Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building

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russellberg

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Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« on: 12 May 2020, 04:38 am »
I'm an experienced woodworker but a rank novice when it comes to electronics.  Im looking forward to learning a lot and have started with Danny's Servo Sub kit.

richidoo

Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #1 on: 12 May 2020, 01:15 pm »
Welcome to AudioCircle!

Starting with a kit is a wise choice. You get a good boost of confidence, plus you can listen to it while you read up on speaker design.
There's a lot to learn, but it's very fun. Please share your projects with us in the Enclosures Circle, Thanks!
Rich

jcsperson

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2020, 01:43 pm »
Same here. The cabinets will be easy, but I don't know an amp from an ohm and I haven't soldered anything since building slot cars as a kid 50 years ago.

Welcome aboard.

Jazzman53

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2020, 04:17 pm »
If you're interested; PM me and I send you my CAD drawings, parts list, etc... for the speaker shown below.  I just built a pair for a friend who prefers their sound over his $28K Legacy Whispers.  They require bi-amping with a digital crossover, and it's not an easy build-- but if you're up for it, they're freaking awesome.

Here's a video too: https://youtu.be/9HTKh58wYlo


 

FullRangeMan

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2020, 12:49 am »
Welcome  :thumb:

Wind Chaser

Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2020, 04:33 am »
Welcome to Audio Circle.  :D

russellberg

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #6 on: 16 May 2020, 05:21 am »
That looks incredible!  What sort of speakers is the flat panel filled with?  Is the bottom driver an open baffle design?  I haven't watched your video yet, but I definitely will.
-Russell 
If you're interested; PM me and I send you my CAD drawings, parts list, etc... for the speaker shown below.  I just built a pair for a friend who prefers their sound over his $28K Legacy Whispers.  They require bi-amping with a digital crossover, and it's not an easy build-- but if you're up for it, they're freaking awesome.

Here's a video too: https://youtu.be/9HTKh58wYlo



russellberg

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #7 on: 16 May 2020, 05:32 am »
That's what I thought, so I have started with this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvKF38sXV60  I am building them out of solid butternut with purple heart and maple accents.

Welcome to AudioCircle!

Starting with a kit is a wise choice. You get a good boost of confidence, plus you can listen to it while you read up on speaker design.
There's a lot to learn, but it's very fun. Please share your projects with us in the Enclosures Circle, Thanks!
Rich

Jazzman53

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #8 on: 17 May 2020, 03:18 am »
That looks incredible!  What sort of speakers is the flat panel filled with?  Is the bottom driver an open baffle design?  I haven't watched your video yet, but I definitely will.
-Russell

This is a hybrid electrostatic speaker.  The flat panel ESL is a stepped-frequency/stepped phased array of copper wires driving the diaphragm from the center outward to project a curved wave front.  A Peerless SLS 12 woofer mounted on an open baffle (modified H-baffle) provides bass below 225Hz via a digital crossover.  I've been building ESLs for 12 years and this one is the finest speaker I've ever heard.   

EkW

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #9 on: 17 May 2020, 03:57 am »
I enjoyed the build videos. Have you ever measured the off axis response? I have experienced the Sanders speakers; great along one line. At shows the listening chairs are three to five from front to back. How many hours are required for you to build a pair?

Jazzman53

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #10 on: 17 May 2020, 01:03 pm »
I enjoyed the build videos. Have you ever measured the off axis response? I have experienced the Sanders speakers; great along one line. At shows the listening chairs are three to five from front to back. How many hours are required for you to build a pair?

I've never measured the off axis response; although the dispersion is obviously much wider than an unsegmented flat panel like Sanders uses (I've built quite a few unsegmented flat panels so I have a good reference point).  And these were not my first segmented panels BTW.  In this new speaker I've actually dialed back the dispersion a bit, to regain some of the magical imaging that an unsegmented flat panel provides at its focus.

I love the imaging from unsegmented panels at their focus, but the head-in-a-vise effect comes with it.  My new speakers are a pretty good compromise-- giving nice imaging without the head-in-a-vise effect.

Figure about $1k for materials and 125 hours to build the wire stretching/stator jig and speakers.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 02:50 pm by Jazzman53 »

FullRangeMan

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #11 on: 20 May 2020, 11:01 pm »
I'm an experienced woodworker but a rank novice when it comes to electronics.  Im looking forward to learning a lot and have started with Danny's Servo Sub kit.
Hi, Starting Block is really for people to introduce themselves. This question/thread is best posted in GR Reseach Circle, so I'll move it there for you now.

Sonicjoy

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #12 on: 23 May 2020, 12:13 am »
Welcome!

That's what I thought, so I have started with this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvKF38sXV60  I am building them out of solid butternut with purple heart and maple accents.


I would caution you not to use solid wood for speakers. It is not usually done. Solid wood moves too much and resonates too much. Most speakers are build using MDF and then veneered. It is more inert than solid wood.

Cheers.

diyman

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #13 on: 23 May 2020, 06:47 am »

I would caution you not to use solid wood for speakers. It is not usually done. Solid wood moves too much and resonates too much. Most speakers are build using MDF and then veneered. It is more inert than solid wood.

 

Some people believe that quality Baltic Birch plywood is better than MDF.  Has a more pleasant sound.  I use it for that reason plus I just don't allow MDF into my workshop.  Too many bad issues with it.

Tomy2Tone

Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #14 on: 23 May 2020, 12:35 pm »
Yeah Lou at Daedalus here on AC has been building speakers with solid wood for years and gets some of the highest praise for their sound.

Peter J

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #15 on: 23 May 2020, 01:55 pm »
 

Some people believe that quality Baltic Birch plywood is better than MDF.  Has a more pleasant sound.  I use it for that reason plus I just don't allow MDF into my workshop.  Too many bad issues with it.

From a sonic standpoint, most any contribution from the box itself is an undesirable wild card. I'm curious what "bad issues" you attribute to MDF?

richidoo

Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #16 on: 23 May 2020, 02:48 pm »
The box material is just another engineering choice. Wood, ply or MDF can all be made to work, they each have strengths and weakness. Carbon fiber and steel can also work on speakers and have advantages and drawbacks. If you were commercial mfg you would use MDF for the low cost and stability of raw MDF stock in your warehouse. If you are novice woodworker you don't have planer, edger, enough clamps or glue/fastener knowledge to use real wood safely. BB is a good choice, but it is very resonant, with high Q, so bracing and damping strategies become critical at midrange freqs with BB. MDF has low Q resonance, but a wide resonant bandwidth that can destroy midrange tone quality, but simple bracing or damping can easily tame that.  BB usually makes a brighter sound that people tend to like as long as enough bracing to keep it from ringing. For natural wood, spruce and plain old white pine 1x shelving wood from homedepot can sound incredibly good.

WGH

Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #17 on: 23 May 2020, 03:59 pm »

I would caution you not to use solid wood for speakers. It is not usually done. Solid wood moves too much and resonates too much.

Solid wood is usually only used by experienced woodworkers. Lou has figured out how but for most manufacturers solid wood is too risky. Pine and alder change dimensions as humidity changes with the seasons, about 3/32" per foot. Even seasoned hardwood has problems, when people move from Wisconsin to AZ the tops and side panels of their antique furniture crack and chairs loosen up because wood looses moisture in the single digit humidity. Solid wood speakers would do the same thing, manufacturers that sell speakers worldwide discover that everywhere has a different climate than where they were made.

As long as wood speakers stay where they are made the dimensional changes will not be catastrophic. You can even break the rules. The front baffle on my speakers is 1-3/4" thick solid mesquite because I know the wood was bone dry and mesquite doesn't move very much if at all with humidity changes. The front baffle is non-resonant, self damping and extremely stiff resulting in a tight well focused sound stage.



More photos: https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=100672.msg1015847#msg1015847

diyman

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #18 on: 23 May 2020, 06:36 pm »
I'm curious what "bad issues" you attribute to MDF?

The worst is the fine dust that it creates, which is partially wood fibers and partially glue.  I don't like breathing it or having to clean it up all over the shop.  It spreads much worse than sawdust.

Then there is problem of rapidly wearing down cutting tools like table saw blades and router bits.

MDF is also very poor at holding screw treads.  Many people who use it resort to inserts for attaching drivers just to be sure of a tight attachment.  Not usually a problem with real wood.

And then there is the issue of finishing.  It's fine if you want to paint it, but otherwise it requires veneering, which is a lot of work.  BB can be found in a variety of wood types and finished like any other wood project.  There is an issue, however, with the edges that show all the layers.  That can be addressed by miter corners if you are willing to give up rounded over baffle edges.  Or better yet use a solid wood baffle and use BB plywood for the rest of the box.  Then there will be no edges visible.

aldcoll

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Re: Woodworker Trying Out Speaker Building
« Reply #19 on: 24 May 2020, 04:43 am »
As I recall  a few folks here have posted on using superglue in predrilled holes. Might check with Peer J.

And i could have had  a beverage or 2 and I am still all wrong.

Alan