I highly recommend this book to anyone entering the difficult, but rewarding, area of speaker design. I found it a pleasure to read. With a lively writing style, Mr. Murphy accurately presents the necessary physics fundamentals (he is a physicist), while requiring no more than basic math understanding on the part of the reader. -- Speaker Builder, Issue 1/99
From the Inside Flap
The design methods taught here follow the work of Neville Thiele and Dick Small. Ever since loudspeakers were first developed earlier this century to support the budding film industry the engineering analysis of loudspeaker enclosures was less than satisfactory until the publication of Neville Thiele's revolutionary work on loudspeakers in vented boxes in the 1970's. After Thiele's work was expanded and clarified by Dick Small the Thiele-Small Model for loudspeaker systems analysis finally emerged as a useful engineering design tool.
With the Thiele-Small method, the acoustic analysis of a loudspeaker enclosure was transformed and moved from the mysterious world of acoustics to the well-developed domain of electrical circuit analysis. Now, for the first time, we could create electrical circuit models that could predict the acoustic performance that would result when a given driver was mounted in a known enclosure. The implementation of Thiele-Small analysis on mainframe computers and hand-held calculators in the 1970's marked the beginning of the practice of loudspeaker design via simulation.
Today most loudspeaker design tasks are performed with the aid of a personal computer using a loudspeaker simulator such as my WinSpeakerz or MacSpeakerz applications. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that much of the discussion here will center on computer aided design methods.