I have no idea where to even start

I am brand new to this homebrew audio deal, and i need somewhere to get started. This is why i joined this forum, in hopes of finding advice from people that know a lot more than me. I have very limited experience when it comes to circuitry and how all this sound stuff actually works, aside from my limited acoustics knowledge from a highschool physics course. I am looking to build a simple 2 driver speaker just to get me started, but even with something that simple, i have no idea where to start. I don't even know what questions to ask. I have been attempting to get information off of various internet articles, but they have either been far to vague or way to complex.
 
1. Since this is mainly to get me started, my budget is in the $100-300 range
2. Well, it will probably be used in my unfinished basement. Insulated walls with an 8 foot ceiling and open floor plan. Its not exactly the best acoustic enviroment, but it is where i keep all of my musical instruments and my jam space.
3. My musical preferences are quite varied when it comes to listening. I am primarily a jazz/fusion/funk musician, but i love listening to progressive metal and classic rock. I really dislike country and some of the less tasteful rap/hip-hop. I prefer my speakers and headphones to have a pretty
4. I have some woodworking experience, but that is not really one of my concerns, as i have plenty of people to go to when i need help with that.
5. I honestly don't know which one i would go for. I really love the way tube amps sound, but i don't know if the price for DIY tube amps are above what i can afford.
 
You want to build a pair of speakers? Look into a kit. Places like Parts Express sell all the parts, including even the wooden enclosures. You can buy complete kits from them or just some of the parts, whatever. They are certainly not the only source, but they have a wide selection of speaker stuff.

There are many books and I am sure online tutorials about "speakerbuilding" or "loudspeaker design". I am all in favor of learning as much as possible about the theory behind anything, but you can also get your soldering iron wet (so to speak) on a project without going into the theory, and still have some pride in the accomplishment.

There are substantive differences between $50 and $500 speakers, but the principles are the same, and you can enjoy listening to your inexpensive basic speakers, and when it is time to move up the the next level, you will at least have the experience to know better what to look for.
 
You have to pick 2 drivers, build a box and a crossover (something to split the signal between the drivers).

The box is frequently compartmented to isolate the drivers.

You could do worse than look at this webpage:- My New Speaker Box Project - Part 1

It details the construction of 3-driver tri-amped speakers, but it shows considerable detail of the mechanical arrangements with pictures. There is no passive crossover, but you can find details of crossover construction here:- http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...designing-crossovers-without-measurement.html

Most of speaker building is woodwork, so if you think you can cope with what you see there, that will be some encouragement.

Rod's site is huge, and there is a lot of stuff there that you can read to provide background knowledge of all aspects of basic (and quite advanced) audio electronics.

It's customary to recommend the books on speaker design by Vance Dickason:- Loudspeaker Design Cookbook 7th Edition Book 500-035

It will help with choice of drivers to suit your room, crossover design, in fact everything associated with speaker design.

One other thing you might like to look at is WinISD:- LinearTeam ...which is a computer program to automate the design of speaker boxes.
 
Also, now that i think about it, i think i want to build a bass amp that can support a 5 string bass.

That would be a great idea, seeing as you are a musician. What's involved in supporting a 5-string bass, more power, 2-speaker cab.? Sounds a lot more involved vs building a couple of 2-way speakers for your hifi, but ultimately more interesting for you?

jeff
 
Greetings Izzytoot,

Here's where I started, not too long ago, just like you. I'm now on my second built thanks to the help of some very generous people...it's been a gas.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/110583-fast-fun-inexpensive-ob-project.html

It takes very little to assemble a pair of these. It may even be simpler then many kits. If you go this route, for that matter with any speaker, be sure to understand the speaker/room relationship. You'll find all that info in the thread. If you miss on that, especially with an open baffle design, it won't impress. The upside is they are so easy to build and you may be amazed at the cost/benefit relationship. It's a big thread but you'll learn allot!

Good luck at whatever path you choose :)

Kindest,
Marko
 
There is a difference between hifi speakers - what your home stereo uses - and instrument speakers - what guitars and basses use. Building a cab for your 5-string is no more complex than a hifi speaker, though probably larger. What power levels will you want it to handle? A 1x15 or 4x10 will get you through a whole lot of gigs, but you can also go up to 8x10 cabs or 2x15+2x10, and allo manner of other options that can handle hundreds of watts.

One is efficiency, hifi speakers tend to be a lot les efficient than instrument speakers, and the next thing is part of why... Hifi speakers are designed to faithfully reproduce whatever your signal is - the music. They are not intended to add their own character. On the other hand instrument speakers - speakers for electric guitar or bass - are considered part of the instrument and they ARE designed to add their own character.

For those not into this, a 5 str5ing bass has one more string than the standard 4-string bass, and that extra string is lower notes, so you might want to concentrate on keeping the bottom end in the game with a design.
 
Also, now that i think about it, i think i want to build a bass amp that
can support a 5 string bass. Is that beyond me as a starting project?

Hi,

The short answer is yes, as you clearly can't design such a thing.
Anyone who says you can is probably as clueless as you, beware ...

Not only that, you'd have a very hard time if you knew what you
are doing, building any instrument amplifier for less than the
cost of a good used one, one that you can try before buying.

The amplifier design of instrument amplifiers is a very black art.

Regarding speakers peruse this guys site :
https://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy

also take a look at Zaphaudio.com .

rgds, sreten.

My used Peavey Mark III bass amp is old but a wonderful thing.
Is built like the proverbial outhouse - huge heatsink, huge input
transformer, 8 TO3 output devices, 7 band EQ, bass and treble
shaping, 2 gain, send/return, and really nice compression/limiting.
It would cost a fortune and loads of time to build an equivalent.

Even then the output amplifier design is so wacky you'd never
come across it in textbooks. Interstage transformer in a tranny
amplifier ? no loop feedback ? etc, you need to try amplifiers.
 
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For those not into this, a 5 str5ing bass has one more string than the standard 4-string bass

Thanks, I never would have guessed.;)

The short answer is yes, as you clearly can't design such a thing.
Anyone who says you can is probably as clueless as you, beware ...

Nice. Past you're bedtime?

jeff
 
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tinitus

diyAudio Moderator R.I.P.
2005-11-24 1:47 am

tinitus

diyAudio Moderator R.I.P.
2005-11-24 1:47 am
1. Since this is mainly to get me started, my budget is in the $100-300 range
2. Well, it will probably be used in my unfinished basement. Insulated walls with an 8 foot ceiling and open floor plan. Its not exactly the best acoustic enviroment, but it is where i keep all of my musical instruments and my jam space.

sounds like you will need a 2-channel PA setup in your 'jam room'...for music, and band, etc

for bass guitar ? .... you could try a preamp
 
Damn. I got a lot of replies. Thanks for the input, but i think i need to make my intentions more clear. I am looking to build from scratch, with the drivers and possibly amp excluded. I don't want to build out of a kit. I want to pick out my components and build the enclosure. I want to do all the math and make it my own. That may or may not be rather complex, but I am great at math, great with my hands, and am an audiophile of sorts. I'm treating this more or less like a research project. I want to learn by hand, not replicate someone else's design.

edit: And to the bass amp idea, that was just an idea for something i could do that would be more useful to me. I realize that components specialized for instruments are more expensive and making a quality bass amp and cabinet could be a lot more difficult than say a bookshelf monitor.
 
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I don't want to build out of a kit. I want to pick out my components
and build the enclosure. I want to do all the math and make it my own.

Hi,

Such ambition is admirable, but not particularly sensible. Which
you will find out eventually one way or the other. The sensible
way is to build a proven design, poring over the details and
realising loads of stuff you wouldn't have done / missed.

The more difficult path is doing it yourself and making mistakes
you should realise sooner or later, (some people never do, they
just assume it must be right), unless you really know your stuff,
and if you did you wouldn't be here asking.

FWIW if you want to make it your own - what are you asking for ?

Can you easily design your own good quality HiFi speaker ? No.

Can you easily design your own good quality bass guitar cabinet ? Yes.
(Its fairly straightforward if you understand all the fundamental concepts,
though its next to impossible to come up with something not done before.)

Can you easily design a good bass guitar amplifier ? Not a chance in hell.

;) rgds, sreten.


http://sites.google.com/site/undefinition/diy
(see if nothing else, the excellent FAQs)
The Speaker Building Bible
Zaph|Audio
Zaph|Audio - ZA5 Speaker Designs with ZA14W08 woofer and Vifa DQ25SC16-04 tweeter
FRD Consortium tools guide
http://web.archive.org/web/200909021...esigningXO.htm
RJB Audio Projects
http://web.archive.org/web/200909022...ve99/Spkrbldg/
Speaker Design Works
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=28655
A Speaker project
DIY Loudspeakers
Humble Homemade Hifi
Quarter Wavelength Loudspeaker Design
Pi Speakers - unmatched quality and state-of-the-art performance
The Frugal-Horns Site -- High Performance, Low Cost DIY Horn Designs
6.283 Audio Pages
Linkwitz Lab - Loudspeaker Design
Music and Design

Great free SPICE Emulator : SPICE-Based Analog Simulation Program - TINA-TI - TI Software Folder
 
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