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  • $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

    Love to hear all of your thoughts on a few things:

    1. DIY is a way better bang for you buck than B&M, but only *marginally* better than FD?

    2. DIY might save you some $$$ with larger tower-sized speakers, but bookshelf/monitors are pretty competitive?

    3. A big material savings in DIY is cabinets but once you go the pre-made cabinet route it eats into your potential savings?

    This is all assuming a straight-up $$$ for material/drivers comparison, and doesn't include any tools/labor.

  • #2
    Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

    Not sure, do some research and you tell us? Find some DIY projects with a good published bill of materials and see how much ALL
    Thanks,
    Zach Tripp

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

      You can't assume DIY is always better. There are clear examples of commercial products that use scale of economy to their advantage heavily and would be difficult to even match, much less beat, for the dollars spent.

      Behringer B2030P 2 way is such an example.

      -Chris

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      • #4
        Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

        $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Love to hear all of your thoughts on a few things:

        1. DIY is a way better bang for you buck than B&M, but only *marginally* better than FD?

        2. DIY might save you some $$$ with larger tower-sized speakers, but bookshelf/monitors are pretty competitive?

        3. A big material savings in DIY is cabinets but once you go the pre-made cabinet route it eats into your potential savings?

        This is all assuming a straight-up $$$ for material/drivers comparison, and doesn't include any tools/labor.

        Tubbs,

        The answers to your questions in order:

        1.DIY "is" better than either...way better.

        2.At our last speaker contest there was only one, IIRC, speaker that cost more than $300/pr and that was my Exodus Audio "Kepler" kit speaker ($499.00).

        3.Since a prebuilt cabinet presumably costs more, then you're quite right. Again, at our last speaker contest, the second place entry for Best Sound of Show used recycled cabinets from a pawn shop or Goodwill. I don't know what he paid for cabinets, but the drivers and crossovers for his 3-way came to $88.00 for the pair.

        This is basically a hobby, so people like myself may not have a lot of money in a single pair of speakers, but have a lot of drivers and crossover components in their inventory. Many DIY because they just like the creative end of it, others do it to create Ultra-SOTA speakers that would be cost prohibitive or simply unavailable. Being able to tailor a speaker to your specific situation, room acoustics or preferences allows you to have it all, instead of compromising with a company that has a standard model that may not be a good fit, is yet another reason.

        A few years back I took my focused array speakers to our audio club meeting and demo'ed them. One of our members stated:

        "Wow!
        Terry, I don't know if these are better than my speakers, but they cost 1/2000th as much!"

        So my $33 speakers seemed to him to be somewhat competitive with his Kharma Exquisite speakers (~$75,000?). I took it as a compliment, and yes, I think that they sound pretty good (and others have agreed) although they certainly don't fit a lot of people's lifestyle or listening habits.

        This is my take on the relative merits of DIY speakerbuilding...YMMV.

        Best Regards,
        TerryO

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

          I'm really just looking for some help in justifying this hobby :P Surely someone out there has saved $$$ with DIY , right?

          Anyway, here's what I had in mind when asking the question:
          (They all seem pretty similar to me in build quality, which raised the question for me.)

          1. PE's Dayton Kit $458/pr
          http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-980

          2. Dr.K's MTM $710
          http://www.parts-express.com/project...project=DrKMTM

          3. Ascend Audios MTM's $568/pr
          http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

            What must be understood is that just about ANY diy design is going to be better quality than big box store products. These products rarely even have a crossover more complex than a single cap on the tweeter, use dirt cheap OEM drivers, and have thin, resonant cabinets. You'd have to be looking in a high end audio store just to find something to compete with anything using RS series drivers, and that one will be a lot more expensive. Now, if the goal is to build a decent sounding speaker for the lowest $$$, usually clearance sales and mass production can compete with DIY on the lowest end systems - ones that may use crummy components but still manage to sound good. That's why DIY tends to shift toward the midrange components for most people I feel. Because you are investing so much time in labor, regardless of if you are using a $20 driver or a $60 driver, that price difference seems worth it for the finished project after you have spend so much other time on cabinets and design, and it will sound better too. The true "cost" of DIY is not just the sum of the parts but also how you factor in the value of your time. If you enjoy building then it's not much of a cost at all, but if you don't enjoy it and you are just building to save money, DIY may not be that much better in the end because you must spend so much time on everything.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

              I dont think we can compare most DIY stuff to high end FOCAL or B&M products. Clearly a top of the line pair of B&M floorstanders isnt worth every penny, but very few DIY designs have gone through the rigirous testing and development they the B&M's have.

              That being said, I have yet to hear a pair of prebuilt speakers with any kind of moderate pricetag that can't be easily destroyed by a cheaper DIY design.

              As odd as it sounds, I have no problem with people buying really cheap (sub $200) or really expensive (over $10,000) speakers. The cheap ones obviously were not indended to be excellent quality, and a higher percentage of speakers over 10k end up being very very nice (focal, B&M, etc...).
              However, the middle range is where marketing scams reak havok (BOSE, some small production stuff that is made to look like its high quality, etc...).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                Originally posted by tubbsbright View Post
                I'm really just looking for some help in justifying this hobby :P Surely someone out there has saved $$$ with DIY , right?

                Anyway, here's what I had in mind when asking the question:
                (They all seem pretty similar to me in build quality, which raised the question for me.)

                1. PE's Dayton Kit $458/pr
                http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-980

                2. Dr.K's MTM $710
                http://www.parts-express.com/project...project=DrKMTM

                3. Ascend Audios MTM's $568/pr
                http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...m/cmt340m.html
                the ascend use 5/8 mdf i don't like that they are ported which means they will unload and be in trouble under 50hz.
                Last edited by philiparcario; 11-29-2008, 07:52 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                  the doc k's don't get in trouble until 40hz thats a big difference for music.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                    Here's how I would sum it up. If you want cheap affordable speaker go with a mass produced speaker. If you want really high end speakers build them yourself, because you will spend thousands otherwise. For example, my new Duet10ss speaker costs about $1550 for drivers and crossovers. Throw in some cabinets with veneer and add a few hundred more. Joseph Audio sells something similar for $15k called the RM55. And yes I think the Duet10ss sound just as good if not better for about 7-8times less. You need to ask yourself one question, how much money is your time worth to you? DIY IS very time consuming, but that's the fun!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                      http://legacyaudio.com/index.php?htt...=79&Itemid=211

                      this is a beast true full range does it all for 2 channel. it is about 6 k here are reviews


                      http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speak...5_1594crx.aspx

                      this can be made diy for a lot less

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                        the real hard part is do what wolf does. make a 30 pair of drivers sound like 300 in a tiny box.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                          One thing to remember about DIY is that essentially it has no resale value aside from parts, which means if you like having multiple pairs of speakers then have at it and tweak away, but if you often get the upgrade bug don't plan to sell them off to finance a new big ticket purchase.

                          There are some commercial designs with very poor designs and construction, but others are frankly amazing and involve a great deal of CNC/Finish/Material costs that justify their design and manufacture. It is really not that hard to figure out which are which if you do some research.

                          Factory direct is a middle ground, less resale and less economy of scale, but sometimes very very good performance.

                          I have a "factory direct" model that would sell for $5k+ if sold retail, I sell it for $2399. Search for Roberts Rapide if you want to see what component cost looks like.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                            Yeah, nevermind.
                            Last edited by tubbsbright; 11-30-2008, 12:36 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: $$$ DIY vs Brick & Mortar vs Factory Direct

                              The only commercial speakers tha I've heard in the last 20 years that I could even stand to listen to for more than a few minutes (for music) cost $20K - I'd say that's a good reason to DIY.

                              For movies / home theater, most any speakers seem fine (so long as there's a decent center channel and a decent subwoofer).

                              I built Zaph's BAMTMs, those were an improvement over most speakers I've auditioned in stores, including expensive B&Ws. They didn't give me a headache the way a lot of those did, but, they're still lacking something which makes them not very engaging / emmotionally involving - they don't really "pull me into the music". I would say the sound pretty good with some CDs, and only a few tracks here and there out of many sound mediocre.

                              Out of curiosity, and the motivation of having free shipping + 15% off causing me to impulsively buy four of the MCM 55-3870? woofers, I'll go ahead and build a pair of Zaph's ZVM5s also.

                              Of all of Zaph's speakers, I'm guessing that I would like the Waveguide TMMs most, and hope to either build/or listen to someone else's eventually.

                              I don't want to spend $20 K on speakers, and if I did have $20K to spend, I think I could build something better anyway, so DIY really is the ONLY option for me.

                              But, I'm guessing that the current technology of using electromagnets to move pistons simply won't be adequate for designing speakers which accurately reproduce (acoustic instrument) music - until we come up with something better, we'll just have to live with a close approximation.
                              "...this is not a subwoofer" - Jeff Bagby ;)

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