A sample of my DIY speakers

Per @Verb’s request, here are a couple pics of speakers I have built. Note that most here would not particularly like the speakers I build. That’s the thing about DIY, you design & build to suit your own preferences and listening space. Most of what I build are single full range drivers, which avoid the issues associated with crossovers, and which provide single point source (although this can be achieved using concentric drivers as Tannoy does). If you want high SPLs and big, thumping bass, then don’t bother thinking about SFRDs; the compromises in lows, highs, and volume will leave you disappointed.

Most people aren’t bothered by the problems arising from multiple drivers and crossovers, such as phase errors. I doubt many of you have ever heard a good SFRD, but I am sure at least some of you have heard Tannoys; if you find something special there, it’s probably due to the concentric drivers. And you may be candidates to join SFRD crowd.

Below (in separate posts)are pics of the three systems in our bedroom and the two in our living room. Yes, my wife is extremely tolerant of my audio obsession, although she has now reached her limit (and the physical space limitations of our home), so that if I build anymore speakers, they must have a home to go to before I start cutting lumber.

Builds have been documented on DIYaudio, but I don’t know if it’s permitted under terms of service to give links. Designs were modeled using Martin J. King’s MathCAD worksheets (no longer available).

Cheers, Jim
A day without music is like a day without food.

Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    Looks nice bro, I see you have a one track mind when it comes to color though. :)

    J/K- really man, looks awesome.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
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    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
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    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
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    Tad 803 speakers
  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    edited September 30
    Hey Tony,

    I admit that I tend to use clear polyurethane. Don't favor oil, as it is too easily damaged. (We aren't going to talk bout my experience with finishes getting damaged...). All are made from plywood, but veneer varies.

    The BIBs are maple, the OBs are birch, the Fonkens are red oak. Stands for the Fonkens are solid red oak.

    The Metronomes are also red oak, while the PTLs are aromatic red cedar. I let Marian chose the veneer for the PTLs. Bit of a mistake, as the cedar is really tough to work with; so brittle!
    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 30
    I like those kinds of loudspeakers.

    B)


    Teeny-weeny Onkens -- adorable.
    :)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    There are some scaled down Klipsch folded horns (LaScalas) floatin' around out there... someplace.

    t1hipvgez9bd.png

    source: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/138580-minature-klipschorn-la-scala-or-jubilee/
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,334
    Looks really good, I like the natural wood look
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited September 30
    @Jim Shearer
    The thing I forgot to do before is to say that all of those look really, really nice!

    FWIW: Here's another Lilliputian LaScala (let's hear Elmer Fudd, or even Barbara Walters, say that!):

    https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/186359-runt-la-scala/
  • verbverb Posts: 8,009
    OMG Jim! Those look fabulous! The craftsmanship looks exquisite!

    I understand why you will never sell em! :) Unless of course to Verb!
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • Those are some nice looking speakers. Do you do woodworking yourself?
  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    Thank you all for the kind words!!

    I do the wood working myself. It looks better in the photos than in person--I am no Norm Abrams, nor do I have access to the New Yankee Workshop.

    I do my best to make presentable speakers, but not everything gets my best effort. Here is a comparison of the prototype for the PTL (made from OSB, with is closer to plywood in performance than MDF) and the finished product.

    15kcsuxh3f8c.jpg

    l44m6b8sqjxz.jpg

    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    And a couple pics to show 'in progress':

    yc6tnoe9cw6r.jpg

    u9knba5vaic2.jpg

    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,064
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    it all looks great to me; even the prototype.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,505
    What's in the little ones in the first pic that look like they're vented down the front sides? I've been having a thing for bookies lately.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited October 1
    they're teeny-weeny, itty-bitty Onken-style enclosures :)

    https://www.planet10-hifi.com/fonken.html
  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    @Nightfall,
    As Mark said: they are P-10's Fostex Onken (Fonken) using Fostex FE-127 (4.5") drivers (no longer available). But Dave Dlugos has a bunch of those Onken type designs, mostly for Mark Audio drivers now. I also built a pair of micro-Fonkens using Fostex FF85k (3.5") drivers which are in daily use in our dining room.
    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    Dave Dlugos is a great guy! He's had some pretty serious health issues in recent years, but he's still around (thankfully).

    The only thing of his I have, come to think of it, is a pair of his phase plugs for R/S 40-1354 twincones.

    I have them installed on the drivers in my ML TQWTs (Bob Brines' design, not Dave's) and they did a nice job of smoothing out the treble and at least subjectively extending the HF response (?!).

  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    edited October 3
    Serious doesn't begin to describe Dave's health problems. He is the only one I know who has had an aortic aneurysm begin to rupture and lived to tell the tale!

    I was never bold enough to cut out a dust cap and install a phase plug. I can say that a bit of fiber stuffing between the whizzer and main cone did fix some issues. Below is an FE-167e with the bearded whizzer treatment. Note that the 167 had a hole in the dust cap to eliminate some resonance.

    k0gnxt0gz76a.jpg

    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    edited October 3
    Serious doesn't begin to describe Dave's health problems. He is the only one I know who has had an aortic aneurysm begin to rupture and lived to tell the tale!

    Yes, indeed. We lost my father-in-law to one in 1986. :(
    I have followed (and still do) Dave's progress via the fundraiser page his wife and friends started -- but I didn't feel that it was my place to go into details in the context of your speaker thread. :|
    I was never bold enough to cut out a dust cap and install a phase plug. I can say that a bit of fiber stuffing between the whizzer and main cone did fix some issues. Below is an FE-167e with the bearded whizzer treatment. Note that the 167 had a hole in the dust cap to eliminate some resonance.

    k0gnxt0gz76a.jpg

    Ahh, the [Lowther] 98 cent tweak! :)
    https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-range/134206-fr-taming-tricks.html

    Yes, I've done that before with some success on tizzy-whizzered drivers, too. I've also Dammar'd Radio Shack 40-1296 (Fostex FE-103 OEM) cones, too, in a modestly-successful attempt to tame their tizziness. The things we do for fullrangers. :)

    FullRanger-shield-FR125.gif

    FWIW, I only had the chutzpah to do the dustcapectomy because I had several spare pairs of the drivers in question!

    8nqm7zp4cmc2.png

    Post edited by mhardy6647 on
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,454
    Oh, boy -- here I go...

    The above-mentioned 98 cent tweak, from the old Lowther America site, via the Wayback Machine.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20080331190803/http://www.lowther-america.com/tweaks.htm
    Whizzer Damp[-]ing

    Without going into the technical mumbo-jumbo, one of the things that occurs with the old style Lowther cones is that the whizzer resonated at about 2 KHz, creating what many referred to as the Lowther shout. This has been addressed by the new cone design, but since few of you have the new cone design, lets talk about what can be done.

    The easiest thing to do is to turn the drivers so that they face 15 to 20 degrees away from your listening position.

    I personally tried and liked the effect of Marc Wauters 98 cent fix. This consists of placing a lightweight piece of foam between the outer edge of the whizzer and the middle of the main cone. As a result, it drastically reduced the resonance peak of the whizzer. Sadly, Marc has recently removed his site.

    Another approach is to take 2 cotton balls for each driver. Pull them out, and then twist lightly so that you get a 2 or 3 inch long cylinder. Then place this between the whizzer and main cone. It is not as effective as the Marc Wauters fix, but does create a noticeable drop in the upper midrange peak.

    You can purchase the new style phase plug without upgrading the cone. It does make the highs very directional, so that you must listen with the speakers aimed directly in line with your ears.

    B)

    I'll stop now -- back to our originally-scheduled topic; @Jim Shearer's gorgeous loudpeakers!

  • WillowWillow Posts: 9,715
    I don't know where to start. Amazing job, visually because I'll never hear them. I wouldn't have the slightest as to where to begin making my own and getting them to look as nice as yours. Keep up the great work.
    2Ch- B&W 703, SVS PB10 NSD, Marantz NR1607, Parasound 1500a, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (Yellow) with Acrylic platter, Pro-Ject phono pre, MIT AVT 2 speaker cables, MIT AVT 1 and AVT 2 ICs, XLO Jumpers, Signal Dig Coax, Signal Cable Magic Power Cables x3, Samsung 55JS7000, Harmony 1100, Sony BDP-S6200, Marantz DV-4200 (as Transport), Cambridge Audio DAC Magic100, Monster 3600MKII, Android Mi Box3 and Apple TV. - Pool /Gazebo Yamaha RX-A1010, Polk Patio 25x4, Rotel RDV 1045 (as CDP) MIT AVT3 ICs - Work - Spotify Premium or Neutron App to my FiiO Kunlun into my Grado SR125e

  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 367
    Thanks! :)

    I started by using the dimensions for a Fostex FE-108eSigma Metronome as given by Dave Dlugos. Using circular saw & jig saw.

    When I saw that I was going to be building more, I acquired a small table saw and a router. Router is key to so much! Good not only for cutting holes for drivers, ports, & terminal cups and bevels & round overs, but also for getting long edges perfectly straight and clean. Even with the table saw, I couldn't get a perfectly straight edge several feet long. I find a good straight edge (maybe an 8' piece of lumber, maybe a metal straight edge) and use that with either a flush trim bit or a pattern follower bit.

    And then learning how to veneer is another whole adventure!
    A day without music is like a day without food.
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