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Loudspeaker Design Cookbook 7th Edition

4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1882580477
ISBN-10: 1882580478
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Audio Amateur Pubns; 7th edition (December 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882580478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882580477
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: This book is not for beginners. Hard core hobbyists or speaker design professionals may find some useful models, empirical studies and references in this book. For the beginner, the minimum vital data needed to design and build a speaker is interwoven in to a jumble of esoteric empirical tests and computer simulations. For the more experienced speaker builder, the depth of this book is great and the footnote references are very complete. While the breadth is great, the depth of technical explanation for fundamental speaker enclosure modeling physics was a lacking. I guess I need to buy another book or research the footnotes myself.

This book could be a lot better with some solid editing. The writing - for the most part - is clear, but there are sections that are hard to read and there are some errors. The fonts are too small (many of the subscripts are illegible). The graphics are horrible. The book has over 100 frequency domain plots (developed with speaker CAD packages), which are illegible and poorly labeled. Most of the graphics are nowhere near the text.

I give this book two stars because of the breadth and the references, but it's no cookbook. You won't be able to look up a recipe and cook up a speaker.
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Format: Paperback
I have read about a dozen books on Loudspeakers and of them this was the most helpful by far. Unlike most books on the subject, this one has plenty of graphs so you can see the effects of different design methods. This book also has the most in-depth look at crossover design I have read in any book bar none. It looks at crossover design both with AND WITHOUT the use of design software.
However, if you are designing without software be prepared for a bit of trial and error. It's a well- known fact of crossover design that you need to go through a few iterations before you get it right. If you have powerful computer software such as LEAP, you can let the computer do the dirty work.
Also, be aware that designing and building monitor loudspeakers will NOT save you money. You will find that the cost of test equipment and parts will exceed the cost of a pair of excellent loudspeakers. If you are looking to save money, you should probably replicate some designs that Vance Dickason shows in this book.
On the other hand, if you are interested in owning high performance subwoofers, you can save yourself $500 or more by designing your own. This is because you don't need to buy expensive test equipment and design crossovers. You can just use a few proven methods and formulas contained in this book along with some killer deal drivers available through the Internet. I recommend the Adire Shivas 12" drivers available at [...]
This book will teach you proven methods for designing and building your own great sounding speakers. In addition it hosts a couple ready-to-build loudspeaker systems that Vance Dickason designed. Vance Dickason is one of the most respected loudspeaker engineers in the industry. Take advantage of his years of experience and buy this book today.
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Format: Paperback
The font size used for my 6th edition as quite small, dust off those reading glasses! Even the hundreds of graphs will need a magnifying glass if you need to determine what is presented in the graph. Clearly, the size reduction is a compromise to reduce page count, and thus minimize cost, but in my opinion, this is a few steps boyond the boundary of good printing techniques. Look for larger sized fonts and reasonably sized graphs in the next edition. The book rarely presents alternatives to commercial software (and, similarly, to commercial hardware) for calculations and measurements. Some calculations, maybe even most of them, can be handled with a simple spreadsheet, yet the book rarely offers the full equation, instead directing the reader to commercial software, which costs well in excess of the price of a couple pairs of good bookshelf speakers. Home built test equipment is presented, for lesser devices, but here again, for all Thiele-Small parameters, you'd need to purchase commercial equipment. Some tests do not need professionally designed equipment! Regarding content, some points are not definitively explained, despite the authors obvious skills for explanation. In some cases, the equations which are actually offered contain unexplained terms: you might have just read about one term, but the equation might be calling for a subscript of the term, with no explanation as to what conditions define the subscripted term.... what, then, would you use for a value? My review sounds a bit negative, but above all, these kinds of problems can easily be searched in online forums related to loudspeaker design (if indeed you have internet access). Should there be any confusion: this is a reference, a standard by which other tutorials are measured. When in doubt, ask online. Good book for the beginner, despite a few concerns.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has TONS of information but good luck finding it.

Man, was I excited to get this book. Finally, a know-how book with enough info to help me build whatever I want and sort through the notation! Right?

Imagine my disappointment when I opened the book expecting to find a chart defining all the terms within the first few pages, and I couldn't find it. Where is it? I start skimming the text and I see those letters with subscripts scattered here and there like annoying gray dandelion balls in the front yard. So I keep flipping backward, expecting to see them defined somewhere. Nope... nope... wait... there's some of them... but where is Q? And what is f_s? Flipping... flipping... and now I'm on the first page in Chapter 0 and I haven't found a definition for Q. He talks about it, but never defines it. So I go for the index. Oh wait... there IS no index. But there is a bunch of annoying advertisements in the back like the car magazines I read every month. So I check the table of contents - finally after a few minutes I find Q defined somewhere around page 24 in Chapter 1, but he mentions it repeatedly before then.

There are two rules I've learned about technical writing:

1) Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.

2) Re-invent the wheel so your readers don't have to.

Vance Dickason must have lost these rules of thumb in the piles of papers he's sure to have on his desk. If he would just spend some time taking more pictures, drawing more basic diagrams, and placing easy to read tables at the early parts of chapters, this book would be fantastic! But in the meantime, be prepared to read for a long time.
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