DIY, Who is it for? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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DIY, Who is it for?

I'm interested in starting a DIY project, but I'm not sure what exactly it entails. I think it could be a great experience, but only if it makes sense from an economic perspective. Will I save money with a DIY project as opposed to getting something commercially available?

I expect that I don't have the proper equipment either. What tools will I need, and how much will I expect to spend on equipment? How difficult is such a project for someone who has no real experience with woodworking?
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 03:54 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

Hi and welcome to the Shack,

Your above post is a loaded question, there are pros and cons to doing DIY speakers the main pro is simply the knowledge that you built it yourself and can be proud of what you have done.
DIY speakers take a fair amount of time and as you mentioned proper tools are must have. a good router, drill and bits along with a good table saw with the proper blades, some nice long clamps to hold the box together when drying as well as a Dremal and sander.

The cost is usually more but in the end can be very rewarding. Its always best to start with a pre designed kit so you get a better idea befor you dive into doing one yourself from the ground up as crossovers and driver matching is a must.

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Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
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Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

Thanks. So I can typically expect DIY speakers to under-perform similarly priced speakers that are commercially available? Can you recommend a kit for a pair of speakers and a subwoofer in for approximately 300-400 dollars?
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 05:05 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

I would state quite the opposite if you know what you're doing. The costly part is your time. If you take the time, and knowledge to design something that fits your wants/needs, you can beat out the commercial competition.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 05:14 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

I say you can take any of the top (5) DIY 18 inch drivers put it in a home built ported box and with the Behringer 2500 amp best the performance of many of the commercially available powered subs AND for less money.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 06:31 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

Agreed. But you must be willing to end up being a halfway decent carpenter in the process. A rewarding project that turns into a hobby. And some power tools (router, etc.) gained in the process. A good saw guide with a power circular hand saw (Skilsaw) can substitute for a table saw.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 07:02 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

bobgpsr wrote: View Post
Agreed. But you must be willing to end up being a halfway decent carpenter in the process. And some power tools (router, etc.) gained in the process. A good saw guide with a power circular hand saw (Skilsaw) can substitute for a table saw.
I had Home depot make all my MDF cuts for me. I had to pay for some of them, .50 cents each. Or . . . . you can buy 2x4 panels already cut and just glue and screw them together. I used strap clamps to hold the pieces together while the glue dried. I added some 1 x 2 bracing inside at strategic locations to make the box more rigid. That left the driver hole to cut. I did that with an inexpensive sabre saw and a heavy duty rip blade. Drill the screw holes with another tool an inexpensive electric drill, buy some mounting bolts and away you go. It might not turn out to be the most esthetically pleasing subwoofer you've ever seen but the performance will be there.
I Guarowntee.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-02-08, 09:26 PM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

I think the OP was talking 2-3 way systems which are much harder to design and execute than subs. I've been doin subs for a while now and still haven't attempted a design for pile of drivers i've bought for mains-really scary stuff, lots of math,measuring,etc. If the goals is to build one set of speakers one time then don't do it. But if this appeals to you as a potential hobby then jump in both feet first. I myself find ripping through plywood and MDF quite relaxing. If i could only build a sub with a chain saw LOL
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-03-08, 11:53 AM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

I'll throw in my thoughts..
  • Designing a speaker from the ground up, if you have no prior experience, is probably not going to yield the results that you're looking for. There is just SO much that goes into the design, that it'd be unfair to think anyone could get it from the get go.
  • Building a speaker from an already established kit, however, I think will give you a product that will generally beat the commercial products at the same price point
  • This all assumes that you don't put a price tag on your time, i.e., you're doing this for fun.

At the very bare minimum, I think the following tools are required:
  1. Circular saw (table saw would be better -- and assumes you want to make the box yourself)
  2. Clamps (a whole lot of them)
  3. Multimeter
  4. Plunge router (to cut the holes for the drivers)
  5. Wood glue
  6. Sand paper (and a lot of elbow grease)
  7. Drill (to attach the drivers to the box)
  8. Soldering Iron (to solder the various parts of the crossover)

There are some short cuts you can take if you don't have the tools. For example, most of the places you buy your parts from will also sell you a pre-assembled box. It of course will eat into the overall savings that you would have had by building it yourself.

I would think that most people willing to take this type of project on would already have everything but the plunge router and maybe big enough clamps for the project. If this is going to be a project you continue with, there are a whole slew of other tools that I'd recommend, but that's for another thread..

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post #10 of 18 Old 06-04-08, 02:57 AM
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Re: DIY, Who is it for?

If your comfortable with steep learning curves then why not read up and learn the skills/theory before you commit money to a project. You can always change your mind after reading upteen hundred websites. As for the pros of DIY, there is one that cannot be beat, And that is when you get someone with their jaw hitting the floor absolutely amazed at the sound your $300 DIY design makes compared to their $3000 european gear. I would hazard that 80% of the cost of new speakers is the design cost.
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