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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 9th January 2004, 02:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Texas
Default Newbie wants to build first set of speakers

I was looking through the reference speaker thread and just thought I might as a few questions here about my own setup.

I would like to build a small tower style setup, like the ones you see at Circuit City (Polk, Infinity, etc).

I only need a two way setup, though I would like to be able to mount a side firing woofer (8 or 10") in the tower if possible.

I like loud, but smooth treble, silk tweeters sound best to me (from what I have heard around). I like punchy midbass as well.

Would a two way tower be possible for under 75 bucks (including drivers and crossovers etc etc, not wood and varnish)?

I am rapidly improving my woodworking abilities so I would like ot build my own cabinet. Any downsides to the tower style, or does it really need to have the golden ratio to it (I suppose I could enclose part of the tower).

Would I get better sound out of a 75 dollar diy speaker or a 300 dollar Infinity from Circuit City?

Could I extend my speaker collection by creating a matching center and surround setup in the future, or is that a completely different project?

Thanks, I know these are probably all dumb questions, but advice is appreciated.
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Old 9th January 2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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Location: California
Originally posted by sreten
An alternative might be a compact floorstander with an
overdamped reflex alignment or a T/L tuned to near 33Hz
in an attempt to drive the room below resonance.

This or something similar could possibly work well :

I just happened to read over this in another thread. I am new to home audio as well so I can't really help you out too much. What I do know is that you can get good drivers at low prices but you still need parts for the crossover. From all that I have read here I am pretty sure the crossover is one of the more important parts so better quality parts are needed for this. Inductors can get pricey as I have seen from PE.
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Old 9th January 2004, 04:21 PM   #3
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Yes! That is very much what I am looking for!

I wonder how it would sound when compared to a store bought unit. Also, how does Dayton compare to say Peerless. Would a few more dollars buy me better drivers? I am still learning TS paramters and I understand some drivers work better in some enclosures than others.

Hehe all this information to go over. But thats what makes it ufn!
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Old 10th January 2004, 08:22 AM   #4
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Certainly a well implemented DIY speaker should outperform anything you would buy for the same price. Quite often a DIY speaker can outperform something twice the price. This ratio won't occur if you try to do it too cheap.

A good place to start for a very cheap DIY budget speaker is a fullrange single driver like a tangband 3" or 4" driver. They cost about $20 each and you don't need a crossover, although some of them can benefit from a "notch filter" which is not expensive. Here is an example:

TB speaker example

You could do that on your budget.

Adire have a few that are worth considering:

Adire free designs

They are above your budget, but you will have a hard time getting better for less. Don't expect much bass and clarity from a $75 DIY speaker!!!
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Old 10th January 2004, 02:42 PM   #5
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Wow! When you said full range I was pretty bleh about it, but that TB system sure looks nice, and I imagine close up and in a smaller room it would sound real ncie as well! Then paired with a sub it could really do something!

But how did he get the black powder look to the box? Thats really nice also!

That may very well be my first project then, cheap and simple, and I do bet it sounds good. That was a ncei flat response down to almost 100Hz. It does look like the very top end is a little funky though.

I dont know what a notch filter is yet. I am going to buy the Loudspeaker CookBook and do some learning.
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Old 11th January 2004, 03:44 AM   #6
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A notch filter can be either active or passive. Active means it uses opamps and a power supply and takes the signal from the preamp, before it gets to the power amp. Passive means that it can be in the speaker and works on filtering the signal that has been amplified. A notch filter adds an inverted parabola to the response, in other words it has a point that it cuts back, then rolls off sharply to either side as determined by the Q of the notch filter. John has used a passive notch filter, the simplest way.

Do a search on this forum for tangband. I have heard nothing bad about them. For their price everyone says they are great value. Many also comment that they sound better than they expected, and that it might have something to do with the fact that they are full range. Yes, it is unusual to find an aluminium cone, rubber surround and a phase plug in such a cheap speaker. Apparently when used in a terminated line enclosure, the imaging of these is stunning. Personallly I have had many ideas for different designs using this driver, but haven't gotten around to any of them. They also look good for a great little HT system.

Ok, here is some more food for thought on the TB:

zHorn - rear loaded horn to get bass down to 50 Hz with this driver:
look at the 4" version on the left, the one on the right shows you how it looks inside

Also check out the Norh 3.0 which uses a 3" TB driver in a very interesting enclosure, the top one is a terminated line aka inverted horn

I have also seen some TB speakers used for a line array - these drivers make it simple and affordable, although a line array will mess with the budget you have in mind right now.

The great thing about it is that there is not much you can do wrong with this. Basically put it in a box and play. Then you might try a passive notch filter and see how it sounds. Print off the schematic of the notch filter and take it in to an electronics shop and they can get you the parts and tell you how to put them together as it is very simple.

I'm not sure about the finish. You'll have to hunt around at your local paint store. Automotive paint is also promising, especially if you want it glossy as it dries faster and you have less problems with dust.

Keep in mind, with the zHorn, it was designed for the 4" version, so the notch filter on John's page wont' be right for it.

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Old 11th January 2004, 03:51 AM   #7
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Stupid question probably - does it matter which 'way' the inductors, capacitors, and resistors are oriented in the crossover? In other words, is there a (+) and (-) to these devices?

Sorry, not much electronics experience, but trying my hand at 2.5 DIYs. Got my parts in today and this question popped into my little brain.

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Old 11th January 2004, 05:26 AM   #8
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Chunky cheese,

Resistors, inductors are not polarised, ie. they don't have a positive or negative pole, so you can hook them up either way. If it is a bipolar electrolytic, then make sure you do hook it up the right way, as they do have a + and - and if you get it wrong .... well, just don't!

Components that are polarised will normally have markings.

I have a Jaycar component guide with a basic description of electronic components which I can send you if you like, just shoot me an email. I'd link you to it on Jaycars site, but I can't find it on there, but it is very helpful.

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Old 12th January 2004, 07:52 PM   #9
sid510 is offline sid510  Canada
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just a little error in what you said, Bipolar and nonpolar are similar
it is polar caps that you have to watch for the + and - .

thank you
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Old 12th January 2004, 10:25 PM   #10
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Location: Chicago area
I didn't follow the link to look at the picture of the finish but if it's black and looks textured it is probably spray on truck bed liner. Seems to be the new thing if your not into veneer or if you don't have the means to apply veneer.
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