This Instructable shows you how to build a 2 way mono channel speaker. All of the electrical components can be bought on Amazon through the affiliate links below. The total cost of the build came out to be ~$160, however; the electrical components came out to be ~$125. This is the seconded speaker I've built and the first one I've designed from scratch. I really wanted to keep simplicity in mind during the build of this, that is why I decided to go with a pre-built crossover, rather than making one from scratch.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
- 6.5in Sub woofer
- 1in Tweeter
- 1in port hole
- Power supply
- 18 gauge speaker wire
- Extra Wire/heat shrink
- DC jack connector
- Mono Plug Jack
- soldering iron
- wire strippers & cutters
- Various clamps
- Hot glue
- Danish oil Natural
- Wood glue
- Nail gun
Misc (mainly parts for the cabinet):
- Vinyl tubing
- 4in machine screws with nuts
Step 2: How to Wire the Components Together
Here is the basic wiring for the components, each part is explained in greater depth down below.
- Audio input to amplifier
- Power to amplifier.
- Amplifier to crossover input
- The crossover to speakers
1. The Audio input to amplifier is shown very well in the seconded picture, the mono channel plug has 2 wires one for ground and the other for left and right signal. Since I have only built one speaker I had to combine the left and right signals, however; if you were to make two of these speakers you would want to change out this cable two one where the left and right channels are separated. I also made the chord itself, if you extend the black and red wires with 18 gauge speaker wire you can take the braided wrap of paracord and cover the speaker cable. as shown in the cover photo.
2. To get the power to the board we have to add a DC female jack, this is shown in the 3rd picture. One note here is to make sure you solder the correct wires to the positive and negative terminals of the jack, otherwise you could burn up the amp. The best way to do this is plug the power supply and check which one of the 3 pins are +12V GND and +6V. You want to solder wires to the +12V and GND.
3. In the 7th picture you can see OUT + & - , solder wires to those and that goes to the input of the crossover using the 18 gauge speaker wire.
4. The crossover separates the frequencies at 2500Hz. Basically what this means is that out of the spectrum that the human ear can hear 35Hz-2500Hz play from the subwoofer and 2500Hz-20,000Hz plays from the tweeter. This point was determined by looking at the spec sheet of each speaker and seeing where it starts to drop off in quality and the overlap with the other speaker in the system. This crossover can be set to 4 ohms or 8 ohms. I've left mine on 8 ohms.
Step 3: The Cabinet Backside
I made the cabinet with maple and walnut boards along with a extra piece of oak that I had laying around. Since I did not want to go out and buy more wood I based the design off that single piece of oak. So the dimensions of the entire build is very odd and it wouldn't make sense to try and recreate my cabinet precisely. Nonetheless I will still show you how I made it. One important note is that the inner volume is 1/4 ft^3.
The first thing I did was cut the maple to make the sides of the box, all I used to hold it together are some brad nails. I also used a bit of silicon along the edges to make sure the box is air tight except for the port hole that I would add later. After I did that I ran into my first design problem, I have to have access to the box so the back oak panel has to come off.
To solve this issue I cut some small trim pieces to use as a lip to hold the vinyl tubing. I am using the vinyl tubing as a gasket to keep the box as air tight as possible. This creates a airtight seal around the edge when the piece of oak is pressed against it. Next I had to come up with a way for the oak board to put enough pressure on the vinyl tubing. To do that I added two blocks with a hole drilled through and a nut on the other side that has been pressed into the wood so it cannot rotate. The 4in machine screws go through the oak piece then into the block till they reach the nut, this is how the oak piece stays on.
Next we have to add the port hole first I traced the outer and inner circles on the oak board then i broke the plastic pieces of the port so it would fit into the hole. The last picture is the 4in port hole set in place with hot glue. Now all that's left is drilling the power jack hole and audio input cable.
Step 4: Cabinet Front
The walnut was not wide enough to fit in the gap so I decided to add a bit of creativity to the cabinet. I first cut a 1/4in piece from some left over maple then I cut the 2 pieces of walnut. These 3 pieces combined would be the exact same size as the oak piece. Next using wood glue and clamps I made the front piece. Then the holes have to be cut in the front, to do that I used a jigsaw. Once I made sure the speakers fit I sanded everything, going from 100 --> 150 --> 220 grit. Then I added the danish oil to the entire thing which you can really see the difference in the last 2 pictures. Then I inset the front piece the height of the subwoofer to make everything flush. Once adding some brad nails the front was complete!
Step 5: Combining the Two
All we have to do here is put all the electronics in the cabinet, with a little hot glue to hold the amplifier and crossover down. Then I added a few zipties to help clean things up a little. The last thing to do on the inside is add some foam, I did this with a tad bit of hot glue.
Step 6: Final Steps and Conclusion
The final step is to add some rubber feet to the bottom of the speaker so it will have a bit of a barrier between it and the surface that you're setting it on. After that you're done!
Some final thoughts:
The first speaker I made used 2 full range drivers, however; this doesn't deliver the low end that most of the music that I listen too has. I am very happy with this speaker it really does deliver in the low end, as it should with a 6.5 in subwoofer. The only thing that I would like to update is to figure out a way to get rid of the static when the speaker is powered on and there is no audio input. All said and done I am very happy with the quality of the speaker and it can really fill a dorm room.