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I'm looking to upgrade my speakers and am thinking of building my own. I wanted to see if anyone had any experience and/or opinions about a project like this.

 

I see a few upsides to this: 1) I can spread out the cost - instead of plunking down $500 - $700 all at once I can buy components slowly and then assemble them once I have everything. 2) Seems like I could build a better speaker than I could buy for the same money. 3) It would be fun and satisfying to have a set of speakers that I built myself (assembled is probably more accurate).

 

I'm trying to decide if I should buy a new cabinet or get an old pair of speakers and replace all the components. This is my first project like this and I don't have a woodworking shop so I'm gonna skip the step where I try to build a cabinet and screw it up.

 

Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Well, assuming I can buy the same components in a commercially available speaker, I wouldn't have to pay for the name/logo and I wouldn't have to pay someone to assemble it.

 

Also from everything I've been reading I can get better parts for the same money. I'm not looking to spend thousands of dollars on a commercial set of speakers so on my budget I can get better drivers & crossovers than the ones in speakers in my price range. 

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There is a lot of engineering that goes into a speaker.  From the cabinet to the crossover to speakers.  It's not just throwing a woofer and a tweeter you find on Parts Express in a box and hooking it up to your stereo.  $500 to $700 buys you a really nice pair of speakers that it would be extremely unlikely you'd to be able to replicate for less money the way you're thinking you can.

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That makes sense, that's why I'm asking for feedback. That's also why I didn't want to try and build my own cabinet or build the crossovers, I'll leave that to the engineers. I'm not sure if any place would let me do layaway on a $500 pair of speakers. If I could buy woofers one month, tweeters the next, then crossovers and cabinets I could space it out.

 

I've found a few websites with plans and parts, would it sound terrible if I got parts from Parts Express or Madisound? I'm not a total idiot, I can follow directions and I'm hoping with some help I could build a decent pair of speakers.

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There is a lot of engineering that goes into a speaker.  From the cabinet to the crossover to speakers.  It's not just throwing a woofer and a tweeter you find on Parts Express in a box and hooking it up to your stereo.  $500 to $700 buys you a really nice pair of speakers that it would be extremely unlikely you'd to be able to replicate for less money the way you're thinking you can.

I've done it and there is a lot of maths involved in getting it right. Not just the physics of the enclosure but the matching of the individual cones and crossovers, everything in the design has different needs so it gets very complicated to do it right.

 

I have also heard the results of someone just buying some expensive drivers and crossovers and making a box for them. everything was mismatched and they sounded absolutely cack. In the end I had to do all the calculations for him and he still ballsed them up, not a process I'm going to get into again, last I saw the expensive drivers were sold on ebay at a big loss

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If you're interested in putting some time into your gear and adding a personal touch rather than just opening a box and plugging everything in, buying vintage stuff can be rewarding. Just like well-crafted, old instruments hold up well and are often sought-after, the same actually applies to some old audio gear. 

 

Do a bit of research on old gems, and with some luck/patience you may find some ridiculous deals on old "trash." Recap/refoam if needed, polish up the wood, make a new mesh/screen... really, if you're interested in building speakers, simply refurbishing some old, quality ones is probably the best way to start. I have a pair of '70s Dynacos that sound fantastic, and I haven't even touched them yet. And you'll likely end up paying far less than $500-700, which means more money for vinyl. 

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