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Should I adjust my DIY expectations?

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  • #16
    I couldn't care less for a high pricetag diamond tweeter, but I do know that the yellow kevlar B&W midrange drivers are actually very good drivers, high sensitivity with scan-speak levels of low distortion.
    Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by philthien View Post
      Hole smokes I hadn't see the response curves on those.

      The tweeters look like roller coasters.
      We hear both the on-axis and off-axis sound. If you look at the directivity you will see the on-axis response has been adjusted to compensate. B&W are a competent speaker company but why they have opted for a large midrange crossed high to a tweeter I do not know. It creates a characteristic B&W sound which some people clearly like.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jcsmith0919 View Post
        My question is, would something in the DIY circle under $1500 for the kit, enclosure, and finishing materials, with reasonable upstream electronics in a properly treated room be able to compare/recreate to what I experienced?
        Yes. A 2 x 8" woofer, 4"-5" midrange and 1" tweeter using good but not exotic drivers will fit the budget and, if well designed, will be in the same ballpark in terms of performance. I am not aware of any DIY speakers with the B&W characteristic sound and so that would need designing if you wanted to go in that direction.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Jim Holtz View Post

          Thanks Mike! We appreciate the props.

          However, it's Curt that is the wizard, I just do day labor and throw in a few ideas. We also can't forget Wayne's voicing input.

          In the end, for all of us, it's all about the music.

          Jim
          No problem, well deserved, you can tell you guys serve the music which is kind of like a lighthouse in all of this.

          As a note to the DIY vs Commercial aspect...

          I am still waiting to hear a DIY speaker that can do what Vivid does, or Tidal for that matter....And they use diamond domes. The value of DIY after the first $2000 all-in drops conciderablly, luckily most of the meat and potatoes can be had for that ot less. That is why this hobby is very fruitful for those who have become skilled.

          ...Just don't forget the man-hours and garage full o' tools when concidering the real cost of a DIY loudspeaker ;)
          .

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          • #20
            Since we all hear music differently, it can be difficult to say "yes, this design will give you what you're looking for..." Maybe there's a member that lives in your area and would let you come by and listen to a design or two. Or attend one of the events where we get together and listen to the various designs. I've had people come by over the years to listen to some of the designs I've made. The OPDs, Other Person's Design, as the only thing I've designed on my own have been subs. It sounds like you want a similar experience as what you had with the B&W. For me, some of the more important parts are transparency and imaging. Where you can close your eyes and not tell where the speakers are located. That's the hallmark of a well-designed XO.
            I made a pair of Statement Monitors a few years back. They stand up and can surpass many OEM brands, even the higher-end varieties. If you lived near Olympia, WA, you could come by and give these a listen. Bring some music you love and know well. I have my own favorites, vinyl and CD, that are well-recorded and I use those selections to evaluate the DIY designs I have built and OEM speakers as well. Like speakers, not all recordings are created equal. I have some releases that sound terrible, some are just OK, and others are exceptional. See if you can find someone near you, or an event where you can go and listen to a wide variety of designs. They have to be pleasing to you. The Finalists are a fantastic design. I used to sell B&W and although for OEM, they're a good design (at least when I was doing that), I've heard DIY designs that can surpass their SQ. But that's me.
            One thing I've found with DIY, is that the builder can construct a better cabinet, ie internal bracing, better materials, etc. than most brands; the cabinet is the foundation. Plus, with the designs you can find here, the XO is designed to work with the specific drivers being used. Working up a XO design, then voicing it to find where any changes/adjustments need to me made. No hype, no marketing, just solid experience and a bit of genius! A forum member Ed and I did these together about 6 years ago. My physical skills and dexterity had gone downhill enough that I wasn't able to build like I used to, so having someone local that I could work with was a great experience. It was a lot of fun, working with a like-minded person. He invited me over and I listened to the full-sized Statements, Mini Statements and the Monitors. Although I lusted after the full-size, the Monitors were more what I could handle, both physically and financially. I love these, and they have the qualities I look for in a speaker and then some. Good luck, let the guys know what you're thinking and don't hesitate to ask any questions.

            John A.
            "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
            Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
            Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
            Pioneer TX-9500 II
            Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
            Statement Monitors
            Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
            Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
            Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

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            • #21
              Originally posted by andy19191 View Post
              Yes. A 2 x 8" woofer, 4"-5" midrange and 1" tweeter using good but not exotic drivers will fit the budget and, if well designed, will be in the same ballpark in terms of performance..
              There are beryllium dome tweeters arguably just as good as, if not better than, the B&W diamond. For instance, the Satori TW29BN-B, at 1/3 the price. Good as it gets 8" woofers aren't terribly expensive, nor should one need to spend more than $300 on a midrange. The hard part would be the crossover if you went passive, but with DSP it wouldn't be difficult at all to exceed the 802D in every aspect save price.

              www.billfitzmaurice.com
              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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              • #22
                Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post


                Are his the "diamond" tweetered model?
                I actually dont know what model but they are damn impressive so if what you say is correct they must not be.
                My Build Thread's
                Carrera's / Finalist TL's / Speedster TMM's / Speedster MTM Center / Overnight Sensation Surrounds

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                • #23
                  I'm not sure what the room was treated with, but they mentioned a suspended Floor, and the walls were covered with AT material. When I first walked in it felt eery. Like a pressure change occurred. I'm guessing, because of the amount of absorption material behind the fabric?

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                  • #24
                    Going to an all active setup would be awesome, but the learning curve before even hearing some of the well regarded kits is what holds me back at the moment. Based off some of the comments, I'd speculate that treating my room, getting all the proper electronics, and adding a pair of well known kits would get me 95% there. Then start messing with dsp and the like to fine tune what I'm after. Most of the heavy lifting isn't for a few years anyway, as the Air Force has me bouncing around a lot until 2019. I just figured learn what I can right now so when it's go time I'm prepared for the next move and expectations are reasonable.

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                    • #25
                      I have found in my limited DIY experience, and somewhat extensive Retail speaker modding experience, that maybe more than anything, "Voicing" and crossovers account for a lot of what we "Like",

                      I think there is a sound we like, a sound that others like and a sound that is correct.
                      Sometimes impressive at first wears thin after several hours or even less.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by kevintomb View Post

                        ... and a sound that is correct.

                        That is one bold statement there fella'
                        .

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by mzisserson View Post

                          That is one bold statement there fella'
                          That's a bit of a unicorn isn't it!

                          IMO, that would be if the electrical signal was re-produced into sound that makes it to the ears EXACTLY as it was recorded. That would be the goal chased in studio / mastering setups, and many times in HiFi as well.

                          The speaker itself is only a portion of that chain, the room they're in is arguably more influential. So... we do our best. And then we pump up the bass a bit to the way we like it
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by kevintomb View Post
                            I have found in my limited DIY experience, and somewhat extensive Retail speaker modding experience, that maybe more than anything, "Voicing" and crossovers account for a lot of what we "Like",

                            I think there is a sound we like, a sound that others like and a sound that is correct.
                            Sometimes impressive at first wears thin after several hours or even less.
                            There isn't a correct sound for stereo reproduction in the home but there is a right ballpark for neutral(ish) sound. A flat on-axis response is a good start but what should the off-axis response be? The room response will obviously have an influence. There is some current enthusiasm for constant directiivity speakers leading to reflections off hard walls having a flat frequency response. But how wide should the beam width be? And why in listening tests might speakers with a smoothly increasing directivity be preferred?

                            Many of the large established home audio brands like B&W have clearly opted not to go all out for a neutral sound but for a characteristic sound they presumably consider works better for their brand in the home. DIY folk rarely identify a characteristic sound and what it takes to achieve it but, to take the example above, a midrange in an open chamber is going to create a characteristic sound compared to one with a smoothly controlled directivity.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by wogg View Post
                              That's a bit of a unicorn isn't it!

                              IMO, that would be if the electrical signal was re-produced into sound that makes it to the ears EXACTLY as it was recorded. That would be the goal chased in studio / mastering setups, and many times in HiFi as well.
                              Of course that depends on the sound engineer's preferences, his/her's speaker set up and crossover design and the presentation of the virtual soundstage of the mastering speakers. After comes your own speak set that interprets virtual soundstage in it's own way.

                              The objective is really to replicate the preferred live music event and tailor the system to do exactly that.

                              http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by r-carpenter View Post
                                Of course that depends on the sound engineer's preferences, his/her's speaker set up and crossover design and the presentation of the virtual soundstage of the mastering speakers. After comes your own speak set that interprets virtual soundstage in it's own way.

                                The objective is really to replicate the preferred live music event and tailor the system to do exactly that.
                                Agreed! I believe it's the mix / master engineer's job to determine how they'll faithfully reproduce a live event, such as a symphonic or other live performance. More often than not they're drawing up their own sound stage with isolated instrument tracks or electronic instruments. They will do so based on the flaws of their own monitoring setups throughout the process.

                                Our job on the speaker design end is to reproduce what they were envisioning as closely as possible. Of course we can never do that, since their systems will have their own flaws and we'll never really hear it exactly the same unless we listen in the mastering engineer's studio.

                                Then if we don't like what the engineers did, we change it to the way we prefer or listen to something else.
                                Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                                Wogg Music

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