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  • Building speakers

    There has been plenty of talk about building drum and cymbal pads. What about building a powered speaker system? I don't know much about it, but it could be done, right? Perhaps, only a personal monitor system would be worth building yourself. Or possibly, they could both be built better and/or cheaper than buying one. I don't know, maybe its not worth it to do either. Has anyone tried? Or does anyone know?

  • #2
    Building speakers yourself is worthwhile if you want good ones. Like most stuff nowadays you cannot build cheap stuff for less than you can buy if for.

    Your woodworking needs to be solid, simple speaker boxes are not complicated, but they have to be rock solid or else they will fart/chuff/rattle. Bigger cabinets like the folded horn type need a bit of practice.

    One great advantage with home build is that you can customise the rig for drums. For example my current setup (after 20 years of trying different things) is:
    24" driver in a bandpass box (The ultimate ammount of bass you will get out of a system is directly related to how much air your speakers will move, this driver moves as much air as 4 15" units but in a smaller and lighter box)
    10" driver and constant directivity horn ( the 10" driver provides the bite so often missing from 15" + horn boxes)

    Then I have a small flitecase with my mixer, an active crossover and the power amps in.

    If you build an active system (with the electronic crossover before the power amps) rather than a passive one (one big amp feeding the cabinet with the crossover inside) you can adjust the crossover frequencies and levels to tailor the sound of the system. Use quality drivers in solid cabinets and you will end up with a rocking system. Plus you can customise it - same colour as your drums?

    Eminence do a book ISBN 0951825216 which is a good starter and you should be able to get their drivers.

    By all means come back at me with any specific questions.
    Cheers
    Adam

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanx adz! I started getting into stereo systems and speakers a while back so I kinda know what your talking about. My real experience is in carpentry, though. I've done cabinet work and all phases of construction, so that won't be a problem. You're saying it won't be cheaper, but better quality. I'm not quite at the "BIG- A$$" speaker system stage yet. I'm in the process of ordering my drums and gear right now. I'll need some practice before I play loud. I haven't played for about 2 years. Its killing me. Anyway, I'll check out the book. In a few months I'll be ready to get some "real" speakers.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have made a set of speakers using the plan in the eminence book using the 15" + 10" + horn enclosure.

        they are nice units but bulky to carry around. I don't use them now, have a JBL G2 which gives more punch and a crisper top end.

        The only misgiving I had with the home made was there was a mid range drop off which meant I lost some of the higher tom sounds (sound rolling off) but that could have been fixed with a better crossover.

        I prefer to use the JBL for stage monitor and the bands PA for front of house.

        Dave

        PS the eminance book I have (2nd edition 1992) does not give plans for powered speakers

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey adz, Ididn't even know they made speakers 24" in dia. Thats pretty big. How much were they? How much did your entire speaker system cost to build?

          Comment


          • #6
            The 24" drivers were built for turbosound by Fane for their arena systems. Unfortunately they were too delicate to survive the abuse of touring and were discontinued, most big PA companies use 18" drivers in multiples.

            My entire system cost
            2 0f Hi cabs (10" + horn) 400
            2 of Bass cabs (15") 250
            1 Sub bass (24") 400
            1 600W amp (home made) 250
            1 4 channel 100W amp 200
            leads flitecase etc 100

            total 1600 (~$2600)

            Depending on what I'm doing I mix and match the cabinets, If its a rehersal I just use 1 Hi cab, the full rig I use as whole band PA in 200 seater venues.

            Not cheap, but cheaper than buying off the shelf.

            Adam

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey adz,
              How did you build your amp? Are there instructions somewhere on-line?

              Comment


              • #8
                since we are talking sub cabs - i got a set of dual 18" peavey black widow bass bins.. I am running 2000W into each through 2 bridged Crest V1500's. I recently picked up a pair of EV dual 15" Eliminator mids and am running Crown CE2000 into them... Have another CE2000 waiting for the next set of dual eliminators, but I got hosed into buying the band trailer, so its gotta wait...

                The point I am getting at I suppose is that dual 18" sub cabinets make tremendous pounding bass - since they are 4ohms by using (2) 8ohm subs together, you get more outta your amp... The EV dual elim's sound great as well.. I paid $700 for the pair of bass bins....not bad for some room shaking bass.... It would be hard to build a cabinet like that for $350, including drivers....

                Erik
                SEPdrums

                [This message has been edited by sepdrums (edited September 05, 2001).]

                Comment


                • #9
                  .. I paid $700 for the pair of bass bins....not bad for some room shaking bass.... It would be hard to build a cabinet like that for $350, including drivers....

                  Erik
                  SEPdrums

                  Your right Erik, the Peavy drivers alone would cost over $500, and thats without a cabinet to put them in. I'm guessing you bought this stuff second hand? If not please tell me who sells new gear for that sort of price.

                  My point , buying good quality second hand gear is almost always cheaper than building your own new stuff, as long as you don't get ripped off (ie buy a JBL cabinet only to find the drivers inside are not JBL and have been replaced with cheapo guitar speakers )

                  Snared - re power amps, I dont know about plans on the net, I based mine on plans i got from Rauch. I built my first (8W ) power amp when I was 11 and have worked up from there. From experience 50-100W amps are easy to build, once you get up to 500W+ it gets quite tricky, and you can esily end up with something that sounds crap, or catches fire.
                  Again you can buy second hand for about the same price.

                  I'm not trying to stop people building their own stuff, it can be hugely rewarding, Just don't do it just as a way to save money.

                  Ta
                  Adam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE]Originally posted by adz:
                    [B].. I paid $700 for the pair of bass bins....not bad for some room shaking bass.... It would be hard to build a cabinet like that for $350, including drivers....

                    Erik
                    SEPdrums

                    Your right Erik, the Peavy drivers alone would cost over $500, and thats without a cabinet to put them in. I'm guessing you bought this stuff second hand? If not please tell me who sells new gear for that sort of price.

                    The gear was purchased from a local used gear dealer - Cusick's Music....
                    I've gotta give that dude a plug here - he has some very good deals. Took a lot of balls to open up a music store in our tiny hick town. His prices are good, he has tons of bass guitar stuffs (i.e. cabinets, heads, guitars, etc..), some used drum kits, an old simmons edrum kit, and other goodies. Used gear rules if it comes from the right place. The # for this guy is 724-589-5010 - ask for Joe. Tell him Erik from SEPdrums sent you.

                    Erik
                    SEPdrums

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [b]
                      Originally posted by adz:
                      Your right Erik, the Peavy drivers alone would cost over $500, and thats without a cabinet to put them in. I'm guessing you bought this stuff second hand? If not please tell me who sells new gear for that sort of price.

                      The gear was purchased from a local used gear dealer - Cusick's Music....
                      I've gotta give that dude a plug here - he has some very good deals. Took a lot of balls to open up a music store in our tiny hick town. His prices are good, he has some good deals on bass guitar stuffs (i.e. cabinets, heads, guitars, etc..), some used drum kits, an old simmons edrum kit, and other goodies like PA system cabinets, amps, etc... The Peavey cab's I got for 7 bones sound very good, are a bit beat-up on the exterior, but I think it was a good deal...not to mention he took some ddrum triggers as a trade-in towards the cabs...
                      Used gear rules if it comes from the right place. The # for this guy is 724-589-5010 - ask for Joe. Tell him Erik from SEPdrums sent you.

                      Erik
                      SEPdrums

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        The gear was purchased from a local used gear dealer - Cusick's Music....
                        I've gotta give that dude a plug here - he has some very good deals. Took a lot of balls to open up a music store in our tiny hick town. His prices are good, he has some good deals on bass guitar stuffs (i.e. cabinets, heads, guitars, etc..), some used drum kits, an old simmons edrum kit, and other goodies like PA system cabinets, amps, etc... The Peavey cab's I got for 7 bones sound very good, are a bit beat-up on the exterior, but I think it was a good deal...not to mention he took some ddrum triggers as a trade-in towards the cabs...
                        Used gear rules if it comes from the right place. The # for this guy is 724-589-5010 - ask for Joe. Tell him Erik from SEPdrums sent you.

                        Erik
                        SEPdrums[/B][/QUOTE]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi, just thought I'd share a little of my own experience here. I've tried building speakers before, both a 15" floor wedge and a dual-10" enclosure. Both times, my limited carpentry skills proved the limiting factor. Someone with good carpentry skill and a decent budget with which to buy quality drivers and crossovers will certainly have better luck.

                          Just to give a little hope for some of you folks out there... If you want a good, cheap enclosure, look around for a Peavey cabinet with a blown Black Widow driver. Pawn shops can be a pretty good source. I got an 1810 cab (2 10's, single 18") from my old bass player for free. The woofer rattled, and he'd just bought a new Trace Elliot rig.

                          You can buy a re-cone "basket" kit for Peavey Black Widow drivers for pretty cheap. I got one at a local music store for $50 for the 18, which had deteriorated over the years. A small matter of about 10 allen-head fasteners to remove the speaker assembly, and the basket kit was swapped out with the turn of a few bolts. Took maybe 20 minutes, tops. I tightened everything up very well, and now have a slammin' 18-inch "big bottom" when driven by a Crown Power Base 2 amp bought cheap off eBay. For about 200 bux, I got all the power and volume I need for monitoring in rehearsals. I use small in-ear headphones for monitoring live, in conjunction with house monitoring.

                          Note: this cabinet only supplies low/low-mid frequencies; I also use my little Roland KC-100 combo amp stacked on top to provide the high-end.

                          -Danny
                          -Danny

                          Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Danny, Do you know of any good pawn shops on the eastside. Preferably one that sells a lot of music stuff. I like getting quality used stuff. I decided, however, to get new drums and sound mod and a few other accessories. So now I need to start saving money and go with mostly used for the other stuff.

                            You guys have some great ideas. You've inspired me to get another mans garbage and turn it into my own treasure. I like to think I'm pretty handy so it shouldn't be to much of a problem. Maybe I'll wait on builing my own amp for now, though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not really. I rent rehearsal space at Synergy Productions in downtown Redmond, which is right across the parking lot from Pacific Music. That's kinda one of those mom & pop music stores. I've actually bought a few things from 'em in a pinch, but the prices ain't great.

                              I live in the city, tho (Ballard area, to be exact), so I'm not as familiar with pawn shops on the Eastside. There are tons of 'em up & down the Hwy 99/Aurora Ave corridor on this side. eBay is always a good source, as well as Al's Guitarville in the Lake Forest area. They do good used equipment. Check the Stranger and the Weekly for classifieds, and also the message boards at the music stores like GC and American Music (ugh! hate 'em!)

                              So far, we (my current band) have bought a Mackie 24-8 bus mixer, Crown power amp, BBE, hotrodded bass cabinet, couple of guitars, a 3rd ADAT, an ADAT BRC, a 2nd Event Darla card, all off eBay with no problems. Just a thought,

                              -Danny
                              -Danny

                              Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

                              Comment

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