Speaker Building Design Team 2016
Scott Sehlin has been active in the DIY speaker community for over 10 years. During that time he has regularly attended and presented original speaker designs at DIY Iowa and participated in the Tech Talk forum. Scott has also attended other events in the Midwest, such as InDIYana and some Chicago events. Scott has been interested in home audio since childhood and built his first pair of speakers (a two way Radio Shack design) over 20 years ago. Most of Scott’s designs have focused on trying to achieve performance approaching that of high end boutique speakers using moderately priced components, while also focusing on moderate-to-small physical size in order to improve compatibility with a wider range of applications.
Scott lives in Bettendorf, Iowa along with his wife of 16 years and two sons, one starting high school and the other starting middle school. He is an Engineering Manager for Cobham PLC, A UK owned aerospace and defense company. Scott received Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Missouri S&T (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla). When not working or pursuing audio hobbies, Scott enjoys tennis and golf and supports his children’s sports and STEM activities.
John is a former design engineer turned manager. He has been interested in stereos and building speakers since reading his first Stereo Review in 1978. Today John enjoys designing and building speakers as a creative outlet. He likes to include something different in each of his designs whether it’s an open baffle or an unusual shape or finish. John lives in Manchester Missouri.
Johnny, or “JR” as he is commonly known within the DIY crowd, was exposed to music the moment he was born. He started tinkering in DIY audio in his mid teens by buying raw drivers and crossovers from Radio Shack. He built enclosures using a circular saw, jig saw, and hand held drill. 25 years later, his interests are no longer limited to building speakers. He has been caught writing song lyrics and engineering music, especially live recordings of his wife performing. He is also a laughably bad guitar player and prefers to be on the other side of stage as a result.
JR has written several articles targeted towards beginners in DIY speaker design, including tutorials for the popular WinISD and PCD. He is an active participant in Parts Express Tech Talk, maintains the Facebook page GCF Custom Audio, and is a founding member of Midwest Audio Club – through which he helps organize various DIY gatherings in the Heartland.
His designs run the gamut from ultra-simple and low budget 2-ways to more traditional higher performing 3-way towers. He also has experience in car audio installation, live sound mixing, and has helped design a dedicated vocal booth and outfitted a small recording studio.
JR credits a long list of people for facilitating his advancement in audio, particularly in the design of speakers, and that we all stand on the shoulders of giants.
When he is not immersing himself in audio, he can be found cooking, lifting weights, running, reading fiction, or watching movies. All of these activities are enjoyed with his wife of 17 years and their 14 year daughter. He believes in DIY for the sake of DIY.
Rich has been interested in high-end audio since high-school and has been building loudspeakers for 30+ years. In recent years, his primary interest in loudspeaker design has been various forms of line array and open baffle speakers; especially Distributed Mode Loudspeaker (DML) flat panel designs. When not building speakers he can be found traveling the Midwest watching his teenage boys play soccer or at one of their track or cross country meets. During the day he is a web developer and manages the SDLC processes for a leading global Consumer Products company.
Dan is a devoted husband and lucky father of five amazing people. He has a BS in Physics and has worked in the additive manufacturing industry for the last decade, specializing in laser sintering technology and processes.
Dan’s obsession with speakers began in the early 1990’s after modifying some speakers he found in the garbage. A friend told him if he built larger boxes for them, they would produce “more bass”. He was right, and Dan was sold. Dan has been, and still is, fascinated by the science, art, construction, compromise, beauty, and music that speakers comprise.
Hong Nguyen is a former emergency and trauma nurse who currently specializes in the development and management of ambulatory surgery centers. Hong has been active in healthcare for over three decades, and resides in Orange County, California with his wife and two daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys family, travels, movies, music, and of course, speaker and amplifier building. With no formal training in electronics, Hong avidly reads the Tech Talk forum and believes that the best way to learn the art of speaker building is to dive into the process and take advantage of best practices created by expert members of the forum, while being unafraid of asking questions or making mistakes. Hong enjoys the creativity of designing his own speaker systems, and the incredible support and coaching he gets from fellow members of the forum.
Dan Neubecker is a Landscape Architect who enjoys life with his wife of 38 years in Bloomington, Indiana. He is a native of Michigan and graduate of Michigan State University, but became a converted Hoosier after residing in Bloomington since 1979. As a design professional, his everyday job finds him addressing civil engineering and land development-type problems for projects of all types and sizes. He has no formal training in electronics, but has had a passion for audio since his college days and also enjoys woodworking. Listening to music replaced playing it, which he did as a trumpet player for the 8 years prior to college. He first discovered the DIY speaker hobby in 2005 after finding the Parts Express Tech Talk forum online. In addition to loudspeaker design and woodworking, Dan is an avid golfer and golf clubmaker and carries a single digit handicap.
Ever since his dad gave him a 50-in-1 electronics project kit from Radio Shack when he was 8 years old, Pete has been fascinated by electronics and sound. When old TVs would show up on the curb for the trash men to pick up, first thing he would do is take out the speakers and see what they would do when connected to his little AM table top radio. Pete’s fascination with speakers reached a new level when he repaired his first 10” 3-way with a new Philips dome tweeter over the paper cone original. He was so smitten with audio that it became the reason he pursued an electrical engineering degree.
Over the years his obsession with building speakers has grown while putting his engineering skills to use in his professional career at anything but audio. From power supply design to servo amplifiers and communication systems, the real passion was always for audio with a primary focus on speakers. The fever became critical after attending his first Iowa DIY back in 2003 and seeing what was possible for a regular guy to create. Finding TechTalk and the great contributors was like a bear finding honey. Pete was on his way. Today with Vapor Audio, Pete gets to work regularly with the finest drivers on earth, build some of the most unusual enclosures, and design speakers that regularly get accolades from reviewers and enthusiasts alike; a dream come true. He’s finally doing that for which he originally sought his degree. And now as a member of the PE speaker design team, Pete feels honored to contribute to the effort and thanks PE for adding him to the team.
At some point in middle school Roman realized that music on his old speakers sounded rather different from live sound, and the quest began. After experimenting with several existing systems he started thinking about making his own, but at that point in his life he wasn’t ready for it. Roman took some core math and physics courses at one of the universities back in St. Petersburg and when he moved to New York with his family, he enrolled in the school here. Being introduced to woodworking and restoration trade got Roman to take some time off from engineering studies. Roman spent a few years learning the trade in different shops before opening his own studio in Brooklyn Navy Yard, all while never giving up on the hobby of sound reproduction. As a result, he felt that he has a fitting blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills to make speaker-building an enjoyable hobby. For the last few years Roman was actively involved on various Speaker DIY forums and other activities, which lead him to become the host of NY DIY Show and Iron Driver competition for several consecutive years. Roman enjoys designing and testing various speaker systems and he is looking forward to building new and exciting speakers for Parts Express.
Pete learned how to solder from his dad, a US Navy trained electronics tech, at a very young age and tinkered out of curiosity with both electronics and speakers. He built his first wooden box speaker also at a very young age with a pair of 5″ full range speakers. Pete read everything he could find in the magazines about audio and speakers which led to experimenting with transmission lines and building a large 2-way with a pair of 8″ and a 1″ domes on each side. These were inspired by the big IMF transmission line monitors. He was then impressed with the Dalquest DQ-10 and mixed the TL bass with a 4-way inspired by the DQ-10, tuned with a simple SPL meter and voiced mostly by ear.
Pete attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for a BS in EE with emphasis on communications systems, analog design, signal processing and audio engineering. He did a senior project (MQP) on transmission line loudspeakers where he developed the first Thiele and Small style model (1980) for them – the first ever as far as he knows. He obtained a Masters of Engineering from Cornell in EE with emphasis on analog and digital design/signal processing.
Pete’s passion has been audio and electronics since he was a child. While at school he joined the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and spent hours reading back issues and other publications in the school library. Pete believes in learning how to apply the theory from both the classics and from the best modern designs and have reverse engineered quite a few speakers. Pete is interested in both designs that sold/performed well, tested well or both such as the B&W 801, PSB Stratus Gold, Vandersteen 2Ci, Spica TC-50, Large Advent, Dyna A-25, and many others. He’s learned from these with the goal of doing better for his own designs.
Pete accepts that it is not possible to recreate a live soundfield with a pair of speakers, or even 5.1 but he has found that there are certain voicings that come closer to tricking the ear-brain into believing that what is being reproduced is real. Pete finds that most listeners, trained or not, prefer such voicings and soon forget about any technical goals such as ruler flat response or linear phase. This is his goal in speaker design, to have the speakers produce music rather than left and right sound from speakers. Pete doesn’t deviate far from a flat frequency response but it is clear that there are better voicings even within a +/- 2 dB tolerance for example.