DIY Speaker designs to rival B&W 802 or Salk Soundscape - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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While looking for the perfect speaker design for my budget (I settled on the Finalists) I noticed that there isn't a lot of speakers that rival the really high end offerings ($10,000 on up).

The closest I found was Dan N's Echelon (some drivers NOA) which Jeff bagby thought compared to some speakers well over 10k (post #6 in link). This probably cost $1000-1500 to build.
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/83412-diy-loudspeakers-can-you-build-better-than-professional-designs.html
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showthread.php?231246-Introducing-Echelon

Can anyone list some DIY high end offerings which would challenge/comparable to really high end designs? Maybe even some with some accuton drivers? It just seems that most of the well respected DIY's designers best offerings cut out at around $600-1000 (but still comparable to 4-6x the price of a Brick and mortar speaker company smile.gif)
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post #2 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 01:08 AM
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Sounds like your looking for something like this
http://www.selahaudio.com/id237.html
The kit for the floor standers is 2300. He has other models as well. Go to kit link to see the prices. I looked at these types but they seem to be more for music then movies . Really low sensativity . Top of the line drivers.
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 04:52 AM
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A guy on the techtalk forum ( I think his moniker is billshu) has used accuton drivers in at least two designs. His "MOAB" floorstander (ported woofer cabinet with open back accuton mid) sounds incredible.

I know I have seen a few other diy designs using accuton drivers floating around the web but these are the only ones that I have heard.

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post #4 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 06:26 AM
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I would love to see someone do a build that copies the Salk SoundScape-8! That would be absolutely amazing! I believe that the SoundScape-8 uses the Accuton C-90 mid, the RAAL 70-20xr(?), and a woofer similar to the AE TD series. Correct me if I am wrong on those drivers.

The Salk SoundScape-8's are already a very good value when compared to big box speakers that cost 2 or 3 times as much as the SoundScape's, but building a DIY version of them would bring incredible value to this design!
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 06:44 AM
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GR Research LS9's have been reviewed as competitive with speakers in the 20k range.
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post #6 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porthos01 View Post

It just seems that most of the well respected DIY's designers best offerings cut out at around $600-1000
True, but that's because DIYers for the most part realize that they don't have to spend any more than that. When they do the extra $ tends to go into better drivers. It usually doesn't go into bling that doesn't actually make the speaker better, like silver wire or $300 capacitors or any of a dozen other 'improvements' that might convince an oddiophool to spend $10k or more on a speaker. And much of what said oddiophools are paying for is also a nice finish, which mainly raises the price paid for labor, and that doesn't factor into the cost of a DIY cab.
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post #7 of 37 Old 12-27-2013, 01:20 PM
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^^^^ oddiophools. Gonna use that one.
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-28-2013, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I would love to see someone do a build that copies the Salk SoundScape-8! That would be absolutely amazing! I believe that the SoundScape-8 uses the Accuton C-90 mid, the RAAL 70-20xr(?), and a woofer similar to the AE TD series. Correct me if I am wrong on those drivers.

The Salk SoundScape-8's are already a very good value when compared to big box speakers that cost 2 or 3 times as much as the SoundScape's, but building a DIY version of them would bring incredible value to this design!

We offer a kit of the Ottavo which was recently well-received at the RMAF show in Denver. I had a few people tell me they liked it better than the SoundScape 8's.

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post #9 of 37 Old 12-28-2013, 06:46 PM
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I know this a diy thread but you got my attention with the b&w 802 in the headline. You can find (with alot of patients) a great deal on used equipment. I just got a pair of b&w 802 nautilus speakers for 2k. I know they are older but it would be hard to beat that price and quality for that price. Price per performance isn't that the whole idea of diy.... well... of course for making the box and all.
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-28-2013, 07:20 PM
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In addition to Rick's offerings mentioned above, have a look at:


http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php?23683-Three-Way-Evil-Design-Study&p=584188#post584188
A long thread but interesting.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/ATS-4.htm
A-T drivers very nice.

There are many others out there.
-Ed
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-28-2013, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

True, but that's because DIYers for the most part realize that they don't have to spend any more than that. When they do the extra $ tends to go into better drivers. It usually doesn't go into bling that doesn't actually make the speaker better, like silver wire or $300 capacitors or any of a dozen other 'improvements' that might convince an oddiophool to spend $10k or more on a speaker. And much of what said oddiophools are paying for is also a nice finish, which mainly raises the price paid for labor, and that doesn't factor into the cost of a DIY cab.

I know that moving to expensive cable has no benefits. Copper as long as it's pure conducts electricity very well. I find it funny when I read that someone spent $6000 on speaker wire and brags about it. I also know that going to more expensive capacitors is pointless. From what I have read from the people who design the speakers is that they hardly notice a difference. If they do they say something along the lines of "I think I heard a difference but I'm really not sure". If anything it has very very minor differences in tonality.

Now I am wondering just how much of a performance gap is there in value leaders like a Tang Band W4-1337SA, Dayton RS, BG Neo, Vifa NE149W-04 properly implemented with a good crossover compared to something in the B&W CM9's or 802's. Am I seriously at the point of diminishing returns? Will there be a noticeable difference when compared to properly implemented Accuton, Illuminator, Revelator, or Satori drivers?

I heard some B&W 802's that sounded great at any volume, sounded truly like surround sound where I couldn't tell where they were, vocals were very full and had amazing depth. These are the qualities in a speaker that I crave.

When looking for MDF to build the Finalists the lumberyard left their MDF outside and it swelled. So I have about 2-3 days before I can borrow a big enough truck to go buy the MDF somewhere else. I have until then to decide what to build because I will begin building the cabinets soon after.
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Originally Posted by theotherMrEd View Post

http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php?23683-Three-Way-Evil-Design-Study&p=584188#post584188
A long thread but interesting.
I saw this one and was intrigued but it's still a work in progress. Apparently Marsh (crossed out...not sure who's child this speaker is) is still working on it and like Dan's Echelons it doesn't have detailed cabinet drawings (problem I keep running into).
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Originally Posted by theotherMrEd View Post

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/ATS-4.htm
A-T drivers very nice.
I also ran across this but was uncertain how good the designer was. He is not often written about on forums very often.
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post #12 of 37 Old 12-28-2013, 08:56 PM
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Designer is very well regarded. Seen a few ocassions when he is complemented by known people.
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post #13 of 37 Old 12-29-2013, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post

We offer a kit of the Ottavo which was recently well-received at the RMAF show in Denver. I had a few people tell me they liked it better than the SoundScape 8's.

Rick, I was browsing your site looking for the Ottavo kit, but could not find it in kit form. It would probably be beyond my budget anyway as the completed version is north of $5k, I think. I do seriously like the Tempesta though.

I would love to build a full range pair of towers that would utilize the RAAL tweeters, Accoton C-90 mids, and Seas or AE TD series woofers.
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post #14 of 37 Old 12-29-2013, 01:48 PM
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I would like to introduce a german loudspeaker design: Acoustic Design Wohlgemuth.
After owning B&W 803 and a Home Theater System which was considered reference quality by several magazines here in Europe, i was looking for quite a long time for an audiophile quality hometheater system in my dedicated room.
After listening to quite a few expensive systems and not hearing what i was aiming for, i stumbled over DIY. A certain Udo Wohlgemuth got rave reviews on many forums and the top model of his creations got so much hype that i had to hear them for myself.
A 6 h drive and a full afternoon spent listening to several of his creations later, i had found my musical holy grail. I now have one set of Granduetta ADW (1430 € per piece) and they compare very favourably with my brothers Dali Helicon 800. Here is a link to one build http://www.lautsprecherbau.de/Magazin/Lautsprecherbau-Magazin-2011/Ausgabe-Dezember-2011/_Leserprojekt-Granduetta_8563,de,900640,2224 and here is a link to the webshop of the designer http://www.acoustic-design-magazin.de/Shop/baus%C3%A4tze-nach-herstellern-eton-c-22_26.html?bigwareCsid=71a6b270ea30880e19462daa97ca6aaf. I apologize for the german links, but for the moment there are no english references to the Granduetta . There are however some projects presented in english on the first link, if you click the american flag.
The Granduetta is a big floorstander with a magnificent ribbon tweeter, 2 7 inch mids and 2 11 inch woofers. There is also a smaller version, the Duetta with the same ribbon tweeter, 1 7 inch mid and 1 11 inch woofer, which is one of the most lauded DIY speakers in the german community. I like to compare these speaker to a current Bentley, they CAN go as fast as most sportscars if needed, but will do so with the comfort of a luxury sedan.
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post #15 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

True, but that's because DIYers for the most part realize that they don't have to spend any more than that. When they do the extra $ tends to go into better drivers. It usually doesn't go into bling that doesn't actually make the speaker better, like silver wire or $300 capacitors or any of a dozen other 'improvements' that might convince an oddiophool to spend $10k or more on a speaker. And much of what said oddiophools are paying for is also a nice finish, which mainly raises the price paid for labor, and that doesn't factor into the cost of a DIY cab.

So are you recommending using the very cheapest wire, caps, inductors, etc? Since you believe they're all are equal, as far as affecting sound quality, you might as well save the bucks and go low end for all parts except the drivers?
Why don't the very high end kits supply you with these cheap parts since they could pad their profits by using cheap parts? If they all sound the same why does it matter?

GR Research didn't use cheap parts in their LS9 kits. I doubt that Selah Audio uses cheap parts in their high end kits.

IMO building a quality speaker takes a lot of labor and you might as well spend the money on high quality parts because they do make a difference and the marginal contribution to the overall cost, including your labor, is really not that much.

We're talking high end sound, not a typical production speaker where the quality of the drivers will not discern differences between most components and parts.
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post #16 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rajacat View Post

So are you recommending using the very cheapest wire, caps, inductors, etc? Since you believe they're all are equal, as far as affecting sound quality, you might as well save the bucks and go low end for all parts except the drivers?
I recommend the least expensive that work as well as is audibly detectible. If someone wants to spend more than they have to that's their business. Most DIYers do sufficient research to know where more money spent is a worthwhile investment, and where it's not. But not all.

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post #17 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Rick, I was browsing your site looking for the Ottavo kit, but could not find it in kit form. It would probably be beyond my budget anyway as the completed version is north of $5k, I think. I do seriously like the Tempesta though.

I would love to build a full range pair of towers that would utilize the RAAL tweeters, Accoton C-90 mids, and Seas or AE TD series woofers.

$2,550/pr. for the kit including shipping.

Selah Audio

Thinking Inside the Box...
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post #18 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajacat View Post

So are you recommending using the very cheapest wire, caps, inductors, etc? Since you believe they're all are equal, as far as affecting sound quality, you might as well save the bucks and go low end for all parts except the drivers?
Why don't the very high end kits supply you with these cheap parts since they could pad their profits by using cheap parts? If they all sound the same why does it matter?

GR Research didn't use cheap parts in their LS9 kits. I doubt that Selah Audio uses cheap parts in their high end kits.

IMO building a quality speaker takes a lot of labor and you might as well spend the money on high quality parts because they do make a difference and the marginal contribution to the overall cost, including your labor, is really not that much.

We're talking high end sound, not a typical production speaker where the quality of the drivers will not discern differences between most components and parts.

More expensive parts are not a guarantee of better sound; in fact, if the part has better resolution you might actually find the audible effect to be worse because it's more revealing of the recording.

Selah Audio

Thinking Inside the Box...
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post #19 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post

$2,550/pr. for the kit including shipping.

Does that include cabinets?
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post #20 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post

More expensive parts are not a guarantee of better sound; in fact, if the part has better resolution you might actually find the audible effect to be worse because it's more revealing of the recording.

Why use superior drivers then? They're bound to have greater resolution. Cheaper drivers might muddy the sound but if that's the goal so you can listen to poor recordings then so be it.

I didn't say that more expensive parts are a guarantee of good sound. I said that since you're going to all the work to build your own speakers you shouldn't skimp on the little parts. I'm not necessarily advocating super expensive parts.
I notice that you use "Crossover parts include Clarity Cap, Mundorf, Mills,...." in your kits. Not exactly low end parts, eh?smile.gif
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post #21 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally found some MDF that isn't swollen and bought it. Tomorrow I plan to start on the cabinets. Anyone have opinions on open back mids? I like the idea of an increased sound stage but am concerned that it will make it sound more like a smiley curved speaker.
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post #22 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mal01 View Post

Does that include cabinets?

Everything except the cabinets and damping material.

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post #23 of 37 Old 12-30-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajacat View Post

Why use superior drivers then? They're bound to have greater resolution. Cheaper drivers might muddy the sound but if that's the goal so you can listen to poor recordings then so be it.

I didn't say that more expensive parts are a guarantee of good sound. I said that since you're going to all the work to build your own speakers you shouldn't skimp on the little parts. I'm not necessarily advocating super expensive parts.
I notice that you use "Crossover parts include Clarity Cap, Mundorf, Mills,...." in your kits. Not exactly low end parts, eh?smile.gif

Sorry - maybe I should explain further. Before I started manufacturing speakers I worked in electronics manufacturing as a components buyer. Part of my responsibility was with passive parts (caps,resistors,etc) and I sometimes worked with EE's to specify parts. During that time I learned quite a bit about the construction and the measurement parameters of the parts. So when I consider parts for crossovers I look at build quality and metrics such as voltage, tolerance, temperature coefficient, and anything else that relates to performance. In some cases (depending on what I need in the circuit) that means a more expensive part but not always.

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post #24 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post

Everything except the cabinets and damping material.

Why don't you include the cabinets?
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post #25 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 07:21 AM
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I wonder if it would be hard to clone a Salk Sound HT2-TL? I would venture to say that it should rival the B&W Nautilus 802 and possibly the 803D2. I would absolutely love to build a RAAL 70-20xr with an Accuton C-90 and a pair of very capable Seas or Scan Speak woofer's, then possibly do a larger woofer for the very lowest frequencies, such as the AE TD15M. As a matter of fact, I might be starting a build just like that. I already have a pair of the RAAL 70-20xr's a pair of Seas W18's and a single Accuton C-90. I could easily pick up another C-90, and possibly a pair of AE TD15M's.

What would be really sweet would be a design using the RAAL+Accuton+Seas 3-way with a built in powered AE TD15M!
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post #26 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
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Why don't you include the cabinets?

With the cost to crate and ship the cabinets it makes more sense for a DIY build of the cabinet.
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post #27 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post


What would be really sweet would be a design using the RAAL+Accuton+Seas 3-way with a built in powered AE TD15M!
The TD15M would be redundant when using those other drivers. A 15S, H, or X would make much more sense.

Mike
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post #28 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 11:22 AM
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The TD15M would be redundant when using those other drivers. A 15S, H, or X would make much more sense.

Thanks for pointing that out. I just think it would be quite refreshing to see someone do a build with some more traditional HiFi drivers as opposed to the normal high efficiency designs that are posted over & over here on AVS. Add to that a build with a built in powered subwoofer, like in the Definitive Technology powered towers! Wouldn't that be cool? I wonder which if the AE TD series of drivers would be best for this?
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post #29 of 37 Old 12-31-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Thanks for pointing that out. I just think it would be quite refreshing to see someone do a build with some more traditional HiFi drivers as opposed to the normal high efficiency designs that are posted over & over here on AVS. Add to that a build with a built in powered subwoofer, like in the Definitive Technology powered towers! Wouldn't that be cool? I wonder which if the AE TD series of drivers would be best for this?
It depends on the enclosure size and Fb/Fc desired.

Mike
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post #30 of 37 Old 01-01-2014, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nethien View Post

I would like to introduce a german loudspeaker design: Acoustic Design Wohlgemuth.
After owning B&W 803 and a Home Theater System which was considered reference quality by several magazines here in Europe, i was looking for quite a long time for an audiophile quality hometheater system in my dedicated room.
After listening to quite a few expensive systems and not hearing what i was aiming for, i stumbled over DIY. A certain Udo Wohlgemuth got rave reviews on many forums and the top model of his creations got so much hype that i had to hear them for myself.
A 6 h drive and a full afternoon spent listening to several of his creations later, i had found my musical holy grail. I now have one set of Granduetta ADW (1430 € per piece) and they compare very favourably with my brothers Dali Helicon 800. Here is a link to one build http://www.lautsprecherbau.de/Magazin/Lautsprecherbau-Magazin-2011/Ausgabe-Dezember-2011/_Leserprojekt-Granduetta_8563,de,900640,2224 and here is a link to the webshop of the designer http://www.acoustic-design-magazin.de/Shop/baus%C3%A4tze-nach-herstellern-eton-c-22_26.html?bigwareCsid=71a6b270ea30880e19462daa97ca6aaf. I apologize for the german links, but for the moment there are no english references to the Granduetta . There are however some projects presented in english on the first link, if you click the american flag.
The Granduetta is a big floorstander with a magnificent ribbon tweeter, 2 7 inch mids and 2 11 inch woofers. There is also a smaller version, the Duetta with the same ribbon tweeter, 1 7 inch mid and 1 11 inch woofer, which is one of the most lauded DIY speakers in the german community. I like to compare these speaker to a current Bentley, they CAN go as fast as most sportscars if needed, but will do so with the comfort of a luxury sedan.

these plans seem very similar to the "GALACTICA". LIKE IDENTICAL. THE GALACTICA uses phl drivers

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