Originally Posted by granroth
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.
Originally Posted by granroth
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/Edited by Porthos01 - 12/21/13 at 9:01pm