new to DIY, can someone point me in the right direction?
I'm new to DIY audio. Can someone please point me to some useful primers and other resources? I've screwed around with computers speakers a lot and only recently entered the world of "real" speakers (i.e. speaker wire, not phono plugs). I heard about DIY audio from a friend and it looks like fun, but I don't know where to start. I've been doing some googling but haven't found much on introductory material. I have experience with building computers and basic shop skills with drills and wood. I don't know much about electronics, wires, and soldering, but I'm willing to learn and I have access to a variety of tools. I need to learn everything from terminology to speaker theory to brands to whatever else. I know the very basics of speakers, basically how to hook them together and what's what, but that's it. Any info/links would be much appreciated.
My goal is to build a 5.1 system. I have a 5.1 Sherwood receiver and I'd like to build a surround sound set with a subwoofer. I've heard from a couple people that Adire Shivas make great sub drivers, any comments there?
Also, I have four 6.5" coaxial car speakers. Do car speakers sound like trash in home theater settings? It'd be fun to put those to use. I just put them up for trade over at Anandtech, hopefully I can get a decent pair of bookshelf speakers to go with my 20" TV, but if not, would they be worth doing a DIY project with?
I'm new to it myself. I've heard the "loudspeaker Design Cookbook" mentioned several times, and after seeing it, I know whyt it's considered a reference bible for this subject.
There's A LOT of useful information in it, and I intend to buy it despite it's price. I really think it's worth it.
Try looking for "P17" and "reference" "project".
Some guys on the forum (those who know their stuff :) ) Have spoken about making a reference project. Here, reference is meant as something common to compare other designs with, and NOT as the most expensive and exotic thing you can dream of.
As a result, the speaker is (if I recall correctly) a decent sounding, and not too expensive 2-way with parts that should be easily available. Try searching.
Good luck -
Re: new to DIY, can someone point me in the right direction?
If, at the end of the day, you still have them, build something and play. Tweak them. Experiement. If you end up with something decent great, if not, you probably learned a lot.
To learn stuff, just start digging in and reading threads....
To begin with if you don't have any major woodworking tools, I would consider building a kit for the main speakers or if you do have some equipment a project like those found at sites like these maybe be a bit cheaper:
Once you have a stereo pair then I would next build a sub as the design is fairly simple as you only have to deal with one driver, perhaps using the Shiva you mentioned or some other high value driver.
After those two steps i would then think about working on the surrounds. I would consider some dipoles for surrounds using a couple of cheaper full range drivers, again you don't have to worry about crossovers and the high frequency rolloff you tend to get off-axis would aid in preventing localisation. Your other options for surround are monopole bookshelf types or more traditional dipoles using a tweeter and a woofer to match your mains. (The latter two would probably need some measurement equipment to get the best results)
By that stage if you are still into it you could consider working on the center channel and getting a measurement setup to aide in the design of the crossover.
Good reference for looking at drivers:
DIY Loudspeaker Designer's Selection Guide (the LDSG)
Articles on everything audio, especially electronics, along with projects you can build:
(yes it's not so much focused on speakers, but very interesting)
The speaker many build as their last speaker project:
A LOT of info there, let's see if you can understand it all within the next 10 years ...
Good source of free software that is very useful
Recommended software for subs and speakers - bass alignments
Some good diy speaker sites to browse:
"The speaker many build as their last speaker project" - are the Orions so good that people stop after that? If so, how do I make a 5.1 setup out of them? :)
Never heard anyone say anything bad about the Orions. That said, they may not be for everyone. They have SPL limits, they are expensive, need a lot of electronics, and they have a different soundstage. As always, it's a personal preference thing. That said, you won't find a diy speaker which is more firmly grounded in theory, or which is more refined. It's a bit of a Noah's ark project, though, if you haven't ever heard a dipole!
is it possible to make DIY speakers magnetically shielded for use around monitors and other sensitive electronics?
Sheilding cans or "bucking magnets"
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