Please help a professional woodworker build DIY speakers
I posted this on Reddits diy audio forum and was sent here.
I’ll go into some detail about my workshop, tools, and experience. I’m not boasting of my set up or understanding… Only giving that information because I feel it’s pertinent for the advice. The Only reason I’ve gotten where I am in business, is because I’m too stupid and stubborn to give up, over the past 15 years of miserable mistakes. (Which are still daily struggle )
((((EDIT....I LOVE SIMPLE DESIGNS!!!. All of my vintage reproduction amps are the most simple and classic designs ever manufactured. Don’t get me wrong, innovation is important, but I always try to tackle classic & timeless designs, before moving onto anything groundbreaking or modern. More often than not, I find so much passion in the classics, I never move on to anything modern. I’ve used this method in all areas of life and business.))))
The title says it all.
I build guitars and violins for a living and have for the past 15 years. I have a fully equipped woodworking shop, and although a lot of my daily work is with hand tools and vintage working styles, I have a full power tool workshop as well. I just enjoy the challenge of hand tools and it allows me more time to think through what I’m doing (and hopefully make less mistakes.)
Also have a small machine shop hidden away in the corner. Mills, lathes, surface grinder, and all the trimmings. I’m a machinist by trade but haven’t done much with it in the past decade. It’s just nice to have that stuff and gets me out of a lot of trouble when I need it.
I have the tools and skills to make a professional looking product, in a timely manner. And have a lot of experience in vintage furniture reproduction, hand cut dovetails and such. have built over 100 guitar amps from scratch including the sheet-metal chassis and all details. All vintage reproduction stuff. I’ve re-coned a few speakers out of rare amps over the years, but I’ve never actually built speakers or speaker cabinets from scratch. (excluding amp cabinets)
I have a freshly restored Marantz 2325 , And a pioneer 1250… But honestly I’ll probably end up using one of my smaller receivers. I’ve always been a big fan of 5W guitar amp designs, and although I understand the importance of “headroom”, I’ll never push past the limits of a 15 W per channel amp like the pioneer 434 or similar. Love those smaller high-quality designs from that era, all of the quality and care was taken in pioneer’s smaller receivers from that time… As is seen in their 1250. Something about the humbleness and underdog style of the smaller stuff… I just like it a lot.
I was amazed to see the kits and parts available from websites like parts express. I wouldn’t mind spending around $500 to build a set of speakers, I’ve got hordes of walnut and all other types of solid woods and will build the cabinets and could even build a lot of the hardware if needed. I can knock it out in a timely manner so it will be a worthwhile effort and value. I can usually knock out a project of similar complexity in the matter of one day if I have good blueprints. (self drawn in CAD, by hand, or printed from the manufacturer.) Those blue printing classes I took so long ago, have helped me more than anything throughout my career. I’ve found the most important thing when trying to follow a plan and finish a project quickly, the most important thing is workflow. I believe they call it “order of operations“ in the professional world.
I just don’t know where to start and honestly would rather spend my time building than doing hours and hours of research on the latest and greatest speakers and kits.
Also have a humble but fully functioning electronics lab set up. I fix a lot of vintage test gear as a hobby, I’ll gladly post pictures of my lab or workshop if that helps. But if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.
Would love to order the parts kits and get to work, and the interwebs have such a wealth of information… I am thankful for any input you can give me. Thank you for taking the time to read this for any input you can give. I’m totally at your mercy and way out of my league here.
I guess I should add… I would like to go with the smallest footprint possible. It’s a small room, would love something that could hang on the wall or even a bookshelf design… Or maybe something tall and skinny that could go in the corners.
These will be going in my hand tool woodworking shop, which is a small room I built onto my main woodworking shop. I spent years coming up with a design for this room, motivated by the violin workshops of the 1600s and 1700s. Small, beautifully made, and as simplified as possible. Built the addition myself including all trim, wiring, everything. Jesus I will never do that again that was miserable.
It’s about 10 x 20‘, hardwood oak floor, tongue and groove heart pine ceiling, with a wide open floor.... just a woodworking bench, a few oak shelves for hand tool storage, and my small rolltop desk with some electronics tools. It’s pretty much wide open, and the ceiling goes up to an A-frame about 20 feet tall. I can include a picture of the room if needed. Needless to say it’s a small room.
not sure if it matters… But I mostly listen to old country, blues, classic rock, stuff like that but have been known to crank up the volume on some of the modern stuff … I’m a big steel panther fan ( don’t judge me )
I have no idea if the room dimensions or the type of music matters.
Thanks again for your time, and if you made it to the end of all of this rambling you’re more patient than I am.
Have a look on YouTube at KirbyMeetsAudio and SoundBlab. They have some good videos that talk through some basic speaker builds that I've found helpful in the past.
check out XRK971's thread on miniKarlsonators under loudspeaker full range. I'll admit to being a bit biased in that I built his first pair in 1/2" baltic birch. The outside dimensions are about 9-1/2 wide by 10 deep by 17 high. The speakers themselves are remarkably detailed. Perhaps lacking a little in bass. The plans are available as a Sketchup design.
Yes Room size and music preferences really do matter, A bigger room really does need bigger speakers. If you like a deep bass line then you need big woofers In a 10'*20' room I would want at a minimum a pair of 10 inch woofers and would prefer a pair on 12" so I am looking at rather large boxes and a 3-Way speaker
There are a lot of good and some great designs out there I now have to quickly google Steel Panther
Time out finished
Build the Paul Carmody "Tarkus"
Tarkus - undefinition
make a box that will dissipate vibrations... dampen internals as well as possible...
build wave guide for woofer with router... bevel the inside to allow air movement...
use thin walls , with very detail internal bracings, lot of screws, lot of side bitumen paddings, as much wool as possible internal...
if you succeed not only you can have a good box, good sound, but low noise, this is going to make your sound fast and transparent.
You might consider my Modified CBT24 array project for your needs. You can read about my experiences at:
My New Line Array--It's a Modified CBT24
My listening room (see details and photos in my link) is a bit larger than yours and has an 18 feet high ceiling apex. Conversely to point source speakers, this array will control room reflections and improve listening.
My speakers are derived from work done by Don Keele Jr. Keele also worked with Parts Express on the Epique CBT24 design available as a CBT kit for $1000 or finished at $1500 from P-E. My design uses a different (better) driver and improves the structure of the cabinet vs. the Epique. Either the Epique or my modified version would be a delight to hear in your room with added subwoofers and electronics.
But, why? You mean the opposite, eh?! The walls should be as they are named, walls, and in the speaker the enclosure should be a "wall" for the waves ( back wave produced from the speaker), soundproof.
Oh, yes, why low noise :mad:
What has noise got do do with a passive component ?!
They look like wings, they might fly everywhere on location.
To be on topic, wood is one of the worst materials ( though, I have to admit, I use it ...)for building speakers, it's a little better ranked before foam
We have worked to make many enclosure designs for the diy community & small cottage industries. We have done literally hundreds. Predominantly full-range (1-way speakers) or WAW (Woofer Assited using a FR as a midTweeter (a 2-way with a low XO so as to avoid many of the evils of XOs).
These include the Frugel-Horn family, the big Woden Olson/Nagaoka Horns, and all of the miniOnkens.
Some of the free examples at any of my sites in the signature.
Scott Dunn (SCD), Bernie (hobbers) & paul burchell for details & pictures of solid wood builds.
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