Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects

The Respository->DIY

Updates/Blog

DIY gives music lovers and audiophiles the ultimate power.  First of all, DIY speakers use the same parts, building materials (usually), and design techniques of HiFi speakers in the 4 and 5-figure range.  This means you can have that "rich" sound at a fraction of the retail cost.  Second, by learning the science behind the design of loudspeakers, a lot of the mysticism and mythology that plagues the audiophile world becomes dispelled, and you learn what is important--and what is irrelevant--in exceptional sound reproduction.

Everything here is free. I am a lifelong speaker addict, and this is my contribution to the audio world.

DIY Speaker Designs

Bookshelf

Speedster
Tang Band W4-1720 +
Fountek NeoCD1.0  Outstanding bass from such a small woofer, pleasant midrange, and a ribbon tweeter.  All in a small footprint.  Makes a great rich boy toy
Carrera
Scan-Speak 15W/8530K00 + Hiquphon OWI  An unassuming-looking bookshelf 2-way that puts out phenomenal bass, and a pinpoint soundstage.  Exciting, yet comfortable at the same time.  Not for the frugal.
Overnight Sensation
HiVi B4N + Dayton ND20FA-6
  A simple, small speaker with surprisingly deep bass and a wide and deep soundstage.  These are a good bargain for such a small price.
 
Overnight Sensation MTM
HiVi B4N
(x2) + Dayton ND20FA-6  Like the Overnight Sensations, but louder!  Big sound, small package.  These could be very versatile, and have been used in a wide variety of cabinets.
 Hitmakers
Dayton DA175 + Vifa BC25TG15  A low-cost, high-value speaker that was intended as a DIY nearfield studio monitor.
 
Classix II
Dayton DC160 + Vifa BC25TG15 One of the funnest speakers I've ever done!  Great bass, solid soundstage, and a pleasing sound that works well even with poor recordings.  Great for getting a big sound in a small living space.

Floorstanding

 
ZX Spectrum
 HiVi M6A + Bohlender Graebener Neo3 PDRW  Contemporary-looking drivers. One hell of a 2-way!  Very pleasing sound.  Big, detailed, yet won't become fatiguing.
 
Amiga
 Dayton RS180-8 + Vifa DX25TG  This is a design intended for those who want a boutique, audiophile-quality speaker but don't want to pay the 4-figure price tag.  For $200, they should not disappoint.
Core 2-way
 Dayton RS180-8 + Dayton RS28 (A or F)
A sister project to the Amiga.  Same cabinet and woofer, but different tweeter, and very low crossover point.  These are a solid performer on a wide variety of music.  They balance a big sound with the ability to resolve tiny details in recordings.

Tarkus
 Peerless 830668 + Peerless 830657 + Vifa DX25  Wish there was some way to take the soul of the large Cerwin Vega and Klipsch "monkey coffins" of your sordid past and inject it into something a bit more modern and high quality?  Then this project is for you!
Dayton Classic Revival
 Dayton DC160 + Dayton DC50F + Dayton ND20FA-6
A modest-sized floorstanding 3-way using paper cone woofers and a silk dome midrange.  Classic sound and looks, but budget-priced. 
 Speedster TMM
 Tang Band W4-1720 + Fountek NeoCD1.0
The executive mini-speaker gets a slim floorstanding sibling. 

Portable

Sprite
Dayton ND90-8 or Aura NS3
Cute, portable, and ready to play.  Just plug in your ipod or smartphone and rock out. 

Home Theater


 
Swope HT
 HiVi M6A, M5A + Dayton ND28F  MTM mains, TM surrounds, and a W/TM/W center channel.  Sexy looks and great sound!

Dipole/Open Baffle


 
Sunflowers 
 Dayton RS225 + Dayton RS125-4 + Vifa XT25
  Very high-quality all-around speaker with a large soundstage and precise imaging, but with the "uncolored" midrange a dipole can provide.  Can be built in a variety of cabinet designs and should come in around $450.


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 Tubifex
Dayton RS125-4 + Tang Band 25-1719
  Not your average "slap a speaker into a weird plastic thing and find out what happens."  The Tubifex are a high-fidelity pair of speakers with great imaging and a surprising amount of bass extension.



Designs with Drivers No Longer Available

I am leaving these up for reference purposes.  If you still have these drivers, by all means, build and enjoy these speakers.  However, please don't ask me for driver substitutions at this time.  Sorry.

Untitled - Scan-Speak 8530K-00 + Hiquphon OW3 (bookshelf)

Girl from Ipanema  Dayton RS150 + Seas 27 TBFC/G (bookshelf)

Orient Express  Silver Flute W14RC25 + Vifa Logic AC25SG05 (bookshelf)

China Syndrome Silver Flute W14RC25-S + Vifa Logic AC25SG05 (bookshelf)

TRS-80  Dayton RS180S-8 + Vifa D25AG (floorstanding 2-way)

Vaagens  Audax AP170G2 + Vifa D25ASG (bookshelf)

Aethers Dayton SD215 + TB W5-704D + Seas 27TDFC (dipole MTMW)

Classix Dayton DC160 + Vifa DX19 (bookshelf)


Extras

Other People's Projects - Here are a few writeups I did as I built some projects designed by some of the DIY masters out there.  I share them here because simply building a speaker is not necessarily an easy task.

Common Speaker Conversions - This is a simple excel calculator to perform a bunch of conversions I tended to need again and again while working on projects, but I got tired of using the calculator function on my phone.

I'll level with you - My audio manifesto.  This is what happens when a composer and musician also is a closet audiophile.  (Warning: contains unorthodox audio opinions)

Questions or comments? (DIY related)