Wednesday, January 27, 2010


WOW it's been quite a while. I suppose that's okay, last semester was pretty busy. No one reads this anyway.

Well, I recently picked up a Gakken "Learning for Adults" (or was it "Science for Adults"? I don't remember, it was in Japanese) magazine with a kit to build a 7 cm fullrange SPEAKER! I'm not talking about build a speaker box and throw in a driver, I actually assembled the driver! It was mostly gluing but there was some careful positioning involved too.

I had been wanting to get some fullrange drivers and try my hand at making some interesting speaker cabinets that help get the best sound from single drivers.

I was too excited to take pics during the build stage, so here are some pics of the finished product (courtesy of David). I built a total of three speaker enclosures out of CARDBOARD. It's uncanny how you can modify sound from enclosure design. (Box 1 omitted because it really was just cutting a hole in a box and throwing the driver in, these were built piece by piece).

Box 2
I've decided I don't like gum tape on speakers (not messy like this anyway).

Box 3 (Design taken from the magazine)

Look at that maze of a speaker! Really helped the bass.


I also threw together an amp with an LM386 low-power speaker opamp I had laying around as well as other parts I also just had laying around. It's still in breadboard form if you can't tell from the pics. Sounds pretty good for cardboard and batteries!

On the note of sound quality; I thought I had been exposed to 90% of what Hi-Fi had to offer. I've listened to most of the top headphones from the top companies, and I've demoed a vinyl/tube amp/loudspeaker setup complete with actively-shielded cables at a Hi-Fi store that one could sell to buy a pretty nice car, we're talking baby supercar. The room was even set up with diffusers and bass traps, the works. Yet there's something about this single driver, especially in the MIDS on vocals, that is just brand new to my ears, like nothing I've heard before. I don't believe I've ever heard vocals so true.

Frequency response was a bit off, however. There seems to be a region in the spectrum missing from the speakers, somewhere in the low mids or high bass. This is probably a consequence of speaker design, material (CARDBOARD, I need to start working with MDF), the driver (<3", most fullrange cabinets I see are for 4" fullranges), etc.

I think I've stumbled upon the subject for my Spring project...

Oh and maybe an amp too, since there always has to be something electronic.