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post #1 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I was recently turned on to the fact that DIY speakers are even a thing (who knew!) and am now fascinated. It's a huge topic and, honestly, more than a little overwhelming to start.

Part of the issue is the lack of context. To some degree, you can compare commercial speakers against each other in the same class, by sorting by price. That is, one could reasonably expect that a $2500 commercial speaker would sound better in every way than a $200 commercial speaker and other $2500 speakers would be fair game to sound as good or better.

But now we throw DIY designs into the mix... and what? I've heard people say such things that a $200 DIY model sounds as good if not better than a $1500 commercial model. Price, while only a tenuous benchmark before, now has absolutely no meaning whatsoever!

If I look the speakers on DIY Sound Group and HTGuide and Paul Carmody's site than I mostly notice that there are scads of options, but scarce ways of knowing what you'll get if you make any one of them.

So meta question 1: How do you compare DIY speakers against each other to know which would be the best fit for you?

First, let's revisit the idea that a DIY speaker is as good or better than a much higher priced commercial variant.

Meta question 2: How do you compare DIY speakers against commercial speakers?

See, if I'm looking for speakers, then I could likely find some very good matches in the commercial realm just by reading reviews of speakers and seeing what kind of speakers people have for theaters that will be like mine. I'm not see either option readily available in the DIY realm. For instance, say I'm looking at the Procella P8 which retails for $2500 and is universally praised. Is there a way I can use some published specs or reviews to narrow down a DIY alternative that sounds just like it? If so, how?
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post #2 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 08:06 PM
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I think a better way to go about this is to tell us what you want . For example are you music or movies , room size , spl level you listen , type of music you listen too . Money you have to spend and limitations that exist ( waf or something else).

I was where you are six months ago. I took the plunge and built a sub and bookshelf speakers
bymy7eqa.jpg
6yda3abe.jpg

They sub cost 600 and destroys my 1k hsu. It compares to the svs ultra at 2k. The bookshelf I built cost 500 pair and I would say compare to 1k-1.5k. A general rule of thumb is 2-3 times the price of DIY to get commercial equivalent . Remember commercial has 100% or more markup. And diy you don't scrimp on parts like commercial often does.
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post #3 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granroth View Post


So meta question 1: How do you compare DIY speakers against each other to know which would be the best fit for you?

Well to research you simply type it into google and research the message boards. I found the best way was to type in something like "Finalists(the name of the speaker) site:www.htguide.com" into the google search bar which will search the entire forum for you. Simply spend tons of time reading everything you can. AVSForum doesn't have as large of a DIY following as other boards.

Jeff Bagby's Continiuum sells for $1200 on Salksound (same company that sells Salk Towers). But can be built for $353 if you buy it from Meniscus Audio.

Another one of Bagby's designs is the Triton. At one of the DIY speaker conventions this design was one of the top designs. The CSS LD25X tweeter originally sold for well over a $100 each and because it's one of the first tweeters with an XBL motor system. A well respected speaker designer said it's one of the best he ever heard and outdid other $300-400 flagship tweeters that audiophiles rave about.

Dennis Murphy is another designer who is well respected. Based on what I read from SalkSound.com he had a role in making Salks Veracity line ($16,000 speaker).

Curt Cambell also makes good designs and so do many other speaker designers. I am about to build Curt's/Holtz's Finalists.

There are others designers who are just as respected so if you run across I designer I didn't mention simply research the model.

Basically if it's sold on Meniscus or Madisound it's probably very good, proven designs, and well thought of. Zaph is very good. The DIYsoundgroup also has great designs but most (but not all) designs are high efficiency horn designs. GREAT for home theater but can be beat when it comes to music by going with another design.
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Meta question 2: How do you compare DIY speakers against commercial speakers?

Well that's hard but basically most agree it's a superior value IF you already have a router and saw. If you have to go out and buy tools then it can add up.

Another thing is that Commercial designs are priced at a certain point. First the factory floor must be tooled and the workers paid to construct, shipping supplies (boxes and packaging), shipping costs to the USA, shipping costs to the retailers. Then a portion of the profits are given to the retailer (Best Buy, Dealers, etc.), then a portion of the profits are given to the actual speaker brand. Of that profit it must be enough to pay Saleries, taxes, healthcare, utilities, toilet pater, etc. Sound quality is not always a priority and aesthetics of the box and drivers can take priority over quality of sound.

For example the KEF Q300 is absolutely one of the best reviewed speakers in it's price category and is selling for $649 on amazon. It's main criticisms are an ugly box, poor crossover which causes breakup, and is still well below the KEF R series. You will be surprised how many "high end" speakers have rudimentary crossovers compared to what you can get by going DIY.

Another example is the Energy Veritas line of speakers. Just look at the crossovers.


Also look at the internal cabinets MDF. Outside veneers...http://www.veneersupplies.com/search.php?search_query=burl&page=6 all you need is the right glue, an clothes ironing board or clamps. It'll be cheaper if you dont go for the fancy burl veneers too.

Now compare the crossovers and drivers of what you get from DIY
http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/3-way-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-sb12.3-sb-acoustics-12-dual-midrange-3-way/
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post #4 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 09:08 PM
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Mr. Granroth asks many excellent questions. Part of the problem is having a common point of reference. Mr. Chalug makes comparables using his HSU sub and a DIY sub, with money values which makes good sense to me. My only problem, is I don't know what an HSU sounds like, but it is easy for me to see which sub is the best, especially "for the money."

I have read elsewhere on this board that the Fusion 10 Pures at $600 pr compare to the Klipsch RF-62 $1,000 pr. I have never heard the Klipsch, so I have no idea if this is true. I do know the RF-62's are better finished than my Fusion 10's, so that counts a lot to some buyers. For me, I was looking for the most sound for the least amount of money, so I got what I wanted in my price zone. Your listening needs may vary.

I don't know the retail speaker market in particular, but I have always heard that in general, a product sells at retail six times the manufacturing cost. I'm not taking issue with your "100% markup" estimate Mr. Chuzug, but I would not be surprised if that 100% markup point is low.

The bottom line, is that in almost any scenario where you compare quality of sound, dollar for dollar, DIY, and especially these DIY Soundgroup speakers, give you an incomparable return on your investment versus nearly any retail product. I'm sure there are exceptions.

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post #5 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 09:48 PM
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Their are dozens of build threads that can be accessed quite easily on this site. The builder will often be replacing commercial speakers. Reading them will get you a lot of info.

If you have some tools , and time... time can produce a finish that is superior to vinyl wrapped commercial speakers . Its only when you get north of 3k that commercial speakers really start to have top notch build quality with exotic veneers .
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post #6 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

I think a better way to go about this is to tell us what you want . For example are you music or movies , room size , spl level you listen , type of music you listen too . Money you have to spend and limitations that exist ( waf or something else).

It'll definitely get to that point sometime in the next few months, but right now, I'm more thinking in term of generics. As in, in general, what are some ways to compare the speakers outside of the context of a room.
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I
They sub cost 600 and destroys my 1k hsu. It compares to the svs ultra at 2k. The bookshelf I built cost 500 pair and I would say compare to 1k-1.5k. A general rule of thumb is 2-3 times the price of DIY to get commercial equivalent . Remember commercial has 100% or more markup. And diy you don't scrimp on parts like commercial often does.

Very cool! What are the models of those speakers and sub?

I get that you can directly compare the sub to the HSU since you own both, but what about comparisons to the SVS Ultra and the speakers to others? Is there a direct way you can make that comparison without actually owning the items in question? Frequency response? Some other measurement?
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post #7 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post

Basically if it's sold on Meniscus or Madisound it's probably very good, proven designs, and well thought of. Zaph is very good. The DIYsoundgroup also has great designs but most (but not all) designs are high efficiency horn designs. GREAT for home theater but can be beat when it comes to music by going with another design.

First, thanks for the pointers on whose designs to look for, as well as the assertion that htguide.com is a fuller forum than here. Good to know!

But your suggestion that anything on Meniscus or Madisound is going to sound good sort of gets to the heart of my dilemma. They may be all good, but they certainly aren't going to be all the same. How do I know how they compare, sonically, to each other?

I guess I'm sort of asking for the holy grail of speaker evaluation, which is "is there an objective way of quantifying speakers to tell without listening which is better?" and I've read enough to know that such a measurement doesn't exist. But with DIY speakers, in particular, all of the details of the components and structure is known -- is it somehow possible to "know" what kind of sonic profile a speaker is going to have based on the known factors (maybe including a known designer's tendencies) and based on that, you could potentially pigeonhole them accurately?

For instance, maybe you could say that given the known build factors, speaker X is geared towards 2000 cu ft theaters or smaller with a dedicated subwoofer and amp. Speaker X will also sound "fuller" than speaker Y but loses some musical accuracy in the process.

Something like that. Is that fantasy?
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Well that's hard but basically most agree it's a superior value IF you already have a router and saw. If you have to go out and buy tools then it can add up.

Another thing is that Commercial designs are priced at a certain point. First the factory floor must be tooled and the workers paid to construct, shipping supplies (boxes and packaging), shipping costs to the USA, shipping costs to the retailers. Then a portion of the profits are given to the retailer (Best Buy, Dealers, etc.), then a portion of the profits are given to the actual speaker brand. Of that profit it must be enough to pay Saleries, taxes, healthcare, utilities, toilet pater, etc. Sound quality is not always a priority and aesthetics of the box and drivers can take priority over quality of sound.

I realize I may have worded my question incorrectly. I'm not saying that I wonder if DIY speakers are better for the money -- I'm already convinced they are, based on the recommendations of some people on the forums whose judgements I implicitly trust. I also get the "why".

It's more about trying to find DIY speakers that are sonic doppelgangers of commercial speakers. There are tons of reviews of commercial speakers, as well as many many build threads that talk about their selection. Say I'm creating my theater and the obvious choice based on everything else is a set of Procella P8s (Not actually likely, but good for an example). As a knowledgeable DIY speaker builder, you step forward and tell me that Speaker Z is indistinguishable from the P8s unless you are an audiophile. How did you know that? Is there some way of finding out those doppelgangers short of having a head-to-head with them all?
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post #8 of 77 Old 12-21-2013, 10:25 PM
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Sub was hsu vtf15 . Yes there are ways to compare speakers without hearing them. Ltd02 produces cool graphs that show the output of the subs based on calculations don't in a software program. The numbers of dbs that my Marty sub puts out are comparable to the svs ultra .

My bookshelf speaker is the alpha minion . I have heard about a dozen different speakers in the sub 1500 price range and for movies the minion is the best. Hearing movie passages at 105dbs clean and without compression is very distinct .

For music the minion is amazing at loud levels with rock. If I was to listen to Tori Amos at 75 dbs I would probably want something with a raal tweeter .
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post #9 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 01:31 AM
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@granroth, I suspect you will enjoy reading this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1468211/ne-spring-speaker-shootout-results-thread-april-13-2013

granroth likes this.

Find out more about Mark Henninger at www.imagicdigital.com
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post #10 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post

Well to research you simply type it into google and research the message boards. I found the best way was to type in something like "Finalists(the name of the speaker) site:www.htguide.com" into the google search bar which will search the entire forum for you. Simply spend tons of time reading everything you can. AVSForum doesn't have as large of a DIY following as other boards.

Jeff Bagby's Continiuum sells for $1200 on Salksound (same company that sells Salk Towers). But can be built for $353 if you buy it from Meniscus Audio.

Another one of Bagby's designs is the Triton. At one of the DIY speaker conventions this design was one of the top designs. The CSS LD25X tweeter originally sold for well over a $100 each and because it's one of the first tweeters with an XBL motor system. A well respected speaker designer said it's one of the best he ever heard and outdid other $300-400 flagship tweeters that audiophiles rave about.

Dennis Murphy is another designer who is well respected. Based on what I read from SalkSound.com he had a role in making Salks Veracity line ($16,000 speaker).

Curt Cambell also makes good designs and so do many other speaker designers. I am about to build Curt's/Holtz's Finalists.

There are others designers who are just as respected so if you run across I designer I didn't mention simply research the model.

Basically if it's sold on Meniscus or Madisound it's probably very good, proven designs, and well thought of. Zaph is very good. The DIYsoundgroup also has great designs but most (but not all) designs are high efficiency horn designs. GREAT for home theater but can be beat when it comes to music by going with another design.
Well that's hard but basically most agree it's a superior value IF you already have a router and saw. If you have to go out and buy tools then it can add up.

Another thing is that Commercial designs are priced at a certain point. First the factory floor must be tooled and the workers paid to construct, shipping supplies (boxes and packaging), shipping costs to the USA, shipping costs to the retailers. Then a portion of the profits are given to the retailer (Best Buy, Dealers, etc.), then a portion of the profits are given to the actual speaker brand. Of that profit it must be enough to pay Saleries, taxes, healthcare, utilities, toilet pater, etc. Sound quality is not always a priority and aesthetics of the box and drivers can take priority over quality of sound.

For example the KEF Q300 is absolutely one of the best reviewed speakers in it's price category and is selling for $649 on amazon. It's main criticisms are an ugly box, poor crossover which causes breakup, and is still well below the KEF R series. You will be surprised how many "high end" speakers have rudimentary crossovers compared to what you can get by going DIY.

Another example is the Energy Veritas line of speakers. Just look at the crossovers.


Also look at the internal cabinets MDF. Outside veneers...http://www.veneersupplies.com/search.php?search_query=burl&page=6 all you need is the right glue, an clothes ironing board or clamps. It'll be cheaper if you dont go for the fancy burl veneers too.

Now compare the crossovers and drivers of what you get from DIY
http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/3-way-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-sb12.3-sb-acoustics-12-dual-midrange-3-way/

Although I agree with most of what you posted. I'll disagree with what you said regarding DIYSG kits and music.

Most of the kits (that aren't the smaller bookshelf / budget builds) use the Denovo 360/350, which is basically the DE-250, and it's far from a bad sounding driver.... probably one of the best CD's for the cash (still $110 from PE).
Of course, plenty could beat it, the RAAL, Beyma TPL, any of the BE compression drivers, or the higher end BMS offerings.
Hell, I don't have any DIYSG speakers, but I imagine a kit with the SEOS, AE/JBL woofer, and Beryllium / high end BMS CD's would be hard to best with ANY speaker, given a proper crossover. But now you're into the $2000-3000+ price point

It just sounds like you're saying because these designs are high efficiency and can be used for home theatre, that they somehow lost fidelity with music? Not necessarily true, might be giving the wrong impression to the OP.

OP, basically it comes down to price / performance (for me anyways) .
You're going to have to do some research, but you'll find with DIY, price increase comes directly from component prices (better drivers = better speaker = more money),cost to finish (MDF is cheap, a nice veneer, however, can be expensive), and tools you need to finish your project.

For example, the AE TD12m and TD15m woofers are considered some of the best sounding around.... but JBL2206 and 2226 woofers are similar, and a close second.
You could Ebay them for half AE's prices, buy the Denovo-360 / baffles from Erich on DIYSoundGroup, then build the JBL kit using the SEOS waveguide / crossover plans.
With a little luck, at that price you'd be hard pressed to build ANYTHING better without spending significantly more, IMHO.

Will it be enough? It's all based on your goals...
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post #11 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 05:51 AM
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focusing on price alone can throw things way off, as a good chunk of the cost in commercial offerings is markup and marketing.

once you get down to brass tacks, nice cabs cost money or time to finish. that creates a big price difference, but no performance difference.

after all that, the biggest difference isn't so much in the quality of the drivers, but generally if you have enough rig for your gig. almost without exception, the drivers that can handle more juice cost more, within a performance lineup. so that is the really what you are paying for.

parham 4pi, geddes summa, noname td15m/seos12/dna360, all fall into the category of high spl, low distortion, controlled directivity, etc. not cheap, but not expensive considering what you get. i'd learn a little bit about them and then see if you need more (doubtful) or can get away with less.

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post #12 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granroth View Post

I guess I'm sort of asking for the holy grail of speaker evaluation, which is "is there an objective way of quantifying speakers to tell without listening which is better?" and I've read enough to know that such a measurement doesn't exist.
One single measurement, no. But with a complete set of measurements one can know more about a speaker from the data than from listening to it. It's no different than a musician who can use sheet music to play a song that he's never heard before. The trick is knowing how to interpret the data, if you can find it. That's a very big 'if'. You're more likely to find complete data on a DIY design than you are a commercial design, as DIY designers can be very meticulous in collecting and distributing data on their designs, while manufacturers tend to hide the data and push the hype.
As for cost benefits, DIYers can't compete with manufacturers at the low end of the scale, so if you only want to spend $100 on a speaker don't build one, buy one. But the advantage shifts to DIY not much higher than that price point. It's not at all unusual for a $200 DIY speaker to work better than a $1k commercial speaker, while for $2k you can build a speaker the equal of anything on a showroom floor with a $20k price tag.

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post #13 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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@granroth
, I suspect you will enjoy reading this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1468211/ne-spring-speaker-shootout-results-thread-april-13-2013

INDEED! That thread is gold!

So in that comparison, only the three SEOS were DIY speakers, right? The overall consensus seemed to be that they were a tremendous value for the money and that they had the best bang for the buck. The word "value" really comes up a lot. Compared to the JTR Single 8s, though, they were clearly not as good (albeit at 1/3 the cost; which brings us back to 'value').

I wonder if comparing DIY speakers against commercial variants is sort of like comparing Hyundai cars against their competitors a few years ago. The Hyundais were always great deals, and far better than you'd expect for the money, and compete well with the mainstream Toyotas and Hondas if budget is a consideration... but if you did a straight comparison where money didn't come into play, the Toyota and Honda would always be absolutely nicer than the Hyundai.

Is it fair to say that if I build a SEOS Fusion-15 Sentinel for $400, that it would just spank any other speaker in that same price range and would be a worthy competitor with a highly rated commercial speaker at twice the price... but the commercial speaker would still be better in absolute terms?
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post #14 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 10:35 AM
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If you have 4k to spend on your front three speakers then yes the noessis 228 are awesome and tough to beat. If you want to spend 1k then the fusion tempests are hard to beat.

If you have 10k then the catalyst 12c beat the noessis . At the end of the day ... yes more money spent wisely will be a better speaker .
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post #15 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
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If you have 10k then the catalyst 12c beat the noessis .

I think you need to be careful when you say something like that....lol wink.gif

I think it should read more like this " If you have 10k then the catalyst 12c beat the noesis 228HT's" biggrin.gif

You don't want to upset any Noesis 212HT owners....lol
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post #16 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 11:23 AM
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Notice I didn't say when I have 10k !!!!!eek.gif
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post #17 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 11:59 AM
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the tempest in a nice custom finish will cost about 3000 a pair or more retail. A nice glossy veneer finish is very costly and time consuming or duratex can be fast and affordable.
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post #18 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 01:01 PM
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the tempest in a nice custom finish will cost about 3000 a pair or more retail. A nice glossy veneer finish is very costly and time consuming or duratex can be fast and affordable.

The veneer isn't more costly then duratex unless you use an exotic wood. Veneer is quicker then duratex . No filling and very little sanding. Its very easy if you have a laminate router which isn't that costly .
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post #19 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 01:34 PM
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what i meant to say is if you only care about sound quality, its hard to compete with diy because thanks to our many talented contributors. But the curve cabinets and nice finishes are very challenging for novices. I love all my diy systems capabilities but if i have to sell it, i don't think i can get anywhere near its true value because of looks. I wish i have the skills of member passinginterest.
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post #20 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

The veneer isn't more costly then duratex unless you use an exotic wood. Veneer is quicker then duratex . No filling and very little sanding. Its very easy if you have a laminate router which isn't that costly .

Negative. The Band-It wood veneer from PE is going to cost you ~$3 ft^2 or about $50 for the 2 x 8 roll. Can you find cheaper veneer? Probably. No doubt your $50 gallon of Duratex is going to go much further than 16 ft^2.

I'm at a total loss at how veneer can be faster when you have to do the sanding and finishing with 2 coats minimum of something....probably polyurethane.

Now the vinyl laminate is well under $1 ft^2 and no finishing required which would be more competitive with the Duratex.
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post #21 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 03:36 PM
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We both start at the same time. By the time you have filled the cracks with poly and put your first coat of primer on I have veneered the sides , top , and front. I can do all four sides in under an hour with a laminate router.

Then you.probably put another coat of primer as many have done . Even if you don't you now put first coat of duratex on . I sand with 400 grit and then 600 grit. That takes me 15 minutes . I then put a coat of watco Danish oil on ... five minutes . Next day final coat and then some wax or urethane .

I have taught woodworking for 18 years and I know.the tricks of the trade.
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post #22 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 04:13 PM
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Hey if I can teach jbrown how to use the laminate router anyone can learn biggrin.gif
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post #23 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Hey if I can teach jbrown how to use the laminate router anyone can learn biggrin.gif

Haha ouch that really hurts my ego!...lol
It's not like I didn't have any wood working skills...lol smile.gif
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post #24 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Hey if I can teach jbrown how to use the laminate router anyone can learn biggrin.gif

Haha ouch that really hurts my ego!...lol
It's not like I didn't have any wood working skills...lol smile.gif
Hey I did teach u the belt sander eek.gif
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post #25 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 04:45 PM
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INDEED! That thread is gold!

So in that comparison, only the three SEOS were DIY speakers, right? The overall consensus seemed to be that they were a tremendous value for the money and that they had the best bang for the buck. The word "value" really comes up a lot. Compared to the JTR Single 8s, though, they were clearly not as good (albeit at 1/3 the cost; which brings us back to 'value').

I wonder if comparing DIY speakers against commercial variants is sort of like comparing Hyundai cars against their competitors a few years ago. The Hyundais were always great deals, and far better than you'd expect for the money, and compete well with the mainstream Toyotas and Hondas if budget is a consideration... but if you did a straight comparison where money didn't come into play, the Toyota and Honda would always be absolutely nicer than the Hyundai.

Is it fair to say that if I build a SEOS Fusion-15 Sentinel for $400, that it would just spank any other speaker in that same price range and would be a worthy competitor with a highly rated commercial speaker at twice the price... but the commercial speaker would still be better in absolute terms?

I'd disagree with this. But I am biased and I'll DIY forever. The 3 DIY speaker at THAT event may have been the Hyundais, but that's a little what the SEOS brand is: VALUE. And high value at that. There aren't all that many DIY speakers that are full on no holds designs. Well, I know of plenty, but they're never shared. So if you want that kind of design you usually have to do it yourself. For instance, I've been PMing a guy here who is doing some exceptional work with a SEOS 24 and AE 15s (no not ChopShop's build). He won't be sharing his design, but to put it simply, Hardly any high speaker manufacturer would even attempt what this guy is doing. It's going to be insanely high end and extremely complex. This particular guy has done a lot of very high end work also. But always keeps it to himself.

What I'm saying is, DIY can always keep up with commercial. You just don't see it much on the mainstream DIY forums. It's behind the scenes more.
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post #26 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

I'd disagree with this. But I am biased and I'll DIY forever. The 3 DIY speaker at THAT event may have been the Hyundais, but that's a little what the SEOS brand is: VALUE. And high value at that. There aren't all that many DIY speakers that are full on no holds designs. Well, I know of plenty, but they're never shared. So if you want that kind of design you usually have to do it yourself. For instance, I've been PMing a guy here who is doing some exceptional work with a SEOS 24 and AE 15s (no not ChopShop's build). He won't be sharing his design, but to put it simply, Hardly any high speaker manufacturer would even attempt what this guy is doing. It's going to be insanely high end and extremely complex. This particular guy has done a lot of very high end work also. But always keeps it to himself.

What I'm saying is, DIY can always keep up with commercial. You just don't see it much on the mainstream DIY forums. It's behind the scenes more.

Oh, interesting! I was running on the assumption that the DIY speaker crowd was similar to the Open Source crowd in software -- sharing openly. Your description sounds more like the old school BBS file sharing crowd, where you had to prove your mettle before you are permitted into the inner sanctums and got access to the best of the best.

I suppose there might be a little of both crowds running around?
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post #27 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 09:51 PM
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There's no inner circle. It's just the really high end DIY stuff doesn't really have a place. They're one-offs.
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post #28 of 77 Old 12-22-2013, 10:57 PM
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There's no inner circle. It's just the really high end DIY stuff doesn't really have a place. They're one-offs.

It would have a place in my house. I'd have no problem paying 2 k for a pair that are amazing . Customize the finish.
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post #29 of 77 Old 12-23-2013, 12:01 AM
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...
They sub cost 600 and destroys my 1k hsu. It compares to the svs ultra at 2k. The bookshelf I built cost 500 pair and I would say compare to 1k-1.5k. A general rule of thumb is 2-3 times the price of DIY to get commercial equivalent . Remember commercial has 100% or more markup. And diy you don't scrimp on parts like commercial often does.
What about the cost to time? And that of tools? How about the cost of a nice finish for those of us that like speakers for the workmanship? smile.gif

DIY is typically more expensive for anything less than a few $k. However, it has the potential of being more rewarding from a labor of love perspective.
Now a DIY to replicate a $20K or more speaker, might prove economical.
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post #30 of 77 Old 12-23-2013, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
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...
They sub cost 600 and destroys my 1k hsu. It compares to the svs ultra at 2k. The bookshelf I built cost 500 pair and I would say compare to 1k-1.5k. A general rule of thumb is 2-3 times the price of DIY to get commercial equivalent . Remember commercial has 100% or more markup. And diy you don't scrimp on parts like commercial often does.
What about the cost to time? And that of tools? How about the cost of a nice finish for those of us that like speakers for the workmanship? smile.gif

DIY is typically more expensive for anything less than a few $k. However, it has the potential of being more rewarding from a labor of love perspective.
Now a DIY to replicate a $20K or more speaker, might prove economical.

So long as aesthetics are not the main concern, a good DIY build will outperform comparably priced commercial speakers at much lower price points. That's why duratex is a popular finish among DIYers. The only area where DIY can't compete on price is with a product like the Pioneer Andrew Jones SP-FS52 when on sale for $99 each. 

 

As for tools and stuff, true DIY requires a workshop, but there are plenty of build-it-yourself kits out there.

 

It is true that high-end commercial speakers (can be) aesthetically stunning. It is also a tremendous challenge to actually compete with the SQ of a truly great $20,000 speakers. 

 

I think the sweet-spot for DIY comes from spending between $250 and $1000 per speaker.


Find out more about Mark Henninger at www.imagicdigital.com
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