So after listening to my Cylinder O’ Sound speakers for a while now I decided that I wanted a little more bass. So I decided to add a third speaker to the pair, a subwoofer.
If you aren’t familiar with my Cylinder O’ Sound speakers check that out first here.
So the first thing I did was I went driver shopping yet again. There were 3 main things I was looking for. Reasonably priced ($30 or less); Had to be less than 7″ round, Lastly had to be able to go to at least 40Hz. So after a while on Parts Express I finally found a Dayton Audio woofer that fit all my criteria. I ended up finding the DC160 driver which is 6.5″ round, goes to 30Hz, and only costs $20. So I ordered that.
Once the woofer arrived I started making the housing for it. I wanted to keep the design of my Cylinder O’s Sound. But of course this woofer is huge compared to the drivers in my original housing. So I basically had to start from scratch and remake the housing. I ended up making it as big as I could. Seeing that I was going to 3D print the housing yet again I needed to keep in mind the size of my printer (7.5″ cube). So the housing had to fit within that. I actually had to make some modifications to my printer in order to achieve that build area as it was previously 7.5W x 7D x 7.5H.
Due to the size of the housing I had to get creative in the way I designed certain parts. Such as the legs. The finished ones are almost 11 inches long so there was no way I could print those out as 1 piece like the original ones. So I devised a system that let 2 parts slot together and then held the top one in place with a pin.
With this new design it also gave me the opportunity to change some things I didn’t like as much with the first design. Mainly of which was having the speaker wire attach directly to the speaker and just feed out the bottom. I wanted some terminals that way I could just plug-in any wire, should I need longer or shorter. So I ordered the smallest spring terminals I could find. Then started to design a way of holding them so they couldn’t push in or be pulled out easily. I also decided to make it slightly more challenging on myself by making it so they weren’t visible unless the speaker is flipped upside down. In all it turned out well and I actually made 2 new housings to the smaller speakers incorporating this new feature.
Now when you are talking about a woofer of any type there is one thing that also comes to mind and that is a crossover. To send the lower frequencies to the woofer and the higher ones to the other speakers. After looking I didn’t find a premade crossover that was reasonably priced and had the cross over frequencies I wanted. So I decided to just make my own from scratch. I found some online calculators to tell me the capacitors and inductor value that I needed. For my crossover I wanted the frequency point to be roughly 700Hz. As the woofer I got is rated 30-4000Hz and between both the drivers and woofer this seemed like a nice crossover point. The next thing I decide was to go with a first order crossover, as there were fewer parts and it was cheaper to build. The other reason is the crossover slope is a lot more gradual so the drivers and woofers would overlap a little more. Upon building and testing my crossover I wasn’t satisfied with the lows so I decided to make the sub crossover a second order by adding a capacitor. This got the lows I was looking for out of it. Though it now was overpowering the main drivers at higher volumes. So I threw a resistor in to decrease its volume slightly. After my changes to the subwoofer crossover I don’t think my crossover point is at 700Hz anymore. It is probably more in the realm of 500-400Hz now. In all I’m pleased with my low budget crossover, granted it wasn’t built with the best components but it does its job and there really is no noticeable effect in the sound quality. Next thing to do is print a case for it.
Now that my full range drivers are paired up with a nice subwoofer the trio of sound is amazing. These speakers are still pretty darn small but the sound quality is amazing. Between all three speakers it has cost me around $100 to build including printing the housings. These speakers certainly are able to keep up with stock setups that cost double or triple what I built them for. Plus no matter what, these will always look cooler than any other speakers; which is the whole point of building custom speakers in the first place.