Shelf Speakers W/ipod Dock (Part I - Speaker Boxes)

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Introduction: Shelf Speakers W/ipod Dock (Part I - Speaker Boxes)

I got an ipod nano in November and since have wanted an attractive speaker system for it. At work one day I noticed that the computer speakers I use worked pretty well, so I headed to the Goodwill later and found a pare of ok computer speakers for $7, After dissecting them I had a little amp and two speakers.

Step 1: Dissasemble Speakers.

Here I have taken the speakers apart. I picked up the leatherman at radio shack about two months ago. Unfortunately that was before I knew about the MAKE: version of the tool.

Step 2: Speaker Design

I tried out Google SketchUp and had the basic design down for the speakers in about 30 min. I highly recommend trying SketchUp, very easy and intuitive.

Step 3: Build the Speaker Boxes

I had some nice pieces of maple left over from a cabinet I built. The bottom and front are attached at a 10 deg angle. I later wished this had been 15 deg. to match the ipod nano dock angle. The hole was made with a 3" hole saw and a drill press. Later I rabbited the inside of the hole so the speaker would sit closer to the face of the front.

Step 4: Speaker Box Sides and Horn.

I used a forsner bit to drill a 1-1/4" hole for the horn. A strait pcv union was painted black and epoxied to the horn hole. Note the burn marks around the speaker hole rabbit, hard maple and routers do not get along very well!

Step 5: Speaker Nearly Finnished


Step 6: Install Speakers

I didn't want any screws on the face showing and the speakers were recently damaged by a curious 5 year old so I used hot melt glue to install the speakers, this should make replacement easy if I find some decent replacements.

Step 7: Test Speakers

I decided this was a good time to test everything out. I simply stripped the wires and twisted them together. Perhaps its only my imagination but they sound better and louder to me than they did in the plastic case. This is probably due to wish full thinking, nevertheless they sound great and look better than the original.

Up next will be an enclosure for the amp with a iPod doc built in.

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    38 Comments

    I think I lost my first message so my P.S. looks silly. Anyhow they most likely do sound louder and cleaner due to the mass and volume of the new enclosures. Excellent job.

    P.S. try some polyfill in the inside of the cabs. You can source some from out of an old pillow, comforter or couch cusion's outer layer if you like to recycle otherwise it can be found at craf tand fabric stores. It help's control standing waves or reverberation's that can shine through the thin paper cone that I imagine that speaker has and creates the illusion of making the box sound bigger due to greater dampening. Most cab's have it applied to the back and sides however you may find that in a small low powered cabinet such as yours that you can just stuff an amount of your choice (tuning) behind the driver itself an around the front of the baffle around the port. It will not affect the airspace or cubic volume much in comparison to the positive quality gained unless you stuff it to the point of compressing the polyfill.
    Just some thought's from a speaker/sound geek

    Well they probably do in fact sound louder due to the stiffness and dampening factor of your new enclousures. Nicely done. Some of these computer speakers are really decent full range unit's granted they don't offer deep bass or crisp high's however when combined with a subwoofer and tweeters can make a superb mini system. Check out Lepei tripath based amp. It's rediculous how inexpensive it is for what it offers. Or if you are brave build your own tripath chip amp and you will toss the amp that came with the speakers. Yes it's made in China the chip itself is made in Korea and was designed and made in California before it's patent's were sold.
    If you buy one try to find one seperate from the power supply and get a good one, about 4 amp 12 volt in case your want to play with bigger speakers.
    You can also find lower power and more basic amps based on this chip's design. Any how the amp and power supply run about 25 30 dollars and put most bigger amps to shame as far as sound quality and efficency. Really you did a nice job and I get a kick out of doing the same thing. hacking the good stuff out of cheaply executed designs.

    will u care if i use your design to make a dock with speakers for my android phone?

    they look good don`t let any 1 tell you diffrent

    It would be sweet if u'd integrate the ipod dock in the top of one of the speakers. just an idea

    Add the amp in with the speaker casin and maybe the i pod dock on the top

    They look really nice easily sell able. Brilliant

    you could make a ton of those and sell them, i'm telling u man they rock!

    Now, why the hell don't people buy/get a stereo, 500 lbs of stereo equipment would TRUMP that cute little ipod speaker deal. I like how people will spend like $500 on an ipod and then even more on things like speaker docks that are like $300. So in that aspect, this is pretty good.

    8 replies

    I don't think I've ever seen ANY iPod that was even close to $500... not on planet Earth at least.

    Look at the original 80 gig ipods when they came out, $400-600 depending on what model you bought.

    wrong again. generation 5 ipods for 80 gb cost 350, ipod classic 80 gb cost 250, and now they dont even make 80 gb anymore. just 120 gb. they made ipod classic 160 gb for 350, but nothing wass ever 400-600

    Generation 5.... I said ORIGINAL ipod, before the 5th generation, those suckers did cost at least $500 for the 80 gig, walmart, look up a flyer from 5-6 years ago.

    he means the one without the click wheel, and the ring actually spun, and the buttons were around it. also, it was only firewire.

    YEAH that one, more of a white brick-disk than an ipod.

    now why would somebody buy 5oo punds of stereo equipment for an ipod?

    You don't, you buy that for your PC, with it's thousands and thousands of songs, I bet your ipod doesn't play lossless flac files at like 1.5mb/s (not kbits my friend).

    you should place the amp circuit board in one of the speakers to save room. +1 rating from me.