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Guide Making a simple and cheap surround-sound chair

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Captain Slug, 15 May 2005.

  1. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I wanted rear satellite speakers, but my desk is up against a wall and I have so room to setup rear speakers behind my chair. So, in order to get the full experience of 3D gamin I decided I'd just attach a spare speaker set onto my chair. This was Version 1.
    [​IMG]

    Version 2 is simplified and takes up less space (it also doesn't hit the wall when I swivel the chair around).
    [​IMG]
    This one will also be much easier for other people to make, so here's how I did it.

    1. Make brackets or develop a mounting system for the subwoofer. TO make things even easier, you could just use a speaker set that doesn't include a subwoofer. For this chair I used the threaded mounts that secure to the arm rest pieces that attach the backrest to the set bottom. I cut the arm rests off of the brackets a long time ago because they were getting in my way.
    [​IMG]
    2. Remove the leather cover (you may even need to cut some stringed anchors) to get it off completely.
    [​IMG]
    3. Cut out a section of the foam in the headrest that's above your shoulder line. These cuts should be quite a bit smaller than the actual speaker you are mounting so that the foam will wedge them in place. My speakers were deeper than the headrest so I removed them from their plastic shell and mounted them to some CD-R stack covers that I shortened.
    This is the only part of the process that may involve soldering since removing the speakers themselves from their shell may require you to cut and splice the connectors. It's such an easy wiring job and they're color-coded 80% of the time so even someone with no experience with soldering should be able to do it (or have a friend do it).
    [​IMG]
    4. Snake the cords out the back support panel and tuck the excess cabling in the bottom of the back-rest.
    [​IMG]
    5. Position your speakers in the foam and secure to support panel, or glue to the foam. If they're wedged firmly enough in the foam, you may not need to take any extra measure to keep them in place.
    [​IMG]
    6. The necessity to replace any part of the seat cover will depend on the thickness of its fabric. If your backrest cover is already nylon or some other type of fabric then it should be fine, but you'll want to put it back on and test it first. If your seat cover is leather (or a synthetic material with a similar thickness) replace the panels in the seat cover that will be covering the speakers. You can use speaker grills, plastic mesh, or a dense fabric like cotton or linen. Leather will muffle the sound far too much so it will need to be replaced. I didn't have access to a strong enough sewing machine to stitch the cotton panels so I ended up using a stapler, which seems to have worked fine.
    [​IMG]
    7. Attach the subwoofer, volume remote, and power supply (if they're included with the set you're using).
    8. Tighten or shorten the cables in whatever manne you want. I put disconnect extensions on the bottom of the chair so that it can be unplugged and moved easily without reaching to the back of my computer or stereo.

    In the end you have something like this...
    [​IMG]
    This allows you to have rear speakers without having to mount them to walls or make awkward stands that you can knock over. This project didn't take very long and is very easy for almost anyone make. Minimal machining is required and the amount of work involved will depend on how clean you want the finished product to look. I only maybe 4 hours in this project and I know I could do better if I were using something other than parts I had readily available.

    If you've already made one or are making one I'd like to see it.
     
  2. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow New Member

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    I think thats the first time in ages I've seen someone void a waranty on a chair (assuming it still had one :p)

    interesting mod though... (couldn't you have just mounted the speakers one on each side of your ear (either infront of behind the chair, pointing upwards ;))
     
  3. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    If they were infront of the chair I couldn't lean back, and if they were pointed upwards it imbalances the surround effect. I didn't want to affect the comfort level of the chair or have the sound blasting away from my desk.
     
  4. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow New Member

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    Ah ok... my chair is a little differently shaped than yours, thats all it really is :) I only just noticed lol, I have room to mount them properly on the front, or, on the back with the sub, and I have software to edit the volume of each speaker to re-calibrate it...

    :) its all good :) over all I liked V1 over V2, still can't get over attacking the chair though :p
     
  5. wolff000

    wolff000 I am here to steal your secrets.

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    Very nice. I think I may attack my chair soon as my home office is small and there is no space for surround sound. I will probably mount the sub under the chair as mine has space for it. Should put a smile on my girlfriend first time she sits down and the sub is still turned up. hehe
     
  6. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    Haha...just goes to show you can mod just about anything. ;)
     
  7. kickarse

    kickarse New Member

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    there's a vibrating sub that you can by through like partsexpress.com that doesn't have a surround or large metal circle around it. It's made to mount to floor boards and such for base sound. You could mount it to the chair!
     
  8. Cabe

    Cabe New Member

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  9. Coutsos

    Coutsos New Member

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    Pretty slick, I'd like to do something similar with my own (albeit, small and crappy) chair. Just a couple questions:
    1) Is there some kind of wireless setup for the audio cables, or do you just run them from the chair mounted speakers to the ground, and from there to the audio ports?

    2) (a bit offtopic) I like the wallpaper in the first pic. Do you still have it, or know where I could get it? :D
     
  10. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I'm not a huge fan of bass. so the 25w subwoofer in my back is more than enough to get the effect I wanted from in-game explosions. This guide is just a starting point and example of the simplest possible chair alteration. Hopefully a few people can take this several steps further however they want to.
    1. I used a headphone extension and tied it to the bottom of the seat so that I can disconnect from the computer without having to reach behind it. The audio cable coming from the computer and the power cable for the speaker set both run along the floor under my desk.

    2. The wallpaper was a commission I did for another modder's project. The full size version (1600 x 1200) is available in my deviant art gallery. Here's a direct link: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/6973726/
     
  11. Coutsos

    Coutsos New Member

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    I thank you, good sir!
     
  12. ozstrike

    ozstrike yip yip yip yip

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    Awesome, although why couldn't you have just had the sub under your desk?
     
  13. 1st time modder

    1st time modder New Member

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    What about if you move about on your chair alot, wireless speakers are needed!. It lookes very clean/professional although the sub placement is quite odd.
     
  14. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    At the moment the underside of my desk is occupied by a stereo for audio mixing and recording.
     
  15. Potato

    Potato New Member

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    Nice! I might just do that mod when I get some new speakers. (Oh and a new chair, mine sucks now).
     
  16. ninjaskull

    ninjaskull New Member

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    wow that is wicked, i might do that aswell, great guide
     
  17. Starbuck3733T

    Starbuck3733T Look out sugar, here it comes

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    don't the rear speakers being right by your head kind of not make them seem.... well... behind you?
     
  18. Gipo

    Gipo New Member

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    How does the setup sound though?
     
  19. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Depends on the quality of the speakers you use. The speakers I used don't sound any different in the chair than when they were in their original plastic case.
     
  20. Hammy

    Hammy New Member

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    hehe that looks good m8 :)
    what about the cables have you them nicely tucked away ? to avoid getting them pulled out
     
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