Please direct me to some loudpseaker build threads.

It has been a while since I have been here. I want to thank everyone for all the help this forum has been to me over the years.

I have decided it is past time to make new loudspeakers.
I will describe what I want and hope that some of you take the time to direct me in the right direction.

To start with, I am a semi-professional furniture maker, a hobby machinist with some professional grade tools, I have some experience with electronics, and I have a math degree. I suppose this translates into meaning that I can make about anything (including castings). I can probably also trade favors for some CNC machining if needed.
I am not any kind of engineer, my other degree is in molecular genetics and my field is mathematical biology (lots of calc and stats).

I also do not have an audiophiles ear. I do have a very good ear though, I have almost perfect pitch, and I am especially sensitive to muddy sound. For example, I find listening to FM radio difficult.
I have a wide range of music tastes ranging from classical to grunge. That said, I seldom listen to classical at home, and when I do it is usually either chamber quartets or piano, so being able to reproduce classical at home is a low priority.

My system must do double do for my home theatre as well (120" screen...). My home theatre is my living room, so this is not the best environment for ideal sound. It also means that volume is important :(

The type of music I would like to be able to render is from bands like Yes (Mood for a Day), Traffic (Low Spark), Iron Butterfly, Led Zeppelin (Braun Y' Aur), Portishead (Machine Gun, All Mine), Massive Attack (Group Four), Evanescence, and Tori Amos.
This list is not so much a list of my favorite music, so much as an example of the range of music I want to be able to reproduce well. It tends to have an emphasis on vocals, and multiple voices in the music itself. I would also regard the lobby scene from Matrix as a perfect example of movie sound. The older stuff is usually on LP, and the newer stuff is on CD.

Tentatively, I envision:
2 or 3 way loudspeakers.
Wave guides are appealing.
2 main stereo speakers in front, a center channel, 2 smaller satellites, a powered sub. I am open to side speakers as well since I have a 7.1 system amp.
I do not have room to position speakers 3 feet from the from wall.
I am budget conscious, I do not make enough to afford really high end stuff.

I would say that clarity of sound is most important, followed closely by the sound stage. I really like the feeling of immersion in the music, but the feeling is ruined if the sound is muddy.


I am not interested (or competent) in re-inventing the wheel.
Please direct me at some build threads that you think would fill some of my needs. I would like to start with enclosure design, and then move onto driver selection based on that.

Thank you all for your time
-Josh
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Sreten gives great advice.

My personal system is a 2-way for L&R that I run full range at all times. For music, no sub. For movies I add a subwoofer for the 0.1 channel plus center and surround fill in. I'm extremely happy in my modest living room. An equivalent speaker of my mains in terms of bass output is the Klang Tong NADA kit Not sure if it's in your budget but the 6.5 scan speaks have amazing bass output. If you won't do room tuning, that's as much bass as you should do without a huge listening room.

An affordable alternative, especially if you are committed to using a sub is to check out my own LM-1C's. :) They are MTM that can be used as main or surround speakers. I'm pretty happy of the outcome, and relatively inexpensive.

The more bass you want to have, the more important room treatment will be. I suggest you include 2-4 GIK Soffit Traps or equivalent into your budget. No one believes me until it's demonstrated, but you are FAR better off with bass traps and a good 6.5" woofer than adding a sub and DSP. Adding a DSP equalizer for the sub AFTER adding bass traps is glorious magic. Like I said, most people completely ignore this, and go get a 12" woofer, and get incredibly mediocre results.

Best of luck,


Erik
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Just read your placement criteria. You'll need acoustic panels and probably should focus on bass-limited speakers. They are least likely to get boomy. In this case, another high-quality kit is the Mundorf MA30, but again, not sure if you consider $2,500 pricey or not. Compared to store bought, just think of the savings. The LM-1C's will also do nicely in that situation. And I know I'm plugging them hard, but it's not like I make any money on them. :) I just want some one to build them and sing my praises.

You will need a sub, and that sub will need to be equalized, but that's QED. Either from your receiver, or an inexpensive outboard unit from MiniDSP will clean up the bass quite handily. Due to your placement, probably any speakers you use will need to be tuned a little, so a multi-channel DSP solution if not already in your receivers is in your future.


Best,


Erik
 
Last edited:

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Hi,

my advice is to avoid ported enclosures but use only sealed ones.

Uli

Hi Uli,

A little background would help your reader. What experiences have you had?

Personally I am quite neutral on the subject of ported vs. not and find room and sub integration a much bigger issue. Please let us know what you've heard that makes you stay away from ported speakers.

Best,


Erik
 
Josh,

Detailed information on your listening room(size-shape-doors-ceiling), seating locations, rug?, acoustic treatments, and positon of large furniture is a good first design step.
free: "Room Response Calculator v0.6d by Yavuz Aksan"
model soundstage for: HT 120" screen vs. seating positions

Deciding on passive component crossovers vs. analog active crossover(opamps) vs. digital crossovers(like miniDSP) is a good second step. You enjoy analog LPs, so old-school all-analog should get thoughtful consideration. Active crossovers allow signficant room-effects equalization, use of clean transient sealed box woofers, and reduced box size by using higher watt amps.

Thanks to Dr. Geddes, many believe that deciding on a controlled directivity curve(function) for your room is a good third step. (wide dispersion dome vs. horn/waveguide)
http://www.gedlee.com/downloads/directivity.pdf

What commercial speakers do you currently favor: (size, shape, construction, efficiency, frequency range, dynamics)?
==========

MAYBE: Research and design speakers for a coherent 5.1 HT speaker system, BUT spend your intial limited budget(~$2K) building just the R-L stereo pair.

Active vs passive size comparison: waveguide with 1"CD + 12" midbass + two 18" woofers
https://www.tweekgeek.com/bmf-1/
https://www.pinterest.com/localhifishop/tweek-geeks-bmf-speaker-in-the-making/
The Intrusive 1899 DIY Sound Group
 

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SATELLITE BUDGETING
For (future) center and satellite speakers, modest cost SB_Acoustics drivers in 2-way and 3-way designs are popular because of excellent measurements and reviews.
2-way ~$170 each $110_drivers and $60_crossover parts. ported F3 ~40Hz before room gain
3-way ~$250 each $180_drivers and $70_crossover parts. ported F3 ~30Hz before room gain. Stand or FloorStanding.
These are the lowest cost designs I would invest my time to build.

Excellent construction details on Troels expansive website. Jozua also recommended.
SBAcoustics-3WC

A range of crossovers (LR2, LR4, BW3) are published for these SB_Acoustics 2-way and 3-way configurations.
 

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Hi Uli,

A little background would help your reader. What experiences have you had?

Personally I am quite neutral on the subject of ported vs. not and find room and sub integration a much bigger issue. Please let us know what you've heard that makes you stay away from ported speakers.

Best,


Erik

Hi Erik, Hi all,

playing Vinyl and the intended rumble from digital movies, ported tunings fail, fully excurring diaphragm already at moderate levels, unless their ports are tuned to below 32 Hz. Furthermore, a sealed tuning with a fc of 84 Hz and Qtc of 0.6 is a close reciprocal of the Room Gain to be found in average domestic living rooms.

For that i would not choose a driver of low Qts but possibly even above 1. But i trick the box into a lower Qtc and higher efficiency by flow resistance damping. Having established sufficient bass level and low clang, i can move on (cross over) to keep frequency modulation low and to keep dispersion within the right range.

Uli
 
Thank you all for the replies. I have been looking over everything that everyone has linked and doing some further research into the project. I remember now why I backed off of this a few years ago, it gets complicated quickly, and you have to rely on peoples subjective opinions so much.
Sadly, a driver in one of my surrounds died, so I need to move forward with replacements.

One of the things I am running into is space issues. My living room is not especially larger (about 14'x26'). The screen lowers in front of the fireplace, and the couch is more or less centered in the room.
Thanks for laying out your goals, that goes a long way! :up:

I'd say look at the Econowave build threads here and on other forums. It's quite popular and versatile.
You might also look at an open baffle thread I have going, it's always evolving
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/110583-fast-fun-inexpensive-ob-project.html

Best of luck!
Great stuff! I love the sound of open baffle speakers.

Hi,

Wow , 120" is ten feet, that is not not messing around.

I'd suggest : Zaph|Audio - SB12.3 3-Way Tower for
L+R and not worry about a subwoofer too much.

Centre Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5, but they
could also be used for L+R with a sub.

The 4 rears, any decent 6.5"/1", there are loads.

rgds, sreten.

Ya, I really want to shoe horn a 150" in, but I worry about the screen being too low. It is very immersive. The whole system centers around a JVC reference grade projector. I had all but quit going out to movies until the local Marcus upgraded to their superscreen and Dolby Atmos sound. I'm not a huge fan of Atmos - it is a bit flat in movies that don't resort to lots of sound for drama (think No Country for Old Men), but it is still pretty impressive.
That ZaphAudio site is a great resource. I think the SB12.3 might be to large for me, getting it far enough from the walls will be a challenge.
The ZDT3.5 looks very good though. I like the fact that it includes a design set for a center channel.
I am thinking that the 3rd chamber along with the 2nd midbass, and vent could be removed, and converted to a sealed surround. Any thoughts? Obviously the cross over would need to be modified, but I think it might do just fine.
My eating space is at that end of the room, and surrounds are best wall mounted.

Sreten gives great advice.

My personal system is a 2-way for L&R that I run full range at all times. For music, no sub. For movies I add a subwoofer for the 0.1 channel plus center and surround fill in. I'm extremely happy in my modest living room. An equivalent speaker of my mains in terms of bass output is the Klang Tong NADA kit Not sure if it's in your budget but the 6.5 scan speaks have amazing bass output. If you won't do room tuning, that's as much bass as you should do without a huge listening room.

An affordable alternative, especially if you are committed to using a sub is to check out my own LM-1C's. :) They are MTM that can be used as main or surround speakers. I'm pretty happy of the outcome, and relatively inexpensive.

The more bass you want to have, the more important room treatment will be. I suggest you include 2-4 GIK Soffit Traps or equivalent into your budget. No one believes me until it's demonstrated, but you are FAR better off with bass traps and a good 6.5" woofer than adding a sub and DSP. Adding a DSP equalizer for the sub AFTER adding bass traps is glorious magic. Like I said, most people completely ignore this, and go get a 12" woofer, and get incredibly mediocre results.

Best of luck,


Erik
I like the look of that Klang.
thanks for the input on soffit traps. I had not thought about them, it seems most likely I will need some form of bass control when all said and done.


Just read your placement criteria. You'll need acoustic panels and probably should focus on bass-limited speakers. They are least likely to get boomy. In this case, another high-quality kit is the Mundorf MA30, but again, not sure if you consider $2,500 pricey or not. Compared to store bought, just think of the savings. The LM-1C's will also do nicely in that situation. And I know I'm plugging them hard, but it's not like I make any money on them. :) I just want some one to build them and sing my praises.

You will need a sub, and that sub will need to be equalized, but that's QED. Either from your receiver, or an inexpensive outboard unit from MiniDSP will clean up the bass quite handily. Due to your placement, probably any speakers you use will need to be tuned a little, so a multi-channel DSP solution if not already in your receivers is in your future.


Best,


Erik

I think you nailed an important point.
My preference is to rely on a sub to manage deep bass.
My room is just too small, and my screen too big to squeeze in a large loud speaker with out lifestyle changes.
I am not adverse to that though, I am single and my kid moved out, so I can do anything I want. I just wish his old room was bigger, I would turn it into a theatre/music room if I could.

Josh,


MAYBE: Research and design speakers for a coherent 5.1 HT speaker system, BUT spend your intial limited budget(~$2K) building just the R-L stereo pair.

Active vs passive size comparison: waveguide with 1"CD + 12" midbass + two 18" woofers
https://www.tweekgeek.com/bmf-1/
https://www.pinterest.com/localhifishop/tweek-geeks-bmf-speaker-in-the-making/
The Intrusive 1899 DIY Sound Group

Thank you for articulating what was in the back of my mind.
You are correct sir, I should focus on a system that reproduces what I want in stereo, and make that work in my HT.
This is really what I do now anyway. I typically turn off the sub and surrounds when I listen to music.

SATELLITE BUDGETING
For (future) center and satellite speakers, modest cost SB_Acoustics drivers in 2-way and 3-way designs are popular because of excellent measurements and reviews.
2-way ~$170 each $110_drivers and $60_crossover parts. ported F3 ~40Hz before room gain
3-way ~$250 each $180_drivers and $70_crossover parts. ported F3 ~30Hz before room gain. Stand or FloorStanding.
These are the lowest cost designs I would invest my time to build.

Excellent construction details on Troels expansive website. Jozua also recommended.
SBAcoustics-3WC

A range of crossovers (LR2, LR4, BW3) are published for these SB_Acoustics 2-way and 3-way configurations.
These look very appealing. They have a nice size and cost factor that has me going back to them a lot.

Once again, than you all for your input.
If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I am sure there is some important consideration I am forgetting.
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Uli,

Um, none of that has been true for me, and I live in a small San Francisco apartment. My two way speakers are flat to around 30 Hz in room, with port. Sound fantastic and only need a sub for movies. The woofer and alignment is very similar to the setup in the Klang Tong NADA, which uses a 6.5" Scanspeak woofer, or the Zaph Revelator 2-way.

I do however use bass traps and wall panels.

Movies are the only time excursion is really an issue, and that's what the sub is for.

Could you perhaps be referring to playing with the speakers against a wall ?

Best,


Erik



Hi Erik, Hi all,

playing Vinyl and the intended rumble from digital movies, ported tunings fail, fully excurring diaphragm already at moderate levels, unless their ports are tuned to below 32 Hz. Furthermore, a sealed tuning with a fc of 84 Hz and Qtc of 0.6 is a close reciprocal of the Room Gain to be found in average domestic living rooms.

For that i would not choose a driver of low Qts but possibly even above 1. But i trick the box into a lower Qtc and higher efficiency by flow resistance damping. Having established sufficient bass level and low clang, i can move on (cross over) to keep frequency modulation low and to keep dispersion within the right range.

Uli
 
No, Erik, i have simple experience and theory. If wavelength/Pi equals distance of sound source to a room-limiting plane, simply said a wall, then there is a dip in sound power, due to reflections off the wall. Below that frequency there is amplification, namely more than +3 dB and less than +6 dB per wall. Now this is not only a corner of the universe but a closed room, say at very low frequencies a compression chamber, in which sound power quadruples with the inverse of frequency. This means altogether more than one +1 Bel, even if walls are not brick but thin plaster or wood, and an open door. All this, the dips and rises, is the room gain.

Thou say thou need a sub for movies. I guess, thou have a modern multi-channel receiver, which can then highpass-filter the main speakers. But why improvise like this, why not settle one set-up which plays anything equally well?
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Silly theorist, you are suffering from theory vs. empirical research mismatch. Please correct before you attempt to question my use of speakers. It's just too complicated, but I suggest you examine Gravesen's site where he applies room gain in a more thoughtful manner.

Erik

No, Erik, i have simple experience and theory. If wavelength/Pi equals distance of sound source to a room-limiting plane, simply said a wall, then there is a dip in sound power, due to reflections off the wall. Below that frequency there is amplification, namely more than +3 dB and less than +6 dB per wall. Now this is not only a corner of the universe but a closed room, say at very low frequencies a compression chamber, in which sound power quadruples with the inverse of frequency. This means altogether more than one +1 Bel, even if walls are not brick but thin plaster or wood, and an open door. All this, the dips and rises, is the room gain.

Thou say thou need a sub for movies. I guess, thou have a modern multi-channel receiver, which can then highpass-filter the main speakers. But why improvise like this, why not settle one set-up which plays anything equally well?
 
Maybe the LX mini could do the job as well...

On this subject, has anyone here have them?
They are in some ways the perfect solution, but on the other bring up a whole new series of headaches.
First is the construction, I cringe everytime I look at them. They are like a study in what not to when building something. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the time and effort that went into a design that can be made from hardware store parts and does not require any special tooling.
I am really curious to know if anyone has built them using something other than butyl rubber glued to PVC and MDF. I can easily redesign most of the major construction issues, I am hesitant to replace the rubber part with something else with out knowing how much of an issue tuning will be. I know the system is meant to be over-damped, so something like an aluminum casting or extrusion might cause issues.
My lathe is big enough that the entire column would easily fit on it, turning the entire column + adaptor is not an issue.
Does anyone have any knowledge about this and what other materials might be used?

They are about perfect in that they are not sensitive to placement, and will be very easy to fit into my space.
I worry a bit about what they can actually do though.
I do love to immerse myself in acoustic music, and I have no doubt these would be better than about anything else out there for this. I am not so convinced they will be so good for listening to something like Primus, and I am even less convinced they will fill the need of a home theatre.

The HT issue is the one that is a bit of a snag. My receiver handles both audio and video processing. Part of this is the requirement of being able to upconvert any signal to 1080p, and partly (and maybe most importantly) is syncing the audio and video. I doubt my little 90w/channel receiver can drive the Mini (it calls for 80w), so it would require investing in an amp. Adding an amp brings up issues with syncing.
And then I am still missing the center channel...

I would really love some input on this so I can decide whether to rule it out or not.
Thanks again,
-Josh