Ultimate DIY speaker design?

Hey everyone,

I've got the bug to build a set of DIY speakers, I havent built a set in years.

Is there an ultimate design out there that anyone can recomment?

I saw the WATT Puppy designs out there but I am wondering what else I might consider trying.

Note, I definitely dont want a kit, I wouldn't mind doing a custom design I come up with myself but I would ideally like to try a clone of something with top pedigree.

Thanks in advance!
Idful- it does not get any better than the Sidney Linkwitz Orions (http://www.linkwitzlab.com/) which can be DIY or purchased complete.

Many additional excellent designs can be found on the HTGuide forum (http://www.htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php4?f=6ons). The Statements, and it's several variations seem to be the most popular on the forum at this time.

The problem with any of the Wilson designs would be the cabinet. There is no way you could possibly make anything like the one they have outside a dedicated factory. I know you said no kits but I would look at something like the Prestige model on the Wilmslow Audio site. It's drivers are very possibly better than the ones Wilson uses and the cabinets are MDF, although VERY heavy. I would think about getting some made myself [my woodworking days are behind me] if my room was bigger. You can substitute other drivers in any of their designs, which are only departure points, and they can supply the crossover, which is often the the point at which DIY designs break down. There is a fascinating site on the web by someone who is probably the ULTIMATE home builder, I will try to look it up and post it. He builds things WAY beyond anything which would be economically feasible to put on the market. Since you are not bound by the same constraints as manufactures you should not limit yourself to copying their products.
Look at Jack Bouska's Weblife site if you want to see some amazing DIY speakers, audio porn is the only term for them.
Remember the post of a guy who built massive horns into the foundation of his house? I think these were almost big enough to crawl though.
Start with a DEQX for dynamic drivers or a Wisdom DCAB-1 (if you can find one) for BG (Bohlender-Graebner/Parts Express) ribbons.
Check this one out:

In the old days one system described in Audio was concrete built alongside the house, the exit of the horn into the house was 6' tall. It could blow out candles across the room or make your trowser leg flap if I remember. It was mono and crossed at 50Hz I think.
Some people even used cast iron bathtubs for enclosures.
link to a similar request by for Proac clone

some pretty radical diy sites.


Tony Gee seems to like high price drivers, series xovers, and fancy cabinet work.

His version of Sonus Faber inspired speakers.
Second the Linkwitz Lab Orion+. Hands down winner not just for DIY, but compared to any commercial speaker. (BTW it's Seigfried Linktwitz)
You might consider John Kreskovsky's NaO. I built the NaO IIt. A really great, DYNAMIC dipole!

I had a fellow over that built the Orion. He told me they were very similar. A little easier build, IMHO.

For less money, the NaO mini would be nice.
Wow; it's a good thing I previewed my message before I hit submit. :-)

Yes, it's Siegfried not Sidney (how did I come up with that one?)

And the HTGuide website is at http://www.htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php4?f=6.

Russ: I *did* preview . . , and still spelled it wrong . . , who's LinkTwitz?
1. Linkwitz Orion+ (or ++). Believed by many to be the best speaker price no object provided you can live with the placement (really no different than a box speaker, although getting too close to the front wall is worse for bass and side wall less damaging) and output level constraints. Should be relatively easy to have a listen (try the http://orion.quicksytes.com user's group "seeking auditions thread). I love mine and haven't heard anything else more realistic.

2. Gedlee Nathan/Abbey + distributed bass. Earls designs are the only speakers a couple Orion owners have felt to be better. The physics make sense - more directivity will farther reduce room interactions and there's a lot more head room. After building favorite honey's recording booth I'll try the wave guide + large midrange crossed with matching -6dB angles.
Here's the link to the speaker mentioned by some above.


This must be about as ultimate as one can get.
I'd like to see a home subwoofer based on these dudes.
I like extreem stuff like this.The proplem with this hooby is most products have become downright boaring with a bunch of "me-too" copy cat wannabe making boaring stuff that's expensive and NO good.
6550 KCS offers a subwoofer with 31.5in driver.
Yes, there are some drivers larger than 22", but
the 31.5" 500W Fostex driver used in that sub is a little flea weight compared to the 370 pound MTX Jackhammer that is design to handle 6000 Watts.
The jackhammer looks cool. But, can't seem to find any TS parameters on it.
Troels Gravesen in his most recent "Speakers Corner" of 9/11/09 (see his website) writes of a transmission line Watt Puppy clone project he'll soon be starting. Nice drivers by general description.
I built a DIY kit last year and I'm thrilled with the result. Could you offer some more info, re: budget, size constraints, music preference etc? That would help us give a better recommendation

Jack Hammer has very poor transiant responce due to massive excursions not so good for music mostly used for SPL compitions. Plus its cone is far smaller. MTX needs far more power because its very inefficent unlike fostex 31.5 in at 96db 1 watt 8ohms it can play far louder and lower on small power than a MTX whitch is not even designed for use as a music driver. The fostex is a much better performer unless ones just wants to play notes for SPL compitions. Than MTX all the way.
These are shaping up to be some very impressive speakers: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=33995
I went down that path, it's a great hobby and the result was decent. (my wife thinks that it beats a pair of 20k speakers in our local dealer...ok, that's subjective)

It was my own design. The journey was exciting and frustrating. If you build a pre-designed kit then you won't get either.

My lesson learned:

a) it's very difficult to get things right if you don't have the equipment to measure. using your ears aren't really an option. Getting software to model the response is okay up to certain extend, but KEEP IN MIND that they cannot effectively model the baffle compensation, especially a non-conventional baffle. (i.e. how the drivers react to the box's surface).

b) almost no resale value. the drivers will sell, but your cabinet and crossover are not worth anything. I'm stuck with them for a very long time.

c) expensive drivers don't necessary mean that they are easy to work with. They are more capable but you could crash and burn with them easily (think of a Ferrai)

d) you can't really communicate with other audiophiles when you are comparing equipments. There is just no point for reference. (classic question: would XYZ amp match my DIY speakers? noone will be able to answer that question)

e) I figured the cost performance is about the same as getting a used pair of high-end speakers. You can add up the cost of brand new drivers and see if you can find a similar pair in the 'gon.
Great post Kschiu. I'm on my first DIY pair and should be starting a second shortly. If you have the time, patience, and know how, DIY is the best bang for the buck going. It also opens your eyes to a lot of things too...it will blow your mind how a cabinet with only $150 of drivers can sell for a few thousand dollars here.
Thanks Face,

I suppose good bang for the buck was when I did it a decade ago

but nowadays the drivers and parts are not cheap anymore.

I had my whole cost no object 3 way cross over for a few hundred bucks; nowadays the same part will cost over 1k. (used 12 gaugae foil inductors)

Back then the King of speaker caps were the Hoveland musi caps, and nowadays the Mundorf is the king. and I checked the prices, if I want to switch the tweeter cap with the Mundorf then it will be like $200 bucks.

(back then, crazy and single, now married with children. wife won't let it happen!)

Having said that, i'm contemplating buidling a 2 way sealed for HT. Will buy a used REL as SUB.
Here's an excellent bang for the buck kit: http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=35_38_436&products_id=8644
That's an excellent deal. Since I don't build the box myself, the whole thing together is about $800-900. So now the question is, what can I get for $800-$900 used? probably a used pair of ProAcs.

I'm sure the kit has much better quality in terms of parts than the ProAcs, but then which one will sound better is still yet to be confirmed.

Face, I'm curious in knowing your designs.


I have written a couple of practical books on loudspeaker and crossover design:


Here's taking the guess work out of it for you

Best of Luck

Check the DIY speakers built by Dan Neubecker.