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 building of a tunable loudspeaker

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: building of a tunable loudspeaker   Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:17 pm

There are probably two things for me that are more fun in the audio designing world over the rest. Each part along the way is a chapter within itself but when I get to the speaker and room, I know this is an area where I have gone further than anyone else in the industry (probably Very Happy ), and that makes me excited cause it's breaking new ground.

The speaker/room connection is by far the area that is the least explored and has the biggest impact on the sound. I don't want to discount the front end or amp, or electrical, but I do want to say that anything before the speaker can not make up or compensate for what happens in the speaker/room relationship.

an MGA small concert and recording room



As everyone in the biz knows, I don't think the listening hobby should be one that constantly needs fixed. In order for the audio world to move forward it's important to move to the next level. That level is making a system start to finish that is tunable, and in light of that the connection needs to be made between the transducers making the vibrations happen and the transducer forming the sound pressure we hear.

The acoustical instrument can not perform without space and vibration, likewise neither can the loudspeaker. These two objects are exactly the same in function.


The closer you make the loudspeaker in construction to the acoustical instrument the more it will sound like them. A loudspeaker should have the exact same set of values as an acoustical instrument, and follow the same type of build guidelines.

Because the loudspeaker is part of the audio system family in sales and marketing it has been lumped into a category as an electronic component, but it's main function is not electrical at all, but a mechanical acoustical one. This puts the loudspeaker in more the family of the acoustical instrument than the electronic component. It's a must to make this separation when tuning in what you hear. If you think of the speaker as this electronic device and not an acoustical device being set in motion by a motor you might miss the meaning and operation of the speaker altogether. The speaker has one main purpose, to vibrate. If the speaker can reproduce the same event that took place on the other end of the recording chain, space and motion, the event will appear around you.

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PostSubject: Re: building of a tunable loudspeaker   Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:35 pm

simple simple simple

If you've ever shopped for drivers and tweeters, you'll notice that there is a spec sheet that comes with every SKU, but have you ever looked into how that spec was made? First off the driver had to be sitting in some type of cabinet for the measurement to be taken. Those who have built cabinets know that there are no two cabinet materials that sound the same. When you put that together with rooms used in the testing that gives you two big variables. One the cabinet is influencing the measurements and two the room is as well. Third is the amp driving the driver and all the other conditions that have a say so in the way that driver moves.

In the audio world there is no standard for testing, all of the tests are ran with a great deal of variables, and the truth of it is you might have a 3 dollar woofer sitting next to a 300 dollar woofer and the 3 dollar one walk all over the other and vice verse depending completely on the conditions of the testing.



let me throw one fact at you

It takes an approx of  3 months to one year of constant play for a driver to fully break in. That means that any driver you buy that was based on a testing at new, sounds different after breakin, and continues to change in sound forever.

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PostSubject: Re: building of a tunable loudspeaker   Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:24 pm



Simple has been the name of the game for sure, and at this point every part, twist and turn has meant something to me in this learning curve that is taking me deeper into designing.

Even the woodshop workers are now picking up pieces of wood and listening to them as they put them together and call me to come in and tap on the wood and cabinet parts "even I'm getting into this" says Jacob.


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PostSubject: Re: building of a tunable loudspeaker   Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:10 pm

Let me bring you up to date.

There are a few models being worked on, but more important a few blends of sound.

Here is a pic of the smallest of speakers I am playing with.



This is the same size as the Mini Mod, which BTW we will probably keep the Mini Mod in the line up cause of cost.

There are 4 types of wood being tested as a blend in this speaker. One is our Music Ply but the others are hardwoods.

I'm listening to each piece as they go through the stages of build. For example here is the back panel from start to finish before it goes to the sanding and voicings.



This way of building is closer to an instrument construction than a speaker cabinet.

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