How to Design and Build Stage Monitors

Written by christian mullen
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How to Design and Build Stage Monitors
Monitors are essential for hearing yourself on stage. (speaker image by timur1970 from

When designing and building your own stage monitors, it is essential to consider the stage you will using them on as well as the types and sizes of speakers you will using in your venue. If you have a rock club, heavier duty speakers may be necessary. For jazz and other mellow types of music, as well as plays and other theatrical endeavours, lighter speakers may be more than enough, as they can save you money you could put toward other projects.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Speakers
  • Speaker jack
  • Paper
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Formulate the configuration and type of stage monitors you will need. Side fills are used for the side of the stage and need good dispersion, as they will be relatively far away from the musicians. Floor wedges are used primarily for the front of the stage and are aimed upwards, so the design must incorporate this particular trait.

  2. 2

    Plan the placement of the speakers as well as the types of monitors you will use onstage. Small stages need smaller speakers, so you can use small floor wedges such as a 10-inch or 12-inch full range woofer as well as a tweeter. Side fills may need dual 15-inch speakers and a high-frequency horn. The configuration you use must be appropriate for your stage size.

  3. 3

    Choose the material you will use as well as the brand of speakers to use. Celestion speakers are very common and are priced well relative to their quality. They make low-weight neodymium speakers as well as those with traditional construction. Choose MDF or a sturdier type of wood for the cabinets to save money and possibly weight if the monitors will be moved often.

  1. 1

    Build the main cabinet of the monitor. (See Reference) This includes the top, bottom, back and sides. Route an area that will fit the speaker jack. Use the best material you can afford and glue it together to hold the wood in place. Nail it after the glue has dried for extra stability.

  2. 2

    Route the front piece for the speakers, including the tweeter or horn. Trace the templates for the speakers and drill a hole within the tracing. Place the jigsaw in the hole and cut the speaker hole out. Place the speakers in the front baffle and screw them into the wood. Wire the speakers with enough slack for the speaker jack, which will be attached to the back of the cabinet.

  3. 3

    Glue and nail the front piece onto the cabinet, making sure the wires are inside. Pull the wires through the speaker jack hole in the back of the cabinet. Screw the speaker jack into place.

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