Join us for the 2018 Annual Speaker Design Competition located in Springboro Ohio during the Midwest Audiofest hosted by Dayton Audio & Parts Express! The location for the Speaker Design Competition is at Pontecorvo 20 Commercial Way Springboro, Ohio 45066.
Registration open in May


FRIDAY, JULY 13TH, 5PM - 7PM: Meet & Greet and Registration

All entrants in the Speaker Design Competition are invited. This is a great opportunity to interact with your fellow audio enthusiasts and judges! We will have music playing and some new products on display from Dayton Audio & Parts Express. The Open Unlimited Event will follow the Meet-N-Greet.

FRIDAY, JULY 13TH, 7PM - 9PM: Speaker Design Competition Part 1 (Open Unlimited)

Due to time constraints, the Open Unlimited Event will once again be hold on Friday this year. The Open Unlimited Event will take place Friday, July 13th, from 7PM - 9PM.

SATURDAY, JULY 14TH, 7AM - 8AM: Early Entry into the Tent Sale

Registered participants of the Speaker Design Competition will have early entry into the Tent Sale at Parts Express Saturday morning from 7AM-8AM. In order to get into the Tent Sale, you must wear the Speaker Design Competition shirt given to you at the Meet-N-Greet on Friday.

SATURDAY, JULY 14TH, 7:30AM - 8:30AM: Open Registration

For those who will be unable to attend the Meet-N-Greet, we will have open registration Saturday morning.

SATURDAY, JULY 14TH, 9AM - 4:30PM: Speaker Design Competition Part 2 (Under $200, Over $200, Dayton Audio)

There will be a 1 hour lunch break from 1:00PM - 2:00PM. We will do our best to end on time by 4:30PM, and winners will be announced at 5:00PM.



The Parts Express parking lot is available for Campers, RV's... and possibly cars with comfy seats. However, we really don't want to see you sleep in your car, so we've listed some local hotels and motels below that are affordable and available for you.
Note to campers: There are NO HOOKUPS, just asphalt with painted lines – but at the right overnight price, free!




Speaker project must use all Dayton Audio drivers in the project design. Any dollar amount or size is welcome.


Projects less than $200 per pair to build ($ limit for drivers only). Speaker project can include any brand drivers.


Projects greater than $200 per pair to build ($ limit for drivers only). Speaker project can include any brand drivers.


Open Unlimited includes Speaker Projects that are active or cannot be categorized in the other 3 areas.
If the speaker design has been entered in the Open Unlimited category, the same design without active components cannot be entered into any other category.

*There will be 3 winners from each category


# Artist Title Category


The judges will use the following criteria to determine the winners of the Speaker Competition contest:

  1. Craftsmanship (visual)
  2. Originality / Design (visual)
  3. Tonal Balance (audio)
  4. Clarity (audio)
  5. Imaging (audio)

The speakers under test are driven with music signal fed from a professional-grade Red Book CD player (TASCAM CD-01U Pro) through a 2-channel amplifier (QSC Audio GX3), with no upstream signal processing, crossovers, or equalization. The CD player’s internal DAC and digital-domain volume control are used. Designs featuring additional channels of amplification, active crossovers, equalization, or other processing (including DSP) are restricted to our Unlimited Category. For systems in the Unlimited category, the available outputs from the source are balanced/unbalanced analog, optical Toslink, and AES/EBU digital outputs.

There will be 3 one-minute snippets of music listened to by the judges. These music selections are played per entry, each one minute in length, and these selections are the same for all speakers in a category, but different sets of tracks are selected for each category, with the selections for the categories having higher priced and more complex speakers being more challenging and possibly revealing of sonic flaws. Before each speaker plays, the level is set using pink noise, with SPL monitored via our calibrated OmniMic system, so that all speakers play at the same level.

Each speaker will be evaluated and rated by the judges, then tabulated and results entered into a spreadsheet. These votes will be added with the project submitter votes to achieve winners in the categories listed above. From this sheet, total point winners will be selected in the categories listed above.

Judging sheets will be sent by mail to the designer's home address following the event. In the event of a tie within a class, judging will move to a head to head format with the ultimate winner selected by a show of hands.

Please Note:

Commercial entries or entities are prohibited: Individuals or entities that sell finished speakers (part time, full time, or any time) are excluded from registration. Should it be determined that you are in the commercial sales of finished speakers your entry will be removed. Please contact us should you require further explanation or clarification.

Contest committee members will have final say whether a project is excluded or not from competition.



Having roots in the DIY hobby himself, Jerry McNutt holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University. As most young DIY'ers experience, studying took a backseat as he found himself more often in the garage building cabinets and systems rather than the Auburn Library. He built his first speaker project, a DIY Subwoofer, from an article in a magazine back in 1984 using a 12" McGee Radio driver that was manufactured by Eminence. He considers this time of speaker building as preparing him for a career in the audio industry. Professionally, he's been involved in creating OEM drivers for Ford, Honda, and Chrysler. For over eighteen years, Jerry has been working at world-renowned Eminence Speaker LLC located in scenic Eminence, Kentucky. Jerry began as a Design Engineer at Eminence Speaker and now is their Product Design Manager.


Peter Noerbaek of PBN Audio, based in San Diego, California, has developed and manufactured several innovative loudspeaker, turntable and amp/preamp lines for the international audiophile market. He received a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1983, and served a rigorous internship as an electrical apprentice in one of the most competitive engineering environments in the world. His career started as an onboard electrician, and he quickly advanced to an Atlantic shipping line managing entire electrical systems for large cargo ships. Back on dry land, he worked for a company installing concrete batch plants worldwide, being promoted in 1988 to US Service Manager. PBN Audio was launched in 1992 as a distribution company for the Danish manufacturer F3/Lyd Audiovector Loudspeakers. One year later Peter introduced his first Montana Loudspeakers, followed by his Olympia line of fine electrical components (originally named Sierra). More recently he has established a directtoconsumer company, Liberty Audio. He continues to advance the engineering and design of highend audio, and has received numerous accolades from respected publications worldwide.


Vance Dickason founded Speaker Research Associates (SRA), which published the first and second editions of the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. Vance then joined forces with Audio Amateur Inc. and became editor of Voice Coil, and contributing editor to Speaker Builder Magazine (Now AudioXpress). Vance also wrote Loudspeaker Recipes. Vance has had articles and reviews published in Audio, Sound and Video Contractor, EQ, and Auto Sound and Security magazines. Vance has served as the Test & Measurement Chairman for Audio Engineering Society Conventions and Conferences. Vance received the AES Citation Award in 1995 for his contribution to audio education. He was also presented the Beryllium Driver Award from ALMA. Vance has lectured on LEAP/LMS CAD system design and provided corporate seminars on this subject for Harman International (JBL, Infinity, Revel), Samsung, Kenwood, and Klipsch. Some customers that employed his test and measurement services or had designs created for the marketplace include Atlantic Technology, Kenwood, Stillwater Designs, Signet, M&K, Epson, Audax, Samsung, Niles, Microsoft, Artison, Triad Speakers, Terra Labs, HIVI Research/Swans Speakers, and Parasound.


1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category will go home as prize-wielding champions!

  • 1st Place in each category receives: $250 PE Bucks, a trophy, and a one-year subscription to audioXPRESS magazine provided by Audio Amateur
  • 2nd Place in each category receives: $100 PE Bucks
  • 3rd Place in each category receives: $50 PE Bucks

Please Note...

Speakers registered in the competition may be selected as the featured DIY project in an upcoming Parts Express Sales Flyer.
Parts Express and Dayton Audio cannot be responsible for lost or stolen speakers however, every measure will be taken to protect your speakers from damage or theft.
Entries will be returned to the owner by providing the speaker project's tag entry ticket.

Warehouse Tent Sale   •   Speaker Design Competition   •   MECA Auto Sound Challenge   •   Audio Swap Meet   •   Registration   •   Schedule   •   Directions

Feel free to reach out to us at staff@midwestaudiofest.com with any questions you have!
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