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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 26th September 2009, 06:13 AM   #1
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Default Noob requiring loud speaker guidance

Hey guys, my name's Rob and this is my first post on this forum.

I've recently begun building a home made boombox using car speakers and some SLA batteries and through that project I've become keen on building my own speakers for home use. However, upon reading some of the vast quantities of speaker theory and anecdotes available on the internet I'm rather confused and feel like I need some guidance.

I suppose the best way to start would be to explain what I want out of my speakers. I want speakers that are robust and can deliver a decent amount of volume (the kind of volume that will satisfy revellers who visit for the odd house party) - this is my most important requirement. And obviously I would like them to sound good, but I don't require an extreme audiophile standard.

I would like the speakers to be suitable for a wide range of music and I plan on eventually augmenting my setup with a sub. I like to play drum and bass when no one is around to complain so bass is of great importance.

I would greatly appreciate any advice and especially some links to popular or suitable loudspeaker designs. I need a good starting point because at the moment it's all a bit daunting.

Many thanks!
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Old 26th September 2009, 06:59 AM   #2
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Welcome

You didn't state a budget, but these: http://www.parts-express.com/project...gna/index.html look like they'd be great party speakers And the hard part of designing the Xover has already been done, the construction itself isn't too bad...
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Old 26th September 2009, 07:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Glowbug View Post
Welcome

You didn't state a budget, but these: http://www.parts-express.com/project...gna/index.html look like they'd be great party speakers And the hard part of designing the Xover has already been done, the construction itself isn't too bad...

I'd say if I could get away with NZ$1000 I'd be pretty happy (not all in one go hopefully). That's roughly US$700. I could definitely extend the budget further, but would prefer to keep it tight especially given that I'm a beginner.

The speakers you've linked to look perfect (if not a little daunting).
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Old 26th September 2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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You've given us most of the points needed, the ones we don't know are maximum size it can be, and your budget - on the low price end of the scale, a pair of PA speakers would do nicely - further up, there's the bigger stuff with lower bass, and a nicer sound. You get what you pay for.

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Old 26th September 2009, 08:14 AM   #5
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Hmm I replied to Glowbug with my budget but it doesn't appear to have been submitted...

I'd like to do it for less than NZ$1000 (US$700) and size isn't really an issue. My current speakers are large "Tamon" things which have 12" woofers. But they suck, hence my desire to upgrade.

The speakers in Glowbug's link look wicked but might be a bit tricky for me to tackle first up. But they look like they deliver the performance I desire.
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Old 26th September 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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I'll second Glowbug's recommendation of a 3-way speaker since you want something loud and with good bass, although I have no knowledge of the particular speaker he linked to. You should specify a budget and an honest evaluation of how comfortable you are with building enclosures, reading schematics, wiring crossovers etc so people can make a good recommendation. These considerations are important so people can recommend something that matches your current skill level so you'll have a successful build that you're happy with in the end. If you own no tools and have never built a box, you might be happy buying a pre-built enclosure. If you own some tools and don't mind making some sawdust you can save money and make your own enclosures and save some $$ but it can be daunting.

I personally just finished my first pair of speakers, Madisound Recession Buster References, although I'd made a car sub box before. I'd HIGHLY recommend this speaker by the way, it's an amazing speaker at a VERY reasonable price. I didn't own any tools so I ended up spending just as much for the tools as I did for the speakers themselves. While I was planning my build, I benefited alot from studying HTguide's diy forum where they have alot of build threads. Their forums really helped me because I could see lots of pictures of how others accomplished the various aspects of their builds (joints, bracing, clamping, what tools I'd need, what kind of glue etc). The devil is in the details so pay close attention to how the masters do things!
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Old 26th September 2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian Kingsbury View Post
I'll second Glowbug's recommendation of a 3-way speaker since you want something loud and with good bass, although I have no knowledge of the particular speaker he linked to. You should specify a budget and an honest evaluation of how comfortable you are with building enclosures, reading schematics, wiring crossovers etc so people can make a good recommendation. These considerations are important so people can recommend something that matches your current skill level so you'll have a successful build that you're happy with in the end. If you own no tools and have never built a box, you might be happy buying a pre-built enclosure. If you own some tools and don't mind making some sawdust you can save money and make your own enclosures and save some $$ but it can be daunting.

Okay, my skills in the above areas (building enclosures, reading schematics and wiring crossovers) are non-existant. They are things i have never attempted. I'm hoping to undertake some speaker builds with a friend and plan to rely heavily on skilled individuals in my acquaintance for the various stages of construction and assembly.

For instance, my girlfirend's dad has all the tools needed for woodworking and, although I don't have a great mind for electronics, I work at a TV station where I could ask the engineers for assistance. Or my Uncle who is a telecom engineer.

But yes, the simpler the better for the first build.
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Old 26th September 2009, 09:46 AM   #8
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If you really want to go with "live" SPL levels and following the path of buying kits , why not the Zaph Audio one at Madisound ? I'm referring to the "tower" one , with 8 woofers , 2 tweeters and 2 xovers already mounted.
My only suggestion would be to change the tweeter , probably you'd need a "pro" one , like Eminence or B&C units.
Why don't you first investigate on your Tamon drivers ? Try to stick 'em to a surface and play them loud ...probably is a problem of bad box design , not the speaker itself.
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Old 26th September 2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Good to see a fellow kiwi hitting the diy scene!
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Old 26th September 2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hey_homes View Post
Okay, my skills in the above areas (building enclosures, reading schematics and wiring crossovers) are non-existant. They are things i have never attempted. I'm hoping to undertake some speaker builds with a friend and plan to rely heavily on skilled individuals in my acquaintance for the various stages of construction and assembly.

For instance, my girlfirend's dad has all the tools needed for woodworking and, although I don't have a great mind for electronics, I work at a TV station where I could ask the engineers for assistance. Or my Uncle who is a telecom engineer.

But yes, the simpler the better for the first build.
Based on your response, you're going to want a kit that has the crossovers already assembled. Doing the crossover is a whole mess you don't want to deal with if still don't understand how to read a schematic. It's not really hard per se, but there's alot of room for error if you don't know what you're doing.

Your main criteria was a loud system with good bass and a 3-way seems to fit your desire. However, building a 3-way enclosure is far more difficult than building a 2-way because of it's inherently large size and requiring multiple interal chambers for each driver. I think a nice balance would be to build a 2-way and build a diy subwoofer as well.

I don't have any experience with diy home sub kits so i'll leave that to someone with more knowledge than me to recommend a good one. There's plenty out there though and most are fairly easy to construct. Keep in mind to pick one with a relatively basic enclosure.

As for the 2-way, I'll stick to my recommendation of the Madisound RBR kit ($400 + accessories). The boxes are small enough it will be simple to put together. It really is absolutely amazing for the price and sounds FAR bigger than it actually is. I'd say they compare favorably to my previous speakers, $3500/pr Von Schweikert VR-4's in terms of sound quality. Do the sealed version and add a subwoofer and you and your friends will be absolutely blown away by the sound.

You can get enclosures pre-built for the RBR kit, but, assuming you have access to a router/table saw, you should at least TRY to build your own enclosures. I had no woodworking experience whatsoever and i've made a sub box and the RBR ported kit with no help. MDF is cheap so you've got nothing to lose by trying. Also, theres a much higher degree of satisfaction when YOU actually make it. When building a kit with pre-fab enclosures, you're just taking some screws and a drill and assembling someone elses work. If you ask me, though, that takes all the fun out of it. Don't take the Y out of DIY!
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