please help building my own speakers!!!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Womble, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Brian Womble

    Brian Womble Extra

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    Hello,
    This is my first post here, and I hope that my time in this forum will be a positive learning experience. As you have probably guessed am interested in building my own speakers. About a year ago I got Interested in audio. I started by buying some speakers (AR226ps) and a receiver (JVC6500v 100w x5). This is setup as a stereo system though.
    I am not a bass head but I do enjoy loud punchy bass, the kind that hits you in the chest. And the AR’s just are not cutting it. I want speakers that can really hit. Hears the catch, I only have $300 to spend, but I can make the cabinets myself. I have heard that home built speakers can sound quite good, without spending lots of money. I want loud, tight bass, not boomy or muddy. My broad musical interests are: Led zepplin, red hot chili peppers, hendrix, Pink Floyd, cold, tool, and various jazz, and trance applications.
    I don’t really know where to start, as I have no experience in this venture. But I have some ideas. I think that two 8” woofers would deliver tighter, louder bass than one 12” or 15” and be more space efficient. Also, I don’t have any desire (or need) for bass lower than 40-35hz. A 5” midrange and a 1” tweeter would follow the woofers…??? I have been toying with the idea that I could bi-amp the speakers, ex: hook the woofers up to speaker B , and the mid/tweeters up to speaker A (on the receiver), that would double the power. (sorry if this isn’t making any sense) As for the cabinet it can be up to 3 feet high x 1 foot wide x 1 ¼ foot deep. Should I port the speaker? If so in the front or back, I have seen both, and how big should the port be? Also, inside the cabinet should I seal off the woofers from the mid/tweeters?
    The worst part of this project, I think is going to be the crossovers. I don’t know anything about this except I want the woofers only to play sounds in the 35-120hz reign. This would give the maximum amount of bass without muddling up the midrange. (????)
    Now what drivers should I buy? I have heard that vifa gives the most bang for the buck. I have been looking at speakers at partsexpress.com and they sell many off brand speakers with almost identical specs as the vifas but for almost half the price…. What brands are good, but still cheap? Lastly does anyone know of any good speaker building books, and/or web sites, that I can use for reference. Any information you can give me will be helpful. Thank you all!
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Brian, it sounds like what you really need is a subwoofer, not a speaker.
    Welcome to the forum. I'm sure many here will be able to point you in the right direction. I'm currently in the learning boat myself or I'd offer more.
    I'm curious though...why don't you need anything below 35Hz? The lower you go the more you feel. The bass that makes the most impact is in the frequency range that is inaudible.
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    Bill [​IMG]
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  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Brian, I would urge you to hang out over on the PE Tech forum/board and ask lots of questions because you'll get a lot more response and very good advice as to driver selection. There are some nice designs over on SpeakerBuilder.net that might fit your criteria. But if you don't have access to measurement gear or crossover design software, you are fighting an uphill battle w/r/t the crossover, which is truly the guts of any good sounding speaker.
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    PatCave; HT Pix; Gear; DIY Mains; DIY CC; Sunosub I + II + III; DVDs; LDs
     
  4. Brian Womble

    Brian Womble Extra

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    Hey Bill, thanks for posting. To answer your questions...
    Well, the main factor is money, i can sell my ARs for $200 and I have about $100 spending = $300. Not many subs sell for near $100, and the ones that do are innacurate, boomy, and muddy. I know someone will sugest the sony sa-wm40, so i might as well shoot it down now. my friend owns this thing, and he likes it becuase it shakes his door. well, I can tell you right now I dont want the thing, it would make better fire wood. my system is a 100% music system so no, gunshots, explosions, stuff like that, where i would want to FEEL, and I dont think a bass guitar or a bass drum goes lower than 35hz. Also I am 17, and have parents to worry about...
    Thanks for posting Patrick!
     
  5. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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    >I am not a bass head but I do enjoy loud punchy bass, the kind that hits you in the chest. And the AR’s just are not cutting it. I want speakers that can really hit. Hears the catch, I only have $300 to spend, but I can make the cabinets myself.
    ====
    'Hit' at your age usually means eyeball flattening SPL, something that doesn't come super cheap.
    ====
    > I have heard that home built speakers can sound quite good, without spending lots of money. I want loud, tight bass, not boomy or muddy. My broad musical interests are: Led zepplin, red hot chili peppers, hendrix, Pink Floyd, cold, tool, and various jazz, and trance applications.
    ====
    Hmm, with the exception of jazz, all the others require a bit of 'boomy' (emphasized ~60-100Hz BW) to get that live-like 'hit'.
    ====
    >I don’t really know where to start, as I have no experience in this venture. But I have some ideas. I think that two 8” woofers would deliver tighter, louder bass than one 12” or 15” and be more space efficient.
    ====
    Wrong. LF output is about displacement and two 8" only have about 2/3 the Sd of a 12", and less excursion, so total Vd is lower. Cab size is probably smaller though (don't have time right now to do any sims).
    'Tight' is a function of the sub's tuning alignment, so it can be made as 'tight' or 'boomy' as you want.
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    > Also, I don’t have any desire (or need) for bass lower than 40-35hz.
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    FWIW, the lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, so IMO the sub should be ~flat in-room down to this frequency as a minimum.
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    > A 5” midrange and a 1” tweeter would follow the woofers…???
    ====
    Hmm, if you want to build three way speakers, or two sats and a sub, you're probably better off building inexpensive kits for the sats as a first project considering the $$ limit/lack of knowledge and test gear.
    If you use a XO to keep the LF out of the ARs, they should sound much better, and maybe good enough to only require a sub.
    ====
    > I have been toying with the idea that I could bi-amp the speakers, ex: hook the woofers up to speaker B , and the mid/tweeters up to speaker A (on the receiver), that would double the power. (sorry if this isn’t making any sense)
    ====
    Not familiar with your receiver, but often it just divides the available power to two sets of speakers, meaning power is cut in half, not doubled.
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    > As for the cabinet it can be up to 3 feet high x 1 foot wide x 1 ¼ foot deep.
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    You might could get two 10" in this size, and probably would ~equal the output of a single 12".
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    > Should I port the speaker?
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    It would depend on the driver chosen, but probably.
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    > If so in the front or back, I have seen both, and how big should the port be?
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    Depends on the situation/driver/alignment.
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    > Also, inside the cabinet should I seal off the woofers from the mid/tweeters?
    ====
    If you insist on going this route, it depends on the drivers. Some mids, and most tweeters are sealed back and don't need to be isolated further. If open back, then yes.
    ====
    >The worst part of this project, I think is going to be the crossovers. I don’t know anything about this except I want the woofers only to play sounds in the 35-120hz reign. This would give the maximum amount of bass without muddling up the midrange. (????)
    ====
    I recommend ~80Hz and use one of the inexpensive plate amps with XO, and possibly boost features.
    ====
    >Now what drivers should I buy? I have heard that vifa gives the most bang for the buck. I have been looking at speakers at partsexpress.com and they sell many off brand speakers with almost identical specs as the vifas but for almost half the price…. What brands are good, but still cheap?
    ====
    Can't help much here since I don't keep up with these driver lines. I either play with dinky ~fullrange drivers that won't satisfy your SPL needs, or large horn systems ($$).
    Check out Bob's LDSG site, it should help a bunch. http://www.snippets.org/
    ====
    > Lastly does anyone know of any good speaker building books, and/or web sites, that I can use for reference. Any information you can give me will be helpful. Thank you all!
    ====
    A cheap one that covers 99% of the basics, including XOs, is Ray Alden's "Advanced Speaker Systems" available at RadioShack stores or on-line.
    There's literally thousands of websites with all manner of tech info (and not necessarily correct either, so it pays to have some understanding of the subject first, a Catch 22 situation), and I believe Bob's site has a list of the better ones.
    ====
    >where i would want to FEEL, and I dont think a bass guitar or a bass drum goes lower than 35hz. Also I am 17, and have parents to worry about...
    ====
    A low E bass is 30.5Hz, but if you follow my advice and get down to the piano's lowest note it's covered, some of the other music you like has synths down to 20Hz, and a kick drum can have sub-harmonics down to 7Hz though they normally cut them at 20Hz.....
    HTH,
    GM
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    Loud is beautiful, if it's clean
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Brian,
    Welcome to the Forum!
    I think some of the respondents have missed the point of your post. You’re looking to build a speakers, not a sub.
    That said, 8” drivers would be very nice for a speakers, and with the right driver and cabinet, your goal of 40hz should be realistic. Whether or not your $300 budget is realistic is another question. I guess it depends on just how good you want these speakers to be. You should be able to get all the info you need at the site Patrick linked for you.
    While a pair of 8” woofs will definitely give satisfying bass with music played at reasonable levels, Brian, don’t think you are going to get that “hit” with them. The fact is, the sheer impact you get in a car is very difficult to achieve in a home environment, because it is so large. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I recently sent someone on this same subject that should shed some light:
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Brian, since you're new to this, don't get hung up on driver brands you've noticed in forum posts, etc. Can you do the cabinet building or do you have a friend/family member who can build the cabinets? If so, you can do this for minimal investment and yes, you can do it for $300 or less. I recommend Sound Clearing House. Those guys design systems for name-brand speaker companies. They have access to lots of custom-made drivers (some of which they designed) and also they take advantage of over-runs, etc for really low pricing: http://speakerpage.com/Kits.htm
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    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
    [Edited last by Hank Frankenberg on August 28, 2001 at 11:59 AM]
     

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