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DIY Hifi Speakers

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  • DIY Hifi Speakers

    So I'm considering buying some drivers, MDF and bits and bobs for a crossover, and building my own set of Speakers.
    Mainly because I want to build a couple of large speakers, but don't want to for out 2 grand to do so.

    I also like the idea of being able to point to them and say "I built that"

    So with that in mind, I was wondering if anyone has any experience in this sort of thing? Speakers in them selves are generally pretty simple things. You have an enclosure, which must be braced and filled with damperning material, the drivers themselves - I'm looking at a 4 way stereo system featuring an 8 inch woofer, 2x 5 inch midrange drivers (in series) and a ribbon tweeter, and the crossovers, which seem to be the most difficult part.

    I've found a pretty nifty passive crossover designing program that should help me, but at this stage I'm just going for some very simple Frst Order High/Low/Band Pass crossovers (so effectively three in each box for Woofer, mid's and tweeter) with bi-ampable posts (again feeding woofer and mid's/tweeter)

    What I have no idea about, is whether it will be a big waste of time.

    I've also got no idea how to make up the PCB's for a crossover circuit, or how to design one, other than what the Intertubes has told me.
    I also don't know how to build a crossover that compensates for the fact that the speaker output will not be linear.

    Do any of the Electronic Engineers who like beer care to comment?

    Drivers I'm looking at can be found on the Altronics site here, here and here.
    c o o l s t o r y b r o

  • #2
    Have a look in Jaycar, can buy home hi fi speakers in kit form and save a shit load of coin. Good quality and u still get to say i built that.
    B19 Oakford V.B.F.S


    • #3
      Are you planning to go all out budget or are you actually looking to build quality?

      I am able to source you some awesome ribbon tweeters if you're interested. Around the $250 mark. PM if interested.

      If you want quality I would highly recommend staying away from the altronics stuff. Scan speak make excellent woofers used by some of the best speaker manufacturers in the world.
      Last edited by 1720; 01-09-2009, 05:10 PM.


      • #4
        ive built a few...would recommend picking an established and critiqued design...really easy to get it wrong.

        ive build DD8's from Humble Homemade Hifi

        or take a look at...
        DIY Loudspeaker Projects

        for the home theatre ive build 3x open baffled 15inch coax's for the LCR's...they sound fantastic


        • #5
          great forum with lots of info... diyAudio


          • #6
            bought some of my gear from


            • #7
              Crossover design is a huge area. How's your mathematics?

              Making PCB's is easy, it's the design that'll be a challenge. Remember that no passive crossover will be perfect, no matter how much is spent on its' design.

              This place is a great resource btw: Loudspeakers - diyAudio

              PM Audible, he knows a shitload about what does and doesn't sound good when it comes to crossovers.


              • #8
                What's your budget mr cow?
                I could be keen, I've heard only sexy things about ribbon tweeters
                For LAMS information and resources -
                For LAMS discussion and to ask questions -


                • #9
                  Maths is shonky, hence the call for engineers.

                  The goal is to retain a high quality with a budget that doesn't get too mental.
                  I can go into a hifi store and drop 2 grand on a set of speakers, but I really don't want to do that.
                  Part of it is the fact that I know what the markups are, and also the satisfaction out of doing something ones self.

                  Jeff, based on those drivers, the total cost should be sub $1k.
                  That's for a pair of big 4 way speakers.
                  Comparatively, a set of Elac's with Ribbons retail for 3 and a half grand (from memory)...
                  No doubts that they will sound better, but if I can make my speakers sound nicer than say some Krix Equinox, then I'm happy.
                  c o o l s t o r y b r o


                  • #10
                    Well in that case find a decent open design on the net and build that. You won't be happy with the result if you try and design it yourself.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mcmurray View Post
                      Well in that case find a decent open design on the net and build that. You won't be happy with the result if you try and design it yourself.

                      if you jump on the diy audio site your question about building your own speaker from scratch is treated quite like the 'can i turbo my 250?' around here...


                      • #12
                        Fair enough.
                        Thanks for the input guys...

                        If/when I start a build, I'll let you know.
                        c o o l s t o r y b r o


                        • #13
                          this mob are good

                          [ LSK ] | Your no.1 source for DIY loud speakers...

                          Perth LSK Factory Outlet
                          • 21 Harrogate Street
                            (corner of Cambridge Street)
                            Perth WA
                          • Phone (08) 9382 8588
                          • Fax (08) 9382 8087


                          • #14
                            Sweet. Look forward to it.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by browncow View Post
                              Speakers in them selves are generally pretty simple things.
                              Lol. No, they're not. They are fiendishly complicated electromechanical systems with crazy impulse response functions, echos, resonances and tanking effects, etc etc all fighting each other under Murphy's guidance to make it as difficult as possible for you to stumble onto a clean sound.

                              If you throw enough power into them you will force the system to push sound out to match, but it will also throw out weird harmonics and ugly response curves which will give you that awesome bose or zongshen quality sound.

                              If you know what you're doing (and very few do) you can match the frequency response of the enclosure to the natural response of each driver, tweaking the crossover to partition the signal correctly to each driver and set up the equaliser to compensate for peaks and troughs in the response curves. The very best gear does this.

                              If you're a smartarse you bash together a system with a DSP based filter and preamp going out to a separate channel for each driver, measure the white noise and impulse response through a calibrated microphone and push that response curve back through the DSP to make it behave. IIRC this is what the B&W and top-end Yamaha rigs are doing.

                              Browncow, if you're doing it to save cash and "I did that" then your best bet is to either find a kit or design that lots of people have made and are happy with (ie one that works).

                              KISS mate - I would avoid trying to get fancy trying to design your own 4 pole filters unless you're prepared to understand how transfer functions, convolution, and all that crazy analogue filter shit work and the math behind them. Chebyshev and Butterworth were a pair of complete bastards who only came up with this shit because they enjoyed other peoples' pain and frustration. Fucked if I'd reinvent that wheel when I could go to the shop and buy a three output crossover that I can solder into drivers, plug into my amp and get a reasonable noise out of.

                              Go the kit or well documented and copied and commented web project mate. There are a few around.
                              "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."