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


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#1 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 03 2007 - 03:09 PM

I was thinking of starting a small business at age 15, and when I thought of Home Theater, I thought "Hey, maybe I could make money building speakers!" So, out of my garage, I'd build speakers. It actually shouldn't be too hard, the only hard part being carpentering the box. Here's an example on a top-of-the-line 200-watt front speaker would be like:

Woofer:
http://www.partsexpr....number=295-130

Mid-Range:
http://www.partsexpr....number=287-020

Tweeter:
http://www.partsexpr....number=270-145

Then build a case for it all to go in. My uncle makes furniture, another makes cabinets, another does houses. I'm sure they all can teach me how to make a speaker box.

What do you guys think?

*EDIT*
Lol, those links look perverted. Instead of looking like "Parts express" it looks like "part sex press"... Lol, that's funny...

*EDIT2*
The original name of this thread was "New Idea For a Small Business, at age 15!". It was moved over here as it fits here best.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#2 of 273 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted March 03 2007 - 03:46 PM

Hi Bobby - I say go for it, follow your dreams! Many excellent speaker and subwoofer manufacturers started just like this, and went on to great success. I look forward to hearing about how your first project turns out.

#3 of 273 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted March 03 2007 - 04:19 PM

Bobby, it sounds like it's in your blood. Posted Image I think it's a splendid idea, and one you actually have the resources to accomplish. Keep us posted on your progress. When you become the next Bob Carver, don't forget us little folks. Posted Image
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#4 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 03 2007 - 05:35 PM

I'll get started on my first project after I buy my computer, a little bit after March 16th (my 16th birthday, b-day=money!) I have a job right now as a baggage boy, and if this works out, I'll say good-bye to my favorite coworkers and walk "casually" out after I give my boss a few words...

Thanks guys, I wont forget 'bout ya. I'll stick this in my favorites in my new computers hard drive as I plan on having it for quite a while. And, all of you home theater enthusiasts out there, have you ever opened up a speaker before? Not much special huh? Well, that's what makes this a pretty easy job.

All I have to do that could really consider work is building the box. Which isn't very hard either. I'll probably aim to be an SVS or HVU type of company. Quality, not quantity.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#5 of 273 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted March 03 2007 - 05:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
I have a job right now as a baggage boy, and if this works out, I'll say good-bye to my favorite coworkers and walk "casually" out after I give my boss a few words...
Words of wisdom: never burn any bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
And, all of you home theater enthusiasts out there, have you ever opened up a speaker before? Not much special huh? Well, that's what makes this a pretty easy job.
It's not quite that simple (as you'll soon realize) Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
All I have to do that could really consider work is building the box. Which isn't very hard either. I'll probably aim to be an SVS or HVU type of company. Quality, not quantity.
Just remember, Dr. Hsu achieved his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from MIT. It takes a lot of hard work, education, and dedication to build a company as successful as Hsu Research or SVS.

#6 of 273 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted March 03 2007 - 06:03 PM

delete
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#7 of 273 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted March 03 2007 - 06:20 PM

Here's my thoughts on this:

If you have the resources, give it a try. If nothing else, this can be a great learning experience as to what goes into handling a business. Put thought and effort into it. Really, play it through. Get help to figure out how much your investing vs. how much your making. Think about your project and set goals.

You may find that you don't meet them. You may exceed them. But this could be a great chance for you to get that experience and get some ideas about what you might do next.

A lot of kids leave their ambition at the door and don't try something like this. So, kudos to you for having ambition. Now, learn to use your ambition for this project to not just do well at this project, but to improve who you can be as a business person. Those kind of life lessons can be big as you move forward. Oh, and keep track of everything for your academic resume in applying to universities. If you do well, you'll have a great story, if you don't do so well, you'll have plenty of material for postmortem analysis that college hunters love Posted Image
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#8 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 03 2007 - 06:23 PM

I opened up my bookshelf speakers, not much special... 2 wires. But I guess since these are only 2-ways the "high-quality" speakers I'm aiming on building are gona have A LOT more...

The bookshelf's (I had a low budget at the time! Be quiet!):Dual LS205EB 5 1/4" 2-Way 160-Watt Bookshelf Speaker

Quote:
A lot of kids leave their ambition at the door and don't try something like this. So, kudos to you for having ambition. Now, learn to use your ambition for this project to not just do well at this project, but to improve who you can be as a business person. Those kind of life lessons can be big as you move forward. Oh, and keep track of everything for your academic resume in applying to universities. If you do well, you'll have a great story, if you don't do so well, you'll have plenty of material for postmortem analysis that college hunters love

I now have a job, a nice-sized shed to work in, and the interest in speakers. I'm also interested in computers, and will build my computer, but that's just for fun. I will try to make a career out of it but I don't know... Maybe this can turn from a 15 year old working in a shed to a 50 year old owning a multi-billion corporation. Who knows what may come from it.

*EDIT*
How much do you think this would sell for?:

2x the above 15" woofers
2x the above midranges
1x the above tweeters

All in a good looking box and pt together right.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#9 of 273 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted March 03 2007 - 09:48 PM

Jeez- my speakers are older than YOU are! Posted Image
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#10 of 273 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted March 03 2007 - 10:37 PM

My question is this:

How are you going to differentiate your speakers? I think that's the main thing you need to consider right now. With the furniture building resources in your family, I think I would try to differentiate by making really high quality cabinets. Do some research on the acoustical properties of various types of woods -- then look into to some exotic wood veneers to create some beautiful speakers.

Also, I would personally reconsider the size of your drivers. What would your crossover look like going from a 15" to a 2" midrange? I also question how large the market it for a main speaker with 2x15" drivers.

#11 of 273 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted March 04 2007 - 02:11 AM

Quote:
*EDIT*
How much do you think this would sell for?:

2x the above 15" woofers
2x the above midranges
1x the above tweeters

All in a good looking box and pt together right.

I question a bit the "put together right" element. Choosing the speaker components matter, yes, but good speaker manufacturers have to worry about other elements as well. From the quality of the cross to balancing overall impedance to evaluating how speaker A impacts B. By using 2 15s, I'm wondering how you're going to effectively manage other speakers to make sure you don't muffle the sound.

I'm not dismissing you, I'm just saying, there is a lot of rsearch here. Then, I want you to think about hot to make what you are designing look different but provide function.

Good luck Posted Image
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#12 of 273 OFFLINE   Micah Cohen

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Posted March 04 2007 - 03:04 AM

Ah, Polk Audio... [whistful sigh...]

Listen: great idea. I worked for Polk Audio for 6+ years. Begun in the basement of a college dorm, Matt doing the physics and George building the boxes. They were kids with a great idea. They really did this thing: they built good, reasonably priced loudspeakers that were differentiated from the masses at the time.

Now, tho, the science of the thing is so complex, and the economies of scale are so huge... Boutique brands have a very limited life. You understand? The Chinese turn this stuff out like gangbusters, all the brands made in the same four factories all day, 24/7/365, with very little differentiation, and with far better quality control than you can have even when you're personally hand-building every single speaker.

Don't mean to rain on the parade, just wanted to shine a light into the dark room. It's a lot of work, hard work, building stuff. And the Chinese have already done it.

I don't know where you live, but maybe it would be a good idea to find a company like Polk or Carver and get a job there. You'd LOVE working at Polk Audio: they thrive on people who are totally into this speaker thing. You'd be like a kid in a candy store. (I sure was!) You could get yourself in as an intern and learn EVERYTHING. It would blow your mind!

Any chance of that? (Don't know where you live.)

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#13 of 273 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted March 04 2007 - 04:05 AM

Perhaps it would be best to start with a simple two way speaker, based on an established design, with prebuilt crossovers.

Parts Express features several designs on its project showcase

If you like them, you can always build three more and use them in your home theatre.

#14 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 04 2007 - 06:25 AM

Thanks, but I'd rather build the box myself. I would build the speaker myself if I had the knowledge to. But, I really don't have to time, or money, to learn how to build electronic equipment as complex as a woofer or tweeter. I will eventually learn how to after I have a bit of practice building the box and hooking up the speakers inside of them.

I want people to b able to walk by it and without looking at the logo say "Oh, that speaker must have been made by Bobby Geiser!" And, why would I need to get a pre-made crossover?

Posted Image

That was a design thrown together in five seconds, and will take MUCH more consideration when actually designing a box. I want my first project to have 2x 8" woofers, 1x 4"midrange and 1x 1" tweeter. I'll put this in my room and test it for a few days waiting for someone to offer to buy it. I'll be making more speakers in between as well.

Well, what do you guys think? Should I not start out with a floor-standing speaker? Or is that a good starting point?

*EDIT*
My parts list for my first project:

Woofers: DAYTON ST210-8 8" SERIES II WOOFER (4 of these, 2 per speaker)

Mids: EMINENCE LA6-CBMR 6-1/2" SEALED BACK MID LINE ARRAY SERIES (2 of these, 1 per speaker)

Tweeters: MOREL MDT-37 1-1/8" SOFT DOME TWEETER (2 of these, 1 per speaker)

What else would I need besides the obvious materials for building the enclosure?
"Bobby is and idiot"

#15 of 273 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
I opened up my bookshelf speakers, not much special.
Aren't speaker more than just wood and a cone? Doesn't the cabinet design make the difference? I don't know much about speakers, but I know that air movement is important.

#16 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:35 AM

Well, those 'dual' speakers have a woofer, tweeter, wood enclosure, and some wires leading to the speakers. Want me to take a picture of the inside of it?
"Bobby is and idiot"

#17 of 273 OFFLINE   Jimi C

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:46 AM

You are in over your head Bobby, do some research. You need a crossover, and there is more too an "air hole" than you realize. Start reading in the DIY section of this forum.
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#18 of 273 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:49 AM

I don't mean to be mean by saying this, but I think you're being very naive. There is a lot more to designing some speakers than just drawing a rectangle and putting some circles on it. A lot of time and experimentation has to be done to figure out the cabinet, speakers, and crossover and how they all work together.

In just building the cabinet you have to figure out what materials are needed for the sides, front and rear. Do you know why and when to use a port and how to design it and the pros/cons of it? Are you going to put any of your speakers in separate enclosures? What about internal bracing?

Have you ever seen speakers with two mid-ranges mounted side by side? Some people argue for using a speaker with a vertical array for the center because of issues associated with mids mounted side by side. How are you going to handle this? What about the interaction between the tweeters, mids and woofers?

Then there's the crossover. You mention that there's just two wires in your bookshelves. That means it's a one-way speaker with everything going to both the tweeter and woofer. More likely there is something stripping out the low frequencies to the tweeter. You could get away with a real cheap crossover in two-ways, but the more drivers, the better your crossover needs to be. What kind of overlap do you want between your different drivers? That is something that can also be affected by the cabinet design as well as the specific drivers you use.

I'm not saying you can't do this yourself. But you need to do a bunch of research before trying to design your own speakers from the ground up. Look around for some plans for simple bookshelf speakers using parts from Parts Express. I know there's some out there. Then give some of those a try. But be prepared, R&D for this kind of thing can be costly and time consuming. Look around for some of the old threads by the SVS guys and you'll get a sense of how many designs they tried and throughout before ever going to production.

#19 of 273 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:50 AM

My uncle will be helping me build my first speakers. Thank god. I'll look at the DIY, no problem with reading it. My uncle has built speakers, I didn't know that. I do have one question though, do I have to have that black mesh in front of the speakers? 'Cuz I find it blocks some sound and I like seeing the woofers pound.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#20 of 273 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted March 04 2007 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
I do have one question though, do I have to have that black mesh in front of the speakers? 'Cuz I find it blocks some sound and I like seeing the woofers pound.
You don't need it, especially if it interferes with the sound. It's mainly there for looks. However many speaker designers take that into account so theirs will sound better with the screen in place.


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