I built my first set of speakers as a high school student over 10 years ago. I've been making them for friends, clients, and now for Instructables as a prize for our Art of Sound Contest
ever since. Over the years I've generated a few simple theories about speaker building that I think are relevant.Yes, they do sound better, and no you don't have to be an audiophile to hear the difference
Spend more money then you thought you were going to
- Sound quality has been steadily declining as heavily compressed digital audio, iPod docks, and bottom dollar stereos have proliferated around the world over the last 10-15 years. Listening to music on a great set of speakers is the single biggest change you can make to your stereo to get better sound quality. If you want to blow $200 a foot on oxygen free speaker wire made from precious metals, great, go for it, just make sure you've already invested a lot of time and energy in making the best possible speakers your finances and skill level allow.
Start with a kit
- If you're about to build your own custom speakers, you'll likely be spending at least 40 hours on the project if you've got experience with woodworking, electronics, finishing techniques, or have built your own speakers before, and even longer if it's your first pair. Depending on how you value your time, you'll have thousands of dollars of free labor (your own) invested in the speakers. If you happen to find yourself deciding between a $5 paper cone, no name woofer, and a $25 poly cone made by some brand name, please, get the more expensive one. Like tools, speaker components are an investment that you'll have for the rest of the your life, so reach a little and get the best stuff for your project that you can afford.
- Get started by ordering a kit from a supplier. It takes a significant amount of knowledge and work to design your own crossovers and calculate your own box dimensions. It's much easier to tackle your first speaker project by standing on the shoulders of experienced audio engineers. So, get a kit from one of the retailers listed in the next step and get started on your project today.