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Old 20th March 2013, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default Not to design my own for the first build

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.
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Old 20th March 2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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I say go for it. Even if you bugger up the crossover, you can always come back to it at a later date.
It's worth investing in some speaker design books. This is ok for the beginner: Designing, Building, and Testing Your Own Speaker System with Projects
. I'd also read this.
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Old 20th March 2013, 10:59 PM   #3
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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It is probably better to design your speakers to suit your room, and design the crossover to suit the speakers without the room, then treat the room and locations to suit the balance. This way you aren't using the crossover for something that it is technically unable to fix. Although a crossover will EQ a speaker, not all things can or should be EQ'ed.
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Old 21st March 2013, 01:20 AM   #4
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This, very good, forum might be of interest.
Introduction to designing crossovers without measurement
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Old 21st March 2013, 01:22 AM   #5
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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You really have nothing to lose by giving it a try. See what you can come up with and tweak it as you learn more. Experiment. Have fun. If you decide you want help on it, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get plenty.
I don't know if you've seen this, but there's a lot of good info in its pages.
The Speaker Building Bible

Most importantly, have fun!
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Old 21st March 2013, 01:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
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.
You idea about designing to in-room response is, well, it's just not that simple, but you'll figure that out. 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.

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. I would recommend more like $150 for a calibrated mic and a used USB interface, though. You can do a whole lot with that.

Last edited by dumptruck; 21st March 2013 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 21st March 2013, 01:58 AM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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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
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http://web.archive.org/web/200909021...esigningXO.htm
RJB Audio Projects
http://web.archive.org/web/200909022...ve99/Spkrbldg/
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http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=28655
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Last edited by sreten; 21st March 2013 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 21st March 2013, 02:19 AM   #8
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Location: Jakarta
Quote:
Originally Posted by bvbellomo View Post
I don't understand the reason for this.

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.
The basic idea is that to beginners, speaker building looks too easy, while the truth is it is not. It means, it is very easy to go wrong. Measurements and simulation doesn't tell the whole story. The builder may think that the speaker is very good (especially if he never used drivers in the same price league before) while it is not.

Thus it is important (for me at least) to have a benchmark so we can compare a speaker being designed next to a finished design, to properly measure the success.

Dayton and Silverflute are cheap drivers with very good quality. Having a speaker design with any of them next to a new design with more expensive drivers can be frustrating if you know what I mean.

If you're interested in speaker building, you can build a trusted design, then spend your whole life bettering that design

Or, you can build poor speaker after poor speaker, without knowing what can be achieved with the drivers.

For those who only need the speaker (do not have interest in the design) and only want to listen to music, building trusted design is the only way to go.
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Old 21st March 2013, 07:36 AM   #9
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To side with the OP, there are speaker designs that are done quite often on diyaudio, but have no kit - eg 4 way horn designs
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Old 21st March 2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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We don't know bvbellomo, nor how he reacts to adversity. Perhaps after a single attempt he'll say cram it and buy something, or alternately, build an established design. Or, on the other hand, if disappointed with his first result, he may be very determined, and research, purchase equipment, measure and go on to become another Troels, Tony Gee, or similar respected designer. He's working with speakers, not high voltage tube amps where lack of skill and knowledge could kill him. I think the only critical mistake he can make is not trying.
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