Looking to build some speakers

godless

Member
2005-08-30 2:04 am
Hey guys, I am new to building speakers and would like to look around at pricing for various woofers, midranges, subwoofers, and tweeters.

What are some brands of tweeters, woofers, etc... that you guys generally consider some of the best you can get for building speakers? Also what are some good 2 and 3 way crossovers?

Any input appreciated, just list some brands you like and some websites that sell them, I am just trying to look around at the various parts to et a feel for quality vs price etc...

Thanks!
 
Fortunately or unfortunately the list is endless.

I'd recommend some good reading if you have not yet.Like the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason for ie..


As far as parts whew Parts Express,MCM,Solen,Madisound and many others.

As far as crossover designs again many DIY designs you can clone if you are new to this,as that or a kit would be the best route.

Kits you can get from the aforementioned parts vendors or even www.zalytron.com for ie..

Designs well skim this forum you will find links and ideas and designs all over.
 

godless

Member
2005-08-30 2:04 am
Alright, so lets say i was after a 1.5" silk dome tweeter, a 5-6" midrange, and a 10" woofer, what are some of the best brands to buy those from that you guys can think of? Also what would be a good crossover to pair with these that i can buy ready made? I do not think i want to make my own.

As for cabinet design, I have a very interesting idea for that but I dont want to spoil it until its done but you guys will see pics!

Having the drivers look nice is also of top priority :D
 
"best brands " - depends on your budget, what kind of music, how loud you need to go.....
SEAS & Peerless are good value for money, Scanspeak if you've got more $$$, unless you want to go for a really big system.....15" PA drivers like JBL etc

Ready made crossovers are regarded as evil here... you're better to copy one of the designs on the sites Sreten has linked (Start with Zaph & Troels)

Cabinet design - you need to bear in mind that the cabinet needs to be a certain volume to match the woofer, apart from that, just about anything goes.... don't build another boring box :D
 
so many choices....

typical questions:

  • music tastes?
    listening level desired?
    room size (including ceiling height)?
    current equipment(including a rough watts/channel,(RMS if known)
    desired efficiency (related to listening level desired)
    new equipment to be added?

and the list can keep growing.
Technically how competent are you as a cabinet constructor (I know I'm pretty bad at that!)
Do you have an understanding of crossover types, slopes and how they relate to driver choices?
Do you want to bi-amp or tri-amp the system?

as sreten points out, either copy a well known clone, or build a kit or well known DIY design such as those listed in his post.

Starting completely from scratch as a new loudspeaker builder can cost you a lot of $$$ and not guarantee results. That's why I believe in single drivers, especially as a new builder. You can get your feet wet by building a simple cabinet, and not have to deal with designing a crossover.

The 8" Pioneer fullrange with whizzer cone is cheap ($25 ea in the US), and respectable sounding. Many designs have been done with this loudspeaker driver.

good luck


stew
 

BlueWizard

Member
2007-06-29 8:49 pm
I think the place to start is with your budget, we can begin to speculate without that.

You ask for the best. But I don't think you really understand what that means.

A quick look at Part Express will show you that the 'best' 10" woofers are in the US$100 to US$200 range EACH. A 'good' mid/bass 5" to 6" is going to run $100 to $200 each. A precision-match pair of dome tweeters is going to run $250 to $450 a pair.

I'm guessing that might be a little out of your price range.

The most common brands are -

Dayton
Seas
Scan Speak
Vifa

Also-

Morel
Usher

Under the right circumstances -

Peerless
Pyle

have some good offering.

People frequently use-

Pioneer speakers

Though a little usual in their design -

Tang Band

Makes some good products.

And there are many other brands.

But as other have said, we need a little better idea of what your situation is. How big is your room? If you are in your bedroom, that is completely different that if you are planning to do some professional DJ'ing. What is your skill level? Do you have a full compliment of wood working tools available?

I do disagree with others here. I think if you are a beginner, you can make some very acceptable speakers with off-the-shelf crossovers assuming you have made sure the crossover points are well within the true working range of the individual speakers.

Keep in mind that most here are seeking audio perfection and precision. While a few others of us, are simply seeking the best we can get given the resources we have available.

If you have the time and knowledge to do so, certainly custom made crossover are better. Here is an example of how. Ready-made crossovers assume a generic 8 ohms impedance (or 4 ohms as the case may be). But impedances change with frequency, so in making a custom crossover you would find the precise impedance at the crossover point, and design for the specific impedance.

Also, what happens if you have 6 ohms speakers. You won't find ready-made crossovers for that. Still for someone starting out and just gaining skill and knowledge, you can get by with ready-made crossover. But you are going to have to add to them. You are going to have to add Zobel networks to the speakers to stabilize the impedance at higher frequencies. If you don't know about Zobel networks yet, you will before you are done.

The best idea for a beginner is to search through the list of speaker projects posted by Sreten, and find one that is close to what you want. You will learn a lot building that project, and all the hard work of design and testing has already been done for you.

So, give us some idea of the resources (financial, intellectual, and material), and we can point you in the right direction.

Also, keep in mind that there are several FREE speaker design computer programs out their. They can model your speakers for you, so you can be sure you have the cabinet volume that servers your listening needs best. They can help you with crossover design. And when done, they can test and verify that the speakers turned out right. Again this is FREE software. You will however, need a calibration microphone for testing the speaker (about $50), possibly a small pre-amp ($30 to $50), a computer with a half-way decent sound card, and few other miscellaneous items.

If you want to skip the testing part, and just use the design part, all you need is a computer and the T/S (Theil/Small) parameters of the various speakers These are available for most speakers. In fact, I would say, if you can't get this information, don't buy the speaker.

The best part of modeling is you can know with a reasonable degree of certainty how a particular combination of speakers, cabinets, and ports will work before you actually purchase them.

One of the more popular programs, though it is still in the development stage, is WinISD. Another is Speaker Workshop, Arta software suite, and many more.

Hope that is of some help.

Steve/bluewizard
 

godless

Member
2005-08-30 2:04 am
well what I really looking for is drivers tha have an excellent sound quality to cost ratio that look very nice (not a paper cone) perhaps a ribon tweeter i stead of dome may be better?

I am also not building them for a specific size room as I am quite happy with the monitor audio rs8s, rslcr, and rsfxs in my theater.
i would say excluding cost of cabinet i want to be able to build two speakers that have a 10 or 8 inch woofer, a good midrange and a good tweeter for 500 for the pair but rember that is without cabinet costs.

Around 250 watts to drive each seems reasonable yes?
 

BlueWizard

Member
2007-06-29 8:49 pm
Well, I'm not saying it is the best option, but if you insist on selecting your own speakers rather than copying a design, you could take a look at the Dayton Reference Series. Dayton also makes crossovers.

Check Part Express -

http://www.partsexpress.com/speakers.cfm

Dayton RS270S-8 10" Reference Shielded Woofer 8 Ohm = $65.00 EA

OR -

Dayton RS225S-8 8" Reference Shielded Woofer 8 Ohm = $41.00 EA

Dayton RS52AN-8 2" Dome Midrange = $40.78 EA

Dayton RS28AS-4 1-1/8" Shielded Aluminum Dome Tweeter = $55.87 EA

For some reason, the Tweeter seems to be availible only in 4 ohms, but some searching might turn up an 8 ohm version. Though I really don't like the high end response on this tweeter and might consider substituting -

Dayton DC28F-8 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeter = $15.50 EA

A tolerable crossover might be this one-

Dayton XO3W-700/5.6K 3-Way Crossover 700/5,600 Hz = $49.41 EA

Though, I think and 800/4000hz crossover would be much better.

Crossover 3-Way 8 Ohm 800/4,500 Hz 200W = $29.45 EA

This would make it seem like you were ready to go, buy the parts, put them in a box...bada-bing bada-boom...your there. But it's more complicated than that, and if you want to be very precise, it is extremely more complicated than that.

You would do best to model these speakers in WinISD. That would also help you get the best cabinet size for your needs. There is a steep learning curve even to this short-cut method of speaker building.

The T/S Parameters can be found listed for each speaker, and they look like this -

Specifications: *Power handling: 80 watts RMS/120 watts max *VCdia: 1.5" *Le: 1.0 mH *Znom: 8 ohms *Re: 6.4 ohms *Frequency range: 27-2,000 Hz *Fs: 27 Hz *SPL: 88.1 dB 2.83V/1m *Vas: 2.75 cu. ft. *Qms: 1.60 *Qes: .47 *Qts: .37 *Xmax: 7 mm *Dimensions: A: 8-3/4", B: 7-3/8", C: 4".

Plug those numbers into WinISD for each speaker, and select closed or vented/ported cabinets, and select the size of cabinets, the type of crossover, and it will do a fair job of modeling the speakers as a system. It will also help you work out the Zobel networks.

But my advice for a first project, is to look at all the project designs linked to, check the cost and availability of the selected speakers, and go from there. Who ever created the particular project you select, has already worked out all the complications, and that will save you a lot of headaches.

There are even project designs at Part Express, and while good, they are not as refined as some of the others link to in this thread.

Sources of speaker components are -

Parts Express -

Madisound Speaker Components -
http://www.madisound.com/index.html

MCM Electronics -
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/

and many others.

WinISD can be found at -

Linear Team -

http://www.linearteam.dk/default.aspx?pageid=winisd

Good luck, you're going to need it.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Hi,

you can add http://htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php4?f=39
to the list if multiple driver Dayton 3-ways are your bag.

Generally speaking ribbon tweeters are not worth it, some mundane
$20 dome tweeters outperform most of them according to Zaph, but
I accept the lure of exotic drivers is sometimes difficult to resist.

Under no circumstances follow BW's suggestion of buying the ready
built Dayton crossovers. this is an appalling idea he should be ashamed
of, if you cannot build crossovers your only option is a 3-way kit
design that comes with a ready build custom designed crossover.

Adding a ribbon complicates matters. If you go that route build a
design voiced to suit ribbon dispersion characteristics, there are
not many that do this well and any that do will be complex, see :

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Modulus.html

:)/sreten.
 
As far as ribbon tweeters, all you have to do is look at the selection at Part Express to see that the price range is US$70 to $320 each. Is it really worth all that extra money, just to have something you think is 'cool'?

At to the crossovers, I've already acknowledged that custom making them is the preferred method, if you have the resources (financial, intellectual, and material) to do so, and more importantly, to do so well, then certainly do it.

I also acknowledge that copying an existing design was the preferred method, and a speaker kit with crossovers would certainly count as an existing design.

But this person seems hell bent on building it himself, but, so far, has not given us any indication that he has the resources or the inclination to get into the deep technical aspect of it. Consequently, within the assumed context of the question, off-the-shelf crossovers are a good idea for this person in this assumed context. Though I think the Dayton 700/5600hz crossovers are too wide a spread for the speakers he has. Even 800/4500hz is pushing it. But with the available crossovers, it is probably the best choice.

Keep in mind that off-the-shelf or custom, it is still just a few caps and coils all based on the same design principle. If the impedances are not perfect at the crossover frequencies, it just means the crossover frequency shifts slightly from the designated frequency. If he adds the Zobel networks, I think he will have a decent functional speaker system. Given my impression, even if the need should arise, I think creating a notch filter or anything else beyond the basics is not an option.

The point is off-the-shelf crossovers are just as functional as any, just not as precise. And, a lot of the 'custom' work is not actually on the core crossover, it is on all the 'attachments' to the core crossover that make the difference.

Perhaps, if this person uses WinISD, and it helps him with a custom crossover, he will be more inclined to buy the components and assemble them himself. But until then, I answer the question in what I assume was the context in which it was asked.

Still, on general principle, custom is best.

Steve/bluewizard
 
BlueWizard said:

off-the-shelf crossovers are a good idea for this person in this assumed context.
Steve/bluewizard

Hi,

You may be able to convince yourself this is true, I cannot.
I am not going to argue the point, it seems to me I understand
what can / will go wrong far more than you and IMO you would
be better off not having an opinion on the subject.

:)/sreten.
 
Sorry you feel that way, but again, it is about context.

If this person CAN build custom crossovers then he definitely should, but if for whatever reason he can't, then he shouldn't. A badly designed and poorly understood custom is unlikely to outperform an off-the-shelf.

For you, with your skill, knowledge, and experience, it would be virtually sacrilege to use off-the-shelf crossovers, but we don't all have your skill, knowledge, expertise, and resource, though with out a doubt we should strive to get them.

In the mean time, we do the best we can with what we have.

There must be some reason they sell crossovers; there must be somebody buying them. They must fill a market niche. If the original poster is not in the market niche, then certainly design away, always the best first option. But, if he's is unable or unwilling, what choice does he have?

Keep in mind that a lot of people designing and building their own crossovers the first time are likely to make a lot of mistakes. Are those mistakes less than or more than the compromise of buy them ready-made? It's luck of the draw.

Keep in mind that I am agreeing with you, if the original poster can, he should. But if he can't or won't, I'm offering him a workable option, and it is a workable[//i] option. That's all I'm saying.

Steve/bluewizard
 
BlueWizard said:

There must be some reason they sell crossovers; there must
be somebody buying them. They must fill a market niche.

Steve/bluewizard


Hi,

Indeed they do.
They are for people who think that all you have to do is get a set of
drivers of the correct impedance (8 or 4 ohm) and the same sensitivity,
stick them in a box and add "textbook" 8 ohm resistive crossovers.

What wrong with that ? .............................

They are for, lets say PE's casual customers.

Take a look at the crossover for this :

http://www.zaphaudio.com/ZDT3.html

[IMGHTTPDEAD]http://www.zaphaudio.com/ZDT3-system-small.jpg[/IMGHTTPDEAD]

:)/sreten.
 

godless

Member
2005-08-30 2:04 am
Alright guys, you have concinced me.

Ater I find what drivers I want to use (this will be 3- way, woofer, mid, tweeter) I will give you all the specs so you can tell me how I can go about building a crossover that is proper for those drivers.


Again, THANKS a lot for the input and help, I appreciate it! :D
 

godless

Member
2005-08-30 2:04 am
Alright, I have been looking arund quite a lot and have came up with some ideas

This tweeter

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1590

This midrange

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_234_264&products_id=1088

This woofer

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_228_257&products_id=821

There is a fair amount of frequency overlap just to be safe, also I am aware that that midrange requires it's own chamber if mounted with the woofer . I will use whatever appropriate computer program to determine the size of the box needed, or perhaps just by what you guys say.

I know making a crossover for those 3 drivers wont be extremely easy, but I will devote whatever amount of time it takes. Also, how hard would it be to make the speakers able to be bi-amped?

Thanks for any and all help guys! :cool:
 
The Seas drivers are excellent choices, and I'd be inclined to make a 2-way with them.
However, if you read Zaph's projects using Seas metal cone drivers, you'll see that a special filter is needed to deal with the high peak that these cones have. He explains what is going on in his crossover, so it's a good way to get a feel for what needs to be addressed. (Plus you'll have to learn some of the jargon as you go along...ask here...)
 
godless said:
Alright, I have been looking arund quite a lot and have came up with some ideas

This tweeter

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1590

This midrange

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_234_264&products_id=1088

This woofer

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_228_257&products_id=821

There is a fair amount of frequency overlap just to be safe, also I am aware that that midrange requires it's own chamber if mounted with the woofer . I will use whatever appropriate computer program to determine the size of the box needed, or perhaps just by what you guys say.

I know making a crossover for those 3 drivers wont be extremely easy, but I will devote whatever amount of time it takes. Also, how hard would it be to make the speakers able to be bi-amped?

Thanks for any and all help guys! :cool:

Hi,

The jury is out over the (very old) Vifa 3" dome midrange. Some
people give it a very poor subjective write up and I've not read
any reports suggesting the opposite, i.e. that it is very good.

Passive bi-amping is fairly easy, active a very different kettle of fish.
Passive makes more sense for a 3-way with 2 similar amplifiers.

http://www.rjbaudio.com/AlpheusMkII/alpheusmkii.html

Looks suitable, though I'd use a triangular smaller sealed section
for the midrange. Take a good look at this, as all the files for it
are available to show how the crossover was developed using :

http://www.rjbaudio.com/Audiofiles/FRDtools.html
http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spkrbldg/

:)/sreten.