(Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation
I've been following the board for some time and now, I think, I'm ready to venture into the world of DIY speakers (plus one of my existing speakers died on me).
I need your help with choosing my first DIY project.
Preliminary, I anchored myself on an MTM configuration such as P-E's Dayton Audio:
Any advice? Am I missing something? Is there a "better" first DIY project? Am I asking the right questions?
Some details / background information:
(Pardon my non-technical language, I’m trying my best; I hope I give enough information to explain the situation)
Budget: US $500 everything in.
- make the speakers great enough to avoid any future objections from my skeptical wife (she is not convinced that DIY speakers can be better than commercially available ones)
- make a set of speakers that is better than a pair of Mission M34i towers (can get a pair for $299 or so; new)
- improve my music listening "experience" with better soundstage, clarity, and tighter yet deeper bass
- needless to say that my budget does not allow me to make “state-of-the-art” speakers
The speakers will be for music/movies (80%+ of the time will be for music). We are not party animals and the speakers will work on low-medium volume.
Musical preferences: easy jazz (Diana Krall); easy listening (Rod Stuart, Sting, Barry White); Pink Floyd; The Eagles; The Doors.
Aspiring to move to a "heavier" jazz and "easier/beginners’" classical music.
Current speakers (Mission M31, bookshelves) lack the "resolution" -- to provide a pleasing sound with distinct enough instruments -- when there are more than 3-4 instruments in a composition. Whenever I put a more “complex” music, all instruments are “mashed together.” I tried small Infinity speakers and they were much better in reproducing the multitude of guitars in Gypsy Kings tracks (as one example). The midrange (?) performance of my M31’s is Ok: the voice is clear and it seems that voice nuances are somewhat developed. However, it always seems that there is a “blanket” in front of the speakers that does not allow the voice to separate from the speaker box. It always feels like the voice lacks just a tiny bit of clarity. The idea behind getting a new set of speakers is to improve the “resolution”, soundstage, and bass of the speakers (what is left, eh?). For example, I would like to get a more “realistic” bass in Krall’s album “All for You: A Dedication to Nat King Cole Trio”.
Equipment: I will drive the speakers with
Source - CD or Apple Lossless files.
Player - Marantz DVD (http://www.audioreview.com/cat/home-...7_1587crx.aspx)
or TASCAM USB mixer (http://tascam.com/product/us-122l/images/).
I could not tell the difference between these two in a blind test on the same set of speakers and the same composition). In the future might look into NAD or Marantz CD player ($330 or so). Don't think that I will be able to afford anything more expensive than this in any foreseeable future.
Amplifier - SoundTech STX200 2-channel reference amplifier (100W/channel - http://www.soundtech.com/products/pa/stx200/)
or my old Technics "Class A" amp with stated 95W/channel.
I have both in good working order; somehow SoundTech is able to "show" more detail on the same Mission M31 speakers. In the future, I will get either Marantz PM8004 (PM5004?) or NAD C316/326BEE amplifier to match the CD-player (above).
In other words, I hope to build speakers good enough to work well with my current setup as well good enough to shine with a new player/amplifier set. Am I asking too much?
Skills and level of work:
I have limited/no woodworking skills. Hence, the need for an assembled and finished cabinet.
1) Initially, I anchored myself on MTM configuration. My understanding is that by having two mid-woofers, I can improve base performance and increase the speaker sensitivity (so that later I can move to a lower-power amplifier). Do I need an MTM set-up to achieve my goals?
2) Is there a way to make my project better/cheaper by switching to “native” 2-way setup (smaller cabinet, 1 mid-woofer might be better than mid-woofer used in MTM kit above)?
3) If you think that MTM is a great starter concept for my goals, is there anything that I should change in P-E’s kits (such as http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-781)
4) Is there a good start-up kit that I could use for my goals? On the assumption is that I will get P-E’s cabinets, tweeters/woofers, and that I will solder a pre-designed crossover.
5) Any additional thoughts/advice?
Thank you in advance for all your input!
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