Building some speakers - Anyone done it?

Building some speakers - Anyone done it?

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Discussion

paulrockliffe

Original Poster:

9,780 posts

177 months

Monday 7th October 2019
quotequote all
I'm doing a loft conversion at the moment, it's was going to be a spare bedroom, but I got carried away and it's now about 60sqm and going to be an upstairs living room/separate flat when the kids are teenagers (for me, not them).

I'm working out the audio for a surround sound setup, the general principle is that the speakers need to be decent quality, but also very discreet. I think I can get the right balance, but only with bespoke speaker sizes, so wondered about building my own boxes and working from there.

My setup is going to be broadly a sofa against the existing chimney stack and the TV on the opposite side of the room.

The chimney stack tapers, so I have an alcove either side of the sofa I can build a pair of rear speakers into. on the left side middle of the room

I have a 40cm wide section of flat roof between two dormers, that is about the right size to house a side speaker and I can build to match on the opposite side of the room at the eaves storage as there's a structural post there too.

At the TV I have a run of 30cm deep cupboards , which I can build left, right and centre speakers into.

What do I need to know?

Could I just buy some second hand speakers of about the right dimensions and remove the contents and fit them to my new spaces? Is there places that sell kits for this, or is it not really done?

I don't really know what I'm doing on this one, so as much advise as possible please!

NorthDave

1,714 posts

182 months

Monday 7th October 2019
quotequote all
Yes - I have. It was a long time ago though. They still get used in my office most days.

There are a few people around who sell kits etc but I used the excellent Wilmslow Audio (now based near Leicester) - https://www.wilmslowaudio.co.uk/

They used to be super helpful so I would give them a call and have a chat.

new_bloke

412 posts

234 months

Monday 7th October 2019
quotequote all
Visaton do kits and bits - might give some ideas?
https://impactaudio.co.uk/collections/visaton-loud...

paulrockliffe

Original Poster:

9,780 posts

177 months

Monday 7th October 2019
quotequote all
Thanks, that website looks interesting, though I think those kits look far more capable (and expensive!) than I need!

RogerDodger

1,886 posts

44 months

Monday 7th October 2019
quotequote all
A good start is to measure the volume of the box you take the cones from and try to match it when building new cavities or boxes.

Then, get sound absorbing material to gently stuff the boxes with ( to prevent boom), and then sound deadening matting to put anywhere you think your new speakers might cause vibration.

For your surrounds you will be able to get away with blue murder. For your mains and centre, less so, if you listen to music.

All very doable and a good fun project.

It's all about volume, air waves, sound deadening, and anti vibration. You can research and go down a rabbit hole very easily.

paulrockliffe

Original Poster:

9,780 posts

177 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Thanks, that's useful. I might just scour Gumtree for some bargains to butcher. I'm in the fortunate position of being a bit tone-deaf, so high end stuff is wasted on me and I'm too busy to go down any rabbit holes, so I should be able to steer clear of any nonesense!

Pinoyuk

422 posts

6 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Many times !

First used a pair or original Turbosound (Precision devices) 10 inch full range .So like old Tannoys .
The enclosure was perfect and super strong . You only needed a good clean 10 watts to really start rocking a living room . I still have them .

I played around with some old Kef Uniq’s and those also sounded amazing .The real issue with most speakers is the poor enclosure materials . I preferred mine to my Proac tablets .


Last was my subwoofer . Its powered by a nice digital plate amp I bought from the US (SAM600D). Then 2x 6 .5 inch subs from the states . The MDF enclosure are about 35 mm thick .I used a enclosure calculator to get it right . Its so damm heavy . I struggle to pick it up. Fed from a Nice Sony AV amp . It can really shift air . The gains and settings I did all through the sony’s Mic set up . Placement was critical . I used the old “Put it where it sounds best “ rather than what the wife wants etc .

I tried BK subs , a few old Kefs, B&W’s etc. And mine destroys them on pure SQ. Its a great fun project and the savings can be amazing . I would put mine against any £600 subwoofer from any company

Nickgnome

5,018 posts

39 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Look at The likes of Kef

https://uk.kef.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr9iq8rSM5QIV...

B&W do similar.

Crackie

4,358 posts

192 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
I've been involved with commercial speaker cabinet manufacture, on a professional OEM level, for over 20 years and developed a few finished products too.

There are several very helpful websites which contain all the resources you might need. It is easy to get reasonable results, for relatively little cost, if you choose a decent full range driver and follow basic principles regarding how to 'load' that driver in a cabinet. It takes a far greater understanding, and a suite of measurements, to develop a design with more than one driver. For that reason, subwoofers are easy to make too.

Here are some links to some of the better speaker design sites.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Loudspeaker_Proje... This guy understands crossover design better than many commercial designers. imho of course.

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/ Great cabinet maker......and a great back catalogue of 'clones' in his archive section.

http://www.mh-audio.nl/ Huge range of helpful freeware calculators.

http://www.artalabs.hr/ Brilliant freeware measurement package...........used by people like Sony, B&O, Samsung, Genelec, Revox, Bose, Logitec, Analog Devices.

http://www.holmacoustics.com/holmimpulse.php Another excellent piece of measurement freeware........I think this is better than ARTA for measuring and optimising time alignment.

My recommendation would be to buy a pair of full rage drivers to suit your budget.........don't discount drivers that have been developed for in car use. A good driver is a good driver irrespective of which sector it is marketed for............in car drivers sell for fractions of the cost of similar drivers aimed at the hi-fi market.

Good luck.........it's fun and the principles involved are easy to get your head around.......oh, and put a lot of effort into the enclosure quality ( cabinet material, joint quality, panel damping etc ) that's where many designs fall down, both homebuild and commercial.




Edited by Crackie on Tuesday 8th October 12:50

paulrockliffe

Original Poster:

9,780 posts

177 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Wow thanks, that's quite comprehensive, should be enough for me I reckon.

swiveleyedgit

1,909 posts

219 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Out of interest Crackie, any thoughts on IPL speakers?

https://iplacoustics.co.uk/ipl_acoustics_transmission_l.htm

Baron Greenback

4,218 posts

100 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
Saw this thread at work but not aloud to logon! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tt3QHRiaRI makes speaker using 3d printer! If remeber correctly you can download his design! no expert here but like the idea, would cover with wood veneer!

Douglas Quaid

684 posts

35 months

Tuesday 8th October 2019
quotequote all
These get a lot of good feedback on https://www.diysoundgroup.com/

Ive built my own subs more than once, no other speakers yet though.

lufbramatt

3,615 posts

84 months

Wednesday 9th October 2019
quotequote all
The Troels Gravesen website linked above is great, I built one of his designs a few years back and they sounded amazing.

Depends how deep you want to get, but the "Loudspeaker Design Cookbook" by Vance Dickason is a good read.

There's all sorts of apps and spreadsheets out there to help design cabinets and crossovers. Starting point is getting hold of the TS parameters of the drivers you want to use as that will define how big a cabinet you need and whether it needs to be sealed or ported etc.

Crackie

4,358 posts

192 months

Wednesday 9th October 2019
quotequote all
swiveleyedgit said:
Out of interest Crackie, any thoughts on IPL speakers?

https://iplacoustics.co.uk/ipl_acoustics_transmission_l.htm
I've not heard any of their designs but the few reviews I've seen have been good; the drivers they 'represent' are good too ( Fountek & Swans ).


legzr1

2,680 posts

89 months

Wednesday 9th October 2019
quotequote all
Crackie said:
I've been involved with commercial speaker cabinet manufacture, on a professional OEM level, for over 20 years and developed a few finished products too.

There are several very helpful websites which contain all the resources you might need. It is easy to get reasonable results, for relatively little cost, if you choose a decent full range driver and follow basic principles regarding how to 'load' that driver in a cabinet. It takes a far greater understanding, and a suite of measurements, to develop a design with more than one driver. For that reason, subwoofers are easy to make too.

Here are some links to some of the better speaker design sites.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Loudspeaker_Proje... This guy understands crossover design better than many commercial designers. imho of course.

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/ Great cabinet maker......and a great back catalogue of 'clones' in his archive section.

http://www.mh-audio.nl/ Huge range of helpful freeware calculators.

http://www.artalabs.hr/ Brilliant freeware measurement package...........used by people like Sony, B&O, Samsung, Genelec, Revox, Bose, Logitec, Analog Devices.

http://www.holmacoustics.com/holmimpulse.php Another excellent piece of measurement freeware........I think this is better than ARTA for measuring and optimising time alignment.

My recommendation would be to buy a pair of full rage drivers to suit your budget.........don't discount drivers that have been developed for in car use. A good driver is a good driver irrespective of which sector it is marketed for............in car drivers sell for fractions of the cost of similar drivers aimed at the hi-fi market.

Good luck.........it's fun and the principles involved are easy to get your head around.......oh, and put a lot of effort into the enclosure quality ( cabinet material, joint quality, panel damping etc ) that's where many designs fall down, both homebuild and commercial.




Edited by Crackie on Tuesday 8th October 12:50
Excellent post.

AMST09

556 posts

130 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
I don’t understand why you can’t just use some off the shelf architectural speakers for this? Seems like a lot of wasted energy?

paulrockliffe

Original Poster:

9,780 posts

177 months

Friday 11th October 2019
quotequote all
AMST09 said:
I don’t understand why you can’t just use some off the shelf architectural speakers for this? Seems like a lot of wasted energy?
4 of the speaker spaces are tightly constrained in terms of dimensions, to the extent that the speakers will effectively be built in. That means something off the shelf will need a load of work to make it fit, fill in around and then the visible bits will still not match.

Nerdherder

1,655 posts

47 months

Friday 11th October 2019
quotequote all
If you really want to roll your own winISD is your friend http://www.linearteam.org/

My surrounds are basically high end studio monitor designs where I've played with dimensions to make them fit in our room, not hidden but also not intrusively in sight.
The most fun I've had with cinema sound has been adding killer (sub) bass though, with a tapped horn.
Inspired by this project:
http://wp.volvotreter.de/projects/th-2/the-tangban...



Edited by Nerdherder on Friday 11th October 08:44

TonyRPH

10,116 posts

118 months

Friday 11th October 2019
quotequote all
The biggest cost with any speaker project is usually the drive units, followed by the cabinet and crossover.

If you want to build something customised to your room space, then you might be better off looking at some co-axial drive units specifically tailored to custom builds, as often these are supplied with a crossover, and mounting a single drive unit is far easier too (these are generally in wall or in ceiling type drive units).

Finally, despite all the easy to use software out there, you will still need a calibrated test microphone, a decent enough audio interface (most semi pro calibrated mics require phantom power) and then most important of all, an understanding of what you are looking at whilst making measurements.