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post #1 of 19 Old 01-07-2020, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY vs no DIY

Hi guys, I am new here but I have been building a few speakers over the years. The ones I still use, I built when I was 15. They are a fairly large Voigt horn kind of speaker with Fostex 8" drivers currently. It is one of the best speakers I have heard for that price. With that said I have recently looked at upgrading my HT front and center speakers after getting an Outlaw X-12 sub. So I have contemplated 3 speaker combos from Infinity, Emotiva etc in the $1000 range for three. Now I started to look at DIY. I know guys here are committed to DIY and I don't need convincing DIY can be best. However, I would like to get input on how the DIY speakers sounds as compared to the commercial offerings. Like if someone has listened to both kinds.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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With the comparative DIY I am referring to DIY Sound group and Planet 10 for example.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 12:23 AM
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The DIY offerings can sound just as good or better. How they sound depends on the design and intended use case.
I only have experience with the HTM-10 model and i gotta say it sounds terrific compared to commercial speakers i have owned.

My 2.1: Minidsp2x4 HD,Hypex UCD400HxR,SI HT-18,HTM-10
HTM 10 build
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tapio View Post
With the comparative DIY I am referring to DIY Sound group and Planet 10 for example.
Easy: a modern HE CD speaker like many of the DIYSG designs and others will outperform a WR driver in every aspect. Dynamics, imaging, dynamic range, bass (depth and articulation), detail and effortlessness.



WR speakers sound constipated to me and are utterly awful when you try to play something complex through them at level. I've owned and built with many WR drivers in the past, classic and more modern and would never bother again except for maybe some computer speakers (and would likely just by JBL305s in preference).


Avoid Will Robinson.

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Easy: a modern HE CD speaker like many of the DIYSG designs and others will outperform a WR driver in every aspect. Dynamics, imaging, dynamic range, bass (depth and articulation), detail and effortlessness.



WR speakers sound constipated to me and are utterly awful when you try to play something complex through them at level. I've owned and built with many WR drivers in the past, classic and more modern and would never bother again except for maybe some computer speakers (and would likely just by JBL305s in preference).


Avoid Will Robinson.
what is an HE CD speaker or a WR driver? I am interested in diy speakers and have been looking some at DIYSG such as the HT-8's or the S2000, also looked at the C-note speakers. A little early as I need a diy sub/amp first, but I'm keeping my eye on the speakers posts.

REC: Onkyo TX-NR609, HDR TV: Vizio M658-G1
L/R: Polk RT15i , C: Polk 245i , SL/SR: Polk Rt15i , SUB: Polk PSW-250
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 11:15 AM
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what is an HE CD speaker or a WR driver?
High Efficiency Controlled Directivity. WR = Wide Range; I refuse to call them fullrange as they are not even remotely that.


WE CD is a 10/12/15 with a suitable waveguide and compression driver. There are many designs out there.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 11:23 AM
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High Efficiency Controlled Directivity. WR = Wide Range; I refuse to call them fullrange as they are not even remotely that.


WE CD is a 10/12/15 with a suitable waveguide and compression driver. There are many designs out there.
Thank's for the explanation!

REC: Onkyo TX-NR609, HDR TV: Vizio M658-G1
L/R: Polk RT15i , C: Polk 245i , SL/SR: Polk Rt15i , SUB: Polk PSW-250
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
WE CD is a 10/12/15 with a suitable waveguide and compression driver. There are many designs out there.
Could you explain 10/12/15?


Yes there are tons of designs out there. Currently I don't have precision cutting capacity so I would be looking at kits. If you could suggest some I would appreciate it. The room is 10x20 with vaulted ceilings and open to the side (dining) and back (house entry), so the area is pretty big. We watch mostly Netflix movies and listen to streamed or You Tube video music in this area. Receiver is a vintage HK310. Sub is X-12.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tapio View Post
Could you explain 10/12/15?


Yes there are tons of designs out there. Currently I don't have precision cutting capacity so I would be looking at kits. If you could suggest some I would appreciate it. The room is 10x20 with vaulted ceilings and open to the side (dining) and back (house entry), so the area is pretty big. We watch mostly Netflix movies and listen to streamed or You Tube video music in this area. Receiver is a vintage HK310. Sub is X-12.
I know a lot of people love the 1099 from DIYSG if you have the room, the HTM models are well liked as well as are the Titan series. All have kits available.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 02:10 PM
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As you probably know, sound is very subjective. What sounds great to you could sound harsh or unimpressive to another. I'll say that I've listened to a few Klipsch towers (no idea what models, but 8 inch woofers in one, 6.5s in another I believe) and have owned the Polk LSiM 707 series speakers. None of them sounded bad, but I much preferred the sound from the Swope towers I built from Paul C. Especially when you start looking at the prices of building vs buying. You're just going to get a better product in the end (most likely) if it's built right. And you can make it look the way you want if you have the skills. Plus it's fun to build stuff lol....


I have the 1299s from DIYSG and they blow the socks off of the previous speakers I've mentioned. Amazing dynamics and clarity, plus they will get much louder than I could ever handle watching a movie with no signs of distortion that I can hear. Again, sound is subjective, but you'll be hard pressed to find as capable of a speaker buying vs spending the same on a DIY setup. You just gotta put a little work into making them.

Blister64 Full Basement Build Panasonic PT-AE8000U | Yamaha RX-A3070 | Emotiva XPA-7 Gen3 | DIY Sound Group Ported 1299 TMWW Front Stage | DIY SG Volt 10 Surrounds | Monoprice 8" Alpha In-ceiling Atmos | Three Stereo Integrity HS-24 mkIII's sealed | Sinbosen FP20000Q
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 06:16 PM
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In terms of SQ the SEOS based speakers weren't on par with my B&W 803's in all regards.
The SEOS's were louder and more dynamic, generated less heat and sounded less strained at higher SPL, but the stock bass extension and high frequency extension and details weren't all there.

I ended up adding Fostex supers extending my SEOS's to 30-40kHz, and UM-15's extending the lows to 2hz. Changing it from a 2-way into a 4-way. With those upgrades not only doesn't it have a MUCH wider range, it also plays a good 6db louder than the stock configuration, while producing less distortion. It now exceeds what a 3-way B&W 803 can do it almost every regard. I'm not gonna say it is transparent as a 800D, but this thing costs like 1/20th the price while "almost" closing every gap.

I don't miss my B&W 803's, or any other traditional speaker system I've heard, to-date.

The 803 was already ruler-flat from about 30khz to 27hz in my room (it's ported), so it was hard to defeat compared to smaller speakers. The B&W FST mid is no slouch when it comes to resolving details, the clone weighs like nothing and has very high motor strength (as big a magnet as the DNA compression driver); the tweeter is a neo; and braced way better than anything I could replicate.

In many regards it is close-to, on-par or exceeding the quality of my HD800 headphones on balanced-power as well, depending on the material...

High-efficiency speakers for movies is a no brainer.

For music listening things can get a bit more tricky, but unless the person already owned multi-thousand dollar speakers, in a treated room and was also a critical-listener prior to going DIY, then I doubt they'd be anything but impressed in every regard.
Otherwise, you may have to beef-up the drivers a bit to fully close the gap.

I can't wait to fire up my Beyma carbon fiber mids, which are going into be Atmos heights. Curious to know how they compare in the critical mid-vocal region.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-08-2020, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapio View Post
Could you explain 10/12/15?
10, 12 and 15" drivers.

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Originally Posted by tapio View Post
Currently I don't have precision cutting capacity so I would be looking at kits. If you could suggest some I would appreciate it.
I can't help with that as I don't purchase kits. I design my own and they're always active so I couldn't usually offer one of mine as I haven't bothered with a passive xover for them.

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post #13 of 19 Old 01-09-2020, 10:44 AM
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... . Currently I don't have precision cutting capacity so I would be looking at kits. If you could suggest some I would appreciate it. ...
Most of the DIYSG kits have available flat packs. You can look through the various models and eliminate the ones that don't have flat packs listed.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-09-2020, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
In terms of SQ the SEOS based speakers weren't on par with my B&W 803's in all regards.
The SEOS's were louder and more dynamic, generated less heat and sounded less strained at higher SPL, but the stock bass extension and high frequency extension and details weren't all there.

I ended up adding Fostex supers extending my SEOS's to 30-40kHz, and UM-15's extending the lows to 2hz. Changing it from a 2-way into a 4-way. With those upgrades not only doesn't it have a MUCH wider range, it also plays a good 6db louder than the stock configuration, while producing less distortion. It now exceeds what a 3-way B&W 803 can do it almost every regard. I'm not gonna say it is transparent as a 800D, but this thing costs like 1/20th the price while "almost" closing every gap.

I don't miss my B&W 803's, or any other traditional speaker system I've heard, to-date.

The 803 was already ruler-flat from about 30khz to 27hz in my room (it's ported), so it was hard to defeat compared to smaller speakers. The B&W FST mid is no slouch when it comes to resolving details, the clone weighs like nothing and has very high motor strength (as big a magnet as the DNA compression driver); the tweeter is a neo; and braced way better than anything I could replicate.

In many regards it is close-to, on-par or exceeding the quality of my HD800 headphones on balanced-power as well, depending on the material...

High-efficiency speakers for movies is a no brainer.

For music listening things can get a bit more tricky, but unless the person already owned multi-thousand dollar speakers, in a treated room and was also a critical-listener prior to going DIY, then I doubt they'd be anything but impressed in every regard.
Otherwise, you may have to beef-up the drivers a bit to fully close the gap.

I can't wait to fire up my Beyma carbon fiber mids, which are going into be Atmos heights. Curious to know how they compare in the critical mid-vocal region.

Would love to get a parts list/design for what it would take to make a close replica of your speakers
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-09-2020, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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For a center I am restricted to a less than 10"tall preferably less. So which smaller center could I use if I go 1099 for LR? For the LR, 1099, I would like that, but is a bit over my budget so I have looked at the Cobalt and Apollo as alternatives.
Decisions.
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tapio View Post
For a center I am restricted to a less than 10"tall preferably less. So which smaller center could I use if I go 1099 for LR? For the LR, 1099, I would like that, but is a bit over my budget so I have looked at the Cobalt and Apollo as alternatives.
Decisions.
I built a Cobalt LCR combo and I love it. They sound amazing even at the highest volumes.
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I built a Cobalt LCR combo and I love it. They sound amazing even at the highest volumes.
I am leaning towards the Cobalts as LCR too. It all comes to about $530 which is very reasonable. But I will need floor stands for the LR speakers and a lower cabinet under the TV to accommodate the center channel.
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 08:19 PM
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Would love to get a parts list/design for what it would take to make a close replica of your speakers
They are step beyond stock performance, and a step beyond stock price too. No free lunch!

One of these:
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...super-tweeter/
(No need to go with the more expensive fostex supers, these are plenty!)

One of these:
https://www.diysoundgroup.com/speake...on-driver.html

One of these:
https://www.diysoundgroup.com/speake...waveguide.html

One of these:
https://www.parts-express.com/celest...400w--294-2092
(It has better SQ than the Eminence 15 IMO, haven't heard any 15" AE or Beyma or B&C PA woofers in-person yet so those may-or-may-not be vastly better sounding...)

Two of these:
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...-coil--295-514

For an LCR set, triple that.

Two sealed compartments, one for the lows, and the top section for the rest of it.
I did 16inch width, not sure if that is optimal, the depth can be whatever. My fostex's were added in hindsight, so you may want to incorporate those into the box from the get-go.
If you wanted to save some height you could do a single UM-18 (which I would probably recommend doing in hindsight, you'd have to make the width at least 19inches in that case), alternatively a B&C 18 or two B&C 15's maybe...

The magic is the crossovers. Being a 4-way is KEY.
Crossovers are 13khz, 1khz and 120hz. (You can vary it to taste, there is some room with those numbers.)

Even though the Fostex is good to 4khz or whatever, I'd recommend staying above 9khz as it loses efficiency and thermal handling lower than that (it's a compact 1/2" super horn after all); and the SEOS is better than the Fostex below 10khz anyway. (That said, the DNA rings above 15khz at high SPL though, it is also naturally rolling off above 6khz, typical wide band waveguide stuff, is what it is!)

Amplification is an FP20k for the UM's, and an FP10k for the other 3 drivers. Total overkill of course.
Mine are full-actives so I level match, delay, and EQ each driver digitally and individually.

To be flat below 20hz will require some advanced low-shelf boosting and limiting.
That's not something an inuke can do; you'd need at least a miniDSP. My XO's are a 72-channel PC-based Motu AVB rig, Sabre DAC(s), which costs $7000 for just that alone. The processing is flat from DC to nyquist though. Especially if you use the FogConvolver or Hofa vst.

That said, with just inukes, you could probably get ~90% of the performance I'd say, or maybe a miniDSP 10x10 and some HiFi amplifiers as a fanless alternative.

Emulating my system verbatim though, is definitely not a task for fearless paupers.
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-12-2020, 10:28 PM
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Emulating my system verbatim though, is definitely not a task for fearless paupers.
haha you can say that again..

Thank you for the detailed write up!
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