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Low cost speaker ideas
Low cost speaker ideas
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Old 18th October 2017, 07:04 AM   #1
70s Veteran is offline 70s Veteran
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Question Low cost speaker ideas

I have been building speakers for a long time now. The de facto wood to use is chip board. My first project was a transmission line speaker with floor tiles to deflect the sound through the tunnel at the bottom. But chip board is difficult to work with and when it gets wet it crumbles like wheatbix.
Supawood is better but too heavy. That 15"
Bass box for a guitar requires two men to carry it.
Now I use low cost 12" wide pine shelving that is 20mm thick. It is very easy to work with all you need is a jig saw and power Sanders for a very professional looking speaker, once varnished with a clear marine varnish. Due to the wood grain no speaker box can look the same.
No fancy joints, butt joints lots of recessed screws and wood glue stops resonance. I use twin Helmholtz resonators and loosely packed geyser blanket to make the quart high speakers sound bigger. Just ensure that the the resonators are not blocked.
My reasoning was simple - no guitar is made out of chip board!
For speakers I use car audio three way coaxial speakers. The bookshelf speakers are Sony Xplod 5" and the main Boom box uses side firing 6x9" Pioneer speakers.
I also used PC speakers those lovely 2" inverted aluminium dome types with a 100uF cross over capacitor.
Each bookshelf speaker has one. That makes it four speakers per box and the stereo Boom box with a Pioneer car deck has four in front or ten speakers in a portable box. The sound is awesome good none boomy bass and crisp clean top ends.
I have not included plans just low cost ideas for discussion.
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Old 18th October 2017, 12:44 PM   #2
Zarathu is offline Zarathu  United States
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Use a sonotube. As the sound pressure inside increases, the integrity of the tube gets stronger.

All my speakers are in either cardboard sonotubes or PVC. Much lighter, and easier. And then, if my wife wants a box I just enclose them in something easy. The PVC ones have glued end caps that are as strong as the PVC tube itself.

Volume of a tube is Pi x r2 x h, BTW. There is an online calculator.
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Last edited by Zarathu; 18th October 2017 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 18th October 2017, 01:28 PM   #3
pluplog is offline pluplog  Singapore
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Zarathu, is it possible to see some photos of your speakers (in these sonotubes)? I've never heard of them before and am curious.
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Old 18th October 2017, 02:01 PM   #4
Zarathu is offline Zarathu  United States
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Originally Posted by pluplog View Post
Zarathu, is it possible to see some photos of your speakers (in these sonotubes)? I've never heard of them before and am curious.
Side view of the line arrays.
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File Type: jpg side view.jpg (280.3 KB, 323 views)
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Old 18th October 2017, 02:24 PM   #5
pluplog is offline pluplog  Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Here is a large view. This is from my old house before the room was finished being renovated to sell.
Thanks, that looks really interesting! I might get some PVC tubes down the road and test out this path.
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Old 18th October 2017, 02:59 PM   #6
lowmass is offline lowmass  United States
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one of the easiest and btw best "box" I have done was two thin concrete form tubes (about 1/8 in thick tube wall) , one about 1/2 in larger diameter than the other with sand in between.
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Old 18th October 2017, 04:25 PM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Low cost speaker ideas
Now wait a minute - how can you talk about sand filled speaker walls and call yourself "Lowmass"?
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Old 18th October 2017, 07:11 PM   #8
Zarathu is offline Zarathu  United States
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Originally Posted by lowmass View Post
one of the easiest and btw best "box" I have done was two thin concrete form tubes (about 1/8 in thick tube wall) , one about 1/2 in larger diameter than the other with sand in between.
Many years ago Wharfdale had a speaker with sand in the walls. I would tend to use vermiculite concrete which is 15% of the weight of regular concrete.
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Old 19th October 2017, 04:22 PM   #9
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I have used PVC water pipes for a Helmholtz resonator. In the sub woofer I am building. But never as a speaker box. It's an interesting concept. However, I love doing wood work, to create wooden speaker boxes, that you cannot buy unless you are willing to pay many $$.
I have listened to speakers that are two boxes with sand between them and wasn't very impressed. IMHO supawood is the same. Too heavy to cart around for gigs.
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Old 20th October 2017, 02:34 PM   #10
Zarathu is offline Zarathu  United States
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Originally Posted by 70s Veteran View Post
However, I love doing wood work, to create wooden speaker boxes, that you cannot buy unless you are willing to pay many $$.
IF I had a shop to do the work I would be more likely to enclose the tubes rather than leave them in the "Modern Art” mode. But at the moment I don’t have a shop. I would need to put a room in my garage, insulate it, run electricity into it, put in heat(I Live near Canada). I don’t know if its something I should do at my age, but it may happen--since i am really a veteran of the ’60’s.

Actually there are lots of benefits to using tubes especially for the midranges. I spent about 18 months doing the research back in 2006 before the internet got so commercialized you can’t really find information as easily. They are especially useful for eliminated the 180 degree out of phase sound coming back through the speaker cone, and eliminating all fluffy muddy even order harmonics(since in a closed tube there aren’t any). Also in a box the back wave just goes all over the place, but in a tube it travels in a direction to the back of the tube, so its more easily managed and controlled. Also both the resonance of the sound wave and the resonance of the tube itself is easily calculated, so you can use the resonance point to augment the sound at the natural db depression at the crossover. Of course, when I start talking about the physics of sound waves in tubes, I lose everyone.
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