Making DIY speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Fenixgoon, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    Hi guys,

    My name is Andrew and I'm looking into building myself some speakers. My brother referred me to HTF as a good resource.

    I'd like to build my own set of speakers (preferably floorstanding) but don't know what exactly is involved, aside from materials. For example, how do you determine what resistors, capacitors, and inductors go in a speaker setup? What's the optimal driver placement?

    Are there any computer programs that will aid me in constructing speakers?

    I saw one DIY guide at ZaphAudio, but those floorstanders were $300, which is much more than I can afford (Zaph also had a 5 speaker system for < $100, though).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  2. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    There is much to know about building speakers such as choosing drivers, designing a crossover, etc. There are computer programs that will help you to do that but, you still need to know something if you want it to come out sounding good the first time out.

    However, building speakers is easy if you use a kit or any of the proven designs out there.

    For kits I suggest www.gr-research.com only because I have built some of Danny's kits in the past.

    There are many other kits out there and I suggest looking at them all and using one of them for your first build. You will gain a wealth of knowledge and you will end up with a good sounding speaker your first shot.
     
  3. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    What program(s) would assist me in constructing speakers?
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Programs like L.E.A.P. or LSPCad will only get you started. After that you have to fine tune the crossover by ear. Before you buy anything, read this thread to make sure you are willing to invest your time and money into this project. If you are wanting to just save money by building speakers then stick with a proven design.

    If you want to go with a proven design, post your budget and we'll point you in the right direction.

    -Robert
     
  5. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    FWIW, I have Cambridge FPS2000 Digital speakers hooked up to a Hercules GameTheater XP. I'm not a hardcore audiophile, but I would like some better speakers[​IMG]

    How much a difference will fine-tuning the crossover make?

    My budget would be
     
  6. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The Dayton Home Theater MT (mid/tweeter) should fit your budget. It's a simple crossover and uses some inexpensive Dayton drivers from PE. I've heard it and it sounds very good.

    -Robert
     
  7. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    I've been looking through several designs (even if they aren't viable for me) and it seems like most are mid/tweeter or mid/tweeter/mid. Is there any point (or even possible?) to making a mid/tweeter/woofer or is it better to have a sub dedicated solely to bass production? Does an MTM have to have any particular order of a crossover (or does it just turn out that an Nth order is the most beneficial?)

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Two way (TM or MTM) speakers are much easier to design. Three way (TMW) speakers have much more complicated crossovers and end up costing much more than a two way.

    It's always best to have a dedicated sub.

    Crossover slope depends entirely on the drivers used and the designer. I've seen the same speakers used successfully with both 1st and 2nd order crossover.

    -Robert
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    stick with a two way design as they are much easier to build and given your budget you're better off with two good drivers vs three ok drivers.
     
  10. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    Using LspCAD, I have an MTM setup (two woofers + tweeter) going. I'm not sure how good it is or isn't, though.

    The tweeter goes source---> cap---> inductor/tweeter (parallel)

    Using the optimizer, range of 2000-20khz, High Pass set to 3000hz, 2nd order Linkwitz, the decibel error is ~0.006 dB.

    woofers go source---> inductor ---> cap/ 2 woofers (parallel)

    Using the optimizer for the woofers, range set from 100-6000hz, Low Pass set to 2000hz, 2nd order Linkwitz, I get a decibel error of ~0.002 dB. How good/bad is this?

    Also, I noticed in the project Robert linked me to (here), the speaker was ported for the woofers. This is required for woofer, correct (and so a woofer/tweeter/woofer would need porting as well)?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, this stuff is completely new to me, though I've learned a lot already!

    edited for better values for decibel error/layout for woofers and extra question
     
  11. Frank A

    Frank A Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew, Have you checked out the projects page on PE's web site? The "triune" is a nice little speaker. I built mine for about $60-70 (for one speaker-my center speaker). I know this puts you a little over budget for two of them, but I have not seen too many that come within yours.

    Also, I noted you want floorstanders. An "optical" alternative is to build a bookcase-sized speaker, seal off the bottom, but continue down with the outside baffles to make it "look" like big floorstanders. I actually did this with my mtm's that I built. They are only about a 24 inch speaker, but I made them 48 inches high, so they look like floorstanders.

    Good luck with your search,
    Frank
     
  12. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Auditioning

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    Frank,

    After talking with my brother some (he's pretty good w/ audio stuff), I decided to do what you said - making bookshelves but having them appear as floorstanders.
     

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