"The Puget Sound!" DIY Speaker Contest for 2016

I'm pleased to announce that The Pacific Northwest Audio Society ("PNWAS" or "the Club") will once again be sponsoring "The Puget Sound!" DIY Speaker Contest this year, on Mercer Island....Yes, Mercer Island !!!

The Contest is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th with the doors opening for entries at about 9:00 AM and the general public at approximately 9:30 to 9:45. We will attempt to start the judging at 10:00.

I will be filling in more information in the coming days, weeks and months, so be sure to check back from time to time as additional information is published.


Best Regards,
TerryO
 
Speaker Contest: "The Puget Sound!" DIY Speaker Contest

The contest will be held at the Mercer Island Congregational Church, 4545 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA

Doors open at 9:00 a.m., and judging begins between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.. We may be flexible on start time if a contestant is traveling some distance and may be arriving later than the start time; please let us know in advance so we can schedule accordingly.

Entries
This year there will be two "classes" of entries: original DIY designs and kits. We realize that a lot of effort, experience, skill and sometimes luck are needed to come up with a successful design. Many accomplished designers learned their craft by starting with kits of one sort or another and subsequently progressed toward original designs. For others, the lack of time or experience makes a kit a means towards better, affordable sound.

A Kit is defined as...
...Any pre-designed or published design (publication includes the Internet) that is the product of another person. This may be plans, parts, kit, or both plus cabinets, etc. Any major deviation from the plans may at some point constitute an original design -- however, a club appointed technical committee will have the final determination if this problem presents itself. All kits must have been offered to and available to the general public at some time. We rely on the integrity of the contestant!

The kit class is broken by cost per pair, and excludes the cost of the cabinet and finish. The breakdown for kits is as follows:

$0-$175/pair
$176-$325/pair
$326+/pair

Original Designs:

The breakdown is as follows:

One way ----under $75/over $75
Two way ----under $200/over $200
Three way -- under $300/over $300
Unlimited ---- no limit

NOTE: This is for drivers and crossover parts only; cabinet material and finish are not included. We again rely on the contestants' integrity. Your uncle who owns the HiFi Emporium cannot give you a special deal that isn't or hasn't been available to the general public. Nuff Said!

The speakers will be driven by the system the club supplies. Don't bring your own MegaWatt Hyper Triode Amp -- we're not going to use it. To keep it simple, we are not going to allow biamping or plate amps for a bass module.

The entry fee is $5 if you pre-register two weeks in advance or $10 if you register at the door. If you have any questions please post on one of the forums with an official thread on the contest, like this one. Also, it would help us a great deal if you'd let us know or think you're coming. A downloadable format entry form and the address to send it and your entry fee will be provided at a later date.

Judging

The judging will be by a panel of judges in a special room set aside for this. We will have three judges, which in turn plays his personal pre-selected musical selections (2-3 minutes max.) while sitting in the "sweet spot." Each contestant is allowed to specify general guidelines to set-up, that is, distance apart, toe-in, although corner loaded speakers will need to provide their own artificial corners. Remember that the judges will be sitting side by side so that should be taken into consideration.

We intend that judging will be totally blind -- this means that a curtain is utilized to ensure that sound, and not appearance, will be the sole criteria. All speakers will have the loudness adjusted to the same level before judging begins. Set-up of speakers will be by a club crew using notes taken at time of entry. Each judge will be issued a standard evaluation form prior to each session, and will rate each entry by assigning points, after which the form is collected by the Technical Committee member assigned to monitoring the judging (and setting SPL levels prior to each evaluation of an entry, etc). The forms are then scored by the Contest Director, or his designee for total points. After the final entry is judged, the points earned are assigned within each category to determine ranking within that class. The total overall points regardless of category or class will determine Best Sound of Show.

Other Stuff:

General admission of the public is free. We hope to have a garage sale/swap meet type offering for those who wish to sell or buy audio gear for free. However, the owners are responsible for their gear, etc. Don't expect to drop off stuff and return at the end of the day to pick up the money. (Please advise in advance if you wish to sell items).

We are going to let the attendees help out by voting for the Best Craftsmanship, Most Unusual, Most Creative Use of Material (Bondo, duct tape, silly putty, etc.).

Awards:

Each entry will receive a certificate of participation and a print out of his entry's frequency response measured by a qualified expert designated by the Contest Director or head of the Technical Committee. Additional certificates will be awarded to class winners, as well as 2nd place .

Finally a "Best Sound of Show" certificate will be presented to the overall winner. All winners of their respective DIY class are eligible for this. Please note that "kit" speakers aren't eligible for the Best Sound of Show.

Unless overruled by the Technical Committee for violation of the rules, the decision (total points) of the judges is final.

Best Regards,
TerryO
__________________
 

howardg

Member
2007-03-19 10:19 pm
'nuff said?

HI Terry and all,

For the cost of used or surplus components should we go with “average ebay selling price” or some such similar metric?

On my current build I got a set of woofers that would sell at $200 on ebay for $20 at the thrift store-as part of beat up looking 1970's complete speaker systems. But others who are not as lucky/persistent as I would not have this option if they were to recreate what I have built.

Resourcefulness/persistence/knowledge are skills and involve work, but it is too hard to include credit for these activities in assessing the cost of components for entries in the contest, I grudgingly admit.

On the other hand, the above mentioned woofers might sell for $250-300 re-foamed and tested, but I did the re-foaming, so the labor is a hands-on modification that should not add to the cost of the build, right?

Howard
 
Howard,

At the Contest you may want to mention that you spent $20 for the woofers and so much for the surround replacement kit. That makes it "legit" and also shows how to get a decent speaker for very little cost....and (no small consideration) it keeps you honest! :up:

The labor invested into a design is not itemized as there is no standard to go by. If you are young and live at your Parent's house your time might be very cheap, if you're older and the Doctor tells you that you only have four days to live...your time is suddenly quite a bit more valuable!

Best Regards,
TerryO
 
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The Judges have been selected for the Speaker Contest Listening Panel. Renan Jeffereis, Gary Dahl and Mike Lavigne have all volunteered to judge the Speakers entered this year. All have served with distinction as Judges in prior Contests and have excellent listening skills. They will be working with Bruce Brown to put together selections to be used on this year's Contest CD.
:p
 

Dave R

Member
2006-08-09 5:30 am
TerryO,

Looking forward to attending again this year. :)

I have one pair to enter (and possibly a second if I can get it built in time!)

A friend of mine wants to enter a speaker that is a 2.5 way. Just want to clarify -- would this fall into the 3-way category?
 
TerryO,

Looking forward to attending again this year. :)

I have one pair to enter (and possibly a second if I can get it built in time!)

A friend of mine wants to enter a speaker that is a 2.5 way. Just want to clarify -- would this fall into the 3-way category?

Hi Dave,

That's great!

Your friend's speaker would probably be considered a ...(good question, BTW). I'd probably say a three way as we have three frequency ranges to the drivers that are controlled by the crossover.

Best Regards,
Terry :D
 
OT: Hey Terry

The Judges have been selected for the Speaker Contest Listening Panel. Renan Jeffereis, Gary Dahl and Mike Lavigne have all volunteered to judge the Speakers entered this year. All have served with distinction as Judges in prior Contests and have excellent listening skills. They will be working with Bruce Brown to put together selections to be used on this year's Contest CD.
:p

Hi there, Terry! Sorry to post this here, but several years ago you had a speaker at the DIY get together that had multiple drivers in a arced focused array. I would like to do a search on this project if you posted it to DIY audio, but it would help to know the project name, or another's project that you garnered your inspiration from to do your speaker. I have come into a rather large cache of 4.5" AR mid-bass units at a really cheap price, and was thinking of doing some sort of focused array, with a central tweeter, flanked by the 4.5's and a second pair or pairs of 4.5's with mild power tapering to act as ".5-way" drivers. BTW, I won't be able to make it this year.....work schedules and life will give me very little free time. Hope to make it next year.
Anyway, if you could point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, John
 

Dave R

Member
2006-08-09 5:30 am
Hi John,

Here are some pictures of TerryO's focused arrays from the Vancouver Island diyFest in 2010. (post #147 on that thread)

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/club...ver-island-diyfest-2010-a-15.html#post2281264

Don't know a lot of details, maybe TerryO can chime in. The focus was about 10 feet back, if memory serves. The sweet spot was somewhat narrow (vertical position), but it did sound quite good. Some 8" Adire audio woofers were housed in their own enclosures for augmenting the low end.

TerryO, were these entered in the Mercer Island contest? Just wondering if there was more info on them if covered by another thread.

Update: another picture from the Mercer Island contest in 2010:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...und-speaker-contest-2010-a-4.html#post2287044
 
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Hi John,

Here are some pictures of TerryO's focused arrays from the Vancouver Island diyFest in 2010. (post #147 on that thread)

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/club...ver-island-diyfest-2010-a-15.html#post2281264

Don't know a lot of details, maybe TerryO can chime in. The focus was about 10 feet back, if memory serves. The sweet spot was somewhat narrow (vertical position), but it did sound quite good. Some 8" Adire audio woofers were housed in their own enclosures for augmenting the low end.

TerryO, were these entered in the Mercer Island contest? Just wondering if there was more info on them if covered by another thread.

Update: another picture from the Mercer Island contest in 2010:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...und-speaker-contest-2010-a-4.html#post2287044

Dave seems to have the facts nailed down with mathematical precision! The focus was indeed 10 feet, which allowed a bit of lee-way at my normal 8 foot sitting position. The numbers were rather arbitrarily, chosen to fit my listening space at home (and it's a very small house!). Just a note, up in Canada at the Planet10 meet, the speakers were actually positioned rather further back and the speakers still seemed to sound quite good.

The attribute that isn't mentioned, is that the lateral spread is actually quite wide. It wasn't a design goal, nor even given much thought and certainly was not anticipated at all.
Over the last 20 years, I have gotten a considerable amount of compliments for the sound (and cost of these speakers)! However, I don't remember anyone that admired their looks! :D
The measured frequency response was a rather flat, even shape that I believe was plus or minus 3 dB from 33 Hz to around 18 kHz.

Best Regards,
TerryO
 
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Hi there, Terry! Sorry to post this here, but several years ago you had a speaker at the DIY get together that had multiple drivers in a arced focused array. I would like to do a search on this project if you posted it to DIY audio, but it would help to know the project name, or another's project that you garnered your inspiration from to do your speaker. I have come into a rather large cache of 4.5" AR mid-bass units at a really cheap price, and was thinking of doing some sort of focused array, with a central tweeter, flanked by the 4.5's and a second pair or pairs of 4.5's with mild power tapering to act as ".5-way" drivers. BTW, I won't be able to make it this year.....work schedules and life will give me very little free time. Hope to make it next year.
Anyway, if you could point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, John

Hi John,

To answer your question I should point out that the drivers I used in the Focused Array were nominal 1.5 inch drivers (actually 1.3 inch cones) and didn't even start "beaming" until over 9 kHz! This, added to the focused array, eliminated many problems that would be present with larger drivers. Their frequency response allowed me to forego a tweeter altogether with most of the total output to be handled by the Focused Array itself. The Adire 8 inch woofers are gently eased out of the picture at around 450 Hz. The day after I finished the first array, I (physically) met Dan Wiggins for the first time, who had just received his first shipment of AV-8 woofers and was showing them at a little get-together in Renton. Later, I used a pair of Dan's AV-8 woofers for the bass duties on the array.

I have mentioned the arrays a number of times over the years, only to be told it was a bad idea or wouldn't work. And these were experts with a basket load of degrees and several Kilometers of Professional Confidence. I would have agreed with these geniuses except for one problem....The focused arrays sounded Great !

I think several people have tried and have been disappointed over the years attempting to recreate the arrays. I have come to believe that the failure of their designs may be, or probably is, attributable to the use of significantly larger drivers (and the much lower frequency for the on-set of the "beaming".

John, I hope this is useful to you.

Best Regards,
Terry