Anybody tried DIY outdoor speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dave Milne, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    I'd like some outdoor speakers for the backyard/pool area, but have been generally disappointed at the models I've come across: weak bass, poor sound, lousy efficiency, modest power handling, etc. Has anyone tried DIY weatherproof speakers? It doesn't rain often here, so I figured that marine plywood construction --with appropriate waterproof finishing --would hold up. I can mount them under an overhang to protect from direct sun and rain. What about dust, heat (110deg), cold (near freezing), etc?

    I'd like something at least 88 dB/1w with usable bass extension down to 40Hz or so. I can live with up to, say, 40 liters but of course the smaller the better. Prefer not to spend more than $300-400 in parts. If I have to replace them every five years or so, that's OK too.

    I would run these off of "zone 2" of the pre-pro... and I have a couple of power amps lying around: Apt/Holman 1 (120wpc) or Sumo Andromeda (250 wpc).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    I was hoping somebody had done this before. I've been wondering about the same thing. That's about all though. There are many poly cone drivers available. The hard part as always is matching them up and coming up with a XO. This might sound funny but what about two-way car speakers? How loud did you want them to be anyway? I usually think of outdoor speakers as being for background not PA speakers. Maybe your neighbors don't live as close as mine though.
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I too was kicking around the idea for outdoor speakers. I had planned to use pretty cheap parts from MCM... in case I needed to replace them every few years or so. (my deck is blasted with sunlight year round)

    Here's what I had planned...

    Poly cone woofers in a sealed enclosure. I thought ported might lend itself to critters, moisture, and gunk collecting inside my enclosures. Also, they had to have rubber surrounds.. for durability.

    Titanium tweeters... I felt aluminum might oxidize in the elements.

    The enclosure was to be MDF, painted with exterior oil based primer inside and out and then covered with cedar panelling and then stained to match my cedar house. Also, I was going to build grilles using quarterround and nylon window screen. They'd be hanging from a soffit on the house and mostly in the shade.

    Size was a big factor for me.. so I wasn't looking for a lot of bass extension on these. Just the satisfaction of building them, really.

    The parts I planned to use were clearance items.. so cost was going to come in around $100 for the pair.
     

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