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Old 20th September 2012, 11:56 PM   #1
Zlash03 is offline Zlash03  United States
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Default Building a portable speaker system...from scratch.

Hi. Im brand new here. I stumbled upon this place when I was trying to gather as much information as I could on a project I want to do. From the title you can see what I want to do.

I dont mean "portable" in the sense of small, but portable in the sense of a portable power supply in a cabinet with working speakers.

The design is going to sound crazy but just try to stay with it:

My plans were to have 5 speakers total. One large one in the center, and 4 smaller ones with one in each top and bottom corners. But I also wanted this to be portable and easilly moveable by having wheels on the bottom, and an on-board battery power supply.

If I havent lost you yet to either how stupid this sounds or impossible, I thank you for that. Now, the real kicker for me is that I know next to nothing about speaker systems. I hear all these terms and have no clue what they mean. So my first order of business is learning what terms I need to know.

The second part is knowing which parts I actually need. Based on the sizes I wanted I chose this speaker for the center one: GRS 15PF-8 15" Paper Cone Foam Surround Woofer 292-415

The ones I chose for the corners are 4 of these: Pyle PDMR5 5" Sealed Back Midrange 292-200

I dont know anything about these to be honest. Im trying to keep the price down in as many ways possible since I might need to buy alot of things. Im not looking to produce sound that is going to put anyone within earshot into some trance or anything either. Just normal quality sound to keep the price down. I also have no clue how to plug everything together as one unit and make it all work.

Now that I got what speakers I wanted out of the way, I need to know every single last piece I need to make this actually possible. Im talking about EVERY piece because im starting from scratch here. Since I dont know much about any of this, I see how it might be a huge undertaking. But im up for the challenge because this is something ive been thinking about for some time now. Money really isnt an issue but like I said before im trying to keep it down.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:19 AM   #2
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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not stereo?
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:22 AM   #3
Zlash03 is offline Zlash03  United States
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Im not sure what you mean. If that will help to make a more simple system im all for it. I like simple.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:56 AM   #4
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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Not more simple.

What is your sound source?
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:01 AM   #5
Zlash03 is offline Zlash03  United States
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Whats a sound source? Sorry for asking but like I said, I know nothing.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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I think he is asking what will you be feeding the speakers to give you music, an iPod, a CD player or...
Another thing to consider is that with same speakers (the midranges) you wish to have them as close together as possible or you end up with cancellation issues. You'll notice an odd sound to it, trust me placing them further apart such as in the corners is not a good idea.
By stereo, they are asking if you want to have to two separate speakers, as most recordings are stereo.
The woofer you chose is fine, the sealed back midranges will not provide the rest of the music, you still need tweeters to get all the sound like cymbals and such. A sealed back mid is convenient but there are drawbacks with the quality of sound.
If you are set on building something yourself you really have two choices. Either do a lot of reading on how this whole thing works, and I do mean a lot of reading, or maybe think about a kit speaker. They won't resemble what you have in mind but they are designed by someone who knows what they are doing and remove all the unknowns and guesswork.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:28 PM   #7
balerit is offline balerit  South Africa
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Do you want surround sound? I have just designed a pcb (printed circuit board) based on a TDA 1557 chip amplifier. There is a way to connect extra speakers to decode the rear channel sound without fancy decoders. Unfortunately I have put this project on hold but it will be run off 12v and be portable. My thinking was what would happen when our power grid goes for a loop as we have had a lot of blackouts recently. I have also designed a pcb for the TDA 1558Q with subwoofer etc.
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Last edited by balerit; 21st September 2012 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 21st September 2012, 04:46 PM   #8
Zlash03 is offline Zlash03  United States
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Thats what I thought he meant by "sound source". I would use and Ipod Touch. I also see how getting one to build is easier but I would still like to pull off my idea. I also understand your point of the weird sound because of the mid-range ones to far apart. Would there possibly be a way to make that design actually possible? If you have a better idea on speakers that will work better with that feel free to reccomend them too me. As for surround sound I wasnt interested. I just wanted it to be a system like portable ipod speakers but just on a larger scale.
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Old 21st September 2012, 07:16 PM   #9
Zlash03 is offline Zlash03  United States
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I chose 4 tweeters (Let me know if thats to many or not enough):Goldwood GT-1005 Wide Dispersion Piezo Tweeter 270-011

Ok so I started to do more research but still have a few questions. Would I also need a crossover? Could I just use a pre-assembled Passive crossover instead of building my own? How many "ways" (2 or 3) would I need on it to work properly? If I need a 3 way I would take this one: Crossover 3-Way 8 Ohm 800/5,000 Hz 100W 260-210

If I needed a 2 way I would take this one: Dayton Audio XO2W-2.5K 2-Way Crossover 2,500 Hz 260-142

Im not sure if either of these are powerfull enough or to much. If anyone knows of ones that are cheaper and still get the job done, please reccomend those too.
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Old 21st September 2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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Hold on there Bubba Louie,

It appears you are heading down a path that I suggested wouldn't work. Ok, I understand individuality so I'm going to say it straight this time:

No. What you are suggesting is wrong in so many ways that I don't know where to start so I'm won't bother. Now, understand I deem this brutal approach necessary as it appears your desire comes from an aesthetic approach, rather than a desire to make things work.

I think you really ought to consider doing this: Go to your local thrift shops, find some suitable sized speakers and do some experimenting with them, the amps and batteries. Once you are happy, consider getting some kit speakers and replacing the thrift shop ones.

You are heading down too many wrong roads at once with your current approach and are never going to be happy. Please take the time to consider my words, it is not meant to discourage you they are meant to get you going in the right direction before you go and buy parts you can't use.

Like my Dad used to say: You can't cut grass with a blender.
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