Loudspeakers produce sound by converting electrical energy into sound power to "push" the air. While there are books written specifically to explain this phenomenon, you only need a basic knowledge of sound design to build simple loudspeakers yourself. Read this article to learn how to build your own loudspeakers, whether to dedicate yourself to developing a new generation of loudspeakers, or simply to satisfy your curiosity about how loudspeakers work.
Method 1 of 2: Making Simple Speakers
Step 1. Prepare copper wire, cardboard adhesive tape, and a strong magnet
Although high-quality loudspeakers have to go through many calibration processes, the basic technology is quite simple. An electric current will flow through a wire leading to a magnet. This current will make the magnet vibrate, and the vibration will be received by the ear as sound.
Prepare tupperware or a small plastic bowl to be able to hear the sound clearly. The bowl-shaped object will amplify the sound the same way you scream through a cone
Step 2. Wrap the copper wire around the magnet several times to make a coil
Wrap it 6-7 times starting from the middle. Leave about a meter of wire on either side of the magnet. Use adhesive tape to attach the roll to the bottom of the tuppoerware after removing it from the magnet.
Step 3. Use a bottle cap or other round object to make a new, larger roll
Make a second coil from the rest of the first coil of wire that you left straight. Glue the new roll on top of the first roll. As before, leave the wire from both ends of the coil – this is how you will connect the “speakers” to the sound source.
Step 4. Place the magnet over the two coils
Position the magnet in the middle of the two coils. You don't have to worry if the magnet doesn't touch all the wire surfaces.
Step 5. Connect the two copper wires to the music source
The most commonly used connector is the 1/8-inch wire, or the "Axillary" wire (which is common with most headphones). Wrap one end of the wire at the top end of the sound source cable, and the other at the bottom.
Alligator clips, which are small, conductive clips, can be used to make it easier to connect the copper wire to the music source
Step 6. Adjust the speakers for better sound
Try using stronger magnets, making tighter coils, using different “sound amplifiers,” and trying different music sources at different volumes.
Method 2 of 2: Making High Quality Loudspeakers
Step 1. Understand the components of a loudspeaker
Although the basics of loudspeaker technology haven't changed much since 1924, the design, electronics, and sound of today's loudspeakers have evolved a lot. Here are some of the basic components that all loudspeakers have in common:
Converts electronic signals into sound. Drivers come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have the same function – to make sound. Many loudspeakers have more than one driver to be able to receive signals of various frequencies. For example, “woofer” is a large driver that works best for low-frequency sounds like bass, while “tweeter” is for high-frequency sounds.
This small relay serves to receive electronic signals and divide them into small signals that will be received by several different drivers based on their respective frequencies, namely bass, treble, and mid-range.
This is the outer shell that acts as a shield for the electronic components of the loudspeaker. Cabinets are made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to eliminate distracting “resonance” or produce larger volumes.
Step 2. Purchase a loudspeaker making kit
While you can purchase each component separately, building good loudspeakers without an in-depth knowledge of sound principles and electronics is extremely difficult. Amateur loudspeaker makers can purchase a set of loudspeaker-building kits that come with drivers, crossovers, and cabinets. Consider the following when purchasing a set:
- Does the set include a cabinet? Many sets only come with cabinet blueprints – you'll have to buy and assemble them yourself out of wood.
- Has the crossover been connected? Depending on your knowledge of electronics, you can choose to buy a set with a pre-assembled crossover or one that doesn't.
- What high quality speaker do you want to build? Most sound experts use the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, or LDSB, as a reference when selecting drivers and crossovers. The higher the quality of the components you want, the more expensive they will be.
- How loud, or noisy, do you want the speaker to make? In general, the sound power is determined by the driver.
Step 3. Pattern the crossover using the available crossover patterns
You'll need a soldering iron, hot glue, and a pattern to make sure the crossover works properly. All equipment for making loudspeakers comes with instructions on how to assemble them, or if you decide to make your own, look up sample patterns online. Follow instructions or pattern samples to avoid short circuits or fire.
- Make sure you fully understand how to read the wiring diagram before proceeding.
- Once all the pieces are in place, use hot glue or wire ties to attach the crossover to a small board.
- Finally, connect the crossover cable to the speaker wire.
Step 4. Cut, color, and assemble the cabinet according to the blueprint you have
If the set purchased does not come with a cabinet, buy wood and cut it according to the driver's needs. Most loudspeakers are rectangular in shape, but a talented carpenter can make them in a variety of shapes, from polygons to spheres, for better sound. Although all cabinets are different, there are a few basic principles that stick with their design:
- Use a material that is at least 3.81 cm" thick.
- The wood used must be perfectly cut. Sound “leakage” can cause a drastic drop in sound quality. Test the precision of the cut by assembling the non-adhesive speakers before putting them together.
- Wood glue is a good adhesive, but you can also use a drill and screws or wood tweezers.
- The color or paint you choose will not affect the sound quality, but serve as decoration and protection for electronic components.
- Make sure you have experience with woodworking tools before making your own speaker cabinet.
Step 5. Install drivers and crossover
If you follow the blueprints correctly, the holes made in the front of the cabinet will be the correct size for the driver. Attach the crossover board to the cabinet so that the cable that connects to the driver is not pulled or strained.
- Usually the driver is screwed into a plastic mold on the outside of the cabinet.
- Use wood glue or adhesive to attach the crossover to the cabinet.
Step 6. Fill the rest of your speakers with “acoustic stuffing”
This specially designed fabric muffles the sound inside the loudspeaker so as not to produce disturbing vibrations or echoes. Although it doesn't have to be there, it can improve sound quality.