Build a Better Subwoofer Easily, DIY Subwoofer Basics


Internal Standing Wave Control:

Standing waves are caused by the dimensions of the internal box cavity. DIY subwoofers are no different, put your best foot forward and eliminate simple mistakes.

Frequencies have certain wavelengths (and can easily be calculated calculate wave lengths here) – Depending on the box’s measurements one frequency can be reinforced because the sound wave will continue to travel back and forth until dissipated by the acoustic stuffing. Often, these resonances are too strong to be damped by the acoustic damping and make their way back to the speaker cone and sent into the room as audible output. You can easily build speakers better than that.

Building a speaker box with no parallel walls will help keep these standing waves in check. The sound wave will hit the unparalleled walls and be sent in a different direction each time it hits a wall.

This causes the wave to bounce everywhere in the cabinet and is lowered in volume much quicker than compare to a cabinet that has parallel walls.

Creating a DIY subwoofer with unparalleled walls is simpler than you think.

You do not need to build the outer box as a trapezoid or other shape. Baffles can be placed at angles within the cabinet that will break up the flow of sound waves from hitting the parallel walls. Another way is to use curved cabinet walls which can sometimes be very attractive as well.

However you decide to challenge the standing wave issue is up to you. But this is an area worthy of some extra thought and design time.

diy subwoofer, diy wireless subwoofer

Most speaker manufacturers do not utilize any internal standing wave control efforts in their designs. And, this is another area that will leave a speaker sounding colored especially in the bass where standing waves are most problematic.

Speaker Driver Quality and Driver distortion:

Using low distortion, high output, and well-built drivers should be one of the first things you accomplish when settling on a speaker design.

How can you determine which speaker drivers are best? By using data that is widely available. Zaph Audio is a website that offers speaker driver measurements and data available for free. You can study the different drivers that John Krutke has tested and find a set that fits what you are trying to accomplish.

You can also use data published by the manufacturers but often, this data is incorrect or rosier than reality. So tread with care here.

Zaph audio will save you a lot of money because he focuses on driver quality and measurements, he does not get caught up with a speakers price, high or low. And often; the driver that John feels is best is not the most expensive. I also have put together some combinations of drivers based on his research that I felt would work well together.

I tested these combinations myself and posted the results on this site so anyone can use the same combos for their own successful projects.

Some of the most expensive speaker drivers like Acuton do not measure nearly as good as their price may indicate. I am not saying that these drivers are not good.

They are good; but there are less expensive speaker drivers that measure much better and for a much lower cost.

The Revelator series from Scan Speak is one of those drivers.

Scan Speak makes some world class speaker drivers for much less than other brands. And in most cases the other brands cannot compete with their quality –let alone price.

Cabinet Panel Resonance control:

Your DIY subwoofer cabinet walls are going to move.

No matter how much bracing and baffle thickness you build into your diy speakers
, the walls are going to move some. But how much vibration and resonance your speakers will transmit into the room is one of the determining factors to how well your speakers will be able to image and disappear while playing music and movies.

Cabinet construction, cabinet building materials, and bracing all play a major role in cabinet resonances.

If you get all these right, or close to right, your DIY subwoofer will sound uncolored and image like champs (providing you did everything else right too).

But get it wrong and your project will be one giant time wasting, money sucking – let down.

Build a good diy speaker cabinet easily

• Use thick panels
• Use a well-designed cabinet bracing system
• Use lots of braces
• Use a good cabinet building material like Baltic birch plywood, birch hardwood ply, or MDF.

*Do not use general purpose pressboard.
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