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Speaker build update - any advice welcome

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TheGiantHogweed View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 April 2021 at 7:06pm
In my spare time, I built this speaker, and found many flaws with it initially, but have got it to sound pretty impressive given I've spent very little on it. It is my first build, so I would appreciate advice on the areas on how I could improve either on this speaker of if I build another some time.


I was going to put a fabric cover on this, but i'm now considering that i may re use some of the components of this to make a better one sometime.

Now the inside.

This is how I had it internally initially, and it did not sound good even when fully sealed:


Had no passive radiator on at this stage.

After a huge amount of experimenting, this is now what it looks like inside:




I've been using it several months like this, and although it clearly isn't as good as a solid hi-fi system, I'm really pleased with it given it is my first build and it is far better than a great deal of Bluetooth speakers / boom boxes at least regarding the quality of the sound at moderate / quiet listening levels.

Things that I have learned throughout building and testing this is how important the seal is if using a passive radiator. It wasn't very effective at all at first until I tried to seal it much better. It initially sounded very like it looked.... Boxy! The enclosure around the small drivers made a massive difference and then the passive radiator helped a lot too.

Things I think I possibly will change with this is I may remove two of the small drivers as I'm starting to think that 2 really aren't necessary for each channel. I'm really impressed with how good these drivers are. They are from the creative labs T40s which went faulty on the amplifier board. They seem excellent at playing all frequencies other than deep bass. I really didn't expect the treble to sound as clean as it does. I don't think this speaker would benefit from adding tweeters.

The woofer is from an old Ariston Acoustics 4080 which is basically just an equivalent speaker to the JBL control 1. That hardly had any bass at all, so I'm amazed at how this speaker now sounds using this and a passive radiator. If placed in a corner of a room, it does seem to reasonably comfortably extend down to 40hz, admittedly with some roll off.

The other things that could do with improving is that the upper bass is too noticeable, but is mostly solvable with EQ. This will be related to the amplifier I think:


The subwoofer output seems to only start rolling off around 1000hz which i think is ridiculous it could do with being 200-150hz or below so it doesn't clash with the other drivers.

The other issue with this amplifier is the amount of background hiss, unless you are well away from the speaker and not in line with it, it is always audible, even when playing music quietly. But I mainly built it to see what i could manage, and overall I'm really impressed with the sound, which is surprising given I'm very critical of hi-fi systems.

I would just appreciate any advice on how I could improve my build, or learn from it when i make another.

I don't think this build would suffer at all if i removed 2 of the drivers and boarded the holes up and reused them on another build. These drivers sound far better in this than they did in the original cheap plastic tower enclosures they came in. I'm thinking I could possible make a smaller Bluetooth speaker with these two and a passive radiator, but I would need a better understanding on how to put things together to get the best out of the sound.

Anyone can suggest areas of the build that would have been simple for me to improve just so I know for next time.


Thanks!
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