So when building loudseakers...what?


2008-02-16 4:19 am
Hello everybody, Im here for a specific reason. Ive decided that I must build a pair of speakers for myself. However, I also instantly realize I know little about this topic.

Well, This is one huge grouping of questions, so be warned, this might be uncomfortable for most to read.

I am going to build a pair of floorstanding louspeakers. Thats settled. Should I put a woofer, a midrange speaker, and a tweeter in each stand? Or should I go with a sub in the middle with midranges and tweeter on the sides? Ill quickly throw out that im a jazz/acoustic listener in case that helps. I think I want to go with the 3 speaker per side setup, so now I need to choose some drivers. I need them to cover the audio range or match or whatever they should do, so are there any known foolproof combinations out there? What do I need to use these speakers once there built? Can I just use my receiver with its 8/4 ohm adjustment? Ive a couple of friends who are electricians so I can work out a schematic. How about speakerbox construction? I know woofers need their air volume and the boxes should be sealed and made of hardwood, but is there something else thats just as important? Lastly, if there is a complete tutorial for building speakers that has a finished sound quality greater than 1980's jbls or bose 301's id certainly consider it, I have not found one that is complete yet.

Well, those are the questions. I build instruments and ive decided sound is amazing, and I just cant settle with bad speakers anymore. Ive all the tools needed to build these, including the boxes. Thanks for any and all help.
Welcome to the club. Be careful this can get very addicting.
I would suggest at this stage, you consider a kit speaker. A lot of technical work goes into getting a speaker right so you might as well take advantage of another persons knowledge. There are many out there so I will let others tell you their favourites. I suggest you first decide whether you wish a woofer box and two satellite speakers or the floor-standers you mentioned. Either is a good option. Along with that, give an idea of the maximum dimensions of what you can fit into your area. How loud do you like it to be and what sort of amplifier do you have?

There, that oughta get us started.
It would also help to have an idea for your budget. I don't want to undermine the idea of DIY speakers, it's just a lot more work than just building a box to house the drivers.

Like many things HiFi, cost has an effect on quality. i.e. very good drivers run a couple hundred each, so for a three way that would be $1200 in drivers alone. At those kind of prices you are well into the diminishing returns curve and it makes little sense to spend that kind of money unless you have a truly first class system to power them.

There are cheaper drivers, and lots of people have favorites, but often these are at some price point. The actual cabinet materials also matter, many folks like extra thick MDF cabinets, but 1 1/2 inch thick will cost double a 3/4 inch thick cabinet. The same kinds of thoughts apply to crossover components.

You said you have tools, probably you mean carpentry tools, electronic tools and/or software is also needed to design your own speaker from scratch.

Kits are often a good compromise between saving money and getting a quality result. This is even more true for a first project.

So in the end you won't save that much money, but you will learn a lot. Patience and perseverance are also qualities that you will need to design and build your own speakers. If you have a buddy and build 4 speakers it will also help to get the project done


2008-02-16 4:19 am
Thanks for all the information so far, im going to be reading for many hours on thoes pages dublin! So to follow up with some more thoughts, Ive decided a kit would be wise for my first go around, I'd like to go for a 2 floorstanding speaker setup with the 2 drivers and tweeter in each, but if thats not available in kit form then I wont do that. Just something simmilar in that situation. Id like to try to keep the cost under a grand, if possible. And lastly, Im just getting into the whole audio quality thing, so I do not have anything amazing to power these. Just a Sony receiver and a Technics turntable. Eventually id like to go all tube, but for now im considering getting a marantz receiver.
Bang for buck, I have a feeling that these would be up there and very suitable for most styles of music. Paul is a musician himself.

Cab construction is very easy and straightforward, cutting diagrams available, bill of parts etc.

I hope Paul will get that x-o diagram for V3 up again soon, he has been having issues with getting it to stay there for some reason.
Ahh, there we go. Everything's all fixted up. The TB version was a new challenge, with the mids in parallel. I wanted to keep the impedance at a reasonable level, but I think it all came together well. They have a nice 3-dimensional soundstage and the midrange sounds very real. I basically tuned these speakers TO the midrange instruments: vocals, guitar, snare drum, etc. They should definitely satisfy a jazz listener--well, they satisfy this jazz listener, anyway ;-)