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Paul Carmody's Sprite Speaker Variant Video Build Log

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  • Paul Carmody's Sprite Speaker Variant Video Build Log

    I'm in the process of building a racing arcade/simulation for my computer. Over Thanksgiving, I hooked everything up temporarily for the fun of it. I had such a blast, I decided to keep it up until I get the final version built. Unfortunately, I did not have any speakers for it and the televisions speakers just weren't doing it for me. Since I already completed an Overnight Sensation build, I knew Paul designed some great speakers. Luckily for me, I already had all the parts to create a Sprite Boombox. Now I didn't need a book box, instead I wanted 2 standalone speakers. I also did not have the required 1 3/8 ports. So I decided to slightly modify the speakers. I tried to keep the same internal volume, but change the external dimensions. I ended up with a box that was about 12.5" wide, by 5.5" high and 6" wide. This really cut down on cuts, since most of the cuts were at 5.5". I also used 1 1/2" PVC since I had that on handy. Thanks to WInISD, I could see that with my port size and box volume I needed around a 7-7.5" long port to achieve a tuning frequency of around 60hz. I ended up with a 7.5" long port. 7 inches of tube with the 1/2" stock. At the end of the port and the front baffle I rounded them over at 3/8"

    One final thing I did was create a back plate that can be removed if I ever need to remove the speakers. This is especially helpful, since these speakers mount from the rear.

    Impressions. These things are amazing! I can not believe the sound that comes from them. They really are very detailed for the price you pay. You also get a surprising amount of bass. I especially like listening to Jazz on them. In particular, Fever by Michael Buble is absolutely stellar on these speakers. The only knock on these speakers is that they are very directional. Meaning that you definitely can tell where the sound is coming from and you really want to be sitting directly in front of them. That is no fault of the design at all, just limitations or the speakers. I have been considering using these and building 2 more for behind the driver to use in the arcade, but am unsure with directional problems. In other words, the sound is not as enveloping as I would like for that purpose. But I still plan to mess around with were I set them and see if I can find the sweet spot so I can use them in the final project. They are an inexpensive speaker that sounds fantastic.

    If anyone is looking for a good set of nearfield speakers for their computer or bedroom, I would highly recommend these. Especially for a computer desk, these would be perfect!

    I went a head and created a video for anyone that may want to tackle this project. It walks you through the build process. Here it is for anyone that is interested.



    P.S. I am not finished with these. I am thinking of doing a vinyl carbon fiber wrap, but I have never done one before. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

    Update: Finished!


    Last edited by Altoid; 03-31-2017, 02:00 PM.

  • #2
    I finished the speakers and did a sound test on them. So far, I am really happy with them. I am really surprised with the amount of bass they put out! It truly is pretty amazing. I'll try to hook up my umic-1 and get some readings. I have never done any readings down in the basement, so we will if that affects acoustics or not. For the time being, here is a sound demonstration, for those who are not interested in the basic overview, skip to 52 seconds.

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    • #3
      I'm in the process of rebuilding the boxes. This time, I decided I would make them Carbon Fiber and plexiglass, with some Blue LED's to make it look nice. So far, I am really pleased with the progress. The goal is for these to be built into a racing simulator. I plan to continue to update this with pictures as I go along and I will have a full video build log as well as a video review on my YouTube channel when I finish. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvu...KxVCusGeAK8n0g




      Last edited by Altoid; 03-15-2017, 10:34 AM.

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      • #4
        hey nice work! I am loving more and more the rear mounted speaker on baffle with roundover - I think I will try this for my next build (which will probably be a gift to a family member). Did you just use a 3/8'' roundover bit to router the roundover on the baffle speaker cutout?

        Really digging the carbon fiber wrap with plexiglass...looks very 'Arcade'!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan Steeves View Post
          hey nice work! I am loving more and more the rear mounted speaker on baffle with roundover - I think I will try this for my next build (which will probably be a gift to a family member). Did you just use a 3/8'' roundover bit to router the roundover on the baffle speaker cutout?

          Really digging the carbon fiber wrap with plexiglass...looks very 'Arcade'!

          I did use a 3/8" roundover on both the speaker cutout and the rear port (not shown). Good eyes! I never thought of that round over until I saw it somewhere else. Now I love it! If I wasn't doing vinyl wrap, I often round over the corners of the box as well. Although, I do not always use a 3/8 for that.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Altoid View Post


            I did use a 3/8" roundover on both the speaker cutout and the rear port (not shown). Good eyes! I never thought of that round over until I saw it somewhere else. Now I love it! If I wasn't doing vinyl wrap, I often round over the corners of the box as well. Although, I do not always use a 3/8 for that.

            random related question concerning the roundovers. Let's say you are planning on veneering the speakers - what would be the cleanest way to finish the roundovers after veneering, since veneer won't bend into the roundover? I suppose you could just cut the veneer at the beginning of the roundover and leave the actual roundover as bare MDF or paint it a similar color to the wood stain before adding the veneer?

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            • #7
              I honestly have never used veneer. What I am using is a vinyl wrap. I do know that they sell vinyl wrap in wood grain. That might be the easiest way to do it. Especially, if you are going to have a small speaker like this with a roundover. Something like this: https://smile.amazon.com/VViViD-Maho...ood+vinyl+wrap

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Altoid View Post
                I honestly have never used veneer. What I am using is a vinyl wrap. I do know that they sell vinyl wrap in wood grain. That might be the easiest way to do it. Especially, if you are going to have a small speaker like this with a roundover. Something like this: https://smile.amazon.com/VViViD-Maho...ood+vinyl+wrap

                My friend actually has his own car vinyl wrapping company, so I am very familiar with vinyl and its benefits/drawbacks. For in-house speaker designs, I like natural wood or a mix of the two (veneer everything except front baffle, paint or wrap front baffle). I did find a neat solution in another thread on here, where after the veneering was done, he passed over it another time with the roundover bit to make a smoothe cut of the veneer around the baffle, then used a sharpie to color in the roundover in black...looked really clean! I'd most likely go a route similar to that for future builds.

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                • #9
                  That sounds like a cool idea. I would have never thought about that. That is the great thing about this community. So many different minds sharing idea that we can all adapt to our various builds. Pretty cool idea. I may even try it sometime. Well assuming, I decide I want to work with veneer ;)

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                  • #10
                    I'm almost finished with one. I just need clean them off, trim them and attach the front baffle. It was my first time using a vinyl wrap and it was a little harder than I thought it would be I realized that with those roundovers you really need a heat gun, as a blow dryer just will not get it hot enough. I also found out that you can burn it quite easily with a heat gun. Al this to say that they are not perfect, but I still have 2 more to make sometime, so I am glad I learned my mistakes on these 2!


                    I didn't purposely light up the port, but it ended up lighting up due to all the LED's in there.

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                    • #11
                      And here is a hot of it in the dark, I love the affect it gives off. I must say, I would actually love these as computer speakers. These would be awesome sitting by a monitor. Come to think of it, I guess these actually will be computer speakers in my setup, lol.



                      I'll have some videos up soon for anyone that wants to see how I built them.

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                      • #12
                        Geez, that's so cool looking! Plexiglass with LEDs behind carbon fiber... You win the rear-mounted driver challenge!
                        Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                        Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                        Twitter: @undefinition1

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Paul, I appreciate it! I have come to a real appreciation for your speaker designs. I now have my dovetail oak Madeline in the kitchen and will be using 5 of these Sprite Speakers for a racing arcade in the basement.

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                          • #14
                            A racing arcade in the basement? I'm so jealous (and so are my kids!!)
                            Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                            Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                            Twitter: @undefinition1

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                            • #15
                              Very Creative; great work!!

                              Kind of reminds me of this:

                              Click image for larger version

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