Cylinder O’ Sound

Well now that I have finished a few projects I decided to start on another quick one. I needed some speakers for my desktop. Of course I’m the type of person that doesn’t just like buying stock ones, nor do I like some drivers stuffed into a rectangular box. So I decided to design and build my own.

The basis of my design was the Zenith Circle of Sound speakers from the mid 70’s. Here is an origianl Zenith advertisement.

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For my design I wanted to keep them a lot smaller. They are going to sit on my desktop so I can’t have these taking up too much room. So I found a nice 3.5″ driver made by Dayton Audio that I liked, and then sized the housing around that. The driver I knew had very nice mids and highs, the lows would have to be made up by the housing. So I designed some interior structure to my housing to try to achieve this. Due to their size I didn’t want to have too much air volume in the housing. Yet I knew I would have to add an air port, so I decided to make it down facing and as small as I could, yet still be effective.

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Another basis to my design is that I wanted to 3D print the entire housing. As I started designing it, I starting thinking of how the different parts would assemble. Then I decided to make it so the entire thing would just snap / slot together, so the only hardware required to assemble it are the screws to mount the speaker. No other fasteners or glue would be required to assemble the final housing. This way all parts could be easily interchanged if I wanted to upgrade them later or print them in a different color. When I was designing the last part I relized by adding in 1 more feature to the legs I could make it so these speakers could stack on top of eachother if I wanted to.

So with the drivers order and a 3D printer sitting at the ready I got to work. In all it took around 18-20hrs to print 1 speaker housing. Then it took all of 5 minutes to assemble it all, thanks to the careful planning I did prior to printing. In all I really love the way they look. I feel like I achieved my goal of capturing the 60’s mid cenutry modern styling of these. Plus they also sound fantastic. They are very surprising for their size, the 2 speakers, at times, can sound like an array of 4 to 6 regular speakers. The Highs are nice and crisp. The mids are warm, and the lows are able to vibrate the table they are sitting on. Best of all due to how tightly the parts fit together there are no rattles in the housing. In fact, the housings actually vibrate less than the table the speakers are sitting on. So in all I’m beyond thrilled with these and they cost me a fraction of what speakers of this quality would have. Plus they are the coolest thing I have made to date now. The only change is, I may reprint the orange bodies out of wood filament and try to stain it in the future. But for now I will crank up the volume and be surrounded by sound.

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