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KV2 Refurb Project 2021 Part 1

Welcome to our blog documenting the KV2 project: showing the developments of how we bring a KV2 Audio system back to life through different stages.
Following the sad closure of a venue last year, we acquired a KV2 ES system which has some historical serial numbers. It consists of, 4 x ES1.8 1 x 18” subs, 2 x ES 2.5 2×15” subs, 4 x ES 1.0 mid high elements and 4 x EPAK amplifier modules, plus 4 x EX12 powered monitors.
The ES system is a current product from KV2, but has been around since their early day, launched in 2003 and although the current version has had some upgrades to the amplifiers and some drivers have been upgraded, it is fundamentally the same. It is an excellent system for a wide variety of jobs, ranging from theatres to live music venues, to dance music clubs.
Our system is one of the first ever produced, indeed one box’s serial number is actually 000001; the very first ever production unit. When the system was removed from the venue, it still sounded fantastic. We felt that, as this system really has stood the test of time in a very harsh environment, suffering little more than dirt and chewing gum on the outside, a couple of cracked grills and some slightly soft cones, we should strip it down, give it a refresh and bring it back to as close to new condition as possible. There will be some driver re-cones or replacements, painting of all of the cabinets and grills and replacing some of the very rusty handles. Some of the cracked grills will be tig welded back together.
We will post snippets about the project next week.

Short timelapse of the disassembly of the ES1.8

The first part of the rebuild project was to strip all the speaker cabinets down to the bare carcasses. We started with the four ES 1.8 subs as seen in this timelapse. The eight handles were removed, followed by the grill, and then the driver. For each of the screws on the outside of the box, careful cleaning of the screw heads was required. A compressor was used to help blow out the dirt from the screws.

What can’t be seen in the film is removing the connector plate from inside and also the locating pucks on the outside, which also needed their hex screw heads cleaning out.

WEEK ONE: Strip and clean ES 1.8 subwoofer cabinets

STEP ONE: Removing steel handles

KV2 Bass Bin Rebuild

Each sub has eight handles secured by wood screws into the cabinet. Over the years, the screws have become very rusty and all of the screw heads were full of dirt, meaning that a screw driver bit wouldn’t fit into them securely, so the screws couldn’t be removed without rounding the heads out. Each screw head had to be cleaned out with a tool which we made, before it could be taken out. As there are twelve screws in each handle and eight handles per sub and a total of six subs to strip, that’s five hundred and seventy six screws to clean in the subs alone, before we can even start taking the boxes apart. On removing the handles, the silicon used to seal them to the boxes needed to be removed with a stanley blade.
One important thing to do when re-building a system like this, especially when it is comprised of several different types of speakers, is to keep all the different screws and fittings separate and labelled properly. Sometimes, the fixings look very similar, but just won’t fit in the wrong hole, so organisation is important when it comes to being able to re-assemble the system correctly.

KV2 images of rusted handle
KV2 bass bin rusty handle

STEP TWO: Grill Removal

The same steps were taken to clean the screw heads out on the grills. The grills are steel and the paint is almost non existent, so they are in a poor state. On a couple of the boxes, the grill material is actually cracked. It may be difficult to get hold of new grills as the design of the grill has changed since this original variant. As we have fabrication facilities on site, we will tig weld the cracked metalwork back together, followed by cleaning all rust and paint off with a wire wheel cup for an angle grinder. When all speaker grills from all ten boxes are straightened out and cleaned up, they will be sprayed together.

Removing the 18″ driver from each box required taking out the eight bolts and disconnecting the wire terminals from the driver’s chassis. After that, the connector plate could be removed from the inside of the box.

KV2 speaker grill

STEP THREE: Cleaning

Having stripped the speakers down to the bare boxes, it was clear that the seventeen years of beer, dirt and chewing gum, wasn’t going to come off easily by hand. The pressure washer did an admirable job of getting the speakers clean, ready for prepping for paint.

KV2 system after washing

BEFORE

AFTER

You may also be interested in…

Understanding NOISE & How To Control It
KV2 Refurb Project Part 2
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