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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 15th September 2005, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default Building good stereo speakers

I am an absolute beginner to speaker building i would like to know how to start off and with what reading material.
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Old 15th September 2005, 08:39 PM   #2
JCD is offline JCD  United States
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The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason is probably the standar.. but be warned, it's pretty technical for a novice.

I was in a similar position not that long ago and was told to buy this book. I did, and started reading. For someone with very little electrical backround, much less speaker building experience, a good chunk of the book flew above my head. The more I read about the topic on the web and the more I read the book (still haven't finished) the more I understand. I think this might be one that I have to re-read to really start understanding it.

JCD
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Old 15th September 2005, 09:10 PM   #3
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I recommend that you start with a single driver speaker system first. That will remove several complications -crossovers, and selecting drivers that will work and blend well together (a black art for the inexperienced). Let's learn to walk before we start sprinting, yes? Single driver setups have many advantages too over multi-driver speakers -they are by no means a poor relation! Have a look at the single driver website for more information, and many DIY projects using this sort of driver. http://melhuish.org/audio/

Before we get started on some other matters, one thing to explain -it'll make your life easier when reading around. You'll see lots of references to a driver's Thiel / Small parameters. If you haven't heard of these before, they are a series of electrical and mechanical measurements and characteristics of a speaker driver. They are used in the design process, so keep an eye out for them!

What sort of cabinet you build it up to you -sealed box, bass-reflex box, horn (avoid, at least to begin with: very complex, frequently very large, and few designs are really up to much); electrostatics (wonderful in many ways, but emphatically NOT, repeat NOT a good way to begin your DIY speaker-building hobby!) open baffle, or transmission line.

There's so much information available about sealed and vented boxes, there's little point in my repeating it here -just run a search on the net. I wouldn't bother though myself -you can do much better for little extra effort with other cabinet types. If you want a really, really simple one, have a look here: http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/bfb_e.html
this is as simple as it gets (good driver too -the FE204 is discontinued, but the FE206 is a straight swap). THis won't have much bass, and be rather harsh, but it'll do some things well, and it's very easy to build.

For open-baffle design, don't muck about -go straight here: www.linkwitzlab.com
Siegfried Linkwitz is one of the all-time great hifi speaker designers, and though the designs here are all large, expensive multi-ways (pluto excepted), the articles will give you a really good grounding and insight into lots of aspects of hifi, and open baffles in particular.

For transmission lines, you first have to understand that until a couple of years back, they were not at all understood -everything was very much based on guesswork. Then along came Martin King, who cracked their mysteries (this was a major feat, believe me) and created a series of worksheets for the MathCad computer program that will help you design a superb TL. His website is here:
www.quarter-wave.com
Lots more superb articles here, but -easy reading they are not, unless you like heavy math. Bob Brines, who licences the technology from Martin has written some more articles that are much easier for a novice to follow; you'll find his site here:
http://www.geocities.com/rbrines1/
Another good site is out very own Dave's, which you'll find here: http://www.t-linespeakers.org/
Lots more good stuff.

A few thoughts. With your first DIY speaker, select the type of enclosure you want to build, and then build a design that is already established, and known to work well. For sake of example, assuming for a minute you decide to try a single driver system, I'd either buy a set of plans from Bob Brines (not expensive and very detailed), or, alternatively, build one of the designs from Martin's site. Either of these would be a really good first speaker project for anyone -not too expensive, simple to build and spectacular sounding:
http://www.quarter-wave.com/Project02/Project02.html (the FE164 driver is no longer available, but the FE167E is a straight swap, and actually works better!)
or
http://www.quarter-wave.com/Project05/Project05.html

Hope some of this helps
Regards
Scott
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Old 16th September 2005, 01:51 AM   #4
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When you're trying out for your first speaker, you don't need to go into the complexities of large cabinets a la the Fostex ones - you can simply pick up a couple of small cheap-ish mid-bass units. Designing a simple BR or sealed enclosure for these is fairly simple and you don't need to work on a cross-ver for them either. You should get reasonable voicing and you'll learn the dynamics that come from the cabinet (and improve your wood-working skills).

Then, of course, you'll find that there's a certain dullness, lack of sibilants, and the cymbals don't come through at all. I don't actually like the way the single-driver speakers do this sound - but that's my opinion (don't be swayed by me:-). So then you'll want to add a tweeter and crossover (to protect it from blowing by playing lower frequencies).

Scottmoose has provided you with a lot of good websites. You'll have a lot of reading there. Any of the books by David Weems are probably the easiest to read and can give some good pointers. Vance Dickersons' book is much more detailed - but he does have some prejudices (against single driver speakers and series crossovers).
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Old 16th September 2005, 10:32 AM   #5
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for some recommendations on books check this thread ---> http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...hreadid=50193/

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Old 16th September 2005, 11:21 AM   #6
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I've read Roger Sander's ESL Cookbook. Great book, but convinced me not to start with ESLs right now. DIYing speakers is new to me too.

I decided that a single driver unit would be the best; no crossover and stuff, just directly plugged to the amp. Plus (people say...) tube-amps really like single drivers. If you build a back-loaded horn you also get high efficiency. And they are not too expensive.

Reading material: This forum and the web. Will definitely do fine.

After having made the desicion to go with a Fostex-driver, I've checked out the Fostex recommended enlcosures. Everything straight and rectangular. Definitely recommended if one is not really skilled in woodworks.
Be sure to check out the Buschhorns too.
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Old 16th September 2005, 02:25 PM   #7
MPM is offline MPM  United States
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That thread is a great first project and interesting read. You'll end up with a set of speakers you'll enjoy for many years. The fostex drives are available in many parts of the world. Good luck.
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Old 16th September 2005, 08:53 PM   #8
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Hey appreciate the advice i am an engineering student will start building immedietly hopefully a three way speaker system please refer me to a site which has complete diy projects with the illustrations
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Old 16th September 2005, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Godfather7
Hey appreciate the advice i am an engineering student will start building immedietly hopefully a three way speaker system please refer me to a site which has complete diy projects with the illustrations
Madisound.com has a number of kits, at various price points. That might be the best way to start out.

With a multi-way system, I definitely would go with an established design.

Another way to go would be to look through the projects listed at partsexpress.com (wish I had the URL, but their server is down at the moment). The have a LOT of projects listed there, most of them have very detailed plans. The only thing is that none of them are "sanctioned" by partsexpress (or anyone besides the builder), so you'd have to try to gauge their quality.

(If there were one you were interested in, you could of course post it here and solicit comments.)

BTW what is your budget, your size constraint, and your woodworking talent?
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