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Converting a Speaker to a Bass Amp


crewhippie

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Hey, I'm learning how to play bass, and instead of buying an amp, I thought it would be more fun to use some old woofers that i've got laying around to build one. Does anyone know of a site, or a book or anything that would help me with building a preamp and volume control system neccessary to wire up car audio speakers as an amp for a bass. any help you guys could give me would be great.
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A couple of basic questions for you: How experienced are you in electronic work? How much do you know about electronic theory?

 

If the answer to either of these is "not much" (and be honest!!) then let somebody else build the amp. UNLESS you want to take a year or two learning what's going on. For example, if you were to look at the inside of an amp, could you point to the power transformer? filter capacitors? power transistors? What if someone handed you a schematic--could you look at the symbols and identify a capacitor, or a resistor, or an inductor? Do you know the difference between a NPN and PNP transistor? Can you solder really, really well? Do you have lots of patience? Do you have a DMM? an oscilloscope? a signal generator?

 

I don't mean to discourage you, but this isn't for the faint of heart. And I dunno if you'll save money by the time you buy a chasis, transformers, controls, knobs, etc (unless you're building an amp that will compete with the most expensive hand-wired jobs, the $3500 monoblocks)

 

If you feel qualified though and want to dive in, buy "The Audiophile's Project Sourcebook" by G. Randy Slone. Also check out Elliott Sound Products www.westhost.com look under their projects, also read his articles.

 

One last thing: car audio speakers generally don't handle bass guitar very well. The only exception would be if you used a sub in an enclosure designed specifically around the Thiele-Small parameters for that driver. If you just grab a couple of old unknown speakers and stick 'em in a box, chances are they will sound pretty lousy, up until the speaker cone pukes from the uncontrolled excursion :-)

 

Good luck if you go for it.

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thanks for the words of wisdom. i am an electrical engineering student, and have a pretty good handle on what's happening in a schematic. my main concern is that i'd get it all rigged up, and then it'd would sound like sludge. if normal car subs don't usually turn into good amps, then i'll just go ahead and buy one.
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