I feel ashamed using DIY speakers, am I alright?

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
"Easy"? Ha!

Actually I said "easily". On this side of the Atlantic "easily as good as" = "at least as good as.

I use a commercial speaker (Mordaunt Short MS10i Classic) as a reference for my efforts. Not the world's greatest speaker, but at the level I work at, (very basic indeed) it is enough of a challenge to aspire to.
Last edited by a moderator:
First of all tell your hi-fi friends they don't know what they're talking about.

How are your woodworking skills? If they're not so good you can buy cabinets from places like Parts Express that are built as well as most commercial speaker cabinets.

Next, decide on an overall budget. Then decide on a stand mount or floor standing design. Are you going to use a separate subwoofer? Do you have an amp with enough power for a lower efficiency speaker in the 86dB range or could you only power a high efficiency design 89dB and above?

Do some research on proven designs from well-respected people like John Krutke (Zapf Audio) Troels Graveson, or Paul Carmody. Go to the Parts Express tech forum and ask some questions. They also have a speaker project gallery that will give you some ideas. Companies like Madisound and Meniscus Audio offer kits of proven designs that may fit your requirements.

What you DON'T want to do if this is your first rodeo is buy a woofer, mid range, and a tweeter and an off-the-shelf pre-fab crossover. Then build a bare MDF box that's probably not right for the woofer, and call it good. THAT'S the kind of DIY crap your audio snob friends are talking about.
so, mtoc - reading the above 5 pages of responses it's probably safe to say that if you're looking for affirmation that anyone should be ashamed of building / using DIY speakers, I don't think you'll find that on a DIY speaker building forum. - I mean some of us have a measure of well deserved self-loathing, but for entirely different reasons
Any dirt bag can buy a good bottle of wine. Making a great bottle of wine yourself though, that's cool.

Here are a couple of links to make you feel even smarter.

Cynical Introduction to Speaker Pricing

The Stereophile Curve


+1; However, there will always be snobs that have "golden ears/palette". You have to learn to overcome these types. I know, easier said than done but it's life. Learn, build, and enjoy, but do what makes YOU happy. I make beer and can attest to being able to DIY something on the level of commercial quality. With a decent kit, you should be able to create something NOT to be ashamed of. Later, you can go custom but to craft ANYTHING wine/beer/audio as good or better as a world class pro will become a life long pursuit. I find that a worthy endeavour. Look at the join dates of the guys here... You are surrounded by many in such a pursuit. The knowledge level here is staggering. I consider myself well versed in audio but I am an amateur around these parts...

The kits here look cool to me: Home page DIY Sound Group
If you take the time to learn to apply some nice veneer onto mdf you'd really have something I think you wouldn't not be ashamed of.
Replace that odious noise with the joy of hearing your own speakers.

One mans odious noise is anothers perfect sound how mundane and monotonous would life be if we all had the same tastes? I assume your remark was directed at my suggestion which was just that ,an idea for a novice to learn a little on a simple build that in MY opinion sound ok for what they are and are cheap enough to allow mistakes but also something that could be improved and built on as the first step on a never ending learning curve .
I realize I'm "preaching to the choir" here but, in regard to the original poster's question, there is no shame in going the DIY route. If you have the skills and available tools then these things will come easier to you. If not, then you have an opportunity to learn and, for me personally, if I get through the day and have learned something new then it has been a good day as far as I'm concerned.

I just recently finished refoaming the woofers in my main speakers that I designed and built 28 years ago! I'd never attempted a refoaming before and was extremely trepidatious about it because the woofers I was about to operate on are no longer made. I used the Simply Speakers kit, kept their YouTube demonstration running while working on it, and everything turned out fine. This has given me the confidence to try refoaming another couple of pairs of vintage woofers that I have lying around and I'm sure the process will be much easier having worked through it already.

These particular speakers are some of the first that I designed from scratch. I designed a 3-way aperiodic damped cabinet that employed MDF plus 12" Schedule 40 PVC pipe cut in half lengthwise. The face and end caps were made from solid rock maple that was left unfinished in order to hasten the color change from almost white to honey. The rest of the cabinet was wrapped in navy blue lycra over 1/2" foam sheet. I get compliments on the look of the speakers even today.

Components used were the Vifa H25TG05 horn-loaded tweeter (still available today as part of the Tymphany family but apparently now with a titanium diaphragm rather than the doped silk of the original), the Vifa D75MX 3" dome midrange (now marketed as the ScanSpeak Discovery D7608/9200-10), and the mighty Madisound 10208 10" woofer (sadly no longer made). Each tweeter and midrange driver had its own isolation chamber to reduce backwave interference and each woofer cabinet employed 2 Dynaudio Variovents (no longer made, I think) for the aperiodic damping.

The crossovers were designed and built by Madisound from the cabinet and driver specs I provided. (30 years on and I still suck at crossover design; hence my newfound appreciation for full range drivers.) My cost for all of the drivers plus crossovers, gold binding cups, Variovents, and shipping was $274.75 in 1988 US dollars ($557.94 in 2016 USD). Even back then these speakers were being favorably compared to commercially available units selling for $2500 or more ($5000 in 2016 USD).

My long-winded point is that you can invest a relatively modest amount of money and time to get a comparable 10x return on your investment. All of this plus the satisfaction of designing, building, or even just assembling something with your own hands. For what it's worth I'm attaching a photo that includes the aforementioned speaker. It's the one on the right and the curve of the top cap mimics the curvature of the PVC pipe that comprises the back of the speaker. The other two are different quarter wavelength transmission lines that were built in the early 1990s.


  • 3-Speakers.jpg
    316.4 KB · Views: 152
Last edited:
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.