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  • Very small speaker build

    I just got done with a 2 week build of a very small set of speakers. I wanted to see just how small I could effectively build a speaker than sounded good and covered 70hz-20khz. Wanted to replace some Bose Cubes (Yes, I have some Bose speakers) I was using as my rear surround speakers and some KLH Mini speakers I had. So I thought I could build something around 6x8x4, If I used a 5 1/4" driver for the woffer and some small size tweeter. Also I wanted these to be "Cute", like maybe black box with silver cones, with no grill. Tested out different drivers I had on hand and nothing looked right. As luck would have it PE was having a special on HiVi 2" silver drivers, so I thought I might try using this paired with some other silver cone woofer, what I found was the Goldwood 5525/8, had the same look (to me anyway), as the HiVi. But PE was out of stock of the 8ohm drivers, so I got the 4ohm version. Anyway once I had drivers in hand I started building box. Man its hard to build something this small. To get the look I wanted I need to back mount the drivers, but I tapered the backs down to 5 1/4" with 1/4" MDF sides and 1/2" mdf braces. So the 5 1/4" driver would not fit through the back. So I built the box around the Driver (had it in a baggie). I used 1/4" MDF for the back, sides, bottom and top, front is 1" mdf, with 1/2" MDF braces on sides and back. Over all size is 6 1/4" wide front, 5 1/4" wide back, 8" tall, and 4" deep. Could not get my built XO in the box, first thought I could mount it on the side, but no go. So, I took an very small CV 2-way XO I had and modified it (new caps, one new Ind), and it fit. The XO is crossed at about 1.5k, some overlap (1k-2k range, because of 8ohm high, 4 ohm low).

    They sound very good, weight is less than the Bose Cubes, (Have much more range than the Bose or KLH's).

    Best of all I think they look "Cute". I only problem I have is they are abount 12db less loud than the Bose, the sound is much better, but I had to move up the db gain on the amp to be able to hear them.

    Please let my know what you think, and If there is anything I could do to make them louder, before I build some more. (ps: wife thinks they are nice looking, but thinks next set should have black cones, silver stands out too much for her)


    Here is mine with the Bose.

    Side view, Same depth as the Bose. Maybe 1/4" difference.



    See XO in bottom, very close fit.


    Tried a new primer, did not workout so well, plus my finishing abilty sucks. Plus I'm no Norm.

    Mine with KLH Mini Speaker. KLH is a nice setup, I think it could be modified easy.

    Side view, Mine's not as deep.

    Next set I build will not be smaller in the back, so I can place drivers after box is built, or front mount drivers.
    Ed
    ___________________________________________
    If "IFs" and "BUTs" were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas!
    _____________________________________________
    My WebSite

  • #2
    Re: Great ingenuity!

    What a neat little challenge. They look really good. I can't believe you had to build the box AROUND the driver. I also thought re-using CV crossover plates was a great space-saving idea.

    To me, it seems the only other person around here who likes this sort of "tiny box" challenge is Wolf, but he's certainly got some talent at it. I really liked his Audiniums, back before the Audax tweeters went bye-bye. His follow-up Xenums do actually sound better (really nice 3D soundstage), but points off for putting the XO in the base :p

    You're getting me inspired to do a tiny, slick-looking project. Hmmm....

    You asked for pointers:
    1. I would personally not use Goldwood drivers, though the cone does seem attractive
    2. For a design like this, I to try to keep the overall system impedance above 6 Ohms, so anyone can play them on any amp or receiver.

    Again, nice job.
    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Twitter: @undefinition1

    Comment


    • #3
      "Re: Great ingenuity!"- I Concur!!

      Originally posted by undefinition View Post
      What a neat little challenge. They look really good. I can't believe you had to build the box AROUND the driver. I also thought re-using CV crossover plates was a great space-saving idea.

      To me, it seems the only other person around here who likes this sort of "tiny box" challenge is Wolf, but he's certainly got some talent at it. I really liked his Audinums, back before the Audax tweeters went bye-bye. His follow-up Xenums do actually sound better (really nice 3D soundstage), but points off for putting the XO in the base :p

      You're getting me inspired to do a tiny, slick-looking project. Hmmm....

      You asked for pointers:
      1. I would personally not use Goldwood drivers, though the cone does seem attractive
      2. For a design like this, I to try to keep the overall system impedance above 6 Ohms, so anyone can play them on any amp or receiver.

      Again, nice job.
      Paul- again, thanks for the comments! I would love to see a "small-speaker shootout"! Make it a theme for a DIY and run with it! I'm talking less than 8" high, and maybe 6x6 at the base at the most, or rotate those dimensions... No drivers over 4.5" diameter allowed. I know they can't compete with the "big-stuff", but it would be a bang/buck and easy/small build for most to attempt. I admit that some take some dexterity to assemble, but the fun is definitely still there! Looks? Please- simple/cheap/small doesn't require good looks!:D

      (I think I have *one last* small-speaker in me at this point. I just think I've achieved what I wanted to get from them. You will indeed say "Whuh!?" Cost is about $50/pair. More to come soon....)

      Audinums:

      Remember that the ACC TM025F1 might be around the corner. The xover in these was 2.5" x 2.5" x 1.0" in dimension. I had to fit it through the hole!

      Until then, the Dayton ND28F-6 seems to be a nice unit.

      Xenums:


      Uhm, Paul- *YOU* try and put a 1.2mH P-core inside those cabs!!:p;) It was mainly out of necessity. I even shaved space in the bases (nothing a vise, drill-press, and Forstner-bit can't fix!):

      I'm glad you felt they sounded that good! I guess I always sell my stuff short, as I am my worst critic. I do feel that these have the *shtuff* when it comes to mini-monitors, except the lack of bass. Placed against a wall, they do fill out quite nicely, but some will always want a sub. (I should have used this sub for the demo at Dayton!)

      For that I still recommend my "Triumph":

      And the graph that shows the model indeed hits 40Hz or below:


      This setup (with an LCD-monitor, due to unshielded mini's) would make a great PC 2.1 system. Shoot- You could even sub-in (pun intended) the KG3100 2.1 plate from Madisound to complete the system.
      Waddayasay? Shootout?
      Heh,:D
      Wolf
      "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
      "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
      "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
      "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

      *InDIYana event website*

      Photobucket pages:
      http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

      My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Very small speaker build

        Wolf,

        I would like more info on your Audinums. it may help me on my next build, still have 4 more small speakers to go. I want to get something that will out do these Bose Cube I've got. These that I just built sound much better than the Bose, but being so much low in volume, not doing me much good to sound better but can't hear them 6' away.

        Would you have any advice on what I could use driver wise, that might improve the SPL of these small speakers. My next set will be replaceing my side surround speakers and will not need to cover as much range (in the 200-20k range) already have two 8" cieling mounted speakers doing most of the work on each side of listening area, but my HT room is large (16x33), so I need back corner support which the Bose cubes do now, but they are just loud with little clear sound outside of mid range. I currently use a filter on the Bose keeping below 250hz out, and this help them, but still I think I could do better.

        Any advice you could offer would help alot. thanks.
        Ed
        ___________________________________________
        If "IFs" and "BUTs" were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas!
        _____________________________________________
        My WebSite

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Very small speaker build

          Originally posted by Froste View Post
          Wolf,

          I would like more info on your Audinums. it may help me on my next build, still have 4 more small speakers to go. I want to get something that will out do these Bose Cube I've got. These that I just built sound much better than the Bose, but being so much low in volume, not doing me much good to sound better but can't hear them 6' away.

          Would you have any advice on what I could use driver wise, that might improve the SPL of these small speakers. My next set will be replaceing my side surround speakers and will not need to cover as much range (in the 200-20k range) already have two 8" cieling mounted speakers doing most of the work on each side of listening area, but my HT room is large (16x33), so I need back corner support which the Bose cubes do now, but they are just loud with little clear sound outside of mid range. I currently use a filter on the Bose keeping below 250hz out, and this help them, but still I think I could do better.

          Any advice you could offer would help alot. thanks.
          I can attest to the quality of Wolf's Audinums. I built the Sir Audinum MTM as a gift for my Dad, they are smaller than the cambridge soundworks speakers they replaced and sound and look soooooo much better.
          DP

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Very small speaker build

            Froste,

            Why not use a removable front baffle? That way you can still front or rear mount drivers and even start over with a new baffle while re-using the cabinet, if the first iteration is unsatisfactory.

            Marvin

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Very small speaker build

              Originally posted by Froste View Post
              Wolf,

              I would like more info on your Audinums. it may help me on my next build, still have 4 more small speakers to go. I want to get something that will out do these Bose Cube I've got. These that I just built sound much better than the Bose, but being so much low in volume, not doing me much good to sound better but can't hear them 6' away.

              Would you have any advice on what I could use driver wise, that might improve the SPL of these small speakers. My next set will be replaceing my side surround speakers and will not need to cover as much range (in the 200-20k range) already have two 8" cieling mounted speakers doing most of the work on each side of listening area, but my HT room is large (16x33), so I need back corner support which the Bose cubes do now, but they are just loud with little clear sound outside of mid range. I currently use a filter on the Bose keeping below 250hz out, and this help them, but still I think I could do better.

              Any advice you could offer would help alot. thanks.
              I don't know how much you used in the Xover, but BSC is not a great concern for smaller stuff. Use a sub, and avoid that issue. Model the box for Xmax and vent velocity concerns- and use the results. Back-scallop the baffles, and use heavy fill. Use smoother drivers, overlap edges for close-spacing, and use smaller/cheaper parts. NPE/mylar caps are fine. My full-writeup is in my blog.
              Later,
              Wolf
              "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
              "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
              "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
              "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

              *InDIYana event website*

              Photobucket pages:
              http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

              My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Very small speaker build

                For your question about how to make your project a bit louder - I don't think that there's much you can do. I have a set of very small speakers using the same Hi-Vi silver driver and I agree that it's pretty quiet. A friend built a set as well and tried to increase the sensitivity by horn loading the driver, but the result was poor sound quality unless you were listening on-axis. It looks like you've already got a small horn effect going, but not nearly as pronounced as the rather large horn that my friend tried, so I'd imagine yours would sound better. But as far as I can tell, you're out of options giving it better sensitivity. Sorry I couldn't offer more.

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