Also do either of you have any recommendations for textbooks that get into the more technical side of speaker design? I would like to learn more about what goes into designing the crossovers and cabinets so maybe someday I could do some of my own custom speakers.
I am currently taking courses with the intention of starting an electrical engineering degree so I am fairly comfortable with technical material.
How did you guys learn about speaker and crossover design?
The fact that you're taking courses for electrical engineering is a huge plus. I learned from a life of playing with stereos, which started for me as a kid with boom boxes, then home stereos, then car audio, now I'm back into home audio. Everything I've learned has been from watching, hearing, and doing. My biggest advancements in knowledge have been from building kits, learning about the hows and whys of the kits, and asking questions on the forums, and this has all been over the past 5 years or so. I also have that speaker building book, but having zero experience in electrical made that fairly hard for me to read. Basically the book starts making sense to me after I have a good grip on how it works (if that makes any sense).
The 2 biggest pieces of advice regarding DIY speakers I can give you...
Regarding the build you're on now... I'm not sure where you've come from and what you've had in the past with regards to decent home audio, but one of the best pieces of advice I was given when I first started building home audio speakers was this (it might sound I'm asking you to join a cult, and maybe I am
, but it was great advice none the less)... Forget about what you perceive as a good sounding speaker, and try to reprogram your ears back to zero. Be ready for an organic type sound, nothing exaggerated, just natural and right. Set the bass and treble on your stereo to zero (flat), and don't use any DSP settings. Listen this way for a while, and try to get used to that while listening to various different tracks. Eventually you'll understand why
. Also, the HiVi L6-4R drivers take a long time to break in, the longest I've personally ever seen from a driver. I thought they were fairly lifeless for maybe the first 3 days of listening, but after that they really started to loosen up and the detail began coming through.
And second, there are a lot of mystical voodoo type artifacts in home audio land. Just remember that it isn't magic, it's physics, all you're doing is turning electricity into vibrations, and vibrations into music. If someone is saying something that doesn't make sense or doesn't really add up (especially to someone with an understanding of electricity), it's probably snake oil.