i want to build my own loudspeaker driver.

I'm trying to find out how to build my own speakers or driver, i have been very interested in this subject for a long time, but it wasn't till my subwoofer died the other day that i decided to build my own, i'm not trying to build one to replace the one that died, but really id like to get in the business of building my own or at least get a taste of it.
i have researched this for several days but i can only get so much off of Google lol.

so if you guys could link me to a how to. or give me some advice. that would be cool.
i have researched for manufacturers of part and so far i have voice coils and magnet.
any help is appreciated.

by the way i did search and the info was limited to none. sorry if this subject has been brought up before, if that's the case just link me to it,
thanks
 
uhhh.... why do you want to build your own drivers again?

You think it will be interesting?


well I'm sure just about all of us have thought about the same thing at one point or another... and we all learned the same as you will that making decent drivers is not a simple task.

Making a transducer is not an incredibly difficult task. It only requires a coil, a magnet, a radiating surface and some sort of suspension.

But for a good transucer you need a coil which is of a optimal diameter, number of turns, length, layers, sized wire, on a good former. You need a magnet system that has been FEA optimized for a flat BL curve. You need a cone that is as light as possible yet as stiff as possible, also the right diameter and shape. You need a suspension that has just the right amount of compliance, and a basket that will keep it sturdy. Not to mention everything must be assembled to small tolerences.

Getting all of those things out of materials that the average joe can get his or her hands on is pretty much impossible.

good luck on this mission, you shall need it
 
@BassAwdyO:
thanks for your reply!

let me rephrase my question!

here I find my self trying to build a subwoofer or mid bass driver.
the problem is, i cant find manufacturers for all the parts.
like the basket, spider.

I'm also trying to get tips and inside info from the guys that have hands on in this matter.
that might make my journey a little smother.

if this works out for me id like to start my own little business and see what happens.

thanks in advance, again!.
 
Boricuaso,
Assembling drivers for your own use as a hobby ( ie. lose money ), is quite a bit different from turning it into a profitable self-sustaining business.
How much do you plan on investing in fixtures, tooling, test equipment, etc? Hundreds? Thousands?
How long will it take you to build each unit? Put a monetary value on your time. Multiply that figure by the hours of labor needed to produce each unit. Add to that your overhead, taxes, insurance, etc, etc. Add in a profit margin to that so the business can be self sustaining and grow. Now add the price of materials and include a markup.
Now your first shiny new driver rolls off the assembly line. Lets assume it sounds as good as any mass produced driver. Chances are you would have to charge hundreds for it.
Should I buy your driver or should I buy a Vifa at 1/5 the price? Go ahead, convince me to buy yours.

:xeye:
 
well as far as how much money I'm going to have!, since I'm going back to Iraq and planing to come back, if i come back ill have any where from $15,000usd to $20,000 to start this business, asking this forum was just another part of my research "maybe not a good idea", ether way this business will be based in car audio system where power and sound quality are a must for others like me.
that money was going in to a car audio install shop, i have changed my mind.

i understand you what to spend your well earned money on a pair of vifa speakers, sure why not. as you can see in my few posts im not trying to compare my self to any well known company or to even the worst ones.

This post is to gather information from those who have done it or know how to.

this post was not meant for the ones that have nothing related to how to build a speaker or if you're going to buy my speaker when is built, so ether post some thing that i can learn from and others or just let this subject die.
 
Hi boricuaso,

You may find some useful information on speaker building by visiting a few small company websites and leaving questions to the owners on their forum pages.

http://www.aespeakers.com/

http://tcsounds.com/

I would probably find a manufacturer in China and evolve their designs to a higher level of performance with Faraday rings, phase plugs, woven kevlar cones, etc... All of the pieces seem available based upon the Chinese web sites, but they are driven more by simplicity and lowest cost than price/performance. I would probably build a 6.5" midrange to rival PHL and SEAs that could cover 80-3,000 Hz. Make some contacts in China and visit from Iraq before coming home.
 
boricuaso,

Making your own subwoofer and starting a business are going to be a very different thing. If you just want to make something for yourself, I know someone with a bunch of parts you might be interested in that he would probably sell to you. And if you're interested you can e-mail me, and I'll find out more for you.

If you want to start a business, basically the only feasible way is to find a manufacturer and work out with them what you want and make a batch order. This will require considerable investment in money, time, and especially risk. I'm not trying to discourage you but I have seen a few companies/people that had a lot going for them and weren't able to make it a profitable business/hobby.

- Luke
 
Sorry Boricuaso if I posted something you could not learn from. Obviously you've done the math already and have the know-how to run a profitable business. It was foolish of me to assume otherwise.
I was in aerospace/aircraft manufacturing for twenty years before starting up my own business in an unrelated field about six years ago now.
As for the technical aspects of building a speaker, that's not my thing. I wish you well in your new venture. Go for it.
 
@LineSource:
i thought about that before, getting speakers from overseas, but was worried about the quality of the product and how it would compete here in the states.

@ Luke: wouldn't the manufacturer charge me more for a custom design sub, and wouldn't they sell that same design they build for me as their own.

will it be that much more expensive to have 4 to 5 different manufacturers build the parts to my specs for me to assemble.
 
hi

From my experience , you need to become a member of alma , and visit the various shows / exibitions held by transducer material suppliers - hosted through or in co - operation with alma

there is a book from audio ameteur but is for the pro industry

named - the loudspeaker industry sourcebook - it lists suppliers of pole plates , mags , baskets , adhesives , cones , spiders , coils world wide

this above is just a start and only a tip - to be able to produce something that will be comparable to drivers by other companies with years in the market - is not impossible - it some times leads to be amusing - at most tech solutions and captions used by companies to market their products - there is nothing much in this simple mechanical devise - most theories have been around for ages or just a practical thought - - things like TIM of EV is just a name & marketing

there are many ways of starting of :- 1 is adventurious ( the path I took ) 2 nd Safer

Safer ;- Design a driver - procure the parts or know the exact prices in full detail - contact Eminence or others to oem it for you in batches - and check out the market , then take it from there

Adventurous :- Get a better cone made just for your drivers , You can better anything that is the best - you need not just go for a cone devoloped or offered by a cone supplier - say - if they dont mould a particular surround mould it your self

Have your own basket design - pressure casted - Coils & spiders are the easiest to cutomise in loud speakers & you will always be offered custom spiders and coils

Pole plates have them machined to your specs tolerences & design

The rest is work of good adhesives and assembly of parts

some thing like :- give me all the parts of a mercedes most probably with help I will be able to produce it

the art is in having all the raw materials mercedes used - leaving out or circumvating in some way years of their development - by reading up their library asap and getting into production

if we in asia are effectivly applying the above - i certainly encourage enterprenours in the west to do so too -

I have 11 years excperience in manufacturing Drivers and designing own driver parts

Suranjan Das Gupta

Transducer Design Engineer
 
@hunter audio: Thanks for your reply, that kind of information is exactly what i was looking for.

do you have any more information on the Alma, a link to a web site, address or phone number or what its stands for so i can further research it. lol

i have allot of ideas of what im looking for on a sub and pretty much what i need to do to get there, i just have to make some sketches and get some real time dimensions going.


i thought about contacting Tc sound and see what they would price me for a batch but ill wait till i come back from my deployment, while im out there ill most likely work further into the design and work out all the detailed dimensions and so on.
 
hi

Alma = american loudspeakers manufacturer association

i hope you do not lose your enthusiasm there a lot of oem manufacturers in u.s.

and parts suppliers majors are :- LCC & Nuway - they are cone & spider manufacturers , quite a few voice oil suppliers - precision econo wind etc.

there are lots more only off hand i cannot name all as my busness is else where ,

Suranjan
 
Been there done that Lost the T-SHirt!

Mr. boricuaso:

If it is your dream go for it. But know that it is a gamble at best.

There are 300 new loudspeaker manufacturers in the U.S. alone every year. Most don't last more than three.

In all the jokes made in this thread there are some good words of advice. Marketing is the toughest thing. With a lot of study you could understand and spec the driver parts. Absolutely get yourself a copy of the Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook. It is from old colony sound.

http://www.audioxpress.com/magsdirx/lis/

You will have all the manufacturers of driver parts and the products to put them together. You will learn alot.

If you want to go into business let me give you this advice. Build this up as a hobby. Then as an advanced hobby. Then when you have a good relationship with suppliers, plus a core group of people that know what you can do your ready for the next step. Aquire the business sense to make it fly then go for it. To do it all in one shot is the steepest learning curve you are ever going to be put up against. That's why so many fail.

It's a dog eat dog world out there. Don't be caught wearing milkbone shorts! :)

Mark
 
from basic economics classes, we learn one key thing to starting a new business...

the only way for a new business to survive in and existing marketplace is to:

1) create a new category, one which didnt previously exist
2) create a product that is unique to others (not necessarily better, but different benefits, advantages, or maybe more mass marketed)
3) create a niche product that appeals to a specific group of consumers (ie - ULTRA high end drivers, drivers specifically for DIY, or ultra cheap drivers, etc...)

those are the basics to making it. as people have said above, there are hundreds of driver manufacturers out there already. unless your product will do one of the three above, i would say forget about it. and im not usually one to discourage people from going after seemingly crazy dreams.

the driver market is very established. it would be hard to break in unless you meet one of the three items above.
 
hi

of the humour here and marketing strategy ,
this is one of my experiences i would not want my enemy to have

1 once - I devoloped this sub woofer cone - non press , thick , strengthened , considerably light , large roll natural rubber surround ( made the mould to mould the rubber ) as no one was interested in my low quantity order

well the unique property of this cone was it had a natural roll off above 250 hz ish - that is even when fed a full range frequency it hardly picked up the vocals - and at 50 w rms with boosting the treble control by 15 db s did not give rise to any hi - frequency from a driver made with this cone - having a common place 4 - layer vc - vc id 40 mm

I set out marketing this driver

to be able to push the low freqeuncies this driver was naturally running at - one needed a high power amp

which needed to be cheap ( here in India ) well designed one with darlingtons - mosfets were out due to majority not being experienced with mosfets etc.

the amp needed a large tranny - expensive - bought a coil winding machine for a - self employed youth aspirant - and taught him to make good trannies EI so that he would make them a bit below market rates for my customers

next designed pcbs for the amp - introduced the concept of plate amps - designed the input section ,

designed the printing films for the front panels of amps and the plates

made the entire thing into a project for amplifiers manufacturers to have as a ready make - cake -

just to sell these drivers - all - long before I came here to diy and ever visited Esp sites etc.

then after all this I have sold i think 50 of these -

I had made 8 inch , 10 inch & 12 inch cones as I thought these will be the next big thing in 2,000 nos each (as that is the lowest figure the cone manufacturer would make for me as it was way out of his product line up ) had spent around a month away from home in heat developing the cone in not so good accomodation and travel

and I ve just counted my losses and moved on to be reminded of this when I went over the reply from mwmkravenchko

the best i can explain this - is an obsession , James B lansing -
I think owed 200 thousand dollars to suppliers when he passed away in the early 50 s and he had a life insurance policy of 100 thousand to bail his company out

Suranjan Das Gupta

Transducer Design Engineer
 
@hunter audio:
i understand how hard it is for a small company to move a single product to other larger companies.
that why i feel like i have to use the public as the direct consumer of my products.
an also feel like maybe by assembling and distributing the loudspeaker my self will keep cost down and risk to a minimum. there are so many ways of advertising and distributing your product, which is also dependent of the clientele you are trying to reach and how far your trying to spread this product.

could you by any chance go in to detail about this cone you build? it sounds interesting.