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Old 21st March 2013, 03:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I haven't built anything yet, but have been reading this forum and others. A common response I keep seeing is that a first speaker build should be a kit or someone else's design, and not something you come up with on your own. I don't understand the reason for this.

I agree designing something on your own is harder, so if someone says "I want a speaker and haven't built one before", and you say "use a kit, it's easier", that makes sense. If you say "Do a few from kits first, and then move on to designing your own", that does not make sense.

I have some theoretical knowledge on crossovers and driver selection (what is freely available via Internet), and no practical knowledge. I don't see how building a speaker from a kit is going to give me more of either.

I also don't understand why designing crossovers without expensive measurement equipment is harder. I agree if I were designing a line of speakers for mass production, and wanted a very flat response in an anechoic chamber, it would be harder. But I don't care what my speakers sound like in an anechoic chamber, I care what they sound like in my living room, and feel I can measure that better with free software and a $5 microphone in my living than a professional with $100,000 equipment and no idea where the speakers will be placed. Of course, I may need a new crossover if I change rooms, but I will probably change speakers more often than I change rooms.

Well, to keep your out of pocket costs and time down wrt the enclosures, you can start prototyping with a kitchen knife and spare cardboard boxes, white glue and a few cheap metal screws for the drivers - makes it easy to throw away a few wasted first efforts. Then you can feature your woodworking skills here on a version that has avoided some of the bigger mistakes.

I still have the first enclosure I built when I was 12 years old with all my sky blue ideas (and there wasn't Thiele/Small then, to show when that was) - it works fine at holding the speaker and radio parts, and sounded fine to me then except for a certain bass deficiency.

Last edited by thoriated; 21st March 2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 03:20 AM   #12
fakeout is offline fakeout  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Because your clueless, and no matter how clever
you think are in choosing drivers and crossover
designs, people have been their and done it.

By all means design you own speaker, but if you think
that is going to be easy that is your first mistake.

If you think you can do better first off with a design
than people with years of experience that is your
second mistake.

If you think you can't learn from studying designs
from other people that is your third mistake.

If you think you can come up with something that
hasn't been done before that is your fourth mistake.

If you wan't something that hasn't been done before
that is your fifth mistake, you will be on your own.

Its possible if you thoroughly understand most of
the existing designs out there and what you want,
you could do better, but its a lot more likely you
simply can't for a first build, choosing your own
drivers and crossover, as most good driver choices
as combinations are used in the better designs.

e.g. For the price come up with something better than say :
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy/amiga
For the balance of its performance attributes you can't (IMO).

I could list several other designs with different performance
envelopes that are all extremely good and very hard to better.

https://sites.google.com/site/undefi...-provendesigns

There are good designs out there, and trying to reinvent
the wheel is not a good plan. Use all information available.

The astute would find a suitable good design and concentrate
on the cabinets. Good cabinet design is also far more complex
than it first appears, and a nice finish everyone wants.

rgds, sreten.

http://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy
(see if nothing else, the excellent FAQs)
The Speaker Building Bible
Zaph|Audio
Zaph|Audio - ZA5 Speaker Designs with ZA14W08 woofer and Vifa DQ25SC16-04 tweeter
FRD Consortium tools guide
http://web.archive.org/web/200909021...esigningXO.htm
RJB Audio Projects
http://web.archive.org/web/200909022...ve99/Spkrbldg/
Speaker Design Works
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=28655
A Speaker project
DIY Loudspeakers
Humble Homemade Hifi
Quarter Wavelength Loudspeaker Design
Pi Speakers - unmatched quality and state-of-the-art performance
The Frugal-Horns Site -- High Performance, Low Cost DIY Horn Designs
6.283 Audio Pages
Linkwitz Lab - Loudspeaker Design
Music and Design

Great free SPICE Emulator : SPICE-Based Analog Simulation Program - TINA-TI - TI Software Folder
I know that looks copied and pasted from somewhere but why call someone clueless for showing an interest in audio?
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Old 22nd March 2013, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I haven't built anything yet, but have been reading this forum and others. A common response I keep seeing is that a first speaker build should be a kit or someone else's design, and not something you come up with on your own. I don't understand the reason for this.
The reason is simply that a lot of folks when starting out doing a diy speaker build find a lot of things somewhat confusing and a proven method is a good way to start out, avoiding mistakes and providing a good quality speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I agree designing something on your own is harder, so if someone says "I want a speaker and haven't built one before", and you say "use a kit, it's easier", that makes sense. If you say "Do a few from kits first, and then move on to designing your own", that does not make sense.
There is a certain amount of sense to this. A two-way system for example can sound a lot different depending upon something as simple as the size of the enclosure you use and the room they are to be used in. I have just completed a set of two-way stand mounted monitor style speakers -- build thread here--, and they are vastly different from the full tower two-way I recently completed. Both have similar crossover topologies but the size and types of drivers I used have completely different performance results and you have to design specifically for this. Building a variety of kits is a great way of finding out what you do and don't like the sound of and can lead you to your "Ultimate Design"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I have some theoretical knowledge on crossovers and driver selection (what is freely available via Internet), and no practical knowledge. I don't see how building a speaker from a kit is going to give me more of either.
Because it supplies you with a blueprint to work from, including such as driver specs and enclosure design etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I also don't understand why designing crossovers without expensive measurement equipment is harder. I agree if I were designing a line of speakers for mass production, and wanted a very flat response in an anechoic chamber, it would be harder.
It isn't necessarily harder, but it can be more inaccurate. When I do a build I design both the enclosure and the crossover at the same time, modeled in a software package, in this case X-Over Pro. This is my base point, final tweaking will come once they are operational and I either like what I hear or don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
But I don't care what my speakers sound like in an anechoic chamber, I care what they sound like in my living room, and feel I can measure that better with free software and a $5 microphone in my living than a professional with $100,000 equipment and no idea where the speakers will be placed. Of course, I may need a new crossover if I change rooms, but I will probably change speakers more often than I change rooms.
Experts test in a number of environments, with a range of equipment. Where possible they generally look for the flattest response that they can achieve, as designers are well aware that their speakers can and will be used in a variety of environments. Their test equipment almost always will be better than yours as will their results.

You shouldn't need to change a crossover just because you may change a room, if that were the case I would have changed the crossovers in my B&W's at least a dozen times in as many years. Its much easier to change the environmental conditions within the room to help offset possible problems.

Bottom line try a well known design then go hard out and see what you can do
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Old 22nd March 2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
You idea about designing to in-room response is, well, it's just not that simple, but you'll figure that out.
I am not deliberately going out of my way to design away room issues, similar to using an equalizer (I need to find a woofer with a huge peak at 50Hz ...). What I am saying is the expensive equipment needed to make a speaker perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber is probably wasteful for a hobbyist, and that with any non-horrible crossover and driver selection and only using wife-approved room treatments, room issues will still be a larger problem than speaker issues.

Quote:
Anyway, I agree with your general idea that there's not necessarily any good reason not to start with your own design. It's just that usually people that want to start that way don't want to go beyond some general "rules" they've read about and some nearly useless calculators, and then maybe they play with a couple component values and proclaim themselves successful when they achieve a result that doesn't sound grating. For some reason, it seems common to think that an amateur can get by with less measurements and simulations, when really what an amateur needs is a LOT more measurements and simulations than a real expert, because they will have a hard time recognizing and identifying their mistakes without.
I wouldn't bash amateurs that much - if designing speakers isn't your primary source of income, you are an amateur. That probably goes for almost everyone on diyaudio. The reason I got into this, and probably the reason most people get into this, is to experience designing a speaker. Amateurs in all fields tend to overdue things, so I probably will do a lot more measurements and calculations that a professional would (probably a lot of less relevant ones, but that is the price of not having a degree and experience in this field).

When I first go into 'high-fi' audio, I read a lot by Neville Thiele, but also Harmon Kardon put out a lot of good technical information. My first system was about $500 (total), a lot of money for me at the time, and I went with Harmon's new Infinity line (not the older, better speakers with the same name). I was obsessed enough with these that I found a thread from the designer on the Internet and was shocked to learn he or other engineers had no role in cabinet sizes or dimensions - they came from marketing people. He was complaining the center was too large compared to the sides. So that is how professional designers work - you get cabinets designed by marketing people, have a very small selection of in-house drivers to pick from, an extremely small budget for cross-over parts, and I'd imagine a boss looking over your shoulder making sure you work quickly.[/QUOTE]

Quote:
If you're willing to learn how to take and use measurements, response and impedance, and you're not afraid of wasting some money on failed/revised plans, just go for it and start learning.
With the possible exception of ribbon tweeters, I would think anything expensive could be reused after any failure.


Quote:
I would recommend more like $150 for a calibrated mic and a used USB interface, though. You can do a whole lot with that.
I would appreciate if you would recommend a brand or model of mic. Right now, I am using a Radio Shack SPL meter. I was under the impression that anything under $1500 was pretty much junk, and this meter was one of the best in that price range. Obviously, anything I need to calibrate myself will have the problem of not having the proper equipment to calibrate it.

I know there are a lot more posts here, and will reply as I have time.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I would appreciate if you would recommend a brand or model of mic. Right now, I am using a Radio Shack SPL meter. I was under the impression that anything under $1500 was pretty much junk, and this meter was one of the best in that price range. Obviously, anything I need to calibrate myself will have the problem of not having the proper equipment to calibrate it.
Sure. Field-use stand-alone RTAs are expensive, as are super-accurate SPL meters. Fortunately, a calibrated mic used with a computer is much more useful for designing speakers anyway, and most of us already have computers .

In the US, the Dayton EMM-6 calibrated mic is pretty much the no-brainer budget choice. Others sell calibrated versions of the same mic (it's sold under several brands) in the UK for a bit more, I think. It's plenty accurate when calibrated. It just can't do extreme SPL. You also need something to serve as the preamp (with phantom power) and also to interface with the computer. Tascam US-144mkII is a popular device for that. I'm currently using the next model up in that line, which is almost the same but with a non-USB power supply and more inputs. I also used a Lexicon Lambda, which worked fine before it broke.

There's also the recently-released UMIK from the miniDSP people, which incorporates the whole preamp/ADC/etc. into the mic and is very cheap. You still have to get good audio output from your computer to do all the wonderful things that measurement software can do, though, and the seperate mic and interface method makes that easier and more flexible. Also, the USB interface/preamp devices such as you'd use with the Dayton mic can be used to take impedance measurements (with a jig wire and some fussing about). I guess what I'm saying is I think it's worth the extra cash to keep things a bit more separated/flexible/capable.

Last edited by dumptruck; 22nd March 2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 03:18 PM   #16
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For measuring, use the ruler
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Old 22nd March 2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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Cross·Spectrum - Calibrated Behringer ECM8000 Microphones for Sale

or Dayton Audio OmniMic V2 Precision Audio Measurement System 390-792
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Old 22nd March 2013, 03:35 PM   #18
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Oh yeah, cross-spectrum is other source for calibrated electret mics I couldn't think of. The Omnimic package is a poor value, IMO.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 07:50 PM   #19
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I could pick up a Dayton EMM-6 and a blue icicle for the same price as the UMIK - to me this seems the better solution. Someone recommended the Art Dual Pre as a step up from the blue icicle. I am not sure how good either of these devices are.

I am a little confused on how to measure impedance with a mic or the thing you plug the mic into. I would think just having a multi-meter in the line from the amp to the speaker would be the best/easiest way to measure it, and that it wouldn't deviate enough from the theoretical value to be worth measuring.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 07:58 PM   #20
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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The Emm-6 and Blue Icicle combo is very popular. For the price, you'll probably find it hard to beat.
You can't measure impedence with a mic or with a multi meter. Multi meters check resistance. Impedence is frequency depedent. If you do a search for ARTA or LIMP you can find a DIY impedence jig. Otherwise, a Dayton DATS is what you need.
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