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  • budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

    Hello all,
    I feel a long post coming on on my part, so I apologize ahaed of time. I started doing research on DIY speakers in 2007, and what I thought I knew then and what I know now are 2 completely different things. Most of the correct, revelant, accurate knowledge has come from browsing this site. I attempted a few designs myself, and only one of them turned out halfway decent after I replaced my 8" pro woofer that I bought soley on wattage and spl (DOH) with a 4" tangband to cover the high XO point I selected. Yes, it was a textbook crossover. Oops.

    Anyways, I am ready to do an uber project that has already been designed and proven. This will be for my apartment when I move out (still finishing up college) and I'm really not restrained by price, to an extent, let's say $1500 all inclusive. For at least 2 months I have been settled on buying the parts for the Usher 701 featured on PE showcase. I am attracted to the preassembled XO's because that is the only part of DIY that I don't like. I will definatly build my own cabinets, floorstanding towers out of hardwood, as I really enjoy woodworking.

    So why am I posting tonight: I've been enlightened by a few threads tonight. What got me started was the one about Jay Kim's mods to the 701 kit. The OP for that thread talked about them being too foreward and bright for his taste, and how the mods cured that quite nicely. The other post was the long one from MZISSERSON who originally polled about the qualifications it takes to "publish" your own designs, but the conversation turned into one about voicing. Voicing is a new concept to me, and really got me questioning about which design I build, because potentially I could end up not liking what I hear, even though others say it's great.

    Now I know what you hard core guys are thinking, "Steve my boy, voice it yourself!" Well, I've never done that before, and plus, it means I have to build the crossover myself. But really, the more I think about it, it's the right thing to do, and the only way I am guaranteed it will sound the way I want it. You know, as I am writing this I am talking myself out of building the 701's.

    So what should I build, you say? I'm thinking Jay Kim's Usher 8945P 7" / Peerless HDS 1" MTM he has on his blog. It seems like it will give me the performance I desire. The only thing is he never built it himself, and I'm wondering if anyone else has built them? Maybe it will encourage me to give them a try if someone else built them with success, but then again, maybe it will encourage me to forge ahead and really try something new if no one else has.

    So after all that, maybe it was just therapeutic to post this thread tonight. What I'm really wanting is some big timers to chime in and offer emotional support. Any and all responses would really encourage me. Oh, and since I am a HUGE fan of build threads with lots of good pictures and updates, I promise to do so if I build Jays MTM's. Thanks for reading.

    Steve

  • #2
    Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

    Originally posted by ssyfert View Post
    Hello all,
    I feel a long post coming on on my part, so I apologize ahaed of time. I started doing research on DIY speakers in 2007, and what I thought I knew then and what I know now are 2 completely different things. Most of the correct, revelant, accurate knowledge has come from browsing this site. I attempted a few designs myself, and only one of them turned out halfway decent after I replaced my 8" pro woofer that I bought soley on wattage and spl (DOH) with a 4" tangband to cover the high XO point I selected. Yes, it was a textbook crossover. Oops.

    Anyways, I am ready to do an uber project that has already been designed and proven. This will be for my apartment when I move out (still finishing up college) and I'm really not restrained by price, to an extent, let's say $1500 all inclusive. For at least 2 months I have been settled on buying the parts for the Usher 701 featured on PE showcase. I am attracted to the preassembled XO's because that is the only part of DIY that I don't like. I will definatly build my own cabinets, floorstanding towers out of hardwood, as I really enjoy woodworking.

    So why am I posting tonight: I've been enlightened by a few threads tonight. What got me started was the one about Jay Kim's mods to the 701 kit. The OP for that thread talked about them being too foreward and bright for his taste, and how the mods cured that quite nicely. The other post was the long one from MZISSERSON who originally polled about the qualifications it takes to "publish" your own designs, but the conversation turned into one about voicing. Voicing is a new concept to me, and really got me questioning about which design I build, because potentially I could end up not liking what I hear, even though others say it's great.

    Now I know what you hard core guys are thinking, "Steve my boy, voice it yourself!" Well, I've never done that before, and plus, it means I have to build the crossover myself. But really, the more I think about it, it's the right thing to do, and the only way I am guaranteed it will sound the way I want it. You know, as I am writing this I am talking myself out of building the 701's.

    So what should I build, you say? I'm thinking Jay Kim's Usher 8945P 7" / Peerless HDS 1" MTM he has on his blog. It seems like it will give me the performance I desire. The only thing is he never built it himself, and I'm wondering if anyone else has built them? Maybe it will encourage me to give them a try if someone else built them with success, but then again, maybe it will encourage me to forge ahead and really try something new if no one else has.

    So after all that, maybe it was just therapeutic to post this thread tonight. What I'm really wanting is some big timers to chime in and offer emotional support. Any and all responses would really encourage me. Oh, and since I am a HUGE fan of build threads with lots of good pictures and updates, I promise to do so if I build Jays MTM's. Thanks for reading.

    Steve
    How do you really feel? ;) You are at the beginning of your journey. I am no uber guru by any means and I have been at it for nearly 15 years.

    It seems you major contention is Voicing. You need to do some research. Go out there and listen. Listen good, to different speakers and start to form a good picture of what you like, dislike, and what sounds good... To you! Its funny because the universal aural definition of a good loudspeaker is the same in the end for everyone, perhaps with minor difference that tend them toward warm, lean, or neutral.

    Furthermore you begin to understand what the graphs "sound like" Where peaks and valley's in the sound, impedance irregularities, and phase differences mean the most. Once you can decently make these correlations, you are able to voice rather well. Building an established design and understanding WHY it was designed as such is paramount in this process.

    Unfortunately in the midst of all this fun you have to have some technical knowledge. I strongly recommend if you have not already, read the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook and Speakerbuilding 201. They make a great intro to the hobby and do some of the correlating between what you design and what you hear.

    Otherwise, just ask questions, post charts, and bug the living hel l out of us until it works!

    If you do dare to venture on your own, just remember to have a very clear set of goals for the design. This hobby is all about sacrifices. No one speaker can do it all unless designed by Jeff B. I have never heard his stuff, but would bet a large quantity of my organs its ALL good.

    I have heard one of J.Kims builds. Lunchmoney built the "poor man's". I only spent a couple of hours with them but they were very good for the money. Zaph also had VERY WELL documented builds and you can learn a lot from one of them. The SR71's (again Lunchmoney) are a very nice speaker, though unique in their own right.

    Hope this all helps and good luck!
    .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

      where do you live? there are some diy events around the country including the middle of iowa, so central indiana, dayton oh. to mention a few.
      its a great place to listen to some good speakers, and a few great speakers.
      welcom to our little place.
      " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

      Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
      Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

      http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
      http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

        Are you looking to own a great pair of speakers with a DIY discount? Or are you looking to advance your skills as a semi-obsessive DIY speaker builder? In either case, you're in the right spot, but I would recommend slightly different paths.

        If you are just looking to own a great pair of DIY speakers, then you'll just have to trust the ears and preferences and descriptive abilities of people at this (and other) forums. Based on this feedback, you'll have to choose the design that is the best for you. I would say that this is much less effective than hearing the designs for yourself, however.

        If you are looking to jump both feet into this hobby, I would highly recommend building at least one of the many well documented "budget" DIY designs first, before dropping $1500 on something you've never heard. This way, you'll have a basis for comparison when someone describes the design you've built as "bright" or "forward", etc. This will also allow you to get a lot of mistakes out of the way that happen during inexperienced builds and allow you to ask questions here to fix them - again, before you embark on your uber-build. Read the recommended books, learn how and why the top notch designers at this forum do what they do in their designs. In the end, I think that if you build 3 pairs of budget speakers for $200 each and then use the remaining $900 for your uber project, you would be more satisfied with the final result than spending the $1500 on a pair right now.

        Dan
        _____________________________
        Tall Boys
        NRNP Computer Sub
        The Boxers
        The Hurricanes
        The Baronettes
        Conneccentric
        UX3

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

          Are you looking to own a great pair of speakers with a DIY discount? Or are you looking to advance your skills as a semi-obsessive DIY speaker builder?

          Yeah, so this is definitely the question I need to ask myself. I think once I realized I don't know enough yet to design my own, I was settled on building a design of someone else's. But the big unknown as I said and you guys said in your responses is how do I know how a design is going to sound without hearing it? I agree with mzisserson that I need to do some research and get out there and listen. There is a great audio store nearby where I bought my amp and CD player, and I've listened to a few of their set-ups. What I might do is find some graphs of the brands they sell and bring them with me so I can listen critically and corelate what I hear to what it looks like on paper.

          Back to voicing. I was under the impression after reading Jay Kim's website (which I really like!)
          http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spk.../Usher_MTM.htm
          that voicing is not that hard. But as I read again, I realized that he really guides you on which components to change, and what effect that will have on the sound. I think if I tried a design on my own I would really have no clue on what to tweek and it's effect. I am a little hesitent to jump in with both feet as DanP said. At this point in my life I can't make the time commitment it seems like it would take. I really just want a sweet set of speakers that look great too and that I built myself. I can get caught up on the money thing, thinking that the more you spend the greater the sound. I've got to get that kind of thinking out of my head, and you would think after listening to you guys on this site I would have learned by now what a budget design is capable of.

          I did attend DIY Dayton this past summer, but I was not a part of techtalk at that point. You won't believe this, but I only listened to one set of speakers. Everyone was at lunch, and I thought "man this is boring". I got some satisfaction out of seeing the creative designs woodworking-wise people came up with, but I know now I really missed out. PE is only an hour and a half from where I live, and plus I went to the tent sale and got some goodies.

          I am very intrigued by Paul K's Marcato's I see on Iowa's DIY webpage. It uses the same woofer's in an MTM like Jay Kim's, but Pauls were heard and got great reviews from the best of you. I have no clue if I would like a planer tweeter since I've never heard one before. Maybe if Paul K could tune in and offer some objective advice on his design vs others he's heard.

          cheers

          Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

            Check out Jed K's site http://clearwaveloudspeaker.com/

            He has some "uber" driver designs, and they should definitely qualify as "reference" quality. Plus, he offers to build the crossovers for free for people who do not want to.
            Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

            Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
            Twitter: @undefinition1

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
              Check out Jed K's site http://clearwaveloudspeaker.com/

              He has some "uber" driver designs, and they should definitely qualify as "reference" quality. Plus, he offers to build the crossovers for free for people who do not want to.
              +1. You will get an outstanding kit and Jed's support to make it sound the way you want it. He's very knowledgeable and very willing to share his knowledge. He requires you buy all the components from him, but everything is priced the same as the original sources. There is no mark-up. A RS180 is the same price from him as it is from PE.

              Regarding "voicing". This isn't something you need to worry about for a completed design. In all likelihood, the designer has already done it. And we're really talking about extracting the last 0.5% of performance. More improvement can be had with room treatments. In this world, people discuss a gnat's a$$ like it's an elephant in your apartment. Maintain your perspective. Anything from Jay, Paul, Jed or any number of other guys here will be incredibly superior to anything you can buy. And if you want it tweaked after you have it built, these guys will be here to guide you through it. Go ahead and build what you think you want. It will be great or they can make it great for you.

              Now, before you commit to any design. You need to be honest about how the speakers will be used. For example, some designs should only be used some distance from other large objects, like wall and flat-screen TVs. If you need to place the speakers close to a wall or TV, you need a low, reduced baffle-step-compensation (BSC) design. None mentioned thus far fall into that category. Placing a speaker into an environment for which it wasn't designed will create a situation that you may not be happy with, and can't be tweaked very easily as the amount of BSC is designed in.
              - John

              "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Dr. M. L. King
              www.BuildTheDream.org

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

                I've built numerous speakers with dome and ribbon tweeters but the first one with a planar was the Marcato. I like all 3 types of tweeters in well-implemented designs. My personal reference speaker is the canTiLena which uses the Fountek NeoCD1.0 ribbon tweeter, mated to a Morel MDM55 dome midrange and a super good Scan Speak aluminum-coned 8" woofer. The Marcatos are not quite as good as the canTiLenas but the difference is primarily because the SS woofer is so good, not particularly due to tweeter differences, and because they are 3-ways. Of course, the canTiLenas cost a whole lot more, primarily due to the woofers, but paying more doesn't always mean you get more.
                Paul

                Originally posted by ssyfert View Post
                Are you looking to own a great pair of speakers with a DIY discount? Or are you looking to advance your skills as a semi-obsessive DIY speaker builder?

                Yeah, so this is definitely the question I need to ask myself. I think once I realized I don't know enough yet to design my own, I was settled on building a design of someone else's. But the big unknown as I said and you guys said in your responses is how do I know how a design is going to sound without hearing it? I agree with mzisserson that I need to do some research and get out there and listen. There is a great audio store nearby where I bought my amp and CD player, and I've listened to a few of their set-ups. What I might do is find some graphs of the brands they sell and bring them with me so I can listen critically and corelate what I hear to what it looks like on paper.

                Back to voicing. I was under the impression after reading Jay Kim's website (which I really like!)
                http://www.geocities.com/woove99/Spk.../Usher_MTM.htm
                that voicing is not that hard. But as I read again, I realized that he really guides you on which components to change, and what effect that will have on the sound. I think if I tried a design on my own I would really have no clue on what to tweek and it's effect. I am a little hesitent to jump in with both feet as DanP said. At this point in my life I can't make the time commitment it seems like it would take. I really just want a sweet set of speakers that look great too and that I built myself. I can get caught up on the money thing, thinking that the more you spend the greater the sound. I've got to get that kind of thinking out of my head, and you would think after listening to you guys on this site I would have learned by now what a budget design is capable of.

                I did attend DIY Dayton this past summer, but I was not a part of techtalk at that point. You won't believe this, but I only listened to one set of speakers. Everyone was at lunch, and I thought "man this is boring". I got some satisfaction out of seeing the creative designs woodworking-wise people came up with, but I know now I really missed out. PE is only an hour and a half from where I live, and plus I went to the tent sale and got some goodies.

                I am very intrigued by Paul K's Marcato's I see on Iowa's DIY webpage. It uses the same woofer's in an MTM like Jay Kim's, but Pauls were heard and got great reviews from the best of you. I have no clue if I would like a planer tweeter since I've never heard one before. Maybe if Paul K could tune in and offer some objective advice on his design vs others he's heard.

                cheers

                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

                  Man, Jed K's site is EXACTLY what I'm looking for. PE only carries a few kits, and I like the many more options his site offers. How in the world does that 5" revelator produce an F3 of 35Hz??? I like the idea of having someone close their eyes and listen to the C5's and then have them open their eyes and see a puny 5" speaker. But really it is going to be even harder now to choose. Due to the pictures he has in his gallery many people have built the dynamic series with the dayton rs 7 inchers, tangband's titanium mid, and the popular XT25. Is the only difference between the dynamic 1s, 2T, and 4T more bass drivers moving air? all 3 have an F3 of 42Hz. That confuses me a bit. The 4T does look pretty impressive with all them cones in a row.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: budding enlightened newbie wants to get it right

                    Thanks goes out to Paul K for providing me with valuable input. And you others, of course. I've been browzing techtalk enough now that I recognize all of you who posted on this thread and really trust your input.
                    Now to make my decision...

                    Steve

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