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disappointed with Loudspeaker Cookbook...


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#1 of 36 OFFLINE   Anthony*B

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Posted February 19 2004 - 12:47 AM

I am new to DIY, so I ordered the Loudspeaker Cookbook on the many glowing recommendations I've seen for it, but one or two paragraphs in, I realized I was hopelessly lost/out of my league...it may as well have been written in Latin for all I could understand...my
question to you all is this: how do you learn all this stuff short of taking several advanced college courses or spending hours every night in the library? It's a very daunting prospect! I sadly don't have the time or $ for either of those options, so the only options I have seem to be:
1. get a MUCH better paying job so I can simply BUY the speakers I want (sadly unlikely at this point)
2. rely on speaker designs already created by others (probably the most feasible option, though not much fun & not really helping me LEARN about speakers)
3. be happy with the low-fi setup I have now & try to learn what I can over many years & hope I can build then (again not fun at all)

As you can see, this is a problem for me! I am apparently VERY non-scientific-minded, & I suspect that is going to keep me from really learning what I want to learn...(on a happier note, I love woodworking, so building the cabinets & such should be great fun/very rewarding...I liken it to a guy who loves to paint cars but hasn't the foggiest idea of how to work on the engine...that's me in a nutshell)

any opinions/help will be happily received!

#2 of 36 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:35 AM

Option #2 is probably the most feasible choice for you at this point in your life.

Designing speakers does require some grasp of how drivers, crossover network, and enclosure all have to be integrated to produce a nice sounding speaker.

It can be daunting because it requires a foundation of understanding the basics, and how using some electrical engineering knowledge to provide for modelling a crossover network that will be as optimal as possible, and come up with an enclosure design (all within budgetary constraints) that will help in producing a speaker you'll want to listen to for a long time.

For those serious about designing speakers, it will require a measurement system (you can go budget or whole-hog), some crossover/speaker design/modelling software (and knowledge of how to use the software), and woodworking skills. There's no shame in asking for help from others who have the tools of the trade to aid in the designing phase. But be realistic about your expectations when asking for assistance.

Even if you don't have the measurement system, or the software, you can do some research on your own with little investment that covers the vocabulary of speaker design (i.e. what do the T/S specs means, and how can they help me choose the right drivers to build what I want?), and the general objectives of integrating drivers in the crossover region and how it affects the tonality and the "punch" of the speaker. The more you know and understand the variables, the more knowledgeable your decisions will be.
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#3 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:51 AM

Quote:
1. get a MUCH better paying job so I can simply BUY the speakers I want (sadly unlikely at this point)


If your interest in DIY is rooted in merely saving money, give it up now and save yourself, and the forum, lots of time.
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#4 of 36 OFFLINE   Anthony*B

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:56 AM

is it wrong if the only reason is to save money? If money was no object, everyone would have B&W's or Martin Logans (or insert lusted-for speaker here), but I would think the quest for a good sounding speaker for much less $$ would be of paramount importance to any DIY'er....I apologize if it seems like I am trying to "waste you or the forum's time"

#5 of 36 OFFLINE   Anthony*B

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:58 AM

also, before the subject is brought up, I am NOT disappointed in the book because it is a bad book (it is very obviously a great, exhaustive tome), I am disappointed in that it is clearly the wrong book for ME Posted Image

#6 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:59 AM

Quote:
is it wrong if the only reason is to save money?

It's not "wrong", it's just that people who get into it for that reason are rarely successful at it. They don't learn much, and waste time. That's the way it is.
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#7 of 36 OFFLINE   Dave Poehlman

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Posted February 19 2004 - 02:01 AM

Quote:
how do you learn all this stuff short of taking several advanced college courses or spending hours every night in the library?


Welp, I'm no expert in speaker design. But, everything I've learned, I've learned online. It all started when I was in your position: I needed a pair of speakers for a rec-room for cheap. But, coming from a family of self-proclaimed audiophiles, I couldn't settle for some cheap retail speakers. So, I turned to the internet and lurked in a couple of speaker-building forums. Then I stumbled across some plans that were detailed enough for a beginner like me to follow.

Once I built them, I was hooked. That first project gave me the confidence to experiment a little more.

There's a lot of theory and formulas in designing speakers. Most of them I don't fully understand. For example, I am just starting to grasp how a port works in relation to a driver. But that doesn't mean I can't use WinISD to tune one. Look around on the 'net.. there's a lot of websites and software out there that will do the tough parts for you. All you really need to do is choose which drivers you want.

Plus, there's a number of friendly forums like this one where the users love to flex their knowledge by answering questions.

Just soak it in, don't try to understand it all. Posted Image

#8 of 36 OFFLINE   Anthony*B

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:09 AM

It's not "wrong", it's just that people who get into it for that reason are rarely successful at it. They don't learn much, and waste time. That's the way it is.

I assure you, money is not the only reason I am looking into DIY speakers....if i didnt care a lot about sound, I would be perfectly happy w/ the setup I have now...I'm just a somewhat frustrated beginner...I generally pick stuff up pretty quickly, but this is proving to be the exception, & it's kind of frustrating...relax! I'm just trying to find out where to "start" with a minimum of fuss/mistakes Posted Image

Dave:
it sounds like you are 100% correct....perhaps I should build someone else's speaker plans first to gain confidence, & perhaps computer programs like WINISD are more important than I had realized...after looking at Dickason's book, something must be simpler...yikes Posted Image
what it boils down to is that I've always felt it's important to know WHY something works, not just that it DOES work...but clearly speakers are MUCH more complex than I realize, so a bit more patience is in order , hehe

#9 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:17 AM

Your best bet/chance is with a kit, no question.
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#10 of 36 OFFLINE   Kevin Deacon

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:19 AM

I make DIY kits to "SAVE MONEY". There is nothing wrong with this approach and I have learned much about speakers(maybe not as much as a designer). I have three sets of speakers and each set does different things. I also have a DIY preamp and DAC. Through DIY I am able to afford really highend designs at a fraction of the cost of brand names.

Oops, I guess I wasted somebody's timePosted Image

#11 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:30 AM

Ahh, my point missed once again. Carry on, kids.
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#12 of 36 OFFLINE   Kevin Deacon

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:39 AM

I didn't miss the point Dad (Jack). It was a joke, see smiley!!!

#13 of 36 OFFLINE   Anthony*B

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:40 AM

jack, i don't think your point is missed, just misunderstood perhaps because of the wording & the vaguness of internet communication Posted Image...just because one wants to really save some money doesn't lessen their enjoyment of great sound, if that's what you mean (it may not be)...saving money is certainly NOT my only motive (though in my finacial situation it is the most pressing)....I have yet to hear more than 2 or 3 brands of speaker s demoed that I really enjoyed, so DIY may be my answer to that...
Kevin, I have to say I envy your abilities, hehe...a DIY preamp sounds even harder than speakers Posted Image

#14 of 36 OFFLINE   Kevin Deacon

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:52 AM

Anthony, The diy preamp is a kit. There are instructions that guide you through each step. Very easy to do if you have patience. See this post about a discussion on some speaker kits that sound nice.

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=185351

I think Jack's point is that if you want to really dig into learning speaker design, do it for the simple reason of learning, not to save money. Someone who really wants to learn is more apt to stick with the process as compared to someone who just wants to save money. The process won't necessarily be cheap as some of the software programs are pricey.

Good luck.

#15 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 05:52 AM

I must have completely misunderstood. Good luck!
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#16 of 36 OFFLINE   steve_gal

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Posted February 19 2004 - 06:07 AM

well said kevin.Can you beleive it is beneath someone to give advice to a novice "who only wants to save money".
Hi Anthony like you i am new to this,and i am in the process of building my own sub(shshshshsh: because it's cheaper but don't tell anyone)and have been scouring the net and forums trying to understand the process.
Like you i am finding it difficult to grasp,i have had lots of help from various people to help me get this far,but like you i would like to understand the subject so that any changes i make to the design or specs i can understand the outcome.
The problem is even though most people will gladly answer the questions the answers don't relate to anything i understand,the f3 is the roll of point,there will be a 2db hump,down 10db at 15hz i understand the words but what do they mean in practice.What are good responses and what are bad.
If someone tries to explain current flow,voltages,
resistors and capacitors to the man in the street there eyes glaze over but if its explained as a water system capacitors as tanks, current as water flow and resistors as narrowing of pipes then it's related to something that most people understand and that's what i need here,sorry for rambling.

#17 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted February 19 2004 - 06:15 AM

Quote:
I think Jack's point is that if you want to really dig into learning speaker design, do it for the simple reason of learning, not to save money. Someone who really wants to learn is more apt to stick with the process as compared to someone who just wants to save money. The process won't necessarily be cheap as some of the software programs are pricey.

Thanks. Maybe they'll get it that way.


Quote:
well said kevin.Can you beleive it is beneath someone to give advice to a novice "who only wants to save money".
Hi Anthony like you i am new to this,and i am in the process of building my own sub(shshshshsh: because it's cheaper but don't tell anyone)

See above.
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#18 of 36 OFFLINE   perry web

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Posted February 19 2004 - 06:37 AM

I used to want to diy some speakers, besides the sub I am building, until I got a good deal on some klipschs.

I plan, since I knew nothing, was to follow a proven design and learn along the way.

They have the box designed and crossover done. You can even buy the crossover already built

I found several online. I have no input on quality since I did not build them but here are the links I still have

http://www.solen.ca/

click on solen kits.
I was going to build the THORS

http://www.zalytron.com/

ckick kits on the left

#19 of 36 OFFLINE   Paul His

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Posted February 19 2004 - 07:31 AM

Anthony,

There's a thread I started here a couple of weeks ago that may have some kits you're interested in - look for "diy speaker kit".

Paul

#20 of 36 OFFLINE   Dan Hine

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Posted February 19 2004 - 07:59 AM

Quote:
is it wrong if the only reason is to save money? If money was no object, everyone would have B&W's or Martin Logans


Why do that when half as much $$ in parts can make superior products? Hmmmmm?
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