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DIY design/building of driver NOT cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sublimate, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. I've read thru the FAQ, done searches, and even googled but I haven't found what I'm looking for. Can anyone help?

    I'm looking for information about designing and building drivers (cones, coils, magnets, baskets). All I've been able to find is information about building cabinets to put said drivers into.

    Anyone have any leads? Has anyone here done this?
  2. Maybe electrical engineering text books?
  3. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    driver design and generation isn't likely to be the easiest nor least expensive process. Engineering and producing stamped steel baskets which are rigid and self reinforcing requires a lot of trial and error as well as several heavy metalworking punch presses. Perhaps instead you'd be able to cast your own aluminum baskets, although I'm not sure where you'd get the materials and tools to do that. I would imagine mold making isn't quite an easy nor consistant feat either.

    From there, you'd have to find an OEM to produce you the right size weight and shape magnets. The same would be the case for the spider, and any extraordinary cone materials. You might be able to wind your own voice coils and press your own cones though...

    Really I don't see how its possibly feasible for anyone without a serious machine shop to go about making drivers. That's why most companies route through OEM channels with Eminence/B&C, etc. That way you get the design specs you want and build consistancy without rediculous overhead costs and metalworking equipment purchases.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    First off: what's your motivation? A one-off, or producing several thousand units? What's it morth to you monetarily? It'll obviously cost lots more than using an in-stock solution, right?

    The closest I've come is working with a reconer to modify standard reconing parts. You could start by learning how to do that, buying parts from Waldom or one of the other suppliers.

    Also, ask Ted Weber for some advice about this on his speaker forum at http://www.webervst.com/vstbbs/bbs.html.

    Finally, consider just having Eminence or someone like that do the work for you; they are more than happy to do so. Your investment is likely to be huge if you insist on reinventing the wheel. But if you find out otherwise, please let us know! :cool:
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Very ambitious, and something I've thought about doing but for home stereo. Would be a lot of fun.

    Try these links for info.

    This one is where you can design your own driver but let someone else build it.

    If you design a great speaker - maybe the 500 piece price breakpoint would be worth it.

    I think fieldcoils are due for a comeback. Using a SMPS to reduce weight of course.
  6. etnops


    Nov 6, 2005
    you're headed toward a money pit, if you try to explore making raw drivers for yourself, i'm afraid.

    i design and build drivers every day. that's my job. i'm a transducer engineer and production manager for the speaker assy line. so, i guess i could say i've got a bit of experience. ;)

    to learn about how it all works, and what each component does, i suggest you start at the very beginning. pick up a book called "acoustics" by leo baranek. from there, become a member of the AES (audio engineering society) and scour the thousands upon thousands of journals on this very issue. www.aes.org

    go to college, and double major in electrical and mechanical engineering. and then brush up on your chemical knowledge as well, because you need to be well versed in adhesive technology, too. ;)

    but, if you want to circumvent all of that, and just LEARN, a good beginner's resource is Vance Dickason's Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. i don't like Vance myself, and i think he takes an archaic approach to it all, but it will be a good starting point. you can pick it up from www.partsexpress.com

    just to tickle your fancy, when i engineer a new driver from scratch, it usually takes about 18months to get a working prototype, and usually about $20-25k in tooling/up-front investment.
    if you choose all "off the shelf" parts, expect about $5-10k investment for one working sample, + shipping fees. BTW - most speaker materials come from the orient, so don't be surprised when you get a $1200 bill from UPS for air freight charges of a 10lb package. :)

    like i said, start with the loudspeaker design cookbook, and then move up from there. learn basic engineering principles, and bust out your old textbooks on physics. i would NOT suggest trying to even explore making your own drivers, without some serious experience and knowledge firsthand. i've been doing this for about 10yrs now professionally, and i learn things and make mistakes every day.

    best of luck.

  7. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ

    WHAH!?!?!??! jumpin jimminy crickets! TB blows me away.
  8. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    To quote a move if a few years back-

    Why you gotta make things so

    I don't. That's just how they are.

  9. etnops


    Nov 6, 2005

    ha ha! not that unusual, actually. i put my pants on like everyone else in the world - one leg at a time. ;) :D

    i'm in the home audio world now, and cut my teeth in OEM car audio. but regardless of the application, whether it be home audio, pro audio, or musical instrument...the same priciples apply.

    just a thought.

  10. Thanks for the info guys.
  11. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Does that use the field coils to create a static magnetic field or do they create the opposite magnetic field to the voice coil, like bridging an amp?

  12. A field coil would create a static magnetic field. Basicaly you'd be replacing the heavy permanent magnet is current designs with a hopefully lighter and more powerful electromagnet. You cabinet would then have to plug into the wall.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 24, 2020

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