Need advice for first speaker build - 7.1 HT speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I am considering building my first set of speakers, but need some advice. I am building a dedicated theater which will have 7.1 surround sound. The room is ~23'x19' and will have acoustic treatments on all walls. My original plan was to purchase all of my speakers pre-made. My budget was $4K-$5K.

I am starting to look at DIY for two reasons - (1) to save money. My budget seems to keep edging higher and higher to get what I really want. (2) The ability to get the size speaker I want. My biggest concern here is the depth of the surrounds so that I can minimize the size of my columns.

A little more info: My L/C/R speakers will be behind an acoustically transparent screen. I will have at least 24" between the wall and screen (may make it slightly more). Size is not a major concern. I don't want to compromise sound quality.

The size of the surrounds is my biggest concern. I am hoping to make the surrounds so that they will fit in a column no bigger than 10" deep x 16" wide. Shallower would be even better. These would obviously be against the wall.

I am open to all suggestions on subs. I am wiring my theater so that I can install subs in multiple locations, but I only plan to have one initially.

I have good wood working skills, but would prefer to find something that I can buy the cabinet pieces pre-cut if possible. Also would consider using existing plans to have parts cut. Last choice would be to cut all parts myself, but this isn't out of the question.

For comparison, I have been seriously considering Salk Song Series speakers. I would love to find something with a similar sound. I have also been considering one of their rythmik subs.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I have been digging through this forum, but I am not really sure which direction to head.

Nick


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post #2 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 10:35 AM
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Boy did you come at a good time!!! i would recommend the SEOS kits from DIYsoundgroup.com. there are a few different size options including one with a 8" driver that i think meets your surround criteria.

Eric (Erich H on here) is also making flatpacks for some subs in all Baltic birch that should be out soon.

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post #3 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 10:41 AM
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as for mains, this one turned out great and has higher dynamic potential than the salks for home theater.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1291022/hey-guys-we-need-a-little-rallying-here

erich has some kits coming out very soon for the surrounds, but i don't think they are on the website yet.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/

as for subs, this driver tested well and is low cost. erich also has 4 cubic foot flat packs for this one coming out soon.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472

this amp will provide 500 real watts to eacch of the four subs and has an easy to use built in dsp.

http://www.behringer.com/CN/Products/NU3000DSP.aspx

i'm guessing that you can get it all within your budget.

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post #4 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

as for mains, this one turned out great and has higher dynamic potential than the salks for home theater.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1291022/hey-guys-we-need-a-little-rallying-here

But how do they compare aurally to the salk songseries speakers when they use an average soft domed tweeter. And i'm talking quality, not quantity because of course compression drivers can get louder than domes. Sure a sports car is faster than a family sedan, but that sedan rides nicer.

...not saying the seos speakers sound like crap, I'm just saying I have yet to hear anything with a compression driver that sounds good to me and it may be something with how compression drivers work?

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post #5 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

But how do they compare aurally to the salk songseries speakers when they use an average soft domed tweeter. And i'm talking quality, not quantity because of course compression drivers can get louder than domes. Sure a sports car is faster than a family sedan, but that sedan rides nicer.
...not saying the seos speakers sound like crap, I'm just saying I have yet to hear anything with a compression driver that sounds good to me and it may be something with how compression drivers work?

What models have you heard with tweaked crossovers? Did they have titanium diaphragms in the compression driver or did they use mylar or polyimide?


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post #6 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the great info. I will start reading up on the SEOS designs and kits. Does anyone have first hand experience with both the SEOS and the Salk Song Series?

It looks like there are lots of variants of these speakers. Putting price aside, which components/combinations would be best?

Is this something that Erich always stocks, or does he make a bunch and they are gone once they are sold?


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post #7 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 01:34 PM
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"...not saying the seos speakers sound like crap, I'm just saying I have yet to hear anything with a compression driver that sounds good to me and it may be something with how compression drivers work?"

probably just crappy implementations. most pro audio gear is built for durability, so you get titanium compression drivers crossed in WAY too high.

both jbl and tannoy employ compression drivers in their ultra-top-of-the-line systems by the way.

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post #8 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

What models have you heard with tweaked crossovers? Did they have titanium diaphragms in the compression driver or did they use mylar or polyimide?
Unfortunately I can only say JBL (multiple models including the cheaper series JRX, EON, and 83xx surrounds), and various other speakers found in theaters, clubs, and DJ'ed events that I couldn't tell what they were. The problem I always find is the highest frequencies are not there. The hiss and simbilance seems muted (the stuff above 15khz), but then the cracking sounds (1k-6k) are just over bloated and harsh. They're punishing on my ears. So far, my favorite tweeter is the NeoPro5i, but I have not heard any RAAL's.

I would love to hear a SEOS design with a TD15m driver, because to me, that driver is the bees knees. I will however, be content with any other combo. Any GTG's in the midwest area where folks will bring a SEOS based design?

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post #9 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

Thanks for all of the great info. I will start reading up on the SEOS designs anwd kits. Does anyone have first hand experience with both the SEOS and the Salk Song Series?
It looks like there are lots of variants of these speakers. Putting price aside, which components/combinations would be best?
Is this something that Erich always stocks, or does he make a bunch and they are gone once they are sold?

The salks' sensitivity is listed at 88dB. This pretty much disqualifies them from performance HT applications.

Re: speaker placement, sizes and the room design. Keep in mind that you will want to toe-in the L/R by as much as 45 degrees. This will add up to the space behind the screen requirements. I am speaking from experience here, I have to move my screen now to accommodate a set of 4PIs.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by zheka View Post

The salks' sensitivity is listed at 88dB. This pretty much disqualifies them from performance HT applications.
Re: speaker placement, sizes and the room design. Keep in mind that you will want to toe-in the L/R by as much as 45 degrees. This will add up to the space behind the screen requirements. I am speaking from experience here, I have to move my screen now to accommodate a set of 4PIs.


Right. The Salks are very nice speakers, but I would not use them in a dedicated home theater. You really want the dynamics of good compression drivers and a good at least a 10-12" woofer.

If you are willing to go diy, I would do it. You get a lot more for your money and the pride of knowing you made them. I'll never buy commercial speakers or subs again.

My space is not a dedicated theater. I listen to a lot of music, especially vinyl. It needs to sound good. But when I watch a movie I want awesome sound so all my speakers have compression drivers and horns. I did not build the SEOS speakers, I built Cornscalas but they are very similar. The mids and highs are extremely detailed but not shrill at all. Mine use the Fatail Pro HF140 driver. If my space was dedicated I would go with the SEOS stuff only because the flat packs would be so easy and I could just do a flat black finish on them.

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post #11 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there a good speaker FAQ where I can learn more about the different components and their quality so I can make an informed decision?


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post #12 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:44 PM
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"Is there a good speaker FAQ where I can learn more about the different components and their quality so I can make an informed decision?"

if there was, folks would have just linked to it instead of typing out replies. ;-)

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post #13 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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"Is there a good speaker FAQ where I can learn more about the different components and their quality so I can make an informed decision?"
if there was, folks would have just linked to it instead of typing out replies. ;-)

I just wanted to make sure i didn't miss it biggrin.gif. I am starting to look closely at the SEOS12 Deltalite kit. I have lots of research to do though before even getting close to a decision. I would love it if I could build something for around $370. Is it best to use a third one for the center channel, or is there another design that would be better suited for the center?

Also, What would be a good design for a matching surround speaker (keeping in mind I want to try to find something under 10" deep)?

Looks like I have lots of reading to do.


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post #14 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:51 PM
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There is a ton of info on the SEOS speakers in this forum and the folks that have built them will have no issue discussing them I'm sure. You should find plenty of info to make an informed decision. I'm pretty sure everyone will recommend the SEOS kits for DIY and a dedicated theater.

Good luck to you! Please keep us posted!

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post #15 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

Is there a good speaker FAQ where I can learn more about the different components and their quality so I can make an informed decision?

This would probably be an answer to a different question, but if you find time, please read through this post
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1387083/list-of-reference-level-high-sensitivity-spl-low-distortion-speakers#post_21490281

The actual list of the loudspeakers is not complete, still if you find the argument for ref. level capable loudspeakers convincing then you would probably have to chose from just a handful of choices in the price range, with SEOS designs being one of the top contenders.
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:54 PM
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...not saying the seos speakers sound like crap, I'm just saying I have yet to hear anything with a compression driver that sounds good to me and it may be something with how compression drivers work?

Hi Looneybomber,

I've been listening to Yorkville U15 Unitys in a system that normally uses LS-6 line arrays and would love for you to hear them...anything but crap! If you have yet to a hear anything with a compression driver sound good, you need to hear more compression drivers. smile.gif I do prefer the LS-6 for music but these Unitys are sounding very good even stock; with some eq and further tweaking they will only get better. I'm sure the Salks sound great with music, but they are going to be left in the dust dynamically compared to a compression driver based speaker when it comes to HT. Listening to music on the above two speakers being powered by 150wpc from an Emotiva DMR-1 in this 2nd system, my typical MV position for the relatively efficient LS-6 is -30...I'm at -50 with the Unitys for the same volume level. The dynamics they bring to the table are almost ridiculous; in other words, just about perfect. biggrin.gif Add in one of the QSC DCA amps to the mix, things get interesting fast if you want them to.

I hear you on the ribbon tweeters -- love them myself and have Magnepan 3.6R's and Carver Amazings that use ribbons (also Martin Logan CLS electrostats) for when I feel like a little more sweetness and air to the presentation. Many say that ribbons and stats have an overly heightened sense of realism and as such are inaccurate -- in addition to the fact that they suck up copious amounts of wall power when you want them to boogie -- oh well, I say...I love them and they certainly have their place, but when it comes to HT, it's very tough to beat what a compression driver based speaker will do. They may give up some top end extension, but that really isn't a big detriment when it comes to HT. Dynamics and clarity are where it's at.

LTD, regarding Tannoy I'm assuming you're speaking of the VQ series stuff that uses the BMS 4592 coax compression driver. I'm sure you know this, but some may not -- even their Dual Concentric stuff employs a compression loaded top end -- domes in this case. Pretty cool stuff, I have some of their 12's that are rated to deliver 120 dB average and 126 dB peak...not too shabby for a dome tweeter. smile.gif I had plans of putting together a variant of the VQ-60's with 2226J's and 2360A horns from Erich and a pair of 4590's...I have the parts but not the space. In addition to the fact that the rig comes in at about 42" deep (space I don't have in this room), a quick listen to the 4590/2360 combo (sans woofers) told me a 10' listening distance is probably not far enough away -- they wanted to rip my head off! These will have to wait for a larger space - 40x60 sounds about right. wink.gif

Nick, Erich's SEOS stuff would be a super solid way to go for your room!
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-25-2012, 06:55 PM
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It's best to have all three fronts the same speaker. There are smaller, shallower SEOS kits to use for surrounds. I think Eric is also working on a specific surround as well.

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post #18 of 18 Old 12-04-2012, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that I have done some more reading, I have a few more questions. I am looking at the SEOS Definimax-12 speakers for my L/C/R speakers. I have two questions that hopefully someone can help me out with:

  1. What is the advantage/disadvantage of ported vs non-ported speakers? Does this make a difference when putting the speakers near a wall behind a screen?
  2. I am still looking for a shallow surround to go in my columns that would match the Definimax-12. Which components do I want to match for the best sound? Would it be best to stick with a SEOS speaker for the best match? Any suggestions on which speaker?

Unfortunately, there isn't pricing up for all of the speakers yet. Hopefully we will be able to order soon.

Nick


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