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Old 4th February 2005, 08:50 AM   #1
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Default First project: guidance needed

I'm going into the world of do-it-yourself audio with a lot of enthusiasm. I have already begun my first tube amplifier project. In order to complement that project I would like to build a set of speakers. I would like to tackle this in the same manner I tackle anything in my life, to get it right the first time.

I understand that you can't build the world's greatest speakers on your first try, however I don't want to build a "first speaker" type project. I would much rather spend my money and time doing the right first. By this I mean buying high-quality drivers. The consensus around the net for high-quality drivers seem to be 'scan speak' drivers.

With all this said and done I have several questions:
1. For a first project, would you recommend bookshelves or floor standing? I would rather have floor standing, however if it is much more difficult I will build bookshelves.
2. The aspect of speaker building that I have the least amount of knowledge about is building the Cabinet's. What are some resources that would help me in this field? Internet pages, books, etc.
3. If you know of any projects that seem to fit the bill, please recommend them.
4. What drivers would you recommend using?
5. Initially I wanted to build a three-way speaker. I understand however that it is much easier to build a two-way. What are your thoughts/recommendations on subject?

Thank you very much for your input, these forums have been indispensable,
Eitan Waks
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Old 4th February 2005, 09:19 AM   #2
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what wattage is the tube amp? be a good start for choosing some suitable efficient drivers.
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Old 4th February 2005, 09:28 AM   #3
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Yes, don't get hung up on the idea that the best drivers make the best speakers - it helps, but there are many other factors involved. I would start with a well reviewed design, based on drivers you can get locally. As woodwork is 75% of a good project, that will be your challenge. If you go back through the threads here, you will find plenty of research material, both on cabinet construction, and on various different projects

Have fun!
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Old 4th February 2005, 10:39 AM   #4
shusha is offline shusha  Croatia
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Eitan, since you are from Israel I will recommend you Morel drivers. You should find them locally. They have excellent drivers and there are many possibilities for builder. You can choose between many DIY projects.

You said that you will like floorstander. Morel's are great for transmission lines and there are few very good ones.

Take a quick look at:

http://www.audiokit.it/ITAENG/KitDif...EL/Line166.htm
http://www.audiokit.it/ITAENG/KitDif...EL/Line162.htm
http://www.audiokit.it/ITAENG/KitDif...MOREL/Kent.htm

You can also choose a different tweeter or even different concept. If you search this forum you will find an interesting MDM concept with Morel drivers.
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Old 4th February 2005, 12:59 PM   #5
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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Default Re: First project: guidance needed

Quote:
Originally posted by eitanwaks
...I have already begun my first tube amplifier project. In order to complement that project I would like to build a set of speakers...

With all this said and done I have several questions:..

Thank you very much for your input, these forums have been indispensable,
Eitan Waks
Eitan,
I am totally with SkinnyBoy on this one. Start with the amp, your listening room and the music you listen to. How much power does the amp put out. If you are building a four or five watt single-ended tube amp your speaker choice may well be different than if you were building a 50 watt push-pull amp.

Second, what type of music will you be listening to? If you listen mostly to acoustic music you may make a different choice than if you are a head-banger. (Of course your amp may limit your head-banging a bit. )

Consider the size of your listening room. A smaller room of takes a less powerful amp to generate higher volumes of course but it may also limit speaker placement. Will you have to place your speakers close to the wall or can you move them out a meter or so?

So in a moderately sized room with a low-powered tube amp you will need speakers of relatively high efficiency (for 4 watts you might want 94+ dB) if you like loud music. With a 50 watt amp 86 dB speakers would probably be fine.

There are lots of sites on the web with info about speaker building but I also recommend getting a program such as WinISD or Speakerbox Designer (Google for those names) to help with sizing, frequency response and efficiency calculations.

Mostly have fun and good luck! (I think you will probably love the glass amp!)
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Old 4th February 2005, 03:34 PM   #6
morbo is offline morbo  Canada
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Skinnyboys advice is on point here, you likely have easy access to Morel who make very good drivers, why not build a Morel kit?
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Old 4th February 2005, 04:44 PM   #7
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Thank you very much for your quick replies. Admittedly I am a beginner. A lot of the technical terms that you used are mainly numbers to me. I have trouble converting them into the real world. By the way, I haven't begun building my amp. I have only researched it, and recently bought books.

Could you please explain the following terms in a way that a total novice will be able to understand them:
1. What is a relationship between the wattage of the amplifier and the speakers I can use?
2. What exactly does speaker db mean? Can you give me a real world example?
3. Could you please refer me to a Internet site that explains these terms from the beginning thoroughly.
4. The first amp and speakers I would like to build are for my personal bedroom. The dimensions are approximately 3.5x5x3 meters. What would your recommendations be?

Thanks so much for the help,
Eitan
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Old 4th February 2005, 05:22 PM   #8
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Here's a simple glossary site. But there are too many to list.

They were referring to the sensitivity of the speaker driver... 86 or 94 dB for 1 Watt of power. Keep reading, keep asking. Very few quick answers here, actually the only answers without compromises are the confusing equations. You'll see, the terminology will come. Remember it's all about the music, so have fun.
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Old 4th February 2005, 06:17 PM   #9
eddog is offline eddog  United States
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Quote:
the only answers without compromises are the confusing equations.
so true...ha.ha
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Old 5th February 2005, 01:49 AM   #10
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A kit is the way to go, one with a crossover designed for the drivers you will be using. I have built a number of speakers over the years but I never got it right until last year though. Here's my humble advice: take some time to get aquainted with the subject. After that, choose a kit from Zalytron, Madison Sound, E-Speakers and the likes and go with that. Make sure the kit comes with a crossover (or a shematic) specifically designed for the driver combination. If you have a low powered tube amp, go with drivers that have a sensitivity of at least 90 db.

Here's what I did. I made a MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange) 2-way kit with passive crossovers which I purchased from Zalytron. Very few (if any) 2-way speakers will do a good job across the entire audio band, and thus I knew I had to go to 3-way if I wanted a truly good sounding set of speakers. I learned that a 3-way passive crossover is easy to design on paper, but it is very difficult to get the sound right because of the interaction with the paralel networks. The guys who design crossovers for a living all recommended I add an electronic crossover. I purchased one from Marchand Electronics and bought another amp to bi-amp the speakers. If you do something similar, you could use the tube amp for the mids and high, and build or buy a high power solid state amp for the bass drivers. Hope this helps you get started.
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