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Old 5th March 2008, 07:47 AM   #1
godless is offline godless  United States
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Default Looking to build some speakers

Hey guys, I am new to building speakers and would like to look around at pricing for various woofers, midranges, subwoofers, and tweeters.

What are some brands of tweeters, woofers, etc... that you guys generally consider some of the best you can get for building speakers? Also what are some good 2 and 3 way crossovers?

Any input appreciated, just list some brands you like and some websites that sell them, I am just trying to look around at the various parts to et a feel for quality vs price etc...

Thanks!
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Old 5th March 2008, 09:29 AM   #2
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Fortunately or unfortunately the list is endless.

I'd recommend some good reading if you have not yet.Like the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason for ie..


As far as parts whew Parts Express,MCM,Solen,Madisound and many others.

As far as crossover designs again many DIY designs you can clone if you are new to this,as that or a kit would be the best route.

Kits you can get from the aforementioned parts vendors or even www.zalytron.com for ie..

Designs well skim this forum you will find links and ideas and designs all over.
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Old 6th March 2008, 02:52 AM   #4
godless is offline godless  United States
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Alright, so lets say i was after a 1.5" silk dome tweeter, a 5-6" midrange, and a 10" woofer, what are some of the best brands to buy those from that you guys can think of? Also what would be a good crossover to pair with these that i can buy ready made? I do not think i want to make my own.

As for cabinet design, I have a very interesting idea for that but I dont want to spoil it until its done but you guys will see pics!

Having the drivers look nice is also of top priority
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Old 6th March 2008, 06:18 AM   #5
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"best brands " - depends on your budget, what kind of music, how loud you need to go.....
SEAS & Peerless are good value for money, Scanspeak if you've got more $$$, unless you want to go for a really big system.....15" PA drivers like JBL etc

Ready made crossovers are regarded as evil here... you're better to copy one of the designs on the sites Sreten has linked (Start with Zaph & Troels)

Cabinet design - you need to bear in mind that the cabinet needs to be a certain volume to match the woofer, apart from that, just about anything goes.... don't build another boring box
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Impedance varies with frequency, use impedance plots of your drivers and make crossover calculations using the actual impedance of the driver at the crossover frequency
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Old 6th March 2008, 06:34 AM   #6
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default so many choices....

typical questions:
  • music tastes?
    listening level desired?
    room size (including ceiling height)?
    current equipment(including a rough watts/channel,(RMS if known)
    desired efficiency (related to listening level desired)
    new equipment to be added?

and the list can keep growing.
Technically how competent are you as a cabinet constructor (I know I'm pretty bad at that!)
Do you have an understanding of crossover types, slopes and how they relate to driver choices?
Do you want to bi-amp or tri-amp the system?

as sreten points out, either copy a well known clone, or build a kit or well known DIY design such as those listed in his post.

Starting completely from scratch as a new loudspeaker builder can cost you a lot of $$$ and not guarantee results. That's why I believe in single drivers, especially as a new builder. You can get your feet wet by building a simple cabinet, and not have to deal with designing a crossover.

The 8" Pioneer fullrange with whizzer cone is cheap ($25 ea in the US), and respectable sounding. Many designs have been done with this loudspeaker driver.

good luck


stew
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Old 6th March 2008, 03:53 PM   #7
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I think the place to start is with your budget, we can begin to speculate without that.

You ask for the best. But I don't think you really understand what that means.

A quick look at Part Express will show you that the 'best' 10" woofers are in the US$100 to US$200 range EACH. A 'good' mid/bass 5" to 6" is going to run $100 to $200 each. A precision-match pair of dome tweeters is going to run $250 to $450 a pair.

I'm guessing that might be a little out of your price range.

The most common brands are -

Dayton
Seas
Scan Speak
Vifa

Also-

Morel
Usher

Under the right circumstances -

Peerless
Pyle

have some good offering.

People frequently use-

Pioneer speakers

Though a little usual in their design -

Tang Band

Makes some good products.

And there are many other brands.

But as other have said, we need a little better idea of what your situation is. How big is your room? If you are in your bedroom, that is completely different that if you are planning to do some professional DJ'ing. What is your skill level? Do you have a full compliment of wood working tools available?

I do disagree with others here. I think if you are a beginner, you can make some very acceptable speakers with off-the-shelf crossovers assuming you have made sure the crossover points are well within the true working range of the individual speakers.

Keep in mind that most here are seeking audio perfection and precision. While a few others of us, are simply seeking the best we can get given the resources we have available.

If you have the time and knowledge to do so, certainly custom made crossover are better. Here is an example of how. Ready-made crossovers assume a generic 8 ohms impedance (or 4 ohms as the case may be). But impedances change with frequency, so in making a custom crossover you would find the precise impedance at the crossover point, and design for the specific impedance.

Also, what happens if you have 6 ohms speakers. You won't find ready-made crossovers for that. Still for someone starting out and just gaining skill and knowledge, you can get by with ready-made crossover. But you are going to have to add to them. You are going to have to add Zobel networks to the speakers to stabilize the impedance at higher frequencies. If you don't know about Zobel networks yet, you will before you are done.

The best idea for a beginner is to search through the list of speaker projects posted by Sreten, and find one that is close to what you want. You will learn a lot building that project, and all the hard work of design and testing has already been done for you.

So, give us some idea of the resources (financial, intellectual, and material), and we can point you in the right direction.

Also, keep in mind that there are several FREE speaker design computer programs out their. They can model your speakers for you, so you can be sure you have the cabinet volume that servers your listening needs best. They can help you with crossover design. And when done, they can test and verify that the speakers turned out right. Again this is FREE software. You will however, need a calibration microphone for testing the speaker (about $50), possibly a small pre-amp ($30 to $50), a computer with a half-way decent sound card, and few other miscellaneous items.

If you want to skip the testing part, and just use the design part, all you need is a computer and the T/S (Theil/Small) parameters of the various speakers These are available for most speakers. In fact, I would say, if you can't get this information, don't buy the speaker.

The best part of modeling is you can know with a reasonable degree of certainty how a particular combination of speakers, cabinets, and ports will work before you actually purchase them.

One of the more popular programs, though it is still in the development stage, is WinISD. Another is Speaker Workshop, Arta software suite, and many more.

Hope that is of some help.

Steve/bluewizard
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Old 6th March 2008, 07:52 PM   #8
godless is offline godless  United States
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well what I really looking for is drivers tha have an excellent sound quality to cost ratio that look very nice (not a paper cone) perhaps a ribon tweeter i stead of dome may be better?

I am also not building them for a specific size room as I am quite happy with the monitor audio rs8s, rslcr, and rsfxs in my theater.
i would say excluding cost of cabinet i want to be able to build two speakers that have a 10 or 8 inch woofer, a good midrange and a good tweeter for 500 for the pair but rember that is without cabinet costs.

Around 250 watts to drive each seems reasonable yes?
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Old 6th March 2008, 09:45 PM   #9
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Well, I'm not saying it is the best option, but if you insist on selecting your own speakers rather than copying a design, you could take a look at the Dayton Reference Series. Dayton also makes crossovers.

Check Part Express -

http://www.partsexpress.com/speakers.cfm

Dayton RS270S-8 10" Reference Shielded Woofer 8 Ohm = $65.00 EA

OR -

Dayton RS225S-8 8" Reference Shielded Woofer 8 Ohm = $41.00 EA

Dayton RS52AN-8 2" Dome Midrange = $40.78 EA

Dayton RS28AS-4 1-1/8" Shielded Aluminum Dome Tweeter = $55.87 EA

For some reason, the Tweeter seems to be availible only in 4 ohms, but some searching might turn up an 8 ohm version. Though I really don't like the high end response on this tweeter and might consider substituting -

Dayton DC28F-8 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeter = $15.50 EA

A tolerable crossover might be this one-

Dayton XO3W-700/5.6K 3-Way Crossover 700/5,600 Hz = $49.41 EA

Though, I think and 800/4000hz crossover would be much better.

Crossover 3-Way 8 Ohm 800/4,500 Hz 200W = $29.45 EA

This would make it seem like you were ready to go, buy the parts, put them in a box...bada-bing bada-boom...your there. But it's more complicated than that, and if you want to be very precise, it is extremely more complicated than that.

You would do best to model these speakers in WinISD. That would also help you get the best cabinet size for your needs. There is a steep learning curve even to this short-cut method of speaker building.

The T/S Parameters can be found listed for each speaker, and they look like this -

Specifications: *Power handling: 80 watts RMS/120 watts max *VCdia: 1.5" *Le: 1.0 mH *Znom: 8 ohms *Re: 6.4 ohms *Frequency range: 27-2,000 Hz *Fs: 27 Hz *SPL: 88.1 dB 2.83V/1m *Vas: 2.75 cu. ft. *Qms: 1.60 *Qes: .47 *Qts: .37 *Xmax: 7 mm *Dimensions: A: 8-3/4", B: 7-3/8", C: 4".

Plug those numbers into WinISD for each speaker, and select closed or vented/ported cabinets, and select the size of cabinets, the type of crossover, and it will do a fair job of modeling the speakers as a system. It will also help you work out the Zobel networks.

But my advice for a first project, is to look at all the project designs linked to, check the cost and availability of the selected speakers, and go from there. Who ever created the particular project you select, has already worked out all the complications, and that will save you a lot of headaches.

There are even project designs at Part Express, and while good, they are not as refined as some of the others link to in this thread.

Sources of speaker components are -

Parts Express -

Madisound Speaker Components -
http://www.madisound.com/index.html

MCM Electronics -
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/

and many others.

WinISD can be found at -

Linear Team -

http://www.linearteam.dk/default.aspx?pageid=winisd

Good luck, you're going to need it.

Steve/bluewizard
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Old 7th March 2008, 05:04 AM   #10
godless is offline godless  United States
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Blue, thank you SO MUCH for the help! looks good, but actually I probably wouldnt mind spending slightly more to have them sound good, do you think a ribbon tweeter is worth it?

Anyway, thanks

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