian wood from which the cabinet was made. I was the cabinet expert, and my contributions to the design were limited to some structural suggestions for the cabinet and baffle board and an idea about the mounting of the foam grill.

I went on to make several enclosures for them, somewhere between 40 and 80 I think, but found I was losing money on each one. When I said that I would need to charge a bit more for the boxes, the president of the company, whose name I've forgotten, (Sheldon something?) replied memorably that "We have to protect our profit." They found someone closer to home to make the boxes, which were of dovetailed solid Koa, but the quality was markedly poorer. Shortly afterwards I heard that the president/owner had died of a heart attack.

The koa-1 was the best-sounding, IMHO, of the then new category of bookshelf mini-monitors. Its competitors included the Rogers LS3-5A. I think it had a fairly sophisticated crossover for a two way speaker, incorporating air core inductors, more expensive components than were normally used at that price point.

I still have 2 pair of the koa-1's, and have used them with some fairly good electronics. They have sounded quite good, though the Peerless tweeter can be a bit aggressive, and the foam surrounds on all 4 6 1/2" drivers have by now rotted away. I'm just embarking on the experiment of having the surrounds replaced, and would appreciate any ideas anyone have about that or about possible improved or duplicate replacement drivers.

Jim Sweeney

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  • 1 year later...

Here it is more than two years later, and I'm wondering how the re-surround project went. Thanks to Mark who connected me with Layne Audio, my Cizek Model 1's are still doing what they were meant to do. After this success, my own interest in surround replacement/repair went kind of crazy. I've done six pairs now in all different sizes, but not 6.5". My persondal preference is for the PartsExpress kits because the glue is the best I've used and they're the only ones who send center caps and voice coil shims. I've done speakers without removing the caps, but the mechanical centering of the coil achieved with the shim is very reliable. I highly recommend trying it yourself. I enjoy the music more because I had something to do with making it happen. I'm sure the same is even more true for a cabinet maker like yourself. I've tried that only once, and the results were visually awful, but sonically acceptable.

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