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Mace_Hacker 2nd November 2009 03:49 PM

PA Speaker Rebuild Project
I have an old set of crappy no name Pa speakers that I want to rebuild for use at parties and family events. The inside to inside dimensions are:
37.5" X 19.5" X 14.5"
The cabinet enclosure has no partitions. I was thinking of replacing the front panel; partitioning it off; and installing a 12 " sub, an 8" mid, and a horn tweeter. Custom crossover. I will be looking to run speakers and an amp that will handle 100-200 watts continuous power. I have been looking at Dayton speakers and Pyle, (for the cost) I want them to have a pretty nice bass response/punch as most of the music people seem to request is hiphop. I have no experience in speaker building so any and all tips would be helpful.

The cabinets look like this:

Mace_Hacker 9th July 2012 06:33 PM

I never got any suggestions on this project and I still have the cabinets. I plan to remove the front speaker pannel and replace it with 3/4" plywood so I can cut out what ever size holes I will need. If you have any suggestions for this project let me know.

mr. doom 10th July 2012 03:25 PM

What do you have to power it with?
What do you want to spend?
How much time to you want to spend fiddling with the crossover?

This is a measured 12" design... You would have to re-tune the ports.

elingeniero 10th July 2012 09:32 PM

If you want bumping bass for hip-hop, you'll need subwoofers. No way around it.

With regards to Pyle speakers, you're not going to get particularly good sound from them.

Dayton speakers are OK for home audio, but not really suited for pro applications.

If you're going to replace the baffle (front panel), your best option to look for woofers with specs that match the box size and put in a BFM style piezo array. Look to cross over at about 2KHz or so.

You'll need to use a port calculator page to figure the diameter and length of ports to put in, and a crossover calculator to figure your crossover.

And I forgot to add: by the time you're done with all that, you may well have spent as much as you would have building cabinets from scratch from a proven design.

dangus 10th July 2012 11:26 PM

I'd use something like an Eminence 15" with a horn driver like the PSD2002 as the benchmark. Then see if there's cheaper stuff that's "good enough". That's about the same volume my 15" Eminences use (bought under an MCM house number, cast frame, 80 oz magnet, 99 dB efficient).

Then again, I might also check around at pawn shops, music stores and sound rental outfits to see if I can just buy a pair of good used speakers. Good being the key; absolutely ANYTHING could have happened to used pro speakers. Or just get new Behringers from some big box music store.

mdocod 11th July 2012 06:14 AM

Hello Mace Hacker,

I'd be happy to help with driver selection and crossover design, however, I will need to know your budget and the sort of locations that you will usually use the speakers... Specifically, will they normally be indoors or out or mixed use? Will they usually sit on ground level or elevated?

If you can follow instructions and read a wiring diagram, no problem, you can have a set of great party speakers here in no time. Will they be perfectly studio monitor flat? Nope. Will they be significantly flatter than they would be if you just throw drivers and guesswork at it? YES.

I would want to pick drivers with reasonably reputable published data. Pyle and Pyramid are a NO GO. The baffle, box, tuning, and crossover will all be computer simulated using the available driver data. More than likely, you will not need a horn tweeter, nor should you complicate the design with one. Respectable units are expensive, and intended for builds that require much higher SPL than you're going to get from the woofers anyways.

Just as a heads up, I'd expect bare minimum, it's a $400-500 project to convert these into proper 3-way party speakers. Looking on the bright side... go look at the price of a larger set of 3-way CerWin Vega speakers, and you have to admit, $500 is a steal.

PS: those appear to be running an 18" woofer stock, is that correct?


mr. doom 11th July 2012 02:01 PM

Dang, those are some tiny ports! The cabinet is probably thin particle board and not worth converting into a sub which is the only practical use for a box that size.

If the 18's are "working?" I would throw a big inductor on them and add a set of semi decent 10" speakers on top. This would be the cheapest solution and would leave you with a set of usable tops instead of a large Pyle of garbage...

Mace_Hacker 11th July 2012 03:28 PM

First off, thanks for all the responses. I do appreciate it. Now, some general info on this project.
The cabinet is made of Half inch material,(particle board I figure), and yes I know this is not suitable for a sub cabinet. I had imagined that I could replace the face with 3/4 in plywood and install a 15" driver, a horn, and maybe a tweeter or two to make these into a "fair" PA. I had even considered using two 10" or two 12". I know these cabinets are cheap, and I could build better ones....that said..I hate to waste them when I think they could still be used. The original speakers that you see in them are dead and even when they worked they sounded like crap.
So, I can't make them into sub cabinets but, PA cabinets? Yes. this is doable. My budget is meager but I am patient and can buy one piece at a time if I have to. I have looked at 15" drivers on PartsExpress for 40-70 dollars if this gives you an Idea of the price range I am looking at.
I can build a crossover from scratch if you think it will be better and or cheaper.
I do not have a "High Powered" amp. I would most likely be using a pair of 100wt amps, one per speaker. These would not be used for proffesional service, mostly family gatherings and friends parties. I do have access to a 500wt Peavey amp if I need it and I plan to buy a larger amp in the future but, even then, I do not anticipate needing more than a 100-300wt rated speaker. Most of the places I have set up music for have been fairly small and I don't see me doing any large open stadiums in the near future. Usually the speakers have been at ground/floor level. I had originally used them in conjunction with a pair of 'wedge shaped' PA's ( one 12" drivers, one 4" horn tweeters, each, total height of cabinets is about 20 inches)

mdocod 11th July 2012 10:20 PM

Using a 15" driver in a 2-way with a horn, is a very application specific configuration, and you have not described any of the uses where this configuration would be advisable. Budget, on floor, near field... No... The PA industry has sold this configuration by the bus load to the uneducated masses for decades. The last thing this world needs is another incorrectly designed 15"/1" 2-way riddled with distortion. Adding more and multiple tweeters to the "top" of such a configuration, will only serve to make it worse.

Using dual midbass drivers, is an application specific endeavour that in your case, could work but would not be used the way you might have envisioned. For ground level placement with near-field listeners, a pair of midbass drivers will have destructive coupling problems in the midrange and through the crossover region to the tweeter, therefore, such a configuration should be used as a 2.5 way, where the bottom woofer does not reach up into midrange territory as high. This is a trick that is often employed in hifi speakers to deal with baffle step loss, and in the case of "party" speakers that are not apt to be backed by large subs, this approach is valid, however, would require a moderately expensive horn driver to handle an appropriate crossover point for 10-12" driver size.

A properly done 3-way, is still the most advisable here. You'll get the widest dispersion, flattest response for the most number of listeners this way.

The crummy cabinets can be braced up internally with inexpensive dimensional lumber to knock down box resonance issues. There's no reason these can't be used to cover musical bass right down to 30hz or below (sub territory).


djlivex 11th July 2012 11:03 PM

Mace I have been DJing for 7 years in NYC (90's) doing weddings and college parties in big auditoriums. I got into this as a hobby late in high school when I attended a school party and saw how easy it was back then to mix from one record beat matching to another(I started DJing from a store bought Altec Lansing Model 14 monitor speakers). I am now 50 yeras old knock on wood my son is going to college and wants to work part time at a grocery here in Florida making $7.50 an hour for 4 hours. Well that does not pay his car insurance when he will be driving to school 6 miles away everyday. Some family friends suggested me to get back to DJing with my wife's support (time in the garage building speakers and money from her residual income) and this will be a father and son project. I will be soon teaching him how to DJ in the weekends and have booked an event with a friends group (300 venue) I will be DJing dance formal event this October. Well if you are going into this as a hobby or pro you have to think to yourself my budget and build a system that I will be proud of using time and time again without a hiccup. Just by your post I can tell that you want to do this maybe professionally in the future and believe me Hip Hop demands alot of low bass so your looking at a sub from 35-150Hz a nice 15" will do this in a well designed box. You need also a 10" mid woofer for vocals and a horn tweeter or compression driver for the highs. You don't have to use exotic plywood like Baltic Birch ($72 a sheet 4x8) but a 3/4" Arauco ply will do many plies and lightweight for the back. Look at websites like B&C, Eighteen Sound they have complete plans in there that you can download with passive crossover designed specifically to their design. I am here to learn more at DIY Audio I also have been following Bill Fitzmaurice for years on his DIY projects. Look at Bill's site and click on forums then click on build threads look at my posts and see my subs I am building it's overdone but I need bass for my type of music I play (50's to now). You will love this hobby when you see everyone partying their butts off on the dance floor and maybe making money on the side to fund another bigger project for even bigger events. If those speakers you say in the first post sound crappy don't waste your time rebuilding them you will get a BIG headache I've been there buying cheap, but I don't want you to break the bank either there's plenty of help here and love it to see someone succeed in what we do and that's giving great sound and mixing what people want to hear. Just my$.02.

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