Welcome to Audio Innovation - A DIY Loudspeaker Resource by Dan Marx

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Audio Innovation


Speaker Projects

Home Theater
Contact Info

Speaker Projects

DM-4 Reference
TC Sounds 15" LMS
Sealed TC-3000
RSS 10" 300W Sub
Dayton/Morel MTM
Swans M3
Monitor W690X
AI10S Surrounds
Center Channel
TC Sounds 15"
10Triple10 Sub
15" Ultimate Sub
EBS Shiva
Shiva QB3


Welcome to Audio Innovation! A truly one-of-a-kind speaker resource center. A web site by the fanatics - for the fanatics. Within these pages you'll find a vast amount of information to quench your thirst for designing & building loudspeakers. I've gathered as much useful information as I have been able to find over the years and long with my own experience and knowledge and compiled it here on this web site. My personal audio craze began over 30 years ago when I built my first pair of two-way speakers. The drive to build nicer and better-sounding speakers has only escalated since and I have no plans for giving it up any time soon. I have a passion for music, audio, Home Theater and most of all - I just love building speakers.

There's nothing like being able to listen to a lifetime of great music after having spent just a few months in the garage working on a new sub or a pair of speakers.  This site is dedicated to all those who consider themselves (to steal a phrase from Parasound) - literally obsessed with sound, to those of you who stay up late at night envisioning new and innovative subwoofer and speaker designs - and to those who are just starting out in the world of DIY loudspeakers.  I hope you find all the answers to the questions you have and that your minds be enlightened to the never-ending possibilities in loudspeaker design.


The Audio Innovation Blog

October 17, 2022

It's been over two years now since I've updated this web site, but certainly not as long since I've been playing around in the world of audio and speakers. At this point I will probably no longer be updating this web site as I've moved all of my projects over to my Wordpress Blog. I'll leave this site up as an archive to some of my older projects but will no longer be updating it with any new content. To stay up to date with speaker projects I'm working on, please visit The Blog for Whoever over at https://www.danmarx.org/blog/. While not necessarily dedicated to speaker projects only, the majority of what I write about is audio related for the most part, with the occasional computer project, home DIY project, or RC car/plane project thrown in for good measure. So thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to check out https://www.danmarx.org/blog/ for all future DIY speaker endevours. Thanks again! - Dan

August 30, 2020

Latest project - 15" Ultimax UM15-22 subwoofer! I just finished this new addition to the family room theater a couple weeks ago. We've got some bumping bass once again! The project was super fun to work on and only took me about a week to complete. Now I remember why I enjoy building subs so much, they are way easier than building full-range speakers. Not having to deal with designing and testing the crossover and buying a bunch of extra parts. It's just a driver and a box. I did complicate things a little bit by adding a miniDSP, but that really just makes things more fun. The sub is powered by a Crown XLS 1002 amplifier with a sleep relay to enable it to be powered on and off with the rest of the setup. It's a great-looking sub and adds plenty of bump to our little theater. Check out the whole write-up over at www.danmarx.org/blog


August 28, 2019

So it's been two years since my last speaker project, which in reality seems like too long, but alas, I present you with my latest and greatest speaker project! The Dayton HiVi RTS181.3 Two-way Bookshelf Speaker. This isn't actually a new build, but a makeover of my old Monitor W690X speakers. They consist of a Dayton Audio RS180-8 7" woofer and HiVi Research RT1.3WE Planar Ribbon tweeter. I designed a custom external 24 db/octave crossover which features full baffle step compensation and special notch filters on the woofer and tweeter to help improve the frequency response and lower the cone break-up modes of the woofer. It was a fun project and kept me busy for several months. Plus I really got to dive into crossover design and measurement techniques. Click the link here to head on over to my blog to read all about them!


April 15, 2017

The speaker project is complete! Yesterday I installed the last driver into the all-new DM-4 Reference Speaker system and set them up in my house and they look awesome! Definitely my greatest speaker-building masterpiece yet. I haven't got the crossovers or any of the stereo gear hooked up, so I haven't listened to them yet, but they at least look the part for now. I'm working on packaging up both the MiniDSPs into an old VCR enclosure that I gutted. I still need to purchase a bunch of RCA cables to hook up all 6 channels and I'm looking at picking up a pre-amp as well. Until then if you want to read about the DM-4 speaker build from beginning to end, here's the link to each of the blog entries for a complete (and long) write-up of the entire process.

The DM-4 Active Reference Series Speaker Project Has Begun!

DM-4 Reference Loudspeakers Part II Bottom Cabinets Nearing Completion


Damping Methods, First Listen and Measuring the DM-4 Speakers Part III

DM-4 Reference Upper Cabinet 2-way Speaker Build Part IV

DM-4 Reference Speaker Build Part V Finally Complete!

Check it out, there's almost a thousand pictures of entire build process plus I did my best to do some decent write-ups describing the build process for each step. It's by no means a speaker building tutorial, but there's definitely a lot of good (hopefully good) information amongst those pages. So feel free to check out the links above and feel free to leave a comment in the comments section of my blog if you like the project!

September 27, 2016

The DM-4 Active Reference Loudspeaker project is alive and in full force! The details can be found over on my Blog for Whoever located at www.danmarx.org/blog. Stop by and check it out to see how it's coming along. Lots of pictures and long-winded write-ups. Plus cool videos with music! Click the link above to check it out.

Maytember 16th 2014

So the last time I updated this site was 6 years ago. Wow. I am the worst. Ever. Life has been busy for me these last 6 years so I honestly can't blame myself entirely for not posting as much as I should. But I've vowed once again to try and be better, to update this site, to correct stuff that's wrong and to try and make this site more useful. The last project I worked on was pretty awesome actually, I got to work with my little brother on his Home Theater and we built enclosures for (4) 15" TC Sounds LMS-R drivers and powered them with (4) Crown XLS-2500 series amps. You can check out the entire project over at my blog here. It was overall an amazing time, hanging with my bro, building speakers, just like we did when we were teenagers. So check it out, it's a quick read with lots of pics. I can highly recommend that sub/amp combo. It's a match made in heaven.

Other things that have been going on, I've nearly finished my AirPlay-equippped whole-house audio setup. That's right, whole-house audio run entirely via Apple Airport Expresses I've bought off Craigslist and eBay. I've got four of them right now, two of them run to a pair of Lepai LP-2020A+ amps and then to a set of Parts Express in-ceiling speakers - one pair in our master bathroom and the other pair in the kids playroom. The other two are in the entertainment center and go to the main home theater speakers and also out to the patio speakers. I've got 2 more pairs of in-ceiling speakers that I'm not sure what to do with yet but will plan on adding those with another pair of Airports and Lepai amps. It's seriously such an awesome setup, the ultimate poor-man's whole house audio. 

The Airport Expresses are 1st gen wirelessG only (but hardwired to my LAN) and run for about $20. The Lepai amps are $20 all day long from Amazon. And for speakers, the sky is the limit, but I usually opt for something cheap at around $50. I mean they are speakers mounted into drywall, how good can they really sound? So there you have it, less than $100 per zone for a fully-functional whole-house audio setup that already integrates seemlessy with iTunes, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. I'll post pictures of the setup once I get around to it, but it doesn't look nearly as cool as how well it actually works.

The other project I have in the works is a new full-range floorstanding set of high-end, hi-fi speakers utilizing the brand new Paper Cone series of Dayton Audio Reference woofers from Parts Express. You can check out the details of the beginnings of this project here. Like it or hate it, this is going to keep me occupied for the next several months (or years). But I'm not it a huge rush to get them done, I'm hoping it can be something I can work on at nights in the garage after the kids go to bed and just enjoy building and working on. I know me though, I get so eager to finish stuff that I rush through it and make mistakes and get mad and throw stuff and get hurt and I'd rather this just be a stress-free fun project to work on with no time contrainsts to speak of. So check it out! And that's it for me. 

May 24th 2008 - My Home Theater is Finally Complete

After 3-1/2 years in the new house, I finally finished all the projects which would make up my home theater.  Okay, well it's more like a living room theater, but just the same.  The only speaker I didn't rebuild is the center channel, for now.  But every other speaker started from scratch and is brand new.  Starting with the new two-way bookshelf speakers modeled after Parts Express's Encore speakers which utilize an RS-150 6" woofer and RS28A tweeter.  These speakers sound so great and take up very little room.  They offer big sound in a small package and I am very delighted with their performance.  You can read more about them here.

I finally got around to installed a new pair of Dayton ES series 6-1/2" surround sound speakers.  I haven't had surround sound for so long, I forgot what it sounded like.  The first few movies I caught myself peaking out the back window wondering why it suddenly started raining.  So for the most part, they add enough realism to movies to really bring in the action.  You can read about the whole installation of these speakers on my blog.

I also finished building a new subwoofer using an Audiopulse EPIC 12" driver.  The sub sits in a modest 95L box tuned to 22Hz but man oh man does it sound awesome.  It was designed to be integrated into the new entertainment center that I recently built.  It's hidden away and offers some great LFE for just about every movie.  It can produce some great bass into the high teens and sounds amazing.  I couldn't be more happy with it  Click here to read all about it.

And last but not least is the entire entertainment center that houses all these new speakers.  I thought building speakers was hard enough, building this beast really took its toll.  But it was definitely worth it.  You can read more about the entertainment center build here,

And that's about it.  I'd say the first half of 2008 has been a productive one.  Please click on the links to some of the projects I've been working on and as always, feel free to email me with any comments or questions!  Thanks. -DM

March 2nd 2008 - Sealed TC Sounds TC-3000 Subwoofer  with PE's HPSA1000 Plate Amp

Here's my first sub project for '08!  It's TC-3000 sub mounted in a 100L sealed enclosure with a Parts Express HPSA1000 amplifier.  Click on the picture below for more details.  This sub rocks the house and looks good doing it.

July 19th, 2007 - Got Some New Measurement Equipment - Behringer ECM8000 and Xenyx Mixer

In my quest to understand designing, building and testing loudspeakers better, I bought a Behringer ECM8000 Omnidirectional Measurement Microphone and a Xenyx 802 Mixer.  They arrived today from Parts Express and I've been having some fun measuring my two-way monitor speakers in my living room.  If it weren't for the huge thunderstorm that passed over tonight, I would have done these measurements outside.  I've actually had more fun trying to mic my piano so I could get some decent recordings of me playing.  The ECM8000 definitely sounds better than my old PC mic, and a lot better than my old EV voice mic.  If my piano only sounded better and didn't squeak so much.  Soon to come will be outside measurements on several more of my other speakers I've built in the past, as well as some FR plots of the Dayton RS1505 6" woofer and RS28A tweeter which will be going into a new 3-way speaker design that's in the works.  Here's some pics!


The first plot of my Monitor W625X Speakers measured at 10" from baffle and 34" from floor w/1/3 smoothing on.

July 8th, 2007 - The Completion of the Dayton-Morel MTM Home Theater Speaker System

We just finished a set of MTM speakers for my friend's basement home theater.  Click on the picture below for more details.

  • 7" Dayton Aluminum Woofers
  • 1" Morel MDT-20 Tweeters
  • MTM configuration
  • Left/Right Speakers in a 1.52 cu.ft. box tuned to 34 Hz with 3" x 7-3/4" port
  • Center Channel Speaker sealed box 0.88 cu.ft.
  • 18dB/octave crossover at about 1.9kHz
  • Cabinets mounted into wall

Click for more details.

March 2, 2007 - 2nd Time FR Plot Looks Better

I ran another sweep of my Reference 10" sub and this time I got much more reasonable results.  I'm not sure what I did differently, but the measured response follows the modeled response much more closely now, and is much more believable.  All in all it still looks very good though.  There isn't a nice flat region anywhere in the response, but it's only down 3dB out at 30Hz and with the help of the low-pass filter in the amp, I can keep the upper response from getting out of control.  Without the low-pass filter the response above 70Hz would most likely continue to rise therefore creating a higher apparent f3, or 3dB down relative to some higher point on the graph.  You can see the 12dB high-pass filter kicking in from the amp as well which accounts for the sharper roll-off below 20Hz.

I also did an in-room response first with the meter in front of the TV and then again at the listening position across the room.  Even with the room modes, the sub still is pretty flat and plays plenty low, considering its size.  With some EQ'ing we could tailor out the bumps, but since I don't have any EQ to play around with, I get to just leave it at that.  In the end it's how the sub sounds, and this sub sounds great.  I haven't listened to any music with it, but I imagine it would be great for music too.  But for movies it rumbles and rattles the house and doesn't put a hole in your wallet.  The last graph compares the modeled response versus the measured response.  The 1dB bass boost shows up as well as the high-pass filter used to created that boost.  From here if I wanted I could start adding boost to achieve a flatter response, but as you can see from the in-room response, there's isn't much need for any additional bass boost.  So I'm going to leave it for now and call it done.

February 12, 2007 - New Speaker Stands, Frequency Response Plots of the 10" RSS Sub and TC Sounds dB-500

Out of ease and simplicity, I've been updating my blog with audio/video related stuff instead of putting it here.  Shame on me, I know.  But it takes so much less time to do the same thing in Wordpress than it does in Frontpage, and it actually looks better.  But just to keep this page from getting too old, I have been up to quite of bit of audio stuff these last few weeks.  First and foremost I built a totally sweet pair of speaker stands for my Monitor W625X speakers.  I took some scrap MDF and a 10 foot 2x6, made a few cuts, painted it all up, and voila, a perfectly good pair of speaker stands for almost no money.  And so much easier to build than an actual pair of speakers.  Check out all the details here.

Second, I bought a TC Sounds DB-500 12" subwoofer.  They were doing a blowout sale for only $75 and I couldn't resist.  Although not their most impressive driver, it has a stamped steal basket, and an odd-looking one at that, but the rest of the driver is top-notch, all TC- Sounds, hand-built, and ready to rock.  This sub models some amazing bass in a 3.7 cu.ft. box tuned to 21Hz.  I'm going to drop a 500W Bash amp on the back of it and have some fun.  Stay tuned for that project in the following months.

Third, I found my Radio Shack SPL meter so I finally got a chance to do some in-room far-field and near-field response plots of the 22L 10" RSS sealed sub I built for my dad a couple months ago.  This sub looks completely barebone with it's raw MDF finish, but it sounds quite impressive, touting a nearly flat in-room response down to 26Hz.  The near-field response looked almost identical to the predicted response, but the gain from my living proved to be more than a bargain boosting the low end by several dB.  It certainly sounds pretty decent.  Of course a better sub whose natural response is flat to 20Hz would sound even better, I tend to forget to consider room gain when building subs, but it makes a big difference.

January 13, 2007 - The DIY Bug has Kicked In Again - New Reference MTM Planned

Okay, the DIY speaker building bug has kicked in again and I find myself designing another set of speakers for no other reason than, well, just because it's fun.  I bought a pair of 6" Reference Series speakers from Parts Express almost 9 months ago along with a pair of the Reference 1" Dome Tweeters with the intent of refinishing an old pair of speakers.  Due to lack of excitement in such a project, the speakers still sit in their boxes.  What fun is finishing an old pair of tiny bookshelf speakers, when I can start from scratch and build something new, something I'll really enjoy design, building and listening to.

So this is the plan, I'm going to pick up another pair of 6" Dayton reference speakers and do an MTM floorstanding speaker, similar to my Swans M3 with the 3/4" rounds down the front, with a thin face, small footprint, and nice and tall.  I'd like to do a nice dark wood finish on the entire cabinet (no black paint like I've been doing recently).  I'm thinking about throwing the port in the back and getting a pair of really nice brushed nickel bi-amp binding post style terminals.  The drivers will be flush-mounted with some overhang of the drivers on the tweeter.  As the plan unfolds, I'll go into more detail, but for now it looks like I'll be looking at a box that's about 36x8x10 (HWD) for about 1.1 cu.ft of volume and tuning the box to 48 Hz with a 3" port that is 6" long.  This results in an f3 of 47Hz, but with the dual 6" drivers we'll have an super-efficient speaker system that will be able to play loud and distortion free, thanks to all the great design features of Dayton's reference series speakers.

December 29, 2006 - Dayton RSS 10" High-Fidelity Sealed 22L Subwoofer

I finally got cracking on this subwoofer project that began almost 10 months ago, and wouldn't you know that I almost finished it today.  With the exception of the finish, I started out with a scrap piece of 3/4" MDF and tonight I was listening to it.  The basics of the sub are: Dayton RSS265HF-4 10" High Fidelity Sub powered by a 300W Bash plate amp and mounted in a tiny 22L box built from 3/4" MDF and stuffed with R-19 insulation and polyfill.  This sub is about as simple as they come.  The plan (maybe) is to incorporate some active EQ via the tweakable resistors on the Bash amp.  For now the amp is in the stock configuration, which I think is no boost, however we can dial in up to as much as 5dB anywhere from 20-40Hz or so.  Depending on how it sounds right now, we may not use the boost.  Even though it can improve the low-end frequency response of the sub, or at least make it appear as though the sub has more low end performance, it does this at the cost of lots more excursion and lots more power from the amp, both of which may have a tendency to run out of during heavy action while watching movies.  The result is clipping amps and popping subs, both of which we don't want.

Without any bass boost the sub models well in Unibox and shows it well within the limits of the 14mm excursion all the way down to 10Hz at 300W input power (chalk one up for sealed boxes).  Unfortunately the F3 of the box is only 42Hz, not much sub in the subwoofer there, but even at 30Hz we're still able to get over 101dB out of this little puppy, which is pretty impressive considering the size.  The Qtc of the box is designed to be an eve 0.7 which is typically considered optimum.  Some people choose to overdamp and shoot for Qtc < 0.7 (bigger box) or underdamp and shoot for Qtc > 0.7 (smaller box, but most people only do this for car subs where space is an issue, and even then really high Qtc numbers are still undesirable).  Any size box other than one with a Qtc of 0.7 will suffer a higher f3, therefore is makes sense to go with 0.7 if the size of the box works out for your application, and in our case it was a good fit.  A ported box was a bit on the large side for our room, requiring almost three times the volume, but the payoff would have been an impressive 108dB at 26Hz and an f3 of 22Hz (even lower if tuned lower).  Basically the RS line of subs from Parts Express can do some damage, even this little 10" in the right size ported box.  But I'm willing to bet that they can do some damage in a small sealed box as well, which is what we're about to find out. 

For now it's 11 o'clock at night and I haven't got a chance to really listen to it at all, other than power it up and watch the intro to Toy Story II, while trying not to wake up the sleeping kids.  Tomorrow will be the official break-in day. Until then, here's the pics, from beginning to bumping.

Dayton RSS10-22 Sealed Subwofer with 300W Bash Amp


April 1st, 2006 - Speakers Have Arrived!

Speakers arrived yesterday and wow, they look unbelievable!  The RS lines are definitely some of the best speakers I've seen or used in a long while.  The cast aluminum frames are so beefy-looking and feel super solid.  The black anodized aluminum cones on the 6" and 10" drivers look and feel amazingly tight and feel light at the same time.  I can't believe how heavy the 10" RSS sub is!  I know they tell you it weighs 18 lbs, but you don't realize how heavy 18 lbs. is till your lugging what looks to be a relatively small sub (at only 10") out of its box and it becomes no easy feat to accomplish.  Wow is it one sweet-looking sub.  It's got all the features you want in a subwoofer from the sewn-in speaker leads to the phat rubber surround.  It looks like it's going to be a real beast.  After running some more box sims I just love how low this sub can go in small sealed boxes and even ported boxes that are only 1.6 cu.ft.  There's a lot of options for boxes on this one, and they all look promising.  Anyway, here's some pics I took this morning, they don't do these speakers justice, they just look awesome.

March 28th 2006 - New Projects in the Making: RS150-28A Bookshelf Speakers and 10" RS High-Fidelity Sub

I've got an old pair of bookshelf speakers I built a few years back using an MCM 5.25" aluminum cone woofer (cost $11) and an old aluminum-dome tweeter (cost $8) which like a magnet has drawn the attention of probing fingers to the point of permanent damage.  Not that I cared, the speakers were garbage from day one, but the enclosure was nice, covered in 1/8" mahogany and stained to match some piece of furniture I once owned.  So the Extreme Makeover - Speaker Edition has begun.  I'll be taking this old tattered $38 pair of speakers and turning them into a pair of Reference Series bookshelf speakers using Dayton Loudspaker's RS150S-8 6" woofer and the RS-28A 1-1/8" aluminum dome tweeter.

I've read nothing but good things about both RS lines of speakers from PE.  While I browsed through their catalog looking for some new speakers to put into my current bookshelf-sized cabinets, I kept coming back to the RS line for their great specs, affordable price and great looks.  Not to mention downloadable response plots, a must for anyone wanted to get a semi-decent crossover design.   They should arrive here this Friday, so I'll take some good close-up pics of them and show them off.  If they sound half as good as they look, I should be in good shape.

But that's only the beginning of my spring  project, I also picked up an RSS265HF-4 10" High Fidelity Subwoofer and a 300S Bash plate amplifier and will be building a small sealed sub for my dad's home theater.  Details are still TBD, but I should have the sub long enough at my house to be able to run them with the new bookshelf speakers and see how this setup would work as a sub-satellite system.  I'll probably be using the RS150-28A's as surround sound speakers in my home theater, but I'll design them so that they would work as just a great pair of main speakers as well, and with the sub to go along with them, it could pose an amazing listening experience from a fairly small package and for not a whole lot of money.  I'll start a new page dedicated to the goings-on of both projects and keep just the short details here in my blog.  Please feel free to email me if you've got suggestions for the either the RSS2265HF-4 10" sub or the RS150S 6" woofer or RS28A tweeter.  The plan is to be done within the next two months, so the designing phase will be quick, and the fun phase of building will soon begin.  Except in the case of the Bookshelf Makeover, that box is almost already done!  It's going to get a new front baffle and a new paint job, but will otherwise be the same box with a new set of drivers and crossovers.  Should be fun!

The Current Speakers Nice Mashed-in Domes RS-28A Tweeter
(I like the grill!)
RS150S 6" Woofer
March 18th 2006 - 10" Titanic vs. 10" RSS Subwoofer

So my dad says he wants a sub for his 5.1 theater system (which is currently only a 5.0 system at the moment) and wants me to build him something to suit his room.  He doesn't want anything outrageous, something small that adds a good amount of bump and rumble for movies but is no more than about $200.  Since I'm looking at about the same thing for my home theater room, I decided this would be a good opportunity to put two different subs to the test.  The contenders are going to be Dayton Loudspeaker's 10" Titanic III vs. the Reference Series High-Fidelity 10" sub.  Both subs will be powered by a plate amp which is still TBD, but since we're trying to get the most watts per dollar, the BASH amps may be considered.

A quick look at the specs shows the Titanic to have a much stiffer suspension and higher Fs (at 28Hz) than the RS sub which touts a resounding 22Hz resonance.   Those numbers alone indicate that a small sealed box should yield better f3 numbers for the RSS sub than the Titanic sub.  Which is exactly how they model.  Given the same size box and the same power, the RSS will have more deep bass, however the mechanical limit is soon reached on the RSS sub when pushed beyond about 250 watts, whereas the Titanic can still take quite a bit more.

Based on this analysis, if you drop a Titanic and an RSS HF into the same size 0.68 cu.ft. box and drop the same amp into each, say a 240W plate, the RS sub will play louder and deeper than the Titanic.  But if you've got more power to spare from a 300 watt or 500 watt plate amp, then the Titanic will beat out the RS by 3dB alone just in the fact that it can take twice as much power.  More on this later...

March 5th 2006 - They're Done!

After almost 6 years since I started these speakers, they are finally done!  Talk about never finding the time to build speakers, I never found the time with these until just this year.  I'm very happy with the way they turned out, even though the finish is far from perfect, they look great to me.  One of these days I'm going to learn how to stain and how to apply varnish and how to wait for it to dry, but until then I'll always put the emphasis on how well they sound not so much how well they look.  I haven't listened to them yet today, I auditioned them a few weeks ago and tested out the crossovers, so hopefully tomorrow I'll get to run through some CD's and really see how they sound.  Check out the latest pictures below.  I plan on picking up a pair of high-mass metal speaker stands from Parts Express within the next few weeks so these babies will have some place to go.  Wow, I can't believe they are finally complete!  I hope it never takes me this long to finish a project again.  And speaking of projects, I need to start working on my new surround sound speakers for the family room.  I would use these, but I'm afraid they are far too nice and their sonic purity would be lost on simple surround sound effects, or something like that.  Honestly though, I just need a small pair of bookshelf speakers for my surrounds, and I think I have just the idea.  Stay tuned, more info will follow. 

March 5th 2006 - Nearing Completion of Hi-Vi/Vifa Two-Ways

I'm down to the last couple coats of polyurethane and my new two-speakers will be complete!  I stained the speakers using Minwax American Walnut, which is a water-based stain, and it turned out exactly the darkness that I was shooting for after three coats.  This is the first time I tried using a water-based stain, but they didn't have a color that was dark enough in the regular stain so I figured I'd try it out.  I prepared the wood with Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner to prevent uneven spots in the stain.  I think it worked out well.  I've been bit before by not treating the wood and had the stain just get soaked up in some spots and not in others, it drives me crazy.  Hopefully I'll be able to get the drivers in later today and listen to them again.  I may end up using these for either the main speakers with my new 50" Sony LCD in the home theater or as the surrounds.  I may also make a dedicated 2-channel listening room in the living room.  The stain matches all the dark wood theme in that room (side table, piano, bookcase, so they will blend in nicely sitting on either side of our upright piano.  I'd just have no way of playing them in there, they'd simply be furniture until I got an amp or something, or wired the stereo in the family room over to them.  There's lots of options, so I may see where they will get used the best, and where they will look the best.  Until then, here's the latest pics.

Monitor W625X

February 20th 2006 - Painting My Speakers

I put on the first two coats of flat black enamel today.  Actually I put on the first coat last night and did the second coat today.  I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper between coats and will probably do two more coats before I'm done.  I need to buy a better paint brush though before I do any more coats at all, the brush I have is getting thrashed, and it's leaving too many brush strokes.  Not that a few brush strokes are bad, since I'm not trying to do the super-deep piano black look, I've tried that before and it's just beyond my skill level as far as finishing wood goes.  But I do want the black to look smooth and even.  After two more coats, making 4 total, it should look good enough and be ready for the final topcoat of clear polyurethane.   I think I'll wait till after I've stained the sides though and do the whole box at once thus integrating where the black meets the stain under one seamless finish.


Monitor W625X

Sanded 1st Coat Sanded 1st Coat Second Coat Second Coat Second Coat
February 19th 2006 - Masking the Oak Sides of My Speakers for Primer

I masked the oak sides of my W625X speakers in preparation for the first coat of primer and lacquer.  I used that blue 3M tape you use for masking the edges of your walls in the house for painting since it sticks really well and doesn't allow any bleeding, as long as the surface is smooth.  I finished sanding down the boxes yesterday so they are nice and smooth and ready for the finish.  In the past I have stained the box first by masking off the black lacquer part first, and then after staining masking the stained part to do the black part, as with my center channel speaker, but I decided to do it the other way around this time and see if I can't get the stained part to turn out a little better by doing that last.  A few sheets of computer paper cover the sides of the box and prevent any overspray from the primer from getting on the oak sides.

3M Tape & Paper Masked Sides Gray Primer Ready for Lacquer

June 2nd 2005 - This Web Site Gets Redone!

Audio Innovation gets a makeover!  I've finally updated the look and feel of this web site after almost 5 years of it looking pretty much the same.  I guess you could say that along with speaker building, designing web sites is another hobby of mine.  There's less sweat and tears involved with sitting at the computer.  Especially when it's a 115 degrees outside.  So a long with the new site, I plan to add some new content as well.  Such as Dan's Album Picks of the Month.  Each month, or so, I'm going to pick a new CD that's I've bought recently and do short review on it.  Most of my opinions will be completely biased, since I usually only pick up CD's of bands that I actually like.  But for what it's worth, I've always been a little opinionate when it comes to music, so what better way to express some of my views than to do a small review section on this site.  Also, I'm working on several new speaker projects (check out the links to the left) which include a pair of 2-way studio monitor-type speakers, a pair of computer speakers for my Baby Theater, as well an extreme makeover of a pair of cheesy 2-way bookshelf speakers with the goal to make something great for use in the master bedroom.  And later on down the road, we've got a sweet new 10" or 12" subwoofer for my home theater to design, build, and install.  So that's the update from me.  Hopefully I'll be able to dedicate a lot more time to my passion for audio, DIY, and loudspeakers over the next few years.  So if you'd like, take a seat and click around Audio Innovation at your leisure.  And thanks again for stopping by!


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Sept 27th 2003

Where do the years keep going?  This site is now 3-1/2 years old and not much has changed since I last updated it nearly two years ago.  Anyone care to venture a guess as to the most popular page within this site?  Subwoofer Theories continues to get the most hits and is linked to by the most web sites.  I never thought it would contain such popular information.  I've decided to jump back into speaker building again this year, and finish building my Monitor 690's.  Only now they're going to be called the W625X's - W6 woofers and DX25 tweeters in a compact bookshelf-style speaker.  I've been wanting to finish up these speakers for a very long time, and just haven't had any time to do it.  My wife and I have a daughter now who is 8 months old and the joy of our lives.  I think it's about time to build those grills for my Swans speakers, before the dust caps get all poked in!  I'm planning on hitting CES this year for sure and hope to get to check out all the latest and greatest innovations in audio since the last time I went.  Maybe I'll see you there?

July 16th 2002

I can't believe another year has slipped past.  The news is this - www.audioinnovation.com has now become www.danmarx.org/audioinnovation.  The old domain name will no longer work and this site will experience bugs and broken links for a while till I get everything moved over.  I haven't had time to mess around a whole lot with speakers and audio, but I have had time to mess around with a few other things.  Drop by www.danmarx.org and see some of the other fun stuff I've been working on. That's the news, have a great one.

July 11th 2001 - The Swans M3 Tower Speaker Project Begins

I've officially started on my Swans M3 tower speakers.  Click here for all the details.  I also finally got set up at home with a nice fast internet connection.  So some of the pictures on my site are going to be a bit larger than they used to be.  I promise to at least keep them under 100K.  But I've been using a friend's digital camera lately and I want to suck as much resolution as possible out of each picture.  Hope you enjoy!  Also check out my forth coming speaker, the Monitor W690.  Click here for details.

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June 30th 2001

Check out my brand new pair of surround sound speakers.  I don't have all the production notes on their design up just yet, but I do have lots of cool pictures showing their creation.  Click here!

March 13th 2001

So much has happened the last few months I don't even know where to begin.  I started out the new year heading to Las Vegas for CES.  It was such a blast.  We spent an entire day at Alexis Park auditioning just about every speaker creation known to man.   After all was said and done, my ears were beat.  I'd have to say that the one pair of speakers left a real impression on my senses were the  MBL 101 D Radialstrahlers.  These speakers were nothing less than breathtaking.  I was simply blown away by everything about the way they sounded.  Most incredible speaker at the whole show.  Well there were many others too, most  I can't even remember the manufacture's name.  But it was certainly a great time.  I'll definitely be at the next one next year. 

I just completed another 15" TC Sounds subwoofer for a friend.  This one we covered in a birch veneer, and one day I suppose we'll get around to staining it.  That is, if he can live to be without his sub for a week straight.  This sub sounds just as amazing as the first.  In room response is incredible.  It hits deep, it's powerful, it physically moves you and most of all, it just plain sounds great.

I've got a small project in the works to build one of Swans older kits the M3.  Parts Express supplied me with the drivers and Jon Wan of Ohio hooked me up with the crossovers.  Hats off to both of them, especially to Parts Express for sending me a totally free replacement driver via FedEx.  They definitely know how to keep a customer happy.  This project information can be found by clicking here or checking out the Future Projects link under the Projects section.

Now to all of you who have e-mailed me with questions regarding Shiva's and TC-Sound's drivers, I am very sorry I have not been able to respond to everybody.  Please don't be offended.  Just realize that I am a very busy person and don't always have time to write e-mails to answer all of  your questions.  Believe it or not, I get numerous e-mails a day from people asking me very simple questions that I believe if they just did a little bit more research, could find the answers to on their own.  I hope I'm not sounding too mean, because I know how much I hate it when I never get a response from someone and I sit around wondering whatever happened.  Don't worry, I read your e-mail.  I read them all.  And respond to the ones I feel my input will be most valuable.  I thank you for stopping by and supporting the site and hope that the content herein is useful to you.

On a lighter note, I began doing home theater design, audio engineering, whole house audio/video distribution, and a great deal of installation and project management for a local home theater company.  It has been a blast and has occupied most of my time.  I've also gotten quite a bit into the video side of audio and home theater (since their is a HUGE video world out there right next to audio).  We just caught glimpse of the new Dwin Transvision DLP Projectors and wow are those things amazing!  This projector can do almost anything and the picture quality is absolutely stunning.  And it should be, it retails at just around $12,800 yet can blow out of the water many projectors costing twice as much.  Bottom line - I want one.  I want one bad.  So aside from all that, life moves forward.

September 20th 2000

I wasn't sure where else to throw up this picture where it could be seen, but check out Denis Dube's Shiva/PR Subwoofer setup.  I am also currently working on various projects that are still under wraps and cannot be discussed as of yet.    But you will soon be seeing a few subs along the lines of professional end tables as well as a couple of subs using the infamous Aura 1808 (Seismic) driver.

July 18th 2000

Added a page giving the meter correction values for the analog SPL meter from Radio Shack.  Includes a printable text file for easy reference.  Also includes a link to a post made on the Home Theater Forum describing the procedure for measuring a loudspeaker properly.   Check it out here.

July 8th 2000

TC-Sounds 15" Subwoofer.  Check out the plans and pictures of my latest work of art.  This subwoofer is going to absolutely pound.  Buckle your seat belt before proceeding to this link...

June 29th 2000

The hottest news going around the DIY circuit these days is the release of a variety of brand new 10", 12", and 15" Extremely High Excursion subwoofers.  We're talking about subwoofers with excursion capabilities up to 3.0 inches.  Magnets as heavy as your average 14 pound bowling ball.  Surrounds that extend nearly the entire surface of the cone.  Power handling capabilities into the megawatts.   Specially designed spiders and motor structures that can withstand 300 pounds of force.  Yet the fun doesn't stop with just the subs.  There is a new line of 10", 12" and 15" Passive Radiators up for sale with 3.75 inches of peak-to-peak excursion and are capable of of supporting over 3,000 grams of added mass.  The inventor and co-designer of these outrageous speakers is none other than Deon Bearden himself.  Yes, the man behind The Beast.  Check out The Basszone for more information.  You can also go to The Home Theater Forum and read what's already being said about these drivers including a post from Deon explaining how these drivers came to be.  Thanks Deon for all your hard work! 

June 15th 2000

This web page is undergoing a major change.  Some of the links may be down or a few of the pages not totally complete.  Some of the older stuff will be deleted completely to make room for all the new stuff.  Let me know what you think of the new site.

April 24th 2000

For those of you who have been waiting patiently for the arrival of my 10" sub with 3 10" Passive Radiators, you need not wait any longer.  The tiny subs of all tiny subs has arrived and it's punching out bass like no other.  But be for warned, this sub is having a major identity crisis - it thinks it's a 15" woofer in a 5 cubic foot box.  Click here to find out more.

March 15th 2000

I finally got back the pictures of my 15" Ultimate Attitude Subwoofer.  Follow the link to find out more.

Sometime in 1999

This web page is created and hosted under the name of my high school DJ gig called Audio Innovation.


Disclaimer: This site is intended for personal and/or private use only. All ideas, quotes and formulas give full credit to original authors.  All other information is strictly my own.  I do not claim responsibility for personal, physical, mental psychological, and/or financial harm done to anyone in any way, shape, or form as a result of the publication of this site.   

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This page last updated on October 17, 2022.

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