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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was a first for me. I've been a woodworker and a bit of an audio freak for a long time now. Guess it was just a matter of time before those 2 worlds collided :smile:! This was a fairly cheap kit I picked up from Parts Express (around $130 for the speakers and the components to make the crossovers). I'm really surprised at how good they sound! This is actually a test run for the next pair (quite a bit more money) I already purchased the components for.

I made this out of some soft maple I had laying around in my shop using my Hitachi resaw. My first time making veneer w/ it. I made it 1/4" thick.



Painted the fronts (and the backs) before I veneered. I ended up scratching the crap out of the backs while I was veneering them :thumbdown:. I'll mask the next pair off and be a little more careful next time!



I'll come up w/ a better veneer clamping method for the next set, but the Jed Clampet method actually worked!



My first run w/ dye stain as well (thanks sooo much for all your help Chemmy :thumbsup:!). I rubbed this on. First was a heavy, dark coat of red mahogany; then went over it after it dried w/ black.



This is after 3 coats of brushed on Ceramithane satin finish. I know these definitely look purple here and it depends who you ask (the camera flash didn't help to make them any less purple). My son says they're brown, my daughter says they're dk red, and my wife says they're purple. It really depends on the light. In the sun they're dk red, under fluorescent lights they're purple.



The grills look gray here but they're black. The camera flash again (not much of a photographer!).



I molded magnets into the wood to hold the grills on.

 

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Those look very nice. Great job.
I've made some guitar amp cabinets for my good friend, and he says the ideal wood for speaker / amp stuff is pine. That's just his opinion, I figured I'd toss it out there for you since you're getting ready to build more. Soft maple seems like it would also be a good choice.
 

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More details on the speakers please

Also the next more expensive one and prices and why. OK? :blink: thanks. OK? bill
 

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Ah. A man after my own heart.
An audiophile !! A woodworker!! A Michigander, from the "hand" state" (my home state, but now I'm a transplant)!!

Very nice work!

You can get better sound and better components than most (supposed ) high end speakers at less than 1/2 the price if you know your stuff. Biggest thing is proper acoustics and cabinet design/volume/porting (or not)/circuit design/speaker match.

Parts Express has been a good source for crossovers/circuits/hardware/speakers for me. If you look their site over, they even have online circuit design programs.
I also was using Pyle speakers out of Indiana, which were (may still be) American made and very durable.
I just re-grilled a set of Bang&Olofsen RL60.2's with their cloth.

Are the cabinets Dayton?
Thus far I've made numerous sets of speakers from those sources. I'm running 9 right now on a surround system and a Harmon Kardon amp, but have sold some as well.
(and I also just purchased the B&O speakers cheap)

Yes red under blue flourescent will look purple.

There are a few of us in here making speakers and it has been said it would be nice to have a separate subject title just for those of us.
One builder has been in the testing business for decades. and wrote articles for audio mag's.
Another has made speakers out of hollow logs.
It does go further than just the woodworking aspect. There is circuit design and acoustics involved in it.
Also MDF board for cabinets is your best friend to stop speaker resonances., then wrap em with what you want.

..............
Great work, and do you have the circuit layout for it?
 

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Very nice. Love the size and proportions. The D'Appolito (MTM) configuration is a good feature too. Was it your design or someone else's?

I was an audiophile long before I was a woodworker. It was actually the cabinet makers from my speaker business that got me hooked. I thought they were nuts...always talking about how they loved different woods....then I caught it too! :laughing:
 

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Both woodworking and audio can be addictive.
And then being raised in Detroit gave me a genetic defect for Horsepower.
(the wife is a saint to deal with all of that)
 

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nice work. 3/4 MDF i assume?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the kind remarks!!!!!

These are really nice. What are you using to power these? Or do they plug directly into your tv?
These are actually run w/ an older Kenwood receiver (KR-A5020). I'm going to leave them for use in my shop. I realize I went waaay overboard for shop speakers, but that's how I practice!

Also the next more expensive one and prices and why. OK? :blink: thanks. OK? bill
The next pair is called ER18. Here's a link to the kit http://meniscusaudio.com/er18mtm-ribbon-p-1323.html

As far as why, the one's I just finished sound really good for the money. I had a pair of Infinity RS4 tower speakers in my shop (around $500 new about 8 years ago), and while I think these sound a little better than those Infinitys did, the next pair is going to be for use in my basement by my pool table. I wanted to get as good as I could affoard. I love the looks of the ER18's and after reading all the reviews from people that built the ER18's, I decided to take the plunge and build them.

To simplify the answer, a little bigger and a lot better :smile:. The ER18's I'm going to build were designed by the same guy that designed these http://www.salksound.com/speakers_veracity_ht2-tl_pricing.shtml They're supposed to sound phenominal!

Ah. A man after my own heart.
An audiophile !! A woodworker!! A Michigander, from the "hand" state" (my home state, but now I'm a transplant)!!

Are the cabinets Dayton?
Thus far I've made numerous sets of speakers from those sources. I'm running 9 right now on a surround system and a Harmon Kardon amp, but have sold some as well.
(and I also just purchased the B&O speakers cheap)

Yes red under blue flourescent will look purple.

There are a few of us in here making speakers and it has been said it would be nice to have a separate subject title just for those of us.
One builder has been in the testing business for decades. and wrote articles for audio mag's.
Another has made speakers out of hollow logs.
It does go further than just the woodworking aspect. There is circuit design and acoustics involved in it.
Also MDF board for cabinets is your best friend to stop speaker resonances., then wrap em with what you want.

..............
Great work, and do you have the circuit layout for it?
What part of MI were you in? I love Michigan's beauty and outdoors. The cabinets aren't Dayton, but the drivers (both woofers and tweeters) are Dayton.

As far as the wood of the basic cabinets, I always use MDF. As I said, this is my first home audio speaker; but I've built a lot of sub boxes. I see a lot of guys use baltic birch or cabinet birch ply but I don't see how that's better than MDF. Hard to get the consistancy that you do w/ MDF. Plus it tools so well. If you don't have dust collection I could see why you'd hate MDF though!!

Very nice. Love the size and proportions. The D'Appolito (MTM) configuration is a good feature too. Was it your design or someone else's?

I was an audiophile long before I was a woodworker. It was actually the cabinet makers from my speaker business that got me hooked. I thought they were nuts...always talking about how they loved different woods....then I caught it too! :laughing:
I used someone elses design on these and on the next pair I'm making as well. This is a link to the one's in the pic. After you click the link, scroll down to Tritrix. http://www.speakerdesignworks.com/index_page_2.html I also built the Statements in the same link for my dad. Those sound incredible! Unfortunately, the components for the Statements run around $1k and they're 5' tall! A little too much girth for me or I would've built those instead of the ER18's, it was a tough decision. The ER18's are supposed to sound really good though; a lot of guys waiting to hear my impressions from both sets side by side.

Once I'm done w/ the ER18's, I'm going to give design a whirl and try to build some speakers for my home theater system. I have a LOT of learning to do before that happens though.

I like the looks of the cabinets in your link; very creative and sharp! I could see where being in the design end of speakers would lead you into the aesthetics end of the cabinets as well!

Both woodworking and audio can be addictive.
And then being raised in Detroit gave me a genetic defect for Horsepower.
(the wife is a saint to deal with all of that)
I hear ya on the wife end of it! I'm a gear head too. My wife puts up w/ a lot! I definitely married up :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is the raw cabinet construction of them (3/4" MDF)



And this is the crossovers for them (fairly simple design and that's what I wanted for my first time, not the best at soldering!).



One of the things I love about these so much is that my 12 year old son played a big part in helping on the entire build of these. I love that he takes an interest in woodworking and that he's learning the payout from hard work, whether he becomes a woodworker or not.

This is the pair I made for my dad. This is the second pair of speakers I've made and they sound insanely good; I almost melt when I stand in front of them. One of the most "full range" speakers I've ever heard. A perfect blend of highs, mids, and lows! Also someone else's design (well done Jim Holtz!!!). You really have to be committed to these because again, they cost around $1k in materials just for this raw cabinet (add for veneer or whatever you use to finish them!). In addition to being 5' tall, these beasts way in at over 120 lbs each :blink:! But, I've heard speakers costing thousands more that didn't sound as good. I can't finish the exterior because I'm waiting for my dad to take delivery of his new pool table. The plan is to try to match the features and finish of the pool table (somewhat).



Inside cabinet construction



The cabinets [in the cabinets] are for the mids and you route the back's out of the main cabinets so the mids "pass thru". The sound from these surrounds you so much it's almost eerie!!
 

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Your new pair looks like a transmission line design, which IMHO is a great way to load the woofers. Most other designs control the resonance to something "least objectionable"...a T-line basically eliminates the resonance, because it gets absorbed in the line if stuffed properly. The T-line also allows the woofers to go all the way down to their resonant frequency, so you tend to get very deep, very well defined bass without the artificial cabinet "woof" that most speakers make.

Simple crossovers are often the best solution IMO....less is better (if adequate), and you've used very nice quality components in the x-over.

Nice choices! :thumbsup:
 

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Matt..
From Taylor but spent every weekend close to the state park area west of the Mac Bridge...Dad has 40 acres there, and now have family in Napoleon.
Yeah, been a wrencher and a car restorer since I was old enough to pull a wrench.
What area of the Hand are you residing?

You can get all involved in crossover design and get past 1st order to 3rd order, butterworth and so on, with adjustable pots. All of that plays a game, but much comes down to your listening choices and EVERYONES ear is different. Cabinet design is a big key.
What I'm finding with these B&O's is it blows all preconceived concepts away. They are a hard plastic, and are as smooth as silk. I opened em up and went through em, and was totally amazed... Now I must rethink some preconceived thoughts.
Also I am a big fan of Planer Speakers, but they do lack in the low end, require massive power, and a suitable sub is key.

That said...all wood has resonances and flaws. It is nice to have wood finishes and a skin of 1/2" wood glued to a 1/2" MDF might be a good compromise. I haven't tried it.

Ya Hey Der...Eh?
 

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Looks great! I've always wanted to build a set of speakers but I wouldn't even know where to start. I have a design in my head that is a pyramid with subs on the bottom, midranges and horn tweeters on the top. :no:
 

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Wow, very impressive. I'm rocking some crap JVC box set, and one day I hope to build something to replace them. Something well south of $1k, though.
 

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EM3
Actually Parts Express has cabinet designs and circuit lists of needed hardware.
You can get involved in circuit design via their calculators, but that gets a little heavy if you don't have a electronics background. (Mine is only fair)
Once you know the operating range of frequencies for the speakers, it is possible to buy premade crossover circuits, that are pretty good, unless you want to go into extreme audiophilia , which really isn't necessary.
Box size, vs speakers is a critical issue. My last ones (towers) I put the bass speaker in it's own enclosure and the mid/hi in a separate one, but all in the same tower setup. Sized by the cubic foot that the speaker mfgr suggets. You can cheat the box size either way and it gives a differing response of either boomier or tighter.

It is worth looking into their website. Also get them to send a free catalog since there are deals in there, not shown on their website.

Parts-express.com
 

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Very nice. I use to be an audiophile and still have all the toys, but technology has changed so much, that no one who I know understands what it means.

Looks like a nice project to tackle some time in the future.
 

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Very nice. I use to be an audiophile and still have all the toys, but technology has changed so much, that no one who I know understands what it means.

Looks like a nice project to tackle some time in the future.
Hah, me too. I started with a Seeburg juke box with an electromagent speaker, moved up to a 25 watt Public Address amp with 3 mic inputs, then some really cool Dyna Kit tube amps EL-34's, I still have a EV-15" speaker with the chrome mag cover and a T35 tweeter....yah, the good old days. No one knows what the hell I'm talking about either. :blink: bill
 

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Hah, me too. I started with a Seeburg juke box with an electromagent speaker, moved up to a 25 watt Public Address amp with 3 mic inputs, then some really cool Dnya Kit tube amps EL-34's, I still have a EV-15" speaker with the chrome mag cover and a T35 tweeter....yah, the good old days. No one knows what the hell I'm talking about either. :blink: bill
I'm still running two Dyna 70 tube amps that have upgraded caps and have been modified to mono blocks....triode mode, only 17 watts per channel. These replaced a succession of separate amps that started with a 255 watt per channel Hafler DH500, 150W NYAL Moscode 300 hybrid, and a Distech 100W LS-2. What sweet sounding amps those Dyna's can be! I think I've been running them like that for over 20 years now. :thumbsup:

It took me several years to put together and optimize that system until it was absolutely as good as it could be.....ironically, by then we had several young kids and my incredible sound system was forced into service playing Raffi, Alvin & the Chipmonks, and the Muppets! :eek: :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Matt..
From Taylor but spent every weekend close to the state park area west of the Mac Bridge...Dad has 40 acres there, and now have family in Napoleon.
Yeah, been a wrencher and a car restorer since I was old enough to pull a wrench.
What area of the Hand are you residing?

You can get all involved in crossover design and get past 1st order to 3rd order, butterworth and so on, with adjustable pots. All of that plays a game, but much comes down to your listening choices and EVERYONES ear is different. Cabinet design is a big key.
What I'm finding with these B&O's is it blows all preconceived concepts away. They are a hard plastic, and are as smooth as silk. I opened em up and went through em, and was totally amazed... Now I must rethink some preconceived thoughts.
Also I am a big fan of Planer Speakers, but they do lack in the low end, require massive power, and a suitable sub is key.

That said...all wood has resonances and flaws. It is nice to have wood finishes and a skin of 1/2" wood glued to a 1/2" MDF might be a good compromise. I haven't tried it.

Ya Hey Der...Eh?
I'm in the Grand Rapids area (west MI, about 40 minutes from the lake). A fellow wrencher and restorer. I'm a plant manager at a plastics recycling plant now (I hate it, but thank God my fam and I are provided for), but I was a custom cabinet maker, flooring, trim, blah blah blah before that. When I was slow I would go work for a really good friend that restores cars, does some insurance work and repairables. Love cars almost as much as I love woodworking!

Looks great! I've always wanted to build a set of speakers but I wouldn't even know where to start. I have a design in my head that is a pyramid with subs on the bottom, midranges and horn tweeters on the top. :no:
As far as speaker building goes, there's a LOT that goes into the design of them, and I mean A LOT!! I, like you, had no good idea of where to start either. I've built subwoofer boxes for cars so I had a good understanding of calculating box dimensions and also of how crossovers work, but outside of that I was lost. I actually fell into a website looking for some answers to questions I had about a new receiver I picked up. Found their DIY speaker section and it's been a really fun downward spiral from there :thumbsup:!

Wow, very impressive. I'm rocking some crap JVC box set, and one day I hope to build something to replace them. Something well south of $1k, though.
These speakers (the first pair in the thread) were pretty cheap and everyone that hears them is taken back by how great they sound for the money. There's a lot of good designs out there to fit whatever application you have in mind. If you're into woodworking (assuming since you're here you are) it's not that difficult. Here's a link to the components for the ones I built http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-700 For $125, you can't go wrong! I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have if you're interested. You can also get a knock down version of the raw cabinets for an extra $110, but if you can make straight cuts I'd suggest building your own.

What I really like is that I can whale on these poor things and if I blow up one or more of the woofers, they're less than $20 each to replace!!

Very nice. I use to be an audiophile and still have all the toys, but technology has changed so much, that no one who I know understands what it means.

Looks like a nice project to tackle some time in the future.
Hah, me too. I started with a Seeburg juke box with an electromagent speaker, moved up to a 25 watt Public Address amp with 3 mic inputs, then some really cool Dnya Kit tube amps EL-34's, I still have a EV-15" speaker with the chrome mag cover and a T35 tweeter....yah, the good old days. No one knows what the hell I'm talking about either. :blink: bill
For both Bill and WillemJM, technology in stereos has changed but not necessarily for the better- mostly, aside from home theater, it's only gotten cheaper. I also have been into the vintage receivers. I picked up an old solid state Pioneer SX-950 on ebay and LOVE it's sound! That's what I'm going to use to power the next pair I'm going to build. I'd like to mess around w/ some older Mcintosh tube amps but the things are so stinking expensive!!
 
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