DIY Speaker cabinets

Has anyone had a go at making DIY cabinets from the internet? I’m keen to give it a go, and started looking at the LXMini ( but got put off by the need for the 4 channel amp etc… it would turn the fun project of building some affordable speakers into a costly replacement. Next stop was - they have some neat designs based on their drivers. Reviews seem to be mixed though. Next stop These look like a decent option.

Anyone got suggestions of resources or experiences they want to share?

I know @rovinggecko is pretty proficient in building his own gear. I’ve (shortly) heard a pair of Linkwitzes he built – pretty impressive stuff.


Thanks for that. I knew there were smart folks here - so worth an ask. The Linkwitzes do look good - it’s just all the extra gear to drive them. I’ll build up to them :slight_smile:

I can’t even count or remember, how many speakers I have (co)-built, designed, or measured/filtered over the past 25 years…So yes, quite some experience and expertise over here I guess ;-). A very rewarding hobby btw, especially when you’re willing to dive into all the science involved. You can learn for a lifetime, and never finish :).

Without understanding your requirements, it’ll be near impossible suggest a particular design for you. There are so many options… The following questions may be a good start, to understand you requirements :

  1. What box dimensions are you willing to fit in your room ? Any approximate dimensions that you are aiming for ?
  2. What loudspeakers are you currently used to ? Could you try to describe, which properties you are trying to improve upon, and what you DO like about them ?
  3. What is the +/- available budget, on the finished set of speakers ?
  4. Approx. dimensions of your listening room ?
  5. Anything else that might help, in narrowing down the selection ?
  6. Where are you located, and by any chance : is there a DIY speaker shop near you ?

Considering your own suggestions :

  1. The LXminis are very good, I know them well. In some regards, they are even exceptional.
    They do have their own shortcomings (just as anything else has…), I personally would not choose these for myself.
    I understand very well, that the ‘fully active’ can be a step too far, for anyones first project.
  2. Seas : they are very good at driver design and manufacturing. Some of them world class, even.
    But their system designs (filter design mostly) : meh. Most of them do not do justice, to their driver’s qualities.
  3. Zaph : has some very well done designs on his site, indeed. You can find a lot of ‘designers’ and their boxes on the internet; they can vary greatly in quality unfortunately. Like zaph, one of the better is (used to be ?)

Oh. This will sound very obvious, but I want to stress it anyway. Searching online for a speaker design, is very similar to shopping online for a normal speaker.
You do not know what it sounds like, before ordering. You do not know whether you’ll like the result, or not. And given the great variety of ‘flavours’ in speaker designs, the risk of ordering the wrong flavour is very real.
Adapting it is not a huge problem for an experienced designer. But it is for anyone inexperienced, it’s not something you will learn in a year or two normally.
This was my reason for question 6 : if you have the chance, listen before you buy !

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Hi @Marco_de_Jonge1 - thank you for your excellent and very informative response. Great information there for me to digest. I should clarify my question a bit more. I’ve no experience of building speakers, but have built guitars in the past. I also like tinkering with single board computers and currently building an Objective2 and ODAC amp. So the nature of my question wasn’t so much “what speaker design should I go for” but more looking for resources. Knowing me I’ll build a set of stand mount speakers. Then another. And another. And… I’d really like to learn more about the science of it. Speakers are a fantastic thing - like guitars - where science meets art. Great things happen when those two collide :slight_smile:

I’m in the uk - I’m not aware of DIY speaker shops near me but I’ve never looked. I’ve seen software for cabinet design but it was for Windows. I’ll try get some books and see what I can glean from those (anyone got recommendations!). It’s less about a pair of speakers for me but more a case of finding a new hobby to apply my mind and hands to!

Hi @anon73739233, much clearer now already ! First things first : allow me to state that unlike guitars, I do NOT like to think of speakers as ‘art’. To me they are almost pure science, with maybe just a little bit of ‘taste’ added.
A speaker should just reproduce any given signal as perfectly and naturally as possible. No art: just do your job as good as you can. A guitar may (please!) have its own sound, but a reproduction device should not.
You, of course, may have a different opinion. At least you know mine.

Seeing you’re building guitars, I should assume that you are no stranger to more advanced woodworking. I think I can narrow down your posts, to two questions :

  1. I need more knowledge, where can I get that ?!
  2. Any cheap but very good sounding design, that can get me addicted do DIYing speakers ?


1. Knowlegde. There are many books, but for you, I’d suggest two of them. The first is this one :
Target audience has litlle understanding but much interest on the subject, but (at least) hasn’t skipped the beta subjects on school.
Read and understand it thoroughly (takes a couple of months to more than a year), and try to put what you learnt in practice meanwhile.
Once you think you’ve understood, and you think you’re ready for it, you could try the following book :
Careful, most people start too early with this one. It somewhat assumes that you already have the hard- and software to perform acoustical measurements, but you do not know how to put it to use.
To me, this was a proper introduction on the subject. But slow it down, take the time, and do not go forward until you have fully understood what was written before. Meanwhile, you should experiment, and have a lot of questions for yourself to answer.
1.3 On top of the above, it could be useful to suscribe yourselves to a specialist magazine. Most of them are in German strangely enough; I assume you cannot read them ( and They are ae targeted at ‘average’, ‘not too technical’ readers.
There is another English magazine; as far as I remember, it is targeted at quite a bit more advanced users. The name is Voice Coil Magazine; I can’t find a link quickly. Thanks for reminding, I should take a subscription ;-).

This was all maybe a bit negative, but now the things to really get you going :). I can think of two excellent-but-cheap projects, to get you started :
2. Nice designs :slight_smile: :
2.1. Cyburgs Needle (or Tangband Needle). Can’t quickly find a good link with all the plans, but can probaly supply you with the design.
This design is maximum bang-for-the-buck : very natural and quite ‘big’ sound, for less than 100 bucks a pair.
You’ll be amazed by what’s possible with just one 10cm driver. You’ll learn how much of a difference a crossover can make.
Yes, it has severe limitations : not much is happing below 50-60Hz, and do not ask too much loudness from them. But this is FUN FUN FUN!
2.2. Or, take the LBVS : . The fact that this is Dutch (just as I am) is pure coincidence.
This is really an excellent, low budget design. Costs a little more than the tangbands, but the rewards are more than worth it. Could in fact be a speaker, that many could live with the rest of their lives with.
Downsides : a little more costs, a little more added complexity (by that I mean : you might not understand what you as did just as well, as you would do with the needles).

2.3 A different, but more advanced take, could be to take one of the designs from the brand Visaton : . I’m sory, German again…
The big advantage here, is that Visaton has simulation software for their own drivers. Yup, for WIndows. But it is the easiest to use for a starter, by a very far stretch, In simple words : you can ‘predict’ in their software, how the speaker will behave/sound once applied in a particular enclore, with your own designed crossover. This software can be found here : . It also means, that you can adjust the designs to your own ‘taste’ (assuming enough knowlegde on your side).
The downside : it assumes you already have a fair share of knowledge, on the information in the books above…

I think I’ve already given too much information for you to digest…Let’s see what comes out of it.
Summarizing : for pure pleasure and fun building as a starter : build 2.1. Or, if you want to enjoy your build much longer : build 2.2. Read up in in books or online, meanwhile.

2 Likes has kits for the 521 and mini options from Linkwitz lab

I have met frank…he is a fastidious cat and his work is very high standard.

I personally have built (not kits) Linkwitz Lab Pluto and Lxmini and LX521 models and also own a pair of factory built Orion’s

I love them all, but the 521 are my go to in my listening room.

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Thanks for the suggestion there. I am guessing the 521 is also an active speaker, like the LXMini? For a first project I’ll tackle something passive I think. But if all goes well, this wil be a new hobby for me. Books are ordered, and going to get started on this journey. Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions. It is great being a part of a community where folks have so much knowledge and are willing to share.

All of the Linkwitz Lab designs (currently) are active design… go read up on the website and you will find out more.

If nothing else the site has great insights into not just speaker design, but placement and listening etc too…its always a good read :smiley:

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Take a look at this:
A very nice design that I’ve been looking at a lot. I have not built a pair yet though. The speaker has even been SAM’ed if you happen to use a Devialet amp…

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Hey all, thank you very much for the advice and information. I think I am erring towards building a passive 2 way system to start out. Active will come along in time - it’ll be interesting to compare them. But for now I think I could have a lot of fun building passive speakers.

You might look at the Madisound website if you havent already done so…lots of drive units, some kits and crossovers, as well as good advice. Parts Express also supplies the bits and pieces to help constructors,as well as having some kits

I have built many speakers in the past and would encourage you to look at the provenance of the design before splashing out money…you can also often see reviews of design associated with magazines or dealers, or drive unit suppliers like the ones mentioned above

I recently built a mini monitor in an Aerolam cabinet based on the SEAS Coaxial drive unit C16N00i/F…a little expensive but comparable to my Kef LS50s, even allowing for constructer bias. Madisound also sell a smaller SEAS Coax unit , the L12RE/XFC which I believe that Trenner and Friedle use in their well-reviewed Sun speaker which sells for around $3000. Woodworking and finishing is the biggest challenge and it sounds as if you are comfortable with that, so fire up the table saw !!

Another good source of drivers if you are UK/EU based

Hello all, my first post on this site. To the OP, I have built many speakers over the last 15 years or so. I have built several GR Research speakers, they have all sounded great. You owe it to yourself to take a look at the GR Research circle on Audio Circle ( ). Danny has many designs ready to build. I enjoy the building but realize I don’t have the chops or the test equipment needed to design a great speaker, not to mention the time to waste if my efforts ended up sub par. Not affiliated in any way and not selling speakers, just really enjoy the end result. Here is a link to my last build thread if you are interested:

Best of luck,

@wizardofoz and @Ed_Bagwell - thank you very much. I’m in the same camp for now - I’ll go with established designs while I get my head around the measurements. Longer term goal is to design for myself and rooms, but a good starting point is an existing design. I’ll take a look at the GR Research ones. Falcon Acoustics does look like a good bet for me getting parts locally :slight_smile:

I agree with the advice of using a professional design, at least to start. I chose DIY for design considerations (close to wall placement), for veneer selection (see below), and a little bit for quality of components (8 gauge coils). I’ve 3 speakers from North Creek, alas no longer in business, and still use 2 actively.

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Building your own speakers is fun and addictive: it is easy to fill up your house with them.

Using a design is a good way to ensure the sound is somewhat acceptable. Buying a kit a nice way to get started.

Active or passive is not that big a difference: you can simply buy a minidsp, load up the filters and add a suitable amp to get started. Not much different from passive.
You can then always decide to break out the soldering iron and put an asp together and and amp, if you so desire.

Speakers come with their own sound. Which you either like or not. Something that is annoying to find out after you build it.
Picking a design means you have a chance of good sounding ones, but even more so, it gives you the opportunity to go listen to them to see if the sound is to your liking.

The first ones I build (5 scanspeak A4 monitors for a HT set) were kit ones. I’ve picked them out of a lineup in a listening session and probably would not have selected them otherwise.
The next set was a pair of Linkwitz mini’s. I did not audition them and took a gamble on the imaging angle of them. And loved the sound, so ended up building a pair of LX521s as well.
The Linkwitz sound seems to work for me. But where for me the imaging is an important aspect, for others it is very precise placement, and for others again the reproduction of bass, etc.

Those that build their own speakers are usually quite happy to show them off to someone looking to build a similar set. A good way to see if the sound is your sound and as a bonus you might get some building hints and tips in the process.

Oh, and keep in mind that as proud as you might be of them, selling them is a different story, so make sure you;re happy to ‘sink’ the investment when the urge comes to build something else.


Thanks for all the advice guys. I’ve got my books now, and am scouring the forums and shops for designs that are available locally. I don’t know of any DIY shops around where I can go take a listen, but it does seem that that is a good idea. The veneer on those speakers looks fantastic… that is a skill I am going to have to acquire. Making guitars you’re working with solid wood or at the very least a decent top. It’ll be a while before I am on my feet but thoroughly looking forward to the adventure. I appreciate that with selling them, they are your pride and joy and to anyone else they’re “no name brand” speakers. The enjoyment is purely for myself.

Thanks all for the help, advice and guidance. I think I am in a good place regarding next steps…

Good to hear I am not the only one with a big big smile on my face … the upgrade came just in time I assembled my speakers From Bastanis the Active Amy’s a while ago and the speakers are now burned in. The soundstage and quality is as far beyond as expected Amy Wine is now Singing in da House! Oh man listening to Jennifer Warnes famous blue raincoat in DSD gives me the shivers so clear and well staged …image|375x500

visit the website and tell what you think about that … have fun with ROON

Regards Max

That is so cool Max. I have a set of Mission 753’s speakers (I moved to the US from England in 2001) in my living room doing duty as my main audio system and home theater - fed by the 851N into am Arcam AVR600 amp. However, I have a full woodworking shop (hobby) and recently started assembling a stereo only set up in my ‘man cave’ (second floor room in my barn above the wood shop.) I wanted to try my hand at a set of DIY speakers. Having never done this before I decided to start conservatively with a pair of Overnight Sensations TMM Towers -

Given the minimal cost I am delighted with results. I’ll take some photos tonight and post them tomorrow. Given how well these worked out I am now planning on a set of Bordeaux speakers:

After that I will {slowly} upgrade the rest of the electronics. Current setup in the man cave is a laptop running Roon remote feeding a DragonFly Black going into a Monoprice 50W hybrid integrated amp (being used as a preamp only) going into an old Arcam power amp (again from my English days.) and out to the Overnight Sensation towers. Eventually I will need to think about room treatments as the man cave has sloped ceilings and lots of hard services.

Given the mix and match of components I am really pleased with the results so far and I am also really enjoying the journey. I have not heard of the speakers you have but will check them out. I see that the kits come from the Netherlands - is that your location? I am in central California, USA.