Good book on Speaker Building?

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Does anyone know a good book on building speakers?

I'm thinking about building my own speakers. I'm fairly good at wood working. So, now I need the equations. I don't want one of these books written for the sole purpose of promoting their software. I want a book that if I sat down with a piece of paper and scientific calculator, I could get the dimensions of the box.

I am an engineer, I can use a calculator. I don't need a GUI to do mathmatics.

Agreed, that is a great book. Just make sure you get the newest (6th) edition. There is added quite a bit to this edition compared to the older one.


PS: Heard a lot of good about "High Performance loudspeakers" (5th ed.) by Martin Colloms, but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. It's (supposedly) a bit different from the one by Dickason, but contains lots of useful information. (Maybe others can clarify this a bit - I'm interested too :)
The loudspeaker cookbook ( Dickason) is great for hands on things, with easy(?) formulaes for most things, - one should however read the theory parts in order to understand how things work....
you can either have it the easy way,- a loudspeaker being a moving membrane in a box...or
you can start digging into the borderlines between practice and theory, what's really going on in there...
The "cookbook" will give you good answers both ways...
then- if you want to know some more, - or truly get around to finding out how much we still don't know... "High performance Loudspeakers" by Martin Colloms is truly a magnificent book,-- but now things are beginning to look like digging for pyramids.............
Then of course you would read the classics, - "Acoustics" by Leo Beranek, and "Musical Engineering " by Olsson,- and then read Colloms again....just to find out that quite a lot of things were and were not known many years ago ( mid fifties...)
And now is the time to look deeply into your wallet before go reach for calculator, paper, spec. sheets etc...

We ARE doing this for fun, aren't we.......?????

Best regards

PS.- Olsson and Beranek is probably out of print, try the library if you are interested.....
The best book might be this bulletin board. The best paper books that I've found are not good as introductory texts. The Dickason book has a lot of information, but it is also maddening for what it leaves out. I have spent many hours re-reading it, trying to find the place where I missed information that was necessary to understand later parts of the book. It just ain't there.
blmn said:

The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook - Vance Dickason is a good book.



We don't want to scare the boy! My take on this book after reading through it is that you pretty much can't make a great speaker. It was way too in-depth for me.

I have an older version of this book. Great Sound Stereo Speaker Manual, by David Weems. Its alot simpler, but the author explains things in a way that you can understand them....great for beginners.

I'm not discounting the Cookbook. But buy it later on, and start with small steps.
Dave Jones said:
The best book might be this bulletin board.

I don't think so.

A good many of those who post what is supposed to be valid information are just plain wrong. Then you have to wait for the offered corrections and some of those are wrong. Following then is a debate and some off topic stuff. More waiting. It's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff since it's difficult to tell which of the members are knowledgeable and which are blowhards.

There are also those who don't really read your initial inquiry and start recommending solutions that don't apply - you ask for chicken soup and get a recipe for chop suey.

Get some books for a starter. Backed with some information it is easier to spot those who are just
whistling dixie.

Check out the links and Wiki pages for some tried and true, done deal designs that fit your needs. Playing speaker design on the forum is often like reinventing the wheel.

As SY recommends, Dickason is half the story- you also need d'Appolito's "Testing Loudspeakers".

I couldn't agree more.
You might also look at these titles:

_Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook_ edited by John Borwick

_Theoretical Acoustics_ by Morse and Ingard

_Acoustical Engineering_ by Harry F. Olson

and the 4 volume Loudspeakers series by the Audio Engineering Society
chop suey

MMmmm... Chop suey... :yummy:


Advanced Speaker Designs (for the hobbyist and technician)
- Ray Alden

Designing, Building & Testing your Own Speakers
- David Weems

The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook
- Vance Dickason

Bullock on Boxes
- Robert Bullock III (and Robert White)

Testing Loudspeakers
- Joseph D'Appolito

Introduction to Electroacoustics and Audio Amplifier Design
- W. Marshall Leach Jr.

Theory and Design of Loudspeaker Enclosures
- J. Ernest Benson

- Leo Beranek

Fundamentals of Acoustics
- Lawrence Kinsler

Acoustical Engineering
- Harry Olson

Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics
- David Blackstock
I guess I have a different take on the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook compared to most.

I had spent a few months researching on the Internet before I bought the book. As I read through the book I realized that I had already learned 90% of what it had to offer. The other 10% was basically useless drivel. It talked about a half dozen or more different ported enclosure designs with equations for each. That's neat and all, but 5 minutes with some free box software is more useful. Likewise with the dozens of crossover alignments. Modeling your crossover with software is more accurate and actually gives you a visual of what you're doing... which for me was a much greater learning tool.
Dickason´s LDC

Hi everybody:

Just consider that some tables to calculate the boxes were having mistypings, that you can detect when there is a discontinuity with near values (up and down).

I notified to Old Colony Sound Labs, those that I detect in edition 4 (I beleive), but I do not know if were corrected.

I copy the values to Excel sheets and ploted them. and was able to correct those wrong data.

Cheers from Querataro (Mexico)
There are two important types of speaker systems that are not very well covered in existing populiar literature; electrostatic speakers and transmittion lines. Transmittion line speakers are well covered on this form. Electrostatics are not in great favor these days. Sanders wrote an interesting construction book, but I believe that I have seen a posting that said his theory was not correct.

There is a lot of good reading listed above. I haven't seen the SAE set, it may contain current information on both the transmittion line and electrostatic speakers.
F4ier has a good list there, starting simple at the top and getting more complex as you go down.

Starting with the Leach Book, you probably ought to have 2+ years of college level math (through diff eq's and LaPlace transforms) before buying, although you might learn some things by checking them out from the library if you are just good with algebra.

The Colloms book "High Performance Loudspeakers" is a bit tough to review. There is some info in there that you can't get from the other books, but I would recommend checking it out from a library over buying it, unless $100 is nothing to you....
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