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New to DIY, want to build the cleanest, high fidelity speakers and subwoofers for about $1000 each

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Dear Folks,

I've been posting in the "manufactured" forums for a while now and have finally crossed over to the DIY realm. Things are different here as they ought to be and crossing over was not easy. I know I need to learn quite a bit in all matters of sound, electrical and electronics, from fellow enthusiasts.

I need your help to finalize the components needed for a DIY 5.1ch Home-theater with Active speakers and subwoofers with Home-theater PC.
I'm looking for help finalizing all components: Amps, active crossovers, tweeters, woofers, sub-woofer drivers, Sound card

The commercial brand I will be comparing to for specs and performance are as below:
For speakers: Genelec 8260, 8040 (G Four) or the Focal CMS65
For subwoofers: Genelec 7060 or 7070, KK DXD808, Martin Logan Depth i, Vandersteen V2W, PSA Triax, Seaton SubM, Acoustic Energy Pro-Sub

Now to the requirements: its probably best if I start with the Location and WAF:

Location: I'm an American expat based in Bangalore, India and that means, in general fewer options/availability for everything... to consider and there is no "used" market to speak of and imported things in general cost nearly double here compared to the base US prices.
WAF: "Any darned thing which is...Not too big, Not too loud. Not too ugly."

1. Budget: $800 to $1000 (base USD prices before taxes, shipping etc) per speaker. I will also have to add about 70% on top of the base price for duty, shipping ,VAT etc to arrive at my final cost.

2. Size requirements/limits: The speakers need to be about the size of standard bookshelf speakers. The subwoofers should be about 18" W x 18" D x 30" H. For driver size - I'm thinking a 1" tweeter, 6.5" woofer (freq response down to 50Hz) for the speakers and a 10" or 12" for the sub should be sufficient - should have freq response down to 20 hz. with low distortion - accuracy/transparency is my most important criterion.

3. Room dimensions: The apartment layout is attached 4BHK layout.jpg 775k .jpg file : The Living/Dining hall: 25' x 18' - part of which will be used as the HT/ listening area (about 18’ x 16’) open to the Dining area (18’ x 9’), ceiling height of 10’, flooring is polished marble, walls are brick with cement plaster. I should go with sufficient head-room but not so much as to be overwhelming... the sound needs to be contained as far as possible to the Home theater area and not spill over to anywhere else and especially not the neighbors.

4. Primary uses: Usage will be about 70% music - 30% movies. All videos (avi, mp4, mpg, mkv, divx etc) and music (mp3) files are on hard-disk and will be played via VLC player on the PC, all the speakers will be directly connected to the 5.1ch sound card on the PC using XLR (if available) or through RCA-XLR jack).

5. Listening habits: I do not plan on playing it with blow me off my seats loudness (except may be when the wife is away) but just a set that is accurate/ transparent, without rattling and unwanted vibrations etc...

6. Appearance requirements: I may consider, Aluminum, Brass, MDF, GRP for the cabinets. It need not be super compact or sleek - so as to not compromise price or performance. I'm considering ported designs for the speakers and sealed/ported designs for the sub.

7. My goal is not loudness or SPL but the most high-fidelity system that one could do in a DIY, 0 baffle resonance, driver giving all the SPL and not the cabinets rattling, no coloration in the Low Frequency, and also power efficient ...

8. Power supply should be detachable cords, international 100-240V, surge protection

9. Will need to have auto-input signal sensing power on, level controls etc, bass treble controls, high pass, low pass filters as applicable, clipping controls

10. Design considerations: I will be looking to do the 2 way speakers as a coaxial with the cabinet a spiral port baffle like the old gramophone player horns.

I would like to know the "Best" components out there.. not just "very good or excellent", low distortion, low waste due to heat or noise, the best for accuracy/transparenc ,etc...(loudness and earth moving ability is not a criterion for me) - the drivers and tweeters have to have some studio cred and audiophile/pro/musician cred if possible...

Apart from Peerless India - I don't know of any other reputed local driver manufacturers - the tweeters and drivers need to have been made in USA/Canada/EU/Aus/Nz/Japan.
Amps and other electronics - preferably Taiwan but China is also fine...


Thanks in advance for all responses...
post #2 of 6
Have you priced up the suggestions made to you in your other threads on here and AVF and DB?
post #3 of 6
That's a tall order.

With all that marble and brick, I'd suggest you look into some acoustical treatments.
Pictureframes hidden as absorbers and diffusers etc.

I'd also recommend 1" MDF with bracing and a wood outer shell to make it look pretty.

The "best" sound quality subwoofer is a TC LMS-18.
You should look into the speakerpower amps as they are silent and compact, good WAF.

The DCX as an active solution has a uni power supply, you will need two of them (or more, active is expensive).

5.1 x $1000 = $6000 for speakers.
Edited by BassThatHz - 8/26/13 at 2:09pm
post #4 of 6
Imagine this will be available in India, jbl w15gti, jl13w7, or alpine 1522. Put those in the biggest size box you can( <4cu)seal. Now power them with an proamp of your choice 1000w/channel. Get a minds to eq the bass to your taste. I know those are car sub but they are some of the best sound quality regardless for home or car when eq'ed with a minidsp. Those are the highest price/performance ratio that are easily obtain internationally. Kits are from Madisound.com
Meniscusaudio and creative sound solution have many world class kits.
post #5 of 6
JL is available from what i understand. I would look at getting as much stuff as you can from India. These guys are located in India. http://diyaudiocart.com/
post #6 of 6
For the speakers, look for the USHER Audio Kits at Parts Express. Usher Audio is well regarded in the DIY audio crowd and is made in Taiwan. Usher audio also makes fully built speakers and they look fabulous !!!. Usher Audio crossovers is designed/tweaked by the legendry D'Appolito

Have you heard of ARN ?
http://www.arnsystems.com/residential_audio.html

For subwoofers look into Peerless drivers, Specifically the XLS series.

Another option for you is to look for another English forum based in India, this might give you ideas on what is available locally to the DIY crowd
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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › DIY Speakers and Subs › New to DIY, want to build the cleanest, high fidelity speakers and subwoofers for about $1000 each