How To Build Sound Speakers
Audiophiles and DIY-enthusiasts alike love a high quality listening experience, and learning how to build sound speakers is a perfect way to get that rich sound that makes your ears melt without such a high price tag. When you want to impress a date, nothing gets the job done like a stereo system you made yourself, and when it makes your favorite .mp3 mix sound like golden flowing ambrosia it's the perfect background, the honeyed nothings you're trying to whisper in her ear. Building speakers is an easy afternoon project, so get your tools ready and get started with the basic essentials.
To build sound speakers, you will need:
- A custom speaker kit, and
- A premade speaker housing or supplies for building your own.
- Planning. A speaker is basically a box that contains a number of paper, acrylic or composite cones, known as "drivers," that vibrate back and forth to create high and low-pressure regions of air our ears recognize as sounds. Each cone has a limited frequency range, so varying types (like bass-range woofers and high-range tweeters) are combined to produce the desired overall sound response characteristics. The function of the cabinet is to reflect the sound waves generated outwards in the direction of the listener. While this is a very basic generalization, it brings to light the fact that a better speaker construction will be more apt to direct sound waves, resulting in that smooth-groove tone you want to hear. Making sure your speakers are hi-quality is reliant on how well you put them together, so make sure you take the time to draw everything out first.
- Building Housing Materials. Ensuring your speaker cabinet stands up to regular vibrations is essential to good sound. While you can make an enclosure from wood, metal, acrylic or any other material you fancy, you need to use appropriate construction methods to create joints that are tight and strong.
- Connecting the Speaker Kit. This contains the basic parts you'll need to create sound, including the drivers themselves, accompanying circuitry and shock mounting. More expensive kits usually boast better quality drivers and crossover circuits with a larger range of frequency response. The speaker kit you get will determine how you'll need to build your cabinet, so pay attention to the specifications it contains.
- Mounting. Once you've gotten all your sections together, call upon the ancient powers and mystical techniques you obtained in Woodshop (or equivalent course) and assemble, remembering that safety comes first and measuring is a close second. Again, symmetrical, evenly-laid designs reflect sound with more regularity, so it's important to use appropriate squaring tools and not eyeball everything just because you drew up some sweet plans. Connect your finished product to an amplifier or stereo system and test out the sound.
Extra Electronics Tips:
- Some of the most confusing things for aspiring audio geniuses are amplification and crossover. When you have a speaker system that uses more than one driver, a crossover circuit uses a system of filters to separate the frequencies that each one requires. Most common kits contain such a circuit board with instructions how to install it properly.
- The power needed to move the relatively heavy (at least compared to the strength of an electron's magnetic field) speaker cone is more than an audio signal contains, so this signal must be amplified, usually through a stereo.
- It's important to match your speaker's impedance characteristic to that of the stereo unit, a value usually specified in Ohms (denoted by the Greek uppercase letter Omega.) Otherwise, you could burn the thin-wired coil in your expensive speaker kit, or overheat your stereo circuitry.