"The Puget Sound! DIY Speaker Contest"
"The Puget Sound! DIY Speaker Contest" is once again being sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Audio Society (PNWAS) and will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2012. In the coming days and weeks, I'll be posting information as to location, rules and how to enter. The event is free for attendees, although there is an entry fee for contestants to help defray costs of the facility rental.
If you're interested in DIY speaker building, or just Audio, this is a great way to meet and connect with others that are of a like mind. Come for an hour, or spend all day, it's interesting and a whole lot of fun. While spectators aren't allowed in the evaluation/judging room, we usually have a similar, or nearly exact, system set up in a separate area, in order that the public can listen to the various entries.
If you're new to speaker building, this is a chance to talk to the contestants about speaker design and Audio in general. I believe that you'll be astonished by the quality of sound that these home-built speakers are capable of.
If you have been working on a speaker design that you'd like to enter, this contest may serve as an incentive to finish it up. In the past, all entries have received a printout of the frequency response of their speaker as well as being able to talk to real experts and audio professionals.
Speaker Contest: "The Puget Sound!" DIY Speaker Contest
The contest will be held at the Mercer Island Congregational Church, 4545 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA
Doors open at 9:00 a.m., and judging begins at approximately 9:30 a.m.. We may be flexible on start time if a contestant is traveling some distance and may be arriving later than the start time; please let us know in advance so we can schedule accordingly.
This year there will be two "classes" of entries: original DIY designs and kits. We realize that a lot of effort, experience, skill and sometimes luck are needed to come up with a successful design. Many accomplished designers learned their craft by starting with kits of one sort or another and subsequently progressed toward original designs. For others, the lack of time or experience makes a kit a means towards better, affordable sound.
A Kit is defined as...
...Any pre-designed or published design (publication includes the Internet) that is the product of another person. This may be plans, parts, kit, or both plus cabinets, etc. Any major deviation from the plans may at some point constitute an original design -- however, a club appointed technical committee will have the final determination if this problem presents itself. All kits must have been offered to and available to the general public at some time. We rely on the integrity of the contestant!
The kit class is broken by cost per pair, and excludes the cost of the cabinet and finish. The breakdown for kits is as follows:
The breakdown is as follows:
One way ----under $75/over $75
Two way ----under $200/over $200
Three way -- under $300/over $300
Unlimited ---- no limit
NOTE: This is for drivers and crossover parts only; cabinet material and finish are not included. We again rely on the contestants' integrity. Your uncle who owns the HiFi Emporium cannot give you a special deal that isn't or hasn't been available to the general public. Nuff Said!
The speakers will be driven by the system the club supplies. Don't bring your own MegaWatt Hyper Triode Amp -- we're not going to use it. To keep it simple, we are not going to allow biamping or plate amps for a bass module.
The entry fee is $5 if you pre-register (postmarked by August 25th) or $10 if you register at the door. If you have any questions please post on one of the forums with an official thread on the contest, like this one. Also, it would help us a great deal if you'd let us know or think you're coming. A downloadable format entry form and the address to send it and your entry fee will be provided at a later date.
The judging will be by a panel of judges in a special room set aside for this. We will have three judges, which in turn plays his personal pre-selected musical selections (2-3 minutes max.) while sitting in the "sweet spot." Each contestant is allowed to specify general guidelines to set-up, that is, distance apart, toe-in, although corner loaded speakers will need to provide their own artificial corners. Remember that the judges will be sitting side by side so that should be taken into consideration.
We intend that judging will be totally blind -- this means that a curtain is utilized to ensure that sound, and not appearance, will be the sole criteria. All speakers will have the loudness adjusted to the same level before judging begins. Set-up of speakers will be by a club crew using notes taken at time of entry. Each judge will be issued a standard evaluation form prior to each session, and will rate each entry by assigning points, after which the form is collected by the Technical Committee member assigned to monitoring the judging (and setting SPL levels prior to each evaluation of an entry, etc). The forms are then scored by the Contest Director, or his designee for total points. After the final entry is judged, the points earned are assigned within each category to determine ranking within that class. The total overall points regardless of category or class will determine Best Sound of Show.
General admission of the public is free. We hope to have a garage sale/swap meet type offering for those who wish to sell or buy audio gear for free. However, the owners are responsible for their gear, etc. Don't expect to drop off stuff and return at the end of the day to pick up the money. (Please advise in advance if you wish to sell items).
We are going to let the attendees help out by voting for the Best Craftsmanship, Most Unusual, Most Creative Use of Material (Bondo, duct tape, silly putty, etc.).
Each entry will receive a certificate of participation and a print out of his entry's frequency response measured by a qualified expert designated by the Contest Director or head of the Technical Committee. Additional certificates will be awarded to class winners, as well as 2nd place .
Finally a "Best Sound of Show" certificate will be presented to the overall winner. All winners of their respective DIY class are eligible for this. Please note that "kit" speakers aren't eligible for the Best Sound of Show.
Unless overruled by the Technical Committee for violation of the rules, the decision (total points) of the judges is final.
Getting closer to time - Saturday Sept. 8th
I've got a couple things currently in work, hope to get them done in time. I've got some small 2-ways that may come with me. If I can manage, I might have time to make a bass unit to go with it.
Looking forward to it.
It's been a busy last couple of months, but I just ordered the components for the crossover for the 2-way I'm bringing to the contest.
(I've got to do something about all the interruptions to this speaker-building stuff! :eek: )
Only a week to go. Hope I get the pieces in time to assemble before next Saturday. If not, I'm sure I can scrounge something from my parts bin and make something close. ;)
See you then.
I was there last in 2004 and enjoyed the get-together. It's probably time I attended again. :)
I don't (usually) build speakers that would fit the contest criteria, but enjoy talking about open-baffle, active, and other "non-traditional" designs.
Hope to see you there.
I've got at least one new project that I'd like to have ready for the contest. I guess I had better get going!
It's next Saturday!
Lots of time, Terry.Lots of time!!
Actually, it's pretty soon, given all the prep necessary!!!!
Thinking of coming and bringing one of the new kits I showed in Victoria 2 weeks back.
PS Terry, did you get my PM?
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