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First time speaker build recommendadtions please

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    First time speaker build recommendadtions please

    Hi all,

    I have been on the look out for a random box as a starting point for a bedside speaker project. I came across this in a charity shop today. It is a wine box of really solid 10mm hardwood construction:

    Click image for larger version

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    The plan is to build pi, screen and amp into the top section and close up the bottom section to form the speaker enclosure. Look, see how the Waveshare 5inch screen is going to fit perfectly!

    The goal is not hi-fi here obviously, but something comparable with a ~£100 bluetooth speaker would seem worth the effort since the box is really quite nice and it should sound as good as it looks. I have a number of questions from the off.

    Speaker enclosure:
    • Any advice on a suitable driver(s)? The enclosure volume is ~4.3l
    • Ported or sealed? My thinking on this so far is that sealed is going to be more forgiving and offer more bass extension from a small driver (at the expense of efficiency) - I just need to find a driver that is a good match for the volume of the box. I feel I could get a ported enclosure wrong.
    • Mono, full-range seems the most sensible and easiest. Any driver recommendations?
    • Any recommendations for a 2-way kit? With or without a bass port tube?
    • Stereo or mono? Not going to get much stereo field when the drivers are so close but I could separate the box into 2 sections but that halves the volume. Could do some fancy mixing of the lows to mono and have stereo tweeters but complexity is going up. Is putting both speakers in the same enclosure so bad? The advantage of going stereo is that it makes selecting an amp easier but the more drivers the greater the cost (or lower the quality).

    I've already had good results with the Hifiberry Amp2 elsewhere, but that seems overkill. I feel that the various small class-d amp HATs that run off 5V would be a little underpowered for this, especially in a sealed enclosure design. Am I wrong? Doesn't have to be a HAT, in fact it might help with fitting it in the box if it wasn't. Could break it up into DAC and amp modules if necessary.
    I feel I'm looking for about 15W RMS mono. Class-D seems like a good choice for both quality and efficiency.
    Any recommendations? Separate modules, some soldering required would be fine.

    I've always been interested in speaker building but the investment of time and money coupled with the danger of wasting both has put me off. The stakes are low here but I'd like to learn as much as I can and get the best result. Interested to hear of your successes, failures and lessons learned on similar projects. Thanks for your thoughts in advance. Looking forward to posting a thread when the project is finished.


    porteur de vin

    I have found a Visaton FRS8M 3" speaker works really well for personal listening and 3 watts is fine, wont shake you out of bed

    Good luck, the box looks great for bedside player.



      regarding the enclosure design, it depends on if you want "good" (casual listening, background listening) or great. Great is a serious undertaking IMO, with skills and software modeling I am incapable of .

      As an example, I would consider something like the sb radio and boom to be "good" but in general would not sit is a chair in front of them (critical listening).

      Having said that, I have three thoughts:
      1) This is a real good basic info for speaker building article I found about a year ago. Long, covers alot, but also very readable and easy to understand:
      2) You have to eliminate all rattles in that cool box.
      3) In your shoes I might consider buying small satellite speakers, and installing them, unmodified, in your enclosure as a unit. With this approach, one thing to avoid or minimize, is to have the speaker recessed in any way. Ideally, the front surface of the speaker enclosure should be flush with the outside surface of the box, or recessed as little as possible. The speaker was probably designed for no obstructions to the sides/above/below in front of the face (other that the speaker grill frame). Also, you would want to buy a speaker that is not ported

      I'm not recommending speakers to use, but I have heard these, and they aren't bad: I am including the link to illustrate the "type" of speaker to consider if you want to try #3. But, these are ported, so I would look for something similar that is not ported. Some have options to have the port plugged or not based on placement.



        I agree the idea of setting in a ready made speaker into the cabin. It needs to be either sealed or front ported. But go a stage further and get active mini-monitors that have their own amplification. You are then relying on someone with considerable experience getting the audio side of the project right. Of course by setting them in a box you will be compromising their design, but may still end up ahead.

        Note also some active monitors also have an on board DAC and accept S/PDIF input.

        I have no idea how much space you have.

        Or you could go downmarket and fit two car speakers!

        In UK: rPi4 running LMS, Chromecast Audio Dongle and Chromecast Video Dongle attached to TV - Beresford DAC - Quad 77 Integrated Amp - AVI Neutron 4 Speakers - Sennheiser HD25 Headphones. Boom in Bedroom.

        In Nicosia: LMS running on a small form factor Windows PC, Beresford DAC into Quad 405-2 and MB Quart 980s


          For simplicity, I too ended up using a pair of ready-made speakers with this setup, a PiCorePlayer running Jivelite on a Waveshare 7" display. Audio from the display HDMI output.
          The audio quality is quite reasonable, although there's not much at the low end, given the size of the speakers.
          Had to make several mods to the speakers, including cutting slots to accomodate cables and fitting a 5volt psu inside the slave unit to power the Pi, none of which affected the audio at all.

          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by juanefe; 2022-03-17, 05:10.