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DIY Outdoor Speaker

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by SamNavy, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    Got the bug for some tunes on the patio for the summer. I've been looking everywhere, but stuff has been too expensive... then the latest PE catalog shows up and there are a set of 5.25" 2way Dayton outdoor speaker on sale for $60pair. There's also as few others on sale as well as all MTX outdoor speaks. I was looking also looking at the MTX MP42 with 2x4" 2ways for $142pair.

    I was really hoping to get into perhaps an 8" 2way design for that price, so it looks like I may build them myself. These speaks won't have to stay outside all the time. I'll engineer them to hang for quick mount/dismount and only put them outside when needed... Since these will be party speakers, clarity/precision of sound can be sacrificed for a little volume/thump. I'd like to do the construction in 1/2MDF to keep the weight down, and power will come from the "B" outputs of an ONKYO TX-8211 at 50watts. They'll be primed and painted white.

    Should I have any special considerations when building outdoor speaks? Can I get away with a paper cone woofer? What type of tweeter? I understand horn tweets typically have a higher sensitivity?

    Bottom line, is it worth my time to worry about building anything better than the Dayton 5.25's at $60...
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=310-068 which don't seem to be in stock right now.
    If it is worth it, can I do better than the MTX MP42's for $142? http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=302-004

    Am I leaving anything out?
     
  2. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    After some more research, how about these:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=295-305
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=275-030
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=260-146
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=260-302

    A woofer, a tweeter, a crossover, and a terminal. Those work out to $45.20per speaker, which is right at $100 with shipping. I've got the wire and the wood and I don't count my time in the cost. Am I on the right track here? Those drivers are the basic Dayton OEM replacement stuff. Is it as easy as just placing my order or am I leaving anything out?

    I don't think I'm going to be able to accomodate a .98cuft enclosure for the woofer though. I was thinking perhaps about the size of a large bookshelf. Maybe 14Hx10Wx8D for around .5cuft. Would I gain anything with a port? What tuning freq should I look at?
     
  3. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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  4. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    I think those are a little bigger than I was looking for. I really want more along the lines of bookshelf speakers... but I looked through all the other projects on that page and have some new great ideas. There was even another project on there that was mine exactly except for the tweeter choice. But I am thinking about going a little bigger. Perhaps that same style but with the Goldwood 10" woofer instead of the 12" to keep the box size down, and maybe a less expensive midrange... now we're talkin'!
    I guess I may have to learn to build a crossover.
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I thought about some outdoor speakers also... until I went and bought a new house. But, I decided it probably would be best to use a poly-coned woofer with a rubber surround of some type.. and an aluminum tweeter... and something inexpensive in case they wind up getting trashed... then I wouldn't be out too much cash.

    My original idea was to use vinyl windowscreen instead of grill cloth and paint the enclosures inside and out with exterior paint to seal out moisture (I even thought about covering 'em with cedar to match the house). I had planned to mount them in the shade up under a soffit.. so abuse from the sun would be minimal.
     
  6. Joe L.

    Joe L. Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are just looking for background music you can do as I did.

    Over 10 years ago I found a small set of indoor/outdoor speakers at Sams... They had plastic cabinets about 10 inches wide, 5 inches high, and about the same depth. They specifically said they were not for direct exposure to the elements, but instead suggested under-eave mounting.

    The speakers each had a midrange and tweeter (can't bring myself to call anything with a 4 inch cone a "woofer")

    Now, these were the best speakers I could buy for $39. a pair. I think the crossover consists of a single capacitor. (Still, these are better than most boom-box radios)

    I mounted them 10 feet high up in the trees behind my pool screwing their brackets to the trunks of the trees. I faced the front grills downward towards the pool (and therefore partially shielded the cones from rain) I used sprinkler control wire designed for burial and wired them to an old stereo receiver in my den.

    After about 5 years the steel spring clips on the terminals on the back rusted through and I opened up the cabinets and wired directly to the internal connections. The bark on the trees (as they grew) forced the brackets to come loose so I've had to use new screws twice.

    Over 10 years later, these same speakers are in place and still sound great. Now, they are not "audiophile" quality...and they have no real bass response, but they still have my guests commenting on their quality. (Little do they know... perhaps they are comparing them to Bose ;-)) It is very surprising how decent they sound with no room reflections to color their sound.

    They have been out there through the rain, snow, etc. I expect that someday I'll need to replace them, but at $39. I figure I got my money's worth out of them.

    I know you want to build something DIY, but if I were you I'd do a DIY project for indoors and do something like I did outdoors.

    Joe L.
     
  7. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Jason Fulton

    Jason Fulton Agent

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    Hey, I'm looking into those speakers from outdoorspeakerdepot and was wondering your thoughts on them, also which model you ordered. Thanks.
     

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