Engineering & Transportation

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

Sell Us Your Item
For a $4.21 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Introduction to Loudspeaker Design [Paperback]

John L. Murphy
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student

Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Book Description

May 1998 096637732X 978-0966377323 1
Introduction to Loudspeaker Design is written for hobbyists, technicians, and engineers seeking an introductory overview of the technology of loudspeakers. Starting with a brief history of audio developments the book begins by introducing the concepts of frequency, pitch, and loudness and proceeds to develop the idea of a loudspeaker as a system with performance that can be accurately predicted using simulation techniques not unlike those used to design electronic circuits. The work is largely qualitative with an occasional mathematical example. In addition to providing a clear discussion of closed and vented type loudspeaker enclosures the work also covers bandpass enclosures and includes a complete design example for a dipole loudspeaker.

The richly illustrated deluxe paperback edition also covers such advanced topics as loudspeaker design tradeoffs, spatial loading, diffraction loss, cavity effect, and enclosure construction. A complete chapter is devoted to the subject of crossover design. The appendices contain technical references, design aids, and charts summarizing the properties of 18 different loudspeaker enclosure types.

Editorial Reviews


Even if you don't know a woofer from a tweeter, but can solder, cut wood, and do basic arithmetic, this book will give you sufficient knowledge and intuitive grasp to select the type of system you need, and, with some software and/or experience, successfully design a complete speaker system. In conclusion, I cannot imagine a better "Introduction to Loudspeaker Design" than this book. And the low price of $24.95 represents a small fraction of the cost of one serious audio mistake, which this book should help prevent. -- Speaker Builder, Issue 1/99

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

This work was begun in 1989 as part of the user's manual for my loudspeaker design software products. As I began talking with the users of these products I realized how difficult it was to locate introductory information on loudspeaker design. So I proceeded to expand my software manual to teach basic principles of audio and loudspeaker design. The work has now grown to the point where it can serve as an introduction to loudspeaker technology for hobbyists and engineers alike.

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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: True Audio; 1 edition (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096637732X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966377323
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John L. Murphy is a physicist/audio design engineer with over 35 years experience in the research and development of audio products spanning both hardware and software. His WinSpeakerz, TrueRTA and DATS software applications are widely used throughout the audio industry as tools for simulating and measuring loudspeaker performance. Captain Murphy served as a space systems analyst for NORAD during his military career.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ever wondered what a Q(ts) is and shy to ask? October 13, 2000
This book is a good self-start on loudspeaker building. It tells WHAT are the things you have to look for in designing a working loudspeaker; there are many conflicting issues to address and the author states all of them clearly, not assuming the reader has a degree on the subject. This alone is a good reason to read this book. All popular box designs are explained and also some not-so-popular. It misses transmission lines, TQWT, horns and the like but this work is intended to be introductory. The explanation of Small-Thiele parameters is concise but clear. Most diagrams in the book are screen prints of the software program the author created (a good one in my opinion) and surely the book is a good software complement. The software does not cover the exotic designs that are missing in the book too. Some parts, like using a stetoscope to point-and-shoot enclosures behaviour are fun and intriguing. Having said all that, what I miss is WHY should I prefer an enclosure with a specific driver, WHAT parameters should I look for in a driver (assuming a given enclosure) and HOW do I have to orient myself in determining what is the best design for a given room/taste/sound/budget, real-world examples that is. But all in all the book is a easy-reading, good starting point on loudspeaker design that guarantees not to disappoint you, giving an overall outlook on the subject and clear useful technical knowledge to start with.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Murphy explains in the introduction that this book grew out of his writing a user manual for his WinSpeakerz software (Real Audio, ...), and I have no doubt that it would be an excellent companion manual to many of the widely available louspeaker design suites on the market today.
Further, Murphy has written an extremely "readable" book, largely due to the profund paucity of mathematical formulae. For the mathematically challenged, the book is a good orientation to the overarching concepts of speaker design without an overwhelming level of quantitative detail. Also, certain oft-neglected concepts such as the importance of different spatial loadings of drivers or phase characteristics of crossovers are emphasized.
However, it is for precisely the above stated reasons that this book is NOT an introduction to the design of loudspeakers--at least, not an enabling one. A novice who read only this book would be no more able to design even a simple speaker than he would a nuclear weapon. A more honest title might be "Overview of Loudspeaker Design Principles," or even "Getting More Out of WinSpeakerz."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sometimes incoherent January 28, 2000
From what I can tell, Murphy published this book himself, without the help of an editor or even a proofreader. He spells about as well as an engineer, and sentences are often missing verbs or other helpful grammatical signposts.
Yes, the book digests physics and EE quickly and easily enough for the beginner, but more often than not it serves as nothing more than an advertisement for Murphy's $130 speaker-design software. This isn't a bad idea, really, but the book is only 166 pages long, and not all of it is meat.
If you want to get an idea of what his software project is like, visit
Overall it's a nice book, but don't expect to use this as a standalone bible for building speakers; it's more of an addition to your library.
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned a lot from this book March 23, 2000
I've been working with loudspeakers for a long time but I sure learned a lot from this book. I was having trouble with speaker theory regarding the enclosure. But now after reading this I feel like I have a real grasp on the subject for the first time. The chapter titled "Loudspeaker Basics" really taught me what the box does and the design tradeoffs involved. I thought it explained the Thiele Small parameters clearly.
I bought it mostly because of the good review in Speaker Builder magazine and really enjoyed reading it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to the world of loudspeakers August 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives the basics of loudspeaker and basic filter design. The types and basic formulations besides the history. If you are new to the subject and still haven't decided to pick loudspeaker building as a hobby or not, this book can give you a broad idea about what is happening inside the world of loudspeakers. The language is simple and easy to follow. The sections are well organized. There are no in depth explanations that can scare the beginners away. A good collection of simple questions and answers like; where should I place the port or SPL, Size and Bass relation. I think the book covers all the common questions that beginners are afraid to ask.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good tutorial book on the subject November 16, 1999
By Doug
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Murphy has done a better than average job of pulling together the technical considerations of loudspeaker design. He focuses on closed and vented designs sufficient to allow the first timer a fighting chance at successfully designing and building a speaker. The use of symbols is less than admirable, frequently mixing lower case and upper case symbols (see "F(sc)" on pp 48 v. "f(sc)" on pp 26). Proofreading would have made the book more enjoyable ("sign wave," pp 47). Editorial comments aside, if you want a relevant and timely book for the beginner this is it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Introduction to Speaker Building December 16, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a good introduction to speaker building, but it's definitely nothing more than an introduction. Murphy examines most of the basic topics concerning speaker building, but doesn't go into much detail on any subject. And of course (because this is only an intro), there is no analysis of any advanced speaker building topics. It seems that Murphy's goal in writing this book is to expose the reader to speaker building fundamentals, rather than give the reader a thorough analysis of the topics (which makes sense, considering the small size of the book and its goal as an intro). Plus, this book is a good starting point from which the reader can go on to more complicated books.

Readers should be able to understand most topics without any prior acoustical or electrical knowledge, but some previous knowledge would help in certain places. Also, this book's organization is pretty bad (things aren't presented in a very good order), so definitions for certain terms appear several pages after where they were first discussed. This isn't too much of an issue because the book is so incredibly short that most readers will be able to read the whole thing within a day or two, and so the discussion of something will be fresh in the reader's mind when they find the definition.

Several reviewers criticize this book for being basically an instruction manual for the author's speaker simulation program (Winspeakerz), but I find this to be an invalid criticism. For one thing, the author explicitly states at the beginning of the book that this book originally came to be when the author was making the user's manual for this program, so it makes sense that there will be some overlap.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
If you already understand the basics of woofers, tweeters, and crossovers, as well as such concepts as phase, the inverse square law, and other audio engineering basics, this book... Read more
Published 5 months ago by I
2.0 out of 5 stars Misslead by other recommendations
Most of the material is not covered in technical and clear depth. Skinny in content and clear discussion of material, graphs and dissertation of matter of limited value... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rene M Cardenas
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Loudspeaker Design
Great for the person that wants to start from the basics of Loudspeaker Design. Not too technical for the novice, but enough to help understand the necessities.
Published on May 31, 2011 by Len
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice Glossy Cover Book
The book looks nice...glossy. Can't say much more about it. I can't see that there is much here of practical use unless you have had a considerable exposure to acoustics prior to... Read more
Published on January 17, 2010 by Richard E. Moore
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected More
Has some very good elements of introductory material but is lacking a lot of content. For $20+ I was expecting a lot more considering I ordered a similar book with much more... Read more
Published on February 3, 2009 by P. Villanova
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introdcution
I really found this book benefitial for those who don't have technical background but are interested in audio. It is easy to read and comprehend. Sections are well-organized. Read more
Published on September 2, 2008 by E. Kurt
1.0 out of 5 stars Readable - But Lacking in Design Detail
This is a well written easy to understand book. But if you're interested in designing loudspeakers, this book is lacking. Read more
Published on January 18, 2005 by QuixoticMan
5.0 out of 5 stars I Finally Understand How Loudspeakers Work!
Ever wonder why you can't make a tiny loudspeaker that has lots of bass? This book explains why a good sounding loudspeaker is a compromise between the size of the box, how loud... Read more
Published on February 15, 2002 by Sean Banks
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have another .....
It is a good reference book to understanding the basic concept of audio speaker. But it should have another version to tell more and deeper theoretical terms of speaker structure. Read more
Published on February 7, 2001 by TEDDY LEE
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have another .....
It is a good reference book to understanding the basic concept of audio speaker. But it should have another version to tell more and deeper theoretical terms of speaker structure. Read more
Published on February 7, 2001 by TEDDY LEE
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category