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post #1 of 14 Old 02-18-2019, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Good practice build for an absolute beginner?

Hello,

First off, thanks to everyone that contributes all the outstanding information in these forums. It is amazing what people are capable of in here! I’m hooked to say the least.

My wife and I are about 1-2 years away from starting the search for or the build plan for our forever home. I’m not currently in the market for and don’t need any speakers, but I am heavily leaning towards the DIY route for all speakers in my future theater room. I’m currently in the research, plan, repeat phase.

I enjoy working with wood and have completed some small projects around my house, but I’m nowhere near on the level of most here. Currently, I’m a flat pack, assembled crossover type guy.

My question to those with experience is what would be recommended as a good beginner project to dip my toes into the diy speaker realm?

I don’t want to build anything too crazy as my current house has what it needs as far as tv/movie audio needs go.

Thanks in advance!

Ryan


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post #2 of 14 Old 02-18-2019, 04:36 PM
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Are you asking about designing speakers? Or just building from kits without flat packs?

If the former I don't have much in the way of advice to offer, I leave that to the pros. If the latter, it really depends on what hole you're trying to fill. As you state you don't currently need speakers I'm not sure what that would be.

Overall though, a subwoofer is probably the easiest in the DIY line of speakers. No crossover design required, just some modeling in WinISD to check SPL, cone excursion and (if ported) port velocity.

I have designed all but 1 of my subs using WinISD, the other was a modified version of the V.B.S.S. sub design. All my DIY speakers are from DIYSG, currently working on a pair of Fusion-8s and the matching center. I completely built the boxes for my HTM-10s, purchased flat packs for the stock Volt-6s (heavily modified another Volt-6 design to fit as a horizontal center), and would have purchased flat packs for the Fusions but Erich didn't have any. Putting together the crossovers if you can get the PCB from either Erich or Matt is a piece of cake, so I wouldn't worry about those.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-18-2019, 04:37 PM
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.02

My first DIY build was a Bill fitzmaurice design, the THTLP, 2 of them playing while I type this
"
But the real nut for this as a "slice and dice it yourself" DIY experience is the unshakeable feeling :" He's in the room and watching you. Did you hit the "mark"?

EVERY step of the way

The well massaged plans are an acoustic, mechanical and sociological triumph, about as failsafe an experience as you'll ever encounter

Take the red pill . . .

if size and WAF are factors, think of something as simple as a Table Tuba

Have her help you build it . . . and "decorate" it for blending / fitting in- with style

it's worth a look

https://billfitzmaurice.info/TT.html
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L/R: Fusion 15 V2 , C: 88 Special , SL/SR: 88 Special(V2) , RL/RR: F-3, TF/TR: Volt 6's TM: SLX, FH: F4Q4
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-18-2019, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Rjloper9 View Post
My question to those with experience is what would be recommended as a good beginner project to dip my toes into the diy speaker realm?

I don’t want to build anything too crazy as my current house has what it needs as far as tv/movie audio needs go.
Small budget small speakers?:
https://www.parts-express.com/c-note...nets--300-7140
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 04:47 AM
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My wife says I don't NEED a HT system, and she probably has a point, but I WANTED one! If say start with a pair of speakers, even though you don't 'need' them. Think about what to want in the end, and then get started. Usually it takes way longer to get everything done than you might imagine. Not everyone is going to set their alarm for an hour of sleep so they can take all the clamps off, scrape the excess glue off and then glue up another one so they can get several speakers built in a weekend...

So, it's better to get started now. Are you looking for huge capability in a larger room, or decent performance in a modest room or are you looking to squeeze something compact into a small room. Figure out where you want to go and then start working toward it.

My room is kind of medium sized so I went with some cinema 8s for LR and a fusion 8 center (maybe I got the last fusion 8 flat pack?). I really like the form factor of theseThe fusion 8s are back up in the diysg website, but Eric does have a few of the cinema 8s left and for me it was very right sized.

Erich packs everything kind of ridiculous, which is a good thing. The cabinets were out of HDF as well. I've been building various kits and scratch- built speakers off and on for nearly 40 years and the stuff coming out of diysg hands down is one of the best values out there. I recommend you do a flat pack of whichever pair of speakers you want to use as your LR and then as you get ready you can build on that.

Subs are good to work with, but they are heavy and you said you were moving so I think start with the main LR, add a center and then as the rears -- do it in stages so you can get some confidence as you go along.

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post #6 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 05:36 AM
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See if we are on the same page,

Since you are a flat pack/pre-assembled crossover kind of guy--I am assuming you are not talking about learning speaker design, selecting drivers to match your desired design, modeling/building/tweaking passive crossovers and so on. Just something "to get your feet wet" I guess? If so, I would strongly (with heavy foot stomping!) suggest building a subwoofer or maybe start off with a pair of surrounds. Subwoofers are great, learn the software, play around with different box sizes, different tunings of the port (or passive radiator etc.) get to know port resonances, air speed through the port and what all that means in software. Once all that is in balance, then build the thing without worries about crossovers, phase issues, cone breakup, off-axis response and all that other madness. A great introduction to speaker building and the drivers tend to be quite durable to mistakes, box leaks, porting screw ups and all those other speaker gremlins. You can build one, measure it to see if it matches your software simulation, play around with adjustable electronic crossover points and so on.

I would start off with something like a 12/15/18 inch subwoofer depending on size/weight/complexity/cost and have fun with it. You are doing this correctly, you have time so that allows for the learning process without a time limit that drives you to make errors. For me, I'd start with something like a 12" sub in a 4 cubic foot box ported to around 18 to 22 Hz depending on driver and have fun with it. Keep the port "external" with the PVC pipe sticking out so you can play around with different porting to see/hear how it measures OUTSIDE then take it inside to see how the measurements change in different rooms.

After building a sub, then you can wade out into the ocean a bit deeper--realistically determine what your "forever home" room size will be, the distances of the surrounds and finalize what SPL level is required or desired. You can start with something inexpenisve, very easy to build and small... say a Volt 6 or Volt 8 surround speaker. Get the flatpacks, maybe try your hand at soldering. The Volts come with the board in the kit so a great opportunity to learn to solder. You can find soldering tutorials on Youtube and I'd advise to start soldering wire first, get the hang of it so it becomes second nature. Then solder in the components using heat sinks to keep the components cool and don't forget solder paste! It is not hard to solder, even a ten thumbed village idiot like me can do it.

After completing your first sub and a pair of surrounds--listen to the end result. Does it sound good to you? Does it measure well? Run your first built system for awhile, learn to critically evaluate the system and be hard on yourself. Play around with the adjustments or room correction on the AVR, get used to using those adjustments with the simple 2.1 system--have fun with it! Maybe then take the thing apart and try out a different finish, maybe veneers or putting a nice table top on the sub to "stealth" it out. This will get you over "the honeymoon phase" of everything is great because, human nature dictates everything rocks when you built it!

Once you get to the point of your new home, then you'll have a working knowledge of what is required to fill your new space. You also know full well of what time/size/cost of any designs you are looking at. To help prevent any issues with you wife when it comes to your new hobby, it is best to mock up the size of the new speakers or subs with cardboard boxes. Seriously, a cardboard box in the suggested size before you build a bunch of coffins or subs the size of dumpsters really give an accurate visual of your decent into madness. You can "win over" your wife by including her into what finish or color she wants to match the room. Grills don't have to be black...you can go with different colors to match the walls or stealth them all the way to getting pictures printed on the grills if you like. You built it, no reason to make them look like the Best Buy speaker room. My wife went for black speakers with magnetic grills with grey acoustic cloth--sort of an accent color to break up the imposing darkness of the speakers. Pretty grills go a long way to calming the nerves of others that don't want the room to look like a coffin showroom at the local funeral parlor. Once you get good at building grills, it is easy to change out the acoustic cloth to something else when/if the style of the room changes.

Another thing that works well is speaker size. If your wife wants something the size of a tea cup which won't work well for performance, throw AVS under the bus and show her pictures of far more insane setups than what you are proposing. If you want HTM-8's for your left/center/right and Volt 6 for surrounds--show her rooms with HTM-12's with Volt 10 for surrounds! If you want HTM-12s...show her Titan 615's or 1899's so your proposal seems more "sane". If you just have to go with Titan 615's, there is always images of the system pictures of BassThatHz uses--he has 29 subwoofers which will make whatever you want look positively small in comparison.
Be careful though, she might just divorce you if you push it too far, too fast.

I summation, I would start by building my own subwoofer first. It is the easiest way to learn, won't cost you a fortune and will give an indication of how deep you want to go into the pool. If your results end up being so ugly it would get throw out of a modern art show--there is always a use for an ugly garage sub! Ugly DIY projects have a home in the garage--they are supposed to be ugly according to the latest documentation on man cave style. The first sub build should be about performance only, as long as the box don't leak it is a win. You can practice on it with veneers, duratex, paint or carpet if you like. Once you get past the level of a high school car sub--then you can tackle your first surrounds with the flatpacks. A nice, small box to learn various ways to finish them, play with small grills and if that project ends without your wife protesting--then you can have the skills needed for the "real" speakers and subs once you move into your new house.

Good luck, enjoy the build and you can never have enough clamps.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
Are you asking about designing speakers? Or just building from kits without flat packs?



If the former I don't have much in the way of advice to offer, I leave that to the pros. If the latter, it really depends on what hole you're trying to fill. As you state you don't currently need speakers I'm not sure what that would be.



Overall though, a subwoofer is probably the easiest in the DIY line of speakers. No crossover design required, just some modeling in WinISD to check SPL, cone excursion and (if ported) port velocity.



I have designed all but 1 of my subs using WinISD, the other was a modified version of the V.B.S.S. sub design. All my DIY speakers are from DIYSG, currently working on a pair of Fusion-8s and the matching center. I completely built the boxes for my HTM-10s, purchased flat packs for the stock Volt-6s (heavily modified another Volt-6 design to fit as a horizontal center), and would have purchased flat packs for the Fusions but Erich didn't have any. Putting together the crossovers if you can get the PCB from either Erich or Matt is a piece of cake, so I wouldn't worry about those.

I have no interest in designing any speakers. I’ll leave that to the experts. Plenty of great designs out there! More interested in being able to assemble my HT speakers I choose when completing a theater down the road. Would like to have some practice before working on “the real deal.” I think it’d be awhile before I’d be able to make my own boxes. I only have a cheapo porter cable circular saw and a compound miter. Flat packs are sufficient for now.

Like you, I like everything I’ve read and seen about DIYSG so those are prob at the top of the list for my future HT.

I have also recently stumbled across Marty sub builds and am very intrigued by that line. Prior to that I had been leaning towards something like SVS or PSA for subs.

I was thinking maybe two small bookshelf style speakers for music playing in the meantime for a practice build.



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post #8 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kennyandersen View Post
My wife says I don't NEED a HT system, and she probably has a point, but I WANTED one! If say start with a pair of speakers, even though you don't 'need' them. Think about what to want in the end, and then get started. Usually it takes way longer to get everything done than you might imagine. Not everyone is going to set their alarm for an hour of sleep so they can take all the clamps off, scrape the excess glue off and then glue up another one so they can get several speakers built in a weekend...

So, it's better to get started now. Are you looking for huge capability in a larger room, or decent performance in a modest room or are you looking to squeeze something compact into a small room. Figure out where you want to go and then start working toward it.

My room is kind of medium sized so I went with some cinema 8s for LR and a fusion 8 center (maybe I got the last fusion 8 flat pack?). I really like the form factor of theseThe fusion 8s are back up in the diysg website, but Eric does have a few of the cinema 8s left and for me it was very right sized.

Erich packs everything kind of ridiculous, which is a good thing. The cabinets were out of HDF as well. I've been building various kits and scratch- built speakers off and on for nearly 40 years and the stuff coming out of diysg hands down is one of the best values out there. I recommend you do a flat pack of whichever pair of speakers you want to use as your LR and then as you get ready you can build on that.

Subs are good to work with, but they are heavy and you said you were moving so I think start with the main LR, add a center and then as the rears -- do it in stages so you can get some confidence as you go along.

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Thanks for the input. My wife is the same way, it she sees all the time I spend reading these forums so I think she finally understands it’s something I really enjoy. Should be interesting when it comes time for a room!

I have been hesitant to build something for a future room I don’t know the dimensions of yet, but I do see your point on how it’d be nice to have that part out of the way yet.

I’m pretty OCD (so I’ve been told) so I also struggle to get myself to make a first attempt at a build (even from flat packs) with a speaker that will be used in a future room. I want to feel confident when I get to that point.

A small pair of bookshelves may be a good starting point?


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post #9 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Good luck, enjoy the build and you can never have enough clamps. [/QUOTE]


Thank you for all the great detailed info!



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post #10 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Rjloper9 View Post
Thanks for the input. My wife is the same way, it she sees all the time I spend reading these forums so I think she finally understands it’s something I really enjoy. Should be interesting when it comes time for a room!

I have been hesitant to build something for a future room I don’t know the dimensions of yet, but I do see your point on how it’d be nice to have that part out of the way yet.

I’m pretty OCD (so I’ve been told) so I also struggle to get myself to make a first attempt at a build (even from flat packs) with a speaker that will be used in a future room. I want to feel confident when I get to that point.

A small pair of bookshelves may be a good starting point?


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You could build a set of overnight sensations. Either the TM or MTM. They are very moderately priced, you can get them in a flat pack from diysg or parts express. You could always use them as rear surrounds if you wanted to upgrade. It you could spend just a bit more and get the s2000 from diysg, which are similar, but a bit updated (same designer). You'll find everything fits together very well, and though I used to be extremely OCD about the cabinets I have slowly learned (still learning) the art of good enough. You won't be out any money because you can use them as rear channels when the time comes, it's if you are in a small room they might we'll be enough. It's a good way of getting your feet wet. There is no going back. There is zero% chance I would ever buy commercial speakers again.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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You could build a set of overnight sensations. Either the TM or MTM. They are very moderately priced, you can get them in a flat pack from diysg or parts express. You could always use them as rear surrounds if you wanted to upgrade. It you could spend just a bit more and get the s2000 from diysg, which are similar, but a bit updated (same designer). You'll find everything fits together wire well, and though I used to be extremely OCD about the cabinets I have slowly learned (stop leaning) the art of good enough. You won't be it any money because you can use them as rear channels when the time comes, it's if you E in a small room they might we'll be enough. It's a good way of getting your feet were. There is no going back. There is zero% chance I would ever buy commercial speakers again.

Sounds like a good starting point. Thanks Kenny


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Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
See if we are on the same page,

Since you are a flat pack/pre-assembled crossover kind of guy--I am assuming you are not talking about learning speaker design, selecting drivers to match your desired design, modeling/building/tweaking passive crossovers and so on. Just something "to get your feet wet" I guess? If so, I would strongly (with heavy foot stomping!) suggest building a subwoofer or maybe start off with a pair of surrounds. Subwoofers are great, learn the software, play around with different box sizes, different tunings of the port (or passive radiator etc.) get to know port resonances, air speed through the port and what all that means in software. Once all that is in balance, then build the thing without worries about crossovers, phase issues, cone breakup, off-axis response and all that other madness. A great introduction to speaker building and the drivers tend to be quite durable to mistakes, box leaks, porting screw ups and all those other speaker gremlins. You can build one, measure it to see if it matches your software simulation, play around with adjustable electronic crossover points and so on.

I would start off with something like a 12/15/18 inch subwoofer depending on size/weight/complexity/cost and have fun with it. You are doing this correctly, you have time so that allows for the learning process without a time limit that drives you to make errors. For me, I'd start with something like a 12" sub in a 4 cubic foot box ported to around 18 to 22 Hz depending on driver and have fun with it. Keep the port "external" with the PVC pipe sticking out so you can play around with different porting to see/hear how it measures OUTSIDE then take it inside to see how the measurements change in different rooms.

After building a sub, then you can wade out into the ocean a bit deeper--realistically determine what your "forever home" room size will be, the distances of the surrounds and finalize what SPL level is required or desired. You can start with something inexpenisve, very easy to build and small... say a Volt 6 or Volt 8 surround speaker. Get the flatpacks, maybe try your hand at soldering. The Volts come with the board in the kit so a great opportunity to learn to solder. You can find soldering tutorials on Youtube and I'd advise to start soldering wire first, get the hang of it so it becomes second nature. Then solder in the components using heat sinks to keep the components cool and don't forget solder paste! It is not hard to solder, even a ten thumbed village idiot like me can do it.

After completing your first sub and a pair of surrounds--listen to the end result. Does it sound good to you? Does it measure well? Run your first built system for awhile, learn to critically evaluate the system and be hard on yourself. Play around with the adjustments or room correction on the AVR, get used to using those adjustments with the simple 2.1 system--have fun with it! Maybe then take the thing apart and try out a different finish, maybe veneers or putting a nice table top on the sub to "stealth" it out. This will get you over "the honeymoon phase" of everything is great because, human nature dictates everything rocks when you built it!

Once you get to the point of your new home, then you'll have a working knowledge of what is required to fill your new space. You also know full well of what time/size/cost of any designs you are looking at. To help prevent any issues with you wife when it comes to your new hobby, it is best to mock up the size of the new speakers or subs with cardboard boxes. Seriously, a cardboard box in the suggested size before you build a bunch of coffins or subs the size of dumpsters really give an accurate visual of your decent into madness. You can "win over" your wife by including her into what finish or color she wants to match the room. Grills don't have to be black...you can go with different colors to match the walls or stealth them all the way to getting pictures printed on the grills if you like. You built it, no reason to make them look like the Best Buy speaker room. My wife went for black speakers with magnetic grills with grey acoustic cloth--sort of an accent color to break up the imposing darkness of the speakers. Pretty grills go a long way to calming the nerves of others that don't want the room to look like a coffin showroom at the local funeral parlor. Once you get good at building grills, it is easy to change out the acoustic cloth to something else when/if the style of the room changes.

Another thing that works well is speaker size. If your wife wants something the size of a tea cup which won't work well for performance, throw AVS under the bus and show her pictures of far more insane setups than what you are proposing. If you want HTM-8's for your left/center/right and Volt 6 for surrounds--show her rooms with HTM-12's with Volt 10 for surrounds! If you want HTM-12s...show her Titan 615's or 1899's so your proposal seems more "sane". If you just have to go with Titan 615's, there is always images of the system pictures of BassThatHz uses--he has 29 subwoofers which will make whatever you want look positively small in comparison.
Be careful though, she might just divorce you if you push it too far, too fast.

I summation, I would start by building my own subwoofer first. It is the easiest way to learn, won't cost you a fortune and will give an indication of how deep you want to go into the pool. If your results end up being so ugly it would get throw out of a modern art show--there is always a use for an ugly garage sub! Ugly DIY projects have a home in the garage--they are supposed to be ugly according to the latest documentation on man cave style. The first sub build should be about performance only, as long as the box don't leak it is a win. You can practice on it with veneers, duratex, paint or carpet if you like. Once you get past the level of a high school car sub--then you can tackle your first surrounds with the flatpacks. A nice, small box to learn various ways to finish them, play with small grills and if that project ends without your wife protesting--then you can have the skills needed for the "real" speakers and subs once you move into your new house.

Good luck, enjoy the build and you can never have enough clamps.
excellent advice and thanks for all the info! i tired quoting on my phone earlier and i dont think it worked. So, thanks again!
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 07:22 PM
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Hello,

First off, thanks to everyone that contributes all the outstanding information in these forums. It is amazing what people are capable of in here! I’m hooked to say the least.

My wife and I are about 1-2 years away from starting the search for or the build plan for our forever home. I’m not currently in the market for and don’t need any speakers, but I am heavily leaning towards the DIY route for all speakers in my future theater room. I’m currently in the research, plan, repeat phase.

I enjoy working with wood and have completed some small projects around my house, but I’m nowhere near on the level of most here. Currently, I’m a flat pack, assembled crossover type guy.

My question to those with experience is what would be recommended as a good beginner project to dip my toes into the diy speaker realm?

I don’t want to build anything too crazy as my current house has what it needs as far as tv/movie audio needs go.

Thanks in advance!

Ryan


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DIY sound group to dip your toes. Good value.
It might help to mention what you have in mind for a budget as well.

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post #14 of 14 Old 02-19-2019, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY sound group to dip your toes. Good value.

It might help to mention what you have in mind for a budget as well.

The DIYSG S2000 and S2000 MTM seem like a good price point. There was another earlier post to a parts express pair of Daytons that seem like a good starting point as well.



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