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Sparky

Building PC speakers

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Right, heres the challenge, I want to hook my main pc up to my Surround sound receiver except my current pc speakers are custom wired through the center speaker making it difficult to do. So I'm either looking to find a 5.1 speaker setup to buy of the shelf, sililar to a life style system but with out the dvd player/amp.

 

Or the challange, build one.

 

I'm most interested in building one do to the subwoofer, I have a specific area (40cm * 40cm * 68cm) in which I put my sub and I would like to maximise that space so building one to measure would seam perfect. Have no idea as to what I would put in it though component wise. The satellites are probably what could break me.

 

I would be looking at around a 3-4" driver in a two way setup, and its got to be cheap.... relatively. I'm not spending more than $250 in one hit on PC speakers. :D

 

Is it worth it? would I be able to make something of signifigantly higher quality than of the shelf stuff in this price segment?

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For $250 all up, I don't think that you could get anywhere near the quality of an off the shelf 5.1 system like the Logitech Z-5500's.

Otherwise, if you don't want to spend too much in one hit, you could buy a good set (relatively) of bookshelf speakers which would have heaps of mid-bass, and add to the system when you get the cash. This way in the end you would have a much better system overall, and it would sound heaps better than the Logitech's :P

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Yeah I think my starting price is on the low side, but if you dont aim low from the beginning then the cost just balloon to buggery. :D

 

I was thinking $250 goal for the satellites. I really havn't thought about the sub yet.

 

It's most likely that I will but 5 identical bookshelf speakers and build the sub myself, unless I run into something that happens to be close to my dimensions.

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I suggest that you start low, but if you really want to buy it in one hit i don't think you can acquire the best quality speakers especially with the 250$ budget of yours.

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Speakerbits have successfully blown that out of the water.

 

$35.25 For a tweeter + $53.76 for a bass/midrange.

 

I dont know if they work well together since I havent looked at either data sheets but both are vifa drivers. Easy enough to find they are both the first two drivers listed in their catagories. So thats the price goal thoroughly defeated. :P

 

Now for the sub. :)

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If you want a good sub driver try Waraudio, the handle PHL drivers even though they are not listed on the site, but if the Vifa prices shake you up forget about the PHL's ;)

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Right. Its a lot of effort to build one of these, even though I will buy all the wood (MDF) cut to size (one bedroom appartment - not good for wood dust). So basically I have to get the math perfect and hone my mad gluing skillz. :P

 

Really that parts not hard then. But its picking out what to do in the first place.

 

So hears what my uneducated brain has come up with.

The satalites consist of sealed enclosures.

with:

http://www.speakerbits.com/net/catalogs/sh....aspx?id=VF090A

http://www.speakerbits.com/net/catalogs/sh....aspx?id=VF020B

 

Speakerbits also make a 2 way crossover at 3.5k. This sounds close enough for me to the 3k where the tweeter starts to fall off. Should give it a nice natural fall of right.

But it is 12db, is this too hard. Should I make one that is 6db to allow the natural fall of of the driver or go even higher to 18 db to prevent working the tweeter at the lower frequencies. I'm okay with a soldering iron so which ever would be best is what I would look at.

 

As for the Sub I have absolutly no idea what driver I need for this :D (Looks sideways at someone to point me in the right direction) :P

However the location that the sub will be in means that there is no face on the box that is not pointed directly at a wall or the desk. All four sides are covered plus the floor and above is the desks table top. So its locked in. But the re is space between the wall and desk. So I was thinking a Forth Order single reflex bandpass box would be the go since I can run a long slot vent all the way down the side where the gap is. I have two sides where the gap is, if I want to be really tricky I can put a port on both sides.

 

As mentioned earlier the max outside volume of the sub box is 40 * 40 * 68 = 108.8lt.

 

EDIT:

well I've spent the night playing around in win ISD, but have no idea what I'm looking for in a sub driver.

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Speakers are massively complicated and voodoo! I'm no expert but a few points...

 

Tweeter needs to crossover at min 2.8k (at least 1 octave above fs, pref higher). A 6dB xo is first order series (LCR) so if xo point is 2.8k then 5.6k is only 6dB down. There's a nasty looking peak at ~3k on the mid woofer so you may want a steeper roll off as -6dB is audible - or usable depending on what we're talking about.

 

The tweeter is 90dB sens, the mid woofer is 85.5dB. The tweeter will need a padding resistor and you'll probably have to change it on a pre-made xo. It's fun though ;)

 

Sub is easy, how low do you want to go? 108L is nuts, you'll need at least 15" in that - which will a) need massive power b) smash windows and shatter china c) break your teeth. A good 12" will get down to the ~18Hz (Stones Sound Studio) which will do much the same thing in half the space using half the materials and a little less power.

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I was in a studio last week that uses 10" woofers.

They were tooling around with 'Waves Renaisance Bass' (which I hate) and the bottom end was making me feel sick.

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My homemade speakers cost just over $400, in the early ninties (1993).

 

And the labour was free, (so that was just for 2 xo's, 2 tweeters and 2 mid-lows and the wood and paint)

 

.a student at the school of audio wanted people to put up the cash, so he could work on his design ideas.

 

I did and I have never looked back.

 

I added a 12" (yamaha 200W) sub a few years later, by copying a design.

 

One thing I'd like to add, sound emanates from a sub 360 degrees in 3 dimensions. So you won't have to point it anywhere really,

 

In Fact, you'll be better off having the sub away from you to give the sound room to propagate. Not real good for the neighbours though, he he.

 

A sealed cabinet can work, I haven't looked into this for quite awhile, but check out a cube, it has 2 speakers facing each other within the box.

 

With just a 1/4" socket for the signal cable.

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But Glenn.........he's talking 5.1.

 

I agree that 2.0 or 2.1 is best for DIY.......but like Chuck says.....just buy off the shelf crap for 5.1 cause you aren't serious anyway.

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But Glenn.........he's talking 5.1.

 

I agree that 2.0 or 2.1 is best for DIY.......but like Chuck says.....just buy off the shelf crap for 5.1 cause you aren't serious anyway.

You're quite right, But if they don't know the capabilities and what's on offer how can somebody make an economical choice?

 

I could of spent hundreds on those crappy 5.1 systems on offer over the past 15 years. Truly!

 

<edit> plus, you could easily build the other two boxes, once they are designed.

 

They are a 50watt system, with a variable pad for the tweeter, plain black matt finish and, still, no grill.</edit>

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Keep in mind that for PC speakers you're going to need an amplifier(s), which nobody seems to have mentioned thus far!

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Amplification will be handled by my Onkyo 494. Forgot to mention that point.

 

 

In terms of a sub driver, I've spotted this. Would it be any good in a sealed enclosure. I'd like to go with sealed since I'm not wanting huge volume levels and because the sub will likely have to be in action even for music I'd like the detail.

The price looks unbeatable. I'd probably look at the 12" version.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?I...mp;SUBCATID=831

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Yeah, they pump.

I've only ever used them in sealed boxes in cars....10" version.

But I don't like ported boxes much.

I like bass to be tight and punchy......not flabby.

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Nope No drivers bought yet. The only thing owned toward the project in the onkyo TX-DS494 5.1 reciever.

 

 

The Devestator: I thought I should use a full range driver in the lower section of a 2 way setup. What have I done wrong by selecting this driver? Is it because I'm also using a sub?

I see the spl is quite different but I was of the thought I could pad the tweeter out to get balance, I was going to ask if they were too far apart (90 - 85.5db) to pad.

 

 

I want to go this route since it A) allows me to never have to buy pc speakers ever again - since I made them right the first time B) connect as many devices or pc's as possible to the receiver. Currently I can only connect my gaming box to my pc speakers and thats annoying when the otherbox is perfectly suitable to watching videos on, only its not hooked to any kind of speakers. Then of course theres quality, I don't think any of the sheld speaker kits could match the quality of a well worked out system from the diy zone.

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Nope No drivers bought yet. The only thing owned toward the project in the onkyo TX-DS494 5.1 reciever.

 

 

The Devestator: I thought I should use a full range driver in the lower section of a 2 way setup. What have I done wrong by selecting this driver? Is it because I'm also using a sub?

I see the spl is quite different but I was of the thought I could pad the tweeter out to get balance, I was going to ask if they were too far apart (90 - 85.5db) to pad.

 

 

I want to go this route since it A) allows me to never have to buy pc speakers ever again - since I made them right the first time B) connect as many devices or pc's as possible to the receiver. Currently I can only connect my gaming box to my pc speakers and thats annoying when the otherbox is perfectly suitable to watching videos on, only its not hooked to any kind of speakers. Then of course theres quality, I don't think any of the sheld speaker kits could match the quality of a well worked out system from the diy zone.

"Fullrange" drivers are meant to run by themselves, they have

1. treble output (which would mean that if you did not run a low pass filter on the driver you would have to much treble)

 

2. "Fullrange" drivers have very little Xmax (how far the cone can move) and that means that they have very limited bass output and max volume (say if you give them 42hz the max output before the driver breaks is about 6 to 10 watts)

 

3. They have high harmonic distortion on avg.

 

If you want a good easy speaker (to make) which sounds good, try http://www.zaphaudio.com/audio-speaker18.html (BTW you can get the drivers for $19!)

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