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DIY soundbar

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am considering making my own soundbar built into a TV stand and equipment rack. There are lots of full range drivers out there to choose from that are pretty cheap, so I am thinking that is the way to go.
I have been looking at 2" full range, 3" full range, 2" x 3" cheapies (sellout at Parts Express or Madisound) or even a 5 1/4" coaxial Vifa/Audax combo and doing anywhere from 4-12 drivers (depends on size and resistance rating per the amp I choose).

I don't need to have epic sound, if I want that, I can go upstairs to the theater, this is going to be for our everyday viewing TV downstairs. I just want better sound than the flat panel TV speakers will give and don't want to always turn on the surround sound receiver.

Thoughts? Comments? Am I wacko for considering this and I should just go buy a pre-made soundbar?
post #2 of 11
I did a soundbar with three Aura NS3's in a composite decking post for the mountain summer home. Worked out pretty well with a very minimal, ad hoc crossover.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
You simply took a deck post like a 4 x 4 hollow post and cut holes in it?

Why would you need a crossover? Unless you were using two for lower frequencies and using the third for the higher frequencies?
post #4 of 11
What will drive the soundbar?

If the TV, you just need L/R speakers and a 2-ch amp, as there's no source for a center. This is the market for commercial sound bars as they can add a little DSP and an amp to give you a true CC and some added degree of spaciousness.

If there's an AVR between the TV and speakers, I'd suggest a soundbar incorporating 3 of the neat little MT and/or MTM designs coming out the amateur community recently. Add a small sub and you'll be lacking very little except SPL. Here's the master link to the links:
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=211558

Have fun,
Frank
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a post in the "AMPs, Receivers, and Processors" section that has had views, but no responses yet.

The plan is to use the outputs from the TV to have an external amp automatically turn on and drive the speakers. The problem is volume control. I had thought about a subwoofer plate amp with a remote, but I can't seem to find any of those right now (I could swear they were available a few years ago). I don't want to pay $400 for an amp as this DIY soundbar design can be done pretty inexpensive with these full range drivers.

Heck, some of the expensive drivers are still only $13 each and if I used 8 of them, that's around $100 with no crossovers needed. If I were to go with larger drivers with a coax design (the Audax/Vifa driver from Parts Express for $17 each), I could do 4 and be under $100 still.

the Audax/Vifa for $17 ea:

Tymphany 2" full range for $8 ea:

Audax 3" full range for $8 ea:

Tang Band 3"" full range for $12 ea:

Or I could go with these Jamo ovals for $0.80 each (over 10) and do a whole bunch:
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVonhof View Post

You simply took a deck post like a 4 x 4 hollow post and cut holes in it?

And added two dividers and two endcaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVonhof View Post

Why would you need a crossover? Unless you were using two for lower frequencies and using the third for the higher frequencies?

"Crossover" is the wrong word, really. "Passive frequency shaping network" is more apt. There was a notch filter and something else to smooth out the FR a little. No need for "baffle step compensation" because it was mounted on-wall.

I still say the NS3 is the best overall driver for this sort of thing. Small, but huge throw so you can actually get decent upper bass out of a small bar. Round it out with three small subs (I'm using a cheapo prefab 12" main sub, and two ~20L sealed boxes with Peerless SLS8's in them) and you can get a 3.1-channel system that's good enough for television and movies, though for music one would want more cone area and efficiency.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Interesting DS-21. Yeah, this would be simply for watching TV and wouldn't need a subwoofer at all. If I want to crank the TV loud and proud, I will be able to turn on the surround sound system and the sub that is attached to it.
post #8 of 11
How about just replacing the drivers in the TV?

Or are they just too tiny
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

How about just replacing the drivers in the TV?

Or are they just too tiny

Have you seen the speakers in the flat panel TV's? They are tiny and typically have funny shapes that you won't be able to replace with off-the-shelf stuff.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVonhof View Post

I have a post in the "AMPs, Receivers, and Processors" section that has had views, but no responses yet.

The plan is to use the outputs from the TV to have an external amp automatically turn on and drive the speakers. The problem is volume control. I had thought about a subwoofer plate amp with a remote, but I can't seem to find any of those right now (I could swear they were available a few years ago). I don't want to pay $400 for an amp as this DIY soundbar design can be done pretty inexpensive with these full range drivers.

Heck, some of the expensive drivers are still only $13 each and if I used 8 of them, that's around $100 with no crossovers needed. If I were to go with larger drivers with a coax design (the Audax/Vifa driver from Parts Express for $17 each), I could do 4 and be under $100 still.

the Audax/Vifa for $17 ea:

Tymphany 2" full range for $8 ea:

Audax 3" full range for $8 ea:

Tang Band 3"" full range for $12 ea:

Or I could go with these Jamo ovals for $0.80 each (over 10) and do a whole bunch:


I have thought a little about doing this as well for the kids TV. Keep throwing out ideas for drivers. If I can spend less than $100 on parts, I might do this and document it on here. I am thinking 4" - 5 1/4" full range drivers. I want them to sound good full range or coax is fine. I will use an old receiver to power them. Thanks eveyone.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, the speakers in our new TV are not horrible. It's not as good as the old speakers, but since we didn't get a super slim design TV, they are bearable and when we need it, we can turn on the receiver and all the other speakers.
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