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Xavier 13th October 2001 02:02 AM

Guys, I'm planning on building a speaker system. I don't have any idea about some good drivers, so I came here for your help.

- XL

Super 13th October 2001 02:20 AM

Oooooh boy, you've just opened up a can of worms :) I assure you, there's going to be plenty of posts in this thread. But first, lets get the fundamentals down.

For starters, what sort of cabinet design are you looking for? MTM's, 2-way towers, pyramids, separate highs mids and lows, etc etc. Perhaps you'd like to try to clone an existant speaker? Let us know, and we can continue further in this subject matter.

Then, there's the type of music you listen to. This can be factored into determining what size drivers you'll need. If you want deep bass, you're likely looking at a 10 or 12 inch driver. If your into acoustical music, you may be able to build some monitors or bookshelves. Again, it all depends.

If you want me to throw out some speaker manufacturer, there's again a good deal to choose from. If cost is no object, theres Scanspeak, Focal, Eton, Vifa, and others for the highs and mids, and some good woofer manufacturers are Focal, NHT, Shiva, Peerless, Dayton, etc etc. Based on my own experiences, I favor Scanspeak and Focal tweeters, Scanspeak's carbon fiber/paper midranges, and the Focal 11 and 13 inch kevlar drivers for the lows, although they are ridiculously pricey. Let us know the fundamentals that you're going off of, and we can help some more.

fcel 13th October 2001 02:25 AM

Bryan: You mentioned cloning speakers. How close can you clone it and how much saving are we talking about? I've dream of one of those Wilson WAMM speakers!

Super 13th October 2001 03:08 AM

I dunno about the WAMMs. Can it be done, possibly. But its way beyond my reach. However, modular cabinets similar to that can be made. Anyways, a good site on speaker cloning would be They constructed an X1 Grand Slamm clone that looks damn nice, among several others, including Legacy's Whisper speakers.

Here's a link for you:

It has links to an awesome looking Wilson WATT klones, as well as some JM Lab Utopia klones. If you go under the "speakers" section of the site menu, you can take a look at the site's owners Utopia project as well. There is also a link from that page to a non-klone site with some amazing speakers as well.

Kloning can become very complicated. It all depends on what you can get your hands on. It takes a good deal of research, and some speakers can be kloned much more easily than others. The majority of high end loudspeaker companies have their drivers made for them, but you can often identify what manufacturer the speaker was made by, and find its commercially available counterpart. The more complicated you get, the more difficult it will be to klone the speaker. The Klone-Audio site has a good article on what goes into kloning a speaker. But in the long run, you can literally save thousands upon thousands of dollars in kloning the commercial offerings. Is it exactly the same level of performance? Probably not. Is the difference in sound over $10,000 -$100,000+ worth? Thats where its up to you...

Xavier 14th October 2001 02:13 AM

Bryan, right now I'm looking for a speaker system for playing music though I have future plans for building speaker system for my home theater. I really don't have any idea regarding the type of box. I want my speaker system to sound netural(the box or the drive should never add extra bass, mids or treble in other words it should be flat). Though one cannot express human's sound precieving nature in form of words, I just gave an idea for what I'm looking for, I guess this would be of some help for you'll guys to give me some suggestions.


Thanks for your previous posts in this thread.

Super 15th October 2001 12:18 AM

Another important factor that we need to know before giving any further advice is how much money you have to work with. This can be the determining factor in several DIY projects. Also, what tools do you have access to? This too, can be an important factor in cabinet construction.

Also, if you don't want to design your own loudspeaker, there are numerous designs out there that are very well known (i.e Lynn Olsen's Ariel speaker project) that I'd be happy to provide links for.

paulb 15th October 2001 06:23 AM

Hey, Xavier, I hope you don't mind me piggybacking on your thread. I'm looking for suggestions too.
Okay, I'm looking for something small and relatively cheap, maybe $200 US or so per channel for drivers. I was looking at a 2-way with a 4 or 6" woofer. I may add sub(s) later.
My brother in law is a carpenter, but without a lot of experience building speakers.
I'm not interested in designing my own (maybe next time), too busy with other DIY projects. Suggestions for links to designs would be great. I've looked at already.
Thanks in advance.

Super 15th October 2001 01:07 PM

Paul: You might want to take a look at the Datyon III project at

Its a reasonably sized bookshelf MTM design, and from reviews I've heard, sounds excellent, especially considering it only costs about $150 in parts.

paulb 15th October 2001 02:43 PM

The Dayton III looks great, thanks Bryan.

kelticwizard 16th October 2001 11:49 PM


Are you looking for 2 speakers to handle the whole load or would you care for two smaller speakers plus a subwoofer?

There are full range speakers, (woofer, midrange and tweeter), that go almost as low as a subwoofer, but also perform well higher up.

Basswise, allow me to give a general guide to cutoffs to aim for. Remember, the lower the bass cutoff, the more bass you get but the bigger the cabinet.

A) 42 Hz. Normally the lowest note on a bass guitar, and therefore likely to be the lowest note on the record/CD you will play. Large loudspeakers with 10 and 12 inch bass units costing thousands have this cutoff. If you go down to 42 Hz, many knowledgeable people feel that a subwoofer is not necessary.

B) 30 Hz. Used to be very hard to find a speaker that went this low. In years past, was considered "the lowest of the low" for the home listener. Now, it can be achieved without a subwoofer. It requires a cabinet twice as large as a 42 Hz cutoff.

C) 16 Hz. Strictly subwoofer territory. While theoretically below most instruments, I made a huge subwoofer once out of a closet, (4 15" drivers) that went down to 16 Hz, and let me tell you, it made a difference in all kinds of music. Relax-most subwoofers are not nearly so large.

Back in the eighties, somebody tested all the low frequency sources of sound. Soundtracks didn't make it-the lowest frequencies were on music CD's. Only about 5 CD's had music below 16 Hz, as I recall. So I would call 16 Hz the lowest practical limit. Let the millionaires with 24 inch woofers and a special room built behind those woofers to enclose them listen to the 5 CD's.

The reason to determine the bass cutoff first is there is no sense building a speaker large enough to give good bass performance, then adding a subwoofer later. You save time and money building the Left and Right channels small, and letting the subwoofer carry the bass up to 100 Hz or so.
A 6 inch speaker in a compact box should handle the frequencies above 100 Hz quite well.

On the other hand, if you want two fairly large speakers-no subwoofer-then you must build those two speakers larger to give good bass performance.

It all boils down to whether you consider yourself a "bass freak" or not. 42 Hz is actually quite low for most people.

A cutoff of 42 Hz can be had with an internal cabinet volume of between 1 cubic foot and 1.5 cubic foot, using a high fi woofer that costs under $100-perhaps well under $100.

[Edited by kelticwizard on 10-16-2001 at 06:02 PM]

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