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It’s that time audio enthusiasts! Registration for the 2019 Speaker Design Competition is now open! Visit midwestaudiofest.com for details and to list your speaker project. We are excited to see all returning participants, and look forward to meeting some new designers this year, as well! Be sure your plans include a visit to the Parts Express Tent Sale for the lowest prices of the year, and the Audio Swap Meet where you can buy and trade with other audio fans. We hope to see you this summer! Vivian and Jill
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$400 -- Which Floorstanding Kit?

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  • $400 -- Which Floorstanding Kit?

    After much frustration trying to replace the NLA tweeters in a speaker "kit" that I put together many years ago but never built, I've decided to junk the whole thing and start from scratch. Bonus is that my birthday is coming up! My wife asked tonight what I wanted... hmmmm (with an evil smirk on my face). I know that she was thinking of getting me a new iPod Touch (mine gave up a few weeks ago). So, that puts her budget about $400. So, I am looking for recommendations on which to get. I want a 2-way or 2.5 way floorstander. I prefer a 2.5 for a little more bottom end in the large room. The room is 17x28, fully furnished and has deep carpet and a large rug. I have a Sonance Sonamp260 (60x2), and a Carver M400 (200x2) for amplification. I mainly listen to Blues, "Girl and a Guitar/Piano", some vocal jazz, classic country, etc. As a side note, I love Ribbon, Planar, and AMT tweeters, but that is not a requirement. The $400 does not include the cost of cabinets. I do not need the availability of prebuilt or cabinet kits either.

    The kits that I am looking at so far are:
    Meniscus Nephilia I like the idea of these, but cant find much info on the sound.
    Carmody's Amigas Lots of info and well under budget. But can I get something better for a little more?
    Floorstanding upsize of the Baronettes Also, lots of info

    Very open to other recommendations.
    Last edited by Nismoron; 03-16-2019, 08:43 AM.

  • #2
    Which ever you choose, analyze what and why of the design. It will help if you want to design your own.
    Kenny

    http://www.diy-ny.com/
    DIY NY/NJ 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGwA...ature=youtu.be
    Man does not live by measurements alone, a little music helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      I assume the $400 includes cabinets?

      If it does, you might look at Paul Carmody's Classix 2.5 TMMs. They would come in under budget, I think, using the PE tower CKD cabinets. Excellent reviews.

      If the cabinets are extra, Curt Campbell's Slapshot MTMs (RS180P, Morel CAT378) are great speakers and the drivers would be about US$340. Crossover is simple, as per Mr C's usual brilliant design, so the parts could well come out below $400.

      We find the Slapshots have the edge for jazz and classics, while our Classix (the TM version) cope a little better with most rock records and converted MP3s etc; the mids and highs in Curt's design are a standout, those in the Classix a little laid back.

      For example, the cymbal crash on "So What" from Kind of Blue" - which is well recorded and mixed - has a real shimmer on the Slapshots. But the cymbals on Robin Trower's " Bridge of Sighs" CD re-issue sound less harsh on the Classix.

      From what I've read, the Amigas are great speakers too, but an MTM will give you more volume.

      There are many speakers from which to choose, I've just mentioned those I've built, of course. The 2.5s are on my to do list, and Mr Carmody notes that they have a better midrange than you would expect from the DC160.

      The carpet and rug might absorb some sound, what's on the walls?

      Geoff

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input. $400 does not include cabinets. My main hobbies are woodworking and rebuilding boats. I was also a high end car stereo installer back in the 80's and 90's, sound quality, not the big boom boom systems. So. I've built an enclosure or two in my life. LOL This is also not my first set of home speakers. I've just been out of the design arena for a long, long time. I'm finding it very difficult to jump back in. I've built several MTM's and TMM's, using mostly Focal and Dynaudio drivers. I even built one set of TMMMM's. I cant tell you why, but I prefer a TMM. But I am not dead set on it.

        As for the speaker sound, I like a very detailed speaker. I find myself listening to the engineering or the details of an instrument more often than the "whole" song. I listen to whether a guitar has steel or plastic stings, hands brushing over the guitar body, feet moving on the floor, people turning pages of music, feet moving the pedals on a piano. Even people talking in the background. I know. It's a sickness. But that's what I find myself enjoying. I get a little smile on my face when I hear these things. But I do not like very "forward" highs or many metal dome tweeters. They fatigue me pretty fast. I'm currently listening to a pair of Bose 501's. I know, I know. But I was speakerless and they were free. They are boomy and have ZERO detail. I find myself listening to headphones instead.

        The room has no "sound treatments". It is a living room. And "sound treatments" are not going to pass the "decorating committee" The room is fully carpeted with a thick Persian style rug in the center. There are three overstuffed leather recliners and an overstuffed leather couch. They all have thick blankets and a few pillows thrown on them. I cleverly suggested those (as wife approved stealth "treatments"). LOL There are also three large windows down one wall. But they are covered with large slatted blinds, another stealth "treatment". Unfortunately, that's going to be about it for treatments. At least until we can sell this house. The next house gets a "listening room". We have a spare room in this house that I tried to use for my tube gear setup a few years back. But it was WAAAAY too live. It's a much smaller room and has ceramic tile floor and a whole wall window. I tried "treating it" but it made no difference. LOL

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        • #5
          Keep in mind you can build any TM or MTM design into a floor standing cabinet. So you have LOTS of choices.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by a4eaudio View Post
            Keep in mind you can build any TM or MTM design into a floor standing cabinet. So you have LOTS of choices.
            I know. Some of them are more friendly to cabinet redesign than others. That's why I'm asking you guys. Lots more eyes and ears here that what I have seen and heard.

            Comment


            • #7
              I haven't heard the Nephilas, but everything I've ever read was very positive. Check out Scott Sehlin's Zirconium for some nice low-end too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by a4eaudio View Post
                I haven't heard the Nephilas, but everything I've ever read was very positive. Check out Scott Sehlin's Zirconium for some nice low-end too.

                Thanks. I'll look into those.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So if you don't need a kit with a cabinet, do you need a kit at all? A component kit is a collection of parts you can order yourself a la carte.

                  This design has a BOM and plenty of design info, but no kit. Are you sticking to kits so your wife can order?

                  Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by djg View Post
                    So if you don't need a kit with a cabinet, do you need a kit at all? A component kit is a collection of parts you can order yourself a la carte.

                    This design has a BOM and plenty of design info, but no kit. Are you sticking to kits so your wife can order?

                    Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5
                    No. By kit, I just meant someone else's design that is put out there public so that I (or anyone else) can build it. I guess, I should have been more clear.

                    Her being able to order it would be great from her point of view as opposed to just giving approval for me to buy it. But it does not matter either way to me. I can buy off of a BOM just fine.

                    EDIT: I've been looking at that Zaph ZDT3.5 and I like it a LOT! I added up the parts in the PE cart and they come to $444. I bit outside the budget, but I should be able to make that happen if her budget is $400
                    Last edited by Nismoron; 03-16-2019, 02:13 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The Ochocincos and Schticks are a lot less than 400. I never priced the Ansonica. I show these a lot to people looking for designs. The Madison WI based and Michigan based speaker kit sources have many nice designs, these are a bit off the usual path.

                      diVine Audio | Ochocinco

                      Shtick MTMWW Speaker

                      diVine Audio | Ansonica

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                      • #12
                        Component kit about $500, but gee whiz.

                        Speaker Design Works

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by djg View Post
                          Component kit about $500, but gee whiz.

                          Speaker Design Works
                          Well, now we're moving a bit outside the 2-way TM realm. LOL That's a good bit outside the budget and a lot more complicated than I was looking for. Neat speaker though. I'd love to see/hear a set.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You do indeed have many choices. The process will be fun, but confusing as there are many great designs out there.

                            Another factor to consider is WAF: unless you're going to use a grille, which will have to look good and not like my daggy jobs with stretch marks, the drivers will need to look good as well as sound good.

                            Aesthetics are of course a matter of taste, but I think most people would agree that the Dayton RS woofers look cool, so do Peerless HDS nomex drivers. And TMMs look a bit more 'balanced' than MTMs.
                            Most tweeters look more or less the same.

                            Maybe you could make a 'short list' of suggested designs, copy and paste the drivers into the cabinet drawings and see what your wife thinks?

                            Like you, my wife gave me my speakers for a Christmas present, but I made sure to confirm that the desired cabinet size and drivers looked OK before I bought the bits.

                            Good luck

                            Geoff

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                            • #15
                              She doesn't really care. As long as it's not something outlandish. But that's not my style. Her tastes and mine are pretty much the same.
                              I'm aiming for a 40-ish inch tall TM or TMM in a narrow cabinet with a med to dark hardwood finish. AS for drivers, anything in a black, grey, kevlar, or aluminum will be fine. I'm not a big fan of the bronze look on some of the HiVi stuff for my decor. But I will admit the copper phase plugs on the high end Seas are sexy. LOL

                              No grills are needed. No kids around to mess with them, and our pets care nothing about speakers. I'll probably make some just in case guests come over with kids. But they will stay off 99.9% of the time.

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