Originally Posted by FrankRyzzO
It's all about the value proposition for my time, and that's what I can't figure out how to rate the DIY projects when looking through the forums.
My take on it is in general the bigger you plan to go, the more money you'll save. For a given line of speakers with a given quality of drivers, a larger woofer and more wood doesn't add much to the cost. But the same in commercial speakers usually results in a very large price increase. There are a lot of really good sounding commercial bookshelves available really cheap these days for the super budget conscious. You still do save with smaller models though for a given level of quality--especially if you have specific parameters you want the speaker to meet (form factor, sensitivity, directivity, etc).
Using my own example, the HTM-8's I'm currently using for left and right (will be surrounds when we get the new house built) are only 7.5" deep and front ported, making them perfect for on/in wall mounting. That shape is pretty uncommon in commercial speakers. While they do sound fantastic and virtually identical at every seat (controlled directivity), they can also touch 110 db at the listening position from mere AVR power and have the power handling capability to blow that away with a real amp. For filling a large room, sensitivity and
power handling become pretty important--that's an area many of the better sounding "affordable" small (and many pretty large ones as well) commercial speakers really fall behind.
So if you go looking for a commercial speaker that checks all those boxes, you can find them, they do exist. But the ones that meet all those requirements the best are well into "if you have to ask...." price ranges.
That's just one example of getting something that doesn't really exist in the commercial market at reasonable prices through DIY. Your list of things that are important to you for your speakers may be completely different and there may be commercial products available that aren't a bad value. I'd suggest spending a lot of time thinking about what "boxes you want the speakers to check" separately for LCR and surrounds, seeing what's available for each, seeing if there's one line or similar/related line of speakers that might match pretty well that satisfies the requirements for both applications the best for commercially available and DIY solutions and compare the prices of the entire systems. A modest savings per speaker adds up for a 11, 13, 15, etc speaker system.