Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
lg.lindstrom

DIY Speakers

Recommended Posts

MDF is a commonly used material and widely available. I've also heard of (but never heard) speakers with concrete enclosures.

 

Klipsch traditionally used 3/4" marine grade Birch plywood in the Legacy designs. Now using 1" MDF for the base cabinets of the LaScala II's and a few other minor locations

.La-Scala-Made-in-USA-Hope-AR-2000x1125-v02.jpg


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are likely thinking of brass. Bronz has much more copper and is far less likely to ring.

Bronze is very hard and dense and yet it rings like a bell so I think we need more than just rigidity.

 

R


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been awhile, but I have built or help build several speakers. It quickly became apparent you had a big advantage over commercial products simply by using thick enclosures. Think 2 inch (5 cm) thick minimum. That and extensive bracing inside.

 

Because a friend and I wanted complex shapes we eventually built cabinets in a way very much like Magico does. They do it in wood and metal, but we only used wood. This way all you need is imagination, some MDF, and a good jig saw. You stacked layers and glued them together. Each layer could have a different shape, and you can angle the edge cuts to create the shapes you wish. Then some final surface finishing to smooth the surface before applying veneer or cloth.

 

I built one simple small speaker that way, but put threaded rod from top to bottom with a metal plate on top and bottom. This allowed one to clamp the pieces together with considerable force which increased rigidity of the cabinet some more. When done the bottom of the rod became spikes that ran all the way through to the top of the speaker, and at the top everything was covered with a decorative bit of work.

 

It was tedious and time consuming. Now if you had CNC gear, piece of cake to do in metal. Such a speaker will be heavy even in aluminum.

 

It is surprising how good cross-overs and a good cabinet can make some rather pedestrian drivers sound very, very good. Of course using good drivers elevates the sound even more.

 

Below are some pics of a Magico cabinet and a Magico clone someone made. Shows you can create nearly any shape you imagine with as much bracing or thickness you care to use. You can create complex curves as well though these pictures show they kept it to 2D for the most part.

 

magico cab 1.jpeg

 

magico cab 2.jpg

 

magico cab 3.jpg


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are likely thinking of brass. Bronz has much more copper and is far less likely to ring.

I may be mistaken but I think many church bells are made of bronze.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I may be mistaken but I think many church bells are made of bronze.

 

R

As is the Liberty Bell and many ship's bells. Bronze rings quite nicely.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Computer Audiophile mobile app


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its very difficult to build those kind of speakers. I assume you're talking about time and phase correct speakers given your description. The first order xovers make it very difficult to integrate the different drivers, but when they get it right, the coherency achieved rivals planar speakers.

 

I have yet to build mine (open baffle) as I am in the research/design phase, but I believe it to be less complex than building boxed designs, although I also got two (boxed) loudspeaker design handbooks recently.

 

There's much less of cabinet design and bracing and then of adding the damping material inside, etc...

 

There are a few things you need to research first though, and that is the principle of building one and also select the proper drivers. The rest of the build is far less complicated.


Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have yet to build mine (open baffle) as I am in the research/design phase, but I believe it to be less complex than building boxed designs, although I also got two (boxed) loudspeaker design handbooks recently.

 

There's much less of cabinet design and bracing and then of adding the damping material inside, etc...

 

There are a few things you need to research first though, and that is the principle of building one and also select the proper drivers. The rest of the build is far less complicated.

 

I have heard 4 of those done DIY. All sounded shall we say problematic. Which isn't to say the idea isn't a good one. Always seemed like a good idea to me. The phasing and crossover would seem to be the big issues, and there is more computer design help than there used to be.

 

Take a look at the pics in post #7 and the co-designer's comments in post #8 for these Phase Linear jobs Bob Carver had or maybe by then it was Carver as the brand.

RC: Bob... ER, I mean... Mr. Carver...Is that you? (Page 1 of 2)

 

Now that just looks hopelessly stupid as a way to do a dipole (I guess they actually were bipoles). I heard them on two different occasions in two different places. They were very good. The had all the good attributes of an open baffle speaker with better bass and imaging cues. Like much of Bob's work it is out of the box and trying to sound like a million bucks for peanuts. I take it few listened or I believe we would have had other attempts along this line. Then again, it just looks so ridiculous you know it could never work, but it did anyway.

 

Here is one of the pics:

KENNYSPICS964.jpg


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well yes my appologies, it does ring and bells are made of it, but not like brass. Hence, cymbals are made from brass. Bronze is more resistant to weather. Brass disintegrates as it tarnishes, and bronze does not or at least much less, and therefore desired on marine propellers and bells. Just tonk on a piece and you can hear the differences readily.

I may be mistaken but I think many church bells are made of bronze.

 

R


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"There are a few things you need to research first though, and that is the principle of building one and also select the proper drivers. The rest of the build is far less complicated."

 

Not for a time and phase correct speaker. Working with first order xovers and getting the drivers properly aligned is very time consuming. That's why no one makes them. Of the 3 larger high end speaker companies (Meadowlark, Vandersteen and Thiel) that made time and phase correct speakers, Meadowlark went out and it looks like Thiel is phasing them out as well, since Jim Thiel died. There's been some articles written on this topic over the years. If you're interested, let me know and I'll see if I can find them for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is DIY? There are many level of it from using a kit to designing everything yourself. I did not start from kits but from commercial drivers but then I progressed to build my drivers from scratch. I am at a point that the measured and auditory performance is better than what I could buy but it was and is expensive over the long run as most of my attempts end up as trash. If want decent speakers DIY may be not the cheapest but the most interesting solution!

P.S: no more conventional passive X-over for me- only digital!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is DIY? There are many level of it from using a kit to designing everything yourself. I did not start from kits but from commercial drivers but then I progressed to build my drivers from scratch. I am at a point that the measured and auditory performance is better than what I could buy but it was and is expensive over the long run as most of my attempts end up as trash. If want decent speakers DIY may be not the cheapest but the most interesting solution!

P.S: no more conventional passive X-over for me- only digital!

Do you mean that you build your own drivers and they perform better than the commercially available offers?

That's surprising.

Could you describe your speaker system a little and maybe add a couple of photos?

 

Cheers,

Ricardo


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mean that you build your own drivers and they perform better than the commercially available offers?

That's surprising.

 

I'd say it's impossible without some seriously expensive machinery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mean that you build your own drivers and they perform better than the commercially available offers?

That's surprising.

Could you describe your speaker system a little and maybe add a couple of photos?

 

Cheers,

Ricardo

 

There is no reason to copy drivers which are commercially available but there are actually a lot of different speaker driver designs which are not or rarely used in commercial speakers and and there a few who build these: Planars & Exotics - diyAudio.

I am building bending wave driver which work at a very wide range (>200 Hz). No time now for photos and more detail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"There are a few things you need to research first though, and that is the principle of building one and also select the proper drivers. The rest of the build is far less complicated."

 

Not for a time and phase correct speaker. Working with first order xovers and getting the drivers properly aligned is very time consuming. That's why no one makes them. Of the 3 larger high end speaker companies (Meadowlark, Vandersteen and Thiel) that made time and phase correct speakers, Meadowlark went out and it looks like Thiel is phasing them out as well, since Jim Thiel died. There's been some articles written on this topic over the years. If you're interested, let me know and I'll see if I can find them for you.

 

 

Not difficult if you understand:

 

1. It's easier to time-compensate when your crossover is run on a computer

 

2. The 'principle of building' can include allowing the drivers to be physically moved back and forth


Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not difficult if you understand:

 

1. It's easier to time-compensate when your crossover is run on a computer

 

2. The 'principle of building' can include allowing the drivers to be physically moved back and forth

 

Things are always easy when you're talking about doing them, but can be very different on the attempt. Offhand, I can only think of 2 companies in the world that are actively developing time and phase correct speakers; Vandersteen and Green Mountain Audio. If there are others, I'm just not aware of them. How many DIY's make time and phase correct speakers? I've never seen one. And if I did, I'd want to see some proof to back up the claims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd say it's impossible without some seriously expensive machinery.

I'm a prototype machinist. I have a modest shop, largely because I send out anything that requires more than 3 axis etc. Especially with the Internet, finding shops that have highly specialized, expensive equipment is not a problem.

 

That said, if you want something like a rare earth magnet machined, that might be a problem.

 

But designs that don't involve coned dynamic drivers, like electrostatics, have many people building DIY drivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't thought of electrostatics when you mentioned you built your own drivers. Now it makes sense.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DIYers can be very inventive. Often figuring out ways to make something that seems hopelessly beyond garage operations. Often with surprisingly simple tools and a big dose of ingenuity. People have made Magnepan-like speakers, Heil AMT transducers, ribbons, ESL's and large panels driven by conventional coil and spider drivers in the middle of the panel. Plus plasma drivers and probably some I haven't seen.


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Things are always easy when you're talking about doing them, but can be very different on the attempt. Offhand, I can only think of 2 companies in the world that are actively developing time and phase correct speakers; Vandersteen and Green Mountain Audio. If there are others, I'm just not aware of them. How many DIY's make time and phase correct speakers? I've never seen one. And if I did, I'd want to see some proof to back up the claims.

 

No idea how many DIYers do it, but one place to check is over at diyaudio.

 

I know I'd do it if I weren't using a computer cross-over/processing and it would be in the design of the arms/support for the drivers.

 

Then again, in all my audio-related DIY, I take the approach of optimising transient response, which may not be the goal of others.


Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Things are always easy when you're talking about doing them, but can be very different on the attempt. Offhand, I can only think of 2 companies in the world that are actively developing time and phase correct speakers; Vandersteen and Green Mountain Audio. If there are others, I'm just not aware of them. How many DIY's make time and phase correct speakers? I've never seen one. And if I did, I'd want to see some proof to back up the claims.

 

I wonder why phase linearity isn't pursued more in loudspeakers...

Do the shortcomings outweigh the advantages?

Are the sonic benefits negligible?

 

I haven't listened to a phase-coherent speaker in ages and I don't think that I focused on that particular aspect the last time I did audition a pair.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When 'rolling your own' you, as the builder are only bound by the constraints of your budget, skills and free time. Loudspeakers built to a price point are shackled to the fortunes of a profit driven enterprise.

 

Choose well made drivers and crossover designs such as shown by Troels Gravensen for a first effort.

 

The cabinets need not be furniture grade to sound good.

 

It would be a mistake to let inexperience stop you.

 

I've heard some excellent home grown speakers that were cosmetic disasters.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When 'rolling your own' you, as the builder are only bound by the constraints of your budget, skills and free time.

 

All of which are probably in short supply compared to a team of experts at a reasonably large company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All of which are probably in short supply compared to a team of experts at a reasonably large company.

Unlike most cutting edge electronics, loudspeakers use readily available drivers, inductors, capacitors, resistors and wire.

 

The markup for such components is often an order of magnitude. There's even a cookbook.

 

Of course, if you prefer food that comes out of a window, the concept of home cooking may be alien.

 

http://www.abebooks.com/Loudspeaker-Design-Cookbook-Vance-Dickason-Old/19558045200/bd?cm_mmc=gmc-_-used-_-PLA-_-v01&product=COM9780962419171USED

 

 

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All of which are probably in short supply compared to a team of experts at a reasonably large company.

 

Not in terms of per speaker budget, cost, size etc.

 

20 years ago, buy quality drivers, build big heavy solid cabinets, get the crossover even close and you had lots of very pricey commercial speakers beaten. You didn't need to think of shipping costs so your cabinets could be heavy. They didn't need to be easy to assemble. No ad money required. Lots of advantages. There were a several highly regarded $10k speakers for instance using tweeters that cost between $10 and $20 each. Much better tweeters were available without being beyond a dedicated DIY builder's budget.

 

I think in the last decade some of the best have moved beyond those simple things getting you to a point of equality as a DIY project. Directivity, DSP, digital xovers of better design etc. using design abilities few amateurs have. Then again, measuring software, and knowledge of these have increased as well for affordable amounts. So maybe it isn't that different.


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little surprised that I haven't seen (perhaps I missed it) a sort of halfway point between purchasing speakers commercially and complete design and build DIY: building someone else's design. See, for example, these, which I heard sounding extraordinarily good in a friend's system -

 

LX521.4 Reference loudspeaker


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...