Hemisphere from Electrotap
Experimental Meyer Array
or you could follow these instructions to build a cheap array out of IKEA salad bowls and surplus automotive speakers. It won't sound as "accurate" as those other speakers, but it's surprisingly good and looks pretty cool on stage.
Special thanks and apologies to Dan Truman and the researchers at CNMAT, who's scientific work directly inspired this project.
P.S. Here's another cool loudspeaker array.
P.P.S The Stanford Laptop Orchestra built some nice ones here.
P.P.P.S. This one is nice, too .
Step 1: Acquire the Materials
but All Electronics was out of them. I got these, instead:
The important considerations were an impedance of 8 ohms (which is normal for home stereo speakers) and good frequency range. (in this case 70-10k Hertz). Sound localization is more acute at higher frequencies, so response >1k Hertz is especially important. It would be better to add a sub-woofer to make up for thin bass, than to have no high end.
While at All Electronics, get some Speaker Terminals.
I used four (4) "quad" terminals, but the four-pair ones look good.
(NB: If all electronics doesn't have these anymore. Try Parts Express or Radio Shack)
The other major elements in this project are the bowls. They cost $5 at IKEA:
Insanely cheap. Get two (2) sets because you need two of the biggest bowl. They also come in white. I imagined using one of each color, so this project would look like a big fishing float. Ultimately, though, solid red seemed best.
UPDATE: These bowls are no longer sold by IKEA. Sorry.
Finally, the miscellaneous hardware. 8 speakers x 4 mounting holes = 32. My local Ace hardware provided 32 machine bolts, locking nuts, and washers. Also, pick up 8 small nuts and bolts for the terminals. Most of the speakers were fine with 1/2" bolts, but the top and bottom ones needed longer (1 1/2") ones, as you'll see later. This may vary, if your parts are different.
- weather stripping
- speaker wire ( I had some 18 gauge stuff lying around the house, the project only needs a few feet.)
- heat shrink tubing