Homemade flat panel DML speakers-any experience?

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
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As part of my youtube addiction I ran across videos of supposedly excellent flat panel DML (distributed mode loudspeaker) made out of simple and cheap materials. This is (apparently) the original source video:


There are probably dozens of other build videos on youtube, here is one that does a decent explanation of how to build:

I'm thinking of trying this out but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these at all. None of the youtube videos I saw showed them playing piano music and/or female vocals-my two go-to areas for comparing speakers. Instead they (understandably) play DRM music (basically elevator music) or tones.

Several of the videos mentioned this sort of speaker is deficient in base, so I'm guessing I'd need to add a subwoofer and some kind of crossover.

<--- Reasonably handy at building, can't solder to save my life.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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I saw the first video some time back (last year maybe?) and it was interesting. I think he's had quite a few speaker build videos including some updates to that experiment. I guess the question is, do you have an interest in these beyond just wanting speakers? And do they otherwise fit what you need/want (size, appearance, etc)?
 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
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Don't really need any more speakers, was thinking it would just be a fun/interesting experiment. If I do them they would most likely end up in my "man-cave" - basement room 20 x 15 that is a combination storage dump and my office, and would be used in a (nothing fancy) two channel audio system.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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Giant thread on it. Good luck.

 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
12,147
1,566
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Giant thread on it. Good luck.

Thank you-I think (317 pages and counting in that thread).
 

Jon Fish

Junior Member
Nov 3, 2021
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Do it. It is fun, informative and they sound cool. A different listening experience, particularly if you go large with XPS. The sub is a good addition although it will vary with your setup and listening tastes. Start simple and then see what you need. I just finished a portable guitar amp version - found the 3mm ply while not as good without extra top end for general music has a great range for guitar. I made it collapsible for transport.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,860
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This is a niche hobby where you like to get your hands dirty and experiment. If you need a new hobby have at it but it's a very wasteful means towards a goal if you are goal oriented, instead of letting teams of pros do the work for you, which by scale ends up cheaper too.

So is it a good idea? No it's ridiculous, but if you want speaker construction to be your new hobby, you could do worse. If it makes you happy, that's more important than the end result, though by virtue of having the experiences of others' past work to consider, you have a bit of a short cut to success.

There's also something to be said for building a high quality cabinet that is furniture grade instead of rubbish, like making a functional speaker out of something that doubles as an end table.

Ultimately it comes back to whether you need a new hobby. Speaker manufacturers have been at it a very, long, time, you will devote more of your time than it's worth, chasing that windmill, Don Quixote.
 
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