Possible to build a Powered PA Speaker myself?

I am a musician, so I've been talking about guitar amplifiers, tubes, microphones and all kinds of gear for over 20 years. I've never really gotten that much into PA's, so I know nothing about speakers, heads, mixers, power amplifiers, etc.

Now, I'd like to build my own powered PA speaker. I have zero experience with building anything that involves electronics. I'm not a dummy. I know Ohm's law, and I believe I can handle the physics of electronics, no problem. I just do not know where to start. Schematics for power audio amplifiers? Where does one find them, and how do you read schematics. These are the things I need to know. 

Let me preface this by saying... I do not expect to build a top-of-the-line PA speaker. I don't even expect to build something that would be considered crappy. I just want to know the theory, and where to start. Anyone got any help?


Gibbly10 months ago

You absolutely can build a top of the line pa system! I would start off with some small bookshelf speakers first. Parts-express.com is a great place to get components and the forums have a place to show off what you're doing, so I would snoop around there and pick apart the designs. The people there should be very helpful if you want to ask about something, and google is your friend.

Once you've built something that sounds nice you'll have learned enough to design something to meet your requirements or at least know how to ask questions.

A speaker system only sounds as good as the comonents and cases are matched.
For a speaker only supporting a guitar you might just want a broadband speaker and a 20W amp with a high pass filter.
If you need vocals as well or really want the best sound possible you might want to go for a 2 or 3 speaker design, base, mids and tweeters.
IMHO the main difference between PA and normal amp systems is the input level - this can be matched if required.

When I build a new speaker system I first select the speakers for my needs, based on their specs the case is made.
Last step is to make the filters so every speaker gets the intended frequency range.
The amp, if required is matched to the power level of the speakers.

Rafaelq51 year ago

car audio amplifier and a 12 volt battery - inside any speaker cabinet / container ?

establishes a basic public address system but , your preamp ! is , where carp

vs quality is defined ( parametric equalizers allow precise feedback control ) ;

caitlinsdad2 years ago

Maybe look at a sound engineering primer to know what is needed for a good PA system http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~gross/sounden2.txt

You then need to assess what you are amplifying - instruments, voice, setting, acoustics, etc....

AVS forums is a place to discuss home theater audio which might be helpful for some tips. Once you get past that, browse through all the online music equipment catalogs and look at reviews and such. You can then decide what you want to build because good professional gear is expensive. Look up building your own bullhorn, you can work your way up to big amps. Good luck.