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  • How to build a speaker cabinet?

    I've done a lot of searching, but I haven't really found anything that teaches me how to build an enclosure. I can't even find what it means to "flush mount" drivers, which I find ridiculous. I even read the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, but it is mostly theory and not much how to design and build an enclosure.

    Can someone point me to a place where I can learn how to design a speaker enclosure?

    Here are the questions that I'd like to find answers for:

    - What does flush mounting mean?

    - How do you make designs on the baffle? I know there are cutout diameters on drivers. I have no equipment, and I don't plan on buying equipment just to use it once, so how would I write/draw up a design that I can give to a local workshop and say, here's the dimensions of the pieces of wood I want for my speaker and the size of the cutout hole and the location of the hole and anything else they need to know to cut the wood for me?

    - Can I have no spacing between each driver? If not, what's the minimum distance I should have between 2 drivers? What are the downsides of putting drivers so closely?

    - How do I physically put together the pieces of wood? Glue? Screws? How do I put the drivers on the baffle?

    - How do I veneer a speaker made from baltic birch?

    - Is 1/4'' baltic birch strong enough for a tissue box sized speaker? Any benefits on sound by using a thicker ply or is it all strength benefits?

    - How do I make removable cloth grills for my speakers?

    Thanks so much.

  • #2
    Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

    "Speaker Building 201" will answer many of your ?s, plus a bunch more you've not even thought to ask yet.

    Flush mounting means instead of just cutting a through hole in a baffle, and dropping the driver in to just sit on its flange, with it sticking out from the cab, you cut a groove (a "rebate" - I think) to step the area down under the flange, so the TOP of the flange sets into the baffle far enough to be flush with it.

    If you have no software to draw up a box design, you COULD just lay out a life-size drawing (using paper, a pencil, and probably a "compass" - for the circles) and write dimensions on it and give that to your box builder. If you don't mind my asking, "How old are you"?

    If you don't flush mount (which is then just called "surface mount") you can actually let the driver frames touch each other. If you flush mount, I'd say leave at least 1/8" (maybe more) between drivers. Any less, and you stand the chance of the little bit of stuff that's left breaking out.

    I've built dozens of boxes. Haven't used a screw yet (just Titebond glue and clamps).

    Most drivers use #6 or #8 3/4" long coarse-threaded screws.

    I've made "tissue box sized" speakers, and never gone thinner than 5/8" stuff. I'd totally skip any kind of grill cloth on a speaker that had to be made that small.

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    • #3
      Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

      You make a good point—it is not practical to invest in tools to build but one pair of speakers. There are few DIYer's who stop at only one pair, though

      If you want to experiment without investing in tools, why not use pre-made cabinets from PE? They are not likely to cost any more than a local cabinet shop and some are even finished.

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      • #4
        Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

        http://www.parts-express.com/parts-e...inet--300-7062
        " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

        Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
        Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

        http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
        http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

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        • #5
          Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

          Based on your requirements, I would highly suggest checking out Erich's site http://www.diysoundgroup.com/ Most of his kits include full knock down cabinets that would literally just have to glue together. His kits have baffles already recessed for flush mounting drivers, crossover components with boards now, and many other things you will need. The only thing his kits do not include are terminals, and fill. Doing it this way gives you a taste of what DIY speakers are all about without having to drop a thousand dollars on tools.
          "That's the difference between irony and sarcasm. Irony can be spontaneous, while sarcasm requires volition. You have to create sarcasm." CM

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          • #6
            Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

            Originally posted by bcodemz View Post
            ...- Can I have no spacing between each driver? If not, what's the minimum distance I should have between 2 drivers? What are the downsides of putting drivers so closely? ....
            Place drivers as close as possible to each other.
            "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
            “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
            "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

              Originally posted by bcodemz View Post
              ... I even read the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, but it is mostly theory ....
              In older editions there was a Chapter 5: Cabinet construction.
              It's discusses aspects of construction that affects acoustic response, but leaves construction basics to the reader; in that regard similar to a cookbook that presumes some background )
              "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
              “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
              "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                If you Google "building a speaker box" you'll find plenty of links. I'd still advise getting a knock-down kit, unless you think you will be building many other cabinets in the future.

                Francis
                Francis

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                • #9
                  Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                  bcodemz makes a good point. I wonder if anyone would be interested in undertaking writing a basic post that answers these questions and see if we could get it stickied. Something like, you'll need the following tools at minimum, clamps (lots of em), at least 1 saw, and a router if you want to flush mount drivers. What a **** joint is and how it's made. The fact that glue holds things together just fine and that screws or nails are just to speed things up, etc. It wouldn't take much and would be something we could point people to when these questions come up. I remember back in 2009 when I joined none of this stuff was covered, I had to ask question and look up youtube videos myself and 6 years later that hasn't gotten any better. I'm at work right now but if no one wants to volunteer maybe I'll look into it tonight.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                    Maybe start at the beginning. To the OP, can you understand this drawing? The original is here and enlarges so you can read the dimensions.

                    http://www.speakerdesignworks.com/Tritrix_pg_3.html
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                      Originally posted by djg View Post
                      Maybe start at the beginning. ...
                      In the beginning the shop teacher had us make a sanding block ( to spec ) with hand tools.
                      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                      “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                        We had to build our own school before we could learn anything.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                          Lol
                          "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                          “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                          "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                            Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
                            I've built dozens of boxes. Haven't used a screw yet (just Titebond glue and clamps).
                            Me too, but it occurs to me that one could build the cabinet with no clamps at all if screws are used to hold it together while the glue cures. The builder would probably want a drill for pilot holes and countersinking the screw heads.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How to build a speaker cabinet?

                              Originally posted by djg View Post
                              Maybe start at the beginning. To the OP, can you understand this drawing? The original is here and enlarges so you can read the dimensions.

                              http://www.speakerdesignworks.com/Tritrix_pg_3.html
                              This brings up another point. If a builder wants to build a documented design, the design nearly always comes with diagrams that are detailed enough for a cabinet maker to follow exactly. So if the OP wants to go that route, there is no issue on how to instruct the cabinet maker. Just hand the maker a copy of the diagram(s).

                              Even a thorough description of the cabinet should be enough. For example, external dimensions, a specification of material and thickness (e.g. 3/4" mdf), drivers located __" from side and __" from top, necessary cutout diameters for drivers, etc. Although it might be difficult to convey how to install vents and what bracing is and where it should be installed.

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