Building a Speaker

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Allen Marshall, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I want to learn how to build a speaker...mostly out of interest.

    The thing that i always wonder is people talk about speakers like "it hits those high's very well but can go deep very full sounding" and stuff like that when all i hear from people who build speakers is making a box and putting the drivers in.

    Im interested to know what makes a speaker sound the way it does, is it how big the drivers are and the shape of the box or is it little articulations in the drivers the developers built. Aslo, impedence, power handling, sensitivity..i know what those are but how do you get them there?

    Examples:

    What in a speaker makes it 8 ohms and why are some speakers 8 ohms instead of lower ohms so they can get more power?

    power handling, how do they even come up with that number and how would a person come up with that number if they were building a speaker?

    Sensitivity, what makes sensitivity...sensitivity i guess.

    I recently took a part a bookshelf i had to look at it, basically the the sub had 2 black and 2 red wires goin into it, 1 red and 1 black went to the tweeter and 1 red and 1 black went to the positive negative thing on the back. What in the a driver makes the sound i was lookin at it and i saw a copper coil in there, a magnet and the rest i couldnt describe and the tweeter looked skinny.

    Im really interested in the sound question cause i dont want someone to say "this thing here, thats what makes the sound" or something liek that i want to know how indetail i wanna know how speakers work.

    I was hoping for people to post sites of some sort, maybe that could help me out, what i would really love to see is pictures of speakers that somebody built themselves and stuff or sites on there speakers.

    Thanks, im a pain in the neck.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  3. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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  4. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    "power handling, how do they even come up with that number and how would a person come up with that number if they were building a speaker?"

    they crank up the juice till the speaker blows [​IMG]
     
  5. Ken Burkstrum

    Ken Burkstrum Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike you told him how it makes sound, which is good but i also want to know why each speaker sounds different?
     
  6. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    no speaker is made the same therefore no speaker will sound the same.
     
  7. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    not same like in what way? other then the shape of the box.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Magnet (strength, material, size, venting), cone (weight, material, size), spider (material, size, stiffness), surround (material, stiffness), voice coil (size, length, wire). I did a little research on building my own drivers from parts. Besides ordering in such large quantities, one place had over 1,000 different spiders and about the same amount of cones and surround. Way too many combinations. I'll stick with something the experts have built.

    Each part affects the sound of the driver. A driver's characteristics can be described by the Theile/Small parameters. These parms determine what type of enclosure (even if one is needed) and they are also a starting point in designing a crossover.

    -Robert
     
  9. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    .....
     
  10. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    so your saying the first speaker i build will pretty much be driver's i bought put into a box that i built?
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    the drivers, the placement of the drivers in the box, the shape of the box, dimensions of the box, porting(loading) of the box, the material of the box, the crossover type and design, etc etc etc.

    There is a loudpseaker design cookbook too, if i recollect. Allen, I know you're just getting started in this, so you should really do a lot of reading before you dive right in. It's not as simple as building a box and putting drivers in it.

    You might want to start with something a little simpler, such as a DIY subwoofer, for instance, as then there are less things to be dealing with.
     
  12. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    the thing i want to know is, if you spend say $1,000 on a DIY speaker or Sub or whatever how could it possibly be better then a speaker/sub that a big company who knows there stuff made at that same price?

    Dont they do long research and stuff and strive hard to give you as much as you can get for your money?
     
  13. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Yes they do research but they also do marketing. Most people want small attractive speakers. They are light and small and cheap to make with high markups for the retailers. I cant lift my DIY sub off the ground. The priorities of the DIYer and major manufacturers are different. There are exceptions of course.

    Chris mentioned The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason. I highly recommend you read it. It can be found at most libraries if you dont want to buy it. You will find many answers to your questions in that book.
     
  14. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    are the books complicated cause before i made this thread i tried looking it up on the internet and i'd fine tons of things where they explain how to make a speaker but at the sametime use big words they assume you know and then i get lost.
     
  15. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Allen, I think it would be a big help to buy one of the books on speakers (like the "design cookbook" by Dickason). Or, you could try to slog through the technical stuff you see on the Internet, that's what I did. You'll get used to it.

    And if you're really intending to design your own speaker, you'll be in the dark without simulation software and measuring equipment. I'm just getting into that whole process. Let me tell you, designing a speaker is a big deal, really difficult but also a lot of fun and, hopefully it will be rewarding.

    I already know building a speaker from a kit is guaranteed to be great - I have Adire Kit281s and they sound absurdly good considering my level of skill and investment. I think DIY speakers can probably match the level of quality of similar commercial speakers costing around five times as much as the parts alone. In the case of these kits, all you have to do is build a cabinet from some MDF and install the provided components.
     
  16. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Allen,

    Take Micheal's advice. Buy one of the books I posted the link for, and then buy a premade kit (this is what i did). Michael built the Adire Audio kit and I built the GR Research AV-1 kit (I built 3, and am in the process of building a sub). The gr site is www.gr-research.com both companies have sterling reputations, support their customers, and have great products. For example the AV-1s I built have been favorably compared to some Dynaudio bookshelves that list for $2K. I built mine with all the upgrades for $500. The adires and gr research speakers do sound different though. You may want to check out the companies respective forums at www.audiocircle. com

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    youre profile says you were born in '86. if this is true, you should still be in Highschool right? (dont worry I wont make fun) If this stuff really interests you, take physics. one of the funnest classes I ever took and I regret not taking in in HS, I waited till college.
     
  18. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Mike,

    what is womt ?
     
  20. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I don't know what "WOMT" means. But yes I am kind of young (17 years old, HS senior), and yes I am taking mostly science oriented classes in school. [​IMG] I think I learn just as much outside of my courses though, in terms of what I do in free time.

    My latest thing is designing a speaker for a friend. At the DC DIY 2003 event, he won a pair of drivers in a raffle and I figured, why not design speakers around them? (TMM configuration with Dayton silk tweeter and 7" aluminum midwoofers.) I have a couple of crossover designs cooked up... we plan to build and measure test baffles at school after winter break. This design should cost around $180 a pair to build, and it probably won't be in the same class as A/V-1s and the like.
     

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