Brett Martin

iSound Speakers

I have always been interested in audio gear and have spent way too much time tweaking my existing computer speakers to get just the right sound out of them. I decided I would try building my own computer speakers. Since I don’t have access to expensive testing equipment and software I decided to start with a proven existing design and modify it to suit my needs. I used Paul Carmody’s Overnight Sensation as the base for my design.

At the time I was using a 27″ Apple Cinema Display and I knew that I wanted the speakers to look right at home next to the Apple display. I measured the height and other important specs like the radius of the arcs and thickness of the aluminum and started modifying the design. I ended up with a speaker with the same internal volume but taller to match the Apple display height and less deep to compensate for the volume. I also center mounted the drivers and made the front ports forward firing for ascetic reasons.

The entire enclosure was designed in Google Sketchup, CNC cut out of 3/4″ MDF, with laser cut acrylic front and rear panels to match the black painted glass of the display. After assembly and testing with the help of my father-in-law, I spent a few weeks sealing, priming, painting, and finishing the speakers with automotive paints. I set up a small 5x5x6 spray booth in my garage so I could properly handle and spray the automotive paint. I had a silver custom mixed until it was a perfect match with the Apple bead-blasted-aluminum.

I am very pleased with the final results both ascetically and acoustically. I’ve made a few other speakers since these but they are by far my favorite.