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Friday
Jan162015

Podcast #670: DIY Speaker Project

The HT Guys are very DIY oriented and we love new projects! When some of our listeners emailed us about their DIY speakers we just had build one ourselves. Many of you told us about Parts Express, an online retailer for electronics, and how they have some nice speaker kits. For our first build we didn’t want to get too fancy so we went with one that didn’t require any assembly of the speaker cabinet but did require some soldering.

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DIY Speaker Project

The HT Guys are very DIY oriented and we love new projects! When some of our listeners emailed us about their DIY speakers we just had build one ourselves. Many of you told us about Parts Express, an online retailer for electronics, and how they have some nice speaker kits. For our first build we didn’t want to get too fancy so we went with one that didn’t require any assembly of the speaker cabinet but did require some soldering.

Dayton Audio BR-1 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Monitor Speaker Kit Pair $160 with no shipping costs. The Kit includes:

  • Dayton Audio BR-1CAB BR-1 6-1/2" 2-Way Speaker Cabinet Pair
  • Two Dayton Audio DC160-8 6-1/2" woofers
  • Two Dayton Audio DC28F-8 1-1/8" silk dome tweeters
  • Two crossover boards
  • All the required capacitors, resistors, inductors, and cables

 

To build this kit you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, hot glue gun, wire cutters/strippers, and a screwdriver. Parts Express has some great online video showing you how to build your speakers that we found extremely valuable.

We put a quick video together not so much for how to purposes but so you get a better feel for the speakers and what is involved in the process.

For $160 and a few hours you end up with speakers that sound and look great! We are very impressed with the sound that these speakers create. We tested them down to 50 Hz on the low end and 16KHz on the high end. Ara’s daughters had to confirm audio tones beyond 12KHz. The specification says the speakers produce sound between 43Hz and 18KHz.

When we listened to music we were surprised by how much bass they would produce. Highs were good but the speakers performed better on the low end. They aren't the most efficient speakers but they aren’t that bad either with a sensitivity rating of 88 dB 1W/1m. We have no problem saying that they perform as well as speakers that cost two or three times more.

But here is the cool thing! If you want you can design your own speaker by picking woofers, tweeters, and crossovers that are more to your liking, you can! Parts Express sells fully assembled crossovers so that you don’t even have to solder. If you want to spend $1,000 on components you can. Likewise if all you need are some inexpensive speakers with good sound you can spend less. We can’t wait to try different woofers and tweeters and build out an entire 7.1 set including the subwoofer. The only complaint is that there aren’t some smaller prebuilt speaker cabinets. Maybe its time to go to some yard sales and pick up old speakers and turn them into something incredible!

 

Download Episode #670

Reader Comments (3)

Hi Guys.
After your discovery that you couldn't hear frequency above 12-13KHz, I downloaded a test file and had the guys at work try it. It was a very interesting/funny experiment. The oldest guy couldn't hear above 8KHz, us younger guys max'd out at 16-17KHz. My daughter (8 years old) said she could here tone all the way upto 21KHz ?? (not sure if that is possible....)

Cheers
Malc (New Zealand)

January 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMalc

Great show! Wondering if you guys would ever consider doing a DIY subwoofer.

March 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlfredo Hernandez

There is a lot more to building your own speakers than what you are doing. Using online calculators does not take everything into account. You have to deal with the impedance curve over the frequency response of each driver,phase, driver placement on the front baffle, baffle width, etc. None of these will be accounted for in an online calculator. Have fun with it but know you are doing those drivers a disservice as well as misinforming your listeners. Do more research on the Parts Express Tech Talk forum.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

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