DIY Speaker Designs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim_Hunt, Jun 22, 2002.

  1. Jim_Hunt

    Jim_Hunt Extra

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    I am looking to build speakers for a new 7.1 system I am assembling. I worked professional as a furniture and casework maker for more than 15 years and have a shop full of professional tools. (Any design isn’t too complicated to build for me.) I also have always been doing something with electronics (ham & shortwave radio, car stereo, professional sound reinforcement, and home theater.) I currently work as a network and systems engineer. My dad also was big in electronics and we built many Heathkit things over the years including speakers.

    OK, back on topic…

    I know that speaker design is very complex and I am not looking to reinvent the wheel. I just need a good set of solid designs that I can build and enjoy. The room is 14 ½’ X 27’. I plan on getting a nice receiver that will be capable of 110 to 135 watts per 7 channels. I don’t know about the sub power yet.

    Also, I might be willing to work with someone wanting to have me build a second set for them to help off-set my costs. (I would be starting sometime in September all pending on the sale of my current home and having the cash to get the new gear.)
     
  2. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    Vance Dickason's loudspeaker design cookbook is a good place to start. Also the DIY area of the forum is a better place to ask this quistion.
     
  3. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well Adire Audio offers a bunch of different kits, as does GR-Research. The plan for Joe D'Appolito's Audax hometheater are freely available. Parts Express has a bunch of project plans posted.
    This site lists a whole pile of kits:
    http://www.snippets.org/ldsg/sect-16.php3
    Beside the Next and Previous buttons are a bunch of links that load the various tables that list all the kits.
    I stumbled across this design today that looks pretty cool:
    http://www.speakerbuilding.com/content/1105/
    Also Danny of GR-Research posted this in another thread in the DIY Advanced section:
    http://www.speakercity.com/GRProject...vProject.shtml
     
  4. Bob Bartlett

    Bob Bartlett Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out selahaudio.com, gr-research as previously mentioned and search around the madisound board.
     
  5. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Well keep us updated, Jim, since I'm interested in what others have to say (I'll probably post a similar question later this summer). Depending on what design you choose to go with, maybe I'll have you build me a set too. [​IMG] What's your price range?
     
  6. Jim_Hunt

    Jim_Hunt Extra

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    Well, I think I am limited to $10,000 got the equipment. While I want a Pioneer PRO720-HD RPTV, I think I will be getting the Mitsubishi Platinum Plus WS-65869 RPTV. That will shoot about $4200. Next will be a nive 7.1 AV receiver. I guess that will kill another $2800. Combine a Progressive Scan DVD for $1000 and I have spent $8000. I guess there will be $2000 for speakers (and material for speakers).

    Of course everything depends upon selling our current home and what the sales figure ends up being. I hope it sells quick!
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Before I'd go around just willy nilly building speakers, I would first define what type of speaker it is that I enjoy listening to and my budget. Electrostatics, horns, transmission lines, single speaker full range Lowthers, dipoles...all these can be built by the individual enthusiast. Are there any size constraints? Once you've identified better what you're looking for, then others can provide more selective recommendations for your consideration.
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Chu has a good point. You'll want to listen to some high-end ($2k+) speakers and determine which designs you prefer. Most high-end designers are forced to use OEM drivers (that you can purchase). For example, if you liked the upper range of the Aerial 20T then you'd want to look for kits that use the Raven ribbon tweeter.

    Is this HT system going to be in a dedicated room or one with light control? If so, a front projection system will give you a much better picture given your budget ($4.5k).
     
  10. Jim_Hunt

    Jim_Hunt Extra

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    The room will be a multi purpose room for everyday TV watching including a healthy diet from my UltimateTV unit to some HDTV (OTA and Sat.) and one or two DVD Movies a week. There will be occasional entertaining in the room on a movie night.


    The room will also feature a game table at the back. (Can anyone say poker night?) The furniture will be typical sofa and chairs and not HT specific. The layout will try to be arranged for best viewing and sound. There are 3 windows and there will be a nice heavy blind for the light control but it won't be 100%.


    While I like music (over 1000 CD's), I usually don't listen to them in the "TV Room." If I do play music, I usually do MTV/VH1/BET/MuchMusic/CMT or the DSS Music channels. I do like live preformances.


    My musical tastes range from classic rock to hip hop/rap to opera to bluegrass to jazz to just about anything! While I like to crank it up, I like a comfortable listening level that allows conversation to be spacious and clear and crisp. I love strong base without distortion when the songs feature it.


    When watching movies (and TV), I like a modest volume level that still allows talking without shouting but do like to crank it and make the place shake during the action scenes.


    I doubt I have the ear to hear the very fine points of different speakers. For 20 years, I had an 1977/78 era Radio Shack Mach Ones (with the 15" Woofer, horn mids, and pizeo tweeter) and cleaned them up with a 15 band EQ. My friend finally got them to give him 4. (He is still a rock and roll nut!)


    My dad and I usually did 2 way speakers with tuned ports. The bottom was usually a 12" speaker.


    Currently, I have a Sony HT System (Birthday Gift) and am in a small room, 12 X 14 with a 36" direct view. Yea, it's a sad POS!


    Remember I am doing a complete set for a 7.1 system. The front can be floor (or full size) and expect wall mounts on the side and rear surrounds. (The rear will need to also be on the side walls. The back wall is an open stair case and outside door to the patio/hot tub.) The sub will have a corner location.


    I could build 6 just alike plus a center and sub. Does this help?
    After reading another post, I thought I should mention I will have a concrete floor with a nice carpet.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well you say you and your dad used to build 2 way ported designs, so does that mean this is the way you want to go? did you build them from scratch and how did you test and/or adjust their performance? you looking for kits that you assemble or do you want to blaze a more unique path? If you don't own a book or two as well as some magazine subscriptions on speaker building you definitely owe it to yourself to get them as it'll help you in understanding terminology, driver specifications, port design, etc. The people over at the DIY section can assist you better with selections. While I don't know all the players there, I understand that Richard Greene is quite a fountain of knowledge
     

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