Instructables
This instructable is a basic guide for building a pair of high quality stereo speakers. The process is not difficult but will require lots of time, patience and effort.

Here is an introduction to the few main parts of a speaker:

Speaker Drivers
This includes the woofer and tweeter. The woofer vibrates at a low frequency to create bass while the tweeter vibrates at high frequencies to create treble. more on how speakers work

Crossover Unit
This is a specially designed piece of circuitry that separates incoming audio signals into high and low frequency pass. All the low frequencies are sent to the woofer and the high frequencies are sent to the tweeter.

Enclosure
This is the box that holds the woofer, tweeter and crossover unit. It will take up the majority of the instructable.

This is my first instructable! Please leave comments. I am not an expert on this topic but I'll try my best to answer questions.

To get started, we need to decide which speaker drivers and crossover unit to use.
 
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Step 1: Choosing the Drivers

Firstly, we need to chose which drivers to use. Some things to think about when choosing your drivers are:

- where you intend to use the speakers
- what you intend to power the speakers with
- how much space you have or how big you want them to be
- how much money you have to spend

In my case, i will be using them in a relatively small college student room and power them with a 100 watt per channel receiver that i found in someones driveway (they were throwing it out and yes i did ask if i could have it). I have about 200 dollars to spend on the whole project.

I need something not too big but will produce a good amount of sound and came up with the following drivers:

WOOFER: Dayton DC250-8 10" Classic Woofer $26.20 x2 (one for each speaker) more
This woofer can handle 70 watts RMS and 105 watts max which is good enough for my needs. Its Frequency Response is: 25-2,500 Hz and with an Xmax of 4mm and SPL of 89 decibels should produce a good about of bass. Remember, the larger the woofer, the larger the enclosure will need to be.

TWEETER: Goldwood GT-525 1" Soft Dome Tweeter $9.50 x2 (one for each speaker) more
This tweeter can handle 50 watts RMS and 100 watts max which matches the woofer. Its frequency response is: 2,000 - 20,000 Hz and has an SPL of 92 decibels.

CROSSOVER: Dayton XO2W-2.5K 2-Way 2,500 Hz $23.07 x2 (one for each speaker) more
This 2-way crossover unit separates incoming frequencies at the 2500 Hz mark. So any sound with frequency less than 2500 Hz will be sent to the woofer and vice versa for the tweeter. This means you need to chose a woofer and tweeter with overlapping frequency responses so no frequencies will be lost while in operation. It is also possible to make your own crossover but i will not go into that.

The total cost of the woofers, tweeters and crossovers came to be $137.06 which is relatively cheap considering how expensive they get. I bought my drivers and crossover from partsexpress. They are very reliable as i've used them numerous times in the past.

Hopefully this step will help you chose the best driver for your needs. The next step will describe how to design your speaker enclosure (the box).
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what would be a good volume for 2 3inch speakers

mansoormhd3 months ago

Hello, good to see this post as I found it more informative on DIY speakers than anyother on internet. I have a question. I am planning to buy harman Kardon 2 channel receiver but after buying it is hard for me to spare too much money on speakers. secondly I am living in Pakistan where we can't get too much options in speakers and if we get any, those are very expensive here compared to US or europe. Whereas I can manage to get those DIY speaker parts shipped from USA. Therefore I am looking for DIY speaker. Kindly tell me that which mid-range, tweeter and woofer speaker will work best of HK-3700. I will also appreciate some other suggestion of receiver too. About budget, well I can spend about 250 to 300 USD on that... thanks and warm regards to all..

lutkeveld7 months ago
Correct size would be 4766 cubic inch for indoor tuning. It also should be crossed way lower, around 500hz concering the woofer. The tweeter wouldn't handle that so you had no other choice. Poor driver choice, but a very nice first attempt anyhow! I wouldn't have done better when I started out. Keep up the good work :)
billbob (author)  lutkeveld7 months ago
Also, I recently built another pair of speakers using:
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs180-4-7-reference-woofer-4-ohm--295-374
and
http://www.parts-express.com/vifa-bc25tg15-04-1-silk-dome-tweeter--264-1040.
and built a second order Linkwitz–Riley crossover at 1600hz. Can I ask your opinion on these? Thanks
Squidyman billbob3 months ago

billbob,

Crossing at 1600 hz is perfect for those drivers. Both are still comfortable and the frequency response remains fairly smooth throughout the frequencies. If you were determined on absolute perfection, I would raise the cross to 1800hz and put a cross at 180hz for a sub or large woofer to take over from there. Keeps the mid bass in it's "happy zone" that way. But that adds $$$ that we often don't have, XD

billbob (author)  lutkeveld7 months ago
Hi There, thanks for the comment. Seems like you have somewhat of a background in speaker building. If I may ask a few questions: How did you come up with a precise 4766in^3? Will adding more dampening material will allow you to have a smaller enclosure? Also wondering if you could explain why would it be better to crossover at 500hz. From the datasheet it looks as if the frequency response is decent up to 2-2.5khz.
Squidyman billbob3 months ago

Now that I have some more experience, I think I can answer those questions for you billbob. Finding the enclosure size can be tricky sometimes if it is not well documented, but on Parts-Express, they list the sealed and ported box dimensions best for your speaker. Obviously it doesn't have to be exactly be that size. This calculator really helped me out to figure out optimal dimensions. http://www.diyaudioandvideo.com/Calculator/Volume/

I agree with lutkevelt, the driver is much to big to meet the tweeter. It can go up to 2.5khz, but will perform very poorly. If you look at your woofers response chart,

http://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/specs/295-315-...

You can see that 1,000hz is probably where it should cross. You would use a mid range to fill in from 500hz to 5khz usually and tweeter from 5khz on, and finally a woofer for 500hz and under. Lucky for you, the driver handles high frequencies far better than most, so unless you are listening for the particular sound, you probably won't notice a difference. For your future reference, 10" cone diameter does a poor job accurately reproducing frequencies 800hz and up.

lutkeveld billbob7 months ago
I calculated the values with WinISD. If you want to learn more about speakerbuilding that program is a must. On paper it performs up to 2khz, but there is a big difference between theory and practice. The calculated response based on the Thiele/Small parameters drops after 500hz. The tweeter won't take over however, so there will be a gap in the response. The woofer you linked goes much deeper, but is a bit less efficient.
Squidyman made it!3 months ago

Hi billbob!

I can say I completed your project! It did not turn out exactly like yours, but your guide was incredibly useful. I made an instructable of my own as well too. It took me about 2 weeks to complete. Painting the box was the most challenging part of it. It was a lot of fun!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Powerful-Portable-...

Thank you so much for all the help!

here are just a few of the pictures I have. The rest are in my guide :D

52f94d0a2f7cc6a5c60000ea.jpg52f94cea2f7cc6b1f4000004.jpgIMG_3990.JPG52f948852f7cc6a5c60000df.jpg52f947d22f7cc669460000b9.jpg52f947492f7cc6b691000006.jpg

Also to note that I added porting (see in pics) so that I have (in theory) twice as much bass as a sealed enclosure. Obviously that made the larger ported box pretty heavy (I used 3/4" MDF) but I am getting quite a bit more bass than expected using 8" woofers (tuned to 45 hz or so) and only 3.5mm excursion. Now that I have broken the speaker in, I get about 5 or 6mm or so before it starts making flapping noises. It was a compromise between sound quality and bass. Using a 10" would result in not being able to fully meet the tweeter which would leave out some parts of the music. I can always add a sub should I ever need one. It puts out about 250 watts which can get REALLY loud just turning the volume half way up. I do notice that I have to turn the bass enhancements down because it is only really made to handle 250 watts with little to no bass. (due to the lack of excursion). I have definitely learned a lot in the process of building it; and will be building more for friends who were really impressed and offered to pay me to build one for them :D

cbthiem7 months ago

Impressive; very thorough and detailed instructions, billbob. You should consider another instructable. How to get to your heart. ;)

Squidyman8 months ago
Really cool project! Being a high school student I don't really have space issues but I would like them to be portable. What do you think about using speakers with the woofer, mid-range, and tweeter all in one? Could I use the same type of box for a sub-woofer? I found 6 1/2" speakers that are rated at 400 watts maximum. Are they at least as powerful as your 10"? Here is a link to them. http://www.amazon.com/P65-4C-Phantom-6-5-Inch-4-Way-Speaker/dp/B0032FOKRY/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1387058073&sr=8-27&keywords=boss+speakers
I also found a cheap sub-woofer (those speakers kind of maxed out my budget) to use. Do you think they will match the speakers well? (the 8" ones) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071HY42K/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=HCY9KAIA8OC3&coliid=I15GHU07IKZPZX . Really cool speakers you built! I want to laminate nice wood on it instead of painting them. Thanks!
billbob (author)  Squidyman8 months ago
Hi Squidyman, I'm glad you're thinking about making some of your own speakers. The drivers you've linked above are both made more to be used in cars but I am sure they would sound decent in a portable boom box/stereo application you are aiming for (I'm assuming, is that correct?). Good thing about the first driver is that its basically a woofer/mid/tweeter all in one so all you would need are a couple of those and you're all set (or 4, could have two sets of two in series for 8 ohms on each channel). Though these speakers may not be the highest quality, they could be perfectly good enough for your application.
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
I have been researching drivers/tweeters/subwoofer for a while now. I am not really sure what too look for when selecting one because there is such a variety. I have access to all the tools you have described (table saw, router, etc...) so cabinet making is not a problem. What speakers do you recommend that are powerful, sound decent, and are under $60 for two? I plan on spending $30 on a subwoofer. Also, you did not mention anything about subs in you article. Can I put my sub in the same box as my mids and tweeters? Would the box have to be bigger? To answer your question, my goal is to build speakers and have the amp built in (like the speakers in your article with a separate amp box on top of them) that sound good, but still can be portable enough to occasionally take to party, etc. My entire budget for everything is about $180 but I can stretch it to $200 if I have to. I already have the cabinets taken care of so I don't have too include those in my budget. What speakers do you recommend? As you can tell, I am a complete noob to speaker building! I will include a link in to speakers I have found from my research in another reply.
Best,
billbob (author)  Squidyman8 months ago
Hi Squidyman, Does your 200$ budget include the amplifier unit? Here are some examples of low budget but decent quality drivers you may be able to use together:

http://www.parts-express.com/grs-8pr-8-8-poly-cone-rubber-surround-woofer--292-428
http://www.parts-express.com/visaton-sc5-8-shielded-1-2-polycarbonate-tweeter-8-ohm--292-552
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-33k-46k-hz-2-way-crossover-board--269-118

Two of each of these comes to about $75 which leaves 100$ left over. Let me know what you think.
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
If I use the speakers you suggested would this amplifier work?
http://www.parts-express.com/4x100w-at-4-ohm-tk2050-class-t-digital-audio-amplifier-board--320-335?bvdata=action%3Dqa_submit_question%26campaignId%3DBV_QUESTION_SUMMARY%26userToken%3DC0F1C9AA14222ED799E7246D7C00FEBD646174653D323031332D31322D3137267573657269643D363137343339%26productId%3D320-335#lblProductQ&A
That would leave me either 1 channel per speaker or 2 extra channels for a dual 4 ohm subwoofer. I think that would be the simplest plus you know what your doing and I don't..... I could use a refurbished server power supply to provide power for about $30 on ebay.
billbob (author)  Squidyman8 months ago
This amp should work fine. I would stick to a home audio amp rather than one designed for use in cars. Probably better quality sound. How big of a system are you trying to build? The speakers I mentioned should be pretty adequate in terms of decent power/volume and sound quality. If you'd like a much louder/powerful system then you might try to find some larger drivers (like the tweeter/woofer you found below) You can either chose 4 or 8 ohms. It'd be easiest to use the same impedance for both the tweeter and woofer though. If you use an 8 ohm tweeter and 8 ohm woofer, the systems impedance doesn't equal to 4 ohms, it'd still be 8. The woofer and tweeter are not connected in parallel or series, it must go through the crossover network which is (should be) matched to 8 ohms also. Let me know if you have any more questions, ill do my best to help!
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
Hi again. I believe I have found what I am looking for. Due to weight constraints I do not want a stereo system. MDF weighs a lot and having two cabinets weighs to much to be portable. I want to go with this woofer. http://www.parts-express.com/goldwood-gw-10pc-4-10-heavy-duty-woofer-4-ohm--290-322 and this tweeter http://www.amazon.com/Lanzar-OPTIBT25-Optidrive-Aluminum-Tweeter/dp/B004M925ZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387676664&sr=8-1&keywords=tweeter
and this crossover http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-19k-25k-hz-2-way-crossover-board--269-115
and this amplifier http://www.amazon.com/Lanzar-HTG257-2-Channel-Mosfet-Amplifier/dp/B00370QJQ4/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1387676099&sr=8-10&keywords=lanzar
and 8 ga wire. What are your thoughts? I am really close to needing a mid woofer as well but I think it should work out fine. I probably will have to buy and equalizer, but I don't think I will right away..... It will come out to $127 with $5 off and free shipping on everything! parts-express has free shipping over $50 right now fyi
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
Just wondering if as well as my other questions you know of any 8 ohm amps that are as powerful as the 4 ohm amp for how much they cost? Do I really need 300 watts of power? The most powerful system I have built yet is a 90 watt system which seems like enough except that I did not use any bass, only mid and treble speakers. 8 ohm amplifiers seem a lot more expensive than 4 ohm ones.
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
okay. I am still not sure if I can put a sub in the same box as the woofer and tweeter. I was wanting to use a car amp because I have two 575 watt 12V server power supplies that I don't use. I like the other amp, except I have to supply 40 volts for it to get anywhere near its RMS. 40V power supplies are expensive. My parents have a very nice Yamaha receiver they don't use that I might be able to buy from them but it ruins the idea of "portable" and has a lot more features than I need. If I use the speakers you described would I need a subwoofer to fill in the lows? Is this a decent subwoofer?
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PLPW8D-8-Inch-Watt-Subwoofer/dp/B007JV7F4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387567657&sr=8-1&keywords=subwoofer+8%22+pyle
A lot of people say Pyle is a Pyle of crap. Is that true?
I thought this amp would work nice and runs on 12V
http://www.amazon.com/Lanzar-HTG257-2-Channel-Mosfet-Amplifier/dp/B00370QJQ4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1387567733&sr=8-5&keywords=lanzar+amplifier
It also appears to have a crossover network built in for a sub. I could use one channel for a tweeter and woofer and another for sub. It would come out to about $175 for amp, equalizer, woofer, tweeter, and wire and crossover. It wouldn't have 2 channels for audio but would I notice? Thanks for all the help!
Squidyman billbob8 months ago
They look nice! yes, $200 includes amp. The budget does not include power supply, which I already have. My budget will vary from $180 to $220, depending on what I get for Christmas. I found a board only amplifier series on Parts Express. I am not sure if I should use a car amp or regular amp?

http://www.parts-express.com/cat/audio-amplifier-boards-modules/3464?N=10624 4294967118 4294966020 4294967079&Ne=10166&Nrs=collection()/record[endeca:matches(.,"P_PortalID","1") and endeca:matches(.,"P_Searchable","1")]&PortalID=1

Should I go with 4 ohm or 8 ohm speakers? Would it be better to go with one nice woofer like this one http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-pa255-8-10-pro-woofer--295-030
or two okay woofer? (same thing with tweeters, except I don't know what a good tweeter is). I have several high power supplies to chose from that I have so I don't have to include that in the budget either. I am trying to come up with $100 of parts express parts so I can get free shipping and $10 off. If I use the tweeter and woofer together ( 8 ohm + 8 ohm) that will equal 4 ohms right?
btw.... I did find a nice tweeter but it is 4 ohms.
http://www.amazon.com/Lanzar-OPTIBT25-Optidrive-Aluminum-Tweeter/dp/B004M925ZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387301961&sr=8-1&keywords=tweeter
Sorry for all the questions
jrace21 year ago
Nice one for the tutorial, speaker building is something I need to get round to at some point and this is the ideal article for pointing me in the right direction! :)

mastering
yobub1 year ago
need help, i intend to build a pair of dual-woofer, ported speaker box, 8" - yobub
shaddoty yobub1 year ago
You need to make it 2ft.³
soo 10in tall 20in wide and 15in deep
Mr. walrus2 years ago
i would imagine using mdf for speakers, and not particle board
http://www.diyaudioandvideo.com/FAQ/Build/
Thunder63222 years ago
Does a speaker sound better when it is in an airtight box or has a front or back ventilation hole or whatever you want to call it?
mwwdesign3 years ago
Something you might want to add is that new speakers/drivers need to wear in - out of the box the rubbers are pretty stiff. Playing for a good few hours for a week or two and you will notice that they will sound markedly better once they are run in.

:)
billbob (author)  mwwdesign3 years ago
Yes you make a good point. The same goes for headphones. Burn in time may be 40 hours or more. Thanks!
Just blast some Skrillex. That'll soften them up quickly!!!
Nice one man! But would it not be better to glue them? In this case you wouldn't have to use the plastic wood because all edges are directly together. It worked in my case ;) see:
BlaueBoxen.jpg
When i first saw your i'ble , i honestly thought your woofers were only 6" then i got shocked when you said it was 10" , how did your pictures make it look so small .... ( yes , i have 2" to 10" speakers ) including 5 tweeters .
adam 1013 years ago
what did you use for an amp? I saw you said it was found but what is it?
billbob (author)  adam 1013 years ago
For the amplifier I'm using a very old Kenwood receiver. Its probably 10 or more years old but it works well. It has 2 main channels that are 100 Watts each and some lower power channels for surround sound. Are you looking to power some speakers?
yeah, I found some old speakers in my basement and found your instructable. I've been looking for something to power them but didn't want to spend much money.
smartrobot3 years ago
What are the frequency can ply through these speakers
billbob (author)  smartrobot3 years ago
You can play all the audible frequencies probably from 20Hz to 20KHz. Each type of driver has a more restricted range though
Thank's
GWSC3 years ago
Box volume is directly related to a number of speaker parameters. To obtain the optimum performance from your driver you should use these parameters to accurately calculate the required box volume. Just choosing a box volume from a chart and making a box may give a reasonable performance but it is more likely to give a poorer bass response than what is possible. There are plenty of software programs or online sites (http://www.ajdesigner.com/) that can be used.
billbob (author)  GWSC3 years ago
Yes definitely true. The bass performance of these speakers are not as good as I hoped it would be. In the future I will be sure to follow a more formal procedure for determining the box dimensions. Thanks for the input!
Exiumind3 years ago
Hmm how do i know the driver inductance in order to calculate the zobels components?
Maybe i'l try to build an active variable x-over..

thanks =)
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