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EndersShadow 04-29-2016 02:32 PM

Options for a 600 dollar build
 
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I'm looking to build a set of speakers for my loft with a emphasis on music but will be used for stereo music.

I need something easy to drive that a Anthem MRX-500 can drive. I dont want another amp in my setup, and my rack cant hold one.

So I'm looking at options for a set of bookshelves that will sound quite good a fairly small loft (12 deep x 16 wide). The TV is cornered (see pic) but I plan to move the speakers to the halfwall on stands when listening to music and then back to either side of the TV for TV use (dont care if they sound worse there as its for TV only).

I'm open to suggestions but have a budget of 600. I'm also debating building a 2 of the VBSS subs as endtables to augment the bottom end but so if these speakers are cheap enough to allow that to happen that would rock!

Pictures below. Please ignore the desk and Salamander rack, both are gone now. Again picture the speakers centered to the couch and along the half wall. If I could keep them below the top of the half wall the wife would be much happier lol.

http://i715.photobucket.com/albums/w...B4E9A652C2.jpg

http://i715.photobucket.com/albums/w...3D371ADDC3.jpg

http://i715.photobucket.com/albums/w...7E8D79BAEC.jpg

Looking forward to your thoughts.

PS I will be at the Chicago meet in a month or so and they are supposed to have a bunch of these speakers there so hopefully I can get my ears on them.

ryebread 05-02-2016 07:49 AM

You have a rather small room with a receiver that is 100 watts into 2 channels. That receiver should be able to power all but the most inefficient loudspeakers in your room.

Some questions for you:
2 channel only correct?
How loud do you listen to your music?
How far away will you be sitting from the speakers?
How far from the wall will the speakers be placed?
How are your woodworking skills? (Do you plan to build the box for the speakers or are you looking for a kit with a flat pack?)

The Fusion-4 or Fusion-6 will both come in way under budget for you as a stereo pair and both have optional flat packs if you choose to not build your own enclosure. Another great kit for a small room would be the Volt-6. All three kits require a subwoofer to play full range, however, the Fusion-4 has the best extension if a subwoofer is not used. I own a set of Volt-6 that I'm using for surrounds and they sound terrific. I've heard very good things about the sound quality of the Fusion-4.

Volt-6 will likely play the loudest and are the smallest of the three.
Fusion-4 have the best bass extension.
Fusion-6 are the least expensive.

wvu80 05-02-2016 07:57 PM

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I have the Fusion 10 Pure and they would come in right at your price point at just under $300 per speaker.

Looking at the picture of your room is helpful. Although the F10's are "bookshelf" speakers, they weigh about 60 pounds a piece and are fairly large. They fill up my medium sized living room with a full sound and require a sub. They are extremely accurate speakers and can play loud with little to no distortion. They also are not sensitive to placement, with great off-axis sound.

That being said, I think they would be too big for your space. Mr. Ryebread ^^^ had some suggestions for smaller speakers. Do not confuse "smaller" with "lessor" in terms of audio power, those Fusions he referenced would likely be a better fit for you.

I would also recommend a small sub for a 2.1 setup. Maybe you could find a small 10" sub on the used market for a couple hundred?. It adds a nice full sound and you can play it low as the sub will fill out sound at low volumes. It's hard to DIY an inexpensive sub, the commercial offerings are just as cheap and sometimes you can pick up a name brand for that amount.

Pictured below are the F10's in two configurations. For reference the TV is a 47", the copper colored woof in one pic is a Klipsch 12" sub. The top of the hutch is 33".

EndersShadow 05-02-2016 08:09 PM

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Thanks guys.

I'm going to do some research into those.

I'm also looking at snagging a VBSS sub for a 2.1 setup as a sub was always the plan so the bookies focus on doing what the sub can't.

chrisvw16 05-03-2016 06:56 AM

I would also throw in the volt-10 as a contender. You can do them ported and skip the sub. They will play almost full range and save you the most money. You can build a pair for maybe $400 with materials.

I have a pair as my mains at the moment while I finish my 893's and they sound great. My pair is sealed however in about 1cf. Crossed to subs at 80hz. If you plan on getting a sub for sure, then I would also consider the fusion 8. And like I said the volt-10 ported or sealed. Or the other speakers everyone else recommended.

You can't go wrong I think.

Good luck

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 05:26 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisvw16 (Post 43747410)
I would also throw in the volt-10 as a contender. You can do them ported and skip the sub. They will play almost full range and save you the most money. You can build a pair for maybe $400 with materials.

I have a pair as my mains at the moment while I finish my 893's and they sound great. My pair is sealed however in about 1cf. Crossed to subs at 80hz. If you plan on getting a sub for sure, then I would also consider the fusion 8. And like I said the volt-10 ported or sealed. Or the other speakers everyone else recommended.

You can't go wrong I think.

Good luck

Thanks for the advice. I ran into a snag that would likely make the Volt-10 and Fusion 10 Pure non starters. I connected some old Sony bookshelves I had last night since I put the Anthem in its resting place. They are 9.5" wide and they barely fit into the space. And in all honesty I had to bring the entertainment center out a bit more than I'd like to have done at that.

So it looks like my limitation may be about 8" of width for the speakers. I know once they are on stands they will be higher up where their will be some extra room given that the entertainment center shelves taper a bit, but they wont get tons of extra space. IIRC these are Sony SS-MB350H speakers and they measure 9.5 x 20.8 x 10 inches (W x H x D). The depth "could" be a bit less as well if possible.

I'm thinking in addition to putting them on stands, I'm may put adjustable outriggers on it so I can rotate them to help them fit in the corners better. Then when listening to music I can rotate them back to be square.

Anyway here is are some pictures to help show you what I'm talking about....

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 06:52 AM

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Looks like the Fusion-4 Quad4 is still an option (its 8.5" wide and 8.5" deep and 28" tall). So it would NOT be taller than the pony wall (which is 32" IIRC) and not super deep. These might be the ticket for me as I could install outriggers on them (add 3" give or take) and they would still be fine.

Alternately the Volt-6 LX are still an option as well.

Also in the mix would be the Overnight Sensation MTM's or just the standard Overnight Sensations..... I just somewhat hesistate to use drivers that small given I'm likely using a 18" driver. I dont know if they could keep up at higher volumes......

chrisvw16 05-04-2016 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EndersShadow (Post 43775554)
Looks like the Fusion-4 Quad4 is still an option (its 8.5" wide and 8.5" deep and 28" tall). So it would NOT be taller than the pony wall (which is 32" IIRC) and not super deep. These might be the ticket for me as I could install outriggers on them (add 3" give or take) and they would still be fine.

Alternately the Volt-6 LX are still an option as well.

Also in the mix would be the Overnight Sensation MTM's or just the standard Overnight Sensations..... I just somewhat hesistate to use drivers that small given I'm likely using a 18" driver. I dont know if they could keep up at higher volumes......


In your situation I would probably go with volt-6 on some nice stands. They should keep up better with a 18 sub. In the same manner you can do a fusion 6. I have not heard the fusion 6. So it might or might not sound better than the volt-6. The reason I would not go with the quad 4 is the tweeter height would be too low? Unless they can go higher then that half wall. The overnight sensations are not very sensitive. So it depends how loud you want to go.

Best of luck

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 10:50 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisvw16 (Post 43782338)
In your situation I would probably go with volt-6 on some nice stands. They should keep up better with a 18 sub. In the same manner you can do a fusion 6. I have not heard the fusion 6. So it might or might not sound better than the volt-6. The reason I would not go with the quad 4 is the tweeter height would be too low? Unless they can go higher then that half wall. The overnight sensations are not very sensitive. So it depends how loud you want to go.

Best of luck

I'd think the tweeter would be ok since I could put them on spikes with outriggers (bringing the tweeter up a bit) and if needed angle them up a bit as well. I could also might be able to work around the tweeter issue by making them taller, dont know just yet, will have to measure when I get home....

Otherwise the Volt or Fusion 6 may be viable as well.

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 05:09 PM

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Stolen from another thread someone mentioned this about my idea....

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mpoes12 (Post 43782570)
For what its worth, the Fusion 8 has the advantage of having better vertical dispersion (The MMTMM design of the 4 will create a suckout off axis which on one hand controls reflection from the ceiling but on the other hand can create an uneven response if you are in fact sitting off axis) and better pattern control down to a lower frequency. I've not seen polar response graphs of the 8 so I can't say its a CD design, but the lower crossover point and overall design would allow it to at least have a chance of having CD characteristics down to a much lower frequency, which has been shown to be correlated with perceived better sound by both Harman and Geddes. Based on the design alone, if I was picking based on convenience to mount on either side of a tv, I'd pick the 4. If I was looking for the best sound in a small package, I'd pick the 8.


We would need to see measurements, especially in situ, to really get a sense of this, but there have been some case studies of MTM and MMTMM (especially the MMTMM) designs having undesirable lobing at actual listening positions in the room. It isn't that an MMTMM is a bad design, it has its purpose, it's just that the interaction of the drivers off-axis isn't as straightforward as with a 2 way design and as such people can end up with an undesirable response because they didn't realize how different their vertical response pattern is.


Not that this helps you in the slightest, but when you say loft, if the loft is an open area and the desire is to "shower" the loft area and the open area with sound that is even in tonality and constant in SPL, a CBT design is possibly better. That kind of environment mimics a space more akin to what you see in commercial installations where you really need to pay attention to the dispersion pattern. If you are only listening and only care about the sound quality within a normal listening distance of the speaker (say no more than 2.5x the width between the two speakers) then this doesn't matter, but if the desire is to fill a larger space with the best possible sound, none of these are the perfect tool. CBT is a much more appropriate tool. I really would like to build some DIY CBT designs that are small, just 6-8 drivers based on 2" or 3" drivers in compact straight enclosures and shading. I already told Mike about the project idea, but I just need to find some time to measure a 3" driver I have 6 of so I can make sure that my crossover models will match real measurements and give me the desired shading and response. The design requires tank filters and padding resistors along with parallel-series wiring of the drivers to obtain the desired flat on-axis response and polar response of a CBT.


Mpoes12 05-04-2016 07:37 PM

That was me!

You know I want to like the volt speakers because of the convenience of a coaxial design and potential for great point source operation, but....I've just never found a coaxial I've liked. The crossover is critical, and as has often been points out, speaker cones aren't actually good waveguide profiles, so off-axis response often suffers. I've not heard the volts or seen measurements, so that's just a design consideration.

My own design preference bias are toward the larger two way designs because the lower crossover and larger woofer allows for an ability to match the woofer and tweeter directivity in the crossover region. Just take a look at the majority of speakers measured in stereophile and notice how many of them have an off-axis response that dips around the crossovers, that is not disable or good behavior.

Sometimes practical outweighs what makes for the best sound, which is why I said I might go with the fusion 4 in your situation. Now if the plan is to use them like towers, mounted below the tv, I'd be cautious, that is not a speaker to be listened to off vertical axis. You need it pointed at the listener and at ear height or you run the risk of someone sitting in the vertical lobe. Again, I've not seen the measurements to see the lobbing off axis, but all speakers of that design must have it, so it's got to be there, just no idea what it looks like, at what frequencies, and at what angle.

CBT is still a cool idea but I hadn't seen this thread and didn't know how your room was setup. The setup I see actually makes cbt less beneficial. I had it in my head that you had a wall mount tv in the long wall with the speakers playing over the loft into the rooms below. Since there are no small cbt kits nor are any of the JBl cbt speakers cheap enough, I wouldn't worry about that as an option. If I ever stop being a slacker and work out a cbt design that works as intended and is desirable to others, maybe it can be offered by someone as a kit. Cbt speakers offer a dispersion pattern that is truely perfect for surround in a home environment, which is why I'm interested in trying it.

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 09:14 PM

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Yeah, the "concept" is as follows

With the MRX-500 I can have different saved measurement files. I plan to take one set with the speaker corner loaded for when watching TV. Another set for music listening where the speakers would be along the pony wall and facing the couch directly.

The sub is going to go where the Salamander rack currently is and its going to be a VBSS sub downfiring that looks like an endtable.

Since I have 2 PC's in that rack, the one with the measurement files will stay connected 24/7 and I will load the files as needed so I can switch between TV and music listening.

Same with the speakers, they will be on stands, or skinny enough to fit on either side of the TV when corner loaded and then move out into the room like they should normally be.

I could also move them to either side of that window and have them fire longways into the room and listen from that swinging chair.

But I'm moving slow and taking my time on figuring out whats going to sound good.

Step 1 is picking up the VBSS Sub box (assuming its available still) at the Chicago meet on May 22nd. Then wait till I get my mains squared away so if I go DIY I can have the same stain/finish on the sub and mains and an enclosure for that mini fridge so it looks better lol...

EndersShadow 05-04-2016 09:16 PM

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@Mpoes12

Seeing pictures of my space, does that at all change your recommendations?

I'm also open to other DIY kits such as ones from Madisound, Meniscus and GR Research, however the flatpack enclosures from DIYSoundGroup would just make it SOO much easier........

Hoodcom 05-05-2016 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisvw16 (Post 43782338)
In your situation I would probably go with volt-6 on some nice stands. They should keep up better with a 18 sub. In the same manner you can do a fusion 6. I have not heard the fusion 6. So it might or might not sound better than the volt-6. The reason I would not go with the quad 4 is the tweeter height would be too low? Unless they can go higher then that half wall. The overnight sensations are not very sensitive. So it depends how loud you want to go.

Best of luck

I'd like to add my recommendation to the Volt-6 as well.

I was very pleasantly surprised with them when I first tested them for music with just a 12" passive Cerwin-Vega subwoofer in my office. They certainly left a very good impression for me, especially for their size. :eek:

Definitely an option worth considering in my opinion. Though it does make it hard to decide when where are a lot of great options! :D

Mpoes12 05-05-2016 02:12 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EndersShadow (Post 43796930)
@Mpoes12

Seeing pictures of my space, does that at all change your recommendations?

I'm also open to other DIY kits such as ones from Madisound, Meniscus and GR Research, however the flatpack enclosures from DIYSoundGroup would just make it SOO much easier........


As a back story, I used to build and even design conventional speakers based on typical "home" drivers. I thought they had superior performance, lower distortion, and the best possibility for good sound staging. I'm a sound stage nut, its the single most important thing for me next to overall response smoothness. Then I met Earl Geddes who turned me onto the possibilities of professional drivers in home applications and he taught me a ton about driver integration with regard to the polar response (and importance of CD). After not only building the Gedlee Abbey's for myself, but also my own hand at some other high efficiency waveguide designs, I'm totally convinced its the only way to go. I'm yet to hear a different approach equal what I get with the Abbey's. Having said that, truly following through on the findings of really solid research on what sounds best to the majority of people (be it Harman, Geddy's, etc.) means BIG speakers. You can't easily replicate the ideal CD behavior of a perfect speaker with really small speakers right now. In addition, while I think large waveguide speakers have the best sound I've heard, I've also heard some really spectacular systems using other approaches. I said that because I think the DIYSoundGroup designs are in line with what I like, the others are not. For that kind of money I think you get a better value kit from DIYSG.


Now not all waveguide speakers are created equal and a waveguide doesn't make a speaker better. The entire point is to create a response that falls at a constant rate off to the sides and does so in a perfectly linear fashion. An ideal speaker would fall off as perfect flat lines at all frequencies, but in small rooms, bass is non-directional and so it can't fall off to the sides. Instead, an ideal speaker in a typical room will fall off as a perfect flat line angled from a central point at the Schroeder frequency out to the upper limit of 20khz or so. Not every waveguide profile does this and not every DIYSG speaker does this.


This is an example of one they sell that really is well behaved, its not perfect, but its really good. Much better than most speakers.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1462481049


Here is one I like the sound of but actually doesn't really conform to this property as well as it should. Still better than most:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1462480831


In either case you can see that the speakers roll off fairly smoothly, but one is rolling off smoother over a wider range of angles.



I know that doesn't help you much, but I mention this because I want you to know my bias toward these kinds of controlled constant directivity speaker. I think even for small speakers I would seek this general attribute on a smaller scale, especially when being used in a room where people might be sitting in a variety of places. Any array of drivers has an impact on the directivity of the speaker, this is why line arrays exist, to control vertical directivity. The directivity is only impacted in the area where drivers operate at the same frequency, hence why a woofer doesn't really impact the directivity of a tweeter. That means the Quad4's will have some kind of vertical directivity constriction, and if you are too close, some lobing. The Fusion 6 and Fusion 8 I don't believe will have the same issues, they should have a wider vertical dispersion with a more even vertical response even closer up (All speakers lobe at some distance when there is a crossover involved). They also can crossover lower due to the larger waveguide and larger driver. I like the 8 best because its the biggest, its closet to the larger designs that get you closest to the ideal design.


Waveguide speakers typically are higher in efficiency and capable of more output with lower distortion. However, that isn't always true and often their total output is constrained by the low crossover point of the compression driver. In some of the DIYSG designs, I think the midbass driver might actually constrain the total output, but I'm not sure of that. In either case, they should all be capable of as much more output to any other similar sized speaker, which is to say, painfully loud.


The biggest negative with improperly designed waveguide speakers using compression drivers is that the tweeter will be bright to the point of pain. They are irritating to listen to. Harman did research into why this is, and Earl Geddes has done some similar and different research into the same phenomena. Both concluded that a general tilt in the response is desirable, and that with CD horns, the honk comes from the diffraction slot (so hence why we prefer a well designed waveguide). The waveguide needs a special eqed crossover using typically 2-3 tank filters (notch filters). I know nothing about the crossover schematics of the DIYSG speakers, so I don't know if these have that, but worst case scenario, they could be added if you found the response not flat and the sound irritating. It can be added via external DSP as well.

EndersShadow 05-06-2016 06:57 AM

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WOW!

Thank you for the detailed response. I will take some time to digest it for sure.

I will be using Anthems ARC software on these since they are being driven by a MRX-500 which should provide said filters to help adjust for a flatter response.

Are you going to be at the Chicago GTG as well?

Mpoes12 05-06-2016 12:38 PM

That Anthem is a great receiver. I've not used one in person, but I've used other ARC products and can say I'm a bit envious. Its really well designed and I like the ARC approach. Only think I think the series your receiver is from is limited in the upper range to where EQ is applied, no? I don't recall how high, but it may not fix what we are talking about in the crossover. Another problem is that a lot of room correction attempts to keep some of the speakers natural characteristics. I'm fairly sure that ARC does as does Audyssey in some forms.


Yes I'll be there and we can talk more. Most of the designs that will be there have fairly controlled directivity and high efficiency. I don't happen to love all the DIYSG designs, but of the affordable DIY designs, its my favorite shop. My favorite is the fusion series for sure however.


I also really like this one:
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/alpha-k...n-duratex.html
I don't know if that is in your price range or not. Looks like it stretches your budget and not sure about size either. Purely from a design standpoint, I think this would have more of that audiophile sound we look for but would be more limited in maximum output compared to some of the others. I'm a huge fan of the midbass in it, the compression driver seems to be good but I know nothing more about Denova drivers other than they are basically modified clones of B&C drivers (which is a good thing if they get it all right and don't skimp on the metal parts), and its a decent waveguide. What I don't love (which is true of all of the EOS and SEOS waveguides) is that they are screw in type lightweight plastic. There are measurable benefits to having the waveguide smoothly integrated into the enclosure with no diffraction sources that close to the radiating source, and the heavier the better. We spend all this time making our subwoofer enclosure rigid, our main speakers rigid, why would we want an 1/8" thick piece of plastic there? Reality is whatever resonances they may have is minor, but heavier and thicker is certainly better in a perfect world (plus if you get creative, you can back fill the waveguide when you build them. You could even use moldable epoxy if you wanted. The waveguides are also set too far out and that could cause a ripple in the high frequencies. Without flush mounting and fully integrating vs the partial flush mount of the current design being tested with a high resolution measurement back to back, its hard to say how big an effect. The problem is, let's say you have the wood working skills to recess the waveguide further in, the tweeter has a certain distance to you relative to the midbass, this aligns the two, and the crossover was established based on that. Its likely that the 1/8" of extra depth would not matter, but you never know. I hate to suggest something that could create a worse problem than a 2-3 db ripple at an area that many other factors cause bigger problems. Because its a kind of comb filtering this is not something EQ can fix however (It's not minimum phase). A very simple solution might be a piece of 1/4" acoustic felt around the entire faceplate. Not pretty but gets rid of the problem.


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