or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › A/V Control & Automation › Tweaks and Do-It-Yourself › Very High Quality DIY speakers anywhere?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Very High Quality DIY speakers anywhere? - Page 2

post #31 of 2588
thats cool.. i like it.. and also love the whole 100" plus screen.. got to love proj. its good that you used a system that already has the speakers and box designed around it.. most people make the mistake though thinking all you have to do is cut a couple peices of wood and slap it together.. that is pretty much fine with a sub but when it comes to full range that is the hard part.. also imaging.. one reason i wold def buy matched speakers outside of the sub which ill build. but who knows maybe ill get a wild hair and try my hand at building some loudspeakers.. ;-)
post #32 of 2588
Very nice job, J.L.

The gloss is fine, from what I can make out of the picture. It's elegant.

'Shame we can't hear it!
post #33 of 2588
J.L.

Excellent work on the Audax Center. I went the opposite route and built the L/R speakers first. I now notice how inferior my Sony center is compared to what I built. I am going to be building the center channel after Xmas along with a Sono Shiva.

After seeing your center I am going to rebuild the cabinets for my mains as they were my first attempt at woodworking and they are really ugly.
post #34 of 2588
J.L.

Excellent work on the Audax Center. I went the opposite route and built the L/R speakers first. I now notice how inferior my Sony center is compared to what I built. I am going to be building the center channel after Xmas along with a Sono Shiva.

After seeing your center I am going to rebuild the cabinets for my mains as they were my first attempt at woodworking and they are really ugly.
post #35 of 2588
darthopus,

I'm sorry you have been influenced by my center speaker's appearance to want to re-build your Left/Right speakers. I'm sure they sound wonderful. I have no doubt that they outperform your existing center channel.

Can you share your experiences with the L/R construction? Is there anything I should look out for?

What do you plan to do differently when you re-build?

The Audax center was my first attempt at veneering and finish cabinetry type woodworking. I expect that the others I build will look better than my center speaker, but... I do not plan on re-building it.

My secret was to veneer the back of the cabinet first (to make the mistakes where they would show the least) then to do the sides, and finally the front, top, and bottom (most visible). By the time I got to the front, I was getting much better at trimming the veneer.

Joe L.
post #36 of 2588
One thing you should look out for is that the crossover diagram is incorrect on the Audax site. eI believe it's the low pass crossover. Wayne J from Speakerbuiler.net had a corrected version on his site. I built the crossover according to his diagram and they sound wonderful. I can send you the diagram, but it's not in my laptop. I have to get my desktop hooked up again. (I will be glad when escrow closes and my new house is done!)

If I do end up rebuilding them, I am going to use a makeshift guide for making straight cuts. My wife likes to watch "Trading Spaces" and the carpenter used a 3' level clamped to the board as a straight edge. The only thing really wrong with my speakers is that the cuts aren't reall straight. everything is air tight though.

email me if you want that diagram. I believe speakerbuilder.net is down for a while.

later,

Don
dgoreham@attbi.com
post #37 of 2588
I can heartily recommend at least one DIY route - the Phoenix/Orions designed by Seigfried Linkwitz of crossover and Audio Artistry fame. I have just built some test baffles for a modified version of his speakers and so far they appear to sound better than my Wilson WATTs. Construction is also a piece of cake as there are no boxes.

The site is here:

www.linkwitzlab.com

It's early days yet so I'll see how extended listening goes, but they are very nice so far.

Steve
post #38 of 2588
darthopus,

Thanks for the heads-up about the misleading crossover drawing on the Audax web-site for their L/R Home Theater speakers. With as many people that have commented, I wonder why it has not been corrected. (anybody ever tell them it is wrong?)

Actually, the schematic of the crossover on the Audax site is correct, but their pictorial drawing of the low pass filter for the L/R speakers has an extra wire shorting part of the crossover. It is incorrect.

In any case, madisound.com assembles the crossovers and supplies them already assembled when you purchase their kit of parts for the Audax speakers. Therefore, I did not have to worry. (I did check, they assembled the crossover correctly)

Joe L.
post #39 of 2588
Another place to check for DIY speakers is at the Asylum:

http://www.audioasylum.com/index.html

It is a great place for information on everything about audio.
post #40 of 2588
J.L.,

Wayne J from speakerbuilder.net has informed Audax several times about the incorrect schematic and they apparently aren't too concerned about it.

It's fortunate that I heard about the Audax speakers from Wayne J's site and saw his corrected diagram. Otherwise I would probably have been been soured on the whole DIY experience and been forced to buy lesser quality speakers. Being broke sucks!!!

It's good that the crossovers from Madisound are done for you as it took me about several hours of learing how to assemble and read a crossover diagram. Thanks Wayne J! I hope his site goes live again real soon as it was a wonderful resource for the DIY'er.

Enjoy your new speakers. I am in the process of going through escrow and will have to remove my surrounds and the wire for my subwoofer from under the house. LOTR EE and Ep. 2 are my last HT experiences until my new house is finished in February. I know my parents( whom I will be living with for two months) will not allow the subwoofer and surrounds to ruin their decor. Can you believe that? At least they are tolerating the 65" Mits!

The upside is that it will give me time to rebuild the mains, build the center channel, and build the sonosub without rushing the job because I'm impatient and just want to hear them.
post #41 of 2588
I used to be the sole proprietor of Masterpiece Speakerworks, a small loudspeaker company in the SF Bay Area. After a couple of years, I closed up shop, though, because nothing I could engineer could ever sound as sweet (to my ears) as a good planar-magnetic (e.g. Magneplanars, which I currently own) or full-range ribbon (e.g. Apogee) (And, yes, Virginaia, though it pains me to say it, even the Carver "Amazing Loudspeaker" kicks the @ss of any cone-based or electrostatic speaker - at least to my ears.)

That said, the only dynamic/cone-based speakers that I could never out-engineer were those designed by Mike Dzurko at Audio Concepts. Dzurko's brilliance at subwoofer design outshines anyone - with all due apologies to Velodyne owners. (WHEW! Opening myself up for LOTS of flames on THIS post! *LOL*)

Now, when you say, "Very High Quality", you could mean a lot of different things, because "quality" is, itself, highly subjective. Perhaps you want to build speakers that sound "as good as Bose"... but for the sake of this post, I'll use my own standard of "Very High Quality".

You also make no mention of price/cost - you may be looking toward kits because of budget constraints, but then again you may also just want the pleasure of crafting your own speakers. I'll make no assumptions there.

Mike Dzurko's Jaguars are truly exceptional. Unfortunately, I believe Audio Concepts may have stopped offering them in kit form (though you may be able to work something out with Mike.) Beyond that, numerous good-to-very good kits are available from Solen Electronique, Madisound. (I've had dealings with both and have always found the folks at Madisound to be tremendously pleasant and helpful.)

Though I'm not a big fan of Audax drivers (Eton, ScanSpeak, Focal, and Dynaudio - in that order - would be my choices), J. L. does have the right idea - D'Appolito's MTM design, (which has its own compromises from a pure audio standpoint) is an excellent choice for HT due to its off-axis response. I'm not sure how well it lends itself to a bi-pole design for rear channels, though. If anyone out there is currently using an MTM bi-pole for the rears, please post your comments. I'm genuinely interested.
post #42 of 2588
From what I understand, Dynaudio do not offer their driver for the DIY market anymore, since they are now making their own speakers in mass quantities. I may talk to the Dynaudio reps at CES about it though.
post #43 of 2588
Quote:


I used to be the sole proprietor of Masterpiece Speakerworks, a small loudspeaker company in the SF Bay Area. After a couple of years, I closed up shop, though, because nothing I could engineer could ever sound as sweet (to my ears) as a good planar-magnetic (e.g. Magneplanars, which I currently own) or full-range ribbon (e.g. Apogee) (And, yes, Virginaia, though it pains me to say it, even the Carver "Amazing Loudspeaker" kicks the @ss of any cone-based or electrostatic speaker - at least to my ears.)

I completely agree with you. I am currently getting into building speakers and yet I don't think I will come anywhere close to matching my quite little $500 Magnepan MMG's. Those things are amazing and considering the price and the fact that there commercially made, I feel like I ripped off Magnepan. I have a pair of $250 B&W DM302's and the difference in quality of parts used and quality of sound of the maggies is far more than double. At the same time it makes me think that building speakers would be a waste if there never better than what I have to begin with, yet at the same time I don't want to surpass my maggies cause there so dear to my heart.

And to think it was just fate that I was walking through Incredible Universe like 6 years ago and saw the Amazings they had on display and saw the $2000 price tag and said ouch, then the rep guy told me to about a company that sold these weird speakers called magne-something-or-other.


Oh and that guy on the first page that said DIY stuff will never equal mass market stuff, I guarantee I could make something better than the DM302's with $250, even if I had to build a couple boxes. The 50 cent caps and iron core inductors alone make quite a difference.
post #44 of 2588
Also did you see that partsexpress is now selling the Amazing's ribbon assembly, but at ~$400 each, you may end up spending as much making them as they cost new. Although the box on that thing was pretty simple. Hmmmmm....maybe someday........
post #45 of 2588
I cannot comment on this threads originator's motives in looking for DIY plans of "very high quality" loudspeakers, I can describe mine.

I am not an audio engineer, or a professional woodworker, but tackled the project for three reasons..

1. I did a lot of reading and learned that the Audax design was considered pretty decent. (Joe D'Appolito designed the set of Home-Theater speakers) Since I was following a set of plans, I did not have to design the crossover, etc. Instead, I could concentrate on the physical construction.

2. I enjoy building things... electronics and computers mostly, but have done some projects where I used a saw, hammer, sandpaper, and varnish.

3. I learned I could save quite a bit of money by building the speakers myself and the result would be superior to anything I could purchase for the same amount as I would spend on materials. I expect to spend around $1000. Did I have a specific budget in mind? No... I wanted good sound. I was looking at speakers in the $2500 dollar range at a local home theater store before deciding on the DIY approach and their price tag did not cause my wife or I to get "sticker shock"

Since this was my first speaker project, I am not in a position to counter the anyone's claim that my project would sound worse than most commercially purchased (and professionally engineered) speakers. I personally doubt it.

If I had done a DIY design for the speaker, and if I did not have the resources of the web to support a first time design effort, then I would agree it is likely that my design would be lacking. My odds of picking good drivers, designing a good crossover, and getting the desired result would be slim. That is why I followed plans published by a respected loudspeaker designer.

I know my enclosure is solidly built and braced. I know I am not listening to a hollow box. I can tell you that the Audax Center Channel sounds pretty darn good, better than most I've seen at Circuit-City, Best-Buy, or Now-Audio. Voices are very clear and distinct. Equally important, they sound good anywhere in the room.

Is a "planar" style of speaker a good candidate as a "center channel?" Probably not. Too directional. True, they would sound absolutely wonderful if you were in the "sweet spot" and would blow away almost anything that did not have their transient and phase response... but are they a good candidate for a "center" channel... not in my situation where I have most of my seating off center. Would they work in my room as L/R speakers? No. Not enough room to space them alongside of the screen AND away from the walls.

Will most people who tackle a DIY set of Home Theater speakers have exactly the same reasons to undertake their project I did? I can't say. Will they share some of the reasons? Probably.

At this point, I have made quite a bit more sawdust. The L/R speakers are ready for glue. The panels are cut and holes for the drivers routed, and veneer ordered. I'll post pictures soon.

J. L.
post #46 of 2588
J.L.,

I decided on the Audax system for almost the same reasons you mentioned. I know I'm not experienced enough to design a crossover from scratch. I found this set on speakerbuilder.net. Wayne J had an awesome site dedicated to the DIY'er. I do have one question for you though. Are you building the suurounds as called out in the plans. I have decided to use the fronts as rears also. My reasoning is this: 1. Eventually (soon I hope), I want to get into SACD. 2. I want the fuller sound that I believe the larger fronts will give me. 3. Because I can!! I have the room, so why not? I have just moved, and haven't had time to get my garage together all the way yet. However, seeing your pics has inspired me to get moving! Thank You!! I will post pics as soon as I get my web page working again.

Griff
post #47 of 2588
J. L. - I REALLY hope I didn't belittle your undertaking or accomplishments in any way; that was certainly not my intent. I say, "Bravo!" to you for undertaking this, and "Good call!" as well.
Quote:


Originally posted by J. L.
I did a lot of reading and learned that the Audax design was considered pretty decent. (Joe D'Appolito designed the set of Home-Theater speakers)

D'Appolito's design is beyond decent - it is superior to most of what's commercially available - especially in the price range we're talking about here. I'm absolutely certain your end result will give you much, much pleasure. (But all things are relative, and once you've "tasted" Maggies, there's just no going back...)
Quote:


I learned I could save quite a bit of money by building the speakers myself and the result would be superior to anything I could purchase for the same amount as I would spend on materials.
. . .
Since this was my first speaker project, I am not in a position to counter the anyone's claim that my project would sound worse than most commercially purchased (and professionally engineered) speakers. I personally doubt it.

I not only doubt it, I am certain of it. The mark-up on speakers is obscene! Anyone who has ever sold speakers at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. can attest to the fact that the profit margin is 50% or higher. Then there's the fact that the retailer does not buy them from the manufacturer, but rather from a distributor (and there can be more than one level of middleman, too, each of whom marks up the price and takes a profit. The manufacturers, themselves, are making a good profit to begin with, and they have to pay for manufacturing equipment, labor, and design costs. So, with volume discounts on components, you can safely assume that those $1000 speakers at C-City represent < $100 worth of parts. Keep in mind, too, that until you get into the extreme high end, where cost is no object, manufacturers like Bose, Polk, Paradigm, etc. have the added business considerations of hitting a certain retail price-point, and they are forced to make compromises in order to meet them.

Even without having heard your speakers, I'd put your DIY D'Appolitos head-to-head against ANY commercially available speakers selling for twice the price!
Quote:


I can tell you that the Audax Center Channel sounds pretty darn good, better than most I've seen at Circuit-City, Best-Buy, or Now-Audio. Voices are very clear and distinct.

I can't imagine C-City selling anything that would surpass your DIY's unless it cost 4X as much, or more.
Quote:


Is a "planar" style of speaker a good candidate as a "center channel?" Probably not. Too directional.

That's exactly why the Maggie center channel speaker is curved. Is it a good choice? Absolutely. I don't want to hijack this post into an evangelism of Magneplanars, so I'll just post this link to a very thoughtful, interesting and well written review of Magnepan's home theater system and I'll leave it at that.
Quote:


Would they work in my room as L/R speakers? No. Not enough room to space them alongside of the screen AND away from the walls.

Well said, and that is precisely why Maggie's aren't for everybody. (But they are the only speaker for me. )

As to the merits of DIY speakers, if you're not going Maggie, it is (IMO) the *only* way to go...
post #48 of 2588
Quote:


Originally posted by westrock
Also did you see that partsexpress is now selling the Amazing's ribbon assembly, but at ~$400 each, you may end up spending as much making them as they cost new. Although the box on that thing was pretty simple. Hmmmmm....maybe someday........

No [fecal matter]?!?!? Can you post a link, please? I'm thinking a DIY center channel for my Maggies may be in my future!!! This is very exciting news - thanks!

DIY'ers take note - this merits serious consideration! Coupled with a very fast bass/mid-driver, (probably in an aperiodic or even an infinite baffle enlosure - I've had excellent luck in the past with fast midranges in backless, lightly stuffed sonotube enclosures) and reinforced by a good DIY sub (which is exceedingly easy to do - and do WELL), these ribbons, crossed over fairly low, would make a solid cornerstone of an incredible, virtually unbeateable no-holds-barred DIY 5, 6 or 7 channel system!

This really has me thinking... For years now, I've considered attempting a DIY planar-magnetic mid/bass driver... maybe the time has come. Geez, talk about "Very High Quality DIY speakers"... !!!
post #49 of 2588
post #50 of 2588
The ones I remember had about a 48" full-range ribbon... nothing like that at e-speakers.com. Went to partsexpress.com and searched for "ribbon" there, too - only found the Ravens - not what was in the C.A.L.'s
post #51 of 2588
ElvisIncognito,

I took no offense. In fact, I was pleased to see that Magnepan has an offering in their product line targeted toward the HT market. Unfortunately, they still would not work in my theater.... as I said, not enough room along side of the screen.

Now... If I ever decide to change out the L/R with full range ribbons, that might work. They are narrow enough to fit alongside the screen.

On the other hand, once I get the Audax HT speakers completed, I just might finish a pair of electrostatic speakers I started back in (embarrassed to say) 1977.

At that time I was a subscriber to "the Audio Amateur" and built stators for a pair of full range speakers that has been described in that magazine. The project got put on hold when I moved from an apartment to a house and I still have them in my closet, ready to be assembled.

These would then replace the pair of "Ohm Model F" speakers sitting unused in my living room whose foam surrounds have rotted. (I have not listened to them in years because of the foam rot) The DIY "High Quality Speakers" mode existed for me even back then, just not for HT use.

J. L.
post #52 of 2588
Hi ; The "Audio Amateur" excellent mag, been reading it since the late 70's

Elvis, I just checked Partsexpress's web and they must have stopped selling the big ribbons by B&G. They where there about 2 weeks ago when I checked, I was getting prices on them. I guess one could always call B&G and find out who is repping them. Thats how I found out that partexpress stocked them in the first place. Mind you that was about 6 months ago. The company name is bgcorp.com
post #53 of 2588
i built a set of speakers using all Focal drivers their tc120td5 tweeter, 7k6411 and 11k7512 and then used LEAP LMS and a few good sets of ears to come up with the crossovers
post #54 of 2588
Heres one of the B&G ribbons, this a 40 inch model, but in there (partsexpress) newest catalog in the B&G section there is a ribbon that specifically says its a replcement for the Amazings.

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=264-706
post #55 of 2588
Thanks, westrock - I just ordered the print catalog.
post #56 of 2588
Griff,

I have not yet started the rear surround speakers, but I have the drivers and crossovers already. I do plan on building them as soon as I finish the Left/Right Front speakers. I'm about half way through building them.

I started the L/R fronts by sitting down with the plans and re-engineering the dimensions slightly. I planned to double up on the front and rear panels and therefore wanted to adjust the depth and height to keep the speakers from extending too far past the screen.

I kept the internal volume of the enclosure the same as originally designed.
This resulted in a bit more than 4 inches of height added to the cabinet and them being 2 inches less deep (internally). The extra 1 1/2 inches added by the thicker front and rear panels result in the speakers having almost the same external depth as in the original design. Along side my 106 inch screen I had plenty of available height so the modified dimensions look well visually.

I made myself a plan showing how I would cut the required pieces from the 2x4 foot MDF panels I had purchased. It also showed how they would assemble.


Next step was to transfer those dimensions to the MDF. I used masking tape to mark the various pieces so I would know how the would assemble later.


I then cut and assembled the pieces with a few fine-threaded drywall screws. I used a homemade circle cutting jig to make the holes for the drivers with my router. To cut the panels, I first made a course cut with my circular saw and a straight-edge clamped to the MDF. This was within 1/4 inch of the final dimension. Then I clamped a piece of MDF to the true dimension required and used a flush trimming bit in my router to make the panel exactly the dimension I needed.

Here the speaker cabinets are fully assembled. Next step is to take them apart and re-assemble with glue and screws. (If I had enough clamps, I could skip the screws, but they allowed me to use the clamps as I needed during the assembly and then remove them once the additional screws were added.) I used a countersink and predrilled all the holes to keep the MDF from splitting.


Next will be to add the ports, the acoustic foam, the crossovers, and give them a test before I apply the veneer. Keep tuned for more pictures as I proceed.

J. L.
-------------
Raw MDF - Sawdust = L/R Front Speaker Enclosures.
post #57 of 2588
JL,
Most excellent thread on the Audax diy speakers. I was just looking at their site last night and put them on my short list along with Adire and GR Research. I'm also pretty handy but have never really built anything electronic from scratch. I like pre-assembled XOs.

I have recently listened to diy speakers from GR Rsch and Adire. IMHO, I don't think you can buy a comparable speaker for the $ that goes into building these. I think you'd have to spend ~$500+ more to equal them. I listened to a 15" sub that a guy built for his father for ~$400, and I know you'd have to spend $1500 or more to equal it. OTOH, I have a set of Energy Take 5 speakers with the Energy sub for which I paid <$900. That was several years ago and at that time no small store-bought speaker that I listened to could compare for the same money. I guess it all comes down to what you're willing to spend.

I am into the idea of diy and I'll be getting someting soon. My main problem with most of these designs is the 4ohm impedence.

Thanks again,
Jeff
post #58 of 2588
i finished a pair of rick craig designed 3.5 way speakers recently(turkeyday)
diy is the way to go-scanspeak tweeter,morel mid domeand 2 6.5 woofers per side in a small sealed cabinet.these blow away any thing comercialy available for 640$-stage, detail,depth.
i also talked to rick a couple weeks ago about doing a line array with the bg ribbon,he likes the idea.

http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/rosconey/...c=ph%26.view=t

pic of my speakers
post #59 of 2588
check out these
http://www.gr-research.com/AlphaLS/Alpha.htm

I know a guy who built a set of these for a customer.
post #60 of 2588
Jeff,

Thanks for both the link and for the comments on DIY alternatives.

Clearly, there are quite a few high quality DIY speaker possibilities. Designs exist in various forms and price ranges, some are easier to assemble than others, some far more difficult. The web allows us to be aware of and choose from many different designs. The line arrays are much more complicated (and expensive) than the Audax HT speakers I am constructing. I am certain they sound wonderful. (their ribbon drivers are very highly regarded)

It is a bit more difficult to compare price/performance between the various designs. Most of us will only ever hear one of the DIY designs, and even then, it will be after they are constructed and in place in our homes.

We are all at the mercy of others who have constructed the same DIY speakers. They at least can compare the DIY design to commercial offerings in the same price range. Again, the web allows us to read their reviews of their DIY design's performance.

We can pour over spec sheets and driver parameters. In the end, DIY comes down to picking a sound design (pun intended) at a cost we can live with, using materials we can obtain, put together with tools we have available.

J. L.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Tweaks and Do-It-Yourself
AVS › AVS Forum › A/V Control & Automation › Tweaks and Do-It-Yourself › Very High Quality DIY speakers anywhere?