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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2009, 09:28 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 09:11
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Hi guys.

I've been researching the possibility of building my own sound bar for a smaller space. I'm looking to get better sound from my TV speakers. About a year ago after I moved, I ended up pawning my old Pioneer reciever and 5.1 speakers off on my brother and decided to try living with my Sharp Aquos 46" D62 speakers. Its been fine so far, but I've been missing the cleaner sound quality and decided to give building my own sound bar a shot.

Basically I've been looking to assemble a 2 possibly 3 way X 2 speaker setup into a single, divided enclosure. The cross overs and amp would be located inside the dividing space between the left and right enclosures.

There are tons of great DIY speaker information out there, but I've had less luck sorting out an appropriate amp controller, possibly was IR support for volume control. (I know that last part probably made some of you chuckle) Basically the audio in would be more of a line-in because the audio source would either be optical or dual RCA plugs. So a volume control would be necessary, and remote control would be ideal.

Any suggestion are very welcome. I'd like to avoid buying another large receiver and sound quality matters enough that a cheap receiver wouldn't be worth it. Most importantly, I'd like to keep this a DIY.

Thanks and I'm loving the site!

- Under


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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2009, 20:57 
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Joined: 28 May 2008, 21:53
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Location: Winnipeg, CANADA
Hi Under, welcome to the forum.

Sorry, I'm not sure I follow what you are looking for. What will be the use of the speaker - will it be a center channel?

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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2009, 21:05 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 09:11
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks for the welcome gmilitano.

No, a soundbar is a term used to describe a stereo or 3 channel speaker box, sometimes with a built in amp, possibly A/V switch included. They're typically used in smaller spaces where a 5.1 setup would be unreasonable, and though the HT surround wouldn't be present, loud and clear sound would be. Sometimes they come with a sub, some with virtual 5.1, etc...

Here's a bunch of examples:
http://www.crutchfield.com/app/product/ ... ar&x=0&y=0

I was hoping to build my own with better results. Built-in suitable amp with a 4 speaker setup (2 woofers and 2 tweeters, paired on the left and right sides) I was thinking about getting an HDMI switch and integrating it.

I haven't selected my speakers yet, mainly because I want to find a suitable source and decent set of cross overs.

I think a pair of chip amp LM3875s would be enough, but I don't have much experience with DIY audio and would be worried about the heat if the enclosure was a wooden compartment. I'm hoping you guys will either set me straight that a chip amp isn't right for the job, or keep me going with my research.

That being said, any ideas on what might be suitible amp wise is very welcome. Pre-ready amps for a 2.1 system would be ok assuming the power and quality is there.

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2009, 10:36 
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008, 20:12
Posts: 946
Location: Houston, TX
I dont think any of us have built a soundbar. Not that it couldnt be done.
Why dont you start here: ZaphAudio
Check out the ZMV5. This is just a suggestion, but if you power these with a LM3875 the sound is going to be very nice and the build will be relatively easy.
You can get LM3875 kits from AudioSectoror LM3886 kits (basically the same in quality and output) here at ChipAmp
Both of these kits are excellent and easy to build. You will need a decent toroid for power. Get one from Antek of about 18V and 250VA.
Building the speakers will cost about $125 including crossover components. Building the amp will cost about $150 then you will need a case which can cost from zero to maybe $100. Could be a bit more if you want beauty.
There is a start. The soundbar WONT give you incredible stereo imaging. It cant by physics. Plus I dont know of any DIY designs for one which makes your journey a bit more tough.
Ri

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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2009, 12:48 
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Joined: 28 May 2008, 21:53
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Location: Winnipeg, CANADA
Ok, I get it now. You can take a look at the Fostex FE107E Recommended Enclosure Plan as it seems like it might fit what you are looking for.
Attachment:
Fostex-FE107E-Recommended-Enclosure-Plan.pdf
I have not tried this driver or enclosure.
RiGuy wrote:
The soundbar WONT give you incredible stereo imaging. It cant by physics.
Yeah, that is why I kept wondering if it was a center channel.
Cheers,
Gio


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 12:45 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 09:11
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Oh I don't expect excellent imaging, but I do expect loud and clear sound. The stereo and virtual surround sound from my Sharp Aquos TV speakers is ok, I would be happy with clearer sound with the same separation.

The Fostex enclosure plans look great! Thanks for the reference. I would build it from the plans straight, but the 45cm depth is more space than I'm willing to part with. But I can do wider, and would move the equivalent enclosure space across rather than back. Either way its a great help.

I'm not too worried about the enclosure to be honest. I would be happy with simply taking a good speaker design which is suitable for HT and will operate on their side (like the ZMV5's, great site BTW, thank you!) and build my enclosure to join the 2 with a storage space in between. Then integrate an amp and maybe A/V switch inside the middle. I would run the enclosure as wide as 4~4.5 feet.

Its the amp I'm concerned about. The enclosure will be particle board (typical) and I would need a heat sink on the outside I suppose. How hot do LM3875 amps run typically? I would probably stick with a pair off a single toroid and have stereo RCA and audio jacks with a volume, power switch, and any crossover controls out the back.

Anyways, thanks for all the links and info! I'm knee deep in reading though it all.


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 13:26 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 09:11
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, Canada
This might not belong in this group, but I'm practically sold on Zaph's ZMV5 speaker design. My only reservation is building the crossover myself. Zaph notes all the parts needed by little instruction. I'll have to do a bit more reading but if his design is what I need, matching the crossover will be well worth it.


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 14:17 
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008, 20:12
Posts: 946
Location: Houston, TX
With Zaph basically holding our hand through the crossover build it really should be pretty easy. I wouldnt let lack of experience get in your way here.
The LM3875.. Not much heat. You can sink it in an enclosure from my experience.
Ri

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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 15:17 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 09:11
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Riguy, any reason the chipamp.com snubberized psu wouldn't be sufficient for a stereo LM3886 amp?

http://www.chipamp.com/supply.shtml

The Antek site seems to be missing a 18V 250VA toroid. Is it somewhere else on the site?

http://www.antekinc.com/trans.html


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2009, 15:59 
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008, 20:12
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Location: Houston, TX
No reason it wont work. It will work.
You can use the 300VA one they have.
See, it really is easy :)
Ri

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