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1st speaker project - was: New Idea For a Small Business, at age 15! (Moved)

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by bobbyg2, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    There's still a lot more than parts and a drawing. Those drawings mean nothing without some measurements and driver specifications. Go to the DIY forum here on this site. Also, go to google and search for "DIY Speakers" and you'll find lots of stuff.
     
  2. RobLe

    RobLe Stunt Coordinator

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    I was 15 not too long ago. I had my fair share of business ideas and money making schemes. None of them were ever as ambitious as yours is though. I seem to recall most of them involving something along the lines of expanding my lawn mowing business past the 10 or so lawns I already did. There are a few of my ideas I really wish I would have followed through on. If only I had then the motivation that you seem to have and that I have now. Good luck.
     
  3. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    I found some drivers I think go together:

    Tweeter: MOREL MDT-37 1-1/8" SOFT DOME TWEETER
    Power handling: 200 wattsRMS/280 watts max * Voice coil diameter: 1-1/8" * Impedance: 8 ohms * DC resistance: 5.2 ohms * Frequency response: 1,800-22,000 Hz * Fs: 700 Hz * SPL: 93 dB 1W/1m * Net weight: 1-1/4 lbs. * Dimensions: Overall Diameter: 3-11/16", Cutout Diameter: 2-13/16", Mounting Depth: 2-1/4", Magnet Diameter: 2-13/16", Magnet Height: 2-1/8".

    Mid-range: MOREL MDM-55 2-1/8" SOFT DOME MIDRANGE
    * Power handling: 200 watts RMS/285 watts max * Voice coil diameter: 2-1/8" * Voice coil inductance: .19 mH * Impedance: 8 ohms * DC resistance: 6.3 ohms * Frequency response: 500-6,500 Hz * Fs: 380 Hz * SPL: 90.5 dB 1W/1m * Net weight: 10 oz. * Dimensions: Overall Diameter: 3-7/16" x 3-7/16", Cutout Diameter: 3", Mounting Depth: 3-3/8", Magnet Diameter: 3", Magnet Height: 2-7/8".

    Woofer (x2): MOREL H8.1 8" HYBRID SERIES WOOFER
    *Power handling: 180 watts RMS/240 watts max *VCdia: 3" *Le: .86 mH *Impedance: 8 ohms *Re: 5.6 ohms *Frequency range: 35-4,000 Hz *Fs: 32 Hz *SPL: 90 dB 1W/1m *Vas: 2.30 cu. ft. *Qms: 1.66 *Qes: .36 *Qts: .29 *Xmax: 4.25mm *Dimensions: A: 8-3/4", B: 7-3/4", C: 2-3/4".

    They are all close to the same in dB's, they are all from the same company, and they all can handle at least 180 watts. How do they go together? Are they a bad company? Should I get a subwoofer instead of a woofer? All of these questions... I'll look at the enclosure dimentions required and draw it out later in the afternoon, when I get home from school.
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Hmmm.... No work experience (in the field). No engineering background. No research facility. works out of a garage.

    You'll do better thinking of a good brand name (Uberschloss!) and selling high-end speaker wire. Anybody an wrap copper wire in cellophane, and any jackass will buy said wire if it costs as much as a new motorcycle.

    Buy some add space in a few magazines, send a pair to Stereophile (along with a big cheque for 1/2 page adds for a year and with a case of bourbon).
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Speaker design is such an exact science that the only way to compete as a business is to either offer really really cheap speakers (which probably won't sound good), or to come up with a new design and go the "collness factor" route. And both of those appraoches are already out there. Sound quality is going to be your biggest hurdle if you ever want to sell these homemade speakers.

    So your only real route is to go to school and learn about the science of speakers.
     
  6. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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  7. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    Garrett Lundy-
    I already have decided on the brand name. Geiser Audio. I probably wont put up adds in magazines. I'm only one person and if I do that I'll be backed up with orders. I'll probably just set up a website and build people custom-made speakers. Whenever no-one wants to order a speaker, I'll just build a few and auction them off. I'm sure people will pay a lot of money for custom-made speakers.

    MarkHastings-
    Way ahead of you. I've been looking at measurements that are good for speakers. Found a web page that tells you the suggested dimensions for rectangle the enclosures. I'm currently trying to figure out what the dimensions of this thing is going to be.

    JeremyErwin
    Way ahead of you. I found that site yesterday. I gave some of it a read through.
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Why? have you done any market research to come to this conclusion or are you just guessing? I sure wouldn't pay any extra for a speaker unless it was gaining rave reviews from the trades. Without all the technical background needed to develop a great sounding speaker you are just another DIYer attempting to make a product. Putting up a website is not going to get you business either - do you have any idea how many millions of websites are out there that never see any traffic, let alone generate business?

    Again, I admire your interest, but you are way out of your league here until you take the time to really learn about all the things that go into a great design (or hire someone who already knows what hey are doing) - THEN learn all about how to market your product.

    Oh to be young and full of dreams again. [​IMG]
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Best thing you've said so far. You have the enthusiasm, next you need the knowledge. These are only the initial (but mandatory) steps.

    --
    H
     
  10. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    Ya, but couldn't I sell some at E-Bay auctions? And I was guessing that people would buy custom made speakers. The audio enthusiasts I mean. Tell me what to build and I'll build it.

    Anyways, I think we should stop talking about my business and start talking about my first project. Here's my list:
    1. Do those drivers go good together?
    2. What dimensions should I build this at?
    3. What wood is good at absorbing vibrations and is strong enough for a full-tower speaker?
    4. Should I cross brace it? The cross bracing will stop some sound. I don't know much about sound waves, but put a piece of wood in front of it and it affects its speed and direction.
    5. What size should the chambers be?
    6. What thickness of wood should I use? 3/4"?

    And I'm sure I will have more questions later on.
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Now you're asking us to do your homework for you. Am I gonna get a piece of that action when you make the front page of Forbes in 2 short years? [​IMG]

    Listen: Right now you need to acquire the fundamentals of the field, without which you wont get very far. All the questions and answers in the world will not teach you what you need to learn right now because you will be unable to put the information into the proper context.

    You have a lot of homework to do, I suggest you do it. I have not checked the links provided but there are lots of knowledgeable folks on this forum, and they wouldn't steer you wrong. Click on those links, and dig in.

    --
    H
     
  12. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    When I was going to SUNY Buffalo in 70's for EE, one of my best friends worked for a place called Speaker Lab designing speakers. Don't know if they still exist. My friend was a EE as well. He used the Universities mainframe and modeling tools to design the crossovers. He hand wound the inductors on an LCR bridge and he designed and built a spectrum analyzer to characterize the speakers. He was basically paid in product.

    As others have said, designing and building custom speakers is a very technical project. Buying off the shelf parts or constructing speaker boxes with no understanding of sound and harmonics will not compete with even low end stuff currently available.

    If you really interested you need to research speakers and learn how they work.
    You can do this on your own, or as has been suggested look for a summer job or internship with a speaker manufacturer.

    Also, what value in terms of technology or price are you offering your potential customers?
     
  13. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    How much do you plan on selling your speakers for?
     
  14. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    However much people would like to buy it for, possibly 10% over the cost it takes to make them. Probably a lot more at auctions, since it may get high if I'm lucky.

    *EDIT*
    I will start selling speakers after I get a hang of it. I don't expect to be selling speakers right away. I'll wait until I get my home theater system for my bedroom done, then I'll start selling them. Probably start selling 2-way bookshelf's, then make my way up to floor-standing speakers and sub woofers. And, what's the best wood to use? I haven't seen anything about specific materials mentioned here, or on any of the websites mentioned.
     
  15. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    You still need to figure out why people are going to come to you. Do you really think people will say "oooh, these are custom speakers, I should buy them."? Do you think that you can put your own speakers up on eBay and they'll just sell? You're going to have to make some and loan them to respected reviewers and hope for positive reviews. Or just get enough people at one forum to listen to them and help spread the word. But that's only if you do real good work and they sound good.

    Furthermore, you need to go to the DIY forum and read up there for a bit, then read some other websites, figure out some of these things for yourself, then post in the DIY forum with some details of what you are going to build and ask for input. Don't just say "I found some drivers, now what else should I do to make a speaker?". Do some legwork then ask for input.

    And don't forget about your investments. You're going to need to do a bunch of experimentation, which means building a bunch of cabinets and testing and tweaking. You'll probably burn up some components in the process and have to throw out complete cabinet designs. You'll also need to make a bunch of the same speaker in order for the reviews to mean anything, so you'll need to have a reliable source of components. And you'll have to be prepared for warranty work also, which means keeping some components on hand.
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    LOL - Bobby, I know all of this criticism sounds harsh, but you really are WAY over your head at this point. Again, no offense, but I would NEVER pay a premium (much less any amount of money) from a custom builder who says "I opened up my bookshelf speakers, not much special".

    You definitely should start working at a high end audio facility and learn learn learn learn learn! Then learn some more.

    A lot of the criticism here is not to discourage you from following a dream, but it is to prepare you from ultimate failure of that dream. You don't sound prepared to do anything more than make speakers for your friends and family (who wouldn't care about real sound quality). Before you even begin to think about running even the smallest of business, go get a job somewhere where you can learn what you need to learn.

    You are asking people here about basic speaker manufacturing questions...Anyone even beginning a speaker making business needs to know this stuff before starting up a business. It's like starting up a computer company before even knowing what a mouse is.

    Again, we're not trying to discourage you, we're trying to steer you in the right direction. Learn as much as you can before starting...and not from the internet. You need to learn elsewhere.

    I deal with people in the audio industry every day and some of these guys have been working for MANY years and can talk over even the most knowledgable audio enthusiast, and not even they know all there is to know about speaker manufacturing.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Perhaps getting the hang of it should involve purchasing a book like Dickason's cookbook. OTOH, you could think about importing speakers that meet particular needs such as smallness, unobtrusiveness, or whatever from China. Then, get some people to review them, and put 'em up on ebay.
     
  18. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Why would anyone buy your speakers on ebay? Just like the website comment I made earlier, no one will even find your product on ebay, let alone buy it unless you have at least some positive press that would convince a potential customer that they aren't just throwing their money away on crappy sounding home made speakers. Audio enthusiasts are going to demand great sound, and you aren't going to get it by just throwing parts together from info found on the net.

    Without all the technical knowledge and experience people here keep reminding you of, no one in their right mind is going to get you to build speakers to their specs, since every option in the design will affect the sound, and if you haven't got the know how to work with the components and custom tailor them so they sound good, you won't get very far.

    There is no reason why you can't build great sounding speakers that people will pay top dollar for, but you need to realise that it will take years, if not decades of learning and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to get to that point. There is no shortcut to experience, although doing thorough research can help avoid making the same mistakes as others. If you are willing to commit to this project and make it your life's work, fine, but if you think that you can magically come up with designs that can compete with the tens of thousands of other manufacturers, then you really need to get a grasp of the reality of this, or any other manufacturing business.
     
  19. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    At this point I'm trying to figure out how to make my speakers. Please just help me build my speakers instead of saying over, and over "You need experience to sell them!" I'm not going to sell them right off the bat. I'm gona build speakers for my freinds/family, my house, etc. Once I feel that I have made good sounding speakers I'll let some people demo them. Where should I go to let people demo them? Are the people here trustworthy enough for that? (I'm new at this forum right now, so I gotta learn if the people here are trustworthy or not!)
     
  20. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Yeah, the people here are trustworthy. Trust me! [​IMG]

    Bobby, don't be discouraged. Yes, you have a lot to learn about building speakers. No, you can't expect us to do the work for you. Yes, you will make a lot of mistakes along the way.

    But some of the comments here make it sound like it's not even worth getting out of bed and planning your day because failure is a certainty. Just have fun and do it. Even if all you do is fill your relatives' and friends' houses with mediocre sound, you will have fun doing it, and you will learn a LOT of very valuable lessons -- from physics, to business, to economics, to life in general -- that you can use to leverage your Next Big Thing (TM). You don't have to "know it all" before you start, because starting is how you learn. And if you work really hard, you might wake up one day and discover that you have a successful business on your hands.

    But at this point, don't worry about the 10,000 steps you need to take to create a successful business. All you have to worry about right now, is Step 1: Learning how to build a speaker people want to buy. Because if you can't do this, the other 9,999 steps won't matter.

    But that's a liberating thing, because it establishes your focus and concentrates your energy on one, single goal. Once you have a design that will impress people, then worry about all the rest.

    And, yes, we're trustworthy. Very, very picky, but trustworthy. [​IMG]
     

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