Very High Quality DIY speakers anywhere? - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 09:53 AM
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I for one have certainly been inspired by this thread, and am about a quarter of the way through the project. I would not have considered this project had it not been for the many and varied posts made by so many thoughtful contributors, and truthfully, it was Joe's well documented project that really pushed me in this direction. I was originally considering some Infiniti or Polk speakers, but was attracted to the idea of not only building somethiing myself (I'm a die hard DIY Linux geek), but being able to surpass in quality what my budget would have originally allowed for, which was roughly $1K. That doesn't allow for very much when you're talking commercial speakers, but when you switch that money over to just parts for a kit like the Audax, it more or less amplifies your spending power.

For anyone coming in new to this thread, I'm planning on doing up some kind of FAQ for the Audax kit by incorporating alot of what has already been written by others with a lot of connecting stuff so that a complete neophite like myself will be able to do most of this stuff without hopefully having to ask too many questions.

As for where to start, although Joe did his center channel first, I'm doing mine in reverse by doing the rear surrounds. My thinking is that they're smaller, "easier", and any cosmetic boo-boos I make are less likely to be noticed since they're in the rear of the room as opposed to the center which is, well, front and center!

As for amps, I use a Denon 1803 which suits my purposes just fine. I know there are vastly more complicated and or "higher quality" amps out there, but I honestly wonder what advantage I would gain by going beyond a $500 integrated reciever/amp when I have such a relatively modest sized room (15x15), and no needs beyond a standard 5.1/6.1 speaker setup. But that's just me of course. Your mileage may vary (and budget).

- John
john @ Akento dot com
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post #452 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 08:05 PM
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John,
I also have a Denon 1803. I've thought about upgrading it but I'd have to go to a 3803 to get significantly better and I believe they are over $1k. The 1803 is plenty for my system and has a lot nice features for the money.

I built the sonosub first, then the center, then the fronts.
Jeff

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post #453 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 08:30 PM
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Jeff, if you look around.
You can get the Denon 3803 for $850 or maybe even a bit less from a authorized Denon dealer. Retail on them is $1199, but many are selling them for in the mid $800 range. As I was quoted $850 for one, and with no haggling at all even. Right after just walking into my local Denon dealer for the first time.
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post #454 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 08:37 PM
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I'm thinking of my own design for the center using a box just about the same as the Audax...the 3 way design seems to solve a few problems with laying a speaker on it's side..

For the Woofers...2 Hi-Val F's..6 inch woofers....very smooth...

1 TC08SD49-08 Vifa shielded midbass. This looks to be decient for the 3 and a half inch size....

And a Vifa XT25TG30-04 tweeter...this gets some decient reviews around the net for the money..

I bought software for working out the crossovers and the box but I'll still need to spend eternity figuring it all out..
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post #455 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 09:55 PM
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I've been lurking here for quite a while now, and am currently building the Audax center speaker (thanks to all the great info in this thread!) I just got my kit from Madisound today, and have a couple simple (probably dumb) questions about wiring the crossovers.
- For the sub-enclosure, did you just drill a hole for the wires, and use some silicone sealant or GOOP to plug the hole?
- For the crossovers, I'm assuming that I just run separate wires from each crossover to the binding posts. So there will be 3 wires coming off each post... is that right?

Thanks again for all the help and great reading material! This project has been a lot of fun, and I can't wait to hear it when it's done! (I'm almost done with the box construction, I just need to rabbit the holes for flush mounting the drivers, find a 3/4" roundover bit for the front edges, and glue the front and top panels on...)

-aaron
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post #456 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 10:45 PM
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aaron,
Quote:


For the sub-enclosure, did you just drill a hole for the wires, and use some silicone sealant or GOOP to plug the hole?

You have it exactly right. I actually mounted the tweeter crossover in the bottom of the midrange sub-enclosure, drilled a small hole through the back, and sealed the wires to the terminal cup and to the midrange crossover in it with caulking compound. I used the same caulking compound along all the seams of the sub-enclosure to make it air tight. I had mounted the midrange crossover on the bottom of the enclosure behind one of the woofers. A wire from it also had to be fed into the sub-enclosure to feed the midrange driver.

I put plenty of glue on the top edge of the sub-enclosure prior to gluing on the top of the cabinet and sealed it from the inside with more caulk by reaching in through the driver opening.

Quote:


For the crossovers, I'm assuming that I just run separate wires from each crossover to the binding posts. So there will be 3 wires coming off each post... is that right?

Exactly. The terminal cup on the rear of the enclosure will have three sets of wires attached to it, one from each of the three crossover boards. Make sure you keep track of "polarity" of the wires. Mine had one wire tinned and the other bare copper. I designated the copper one for use as the positive polarity lead. That way, even after running all three wires, I could attach all three copper wires to the red terminal cup post and all three tinned (silver colored) wires to the black post.

I'm honored... your first post was addressed to this thread.. Welcome to the DIY speaker ranks. I doubt you will be disappointed with the results.

Joe L.
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post #457 of 2588 Old 08-05-2003, 10:49 PM
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downhill,

You might try entering in the Audax HT crossover and drivers into your CAD program to get a feel how it works. Then, work with it on your own design with your drivers.

Basically, you want the crossover points well within the range of each driver and to get the output level of each driver matched. Typically, tweeters are more sensitive and need to be padded to reduce their output relative to the midrange and woofer.

Good luck.

Joe L.
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post #458 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 02:00 AM
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Thanks for the info J. L. ...and that I do understand. As well as reading a few simple graphs....And I can wire my own crossovers without any problems.....

Even though them speakers get good reviews....as a lot of different DIY's already know........

I won't know anything till I assemble everything and try it..

If anyone's interested, I could post a preliminary drawing of the crossovers...
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post #459 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 02:17 AM
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downhill


I'm more curious as to what software you have for doing the crossover specs, and how well it works as the end result.

As the entire crossover thing, and the different ways it can be done, has me puzzled. As there are a few new Dayton speakers, that parts express just came out with, that I'd like to see how they would match up with some others. But the crossover thing has me stumped. Because I know it's more than just the speakers "specs" that have to be taken into account when you try to come up with a crossover for it. As that is where the crossover "tweaking" comes in, and that is where I also start to get even more lost on the subject, than I was before.
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post #460 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 03:56 AM
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Hi Folks

Greetings from Bangalore, India.

I too am in the final stages of the Audax Main L-R having completed the Centre channel. I have been bitten bythe DIY speakers for many years now, having completed two speaker systems-one is an AriaR designed by the same designer Joe D'Appolito-it uses Raven R1 tweeters and Focal mids in an MTM design, similar to the Main L-R of the Audax HT system. The other system is a 2-way using Scanspeak drivers. Also two powered DIY subs, one sealed and the other uses a passive radiator.

DIY is the way to go, the commercial mfrs cant afford to go our way.

George
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post #461 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 04:37 AM
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Johnla,

Once you get a basic crossover designed (crossover points and relative amplitude), you can add things like:

baffle step compensation
This compensates for the fact that frequencies whose wavelength is less than the width of your front baffle get a boost in amplitude from being reflected off of the baffle toward the listener. Longer wavelengths will be several dB down. The baffle step compensation network attempts to compensate for this.

notch filters
A notch filter attempts to correct for a specific peak (or dip) in the frequency response of a driver.

zobel network
This network attempts to flatten the impedance of the entire speaker system as seen by the amplifier to make it easier to drive. (lots of amplifiers do not like very low impedances)

Now you know why I decided on a proven design. I wanted to concentrate on the physical construction and not worry about the design. I know I could have done it, especially with the help and support of others on the web. Consider this... I started on the Audax HT series last September... Imagine how long I might have taken if I also had to design, test, and tweak the crossovers. As it was it took me nearly 10 months.

George,
I'v never heard the R1 tweeters but expect they would sound great. Sounds like more DIY speakers will be in your future.

Joe L
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post #462 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 03:16 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by J. L.
Johnla,

Once you get a basic crossover designed
d on a proven design.
I wanted to concentrate on the physical construction and not worry about the design. I know I could have done it, especially with the help and support of others on the web. Consider this... I started on the Audax HT series last September... Imagine how long I might have taken if I also had to design, test, and tweak the crossovers. As it was it took me nearly 10 months.

Joe
I do understand why you did it that way, as did I with what I bought. As it included the crossover design with it. But I also know it could possibly be done better. If you look here at North Creek, you can see they offer some improved/revised crossovers for some mighty fine higher end speakers that have been made. And even in some of the places I seen for DIY, you see mention that they are always "playing" with their crossovers to find a better sound for what they have made.

http://www.northcreekmusic.com/Stage/StageCrossover.htm

http://www.northcreekmusic.com/801web.html

http://www.northcreekmusic.com/LoudspeakerProjects.html

http://www.northcreekmusic.com/ArielFAQ.html
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post #463 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 04:10 PM
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Hi Andrikos.

Well in all my searching so far, I have even found places that show you how to make speaker enclosures using concrete. So marble should work very well, if not way better than concrete does.
And one thing is for sure, they could look damn nice in the process in using that material for speakers!
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post #464 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 05:34 PM
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I noticed that you guys have been using 2" eggcrate foam inside your speakers... would I lose anything by using 2 layers of the thin foam provided my Madisound?
(I haven't found any of the normal 2" eggcrate stuff locally yet, they all seem to be thinner, with "fancy" patterns, etc. I guess I could try 1 layer of the flat foam glued to 1 layer of thin eggcrate foam)

-aaron
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post #465 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 06:27 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by selmerakt
I noticed that you guys have been using 2" eggcrate foam inside your speakers... would I lose anything by using 2 layers of the thin foam provided my Madisound?
(I haven't found any of the normal 2" eggcrate stuff locally yet, they all seem to be thinner, with "fancy" patterns, etc. I guess I could try 1 layer of the flat foam glued to 1 layer of thin eggcrate foam)

-aaron

Try looking in a Sears or a Wal-Mart for one of those foam mattress pads they sell. Most of them are under $30, and some are also made of the egg-crate pattern as well.
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post #466 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 06:41 PM
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Wal-Mart has the stuff in the Bedding Dept. It will probably be pink and they have all sizes. They are under $20. I bought mine there and once you open the package the pad will expand. Use 3M Super 77 glue to hold it.
jeff

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post #467 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 07:08 PM
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Johnla


You ask about the software for crossovers. I'm using HarrisTech's X-Over Pro and BassBox 6 Combo software.

You can find it at Parts Express..

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=11110&DID=7

And the PDF for more info..

http://www.partsexpress.com/pdf/500-927.pdf
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post #468 of 2588 Old 08-06-2003, 07:25 PM
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Wooooo. All of a sudden after seeing the price of it.
I'm not as curious about it as much now, as I was before...
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post #469 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 01:00 AM
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OK

This is a question that maybe someone here can answer.

If you were to look at these two graphs for two different mid/woofs. What do they suggest to tell you about the speaker itself as far as a guess to it's spec'd sound qualities.

One speaker is a 7" aluminum cone, and the other is a 6 1/2" pressure treated paper cone.
Both speakers are within $4 of Price of each other.

Here is the graphs for the 6 1/2" speaker.
http://www.partsexpress.com/pdf/295-305.pdf

And here are the ones for the 7" speaker.
http://www.partsexpress.com/pdf/295-335g.pdf


What I'm trying to do here, is understand how the specs on a graph for a speaker. MAY translate into how it somewhat sounds. What I'd like to do is try to figure out by the specs, what a speaker MAY sound like, compared to others.
In other words, if you have the "specs" for what is considered a proven and good sounding speaker, you should be able to use those specs somewhat as a baseline for comparison of other the speakers that are in that type and size range.
I know it can not replace how they actually sound to a person in a comparison of their sound qualities. But I'm wondering if the specs alone would hopefully get you in the ballpark of how they might sound in comparison.

For example, that particular 6 1/2" speaker, has gotten some very favorable reviews, and there are quite a few people that have provided designs for using them. Now if I were to consider the 7" speaker, to be used in those designs as a alternative to the 6 1/2", what do those graphs and specs tend to tell me that will be different about it if I were to do so?
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post #470 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 01:50 AM
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I'm a novice and by no means an authority - but basicaly my understanding and what I will be looking for is a frequency curve as flat as possible over the range I am interested in. If two way then you are looking at 80-100 through to 3-5K for a mid-woofer and 3-5k to 20K+ for a tweeter and if a 3 way then something that slots in the middle with the tweeter coming in about 8-10k

David L
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post #471 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 02:20 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Wombat2
I'm a novice and by no means an authority - but basicaly my understanding and what I will be looking for is a frequency curve as flat as possible over the range I am interested in. If two way then you are looking at 80-100 through to 3-5K for a mid-woofer and 3-5k to 20K+ for a tweeter and if a 3 way then something that slots in the middle with the tweeter coming in about 8-10k

David L

No, that's not what I meant by the above post I made.
It was not for looking for crossovers, or how to determine the crossovers for them.
What I was looking for, is to use it as a way to compare one speaker to another somewhat. Just by using their specs and graphs.
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post #472 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 02:32 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Johnla
For example, that particular 6 1/2" speaker, has gotten some very favorable reviews, and there are quite a few people that have provided designs for using them. Now if I were to consider the 7" speaker, to be used in those designs as a alternative to the 6 1/2", what do those graphs and specs tend to tell me that will be different about it if I were to do so?

The best way is probably to download a copy of WinISD, enter both drivers into its database, and model them. This won't tell you much about how they sound, though it will demonstrate why you shouldn't modify one aspect of a design unless you understand the design in its entirety.

If you swap out the 6.5" for the 7" alum you will not be happy. In the same sized box with the same size/length vent the 7" will show a noticable rise in response centered around 80Hz. If the crossover has any impedence compensation things could get really ugly.

The 7" alum starts to break up lower in frequency, too. In a two way with the crossover over 2K you will start to have problems.

Regarding JL's comment regarding Notch Filters being used for dips -- not a good idea. Same applies to using EQ to compensate for a dip. There is a bit of talk on Madisound about this at the moment.
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post #473 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 04:34 AM
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Teran,

I'll be the first one to admit that I have never designed a crossover. Nor have I ever specified drivers for a loudspeaker. I can only respond by repeating some of what I have read... applying a little of what I know...

I'll agree that using drivers that do not require special equalization or compensation in the crossover is a far better approach to loudspeaker design. Unfortunately, budget or surplus drivers available from Parts Express, MCM, Madisound, etc. are not always perfect.

The only reason I mentioned a notch filter was that the Audax HT uses one in one of its crossovers.

You mentioned "break-up" at certain frequencies. Sometimes, "waterfall" charts are available for drivers that show how they react when presented with pulses of sound. In a perfect speaker, the entire cone would move and stop instantly. In the real world, they do not. In a perfect world it would be weightless and have no inertia. In the real world, the cone does not move all at once and instantly. The "waterfall" charts can give some insight into how a driver will react within a given frequency range.

Since no driver is perfect, it gets pretty complicated. Can you predict what a driver will sound like by looking at the charts? No... But you can also eliminate many drivers from consideration if they exhibit characteristics in the frequency response or waterfall charts (within the target frequency range) that you do not desire.

All this said, many inexpensive speakers have no more than a single capacitor in line with the tweeter and run the woofer full range. Even I can figure out that the designer spent little or no time looking at the resulting frequency response... yet they are still in the market and still make many happy with their sound.

I do appreciate you pointing out to Johnla how the different drivers react when modeled in your CAD program. For many of us beginners, it helps to know what to look for when evaluating a driver and comparing it to others under consideration. Clearly, you have some experience in doing this. Thanks...

I'll repeat what I originally said... I wanted to concentrate on physical construction. That is why I chose a proven, professional design for my DIY HT speakers. It can get pretty complicated.

Joe L.
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post #474 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 11:53 AM
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Teran

Thanks, you are pretty much on the right track as to what info I was looking for. Now if I could just understand those graphs myself, it would be even better...
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post #475 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 02:19 PM
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JL, I hope I didn't come across as a know-it-all because I certainly don't. But, alas, I probably did.

If you do a search you'll probably find a really lousy center channel speaker I wanted to build two years ago. Several people jumped in and told me I needed to learn quite a bit before I took on a from-scratch project. They were more than right. Thanks again to Mark Seaton! That young man not only knows a lot, but is good at making the knowledge he shares understandable.
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post #476 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 02:21 PM
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Johnla,
Boards like Madisound and the Parts Express board are good places to lurk if you want to understand the basics of speaker design. Be prepared to take on a new hobby, though!

My own path began with the purchase of several drivers and an active crossover, the building of test enclosures, and a lot of fiddling and listening.

Based on my endeavors with those drivers I had the start of a basis for comparison to what everyone else was talking about. It left me a long way from being able to build a speaker, though. Building a kit for a friend and another proven design for another friend also gave me a benchmark to judge my efforts against. Next up was getting the necessary design software and measurement setup. With this I was finally ready to work with passive crossovers.

In all, I spent more money than I would have spent by building Linkwitz's Orions without ever building a speaker that sounded near as nice.

PE and Madisound often sponsor DIY events where people meet and show off their designs. I haven't yet been able to attend, but would suggest going to one of these to anyone interested in building their own design or modifying an existing design. They have them in Texas, DC, Ohio, Iowa, and many other places across the country.
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post #477 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 03:01 PM
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Teran,
Although it wasn't directed at me I read your post and you didn't come across as a know-it-all.

Group,
The speakers are coming along nicely, I've had a few router problems (due to my lack of skill), but all's well. No doubt I'll run into questions soon enough.

Matt
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post #478 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 04:13 PM
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Matt,
Have you taken any photos? I'm going to keep a file with all these diy photos and put them on my site when I get my theater remodel complete.
jeff

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post #479 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 04:25 PM
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Joe,
Since you now have nice speakers and a Barco 1208, I have to ask: Have you done any acoustical treatments to your room? I go back and forth on that one all the time. My front wall and side walls out 30" to my screen and speakers will be properly deadened with Homasote. It's $18/4x8 sheet at HD and that's just too expensive. The rest of my room currently has acoustic panels at the reflection points and will have shelves between two columns at the rear for some diffusion. My room is small enough that I could do the treatment with fabric for less than $1000. But, I'll still have a HT that is in a basement rec room and not totally dedicated space. The two columns in the rear with shelves also acts as a room divider.
jeff

jeff

What we have heah...is a failya...to communicate.
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post #480 of 2588 Old 08-07-2003, 04:38 PM
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Teran

First just let me say, I do understand what you are trying to say, even though it may not appear that way.
So don't even think, that I do not appreciate any input, suggestions or comments that you might have. As I do appreciate them, as that is why I look and ask the questions in the first place.

I've had so many "hobbies" over the years, that I've lost count of all of them....
Some I have stayed with, others I have not. And I'll be the first to admit, that more than one or two of them ended up as being nothing more than a passing fad for me. And never really ended up at all, as being a hobby for me. Some you might say, ended up being a waste of time. But I look at it this way. No matter if I stayed with it or not, I have learned something from every project or hobby that I have decided to try. From some, I learned I should not have tried it. But hey, I did learn something from it at least..

I'm the kinda person who just jumps into things sometimes, just for the heck of it. Even though there are easier routes to follow. I like to tinker, just to see what happens when you do things. I guess this comes from being a mechanic. Which is probably why I own so many tools, and yes many woodworking tools as well. Even though some of them get very little use, and others even no use yet...
But when it comes to a project that needs a certain tool, I'll just buy it, even if I know I may only use it once or twice, as I hate to borrow others tools. I guess that part comes from being a mechanic also....

So now this brings me to this speaker building thing. For me now it just looks like a fun thing to do. And what I have decided I want to do, and in fact have ordered what I need to do this. Is build a MTM cabinet with a removable front baffle, that I will seal with some form of weather stripping. This way I can make a few removable front baffle plates, so I can try some various things out, such as MTM, TMM and maybe TMW setups, to see what they end up doing. And by using drivers that are for the most part $35 or less, I will make only one "test" design, when I wish to try out something, and not a pair, as to keep the cost of drivers down. Unless it really seems to stand out as being good, then a second one would be needed as the final test. So yeah, I may end up with a stack of unused drivers in time, which is why all the high end/high priced drivers are not even being considered at all.
My end result I hope, then will result in a tower floor standing pair, that may be of the MTM or the TMM or even possibly a TMW design. I'm looking to make the front pair good enough in sound on music, that I can use them to replace my Klipsch LaScala's that I now have and use for music. As I really need something that ends up taking la lot less floor space than the LaScala's take, which is the only reason I even want to replace them
YEAH I know! Making something to replace those Klipsch's is a tall order. But I think I may be able to do it.
My other desire is to make a "clone" of the Carver Amazing III's, as I'm still kicking myself for not buying a new pair of them for $650, back when Circuit City was dropping the brand, and Carver was going under. Now a set of replacement ribbons alone for them, go for $1200 for a pair.
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