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Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

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  • colofan
    replied
    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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  • johnastockman
    replied
    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.

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  • badman
    replied
    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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  • bigg
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike47
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • bigg
    replied
    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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  • Oldtableman
    replied
    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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  • Ian Knight
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Originally posted by Jeff B. View Post
    Ian,

    Yes, I remember Monty! Nice to see you again. I even signed up to check out your Ebook.

    Jeff
    Hi Jeff,

    Glad you remembered Monty!.....great to hear from you.

    Hope you like the ebook. A little taster with more to come.

    I welcome your comments as ever.

    Cheers for the reply.

    Ian

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff B.
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Originally posted by Ian Knight View Post
    Hi Jeff,

    I read with interest you Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding post.

    It is hart warming and encouraging that the DIY speaker building scene is so alive and kicking over there in the USA.
    Sadly there is very little over here in the UK.
    I have been away from the "forum scene" for a few years and it is so nice for me to know that you are still around.
    Years ago on the Madisound forum forum name was (Monty Golfear then !) my we had a few very positive exchanges, I was always very interested in what you had to say.
    After taking my own DIY days forward into getting involved with some guys over in Sarasota , Florida and forming a small speaker company it has certainly opened my eyes regarding the commercial manufacturers and how straight jacketed they are in there thinking and approach to designing speakers.
    Anyway I digress.....it's nice to be back on the scene and bump into a familiar friendly face.



    Cheers Ian Knight,

    www.knightloudspeakers.com
    Ian,

    Yes, I remember Monty! Nice to see you again. I even signed up to check out your Ebook.

    Jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • Ian Knight
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Hi Jeff,

    I read with interest you Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding post.

    It is hart warming and encouraging that the DIY speaker building scene is so alive and kicking over there in the USA.
    Sadly there is very little over here in the UK.
    I have been away from the "forum scene" for a few years and it is so nice for me to know that you are still around.
    Years ago on the Madisound forum forum name was (Monty Golfear then !) my we had a few very positive exchanges, I was always very interested in what you had to say.
    After taking my own DIY days forward into getting involved with some guys over in Sarasota , Florida and forming a small speaker company it has certainly opened my eyes regarding the commercial manufacturers and how straight jacketed they are in their thinking and approach to designing speakers.
    Anyway I digress.....it's nice to be back on the scene and bump into a familiar friendly face.



    Cheers Ian Knight,

    www.knightloudspeakers.com
    Last edited by Ian Knight; 01-22-2013, 03:49 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • GTB
    replied
    Jeff, what pleasure to read your write up. I am almost 60 years old, I built my first set of speakers when I was in college with a Radio Shack woofer and horns. My own cross over.

    That set is still being used by a dear friend of mine, though I wince when I hear them.

    I currently have a system which I have never heard bested. Despite this I know I can move beyond these and am planning and sketching. It is this feeling of satisfaction coupled with a desire to exceed what currently exists that makes this wonderful hobby what it is.

    Thank you so much, I will not forget your words.

    Greg

    Leave a comment:


  • stereo_dave
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane - man I loved going to the shack - my first build was a 3-1/2" full range w/ wizzer cone in mailing tubes -corner loaded- oh yeah powered by a very beat up boom box. Nice writing- We've come a long way.

    Leave a comment:


  • skatz
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Jeff

    I haven't had time to be on the forum much lately, and this was the first thing I read coming back, and what a read it was!
    Took me back to my early days, buying drivers from McGee radio with a lot of hype and no know-how and sticking them in a box. I think I used Utah coax's first, which had a rudimentary built in crossover so I didn't worry about it. The first speaker's I was ever involved in were my dad's, giant boxes like a 3 ft on a side cube, with a 15" Stromberg-Carlson coax. He found they sounded best facing the wall, so he put a girll on the back and turned them to the wall. Reflected sound preceeding Bose! I remembered the first LDC, a paper bound spiral sort of thing with a yellow cover that was about 1/4" thick, but at least it began to make sense out of all the variables. Somewhere along the line I discovered Audio Amateur, and then Speakerbuilder was published and I lapped it up!j Even did what you did and begain reading AES papers, most of which I didn't understand, but I could get the gist of.
    So it indeed has been a journey for all of us, and its nice to have company that can light the way...thanks for everything.

    Steve

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  • rodh
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Nice writeup, Jeff!

    I haven't posted here in years, but just happened to be at the PE site, then popped over here and logged in to reply!

    Not sure if anyone remembers me after so long, but hello anyway. :D

    Leave a comment:


  • Altec Best
    replied
    Re: Personal Commentary on the State of DIY Speakerbuilding

    Very well said Jeff !

    Leave a comment:

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