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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 03:35 
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Joined: 28 Dec 2010, 22:07
Posts: 316
I've been doing this for a while. I figured I'd discuss it on here to see what other people thought.

I'll go to the thrift store and buy a speaker cabinet. You know the ones, they're made of particle board 1/4in to 1/2in (6-12mm) in thickness, usually coated in vinyl with a wood grain pattern or solid black. Sometimes I'll get bookshelf speakers and sometimes I'll get something larger. The latest one I got was larger and would normally be mounted on the floor or maybe up in the ceiling corner. It contained a 5 1/2 inch (~140mm) driver and nothing more.

I don't have a clear idea on the specs of drivers like these. Therefore, I can't rightly calculate an enclosure that will make them sound their best. That doesn't stop me from using them, however. I made a couple of small speakers in July/August that used some 4inch (~100mm) drivers and the cabinets were literally four sections of pine board mitered and glued together into a small box. Then I cut a cedar picket into a baffle and there was a speaker. They sound a bit bright but definitely not bad.

Anywho, the current driver I have (since I only have one like it) may find a spot in a guitar amplifier. I also might place it in a mono cabinet with an amplifier and low pass filter for my radio station. Amateur radio usually likes to roll off frequencies higher than 3 KHz and CW operators are much more aggressive. I haven't decided yet what I want to do with it.

The main thing I try to do is to make the cabinets out of a softer, solid wood (say, pine or cedar), thick MDF, or plywood. I figure the better box material will give the speakers a little better sound than before, where the factory has to crank out several hundred per day and cannot afford to use materials other than the absolute cheapest which will still give acceptable results.

I'm looking for opinions from speaker builders or others who have done the same thing. I'm not one of those people who have enough funds to spend $500-2000 building a pair of speakers. There are those who say I should not even try to be in audio if I'm not willing to put serious money toward it. People with that attitude will probably be ignored.

Ed

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2017, 21:05 
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Joined: 28 May 2008, 21:53
Posts: 4559
Location: Winnipeg, CANADA
When I had more time I liked to do this. But I had more luck with tube console stereos with open back style speakers. As you get to know the drivers, some are quite valuable in Asia. Look for made in Japan stuff, in Canada I had no problem finding Phillips speakers with Alnico magnets and keep an eye out for these: http://t-linespeakers.org/drivers/tunne ... index.html

Without knowing the speaker parameters, your approach of replicating the box, but with better materials is the safest bet. Some materials from the 70s and 80s was garbage. The original boxes will seldom have adequate bracing, so that is another item to add to improve your enclosure build. If the drivers are popular, you may be able to search and find the specs to come up with a box design. Dayton also makes a simple test system for measuring the speaker parameters. It's about $100 so you will really need to use it frequently to get the value out of it.

Cheers

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