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post #1 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings fellow music/movie heads!


Let me introduce myself before I ask my quesiton. I'm 30 years old and live in Charlotte, NC. Like most guys, I've always wanted an awesome set of speakers at home. Now that I have my career going, I finally have some money to spend on them.


I've never owned any speakers before!!! yup, It's true. I grew up in the portable cd and then ipod area. I've always been a headphones guy.


Anyways, now that I have my own place and some money, I would like to build some speakers.


I started my search 2 months ago by going to best buy and hhgregg and looking on amazon and newegg like most people. What I found out is that speakers are expensive, really expensive, and most sound like crap. I listened to some pioneers and polk at best buy, which sounded fine, but to me nothing great. A klipsch pair at best buy, the icon dual 8 inch that are 450 each to me sound good, but are out of my price range for just a pair of L R speakers.


So I was going to give up on the speaker search until my friend told me to build my own. I laughed, I have no clue how to build speakers, but then he pointed me to some web sites like parts express and DIY.


So after that long intro, here is my question and what i'm looking to do.


I want to build a 3.1 system. My budget for speakers is $1000 and my budget for a receiver is $500. I don't know if that is a lot or a little in the speaker world but that is what I can spend.


I'm open to buying a set or bulidng them, although I like the notion of building them to be honest.


So, what should I buy for my L R C speakers and for my sub? Am I better or buying a sub or builidng one? My friend recommended the Klipsch Reference RW-12d 12" from newegg (out of stock) and the STF-1 Subwoofer. I would like to build everything if possible if it gives me the best bang for the buck.

I've done some looking around on the web and on the DYI i found some kits you can build. The overmight sensations, the tango and denham look interesting. They also have some audiowave kits. I have no idea what those are or if I should consider them. GR Research has the N series in my price point. The N2X looks well reviewed. Parts expresss has some Dayton series ones. would any of these be appropriate for me? Again, i'm looking for about 1k in speakers (500 for LR, 300 for sub, 200 for center) is that sounds about right.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm a complete newbie, but I would rather buy something that is more than I need and grow into it than just a basic starter kit.

I should probably add my living space area and what I listen to.


I live in an apartment and will be for the next 15 months.


My living room, dinning room and kitchen is basically one huge room that is 12.5ft wide and 36ft long. The tv area is 12.5ft by 13ft, almost a perfect square with 8 foot flat ceilings. hardwood floors, sheet rock walls.


As for listening, this will be 50% music, 30% tv, 20% movies. Music is mostly classic rock and modern rock with some folk rock in there. TV is mostly sports and HBO/SHOWtime programming. Movies mostly action.


As far as listening goes, i'm not a huge bass guy, i'd rather have a "cleaner" listening system than one that gets loud or bassy. not sure if i'm using the right terms, but that's what I want.

]thanks again
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 11:23 AM
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Welcome smile.gif

I'm no expert so can't offer any in depth advice, but I would say that you can get much more output for your $ going DIY for a sub (and a project is always satisfying when it's completed!) and you could also consider purchasing speakers secondhand smile.gif
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 11:49 AM
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Do you need to have a traditional horizontal type center channel, one that has to lay sideways below/above your TV?

Given your limited budget for a full 3.1, I think a ported sub with a plate amp is going to get you the most for your money. Do you have a limit on how big the sub can be? Size is your friend, and that is one of the main things commercial subs reduce, 100% for cost reductions.

You're definitely going to get the most for your money going DIY, good on you for figuring this out so quickly.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 11:56 AM
 
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www.diysoundgroup.com

also build your own subs, DIY subs are unreal value.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

Could someone please tell me the name, or link me to some specfic DIY speaker kits thare are in my price point?

For a L R speakers I can go up to around $500 total.

For a center, around 250. It doesn't matter if its vertical or horizonal, but I personally prefer the look of the horizontal.

As far as the sub goes, around 300 is my price point. Again, I'm not a huge bass guy. I don't want my apartment shaking, but if at the 300 point I can get some power I can just turn down the volume for now and then when I move into a house I can turn it up. Can someone please link me or tell me the name of a DIY sub kit?

Thanks again guys.

Oh yeah, how about some rec's on a receiver. Looking at the 250 to 500 max for the price point. User or refurbed is fine by me. I have a droid phone and pc (not apple) so I would like to be able to interface wirelessly or what not if that is possible for music. Yes, I do have a PC media server too that I would like to hook up via HDMI. I also have a PS3 that I use for blue rays and netfliz/amazon.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:15 PM
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So, do you need kits with enclosures, or can you actually build a box from a sheet of wood?
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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Fusion 8 alchemy L/R, Fusion 8 alchemy MTM for center. That's like 550 for parts, then you could get the wood flatpack kits for the Fusion 8 L/R for 25 each, and then you'd have to build your own enclose for the MTM, so factor in some MDF, some paint, glue, etc you're looking at like 700-750 total for the 3 speakers. For only 300 bucks I'd probably just grab 2 BIC F12s when they go on sale for 180-190 ish each. I don't think it's worth doing DIY for a subwoofer under 500 bucks because it takes so long and the wood and glue and paint cost a fair amount so you'd be left with no money for a good amp/driver.
For receivers just get a refurbished denon off accessories4less. Look at the denon 2313 or 2113 or 3312. Decide which features you need, and pick the corresponding receiver. They will all basically put out the same power and sound the same, so only buy for features.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:18 PM
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DYI soundgroup tops seem like the way to go here.. The Karma-10 is a very well balanced speaker and should be PLENTY for your purposes. They come in at $176 each and offer tons of performance for a 10 enclosure.

This leaves you around $470 of wiggle room (minus shipping of course) for a plate amp and driver to build your sub. To match those Karma tops you'd want something with a good efficiency. I would recommend a horn, which can reach 20hz (THT, F20, Anarchy). But of course that whole system would be overkill regardless. Better suited for a dedicated basement theater, however now you would have a killer setup with TONS of sound, which you would keep tame.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagstaff View Post

Fusion 8 alchemy L/R, Fusion 8 alchemy MTM for center. That's like 550 for parts, then you could get the wood flatpack kits for the Fusion 8 L/R for 25 each, and then you'd have to build your own enclose for the MTM, so factor in some MDF, some paint, glue, etc you're looking at like 700-750 total for the 3 speakers. For only 300 bucks I'd probably just grab 2 BIC F12s when they go on sale for 180-190 ish each. I don't think it's worth doing DIY for a subwoofer under 500 bucks because it takes so long and the wood and glue and paint cost a fair amount so you'd be left with no money for a good amp/driver.
For receivers just get a refurbished denon off accessories4less. Look at the denon 2313 or 2113 or 3312. Decide which features you need, and pick the corresponding receiver. They will all basically put out the same power and sound the same, so only buy for features.


I disagree. An Infinity 1260 with a 250 watt amp is $180. Sure the build will push $250 when all is said and done, but a properly designed 20hz tuned 250 watt 12" sub is a huge upgrade over the Bic's, and puts you in the same performance category with $600 HSU and SVS subs.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:27 PM
 
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I disagree. An Infinity 1260 with a 250 watt amp is $180. Sure the build will push $250 when all is said and done, but a properly designed 20hz tuned 250 watt 12" sub is a huge upgrade over the Bic's, and puts you in the same performance category with $600 HSU and SVS subs.

That's true. As long as he doesn't want to spend a lot of time on the box to make it look really nice, then it's worth it. I spend sooo many hours to make my boxes perfect so I would never spend 250 on a sub and spend 80 hours building it. The other thing is lots of people don't have the tools required, so if they have to buy tools to make the sub it adds up really fast, and you don't want to spend 50% on tools and 50% on a sub.

It really just depends on how much you value your time, and if you enjoy building things or not though.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have the ability to make cabinets (no tools, workplace, and know how).

I also don't have bookshelf stands.

For a sub, I was reading that the Kplisch d12 from newegg that can be gotten around 280 is dollar for dollar a good choice.

Also, the HSU STF-1 at 299. Any opinions on those?

As far as receivers go, what i'm looking for is:

networking (wireless a plus)

The ability to stream my android phone to the receiver easilty (via bluetooth or whatever).

A good app for my android phone for control.

That's about it.

Still need help on the left, right, center speakers. Also, what are these horns and waveguides? Is that something I should look at ?

And here's a very stupid question that i'm sure everyone will laugh at. So I was at best buy looking at speakers, how does these kits in comparison sound compared to say a Polk TSI300 or a Klipsch dual 8 inch icon floor standing? Are they around the same, less, more? I know its hard to compare sound. Just wondering about quality.

Thanks for all the help. I think i need a couple more days of reading to figure out what to buy.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I've decided to go with a DIY kit.

Can someone please help explain the differences in these kits and which one is the best sound/cost value for me?

DIY Karma 8 $125 each plus $25 for the box. If I pick this, what center channel would match?

DIY Karma 10 $176 each plus $50 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 8 Alchemy $161 each plus $25 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 10 Pure $212 each plus$50 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 10 Max $232 each plus $50 for the box. This is the max price for L R speakers. For me to get these, these would have to be much, much better than everything below. Much better. And again, which center would match?

GR Reserach X-LS Encore Kit (pair). $149. No box. I don't know how I would build it.

GR Research NTX (pair) $469, no box, I don't know how I would build it. What center channel goes with it?

Parts Express Dayton Audio RS621CK (pair) $389

Just a reminder, my total budget for speakers (L R C sub) was around $1000k.

Plus I need a receiver, $500 max, but I would want to spend around 300 if I could.

So speaker enthusiasts, help a newbie out!!!!!!!

Thanks guys
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topchefwannabe2 View Post

Ok, so I've decided to go with a DIY kit.

Can someone please help explain the differences in these kits and which one is the best sound/cost value for me?

DIY Karma 8 $125 each plus $25 for the box. If I pick this, what center channel would match?

DIY Karma 10 $176 each plus $50 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 8 Alchemy $161 each plus $25 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 10 Pure $212 each plus$50 for the box. Again, if I pick this what center center would match?

DIY Fusion 10 Max $232 each plus $50 for the box. This is the max price for L R speakers. For me to get these, these would have to be much, much better than everything below. Much better. And again, which center would match?

GR Reserach X-LS Encore Kit (pair). $149. No box. I don't know how I would build it.

GR Research NTX (pair) $469, no box, I don't know how I would build it. What center channel goes with it?

Parts Express Dayton Audio RS621CK (pair) $389

Just a reminder, my total budget for speakers (L R C sub) was around $1000k.

Plus I need a receiver, $500 max, but I would want to spend around 300 if I could.

So speaker enthusiasts, help a newbie out!!!!!!!

Thanks guys

Alchemy 8 has the MTM to match for center. However, you can just get three of anything. Center doesn't have to be bigger, specially good designs like the DIY soundgroup types. For example, you can just pick 3 Fusion 10's, or 3 Karma 8's. Doesn't matter. If it simply physically fits better to have a center MTM style speaker, then use one. I personally wouldn't bother.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. What would you get?
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-05-2013, 09:32 PM
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Thanks. What would you get?

You know, I would like for you to come to your own conclusion, as I would also have to put some thought and research into a decision. There is alot of experience here, so please take that into consideration before pulling the trigger.

In my opinion, it would be very hard to make a wrong decision - considering the performance per dollar you get from these builds. The way I see it, you have two viable options for your fronts. The Karma 10's and the Fusion 8's. Both offer great performance per dollar. The 10's have a bit more headroom and will allow you to EQ your sound a bit deeper. The fusion 8's can be matched with an MTM center - if you want a horizontal speaker setup with more punch in the center.

Then from there I see two more options;

a) 3.1 setup with leftover cash on a single 15" ported sub with plate amp - or -

b) 2.2 setup with LR and no Center, and dual sealed/ported 15" subs to flatten the response in the room - either using dual plate amps or a single dual channel rack amp w/dsp.


But as I have said before, it is best to read and research a bit before committing.
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 01:52 AM
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What I found out is that speakers are expensive, really expensive, and most sound like crap.
I listened to some pioneers and polk at best buy, which sounded fine, but to me nothing great.
A klipsch pair at best buy, the icon dual 8 inch that are 450 each to me sound good, but are out of my price range for just a pair of L R speakers.

My ears vommit every time I walk into BestBuy, that's what I think of the sound quality of their bestest gear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by topchefwannabe2 View Post

I want to build a 3.1 system. My budget for speakers is $1000 and my budget for a receiver is $500. I don't know if that is a lot or a little in the speaker world but that is what I can spend.

As far as listening goes, i'm not a huge bass guy, i'd rather have a "cleaner" listening system than one that gets loud or bassy. not sure if i'm using the right terms, but that's what I want.

thanks again

$1500 will buy you the carpet that my speakers sit on tongue.gif
So I guess it really depends on the scale of the system you are building and how much quality you are willing to sacrifice. and I really do mean sacrifice.
But it's amazing how fast money just disappears. huh?

I spent $4000 on the wiring in my theater. Not even the fancy stuff, just 50 cents per foot, because I needed a mile of the stuff to build an 11.10 surround sound system that is bi-wire-able.

Just the other day I spent $1000 on this:
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/xsp1

It's a volume knob.
Doesn't have any other features than that.
You can turn it up or down... and that's about it. Just the way us hardcore audio-nuts like it wink.gif

Why did I have to buy it you ask?
because my system didn't come with one. (Not in the typical sense of a volume knob as most people understand it at least... it's complicated. biggrin.gif)
and it was the only one that was of sufficient quality to not vastly degrade my system quality... at least I hope not... it arrives tomorrow!

My only recommendation is to sacrifice as little as possible, even if it means saving a bit more money.

The quality difference between a $300 electronics and a $1000 electronics is vast.

For example, my sister purchased a $300 AVR, she complains constantly to me that the sound is "too weak and lo-fi" compared to my theater. "Well, like duh..." I told her. biggrin.gif
Even she can tell the difference in sound quality, and she is not even into this hobby at all.
So I'm giving her $1400 worth of my old electronics for free, Emotiva/Rotel seperates, just so that she doesn't have to suffer in such misery any more.
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by diaz View Post


b) 2.2 setup with LR and no Center, and dual sealed/ported 15" subs to flatten the response in the room - either using dual plate amps or a single dual channel rack amp w/dsp.


Skip the center build for now and use the phantom center setting on the AVR. The constant directivity-based designs like the SEOS (and 3pi/4pi, econowave, and several others) throw a very nice soundstage when toed in. In simple terms, a center channel often used to make up for low-performance L/R speakers....and to sell you more speakers...

You can always build/buy a center later if you have to have it.

I would suggest the Fusion 8 Alchemy as an excellent place to start. Nicely sized for the realities of apartment living and efficient enough to get stupid loud on AVR power. Just add subs....

You can always move them to surround duty later if you decide to go big.

I am a fan of the Yamaha receivers myself.
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post

My ears vommit every time I walk into BestBuy, that's what I think of the sound quality of their bestest gear.
$1500 will buy you the carpet that my speakers sit on tongue.gif
So I guess it really depends on the scale of the system you are building and how much quality you are willing to sacrifice. and I really do mean sacrifice.
But it's amazing how fast money just disappears. huh?

I spent $4000 on the wiring in my theater. Not even the fancy stuff, just 50 cents per foot, because I needed a mile of the stuff to build an 11.10 surround sound system that is bi-wire-able.

Just the other day I spent $1000 on this:
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/xsp1

It's a volume knob.
Doesn't have any other features than that.
You can turn it up or down... and that's about it. Just the way us hardcore audio-nuts like it wink.gif

Why did I have to buy it you ask?
because my system didn't come with one. (Not in the typical sense of a volume knob as most people understand it at least... it's complicated. biggrin.gif)
and it was the only one that was of sufficient quality to not vastly degrade my system quality... at least I hope not... it arrives tomorrow!

My only recommendation is to sacrifice as little as possible, even if it means saving a bit more money.

The quality difference between a $300 electronics and a $1000 electronics is vast.

For example, my sister purchased a $300 AVR, she complains constantly to me that the sound is "too weak and lo-fi" compared to my theater. "Well, like duh..." I told her. biggrin.gif
Even she can tell the difference in sound quality, and she is not even into this hobby at all.
So I'm giving her $1400 worth of my old electronics for free, Emotiva/Rotel seperates, just so that she doesn't have to suffer in such misery any more.
Damn our First World problems! tongue.gif lol biggrin.gif
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobeer4don View Post

Skip the center build for now and use the phantom center setting on the AVR. The constant directivity-based designs like the SEOS (and 3pi/4pi, econowave, and several others) throw a very nice soundstage when toed in. In simple terms, a center channel often used to make up for low-performance L/R speakers....and to sell you more speakers...

You can always build/buy a center later if you have to have it.

I would suggest the Fusion 8 Alchemy as an excellent place to start. Nicely sized for the realities of apartment living and efficient enough to get stupid loud on AVR power. Just add subs....

You can always move them to surround duty later if you decide to go big.

I am a fan of the Yamaha receivers myself.

THanks for the advise. I think i'm going to go with the two fusion 8's for now
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