What is DIY? It's pretty obvious that DIY means "Do it
Yourself", but it seems to me that it's a bit more complex than that. DIY in the
USA has a rich history, and indeed embodies what is best about the human
spirit. DIY implies a great sense of self reliance and a belief that all things
are accessible to anyone who perseveres and works hard enough.
Loudspeaker DIY is no doubt a direct descendent of the amateur
radio DIYer's from the early 1900's that ultimately took a strategically
important place in the development of radio. Following that great tradition,
many of the speaker companies today began as the dream of a DIY hobbyist who
just didn't know how to quit! Many of these companies, like MTX and Polk Audio
started as small garage operations and today take their place as major
corporations manufacturing thousands of home, car, and pro sound speakers each
It also seems like DIY refers to many different levels of
"Doing it Yourself". In terms of loudspeakers, there are probably at least four
levels of DIY:
Installing it Yourself - just the act of researching, purchasing a complete
and finished home or car audio system, and then installing and setting it up
yourself, is certainly the most modest form of DIY. This web site will offer
complete ready to install loudspeakers, but that certainly is not the primary
reason for the LDC DIY Group. Loudspeaker Development Corporation will also have
another web site that only sells completed speakers.
Speaker Kit Level 1 - building a speaker kit is probably the easiest and most
fun way to get into the technology of loudspeakers. Given the fact that Vance
has designed so many products for so many name brand manufacturers, speaker kits
from LDC DIY Group are more like replicating production prototypes that your
typical "speaker kit". A level 1 kit has a completely finished cabinet, prewired
crossover, and a simple easy to follow set of instructions.
Speaker Kit Level 2 - this is for appropriate for someone that has a moderate
amount of experience and can follow schematics, use a soldering iron and knows
his or her way around basic wood working tools. A level 2 kit includes a
unfinished and unassembled cabinet, crossover parts that need to be assembled,
and of course the drivers, and in the tradition of Heathkit and Dynakit, a
step-by-step set of instructions.
Speaker Kit Level 3 - if you have a table saw and woodworking is not a
problem, then just purchasing the drivers, unassembled network parts and a
pre-routed baffle is a very economical way to go. Instructions are just a
schematic, box dimensions and a high five for taking the high road.
DIY untamed Level 4 - OK, you have read all the books, own some kind of audio
analyzer for making measurements, designed a few speakers, and you don't need
any help at all. Generally this means that you have the chops to do system
design, but probably not transducer engineering. That's our job, and I think you
will be pleasantly surprised by the performance and quality of LDC drivers.