Hello, dear readers!
“build your own speaker” is the motto of these pages, which are provided free of charge so that anyone can find his (or unfortunately more rarely, her) way into an interesting new hobby. Assembly kits in every price range, developed using interesting chassis elements from selected manufacturers, are presented here. The focus is not on scientific explanations, but on providing a comprehensible look at the hands-on practice and the process of developing the necessary crossovers.
The cabinet construction is explained clearly in words and images so that even people who are all thumbs can overcome their fear of building something on their own. Tool usage and surface treatments are of course also among the topics we cover. However, we keep the effort to a minimum; anyone with a higher level of craftsmanship will be able to design an even better cabinet, and is welcome to introduce it here as a reader review.
But this resource isn’t just meant for hobbyists who have been surrounding themselves with homemade products for many years. Any young first-time or one-time offender who is tired of hearing the same old sounds from manufactured boxes and wants to attempt a new design and a better sound is a welcome guest here. They’re the ones who can quickly meet the higher standards for their musical equipment by making their own, without having to dig as deeply in their pockets as they would for ready-made products whose price – justified or not – is potentially astronomical.
We have divided our assembly kits into various categories with fluid borders; the intent is to help orient the reader, although they don’t represent official performance classes. One category includes the “Fun" boxes,” which can be assembled as a way to practice working with wooden materials. These mainly use wide-range speakers and coax chassis elements, which work without very complicated crossovers but still sound good. In exchange, the cabinets involve a little more manual labor.
The category of "Beginners" boxes, among other things, include our “FirstTime” and "Quickly" assembly kits. These sets, which fall within the lower price range, allow people to build their first loudspeakers at a reasonable cost. Still, they don’t skimp on sound, which will surely make up for the time they take to put together. As multi-path constructions, they naturally also require crossovers to send the right frequency range to the chassis. They are designed to coax musical qualities even out of home theater amplifiers, something that most of the recommended “plastic boxes” are completely incapable of doing. In addition, low-cost and mid-range stereo systems can work well with the “FirstTimers,” so they are offered separately and not just as a complete surround-sound set.
Those who have invested a little more money in their musical interests are served by the “Advanced” category, with its small to large assemblies. The prerequisite for being included in this category is good manufacturing and reproducibility, which means a much lower tendency toward sound flaws. On the other hand, they do not need to have a slippery smooth frequency chart that could be used to calibrate a ruler. This category is intended to account for various listening preferences as well as the second most important issue in cabinet construction: the women’s acceptance factor, or WAF.
And above all of them there reigns the “Blues” category, for music that strikes the heart and puts listeners under its spell. How could a category be named more aptly than with the most emotional music ever created? The genre focuses on the love of a man for a woman, and even if it seems like a stretch at first, there’s something of that feeling between the listener and the reproduction quality of his boxes. The fact that this category sometimes reveals bad recordings or system components can be disappointing, but it’s compensated by the enjoyment of using much better hardware and software.
There are no distinctions in terms of good or better speakers; much too often, we have found that one person loved a certain box while another thought it was unbearable. We are not trying to declare our own perceptions as the standard for listening taste – everyone is entitled to form their own personal opinions.
A significant part of this magazine’s success has always been reader participation, which isn’t limited to the questions and answers in the following forum. Reader responses and assembly reports about the box suggestions presented here are always welcome, because they show the wide range of options offered by building something yourself. Showing other readers how you mastered all of the problems they’re worried about will also encourage them to give their creativity free rein. And naturally we’re almost always available to provide advice and assistance.
Nevertheless some people want to judge the sound of the object of their desire with their own two ears. That’s why we give anyone who is interested the opportunity to explore many of our construction proposals in our already well-known demonstration studios. The somewhat unusual opening hours, Mondays through Wednesdays from 3 to 8 pm, also give us the option of making appointments, by phone or in writing, outside those hours for people who are coming from far away.
We look forward to hearing your responses to this magazine and to seeing you in our studios.
Yours LoudSpeakerBuilding.com team
All content on these pages is copyright protected. Its complete or partial use in any form requires our written permission. This particularly applies to any use of the presented construction plans and crossover plans for commercial purposes.
The frequency crossovers are components of the assembly kits and cannot be purchased separately.