I’m happy to announce that there is a new Beginner’s Guide under our “projects” tab. It’s been a long time in coming and it is finally finished. The guide is a comprehensive step by step cookbook that will bring you through every phase of your project from goal setting to publishing final FR graphs.
This project was born from the fact that I couldn’t find a step by step guide that fit my specific needs. I wanted to use certain software products, test methods, etc. and there just wasn’t anything. There were many similar posts on sites like diyaudio.com and individual websites, yet nothing that brought it all together with the tools that I thought were best.
So, I decided to document my last project and make my own. Here are some of the topics covered:
Goals & Guardrails
This critical step frames the whole experience. The need to be realistic about what you can bite off can make or break your entire project.
Given your goals and limitations, how do you select the best drivers for your project when there are so many to choose from? Do your have favorite brands? Will they work together?
Modern software has been developed that takes a lot of the mystery out of speaker building. Most of the tools used in the guide are free. The others are very affordable. The guide covers the use of these products:
DATS: Impedance and Thiele/Small measurement tool.
Omnimic: Frequency and impedance measurement tool.
Xsim: Freeform crossover simulation tool.
WinISD: Enclosure design and modeling tool.
Xdir: Polar Response Simulator
Jeff Bagby’s Diffraction & Boundary Simulator: Baffle Diffraction Simulator
In many spots there are step-by-step instructions on how to use these products. Some are so straight-forward that no explanation is necessary as there is plenty of information available already.
Testing: I like to get real world tests of the drivers that I want to use. DATS & Omnimic make that possible.
Simulation: Sometimes I had to operate on faith by relaying on simulation. The good news is that these tools are all incredibly accurate.
Measurement: Omnimic is a comprehensive measurement tool that produces everything you need.
This effort is intended to be general guide. The truth is that there are other, free ways to perform the functions that I am using paid-for software for. An example is using Room EQ Wizard (REW) instead of Omnimic. Does it work? Yup. The bad news is that you still have to buy a microphone. And, I found the setup more difficult than Omnimic. There are also ways to capture .ZMA files, but DATS does way more than that and I trust the accuracy. I haven’t tried Vituix but have been hearing a lot of good things about it.
I hope this beginner’s guide helps you on your journey in DIY speaker making. As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for this guide, drop me a note. This is version 1.0 and is subject to modification.