Best place to start for a beginner?

I'm looking for a good starting point, I'm a college student with an interest in speaker building but am having trouble finding good starting points. I'd considered some books like the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook and Building, Designing, and Testing Your Own Speaker System by David Weems, but everything I've read has been that they're dated and all of the sites I've come across through some decently thorough googling has only brought up sites and things around 10 years old.

I have a rather dated 5.1 system that I'm looking to replace as my first bit of project. Ideally it'd be a center channel MTM and four more MT's for the fronts and surrounds, but I'm having trouble finding detailed information on how to calculate crossovers.

I'm on a budget and am trying to keep things cheap, ideally under $500 for all five speakers (my sub is fine). I live in an apartment and after I graduate I will for a bit so I'm in a relatively small, boxy room for the next few years. I'm not looking for anything crazy. I'm looking for the most basic upgrade from my current speakers which are just 4" full rangers in boxes, but I'm the type of person that doesn't think things are worth doing if they're not going to be done right.

If there are any good recent books or any good sites I would appreciate the direction as well as hopefully any pointers that might be helpful. Thanks in advance.

TL;DR: new to speaker design, looking to replace 5.1 HT speakers cheaply, where do I begin?
 
Lots of kits available in the US! :D
DIY Speaker Components | Replacement Speakers | and Speaker kits from Meniscus Audio Group
Madisound Speaker Kits for DIY Speaker Builders
Speaker Kits in the Speaker Components Department at Parts Express | 286

For more discussion of designs, try these:
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy
DIY Loudspeakers
Nutshell High Fidelity

Design stars Lynn Olson, Jeff Bagby and Joachim Gerhard and John Kreskovsky all hang around this forum and are free with ideas. Paul Carmody and Troels Gravesen and Zaph and Tony Gee are also LEGENDS! There are doubtless more. :cool:
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
I'm on a budget and am trying to keep things cheap, ideally under $500 for all five speakers (my sub is fine). I live in an apartment and after I graduate I will for a bit so I'm in a relatively small, boxy room for the next few years. I'm not looking for anything crazy. I'm looking for the most basic upgrade from my current speakers which are just 4" full rangers in boxes, but I'm the type of person that doesn't think things are worth doing if they're not going to be done right.

With this sort of budget it's extremely difficult to properly design & build your own multi-way loudspeaker*s*. I hate to say it, but you are probably better off going with a commercial product. :eek:
 
Hi,

On a budget I'd ditch the centre, have two good fronts
and two less good rears, but that is me, music centric.

4" FR's in boxes will be pretty grim and massively improvable.
It may be possible to reuse the boxes, that will save a lot of work.
Cutting the old and adding new front baffles could work.

I'd look no further than these two sites :

Zaph|Audio and
Zaph|Audio - ZA5 Speaker Designs with ZA14W08 woofer and Vifa DQ25SC16-04 tweeter
and
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy

Noting there are subtleties to Zaph approach
to AV lacking somewhat in the other site.

rgds, sreten.
 
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Pull one of your current speakers apart and let us have a look at the drivers. What sort of boxes are they Wood? Plastic? What amp?
How loud? Music or Movies primo?
How much room treatment if any?
What is the current subwoofer?
The more you tell us the better we can help
What are your woodworking skills like, do the new boxes need to be "Pretty"?
Centre channel doesn't need to be MTM and if it is it is best used in the vertical anyway and the best sound comes when all the speakers in a system are the same
 
Sorry for the delay, I've been a bit busy over the weekend. I've spent quite a bit of time reading on Paul Carmody's site though and I've decided to go with 4 Overnight Sensation's, 2 front, 2 back, and an Overnight Sensation MTM for the center channel. That way I'll have all the same drivers working together, but I'll get a little extra oomph from the center for voices. I decided to do a pair of OS for the fronts because they would be matching for now, but later I want to build some floor standing towers to replace them with. I'll take the OS from the fronts and put an amp in them and use them as a self-contained bookshelf system around the house or wherever.

In the interest of show and tell, I've taken some pictures of my center channel right now. It's a 3/8" MDF box with a 4" FR hooked up to a Kenwood VR-208 receiver. All speakers and sub came together, my grandparents bought them quite a while ago and gave them to me.

As far as loudness, I have no idea about sensitivity, but for a sort of lame description, they're loud enough to watch movies and play music well, but not blow-me-off-my-feet loud.

As far as use goes, primarily movies/tv as they're hooked up to my HTPC, but I run a bit of pandora through and this is my primary music spot, other than my car. I'm living in an apartment so the room is a basic rectangle. Carpet, quite cluttered.

In regards to my skills, I'm a pretty decent woodworker, by no means a master carpenter but quite a bit more advanced than a novice. I'm working with limited tools though, so that's my main restriction. I like things to look nice, and no matter what I do that's going to be a priority, although I'm not going to scrap a project if there's a single scratch. I've been looking into veneer, which is something I've never done before.

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