Boy, ever since I acquired a shack of my own, it's DIY at full speed! Before this, building speakers was always a pain as the fear of moving house, the fear of packing and unpacking, again and again, is enough to turn me off!
So since I moved to this nice little shack here last year, I've been active with speakers! Actually not just me. Partner in crime, Master Speaker Builder --- Gabriel, is guilty too!
Of course, the creme of the corp, has to be the Hedlund Horn which we painstakingly built over the course of a month, foregoing sleep, meals, stares of bewilderment and probably a lawsuit from my direct neighbour for dirtying his place with sawdust and wood!
But as the saying in DIY Land goes, once the music is played, all is forgotten!
[If only Man will spend more time building speakers than killing each other, the world will be a better place. But then some idiots may still kill each other over who has the "better" speakers.
I don't know about you but surely one pair of speakers isn't enough! There's many other technologies to explore too!
These drivers, 16 of them, were bought through the world's Marketplace - Ebay, from David Dlugos. You may know him from the Transmission Line Speakers website.
David also lists many amazing speaker drivers for sale on Ebay --- a credit to the DIY Audio industry. I don't know how he sourced for these treasures but I'm really grateful that he sold me these Monsoon electrodynamic planar panels.
These were originally part of a computer speaker package. You need another driver for sub 200Hz (yes, these amazing panels go down that low) but as you can see, I haven't gone there yet.
As they are dipoles, and meant for near field listening, some cancellation occurs due to the rear waves "wrapping" the front. This cuts down the 200-1000Hz response.
Thus I actually need a baffle 4 times larger. Hmm... maybe I'll do this with acryllic?
That said, what I heard so far was the most satifsying mids and highs ever (even though they don't go that high). The sound is very transparent, very smooth and very "open". Rather than the "speaker disappearing act", what we have here is more of a "room disappearing act". Very good potential for more messing around!
Once I get back my SPL meter, I'll widen the baffle and add a sub-200Hz driver. Stay tuned!
Inspired by the Hedlund, our intrepid Diyer Gabriel tried his hand at horn design and this is the excellent St Cloud!
Named after his son (lucky kid!), St Cloud has only one bend too, like the Hedlund. Believe me, Mr Hedlund is right in insisting on just one bend. Just one word describes it best --- Coherence.
Note the compression chamber!
At time of writing, Gabriel is trying out different drivers, hence the removable front baffle, which he HAS to route it nicely as well.
I can't remember which 4" driver is this but St Cloud managed to pump out those heavy R&B bass notes from these puny paper drivers!
Gabriel also tried with the Jordan JX92, and went head over heels!
Surely no Diyers' home is complete without a home theater!
My Grand HT Plan was to build 5 speakers with each enclosure utilizing a pair of these Aurasound NS3-194-8E, thus I bought 10 of them but when it came to building them, I realized my Home Theater corner is not really that huge. Must be all that Stout I had the previous night...
So the Grand HT Plan shrinked to the Tiny HT Plan, reducing the number of speakers from 5 to a much more manageable... 2.
Consulted Gabriel and he suggested 2 liter volume for each driver, so the box was built for about 5 liters. I had to build bigger as due to my "excellent" woodworking skills, it's better to err on this end.
What can I tell you about the sound? It belies its size! Though the driver specs not much output below 150Hz, I bet there's at least 80Hz down there. I know, not sufficient for HT but we are getting an awful lot of mileage here!
The sound stage is wide and opened, and I had no issue with "rough highs" even though they weren't 100% aligned vertically (it's really not easy to cut the holes right) nor as close as possible.
Who cares? Allison Krauss is happy singing, T-rex is happy crunching bones, my wife is happy with 5-reduced-to-2-speakers, everyone's happy!
See those 15" drivers? No, no, no. I wasn't trying out a bass driver. Was testing them for a friend.
As you can see, speaker building is a lot of fun! Besides anyone looks cool sawing wood! I hope you'll build some speakers now.
As for me, it's time to plan for... more speakers!
Bass module for the Monsoon planars, a horn subwoofer for the Aurasounds...