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  • New to Speaker building. Need some advice

    Hey guys so I want to build my own HT. I've been on some forums and have seen and read a lot of comments. Especially from some of you seasoned vets. My hats off to alot of you guys. REALLY. Im not afraid of trying new stuff and I figured DIY is the next step for me considering theres really not much to choose from locally. I know for a fact that I will spend more money building my own theater speakers than what I could buy at your local retailer. Im also well aware that this is something that will not be done overnight. Good thing im a patient person. I am also well aware that I could possibly be bitten by what some of you call "THE BUG". if that's the case then so be it. Im up for the challenge. I have most of the power tools already on hand since I had "FLIPPED" my house a few years back..The power tools are just collecting dust at this point and need to be let out to play.. :D. im not an electrical engineer and a lot of the lingo of what is spoken I do not really understand.....YET..but im sure with time ill begin to understand...I would appreciate any feedback and or advice in regards to some of the items I would like to use...so heres go nothing...please be patient with me and explain to me like im a 5 year old.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
    I would say im 25% music and 75% movies.

    I will be using birch plywood to make any cabinets....polyurethane to glue everything together...poly fill etc....etc...

    any opinions on MDF vs BIRCH??

    im still undecided on the finish I want..thanks to you guys and the stuff you've made with different materials has made it extremely difficult.
    options: veneer....con-tact paper....stain....or paint....I do want to add the high gloss look over whatever I choose.

    Everything will be hooked up to this receiver
    http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A850...ievers+rx-a850

    And I will be purchasing all speaker cables...hdmi...coaxial....subwoofer cables from BLUE JEAN CABLES.

    I will also be using a panamax power conditioner....

    please keep in mind this is my first build and im on a budget...when I get practice and get comfortable then I will purchase better equipment. This is a poor mans setup...jajaja


    these are what I had in mind for the Center Channel...the Main towers...and 2 sets of surrounds..as well as the subwoofer...

    Option 1
    http://meniscusaudio.com/swope-center-p-1335.html

    http://meniscusaudio.com/swope-tower-pair-p-1334.html

    http://meniscusaudio.com/swope-pair-p-1304.html

    http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-aud ... --300-7097

    Option 2

    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...hannel-single/

    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...-2.5-way-pair/

    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...tm-2-way-pair/

    http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-aud ... --300-7097
    Last edited by Johnny P; 02-19-2016, 12:39 PM.

  • #2
    Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

    Your amazon link, all the madisound links, as well as the PE link are not working. Maybe just tell us the speakers and/or kits, we are all very familiar with these sites.
    Paul

    The "SB's" build page
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-4-(pic-heavy)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

      Really? dang...clicked on the links and they work on my end...

      ok so the first option are the SWOPE Series by Paul Carmody from Meniscus

      and the 2nd option is from Zaph......the MTM series kit ZA5.3

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

        Links are working fine for me. I haven't heard either kit, so I don't have any insight there.

        Joe

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

          Well, IMO you can't go wrong with either one. I have personally built 2 of Paul Carmody's designs and really like them. OTOH Zaph is very highly regarded and I haven't had a chance to hear any of his designs.

          I would go with what you think fits you better...style/design-wise, size of cabinet and of course price and make sure you are comparing similar towers/MTM or it's won't be fair (ie. Swope tower vs Zaph MTM).

          It will be hard to beat the bass you will get with Swope towers, but Zaph has some towers designs too (but all are with 5-1/4" woofers, they can only do so much). I hope someone chimes in about the Zaph design, because I would lean towards the Swope's if it was me, but I really like the way they look and have some first hand experience with Paul C. designs. This is only my opinion, quite sure either will be a great choice.
          Paul

          The "SB's" build page
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-4-(pic-heavy)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

            A could quick thoughts on construction.

            1) I don't think you can go wrong with birch ply or MDF. I've used MDF but am tired of the dust problem since I work inside. I'm switching over to Baltic Birch - which has less voids (maybe zero) and more layers than big box birch plywood.

            2) I would recommend sticking to yellow glue- it is well suited to speaker cabinets and generally cheaper than polyurethane.

            No comments on the designs. Enjoy - a lot to learn and a great deal of fun and value to be had.

            Scott

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

              Linky no worky for meme.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                @Johnny -

                MDF has certain properties that make it the best for cabinet making - but I moved to Baltic Birch ply and will never
                go back. My process is now BB ply with paper backed veneer - apply the veneer with Heatlock glue and iron on.
                For high gloss finishes you can use water based poly General Finishes, Minwax wipe-on poly or Zinsser Aquazar.

                The Blue Jeans cables are great.

                You are going down the right path. Always build a proven design to start, and both of those you linked are solid.
                (The Madisound links don't work)
                You might want to browse kits at meniscusaudio.com/kits-c-133.html

                Several guys here have had their (well received) designs sold as kits at Meniscus.
                You might want to look at the "Baby Boomer" sub for example.

                hope this helps!

                I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

                High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
                SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
                My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

                Tangband W6-sub

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                  Thanks Don...ive read that Marine plywood is pretty solid as well...I live near the coast so im more than positive that someone around here as to carry it..

                  sorry for the links guys ill try and get them fixed ASAP....

                  Ok so I think I fixed the links...try again guys...

                  Johnny

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                    If you're not going to put grills on them, I would go for whichever one you think looks cooler. I have speakers with multiple aluminum cone woofers, I would probably do the Zaph.

                    MDF is very messy to cut. Really. Particle board is much cleaner to work with and dirt cheap. I use it. These are maple veneer over particle board with a solid maple baffle. You can't tell what's under the veneer.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                      Those are really nice DJG.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                        Originally posted by Johnny P View Post
                        Those are really nice DJG.
                        If I'm not mistaken, those are the Quarks:
                        The-Quarks-M-O-S-D-Computer-Speaker

                        I think a kit is available. They would make some nice surrounds

                        I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                        "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

                        High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
                        SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
                        My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

                        Tangband W6-sub

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                          This thread has too much about wood types and not enough requirements for the speakers. How big is the room? Dedicated theater or living room? WAF or other restrictions? How loud do you listen to music and movies? Do you need full reference volume, 85-105dB from speakers and 95-115dB from subs? Do you want that from AVR power and need a more sensitive speaker? Are you a bass head that wants subs to run 10 dB hot?

                          You'd be remiss if you didn't look at DIYSG as well: http://www.diysoundgroup.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                            The room is 10 feet wide by 15 feet long and 7.5 feet tall. Its not a big room to say the least. Enough for a 2 person seat. The walls have insulation and then a layer of sound dampening(the black boards from home depot) and then a layer of sheet rock. I do plan on getting sound dampening paint(if it all it works) as well as making my own sound dampening frames. I will add a rug to cover the entire floor plus other smaller rugs ontop of that if you guys feel it would make a difference. When i hear music yes im a bass head. When i watch movies i yes bass but im looking for clarity. Which brings me to another question. Would a ported subwoofer be better for music and a enclosed sub for movies???

                            WHATS WAF??
                            I listen to movies at 30 to 40 depending on the movie cause some i have to raise the volume higher. Example. TRON at 30 and PACIFIC RIM AT 35 i meant the volume on the reciever. I dont know how many DB that is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New to Speaker building. Need some advice

                              Hi Johnny P, welcome to the madhouse.....but a little crazy can be a good thing... As for the kits....I wouldn't worry too overly much on how much bottom end the mains/center will deliver. If you are going to set these up and run them like the typical HT system with powered subwoofer, they are going to be highpassed to the sub....so no real worries there. The Ultimax 15 is an excellent choice for the foundation. If you want plenty of detail and higher resolution, then go with the Zaph design. Heard them a while ago and thought they were very detailed. Not sure about the Swopes since I haven't heard them personally. I would imagine they are fine sounding, since Meniscus is carrying them. They have a rep for offering good sounding stuff. If it's mediocre or only so-so sounding, I imagine they wouldn't bother offering it.
                              Either way, please, please DON"T judge either speaker on sound right out of the gate once you build them. Midbass drivers need about 100-200 hours of run time on them to get the suspensions loosened and working freely....once that happens, the speakers will sound completely different. If the designer has done his stuff right, then the drivers were all broken in fully before the crossover design was started and final voicing happens. But proven designs like this will not sound all that great right out of the box. Break'em in first, then do your evaluationary listening.
                              Just a heads up on that, since I helped a local guy here with HT setup....he was complaining that his speakers didn't sound anything like in the store (PSB silverscreen series, IIRC).....I told him that they won't sound right until they break in. I had him run moderate volume FM radio with the HT receiver set to multi-channel stereo....this runs all the speakers at once......about a week later, he called me all excited....seems he was in the room when the speakers snapped into their stride. He swore he heard an audible click sound and suddenly it was like the loudness button had been pushed in.....fuller bass, midbass, a little more volume output, and the sound became more balanced. I had to go back and reset everything level-wise for him to get the system optimal...but once that was done, there was nothing but huge grins from him.
                              Anyway, Like I said, the Zaph design has a lot of detail and resolution...this is great for movie soundtracks and voices in particular. It has a fair amount of authority as well...imaging is excellent and the soundstage is quite good....deep and wide....at least in the room I heard them in. YMMV according to your room.

                              John
                              If it doesn't fit right the first time, you obviously need to use a larger hammer. :p

                              Comment

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