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  • Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

    Hello,

    I am thinking of upgrading from my Polk Monitor 50 towers and came across some kits here. They seemed of good quality but I don't have any experience so I though I would ask. I am looking to move away from towers and clear up space by going with bookshelfs. I am done with multi-channel, our living room is not designed for it, and will be 2.1 only for movies and music.

    How do the Dayton kits, specifically the RS621, compare to other commercially available speakers like:

    Paradigm: Mini Monitor/Atom
    HSU: HB-1
    Monitor Audio: Bronze BX2
    Polk: RTiA3
    B&W: 685
    Klipsch, Energy, Definitive, Etc.

    I am looking for greater clarity and imaging than the Polk Monitor 50s have. Musical performance is a must. I will be pairing the bookshelf's with a Velodyne sub for lowend fill.

    Will the Dayton RS621 outperform by current Polks and be comparable to some of the speakers I have listed? Any input or advice would be welcomed.

  • #2
    Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

    It is hard to compare a mtm with a bookshelf. There are tradeoffs to both designs. I imagine the rs621 will be clearer. It has better drivers. With that being said it will not get as loud or have as much bass.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

      Originally posted by killa View Post
      It is hard to compare a mtm with a bookshelf. There are tradeoffs to both designs. I imagine the rs621 will be clearer. It has better drivers. With that being said it will not get as loud or have as much bass.

      I'm okay with less bass, my sub is crossed over at 100 hz so the towers aren't really producing any bass as it is. Sorry for my ignorance but what is an MTM? Is that the type of design the Polk M50s are? Will I lose a lot going to a smaller bookshelf from a tower? I was under the impression that a higher quality speaker was better regardless of size since I am going to use a sub for low frequencies. Please, educate me and thank you for the input. In the end I just want better sound with less stuff...no more towers, center, surrounds...just two speakers and a sub.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

        MTM is mid tweeter mid. Basically this kind of design keeps certain frequencies from reflecting off the floor and ceiling as much. Wether this is all that important would depend on the room. I think as long as you understand the limitations of a bookshelf speaker ( Wont get as loud as larger speakers, and lack of bass. I know you will be using a sub) you will have a hard time beating the rs621 unless of course you want to completely DIY the box and xo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

          Originally posted by prighello View Post
          How do the Dayton kits, specifically the RS621, compare to other commercially available speakers like
          Well, until you get to the state of the art, all speakers will have their differences, so it's tough to say x > y definitively - especially without supplied measurements.

          My suggestion is to look beyond the dayton "kits" to the designs done by many of the talented folks here at tech-talk and elsewhere. Stuff like Jeff Bagby's RS180 MTMs or perhaps the SEOS-12 Econowave flat packs at DIY sound group.
          :blues: Flat frequency response, a smooth sound power response free of resonance, careful driver-integration, and high dynamic range both upward and downward :blues:

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          • #6
            Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

            How is your room not designed for 5.1? I lived in a 500 sqft apartment and still made room for a 58" TV, 3 way floorstanders and a complete 5.1 setup.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

              Originally posted by prighello View Post
              I'm okay with less bass, my sub is crossed over at 100 hz so the towers aren't really producing any bass as it is. Sorry for my ignorance but what is an MTM? Is that the type of design the Polk M50s are? Will I lose a lot going to a smaller bookshelf from a tower? I was under the impression that a higher quality speaker was better regardless of size since I am going to use a sub for low frequencies. Please, educate me and thank you for the input. In the end I just want better sound with less stuff...no more towers, center, surrounds...just two speakers and a sub.


              I have much experience with retail vs DIY designs, as I had many years of tenure at a local mom/pop audio store owned by an avid DIY-er. Plus me building DIY speakers since the late 70's means many folks want to compare their favorite OEM designs with the various DIY designs I've built over the years. MTM means from top-to-bottom driver arrangement: Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer. Like this config:




              Probably you'll lose some low-end response, but since you're using a sub, I wouldn't worry about that. If you were going with stand-alone bookshelf style coming from some floor-standing towers, yes, you'd realize "less" bass performance.

              What I've realized and others who have been die-hard retail-brand fan-boys, is that the clarity, imaging and overall sound quality is better with a good DIY design. OEM's must consider cost-of-manufacture when making tens-of-thousands of something. They have to in order to make a profit and stay in business. DIY designers don't have accountants telling them what they have to scrimp & compromise on, so DIY-ers can pay more attention to the XO design process and proper implementation; also much better cabinet construction and materials. With brand-names, the compromise is in the XO design and cabinet materials/construction. Compromises are made in areas that the consumer will never see, ie inside the enclosure. IME, aesthetics are a big selling point with speakers, so OEM's pay attention to the "bling" and a lot of marketing-speak/techno-yak-yak and less so with the construction. You'd be amazed at what I've seen and heard from not only the recognized brands, but even with the more esoteric designs. If all you've ever heard are store-bought speakers, that's all you have for a reference: cost-of-maufacture compromises from all the popular brands.

              The hardest part is trusting that a well-designed DIY speaker will offer a better overall SQ experience than what you've been used to hearing; especially since you can't usually audition said DIY speakers or even compare side-by-side with the ones you've been enjoying for a while. My blog has more stuff about this issue from my audio store experiences. I've had just about any popular brand you could think of at my house for listening sessions. Everyone is very skeptical at first, thinking there's no way a speaker built as a DIY effort can best a recognized name brand. The first comments have always been, after their jaw has returned to its normal position, noticeably better imaging and soundfield, more resolution/detail from the mids and highs and much less ear fatigue from a bright high-end and too-forward midrange.

              If you are looking for a "kit" where everything is included with the cabinet, there are more options than the one you referenced. I haven't heard that design, but my experience with the other all-inclusive kits that PE has offered over the years has been very good when comparing with similarly sized and configured name-brands. If you don't mind a bit of gluing, DIY Sound Group has knock-down kits where you just assemble and glue up the cabinet pieces. Whether it's one of the PE kits, or the others, you can be assured that the cabinets will be quite a cut above the regular suspects from retail outlets. A well-built cabinet is the foundation for the speaker, much like a house. Poorly-constructed foundation means the house is compromised right from the start, same with speakers. I've taken Polk, Infinity, Cerwin Vega, etc. and improved the SQ by just adding some internal bracing (something you almost never see inside of a popular brand name) and some actual acoustic damping material. So you can imagine the benefits to the overall SQ by starting with a solid cabinet construction to begin with. Add in a well designed, fettled and voiced XO and you have something that easily outperforms their retail counterparts. This is one of the earlier PE Vifa PL all-inclusive kits that I assembled for a friend, who had a pair of Yamaha 2-ways and some Polk MTM towers.




              He said he was astonished at what he'd been missing over the years. He could close his eyes and not be able to localize the speakers, the imaging and soundfield was so transparent. Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Just want to help dispell any qualms you might have with going from some Polks to a good DIY design. Here's the URL for DIY Sound Group:

              http://www.diysoundgroup.com/

              Look at the kits or flat-packs. The Hitmakers, Overnight Sensations or Nano-Neo would be a great choice. From PE, there's the UA701, UA711 in addition to the 621. The UA711 is $285 each right now, using the Usher drivers and designed by D'Appolito, a renowned speaker designer.



              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                Originally posted by Fusion916 View Post
                How is your room not designed for 5.1? I lived in a 500 sqft apartment and still made room for a 58" TV, 3 way floorstanders and a complete 5.1 setup.
                I'd bet your not married! Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                  Mid range commercial offerings often have a characteristic "sound" so that they can differentiate themselves from the crowd of other such speakers on the shelves of BB and others, where listening is often over the boom of car stereo subs and HT demos.

                  When hearing a speaker with flat frequency response and low distortion for the first time, many have the impression that something is "missing". Often true - whats missing are the spikes in FR and distortion. Also, overall sensitivity is typically lower as well.

                  But, the longer you listen, the better they get. With the others it's the opposite: might sound good for a couple of minutes in the store, but after a while you just want to turn it off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                    I would ask PE if you can get the pre-cut cabinets for the RS722 kit, without the xover that kit comes with. Then you can assemble Jeff B's xover for that driver combination

                    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...180-MTM-Design
                    http://jaysspeakerpage.weebly.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                      Originally posted by cooper View Post
                      Mid range commercial offerings often have a characteristic "sound" so that they can differentiate themselves from the crowd of other such speakers on the shelves of BB and others, where listening is often over the boom of car stereo subs and HT demos.

                      When hearing a speaker with flat frequency response and low distortion for the first time, many have the impression that something is "missing". Often true - whats missing are the spikes in FR and distortion. Also, overall sensitivity is typically lower as well.

                      But, the longer you listen, the better they get. With the others it's the opposite: might sound good for a couple of minutes in the store, but after a while you just want to turn it off.
                      +1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                        Thank you all for your input and especially johnastockman for your detailed post. This has given me a lot to consider and alleviated my concerns about dyi. Now I need to figure out which kit to go with...the Hitmakers look pretty solid as well.

                        I can solder and finish, but I lack the tools for cabinet building from scratch which looks like it will keep more away from many other designs that look promising. Thanks again for all the feedback; I look forward to diving into one of these projects.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                          Originally posted by Psycoacoustics View Post
                          I'd bet your not married! Mark
                          Hit the nail on the head...the wife does not like a bunch of gear all over the living room plus we have one of those useless faux fireplaces that protrudes from one wall of the living room making speaker placement difficult.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                            I can completely relate to where you're coming from! About 3 years ago I would've never considered a DIY design. I thought there was no way they sounded better than store bought speakers. I posted a question on another forum and got a recommendation to build the Tritrix; that was 3 years ago and I just finished my 3rd build, and I'm looking for my 4th! Be careful, this can be addictive :p!

                            GranteedEV helped me out a LOT w/ info and suggestions. Some of his last words before my first build still stick w/ me. He said something along the lines of, "change the way you listen to music, and be ready for a more organic sounding speaker". At first I thought he was trying to set me up for something that was going to sound terrible, but WOW was I ever wrong!!!

                            Polk used to be one of my favorite manufacturers. Now, I don't even look to see whats available in manufactured, just check here to see what new designs guys are building. The hardest part is finding one that suits you because there are so many good, viable options available thanks to the hard work and wisdom of a lot of the speaker wizards here.

                            Johnastockman gave you some phenominal advice/wisdom. I know it can be tough to swallow and that you're probably skeptical, I definitely was. But take the plunge, you'll be glad you did
                            "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
                            "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Dayton Kits vs Commercial Speakers

                              Thank you again for your advice. I have a couple more questions if you don’t mind. You mentioned the Hitmakers which seem intriguing. Yet it appears there is very little information on them nor can I find any threads where someone has actually built them. There is also a design kit for a Zaph ZA5.2 which appears to be popular. In your opinion which of these designs:

                              Hitmaker (diy sound group)
                              Dayton RS621 (Encore)
                              ZA5.2 (Madison)

                              would offer the best fidelity based upon the limited information available…e.g. reputation of components and designer.

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