This is the wIMG_0014ebpage for Speakers Built by students in the FA 4740 Transducer Theory Class at Michigan Tech.  In this class students design, construct, and fine tune a set of loudspeakers for a particular purpose. If the students have a budget of at least $350 they set the design goals and they keep the speakers at the end of the class.  Students who cannot or do not want to spend the money are funded by a third party and must design their speakers to their specifications.This course supports the Sound Design, B.A. and Audio Production and Technology B.S. programs at Michigan Technological University.

Course Information

Building a set of speakers is a significant challenge.  In our case it is undertaken to better understand the physics of sound and how we as audio producers (not loudspeaker engineers) can understand how it is transformed through loudspeakers and therefore better master our craft of creating art to be heard through loudspeakers.  To learn this and to produce useful loudspeakers there is significant required research, experimentation and writing.

Books Used in The Class

  • Murphy, John. Introduction to Loudspeaker Design. True Audio, 1998. ISBN 096637732X
    This is an excellent introductory text and probably where you should start. Very accessible.
  • Dickason, Vance. The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. Audio Amateur Press, 2005. ISBN 1882580478
    This is probably the most used introduction to loudspeaker design. Very good, especially the later versions. Solid but accessble math with lots and lots of plots.
  • Eargle, John. Loudspeaker Handbook. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1402075847
    This is an exceptionally clear and detailed text on loudspeakers. I sometimes find it easier to look up formulas and information in than in The Loudspeaker Cookbook.
  • Colloms, Martin. High Performance Loudspeakers. Wiley, 2005. ISBN 0470094303
    This is a formidable technical book and an excellent resource.
  • Newell, Phillip & Keith Holland. Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction. Focal Press, 2006. ISBN 0240520149
    This is an outstanding book that is largely focused on professional studio monitor design. Lots of great material and research. I also find Phillip Newell to have an extrodinarily easy to read style for the technical depth.
  • Newell, Phillip. Studio Monitoring Design. Focal Press, 1995. ISBN 0240514076
    This is a carefully researched argument for a specific approach to studio monitoring design. If you want to do hi-fidelity horns this book is a must read. This book is long but very readable and focuses on helping the reader understand the principles of good sound rather than explain fundamentals of design. This is a focused book in this genra and shouldn’t be where you start.
  • Borwick, John. Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook. Focal Press, 2001. ISBN 0240515781
    This is a collection of writings by multiple authors that cover more application specific material rather than design but do touch on important design issues in technically sophisticated ways.
  • Davis, Don & Eugene Patronis. Sound System Engineering. Focal Press, 2006. ISBN 0240808304
    This is a very technical approach to sound system design in particular the acoustic interface of loudspeakers to rooms. Don Davis was the founder of Syn-Aud-Con http://www.synaudcon.com/ the most respected live sound training program in the country. Most older sound guys cut their teeth on this book and have a serious devotion to it. You should be familiar with it.
  • McCarthy, Bob. Sound Systems: Design and Optimization: Modern Techniques and Tools for Sound System Design and Alignmen. Focal Press, 2007. ISBN 0240520203
    This is an exceptional book on live sound system design. It has lots of very interesting and informative charts and graphs and some very interesting ways to conceptually understand loudspeaker systems. Mastry of this book and Sound System Engineering is a must for serious system designers.

All of the listed books have extensive bibliographies that you should explore for more information on particular topics. Most of the material they will direct you to will be in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (JAES) which can be found in electronic and print formats in the Michigan Tech library.

Some Web References


  1. Gayle Sanders
    June 25, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Greetings –

    This is Gayle Sanders (founder of Martin Logan) The tech 4740 Loudspeaker development class looks to be very impressive. The required texts and Web references are very well chosen and comprehensive and the and class results reflect exacting discipline and overview. Hats off to you and your team.

    I am currently working on a potential HI end Reference digital streaming project and would be interested to talk with the head of your department regarding potential opportunities for the right student in order to assist me with ongoing transducer, integration, and crossover research.

    Feel free to contact me anytime.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: