Building North Creek Kitty Kats & Casitas

Finally, after years of waiting, we are underway assembling our North Creek Speakers! We have three different projects underway:

1- Three Casita Speakers

2- Two Kitty Kats Monitors

3- Three Thunder Subwoofers (one with the original plate amplifier, and the others with our own crossover & amps)

We originally purchased the Casita Kits in April of 2006 along with a Thunder subwoofer kit. In August of 2006, George Short decided to reduce his DIY products and discontinued the Casita product line. We ordered three more Casita speakers on a last-time-buy so to finish our hoped for 5.1 Home Theatre system. We built the first pair of Casitas immediately and put them on our family television replacing a DIY Speakercraft system built in 1977. The woofer surrounds had completely fallen apart. We then put the rest of the North Creek kits into storage to wait for a future hole in our schedule.

Two years later, we were able to make a purchase at a closeout price of a pair of Kitty Kats, in January of 2008. These are intended for our recording work and will replace a pair of Genelec 2029b speakers with subwoofer we have been using on our digital audio workstation. After thinking about it for a while, we realized that the Kitty Kats married to a pair of Thunder Subs would make a very nice full-range system for our home studio.

We went about to find some new Peerless drivers, and finally located two Peerless 830500 drivers and two Peerless 830548 passive radiators and made the purchase in February of 2009 . We would have to build the power amplifiers as the original North Creek one was discontinued along with the Thunder kit in 2006. We then commissioned a former co-worker who has a very nice workshop to build our three Thunder cabinets in March of 2009 and they were finished the last week of August 2009.

Finally this spring (March 2010), with other work and family projects out of the way, we began construction. So this has been four years in the making and will probably be the rest of 2010 to finish everything.

The Plan

The plan is to use the Parts Express cabinets in the Gloss Black finish for the Casitas, and the Maple finish for the Kitty Kats.

George Short at North Creek Music also will build fascia cut and routed to match the drivers, and we purchased those as well for both the Casitas and Kitty Kats from George as part of the kits.

The Casita uses the original North D28 tweeter with a SEAS Excel W18NX-001 woofer.

The Kitty Kat uses also uses the same North D28 tweeter but with a North Creek modified woofer based upon the Scan Speak 8530 Since our purchase of the kit in 2008, North Creek has changed the tweeter that is available in the Kitty Kat to the D28-IIA Aluminum dome tweeter. Our kit has the original silk dome version. (See photos here in the Kitty Kat home page. Some of the photos show the original D-28 and the others show the newer D28-IIA which can be recoginzed by the darker - less shiny center of the tweeter)

The last part of the project involves building an original North Creek Thunder subwoofer complete with the original North Creek Amplifier, and a second pair with identical cabinets and drivers but with different amplifiers and crossovers which we will design. The first subwoofer will be used with 5-Casitas creating a 5.1 surround system for the family home theatre. The other two subwoofers well be used as speaker stands for the Kitty Kats to create a reference monitor setup for our recording, music, and composition work.

Over the next several articles we will chronicle the assembly and design project and present our findings. We will also be designing a custom crossover for the subwoofers and will show that process, the selecting of the topology, simulations and final integration. Hopefully in the we will have a 5.1 system for our home theatre and a full-range 2-way system for our music production and recording work.

Please see the next article in the series Preparing the Parts Express boxes

Copyright © 2010 David L. Bytheway