Swans/Hi-Vi DIY speakers? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 68 Old 09-04-2017, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Swans/Hi-Vi DIY speakers?

I was browsing for speakers on Amazon when i came across 2 different Swans DIY kit for what seemed like a good price... and upon further inspection, was selling for a lot less than the cost of the components themselves.

Swans 3.1 for $175, and Swans 2.2 for $125, each kit comes with box, crossovers, drivers, etc. apparently everything you need.

I think there's a little bit of Amazon algorithm magic working in my favor here, because there's no way a DIY kit with 2 $99 midrange drivers, 2 tweeters, a box, and crossover should cost $124 for a complete kit.

This will be my first DIY project, might have to buy a soldering iron and a few other things.

If anyone else is interested you should probably jump on it ASAP, as the components are worth (a lot) more than the total cost of the kits it seems.
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post #2 of 68 Old 09-04-2017, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the 3.1 kit for $175, seems like a killer deal if I actually receive a pair like the listing says (and if not since it's fulfilled by Amazon I have some protection).

This will be my first DIY project, but I've been curious about dome midranges and leaf tweeters, so these should be cool.

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post #3 of 68 Old 09-06-2017, 05:26 PM
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Figured I'd update - my (huge) box containing the kit arrived today. I was planning on making this a weekend project, but since I live in Florida and there's this little storm heading our way, that's been put on hold.

Provided my house still exists next week, I'll share my experiences with putting this all together.

The photos in the listing were a bit ambiguous about whether the crossover would be pre-assembled. Looking through the little boxes in the big box, it's not, so it looks like a soldering iron is in my future as well.
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post #4 of 68 Old 09-06-2017, 05:27 PM
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any pics that you can share?

is there a completed version that they sell as well? or just the DIY kit?

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post #5 of 68 Old 09-06-2017, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bgtighe23 View Post
any pics that you can share?

is there a completed version that they sell as well? or just the DIY kit?
Here's the Amazon link showing what it should look like finished.

I haven't seen anything they make pre-fab that seems to match it, but since they're a driver manufacturer as well, it uses their drivers.

I'll post a lot of pictures when I start building it, as for right now I don't want to unpack everything because I'm not sure I'd be able to get it all back into the box, and I'm trying to keep things tidy in case I have to evacuate so that I can elevate as much stuff off the ground in case of potential storm surge and flooding.

EDIT: Just saw that you're in Houston, hope you made it through Harvey OK.

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post #6 of 68 Old 09-06-2017, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I actually bought both kits a few days ago but I don't have prime so free shipping says I won't see them until next week. I'll take some pictures when it gets here if I can. Won't have time to build them probably until October at the earliest because of the Hurricanes (I work for the state of Florida doing IT, so i am working long days for the foreseeable future.
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post #7 of 68 Old 09-07-2017, 12:46 PM
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I guess I'm going to try the 2.2 because it looks like the 3.1 3-way is 4-ohm. Not sure because HiVi's description on Amazon is poor and there are no specs shown. In fact they call the 3.1 "powered" in the title. Here is what appears to be the specs from HiVi's own site:

http://hiviusa.com/products/detail.a...00087469714773

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post #8 of 68 Old 09-07-2017, 06:39 PM
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There is definitely something screwy about the listings. The HiVi DIY page seems to sell everything as singles, not in pairs. (I am too new to post the link but it is accessible from the HiVi link previous in the thread). Japanese Amazon seems to sell the kit singly too, but Google translate is not clear enough for me to be certain.

Oddly buying the 3.1 system drivers/crossovers alone costs more than the complete kit with cabinet/deadening materials. When anyone gets these if you could (while remaining safe) inventory what you got that would be great. Did you get a pair of speakers or just 1?
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post #9 of 68 Old 09-07-2017, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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TuteTibiImperes can you confirm what you received?

Based on the shipped weight i'm pretty sure that kit is a pair of speakers, and though they call them powered the answered question on amazon states they are passive.
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post #10 of 68 Old 09-07-2017, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegetarianEater View Post
TuteTibiImperes can you confirm what you received?
Based on the shipped weight i'm pretty sure that kit is a pair of speakers, and though they call them powered the answered question on amazon states they are passive.
Yeah the shipping weight Amazon has listed is clearly for two. And the top line of the description states "pair". The 2.2 kit woofers are $100 per speaker at Parts Express. But it does make sense when you see the kit's regular price is $444. We'll see how they sound...I should be covered if I need to return them...through Amazon or through my credit card.

Last edited by DaleNixon; 09-08-2017 at 08:40 AM.
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post #11 of 68 Old 09-08-2017, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleNixon View Post
Yeah the shipping weight Amazon has listed is clearly for two. And the top line of the description states "pair". The 2.2 kit woofers are $100 per speaker at Parts Express. But it does make sense when you see the kit's regular price is $444. We'll see how they sound...I should be covered if I need to return them...through Amazon or through my credit card.
It really is worth it just for the drivers... they should sound pretty good, those are some high quality drivers. and Amazon showing the real retail price, no idea why they have them on such a low discount...
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post #12 of 68 Old 09-08-2017, 08:00 PM
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I don't really want the kit but for the price and parts I may get it just for parts


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post #13 of 68 Old 09-08-2017, 09:48 PM
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Has anyone heard these drivers in use before? It looks like the L6 in the 3.1, and I've only known of one kit to use it so there's not much to go off of (that I've seen). The cost of individual drivers makes me want to take the plunge on either or both kits, but my wife is already getting tired of my random speakers and amps packing the shelves. Just trying to get a feel for "how amazing of a deal/oversight" this is.
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post #14 of 68 Old 09-08-2017, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jcsmith0919 View Post
Has anyone heard these drivers in use before? It looks like the L6 in the 3.1, and I've only known of one kit to use it so there's not much to go off of (that I've seen). The cost of individual drivers makes me want to take the plunge on either or both kits, but my wife is already getting tired of my random speakers and amps packing the shelves. Just trying to get a feel for "how amazing of a deal/oversight" this is.
Never heard these drivers, but HiVi speakers in general get good ratings over on PE. I was in the market for some bookshelves primarily for music so I took a gamble on these. I was prepared to spend about $300 and if the specs on HiVi's site are real then these should be comparable to what I was looking at. The fact they come with prefinished enclosures is an added bonus. I will review mine when they get here...No shipping date set, yet however.
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post #15 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 08:46 AM
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My set of the 2-way has shipped. Listed weight of the shipped box(s) is 73 pounds, so indeed 2 speakers not one. Certainly a good value per pound.

I believe the 2-way is the DIY version of the Swans D2.1 SE. On the HiVi US site, the specifications for the two are identical and the drivers seem to be the same. (Sorry, I am new here and not yet trusted for links)

There are quite a few reviews of the D2.1 on the net, most excellent. Of course, the DIY cabinet and terminals are not as nice, but it looks to weigh the same. Whether the crossover is the same I don't know.

The 3 way DIY specs are similar to the M3, but the mid/tweet do not look identical.


QUESTION on Assembly: Some of the Asian sites say a soldering iron and screwdriver is needed for assembly, plus a small drill. I would assume that wood glue and clamps will also be needed. I do not have clamps. If you have put together pre-cut and finished boxes like this I would appreciate it if you could describe the process, or point me to a side that describes it.
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post #16 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ggroch View Post

QUESTION on Assembly:
Some of the Asian sites say a soldering iron and screwdriver is needed for assembly, plus a small drill. I would assume that wood glue and clamps will also be needed. I do not have clamps. If you have put together pre-cut and finished boxes like this I would appreciate it if you could describe the process, or point me to a side that describes it.
Both Amazon's photo and HiVi's site http://hiviusa.com/products/detail.a...00087470473318 show assembled crossovers so is it possible the soldering iron is used for the wires between crossover and binding posts/speakers? However, no wires are shown so some speaker wire may also have to be added to the to-buy list. Also polyfill or mattress topper/denin insulation might be added.

As far as clamps go it looks like the panels meet at 45° angles (again, looks like) so clamping could be difficult. The thing I'd do is start attaching panels to that center brace at the rabbet joint. Being this is a small enclosure I'm just planning on using weight plates on a soft towel to hold the panels in place while the glue dries. Same with the top and bottom. Too much weight or clamping force and you could damage some of the edges.

My order is claiming a 9/13-9/15 delivery date. I'll have photos of the assembly around this time.

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post #17 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ggroch View Post
I believe the 2-way is the DIY version of the Swans D2.1 SE. On the HiVi US site, the specifications for the two are identical and the drivers seem to be the same. (Sorry, I am new here and not yet trusted for links)
Here are the speaker links. They both use the Q1R tweeter https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-q...eeter--297-417
and D6.8 woofer https://www.parts-express.com/hivi-d...elded--297-444
Swans D2.1 SE specs http://www.swanspeaker.com/product/htm/view.asp?id=371

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post #18 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 01:51 PM
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There is a Chinese article with detailed description of the 3.1 kit that is understandable through Google Translate. Price of the kit is $540 (converted from yuan).

The allowed non-link: article.pchome.net/content-1724646 "dot" html

It indicates the kit comes with wires and sound insulation, but that you must assemble the crossovers. The crossovers look simple if you solder at all.

I am much more concerned about assembling the cabinets with angled corners. The article just has one page of photos for that but goes in great detail on soldering crossover components.
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post #19 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegetarianEater View Post
TuteTibiImperes can you confirm what you received?

Based on the shipped weight i'm pretty sure that kit is a pair of speakers, and though they call them powered the answered question on amazon states they are passive.
I've evacuated so I can't look right now, but when I rummaged through the box it looked like there was sets of 2 for everything.

I can confirm that the crossovers came unassmbled.

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post #20 of 68 Old 09-09-2017, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
I've evacuated so I can't look right now, but when I rummaged through the box it looked like there was sets of 2 for everything.

I can confirm that the crossovers came unassmbled.
Stay safe dude.

All prayers to Florida and the Caribbean right now.
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post #21 of 68 Old 09-10-2017, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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This BTW is what the 3.1 DIY kit is based off of...

https://swanspeakers.com/product/m3-passive-speakers/

This kit is a hell of a bargain...
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post #22 of 68 Old 09-11-2017, 11:34 AM
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M3 does look like the one that is being offered as a kit, even though the face plate is a bit different. The D2.1SE seems to be identical to the 2.2 DIY kit that is on offer, and has a few online reviews that are quite complimentary. The woofer on the 2 way is supposed to be extremely good .... so against my better judgement, i placed an order for the 2 way. I have several speaker including bamberg MT, carmody's Carrera, ascend acoustics CBM 170se, and stealth 8. It'll be interesting to compare all of them side by side.
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post #23 of 68 Old 09-11-2017, 11:36 AM
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Oops ... the price didn't last long ... they are up $75 today. Still a good deal ... not as good as it was. Glad I jumped on it!
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post #24 of 68 Old 09-12-2017, 12:38 PM
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My DIY 2.2 A kit arrived today. I was initially concerned about damage because the outer too-large and too thin Amazon box was pretty beat up. But, like most of the Chinese speakers I have seen, the Swans box & packing inside is very sturdy and well thought out. So, no worries unless it is extremely mishandled.

Everything is in separate boxes or pouches and very well labeled. The instructions are 9 pages, pretty detailed, and all in English. Perhaps not perfect English only because a few of the technical terms seem strange, but carefully written and easily understood. It describes crossover and cabinet construction in some detail.

A couple of surprises: I had assumed the black vinyl wrap would be pre-applied, it is not, but comes in a roll, and brief instructions just say to paste it on with glue. This is probably the right way to do it, because you can sand the MDF edges to get them right, but it is a new skill for me to acquire. The instructions point out that this gives you the opportunity to apply another kind of simulated finish.

I wish there was more detail on cutting and applying the vinyl wrap, google search in order.

Similarly, the grill cloth is provided in a roll and you stretch and glue it to the frame yourself.

The crossover is un-assembled, and they give you the values for each of the components suggesting you can upgrade them to higher quality parts of equal value if you wish.

From the Manual: SUGGESTED TOOLS and Needed SUPPLIES: Wood clamps, Wood glue, Diagonal Pliers (to cut wire), Hammer, Scissors, Solder, Soldering Iron, Allen Wrench, Phillips Screwdriver, Brush, Sandpaper.

The HiVi LB-D6.8 IIB Mid/Woofer and LB Q1R tweeter look very well constructed. The cabinet is heavy MDF, 3/4" thick all around. Careful removing it from the box no to damage the mitered pointy edges.

The photos show the use of bar clamps for assembling the cabinet, the center brace going in first to hold things steady. With the mitered edges, perhaps ratcheted band clamps would work even better. I hope that sounded expert because I did not know what that was until 20 minutes ago.
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post #25 of 68 Old 09-12-2017, 06:37 PM
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I should be getting mine tomorrow.

Thanks for providing a bit more clarity on what is included, Ggroch! I'm kinda glad that the vinyl was not pre glued. I don't like vinyl anyway and prefer to use real hardwood veneer.
PCB is a good touch, and makes crossover assembly extremely simple.

Everyone, please continue to post on your progress! I think a fair number of people jumped on this, and we should have more than a handful up and running before the weekend!
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post #26 of 68 Old 09-12-2017, 07:43 PM
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I've had my set or a little over a week now. I just finished the xcross overs, they need to be assembled and soldered to their PCB. They are also not bi-amp-able despite having dual binding posts. Though if someone figured out where to scratch of the traces and solder on speaker wire for the woofer, that would be a pretty cool straight forward mod.

The cabinets look very solid too. I don't have a set of calipers but some of the baffles look thicker than 3/4 MDF. Denser looking that Home Depot MDF that i've ever used too.
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post #27 of 68 Old 09-12-2017, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegetarianEater View Post
TuteTibiImperes can you confirm what you received?

Based on the shipped weight i'm pretty sure that kit is a pair of speakers, and though they call them powered the answered question on amazon states they are passive.
Chalk it up to bad Chinese translations. But I seems to be corrected on Amazon now.
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post #28 of 68 Old 09-12-2017, 08:57 PM
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Here are my completed xovers. First time I've soldered anything with even marginal precision so here is to hoping I didn't screw it up.

http://imgur.com/a/Amn8N
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post #29 of 68 Old 09-13-2017, 09:52 AM
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I'm eagerly awaiting mine today, and will hook it all up by this weekend. In all seriousness though, i may not hold onto these for long. I've way too many speakers, and picked these up on a whim. I'll most probably hook it up, finish them with some nice veneer, listen to it for sometime and sell it at cost
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post #30 of 68 Old 09-13-2017, 11:39 AM
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I just ran into my first anomaly with the DIY2.2 instructions. In the parts list the 1.5 Ohm resistor is listed as R1 and the 6.8 Ohm as R2.

However, in the photos of the finished crossover their location is reversed. The photo is both in the manual and in the Amazon product page shows the 1.5 Ohm in the R2 position and the 6.8 in R1. Sadly I am not knowledgeable enough to analyze the circuit.

It would be odd for HiVi to photograph an incorrectly assembled crossover. So, go with the photo right?
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