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  • I built the C-Notes now what ???

    Hey guys, I just completed a set of C-Notes and I could not be more impressed for $100. I have a set of gen-1 Ascend Acoustic Sierra Bookshelves and in some ways I like the C-Note more. The imaging and high end are not as nice as the Sierras but I like the lower mids more in the C-Notes. The C-Notes are more punchy and a lot of fun. Suffice to say I now have the DIY speaker bug and have started setting up a dedicated listening spot in our home office.

    Anywho now I can't wait to jump in to the next build. I am technically willing to spend $2k on a speaker kit but I want to build up to it. It may be dumb, and a waste of money, but I want to work my way up the speaker ladder so to speak. Call it delayed satisfaction if you will, but my goal is to build speakers, and with each set moving up in the money/quality of the speakers. So with that said I am thinking for the next set of building either the Amigas on The TriTrix MTM TL towers. They will be used in a 12x12 room in 2.0 configuration for dedicated music listening. My musical tastes are all over the map so I would like something that can handle what ever is thrown at them. If I had to say I guess I prefer a warmer, laid back sound as opposed to something too bright and harsh.

    Any thoughts between the Amiga's and the TriTrix TL towers for my needs? Any other recommendations for builds in the sub $500 category?

    I also have a technical question. I saw someone's Amiga build where they changed the box proportions a bit to make them a taller more slender appearance. What are the considerations for the Amigas in changing box proportions? iF I kept the speaker placements the same relative to the top and kept the internal volume the same would that be fine?

    Anyways, this is my first post here, thank for having me.

    Chris

  • #2
    Hi Chris, welcome to the hobby/obsession!

    I'll throw in some questions/comments to start things going:

    can you make your own cabinets, or will you be only considering designs which come with cabinets, or at least, pre-cut baffles?

    if you're going to make a few pairs of speakers, what are you going to do with the surplus when you build another pair? At least in Australia, resale on DIY speakers is pretty low.

    your room is 12' x 12', which isn't that big: larger cabinets such as the Amiga and Tritrix may dominate the room, if that's a consideration.

    before deciding on your next build, I'd have a hard think about what you like/don't like about the C-notes and read designers', DIY discussion groups and product reviewer's notes about what you're considering. See whether those designs address what you don't like about the C-notes. For example, Paul and Curt's designer notes are excellent in putting across what to expect; many happy customers have built them and posted their impressions on various forums or the PE product review page.

    It sounds obvious, but all speakers are designed for different purposes and sound different: on paper, the Amigas have a better tweeter and a higher end woofer than the Tritrix. I haven't built or heard the Amigas, but Curt worked magic on the Tritrix' crossover and they sound pretty good, especially for the price. I've only built the vented version, so the bass doesn't go as deep as the transmission line but it's still fine for almost all of our music.

    If you like a 'laid back' sound, you might also want to think about Paul's Classix 2.5s if you're after a floor standing design: same cabinet size as the Amigas, different drivers. I've built the Classix IIs, love them and the 2.5s are on the ' to do' list.

    There are many great designs and designers out there and on PETT and I'd love to try some of their projects, if I had the need for yet more speakers. However, I already have four (!) projects on my 'to do' list of which three are by PETT members. Of recent projects I'd love to do PETT member "Wolf's" Zingers, an 8" two way design.

    I'll leave your technical question to others but I think you need to keep the baffle width the same, or at least within 10% or less; this is largely due to the crossover being designed to account for 'baffle step loss'.

    A final thought: if you're going to spend the $ on a 'high end' design eventually, why not just build them as your next project: the cabinet will cost about the same, depending on size and you can use the money you've saved to buy more music.

    Have fun!

    Geoff

    Comment


    • #3
      What Geoff said.

      Plus I noticed you picked two 8 ohm impedance towers. Can your amp handle 4 ohm loads? Do they need to be towers?

      2.0 setup means you want bass from your design.

      Your statement re: changing Amiga dimensions, does that mean you can build your own cabs?

      Amp capability, cab building capability, and tower only, answer these 3 questions and we can tailor our suggestions better.

      Between these two, I've built the Tritrix, I would go for the Amigas.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow Geoff, I really appreciate the thorough reply. There are a lot of great points and gives me a lot to think on. Yeah, I can build my own cabinets which seems like part of the fun. I am an amateur woodworker at best, not nearly as talented as a lot of folks here but I can get the job done. On the Amigas, for example, I was considering getting the kit with the baffles only and build the box, but I am open to other kits that have just the speakers and components but no actual cabinet parts.

        As far as the surplus speakers go I will cross that bridge when I get to it I guess. the C-notes I will probably take to my office at work or put in my bedroom. To this point and your thoughts about building the high end system next I am not considering this a practical pursuit. I really like doing the research, building things, then geeking out on them afterwards. I don't want to jump to end game speaker because I feel like that will be the end of the road. Where do you go from there? I realize I could make different equivalent quality speakers with a different design and sound but that would get really expensive.

        As an off topic comparison, over the past few years I have building a Datsun 510 from a non running car to my dream version of it. I am putting really good suspension, breaks, drive-train, etc on the build so the first time I drove it was really nice. This was probably the most efficient and practical approach but I feel like I missed of upgrading one part at a time, and getting excited about the before and after difference of each upgrade. So that's how I want to approach building speakers but moving up the ladder slowly and enjoying the hopeful gains or new experience each time. I am having a blast with these $100 C-notes so for me it's about the journey and not the destination. Again not necessarily practical but it should be fun!

        I briefly looked at the Classic II 2.5 after your comment and those look very intriguing and might be a great fit for what I want to do next. I will definitely do more research on these. I have been seeing Wolf's name and posts quite a bit and he seems to have great reputation with his builds and experience so I will look in to the Zinger's as well. His Nephilia's are another build I had bookmarked.

        Again, I appreciate you taking the time. If anyone else has any other build suggestions I am all ears.

        Thanks

        Chris



        Comment


        • #5
          I had a Datsun 510, put the BRE Interparts suspension on it, thought I was something. Ages ago.

          Nostalgia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IOJOwZomUU

          Comment


          • #6
            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...8-2-way-design

            I thought these turned out pretty nice.

            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...-zinger-design

            Comment


            • #7
              In Australia I think that car was called a "Datsun 1600", still very popular as a rally car; it really put Datsun on the map here.

              At the moment we have four pairs of DIY speakers, even the cheapest sound way better than what you can buy here new for the same $. As for looks, one pair has proper cabinets which look great and the others are my handiwork, which doesn't come near that standard. The 'reference' pair are Curt Campbell's "Slapshot" MTMs with RS180P woofers and Morel tweeters, well above your budget for the Amigas or Zingers, but they sound great, they're in our living room. The driver cost is offset a bit by a simple and cheap crossover.

              The Classix II are in the garage/workshop, the Tritrix in the study (about 3m x 3m), both sound fine.

              Paul's notes for the Classix 2.5 indicate that they have a better midrange than the DC160 can usually produce; they also have the feature of TMM layout so the tweeters will be nearer ear level when seated.

              I suggest taking your time considering your next pair, enjoy the process!

              Geoff

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's an idea for you.
                If you notice, Paul has made several different speakers in the same relatively small floorstanding box.

                If you build with a removeable baffle, you can try different designs, of varying complexity, with the same room placement.
                An excellent way to learn about different ways to make speakers.

                Later you might try a few designs in roughly .5cuft boxes.

                For a start, if you will be placing close to a wall, the Amigas, if out in the room, the 2.5s.
                Then play around and develop your tastes.

                This is a wonderful time to get started in this hobby.
                I envy you, we did not have the tools and affordable parts we have today back in the 70s.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you want to do different designs for fun, you could look at different types of speaker drivers to figure out what types appeal to your ears so when you get to the point of dropping a couple grand on a pair, you'll have a much better idea of what choices you may lean towards. Maybe try out a ribbon/planar/amt type tweeter, or something with a compression driver on a waveguide. Open baffle and hybrid open baffle with ported woofer enclosures are a couple more options. With a dedicated listening room, I'm going to assume that you are going to be really listening deeply from a sweetspot position, which if that's the case, you can research differences in directivity pertinent to horizontal vs vertical dispersion.....this is where waveguides and alternatives to " normal" dome tweeters may interest you. Coaxial designs are another option, with some great new options available as a pre designed kit. Also, what is your volume range? A speaker that can be amazing on low volume acoustic guitar and vocals might flat out blow if you are wanting to crank progressive guitar metal, or electronic music with bass to make your liver quiver. Good luck. Glenn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drummer View Post
                    If you want to do different designs for fun, you could look at different types of speaker drivers to figure out what types appeal to your ears so when you get to the point of dropping a couple grand on a pair, you'll have a much better idea of what choices you may lean towards. Maybe try out a ribbon/planar/amt type tweeter, or something with a compression driver on a waveguide. Open baffle and hybrid open baffle with ported woofer enclosures are a couple more options. With a dedicated listening room, I'm going to assume that you are going to be really listening deeply from a sweetspot position, which if that's the case, you can research differences in directivity pertinent to horizontal vs vertical dispersion.....this is where waveguides and alternatives to " normal" dome tweeters may interest you. Coaxial designs are another option, with some great new options available as a pre designed kit. Also, what is your volume range? A speaker that can be amazing on low volume acoustic guitar and vocals might flat out blow if you are wanting to crank progressive guitar metal, or electronic music with bass to make your liver quiver. Good luck. Glenn.
                    Excellent idea!

                    Geoff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by davidB View Post
                      Here's an idea for you.
                      If you notice, Paul has made several different speakers in the same relatively small floorstanding box.

                      If you build with a removeable baffle, you can try different designs, of varying complexity, with the same room placement.
                      An excellent way to learn about different ways to make speakers.

                      Later you might try a few designs in roughly .5cuft boxes.

                      For a start, if you will be placing close to a wall, the Amigas, if out in the room, the 2.5s.
                      Then play around and develop your tastes.

                      This is a wonderful time to get started in this hobby.
                      I envy you, we did not have the tools and affordable parts we have today back in the 70s.
                      That's a great suggestion, too: I was going to do that with the 'Amiga' cabinets but forgot to discuss it with my cabinet maker, so they just have removable backs: not nearly so useful...

                      If I had done right that I could have made the Amigas and Classix 2.5s, as well as the 'Slapshots' which are installed in them now.

                      Geoff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Button View Post
                        Hey guys, I just completed a set of C-Notes and I could not be more impressed for $100. I have a set of gen-1 Ascend Acoustic Sierra Bookshelves and in some ways I like the C-Note more. The imaging and high end are not as nice as the Sierras but I like the lower mids more in the C-Notes. The C-Notes are more punchy and a lot of fun. Suffice to say I now have the DIY speaker bug and have started setting up a dedicated listening spot in our home office.

                        Anywho now I can't wait to jump in to the next build. I am technically willing to spend $2k on a speaker kit but I want to build up to it. It may be dumb, and a waste of money, but I want to work my way up the speaker ladder so to speak. Call it delayed satisfaction if you will, but my goal is to build speakers, and with each set moving up in the money/quality of the speakers. So with that said I am thinking for the next set of building either the Amigas on The TriTrix MTM TL towers. They will be used in a 12x12 room in 2.0 configuration for dedicated music listening. My musical tastes are all over the map so I would like something that can handle what ever is thrown at them. If I had to say I guess I prefer a warmer, laid back sound as opposed to something too bright and harsh.

                        Any thoughts between the Amiga's and the TriTrix TL towers for my needs? Any other recommendations for builds in the sub $500 category?

                        I also have a technical question. I saw someone's Amiga build where they changed the box proportions a bit to make them a taller more slender appearance. What are the considerations for the Amigas in changing box proportions? iF I kept the speaker placements the same relative to the top and kept the internal volume the same would that be fine?

                        Anyways, this is my first post here, thank for having me.

                        Chris
                        I think others have given you good general advice. I've not heard any of the mentioned speakers though. My advice is a little different. Forget kits. Go ahead, and spend some money on a measurement system. Buy some x-over parts to have on hand, and a couple of nice drivers, new, or used. I have some used leftovers that I'll never use. Now build a simple box, and make a 2-way. Just one! Don't sand, or paint it much, you just want it to be functional, and if you're like me, in a month, you may slap on a new baffle in order to try a different driver anyway. Now start learning about x-overs. Make them external using jumpers. When you get something that measures "OK", play music through it. Vocals are the best starting point I think. Norah Jones, or similar music is good. Listen, and be critical. What sounds good, and what sounds irritating. For example, it sounds super detailed, but is sibilant, etc. Or it sounds muffled. Try the speaker away from the wall, and possibly near a wall. Away from the wall is better, but if your intent is to have it on the wall, then you need to try both eventually. Location affects the bass, so you might possibly test with a sub. When it sounds acceptable, play it with one of your other speakers. It may sound odd, but I've had many that work well this way. Keep listening for flaws, and if you hear something that's off, see if the measurements show anything in that range. Make small xo changes. Make some notes in case you want to go back to a previous xo.

                        Buy only good drivers that you will want in your speakers 5 years from now. Some waste is inevitable, as you will find drivers that you like better than others.
                        Some of these drivers last forever! I have some made 40 years ago.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think it would help to know how you want to approach diy.

                          The C-Notes really only require assembly and finishing. There are other kits like that at various price and quality points. There are also a lot of other designs that would require additional woodworking skills, ranging from cutting holes in blank panels to building the cabinet based on someone else's specifications to designing and building your own cabinet based on your preferences and calculations.

                          Then, there is the issue of how you envision your upgrade journey. You can upgrade by repurposing each project and building something new. If you want to go that route, I would offer up the thought that it is a lot easier to repurpose small speakers than large ones. If you prefer a pre-cut kit, some viable Parts Express options that would be clear upgrades are Samba or AviaTrix. Some good non-PE options include Helix Dome, Apollo, or HiVi DIY-3.1 (I would recommend my "perfectionist" crossover in that case). If you are interested in doing some or all of the cabinet construction work yourself, there are dozens of other good options, some of which have already been mentioned.

                          The other approach would be to decide on a shape/appearance for the cabinet that works well in your listening room, then work on upgrading with better drivers and/or adjusting the crossover over time. If you do this, you will probably want to design your cabinet with a removable baffle or at least a removable panel on the baffle that includes your drivers. Paul Carmody did a lot of that in his earlier years and his Amiga project is a surviving result of some of that experimentation.
                          Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

                          Sehlin Sound Solutions

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To the OP, thanks for considering my projects. The Nephila (only one 'i' in there) I was very happy with. Just in case you didn't see it, my Stance is also a nice little design.

                            As of right now, you could also see who else is local to you. If another member is close, you can get an ear on some projects before choosing.

                            Later,
                            Wolf

                            "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                            "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                            "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                            "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                            *InDIYana event website*

                            Photobucket pages:
                            http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                            My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Holy cow! Wow, thank you everyone for all of the detailed and considered feedback. This is a lot of great information for me to chew on. I do think it would be really interesting to eventually do my own measurements, and build to make my own designs but I think I will work up to that. Making an Amiga style cabinet and swapping parts out is very intriguing. Is there a standard acceptable way for making removable baffles? I am assuming you want them to seal pretty well so do you use screw/bolts with some form of gasket material to seal?

                              Drummer, to your points I am very interested in trying different speaker types and configurations. So much to explore. Wolf, thank you for the suggestion on the Stance speakers I have started looking in to those now too.

                              Here are a few thoughts for clarification on questions that people have asked:
                              • I have a woodshop and can make my own cabinets, which the woodworking is half the fun for me so moving forwards I am leaning more towards kits where I have to build the cabinets
                              • I was thinking floor standers for something new but that isn't a requirement. I realize now that in pursuit of this hobby I am excluding a lot of exciting builds by not including "bookshelf" configurations.
                              • Someone asked about the power to run 8ohm vs 4ohm. This is new to me and I had to look up what that meant. For driving the speakers I have a few options. I am currently running about a 15 year old Rotel RSX-1056 5.1 receiver that puts out 75 watts RMS per channel. It does pretty good but at the moment I am running that through an older Sony ta-N90ES two channel amp that does 100 watts per channel. I also have an old Marantz 2230 that I could use.
                              Anyways, again, thank you everyone for all of the feedback. I have a lot of thinking to do and new routes to research.

                              Cheers.

                              Chris

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