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(Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

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  • (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

    Dear DIYers,

    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:
    (http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-781)


    Any advice? Am I missing something? Is there a "better" first DIY project? Am I asking the right questions?

    Thank you!

    Some details / background information:


    Budget: US $500 everything in.

    Objectives:Musical preferences:Current speakersEquipment: 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.

    Sub-questions:
    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)3)http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-781)

    4)5) Any additional thoughts/advice?

    Thank you in advance for all your input!

    --Roman

  • #2
    Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

    That price tag is for one each speaker! That is almost twice your budget. The other option, is have one of the cnc guys on the forum build a set for you, and hope they live close by or someone here lives close and will give you a hand. Keep looking or reevaluate your budget.
    Tim

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    • #3
      Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

      Don't see how you could go wrong with that particular MTM. Nice drivers, and a very capable designer behind the XO.
      R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
      Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

      95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
      "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

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      • #4
        Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

        I'd also look at some of Zaph's designs. Very well respected designer.

        Check out:

        http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...with-cabinets/

        Or if you could swing it, although it's a 2 way and not an mtm:

        http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...pair-complete/

        You can read up on his designs at http://www.zaphaudio.com/ZA5/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

          http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-953
          You will still need for someone that will cut the driver holes or use a cnc person. This I believe is a pair, and will sound good also.
          Tim

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

            Originally posted by theLinks View Post
            http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-953
            You will still need for someone that will cut the driver holes or use a cnc person. This I believe is a pair, and will sound good also.
            Tim
            Single.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

              How are you set up for tools?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                Originally posted by Mgboy View Post
                Single.
                oops! :o I was looking at pairs and hit the wrong link. Pick one as a kit pair or take the plunge and DIY and get more for your money, satisfaction, and frustration also. ;) Have a little patience and something may pop up, as a kit or in the classifieds.


                Here's one of the options: http://www.diysoundgroup.com/index.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                  Personally, if I didn't have what it took to build my own (woodworking or measurement tools) and I had a 500 dollar budget for a pair, I'd get two of these: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=301-957

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                    I agree!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                      Originally posted by Mgboy View Post
                      Personally, if I didn't have what it took to build my own (woodworking or measurement tools) and I had a 500 dollar budget for a pair, I'd get two of these: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=301-957
                      I have to agree with Mgboy. The cost of cabinets is the biggest factor in the choice. There are several nice designs that are 500 or lower in cost for drivers and crossover parts but I can't think of any that would drop directly into a cabinet that wouldn't require any wood working that I think would fair better than the deal that you'd get on the usher bookshelves.

                      Pre made cabs from PE would still require some router work to mount and recess tweeters and make woofer cut outs. A competitor sells some pre made cabinets and pre cut baffles but the cabs and baffles would be half your budget.

                      Take it easy
                      Jay
                      "I like Brewski's threads, they always end up being hybrid beer/speaker threads based on the name of his newest creation." - Greywarden

                      Breakfast Stout - HiVi RT2 II/Aurasound NS6
                      Imperial Russian Stout - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW146/(2) Fountek FW168s - Built by Fastbike
                      Ruination 2.5 way - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW168
                      Levitation TM
                      - Vifa BC25SG15/Fountek FW168

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                      • #12
                        Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                        For 500 dollars MTM, totally prebuilt cabinet, I would agree that the Madisound Zaph design that mriversinco linked is the way to go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                          for a start, you could pick up one if EricH's flatpacks for the Overnight Sensation MTM, and build those....you're looking at a less than $200 investment, small footprint, and a pretty neat little speaker.

                          for a little bigger speak, I'd look to board member don radik's Aurbacs, using the $11 aurasound 6" woofer and vifa tweet, or the madisound kit using that driver...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                            Originally posted by rs_toronto View Post
                            ...Objectives:
                            I picked up on a couple things.
                            - You sound interested in learning, so you're likely on the steep part of the audio learning curve with respect to audibility of speaker shortfalls.
                            - You admit that your budget limits your quality reach
                            - you're looking for music, but not terribly loud, as opposed to HT.

                            That sounds like a job for a small-to-moderate size TM.

                            I find MTMs wonderful for HT and multi-channel music, but at a disadvantage for 2-channel music. I don't get a sense of spread out of an MTM, imaging is more localized, as it should be with a controlled directivity design. A TM in contrast fills the room with instrument images, spreading them far more than the MTM.

                            Looking solely at Zaph's Madisound kits...
                            http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...with-cabinets/
                            The TM version of the MTM
                            http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...pair-complete/
                            Upgrade to premium-line Seas drivers
                            http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...rts-only-pair/
                            Top shelf drivers

                            $350, $650, and $1050 without boxes. All TM 2-ways, but with varying quality and capability. The ZA5.2 is a good speaker, and you may not notice the improved quality of the SR71's until you've lived with the ZA5.2's for a while. Learning takes time. Eventually, you may have the desire to move these to the bedroom and make something better. Or maybe not.

                            That's part of the fun.

                            HAve fun,
                            Frank

                            PS I picked Zaph's only because he designs families of speaker, Madisound sells boxes, and others had suggested it. There are a lot more options available with boxes, and tons more if you can make boxes...

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                            • #15
                              Re: (Help) First DIY speakers - need to avoid humiliation

                              The concerns I'd have with the ZA series with the pre-built cabinets is one how they'd be received for the WAF factor. Secondly not that I've heard them but, I've heard enough people that weren't crazy about the tweeter that I think the usher speakers on sale would be a better option. The catch 22 is they are pre made so DIY isn't really involved.

                              Take it easy
                              Jay
                              "I like Brewski's threads, they always end up being hybrid beer/speaker threads based on the name of his newest creation." - Greywarden

                              Breakfast Stout - HiVi RT2 II/Aurasound NS6
                              Imperial Russian Stout - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW146/(2) Fountek FW168s - Built by Fastbike
                              Ruination 2.5 way - Vifa DX25/Fountek FW168
                              Levitation TM
                              - Vifa BC25SG15/Fountek FW168

                              Comment

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