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Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

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  • #46
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Yes, you were ahead of the curve, and remain so in your computer savvy/diy efforts. I took a look at a few programs, and realize that at 60 + years, I have a hard time figuring out what younger guys take for granted. I grew up with TUBES, and coaxial speakers in Karlson enclosures, etc. Now, I wish I new how to actually use something like Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software, etc. but... I'm thick as a brick. I didn't even own a computer until a few years ago. I'm lost!

    I too went to the library, went through and understood the AES journals, used the calculator, did the filter math, etc.
    I will say this though - timeless designs remain high in accuracy, i.e. Quad electrostatics. Simpler seems better, and I've seen even Troels reluctantly agrees, while not backing off on complex filters. Then you have some so odd ball, that can work so well, i.e. Dahlquist DQ-10's. 2 parallel branches of series crossovers! The woofer and cone mid range with a series filter approach, then a parallel branch with a series connected mid range dome and tweeter - unique!
    It seems everyone has gone conventional because of CAD, so out of the box(ha! literally!) thinking and ingenuity has been almost forgotten. Yes, the DQ-10 was based on earlier phase correct crossover designs that were published by others, and this implementation didn't exactly conform to that, BUT that's the point! Jon Dahlquist used personal ingenuity to make something that worked, and set up properly (usually they weren't), worked quite well.
    Now, we have the ubiquitous 2-ways, with LR filters, and perhaps with a bit of BSC. These will then be expanded into towers, with additional drivers for the bass and the baffle step compensation, etc...
    imo, computers are doing most of our thinking, and though this yields consistently good results when low distortion drivers, and resonance control are implemented, we've still lost something. That touch of inspiration, that breath of fresh air; that excitement of opening new territory's...

    Of course, that comes from someone who can't find his remote, and forgets his computer passwords.

    The OLD, oldtableman

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    • #47
      Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

      Hi Jeff,

      Great thread. I too am 60 years old. I'm not that good with the PCD either. I'm not the only weak link in my chain though. When I try to use some of the programs to create the FRD and ZMA files, my computer likes to lock up or go into super slow motion. Sometimes I have to leave it and come back 10 or 15 minutes later before I get my screen showing anything. But I still love the hobby. And people seem love my speakers. So something is going right and I have to say it is probably due to the excellent advice and assistance given by all you great folks on the forum.

      Thank you all very much!

      Sometimes I just give up and pay Madisound to do the crossover for me! Only problem, besides the money is the 2 week wait.
      Last edited by bigg; 10-14-2013, 09:57 AM.

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      • #48
        Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

        I would like to get moving on learning the tech part of speaker building but everywhere that I try to start is too far over my head. I wish they made a "Speaker Building for Dummies" book.

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        • #49
          Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

          Originally posted by Mike47 View Post
          I would like to get moving on learning the tech part of speaker building but everywhere that I try to start is too far over my head. I wish they made a "Speaker Building for Dummies" book.
          Speaker Building for Dummies! Great idea. Any writers for this all you brilliant people here!

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          • #50
            Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

            Dickason's book is pretty approachable, but even easier are the old radioshack speaker building texts.

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            • #51
              Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

              The Dickason books contain an amazing amount of knowledge and info, but unless you understand the terminology and some basics, you won't get very far into it. They are best saved for later, when you become more familiar with the terms and methods. The best beginner book I've read is "Speaker Building 201" by Ray Alden. Ray is also the author of the old, out-of-print Radio Shack books. I used to have one, but it was lost in a move about 20 years ago. Alden's current book, "...201" is the closest to speaker building for dummies. I think you might be able to find a couple of the David Weems books, which are also beginner-friendly. One is "Great Sound Stereo Speaker Manual" and the other is "Designing, Building, and Testing Your Own Speaker System" (I think that's the right title name or close). They won't get you to the point where you can design your own XO from scratch, but they are great primers on the entire hobby and methods. With the availability of the box-design programs like Unibox and WinISD, and the XO design programs like Jeff Bagby's PCD, you can get to the place where you can design from scratch. Once you can digest the books, then you might want to explore those design programs. Lots of the designs you can find through the forum have been designed using those programs.


              John A.
              "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
              Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
              Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
              Pioneer TX-9500 II
              Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
              Statement Monitors
              Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
              Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
              Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

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              • #52
                Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

                Buying a kit is also a great way to get your hands dirty and then explore why they did what they did in the design phase.

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