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Tyler 9th September 2003 05:41 AM

First time DIY speakers from scratch? (please, be gental)
Hi, I'm Tyler. I wish to build a set of speakers for my room. This is my first post, please be gental!:(

I understand alot of people come on this forum (and many like it) and start asking away with stupid questions that could have been easily answered had they just done a small bit of research. Or people come on with high expections. I have alot of expierience with those people on many different forums (cars are my thing). I am not one of those people, I have spent a fair bit of time researching DIY speakers and kits, and I feel overwhelmed. I have confidence this is somthing I can do, however, I am no expert. The great part of forums is that people who are not experts can talk with people how are and get there input.

I have a mini theater set up in my bedroom. I have a a 15" dayton subwoofer in a 5.5' ported enclusure with a 250w parts express subwoofer amp (I love partsexpress). I also have a CRT projector, nice htpc, and a Harman Kardon AVR225 reciever (55x5, fyi), and 5 rat shack speakers ($20 at a yard sale, got more then I paid for, cant beat that, right?)

As im sure you can see, my speakers are my weak points.

The spekers i wish to build will be about 8 feet apart, and about 8 feet away from the listener, in a room that is 12x9.

What I would like to do is make 5 speakers for around $400. Yeah, I know its not alot, but I have other priorities. My main concern is that my front LR speakers are very musical, I use my system for about 70 percent music, and I want my center channel to be clean for my movies. The rear speakers are my least concern (may just get a couple small full range speakers in a couple sealed enclosures). Woodwork (or the like) is not a problem for me.

What I would love to do (in the perfect world) is an open baffle design for the front 3 speakers, with attractive drivers, all mounted on plexi glass (yeah, SQ is most important to me, but the speakers have to look cool too!), with a couple 8" or 10" woofers in some small enclosures for the LR speakers. Dipole maybe? Is this practical? The only problem I have is driver selection, and crossover design (so, pretty much everything that constitutes "designing" a set of speakers). I dont even know where to start:( :scratch: ! So many drivers, so many designs, bleh! If I were to select some drivers (probably from parts express) and come back here, would you guys be willing to help me design a crossover? Or point me in the right direction so that I may learn how to do it on my own?

I hope this post is'nt an inconvenience, and has the correct information needed. Any help or advise will be appriciated. Thanks!


navin 9th September 2003 05:59 AM

i am sorry for being vague but the best place to start is with a kit.

other than parts express there are kits offered from audax that could suit you too. I have heard a lot of nice things about teh Audax kits.

Once the kit is done you could then modify the XO and box and learn. Designing from scratch could then be your next step. this way you chew one bite at a time.

wintermute 9th September 2003 09:03 AM

I think Navin is probably right but....... if you have your heart set on doing everything from scratch then the first place I would look with regards to driver selection is ldsg

They have a wealth of info there (although it doesn't by any means cover ALL drivers).

I'd also say get yourself some modeling software, there is heaps of freeware and shareware stuff out there. I've been playing with speakerworkshop and unibox the most, though there are plenty of others, some I've downloaded but haven't yet looked at, winisd seems to come up a lot in threads (one of the ones I haven't got to yet)

And finally I'd say get yourself a decent book on speaker building (maybe that should be first!!!) They aren't necessarily cheap, but definitely worth the money. The latest version of "the loudspeaker design cookbook" even has a HT project in it.



edit: Hmmmmmm after reading this thread You might want to consider getting something less advanced than "the loudspeaker design cookbook"

AKSA 9th September 2003 10:53 AM

We offer kits too for a speaker called the AKSonic.

It is a two way, using relatively inexpensive Vifa drivers, one of them being the sensational XT25 ring tweeter. It integrates well with a sub.

Have a gander at the website, get an idea of how kits work.



mhelin 9th September 2003 01:02 PM

Build PMTM1 Linkwitz protos (see here) for main (front) speakers. Then add PMT1's as center and rear speakers. They use this woofer from Vifa and also Vifa tweeters.

Timn8ter 9th September 2003 01:13 PM

First of all, instead of the Cookbook check out The Great Sound Stereo Speaker Manual. It's actually a combination of two books written by David Weems that is much less technical than Vance's book. Secondly, you have a small room and not much money but you want musically accurate speakers. I'd recommend three Jordan JX92S for the front three and maybe something using the Tangband W3-871S for the rears. If you want musical accuracy and you've never designed a crossover you're probably not going to get there. The Jordan and Tangband are available from Creative Sound Solutions. Cabinet designs are available from either Creative Sound or can be found on the EJ Jordan site. For example, you could build two Jordan TL's for the mains, a Jordan 8 liter for the center, two ELF 1.5 for the rears. Total cost of drivers = $409, plus shipping, wood, wire, etc., of course. IMHO it would sound great and not require much design experience.

jlharden 9th September 2003 02:39 PM

Hi Tyler,

I think Tim is on to something. Those single driver speakers should be the ticket. No crossover incohesiveness, simplicity, and small cabinets. I've never heard the Jordans, but am interested in taking a step back to a simpler design approach. Crossovers are a necessary evil of multi driver designs and are perhaps the most complicated part of speaker design. Complicated crossovers can tend to sound complicated as well, as they may impart thier own sonic character. Here's a link for a simple to use speaker modeling program:

Please keep us posted of your progress. Good luck and careful building! Jerrod

navin 9th September 2003 03:13 PM

i like tim's idea.

mhelin 9th September 2003 05:42 PM

You could use the Vifa P22's from Apex Jr. to build the two MTM dipoles+rear MT's. They sell for $150 / 6 pieces.

Also you could put them in closed or ported box and use a simple series filter found here. Apex Jr. also have some cheap tweeter you might like.

Tyler 10th September 2003 04:16 AM

Wow, thanks for all the positive responses guys!

I really like the looks of those jordans, thanks for the idea tim! I think when the time comes I will do as you advised, make a pair of vented L/R speakers and a sealed center channel. Maybe later, as I learn, ill creat a new enclosure for the L/R speakers with an added subwoofer, and learn how to work with crossovers that way.

Thanks again guys, you have helped point me in the right direction!

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