should i even bother?? DIY speaker plans (starting stages) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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so i was thinking yesterday... what if i build my own speakers... so i came home and went on google sketch up and started throwing around ideas for speakers. here is what i came up with

3 15in woofers, 8in mids, 2in tweeters. estimated power handling: 1000 watts rms.(4ohms)
the sub has dual 21in drivers and a 2000 watt amp.(2ohms)

i havent figured the exact details, just because im not sure if i should even try.

they seem pretty sweet. im probably going to use dayton drivers if i go through with this

-speakers: cerwin vega vs120s, cerwin vega LS12s, cerwin vega at12s, jbl S36II, pok audio psw10, realistic mc1000, paradigm 7se MKII, sanyo sx600

yamaha rxv375
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:11 PM
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You should build your own speakers. But you should not do it like that.

- Only use 1 tweeter
- Use a properly designed cross over (this probably means a proven design based on what I see here)
- Either build to enclosures for the sub, or put the drivers on opposing faces, not top/side.
- Start with goals, then design. It's fun to imagine the possibilities, but before spending money you really do need to start with goals.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:15 PM
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:19 PM
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Yeah, you are going to spend a ton of TIME and MONEY making something nice, you want it to look and sound great so you can keep it for years. I might suggest you take a look at the Statements design, it's a WMTMW design- big and bold with huge sound. There are some other big designs out there.
Building great sounding speakers is not so simple as cutting a few holes, installing drivers, and hooking some wires together. There's a lot more to it than that.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotInvolved View Post

so i was thinking yesterday... what if i build my own speakers...

i havent figured the exact details, just because im not sure if i should even try.

No.

Speaker building is easy until you get too far away from rectangular boxes and veneered or painted sheet goods.

Speaker design is a lot more complicated.

Pick a proven design which comes closest (budget, placement constraints like near a wall, output level, bass extension) to meeting your needs and build that.

Read Toole's book _Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms_ to learn what your design goals should be

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/0240520092

and Vance Dickason's _Loudspeaker Design Cookbook_ for some tips on how to realize them

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/books/loudspeaker-design-cookbook-7th-ed/

If you still want to design speakers as a hobby buy yourself measurement software (ARTA), a calibrated microphone + preamp, and get busy.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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i know speaker design is complex. i want to be an engineer for cerwin vega or jbl or paradigm. im only 16, so i have time to try things out. the speakers i want to build are crosses of audiophile speakers and cerwin vegas. big bold and great sounding. ive been studying some audio related stuff on my own, and i may try building bookshelf speakers before these monsters. and i know, its more complicated than putting holes in boxes and putting drivers in them:rolleyes:

-speakers: cerwin vega vs120s, cerwin vega LS12s, cerwin vega at12s, jbl S36II, pok audio psw10, realistic mc1000, paradigm 7se MKII, sanyo sx600

yamaha rxv375
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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You remind me of myself smile.gif It's even in my yearbook that I wanted to be a "sound engineer". Well, I'm an engineer now, but not a sound engineer. At least not for money.

Do this (ignore me if you will, but I really have walked in your shoes, and it feels like yesterday redface.gif )

Buy a really good kit, or build a really good design with a knowledgable designer who is open to email questions. What makes it good, we can talk about that later.

Ok, now email the designer and ask them how they designed it. Maybe share a photo of your build with them. Tell them your plan to be a designer for Cerwin Vega.

Once you've built it, listen for a long time. Like 6months. And also go to stores, friends, etc and listen to speakers. Buy a microphone and download REW or holmimpulse. Measure the speaker's on axis frequency response. Email this to the designer and ask them if you've done it right. Read the above mentioned books.

Repeat two or three more times with different speakers. Pick very different speakers and designers.

That should take you a couple years or so. Once you've done that, get into university and pursue your dream. You will very likely come to the realization I did, that there's no money in it and steer the ship. But let me tell you, that's ok. I changed engineering ideas at least 4 times, and I enjoy what I do. Now "sound engineering" is my hobby. And it's a good one.

While in university, buy some different drivers and start designing speakers. Measure and play. Make some really bad ones. If you don't, they'll always only sound ok. Make sure they really suck. Then make some really good ones.

You'll go from there.

EDIT TO ADD - I believe Curt Cambell, the designer of the statements has an open email. Wayne Parham does. Bill Waslo is ok at answering emails. Jeff Bagby is pretty good. I'm not good, but I answer emails. MTG90 does as well and he's good. David Lee Ralph has some older designs that are ok. Pete Schumacher (spelling) probably does. Mark K might. Paul Carmondy does, but most of his designs are fairly basic and small, not your style. There's others I'm sure.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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well, now that you say that, i really dont want to become one. maybe as a side job. i want to do something i love and something that will earn me money. then, i will start making speakers. maybe just for myself. but making great sounding speakers is and will remain my dream in life.

if i were to switch from being a CV engineer, to a bowers and wilkins engineer, would i get paid more? i love BW, but i cant afford their stuff. ive only listened to them in show rooms.

but, i just thought of something. im going to try to make bookshelf speakers with 8in woofers and build them really nice. then, i will listen to them and ask friends and family to listen to them and give an opinion. ill move up from there. i work at an arts and crafts store, so i can get the wood and wood finish for 40% off next week. ill post pics. i need to start designing right now.

im going to use dayton drivers. are they good to start with?

-speakers: cerwin vega vs120s, cerwin vega LS12s, cerwin vega at12s, jbl S36II, pok audio psw10, realistic mc1000, paradigm 7se MKII, sanyo sx600

yamaha rxv375
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotInvolved View Post

3 15in woofers, 8in mids, 2in tweeters. estimated power handling: 1000 watts rms.(4ohms)
the sub has dual 21in drivers and a 2000 watt amp.(2ohms)
i havent figured the exact details, just because im not sure if i should even try.
You shouldn't. When you have subs handling the lows there's no reason to use fifteens in the mains. You have to figure out what you want for output levels broadband, then what it will take for each respective element to reach that level with its pass band. And as for using 21 inch drivers, doing so falls into the 'if it's bigger it must be better' mindset. When you know why that's not true then you can start thinking about rolling your own.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 04:52 PM
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Oh and Bill, he's another designer with plans available and an open email. Didn't mean to leave you out Bill wink.gif
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 05:53 PM
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The best way to ruin a good hobby is to try to earn a living at it.

If you've got the C-V bug, pick up some beaters and take them apart. Call it reverse engineering. You can learn a lot and won't cost much provided you shop smart. Take a low budget C-V and try to make it better. Find a busted high-dollar C-V and repair it. With a little luck, you can resell most of the stuff when you get bored and break even....which is virtually impossible with any of the DIY kits. If nothing else, recycling the old cabinets with new drivers will save you lots of time particularly if you don't have the tools.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-09-2013, 06:08 PM
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If you go ahead and build the speaker in that drawing, it will sound bad and cost you a bunch. Speaker design is a lot more than buying wood and some drivers. Here is a design done by John Krutke (Zaph). I am not suggesting you build this but rather read the writeup to get a better feeling for the design process. He doesn't really go into the measurement of the driver data or the crossover design (the hardest part) but just what is there should give you a feel for what you need to know when designing a speaker. You will be much better off building an existing design from an experienced designer and then using that to learn from.

http://www.zaphaudio.com/SB12.3/
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-10-2013, 12:15 AM
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Normally, you want the tweeter (yes one) to be around ear level when sitting, which is about 40". Three 15's and two 8's means that will be a TALL speaker. Do some reading and enjoy yourself. Hang around for a year or so before dropping any coin on things.

YID DIY
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-10-2013, 01:31 PM
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I would suggest you read the FAQs on Paul's site. Paul put some time and effort into explaining why the experienced folks here are trying to steer you in a different direction.

Chris

"It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they are big enough, the pain only lasts a second."
--Despair, Inc. "Regret"

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