DIY Speaker Links

The Repository->DIY->Speaker building links 

There are a lot of personal websites out there on the subject of speaker building--with varying levels of helpfulness, depending on your ability level.  Remember, though, that just because some website or book says that their way is the correct way to build speakers does not mean that it is the only way--and it doesn't even mean that they are right.  Speaker building is an art, and like any art form, everyone's approach is a little different.  In other words: don't be afraid to try someone's advice; but in the end, you have to do what works for you.

Getting Started in Audio DIY 

Just getting started?  You need to learn you some basics.  Uncomfortable with using certain power tools?  This website tells the 9 most essential tools for speaker building, and the most effective ways of using them.  (Beginner) - a nice collection of tips when building speaker enclosures. (Beginner) - by the same people as above.  Since MDF is the modern standard for speaker cabinet construction, you should know that it is a different type of beast than plywood, pressboard, or hardwoods.  This article will definitely set you straight.  (Beginner) - Outstanding guide on how to veneer a speaker cabinet, with high-quality photos to guide the reader.  If you want professional-looking results (and don't have skills in automotive painting), then veneer is definitely the way you'll need to go.  (Beginner/Intermediate)

Audio DIY Message Boards 

Need assistance or advice?  You'd be surprised at how generous, helpful and knowledgeable the DIY speaker community is. - While it can get difficult to follow unless you're on it at least once a day, the Parts Express message board is probably the best place to get real, pragmatic answers to your speaker building questions.   And believe me, there is no question too easy, difficult, or bizarre. This board is somewhat easier to navigate than Parts Express, but it's a very different environment.  Focus here is on technical accuracy, and engineering out all imperfections in a design (less art; more science).  Also, the posts are tightly monitored, so stay polite and on-topic, or you'll very quickly find yourself booted. - The forum at Meniscus audio.  It's still getting its legs, but it's a great place to ask about kits and general speaker construction.  Plus, Mark and Joel and the Meniscus crew are really nice guys.  

Please note that due to the high volume of spammers out there, most message boards--regardless of content--are now requiring a short waiting period for approval. Please be patient; because the ability to connect with other DIYers out there is probably the best resource available.

Great Speaker Designs and Resources

Speaker building books are good and necessary, but if you really want projects using current drivers, and need things explained a few different ways, you can't beat the internet! Curt C has been very active for the last few years, and done many highly-endorsed and award-winning designs.  Like Wayne J, driver choice is kept simple and crossovers are meant to be maximally effective with a minimal parts count. (Beginner/Intermediate) - Roman Bednarek has a great engineering mind, and his site is a great contribution to the community.  His designs are very practical, and he always keeps budget in mind.  Also of tremendous help on his site are tips for getting started with free design tools (FRD consortium tools, Speaker Workshop), and .FRD and .ZMA files for many common drivers.  (Beginner/Intermediate) - This guy is ridiculously prolific, however many of his driver choices are well out of most people's budget.  Still, his expertise is very highly respected. There is a ton of information on this site; wonderful resource.  (Intermediate/Advanced) - The website of Elliott Sound Productions.  It's a massive collection of articles on audio electronics, how they work, and how you can go about building/debugging audio equipment yourself.  Armed with a dry Australian wit, Rod Elliott does his best to explain electronics in terms of how they're used in audio --versus the pure theoretical as you might get in a regular electronics textbook.  The only real disadvantage to the site is that it's not a "self contained electronics tome;" there is no logical flow from one article to another, as a textbook might have, and there is information which Elliott does not discuss (or at least hasn't written an article on yet).  (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced) - Be warned, this site is hard to navigate, but it does have several highly-regarded designs to choose from.  These designs tend to focus on attaining the flattest response possible and using the lowest-distortion drivers available.  As a result, you will see some over-engineering. (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced) - John "Zaph" Krutke's website is perhaps the most traversed DIY website out there.  He has many designs to peruse, but the real meat of his site is in his extensive driver testing.  John is very opinionated, but is always willing to back those opinions up with cold, hard data. (Intermediate/Advanced) - Mark K is, perhaps, the other side of the coin to John Krutke (above).  While Mark's site does not offer many designs, he has done a lot of exhaustive testing on drivers.  This can be a good resource once you understand how all the components within a speaker work; but I don't really recommend it for a beginner. (Intermediate/Advanced) - The original John K has a level of technical expertise that puts almost the entire DIY community to shame.  His website is full of useful information, however the level of electronics and physics-related knowledge needed to understand puts it out of range of all but expert designers. (Advanced) - Siegfried Linkwitz is one of the pioneers of crossover design (yes, they named part of it after him).  He is still very active, but is now only interested in dipole and omni-directional speakers.  His site is packed with general and technical data, but it can get confusing to navigate. I personally find the Site Index a much better way to get around his site.  (Advanced) - Dennis Murphy is a highly accomplished and respected crossover designer. This site is not recommended for beginners, as there are very few pictures, diagrams or "how tos."  What you will find, however, are some of his better non-commercial designs and modifications.  (Intermediate) This website belongs to David Ralph.  He is very technical and methodical in his testing and modding of speakers.  This guy knows his stuff; if he starts talking about a tweeter, you listen! (Advanced) On a tangent from the previous link.  This is David Ralph's writeup of a 2-way speaker he did using SB acoustics drivers.  It is the most comprehensive writeup I have ever read on a speaker's design--like having a camera in a designer's head.  If you want to know why speaker designers do what they do, do not miss this web page. (Intermediate/Advanced) This is a collection of articles and designs by my friend "Wolf" at the Parts Express board.  His writeups are very thorough, and he's a very helpful guy.  He's a very prolific builder, and always willing to try something that's never been done before, and always finding ways to put unique spins into a speaker's design and construction. (Beginner/Intermediate) - The Ellis 1801 is the finest 2-way speaker I have ever heard.  The bass extension was unreal, and I swam in the soundstage.  This is really the only speaker available at Ellis Audio, and it is a kit you order from him.  However, he does share a lot of useful knowledge on the topic of speakerbuilding in numerous free articles. (Beginner) I have been a fan of this guy for 10 years.  He has been heavily involved in the demoscene, making music for some of the best demos, using the moniker "Little Bitchard."  But I had no idea he was a DIY audio guy, too!  Arto's site is less about DIY speakers, and more about general DIY audio projects, especially hacks and creative uses of electronics on-hand.  Very entertaining stuff (and of course, go check out his demoscene music when you get the chance)

DIY Audio kits for sale

The DIY Audio Graveyard

Great DIY speaker sites that have expired.  Wonderful resources.  They will be missed.  (The Wayback Machine can still dig them up, by the way) - The website of Wayne Jaeschke.  Although he has been out of the scene for a few years, his designs are very well-engineered and exciting to listen to.  His site also has some very interesting reading on theories behind speaker design.  (Beginner/Intermediate) - This guy has done some clever variations on Wayne J's designs with much success.  (His writing style also makes me laugh) - Not really sure what happened to Dan Wesnor.  He's got some very nice designs and helpful tips. This very beautiful site belonged to a Dutch man named Tony Gee.  His designs are so elegant and well-executed that they blur the line between DIY and boutique HiFi.  Please note, that also means that he spares no expense when designing a speaker, either.  (Intermediate)