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Has Anyone Ever Built Their Own Speakers?

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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Either from scratch or by putting new drivers / tweeters / crossovers into older cabinets?

I'm interested because I want a pair of "short and wide" not "tall and thin" stereo speakers for my HT room. The Klipsch Cornwall / Las Scala / etc. range are very expensive (mainly due to the hand-made, made in USA plywood cabinets) and the sound is another "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it. Likewise the recently announced Tannoy heitiage speaker ranges. Flipping, putting it mildly, expensive and Marmite sound.

They'll be used for music only, as I have in-walls for surround sound, but I want them to be short and wide so they're lower than the bottom of the planned-for across nearly the whole wall projector screen.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Benedict_Arnold said:
Either from scratch or by putting new drivers / tweeters / crossovers into older cabinets?

I'm interested because I want a pair of "short and wide" not "tall and thin" stereo speakers for my HT room. The Klipsch Cornwall / Las Scala / etc. range are very expensive (mainly due to the hand-made, made in USA plywood cabinets) and the sound is another "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it. Likewise the recently announced Tannoy heitiage speaker ranges. Flipping, putting it mildly, expensive and Marmite sound.

They'll be used for music only, as I have in-walls for surround sound, but I want them to be short and wide so they're lower than the bottom of the planned-for across nearly the whole wall projector screen.
Yes. A good while ago though. However bought as a kit from Wilmslow Audio and I guess you don't have similar in the States.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
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0
Al ears said:
Benedict_Arnold said:
Either from scratch or by putting new drivers / tweeters / crossovers into older cabinets?

I'm interested because I want a pair of "short and wide" not "tall and thin" stereo speakers for my HT room. The Klipsch Cornwall / Las Scala / etc. range are very expensive (mainly due to the hand-made, made in USA plywood cabinets) and the sound is another "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it. Likewise the recently announced Tannoy heitiage speaker ranges. Flipping, putting it mildly, expensive and Marmite sound.

They'll be used for music only, as I have in-walls for surround sound, but I want them to be short and wide so they're lower than the bottom of the planned-for across nearly the whole wall projector screen.
Yes. A good while ago though. However bought as a kit from Wilmslow Audio and I guess you don't have similar in the States.
Actually there are plenty, ranging from cheap and cheerful MDF cabinets through to "arm and both legs... and a couple of internal organs for good measure".

The problem is finding a three way kit (my preference) of the short and wide variety. I'm looking for something under 36" tall with a 12" bass, 6 or 8" midrange plus a tweeter. 24" wide wouldn't be a problem. I'm even toying with trawling round the junk shops for a pair of old cabinets and putting new drivers and crossovers in them.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
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Couldn't Remember the Name for a While....

Spendor Classic SP100R2 would be ideal but way way too much for my budget right now.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
615
190
19,070
Benedict_Arnold said:
Couldn't Remember the Name for a While....

Spendor Classic SP100R2 would be ideal but way way too much for my budget right now.
Could you pick up loads of spares and repairs from ebay? Get a parts list from Spendor and set about buying all the bits you need.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
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Al ears said:
Benedict_Arnold said:
Either from scratch or by putting new drivers / tweeters / crossovers into older cabinets?

I'm interested because I want a pair of "short and wide" not "tall and thin" stereo speakers for my HT room.  The Klipsch Cornwall / Las Scala / etc. range are very expensive (mainly due to the hand-made, made in USA plywood cabinets) and the sound is another "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it.  Likewise the recently announced Tannoy heitiage speaker ranges.  Flipping, putting it mildly, expensive and Marmite sound.

They'll be used for music only, as I have in-walls for surround sound, but I want them to be short and wide so they're lower than the bottom of the planned-for across nearly the whole wall projector screen.
Yes. A good while ago though. However bought as a kit from Wilmslow Audio and I guess you don't have similar in the States.
Hi
Which model did you build?
And what did you think on the sound?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
You seem to be describing Celestion Ditton 66s. They are about 1m tall and have 12" bass drivers and are three-way.

Even a mint condition pair wouldn't cost anything like those Spendors. I'm sure you could also find all the separate elements to build your own and use 'donor' cabinets to fit them in.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
91
43
18,570
Hi,

I have built 3 DIY speakers.

The first was a small transmission line printed in Hifi News – which used the Uni-Q driver from Kef. I purchased the MDF 18mm from local wood supplier, which they had cut to size. Veneered in rosewood – varnished using standard varnish. Sounded ok – not ground breaking sound. Driver from Wilmslow Audio.

The next pair was a sealed 2-way – again, appeared in Hifi News – used the local wood supplier to provide the 18mm MDF cut to size. I had to route the driver recesses myself – and that was more difficult than anticipated. Did not cover with veneer. Sounds ok – but the kit cost was reasonably cheap. Drivers from Wilmslow Audio.

Third pair I built were again another transmission line from Hifi News 1991 – floor standers – two way – Seas Metal Dome Tweeter and Volt bass/mid driver. Purchased from Wilmslow Audio as a kit and the routed 18mm MDF was very good quality – internal rebate to ensure that the internal fold mated with the side panels for a snug fit. Not veneered these. They sound very good – and the bass is very well controlled.

I would recommend anyone to try DIY speakers – you can modify them – use better inductors – or capacitors – modify the tweeter resistor to increase HF if desired. They are generally very good value for money – and you can choose the finish to something unusual.

Regards,

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Shadders.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Andrewjvt said:
Al ears said:
Benedict_Arnold said:
Either from scratch or by putting new drivers / tweeters / crossovers into older cabinets?

I'm interested because I want a pair of "short and wide" not "tall and thin" stereo speakers for my HT room. The Klipsch Cornwall / Las Scala / etc. range are very expensive (mainly due to the hand-made, made in USA plywood cabinets) and the sound is another "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it. Likewise the recently announced Tannoy heitiage speaker ranges. Flipping, putting it mildly, expensive and Marmite sound.

They'll be used for music only, as I have in-walls for surround sound, but I want them to be short and wide so they're lower than the bottom of the planned-for across nearly the whole wall projector screen.
Yes. A good while ago though. However bought as a kit from Wilmslow Audio and I guess you don't have similar in the States.
Hi Which model did you build? And what did you think on the sound?
To be honest it was a very long time ago when I built them so cannot recall model, three driver floorstanders. Nothing at all wrong with the sound that I can recall although, obviously, my hearing has changed over the intervening years. ;-)
 

Al ears

Moderator
chebby said:
You seem to be describing Celestion Ditton 66s. They are about 1m tall and have 12" bass drivers and are three-way.

Even a mint condition pair wouldn't cost anything like those Spendors. I'm sure you could also find all the separate elements to build your own and use 'donor' cabinets to fit them in.
Good shout....
 

expat_mike

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2013
159
2
10,595
There was some talk about DIY speakers and veneers on the IPL speakers thread a while back.

I think this supplier of kits was highly recommended http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Loudspeaker_Projects.htm

Alternatively have a look on Pinterest, because there are lots of pictures about interesting speakers, and often the links to the DIY project blogs. eg.

http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/guy-spends-400-hours-building-incredible-nautilus-speakers

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/trio-of-ikea-salad-bowls-turned-into-diy-nautilus-audio-speakers-166166
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
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jjbomber said:
Benedict_Arnold said:
Couldn't Remember the Name for a While....

Spendor Classic SP100R2 would be ideal but way way too much for my budget right now.
Could you pick up loads of spares and repairs from ebay? Get a parts list from Spendor and set about buying all the bits you need.
That would probably end up like buying a Mondeo one "chunk" at a time from a breaker, i.e. twice or more of the price of buying a whole used Mondeo in the first place. Unless the parts are "cream crackered", in which case the results would be sure to disappoint.

I am keeping my eyes open for some old cabinets, possibly needing re-veneering or whatever, if the wood is real wood or at least real plywood, not MDF or chipboard, but I'm intent on using new drivers and crossovers (a ) because they're more likely to work and (b) because the passage of time should mean the newer ones are better than the old ones were, even when new.

Failing that the Maximus-12-lxe kits look good. Eminence 12-inch bass, back or down-firing, I can't figure out which yet, plus B&C 8MDN51 8-inch mid-range, plus Denove FL-450 tweeter. Supposedly 10 to 1000 watts. Take the 1000 with a pinch of salt, mind you. 250 watts RMS is probably the highest you'd want to push these indoors anyway.

They're $630 per speaker plus another $70 for an MDF (yuk) flat-pack cabinet I could at leasr veneer, plus, say, another $100 for the veneer, bits'n'bobs, wadding, terminals, internal cables, etc., so around $800 a speaker. I could also buy one cabinet flat pack and use it to trace around and make, or have made, my own cabinets in birch ply I suppose. Not sure which would sound better.

The cabinet measures 29" X 17.5" X 14.5" deep, so right on the money size-wise too. I'm figuring if the bass driver is downwwards firing I'll have to add some feet and maybe a base plinth like the ProAcs use, but still the height should come in a couple of inches under my 36" maximum.

Now, off to rob a post office or something to pay for all this.... (joke).

Given the Spendors I mentioned are $12,000 a pair here
 

Coll

New member
May 4, 2011
50
0
0
I have built my own speakers many times maybe 20 pairs.

The best ones I have ever made are the Troels Gravesen designed ones.

I hate bright treble and with his designs you always get options for tweeter level, not only that but he takes so many things into consideration in the designs and is very honest with his comments.

The speakers I made last cost about £1700 and are probably equivalent to speakers costing £10,000 plus
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
Im thinking I will build my 3-ways at least bi and possibly tri-wireable, just because I had good experiences vi-amping in the past.

I'm thinking about wiring the bass cones up with no real crossover to speak of, letting the cones sorry out the frequency response for itself. As an added option I was thinking about a second pair of terminals or a power amp with two sets of inputs, so I can use the bass drivers as the subs in my AV setup.

The mid and treble would have a crossover at first. I was thinking I could put trim pots in the crossovers so that I could "twiddle the knobs" to tune out any imbalances.

What says the collective to either or both of the above - i.e. using the bass cones as AV subs and/or trim pots?
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
53
0
0
Benedict_Arnold said:
Im thinking I will build my 3-ways at least bi and possibly tri-wireable, just because I had good experiences vi-amping in the past.

I'm thinking about wiring the bass cones up with no real crossover to speak of, letting the cones sorry out the frequency response for itself. As an added option I was thinking about a second pair of terminals or a power amp with two sets of inputs, so I can use the bass drivers as the subs in my AV setup.

The mid and treble would have a crossover at first. I was thinking I could put trim pots in the crossovers so that I could "twiddle the knobs" to tune out any imbalances.

What says the collective to either or both of the above - i.e. using the bass cones as AV subs and/or trim pots?
Hi, BA.

I think that your XO-less bass drivers, that get the whole music signal, will break up nastily, causing bad midrange distortion...

I'm not technically skilled enough to comment your two questions. Sorry.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
DocG said:
Benedict_Arnold said:
Im thinking I will build my 3-ways at least bi and possibly tri-wireable, just because I had good experiences vi-amping in the past.

I'm thinking about wiring the bass cones up with no real crossover to speak of, letting the cones sorry out the frequency response for itself. As an added option I was thinking about a second pair of terminals or a power amp with two sets of inputs, so I can use the bass drivers as the subs in my AV setup.

The mid and treble would have a crossover at first. I was thinking I could put trim pots in the crossovers so that I could "twiddle the knobs" to tune out any imbalances.

What says the collective to either or both of the above - i.e. using the bass cones as AV subs and/or trim pots?
Hi, BA.

I think that your XO-less bass drivers, that get the whole music signal, will break up nastily, causing bad midrange distortion...

I'm not technically skilled enough to comment your two questions. Sorry.
A lot of "high end" speakers, such as ProAc don't have genuine crossovers between the bass driver and the mid and high range drivers. Some have no internal connections at all, relying on just the brass "jumpers' they provide between the HF and LF terminals to do the work if you only run a single pair of speaker wires to them. Don't believe me? Find a pair with brass jumpers as described. I've had Mordaunt-Short Mezzo 6s like this, and ProAc Studio 140s and currently have a pair of Klipsch Reference 40-II like this too. Hook up one pair of speaker cables to one set of terminals with the jumpers in place. Listen to the sound. Remove the jumpers and repeat. If there's no internal connections then either the HF or the LF section will drop out completely.



All a passive crossover actually does is use capacitors in series and coils in parallel to stop low fequency signals getting to tweeters. Coils in series and capacitors in parallel stop high frequencies getting to the woofers. They don't as much divert signals to the appropriate section, but rather prevent the unwanted signals getting to the drivers that could be damaged by them or produce distorted sounds.

Coils in series pass low frequencies quite readily but don't like high frequencies, whereas capacitors have the opposite preferences. The intention is to block or divert signals that can cause either mechanical damage (like treating a tweeter to the thump-a-thump of a bass drum) or produce unwanted distorted sounds like trying to play the recording of a violin through a 12-inch woofer.
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
53
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0
Maybe my first comment was wrong...

But I firmly believe my second statement is correct! *yes3*
 

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