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So you want to build a sound system

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IainB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28 June 2017 at 12:30pm
In my limited time here Ive seen this come up many many times and I thought I would start a list of things to consider when asking the question (feel free to jump in and add to anything Ive missed)

1) Budget Smile top of the list as this is most important! 
This will need to cover everything that you dont already have, if your building then you need to factor tools (chop saw, router, drill, clamps etc), a decent supply of wood. Then its onto the drivers you are going to load the cabs with, Amps (of sufficient power), Crossovers (digital or analogue), cables (everything from amp to speakers, internal speaker wiring and then everything back from amplifier to mixer) etc
2) Venue Capacity, is this for 20 of your friends or 250+
3) Venue is this inside or outside (or indeed a mixture of both)
4) Music Styles that the system will be playing, Live band use or compressed audio, Rock, RnB, Dance, Drum and Bass, Techno etc

Now Ive written it out, im sure im missing something obvious?


Edited by IainB - 11 November 2018 at 5:53pm
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Keen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Keen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2017 at 12:38pm
transport; no use building horns if you don't drive a lorry! 

though some persist LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2017 at 2:48pm
If you have no previous experience, seriously consider reflex boxes, both bass and tops. They are the simplest and a VERY good all rounder. 

Watts does NOT equal volume.

Don't skimp on bracing.

Keep it simple

Only allow good DJ's to play on your system, keep the music standard high and try to make it 50/50 on the decks with the girls, they bring far more than just tits and ass to a gig.

Listen to people on here and read as much as you can on the subject. Then once you have spent many nights skimming the internet DO NOT think that you then know it. YOU DONT. that bit takes time, patience and if you're doing it right, loads of fun.

Visit and talk to people that have systems. Listen to them and ask questions. 

You need somewhere to store it, ideally not on the top floor of a mill with a lift that doesn't take an 8x4 sheet and that breaks.

Expensive, quality drivers in a basic box (well tuned) is a much better investment than cheap ass rubbish in a complex folded horn.
blah blah blah blah blah......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jo bg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2017 at 6:16pm
nice thread!
we built a system one year ago after six month of deep study (and 15 years as redlining djs) , 4 way hornloaded, and tuned and alligned it many times inbetween so i am almost an advanced newbie Big smile
 
so if you want to build a sound system and want my advice...
 
- wait a few months, listen to various sounds, study hard, talk to knowledgeable people you trust, and study a little more  before committing to a design and shell out money based on forum advices from guys you don't know... after some time on the same forums you will know who to trust.
 
- the tuning of the system will mean far more than the money you put into it. either study hard and experiment a lot or consider getting help.
 
- you are running high current and lifting heavy weights so Always security first for you and for the punters
 
- a big stack is Always nice to see for geeks, but transportation, storage and available space and looks in the location are to be considered. a big stack is never nice to load at the end of the night.
 
- if you are not aiming to grow larger soon  witness what two good  tops on sticks and subs can do before thinking you need a huge stack
 
-if you plan to grow larger and expand look at the Whole system from the beginning. dispersion and arrayability of tops, driver impedance selection so you can efficently load amps... plan the Whole system.
 
- look at the commercial systems just for inspiration and to learn how systems work.
 
-acoustics first, looks last
 
- consider also second hand or mixing diy subs and second hand pro tops.
 
     things that made a huge difference for me are:
 
relating and visualizing frequencies in the time and space domain helped a lot with understanding a lot of things, really made all clearer.
 
forget watts and learn how volt, ohm, amperes work. amplifiers and limiters will be easier to understand
 
in general get some basics about electricity (i read a technical school book about it).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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sharkat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sharkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2018 at 3:33pm
Excellent direction here thank you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevinmcdonough Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2018 at 11:17am
hey

Learn about processing and measurement!

These days, very capable amplifiers and drivers are relatively cheap.  Even just a single sub and two way top on a stick each side of the stage can make a surprising amount of noise. And with a bit of practice it's not TOO difficult to achieve great woodwork results on the actual boxes themselves, make them look very pro. 

However what defo sets pro systems apart from DIY these days is the measurement of the speakers and the processing.

Knowing the difference between electronic crossover points set in the processor and actual acoustic crossover points, being able to measure each of the pass bands and phase align them, choosing crossover points within your tops to take account of dispersion as well as just frequency so your sound is fairly even off access as well as on, etc etc will all make your system sound FAR better than the old days of just randomly dialling things in.

Of course ears are great and should be the final arbiter of your system, but ears combined with useful data and the knowledge of how to read the various graphs etc that can be measured and what they mean, will give you by far the best results. 

K





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jackath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 December 2018 at 7:43pm
Super advice here - kind of wish I had come across a couple of these points sooner.

Definitely advise getting a basics education in electrical principles! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gen0me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2018 at 12:02am
There are different ways of doing crossovers:
1)passive like all hi-fi boxes
2)analog crossovers
3)dsp/lms
4)studio like: pc, soundcard and software like: Reason, Cubase, FL

All have cons:
1,2)group delay alignment. Although high-fi/high-end boxes can sound great.
3)painfull user interface.
4)stability, compatibility, ease of failures, longest rebooting time. Stability can be solved to reasonable levels. For learning user compatibility is hard to live with. They consists of more co-dependent elements.
I appreciate every like :)) https//www.facebook.com/genomesoundsystems
Mixes: https://www.mixcloud.com/gen-ome/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djscooby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2018 at 12:40am
Don't forget the age old rule...... measure twice cut once! lol. 


Some awesome advice here, I have a pair of dare I say D.I.Y subs where I would love to say I did 90% of the work and my mate did the other 10% but in reality...... Tom did 99% and I did the 1% although Tom (he's on here somewhere) has much more experience at building cabs than me and quality tools and the space to build as well we had a great time (or I did lol) spending the weekend eating drinking speaker talk and even more drinking!. 

My subs are stunning! I doubt I could build anything to his standards I am so honored to have Tom as a friend and to have a pair of subs he built! I will vouch for his P.A systems all day long!
Well my wife has kicked me out saying it's over due to my obsession with speakers don't know watt I'm gonna do with no ohm to go to
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