Join us for the 2017 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.


Under $200

Place Participant Project Name Project #
1st Shawn Kipka DCT-1 by AcoustaKip 2
2nd Paul Kittinger BALMORA 1
3rd John Hollander Titan Open Baffle 22

Over $200

Place Participant Project Name Project #
1st Dan Neubecker Scimitars 28
2nd James Putti Alphasaurus 1 38
3rd Dan Poinsett The Hurricanes 13

Dayton Audio

Place Participant Project Name Project #
1st Thomas Zarbo The Dayton Neo 10's (DN-10's) 30
2nd Kevin Kendrick The Archers 34
3rd John Hollander Vultus 21

Open Unlimited

Place Participant Project Name Project #
1st Nick Santorineos Stink Eyes 47
2nd Ron Erickson Cherry π 27
3rd Dean Arno electronic CBT 42


FRIDAY, JULY 14TH, 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 14TH, 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 14th, from 7PM - 9PM.

SATURDAY, JULY 15TH, 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 15TH, 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 15TH, 9AM - 4PM: Speaker Design Competition Part 2 (Under $200, Over $200, Dayton Audio)

There will be a 1 hour lunch break from 12:30PM - 1:30PM. We will do our best to end on time by 4PM, and winners will be announced at 4:30PM.



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!


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



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
1 Gregory Porter Don't Lose Your Steam Open Unlimited
2 Spyro Gyra Morning Dance Open Unlimited
3 Pentatonix Feat Lindsey Stirling Radioactive Open Unlimited
4 Pink Floyd Another Brick in the Wall Dayton Audio
5 Brian Bromberg Come Together Dayton Audio
6 Bonnie Raitt Papa Come Quick Dayton Audio
7 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody Over $200
8 Rebecca Pidgeon Spanish Harlem Over $200
9 Prince Musicology Over $200
10 Jazz Funk Soul You'll Know When You Know Under $200
11 Nora Jones Creepin In Under $200
12 David Bowie Let's Dance Under $200


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.


Tom Perazella is a retired Group Director of IT who began building audio kits at age 15. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from UC Berkeley and is currently a member of the Audio Engineering Society, Boston Audio Society and DC Audio DIY Group. In addition to traditional audio electronics, Tom has built sophisticated AC power soft start units that handle large arrays of electronic equipment and provide protection against over and under voltages. His speaker protection designs integrate power over time with rates to cover different heating and cooling cycles and can detect frequencies out of the range of the drivers. Tom has designed speakers using planar magnetic and Heil Air Motion Transformer drivers for mid and high range units, and very high linear displacement sealed box subs. He has also extensively used DSP for crossover and equalization. Tom has written for Audio Amateur, Speaker Builder and AudioXpress magazines for over 20 years and currently resides in the Washington, DC metro area.


Tom Danley has been interested in radio electronics, loudspeakers, and “hifi” since early childhood after hearing his grandfather's Heathkit mono hifi. He developed a fondness for low frequencies at age 9 when he was allowed to go up into a Church organ’s pipe loft while the organist practiced. Electronics became his hobby after building a crystal radio with his grandfather and he began building completed speakers from scratch in 8th grade Woodshop class. Tom turned his hobby into his profession and began work in the electronics repair field. In 1979 Tom went to work for Intersonics Inc, a NASA hardware contractor working with acoustic levitation. One of his first inventions at Intersonics was a levitation sound source. During this time Tom was awarded 17 patents for acoustic and electromagnetic levitation devices as well as transducers. Wearing different hats at Intersonics, Tom was also Principal Scientific Investigator on several research contracts including an investigation involving setting off avalanches with low frequency sound. In the early 90’s a film crew visited Intersonics and Tom was hired to be in a new movie and go to Egypt to measure the acoustics in the Great Pyramid. Eleven years ago, he and Mike Hedden started Danley Sound Labs where he continues to work today.


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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