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Newbie need recs on first project

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  • Newbie need recs on first project

    Hi folks, newbie here looking for my first project. A friend with tools and experience will help but I need some recs based on the parameters below. I will dive into the stickies on existing designs but thought experienced builders could point me in the best direction. I appreciate your help.

    1. Target Budget is about $500 not including wood. Prefer not too complex of a cabinet design.
    This is for a dedicated music system and NOT TV or movies.

    2. Design – I would like a 3 way, but realize that may be out of budget, so 2 way stand mount or tower if all it takes is a bit more wood budget.

    3. Thinking about 5 to 6 inch woofer with good smooth transition to the tweeter. Tweeter should have good dispersion. Or larger woofer in a 3 way.

    4. I have had speakers with less dispersion over the last 15 years and have tried some small bookshelves in my mains setup and realize I like what it does. Room is 15x 24 and open plan to kitchen, lots of diffusion and absorption panels available.

    5. I have a Dayton 1500 sub that can be used for lower bass. Listening levels range from about 70 db for background, normal at aboutt 85db to about 90db occasionally. I like the dynamics of more efficient designs. I have a Bel Canto amp that provides about 120 watts.

    6. Some speakers I have tried recently for TV duty but tried in the main setup and did not like, Elac UB5 (too much lean midrange, poor at low volumes), Klipsch R-51m (too forward, no real bass, crunchy lower treble), PSB Alpha B1 (not bad, treble not so clean). One older one I owned that gets lots of praise that I did not like was the LS3/5a, not dynamic and way too laid back.

    7. Small speaker that I like but with reservation. Energy RC-10 now used with TV. Dispersion not great with lack of great center image, response is pretty flat mids on up but could use just a hair more presence region. Too small sounding for the main speaker room.

    8. An alternative is to buy used like a project that one of the members has made and is transitioning from.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and please let me know if I can provide more details on wants or needs.

    Last edited by bixby; 01-26-2021, 02:03 PM.

  • #2
    Lost some links when switching computers but these should get you started.

    I like this first one as it lists a lot of different speakers and many times a short description.

    Can pretty much bank on Curt's stuff

    Troels Gravesen

    Paul Carmondy's site. Probably one of the most popular little speakers ever is the Overnight Sensation


    • #3
      KB has given you some solid suggestions, you should find some good options in those links.

      Paul and Curt provide informative and honest write ups of their designs, from building some of their projects I can advise that they design excellent speakers at a range of price points. Also, as many people have built those designs there are plenty of reviews out there to guide you. I haven't built any of Troels' - I can't afford the drivers!

      It would also help if you can advise your listening preferences and sources.

      Good luck and have fun

      Last edited by Geoff Millar; 01-27-2021, 07:08 AM.


      • #4
        There are many good designs out there that are not available as a kit. But, getting a kit makes it pretty easy and there will be plenty of reviews and you can be quite confident if it is being sold as kit it will sound pretty good. I would look at Parts Express, Meniscus Audio and DIY Soundgroup and look at the ones close to your maximum budget and you should have lots of good choices.


        • #5
          Thanks guys, yes spent some time today on Paul's site. Liked the idea of his Classix 2.5. I'm a bit tired of stands considering you can get some built in. Intrigued with the idea of the knock down PE tower flatpacks. I will certainly check out the links. A number of the sites on the sticky for design resources are dead links. I seem drawn to the TMM 2.5 way idea.

          Lots more to check out. I am sure I will have some questions once I get a bit more reading under my belt. Thanks


          • Geoff Millar
            Geoff Millar commented
            Editing a comment
            Speaker stands cost $$ unless you build them yourself; the stand plus speaker take up almost the same area as a floor standing design. Of course, floor standers are heavier, larger and this can make their placement less flexible than a 'bookshelf' speaker on a stand. If you have a dog(s) or small children, speakers on stands are more susceptible to being knocked over.