Low-cost, high-performance Transmission-line Speakers
I designed these speakers and I'm happy to
share the design. This site is designed to let you build a pair of very nice
speakers for very little money. I designed and built these speakers in the
summer of 2002 and finished them in time to demonstrate them at the annual Shopsmith Users Group Weekend in
Construction is of 3/4" MDF, of which you will need one sheet. The total cost should be well under $200 for the pair.
I think they sound incredible. The combination of great components from Vifa and a good design is hard to beat.
Transmission-line speakers aren't that common. The transmission line takes up quite a bit of volume which makes them unattractive to commercial speaker manufacturers. It's worth the effort, believe me. One of the nice things about building your own speakers is that you can finish the cabinets any way that you like. In my case, I used a spray-on stone finish. One of these days, I'll get around to building a new set with some fancy veneer.
Updated 8/19/2004 - A few months back one of the pages I linked to on this site changed its address. The owner of the site built a new site with a new domain name. The old name was not renewed with register.com. I changed one of the links to reflect the new name. I missed the other one. When you relinquish a web address, it becomes available to anyone who wants to pay the domain registration fee. In this case the address was quickly snapped up by someone else. The stuff on the new site wasn't something you wanted to show to children or co-workers. I fixed the link, so it won't happen again. I apologize for the oversight and and for any offense it may have caused.
Updated 9/22/2003 - In the intervening months, I took over as the speaker building webring administrator. The speakers are now completely broken in an have proven to be very satisfying. I've started construction on two more pairs, one for my friend and lead guitarist of my band Alan and another for my Friend Jim and his family. We've been friends for 29 years and somehow I've never gotten around to making him a pair of speakers. This will correct that oversight. I will be posting new photos of the construction process to the site within over the next few weeks. I've designed a base to improve stability and it will be featured.
Updated 9/20/2002 - I added a pages showing Lee Harper's alternate construction methods. We also joined the audio webring.
Updated 9/19/2002 - I fixed an error in the spacing between the internal baffle and the cabinet front on the cutaway plan. I also added the spacers to the parts list and made some cosmetic changes.
Update 9/1/2009 – It’s been a few years, but I finally got my own web-hosting site at the new address of www.audio.thesonicboomers.com. I added links to Blair Thompson’s excellent site www.justblair.co.uk and that of my band, The Sonic Boomers www.thesonicboomers.com. In the interim, I’ve built a number of copies of the TL for my friends. I plan to do some more design and development. I have this crazy idea to build TL bass-guitar cabinet using a single driver. I also want to explore chip amps and the possibility of making powered versions of the TL. I also plan to update the look and feel of this site.
The speaker design I present here is my own. You are free to do with it what you will. All I ask is that if anyone asks, that you mention my name and my site. It's an ego thing.
Design Goals - Here's what I was hoping to accomplish.
About Me - What qualifies me to design and build speakers?
Transmission-line basics - T-Line speaker theory in 500 words or less (not counting the equations, of course).
Plans - The best drawings I could come up with.
Construction - Annotated photos of the construction process.
Wiring - The circuit diagram, don't worry it's easy!
Parts and Sources - A complete list of what you'll need and where to get it.
Lee Harper's pictures - Lee has been incredibly helpful in debugging my plans. He also has come up with some very clever alternate approaches to construction.
Listening - A very subjective analysis of the t-line speakers by your's truly.
Links - Sites that I think are cool.
Contact Me - Click here to email me.