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Where do I start if I'm a newbie speaker builder?

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  • Where do I start if I'm a newbie speaker builder?

    Here's the deal. I know absolutely nothing about speaker building, but I'm really eager to learn the ropes and I've been wondering about the most efficient way to do that. Any pointers would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Build a kit first. No matter what you choose, you'll learn a lot.
    Francis

    Comment


    • #3
      +1, read a lot and ask questions, this is a very generous group. You're way ahead, most newbies buy some drivers and then ask how to use them together. A plan that almost never works well.

      Start by telling the group how you'll use them (music, HT, both), size of room, your expectations, your budget, equipment you'll drive them with. This we'll give us a starting point for appropriate recommendations.

      Proven kits designed by accomplished builders are available from here at PE, Madisound, Meniscus, diy sound group. You can even get flat packs for the enclosures for many.

      Great read in the stickies on this forum at:

      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...peaker-designs

      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...building-bible

      I wouldn't bother with the PE gallery at this point as many/most of the designs there are by amateurs using off the shelf crossovers.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you want to jump in deeper waters you can find a project someone built, and imitate it. You will then need to do all the woodworking yourself, and find all the parts. Starting from scratch sometimes works out, but you have a tall mountain to climb. The drivers and the box baffle affect the crossover, and crossovers have made grown men cry. You have been warned
        Francis

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dwigle View Post
          +1, read a lot and ask questions, this is a very generous group. You're way ahead, most newbies buy some drivers and then ask how to use them together. A plan that almost never works well.

          Start by telling the group how you'll use them (music, HT, both), size of room, your expectations, your budget, equipment you'll drive them with. This we'll give us a starting point for appropriate recommendations.

          Proven kits designed by accomplished builders are available from here at PE, Madisound, Meniscus, diy sound group. You can even get flat packs for the enclosures for many.

          Great read in the stickies on this forum at:

          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...peaker-designs

          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...building-bible

          I wouldn't bother with the PE gallery at this point as many/most of the designs there are by amateurs using off the shelf crossovers.
          Absolutely. Read,read,read, and ask a lot of questions. There is a lot more to it than just jamming some drivers into a cabinet and calling it a day. I have been into this hobby for more than 1.5 years now and have learned the hard way ($$$$$$) that you can just go around randomly pairing drivers,crossovers and enclosures and expect a good outcome. I have learned so much about T/S parameters, frequency ranges,enclosure volumes, resonance, crossover points, different types of crossovers and so on. You would be better off going with a proven design/build, one that I would like to build is this one https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...idrange-3-way/

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          • #6
            Read this book. Loudspeaker Design Cookbook

            Comment


            • #7
              OK, someone has to disagree, so it might as well be me! Start with a realistic budget. If under $200 for a pair, then maybe a kit is a safer venture

              . If you can build a box, and afford something that might end up a little over $500 (worst case) then consider your own design, or a modified version of an existing design. The x-over is usually the part that trips up beginners, but if you use Dayton drivers, a lot can be designed by software. If you want to go this route, start a thread to discuss options, (or use this thread initially). It's a hobby that can be time consuming, but that's a good thing sometimes.

              Comment


              • #8
                A flat pak/kit would be the nobrainer recommendation. For a more hands-on approach, maybe build a proven design that fits your needs. As previously mentioned, you really need to consider the who, what, where, when, and why of your build before making a decision.
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                Comment


                • #9
                  The "Speaker building Bible" sticky on the landing page of the forum is a good place to start. A LOT of the links are dead, but there is still useful stuff to try. Start with the FAQs at Paul Carmody's website.

                  The book "Speaker Building 201" by Ray Alden (available at Parts Express) is probably more up to date than Dickason's book. But I would recommend scouring the internet for info before buying a book. The books are okay, but they go into a lot of depth into things you don't really need right away. The problem with the internet of course is that the information is all over the place, there is not really a good single "go to" place for an introduction.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    An easier to read (and more relevant) book is "SpeakerBuilding 201" by Ray Alden.
                    It's got 11 "projects" in it that walk you through their design/construction.
                    - sc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was always curious about building speakers but felt intimidated by the crossover. The layout and schematics, also soldering it together. One day I decided to go for it to see if I could figure it out. I bought this kit here https://www.parts-express.com/Overni...ir-Kit-300-706. I also watched this assembly video https://youtu.be/G_QjdzXtCv0. I learned a lot about the basics putting together the Overnight Sensations speakers. I took what I learned and have now built several speakers over the years. I now understand crossover schematics, cabinet building and finishing. I still haven't designed any speakers from scratch but have discovered along the way that I do prefer to build proven designs. You really do learn a lot the more you dive in. Reading and asking questions from people that really know their stuff is a great way to learn. This has been my experience in speaker building and I still enjoy it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by electronerd122 View Post
                        Here's the deal. I know absolutely nothing about speaker building, but I'm really eager to learn the ropes and I've been wondering about the most efficient way to do that. Any pointers would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
                        Ok, got it. That makes sense to me. Thanks a bunch.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by electronerd122 View Post

                          Ok, got it. That makes sense to me. Thanks a bunch.
                          You tell that to yourself, and you agree?
                          Francis

                          Comment


                          • Steve Lee
                            Steve Lee commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I can't disagree with that.

                          • fpitas
                            fpitas commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I at least try to be agreeable with myself.

                          • Kornbread
                            Kornbread commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I don't agree.

                        • #14
                          1. What is your end goal?
                          2. Exactly how much cash are you going to spend?
                          3. What are the exact dimensions of a box you can work with?
                          4. Find a kit that meets those requirements, build it and take pictures.

                          Comment


                          • Geoff Millar
                            Geoff Millar commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Good advice.

                            Before I built our first DIY speakers, I took into account:

                            budget: as a Christmas present, my wife had given me X amount to spend on parts and cabinets;
                            room size: a difficult shaped, large room with high ceilings and many hard surfaces
                            cabinet size; had to be no more than 36" tall and 10" wide
                            bass output: while we had an existing sub, we wanted speakers which had an F3 of about 40Hz;
                            sound output: our old stereo receiver is 80 watts RMS, so the speakers needed to be relatively efficient to fill the room; and
                            music; they had to sound good with jazz, rock/pop and classics.

                            Each one of those things affected the final choice: we narrowed it down to three options and made our decision after invaluable discussions with Mr Campbell.

                            Geoff

                        • #15
                          I guess my question is, are you able to build decent (airtight) cabinets?

                          If so, then there are lots of speakers you could duplicate that would give you a fun education on the basic elements of speaker construction. Take Chris Roemer's Neo Nano speaker thread for example. Read that all the way through and you'd have a decent idea of what's going on with a speaker and why some decisions were made regarding crossovers, (cost vs. performance.) That one would actually be a pretty decent one to start with as it has good enough bass performance to be satisfying on lots of music, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg -- and doesn't take up a lot of space. I have a pair with the first generation crossover, and I still love them and listen to them often.

                          But any of the well-documented speakers will hit the mark of getting you experience with physically constructing the enclosure, cutting the driver openings, laying out- and wiring up the crossover bits, etc.

                          One really good thing about doing a proven design is that you are assured that when properly assembled, it should sound good. If it doesn't, then you know you did something wrong, whether it's an air leak, or a mis-wired crossover component, etc. You don't have to wonder "Did I do something wrong, or is my design just not very good."

                          That will give you an idea of what goes into building a speaker start to finish. Then, if you like, you can take it a bit further and gather a few items to start designing your own speaker system. You can even play with a proven design, tinkering with it to see why certain decisions were made. WinISD is a free program that many of us use to calculate speaker boxes for the woofer part of the speaker. Download that and punch in the numbers and play with the box sizes and see why Chris made his Neo Nano speaker the size it is with the vent he did. You can learn a lot from reverse-engineering a speaker, learning why he didn't go bigger on the box or longer with the port, etc.

                          Anyway, lots of good advice here and I'm offering nothing additional, just some encouragement to give it a shot. It's intimidating, for sure, but most of what we need to design a speaker is available and learnable, especially with the wealth of knowledge here on Tech Talk.

                          Welcome Electronerd.

                          TomZ
                          Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                          *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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