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My DIY center channel home theater speaker, turned out GREAT

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My DIY center channel home theater speaker, turned out GREAT

Unread postAuthor: cash68 » Sun May 06, 2007 12:11 pm

Alright, I'm an industrial design student. Originally I designed a box and calculated everything to the nth degree and got chastized for it being so boring... so i threw out my idea, and went back to the drawing board. I then just held onto these few concepts:

1. Very rigid mounting surfaces for the speakers
2. Curved surfaces= good, because less resonance due to reflective waves.

So, here's what happened:

Alright, so we had to design a dispenser, and I chose to do a 'sound dispenser'. It was also a plastics project, so I had to use primarily plastic in it's construction, which kinda stinks, because I wanted to do the cabinet out of wood, due to it's better acoustic properties. That said, my project was originally a box with a funky front end, which got slaughtered during critique, so I went back to the drawing board and did a TON of thumbnails. Eventually I found a design that I really liked, and decided to wall mount the speaker above the display (after xmas I'm getting a 24" iMac to use as a main machine and the entertaniment hub. Out with TVs, in with big ass computers! ).

The front face plates are really thick acrylic, and the back pods are all vacuum formed. The silver pieces are also acrylic, bonded together using plastic epoxy. The two pods are held together by a center section with massive bolts, which are also the terminals (I drilled them out to accept wire, and used washers). So basically, the bolts that hold it together are doing double duty; strength and they're conducting the power to the crossover. The speakers were hi-vi 3" extended range drivers purchased for $8.95 each, and the tweeter was a rear mount style purchased for $4.60, and the crossover was made for 2 8ohm woofers and a 4 ohm tweeter (perfect) which only cost 59 centers, all from parts express. I spent more on the paint (carbon metallic) and bolts than I did on the actual audio parts, but that's okay.

A crap speaker mounted well will sound better than a good speaker mounted poorly. Anyway, enough babble. Here are the pics:

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The acrylic was lined with rubber adhered with super 77, and I also used padding for a pillow instead of expensive audio padding. The best part? It sounds freaking fantastic!!! I replaced my regular HTIB center channel and the difference is striking! Shell casings, dialogue, and anything that isn't a super low frequency has just so much more clarity, it's just freaking awesome.

Aggressively good or bad comments welcome! Rip it apart if you like, but I'm pretty stoked about it.
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Unread postAuthor: cash68 » Sun May 06, 2007 12:11 pm

I updated the speaker page with pictures that are a LOT better. Here's a few thumbnails:

Image

Image

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More pics, bigger, here:

http://chicane.myftp.org/pics/center/center.html
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Unread postAuthor: ArticWolf » Sun May 06, 2007 12:17 pm

If you built it yourself, I applaud you on the awesome job. You seem to know what you are doing keep up the good work. You deserve a pat on the back for this one.
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Unread postAuthor: cash68 » Sun May 06, 2007 1:01 pm

Thanks dude. Yeah, I did everything except the drivers and crossover.
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Unread postAuthor: ArticWolf » Sun May 06, 2007 1:07 pm

No problem, Still that thing looks awesome. I think if you keep the same concept on the surround speaker's that would be the coolest DIY surround system that I have ever seen. WOW I just noticed that this is my 100th post. Sweet!!!
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Unread postAuthor: cash68 » Sun May 06, 2007 1:20 pm

Yeah, I might do another run of htem. The vacuum formed rear sections really gives them a nice sound, but next time I'd like to use 4" drivers instead of 3" for a bit more bass. It still sounds pretty amazing though. :)

PS: Using vacuum forming machines is fun.
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Unread postAuthor: ArticWolf » Sun May 06, 2007 1:37 pm

I bet vacuum forming machines are fun. My home made one that I use to make my masks for my costumes is fun too but it is noisey and probley as bulky as the one you use. Mine consits of a table, clamps, holes in the table and a shop vac it works but softening the plastic for molding is a pain. I have to use my oven LOL
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