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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Denon AVR1610 which is 75 watts per channel. I also currently use a Table Tuba sub with the thought I will build another at sometime to even out my room a bit. I am using some quite old Pioneer floor standers and surrounds from an old 5.0 system we bought about 16yrs ago. In your opinion what speakers would work the best for me? The room is about 16X12 and open on 1 end.


What I don't like about my current speakers: The center and surrounds are a single full range speaker and don't provide enought treble for me. Voices in movies and TV seem quite muffled at times.


I was originally thinking a set of Tritrixes but now think perhaps I should take my time building and go bigger instead. With my set up is it worth going to a much bigger speaker? Also on DIY builds how do I find out what ohms the speakers end up being as that seems like it would be important to know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justphil /forum/post/19601783


I have a Denon AVR1610 which is 75 watts per channel. I also currently use a Table Tuba sub with the thought I will build another at sometime to even out my room a bit. I am using some quite old Pioneer floor standers and surrounds from an old 5.0 system we bought about 16yrs ago. In your opinion what speakers would work the best for me? The room is about 16X12 and open on 1 end.


What I don't like about my current speakers: The center and surrounds are a single full range speaker and don't provide enought treble for me. Voices in movies and TV seem quite muffled at times.


I was originally thinking a set of Tritrixes but now think perhaps I should take my time building and go bigger instead. With my set up is it worth going to a much bigger speaker? Also on DIY builds how do I find out what ohms the speakers end up being as that seems like it would be important to know.

justphil,


On the surface, the questions you pose seems pretty innocuous, but the the answers, and new questions the answers raise, could get pretty complex.


From the description of your current set up, I would bet just about any quality DIY build with fair sensitivity (I would say at least 90dB 1w/m given your receiver's power) which would integrate well with your sub in terms of frequency response (crossover to the Tuba) would be a vast improvement when compared to what you are listening to now, and bigger will not necessarily be better, all things considered.


Having said that, you have a number things to consider and some decisions to make.


What is their primary use? Music versus movies, or both? Multichannel, two channel, or both?


Budget will be a prime consideration; how much money you want to spend will dictate many of the compromises you will inevitably make.



Form factor will be important part of your decision making process (WAF, if you haven't heard of it yet, you will, it stands for wife acceptance factor; most of us have some kind of significant other who puts some kind of limit on what we can and can't do in terms of budget/looks/cabinet size/room design etc.; for example, after all that she let me do, I was surprised the first time my wife balked, which was when I asked to do some fairly aggressive room treatments). In general, smaller cabinets and drivers, like those found with stand mounted monitors, mean less low frequency extension and less overall sensitivity; with the amount of power you have, and the size of your room with one end open, you will need higher sensitivity to achieve reasonable listening levels with adequate headroom without the distortion caused by over-driving the amplifier section of the receiver. Since sound pressure falls off pretty rapidly, the further away from the speakers people sit, the greater the issue speaker sensitivity versus amplifier power becomes (each time the distance is doubled, the sound pressure level, or SPL drops by 6dB, 3 dB is a noticeable change in volume to most people, 10 dB is twice as loud, each 3 dB increase in SPL requires 2 times as much amplifier power). Using the speaker sensitivity mentioned above as an example: With 90 dB at 1m with one watt sensitivity, at about 12 feet that becomes about 81 dB which is about half as loud, to achieve a 99 db peak in a movie at 12 feet (a reasonable seating distance) would require 81 dB + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 99 dB or 1 + 2 + 4 + 16 + 32 + 64 watts, which is about the max your receiver would allow. It is easy to see how a great speaker design which is well built could leave you very disappointed and wondering where you went wrong when performance did not meet your expectations. Even this relatively simple example leaves out a whole host of related issues; basically smaller cabinets give rise to less efficient loudspeakers.


Also somewhat related to form factor; will you plan to run the speakers full range all or part of the time, or will you plan to use them with the sub all of the time? Speakers intended to be used full range are usually larger (see above paragraph RE low end extension).


Are the placement options for your speakers limited in some way? Different types of speakers will behave differently if placed close to rear or side walls. A couple of examples; the bass response of small speakers with less low frequency output will be enhanced by placing them in closer to corners or by having them installed flush in the wall but these placements may cause other problems, whereas bipolar or open baffle speakers (both types radiate front and back) may need to be placed fairly far into the room away from the walls to work well.


You may have noticed the word "room" keeps creeping in. Like it or not, speaker and room interactions are inextricable from one another, a fact that is not appreciated by many. A great speaker design which is built used in a poor room could once again leave you very disappointed and wondering where you went wrong when performance did not meet your expectations. But you didn't ask about rooms; the issues are complex and opinions about the best approaches vary, so I will leave it at that.


To give yourself a sense of hope, refer back to paragraph 2; just about anything you do will be better than what you have. If you do it yourself you will probably spend less money (you will trade your valuable hobby time for the money it would cost to avail yourself of the design and manufacturing expertise of the commercial producers, but you will not be a much a victim to marketing hype, and you won't have to pay for the hype you really didn't want or need anyway), you will probably enjoy the process, and you will probably learn a ton. And if you do it yourself, a single set of speakers may not be the end, instead constantly trying to improve the result may become end which justifies the means.


The question about speaker resistance (ohm's) is putting the cart way before the horse. My suggestion would be to find a proven, relatively easy to build kit or design (all that ohm stuff will be worked out for you in advance) which meets your budget, size and sensitivity requirements, and just do it.


//Rant on//


Finally, one last word of warning, you will find a number of very strong opinions around here, some of which seem to be very well informed, some of which are not, and the distinction may not always be clear. In the end the electronics (source), speaker/room (transducer), person (receiver and interpreter) interaction is extremely complex and hard to get right; moreover, the evaluator at the end of that chain, the person, is very subjective. What that means is there is an essentially infinite number of combined solutions, many of which are very bad, some of which are very good, and are few of which are excellent (most of us have have been in the presence of well chosen equipment in a well designed room and everything we do in this hobby from then on is about trying to recreate that experience). And, while many of us try to improve the subjective results by working as objectively as possible, it is true, almost by definition, that just because speakers measure well (in a standardized setting or in the room in which they are installed) does not necessarily mean they will sound good. Ultimately, despite what the vehement arguments you may follow on these threads seem to sometimes suggest, movies, music, and all the equipment that make them possible, is about what YOU like and YOUR enjoyment, and in my opinion, the DIY process is much more than half the fun.


//Rant off//
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggers /forum/post/19602280


How much cash and how big of a box?

The first reply was posted while I was writing mine..in other words, how much cash and how big a box
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK trying to answer some of the above questions.


Cost-Well I would have to save the money for components. Just depends if it is best for me to wait longer and build a more spendy speaker as the cheaper alternatives would be inadequate. Of course bang for a low buck is always a major consideration for me.


I will be running them with a sub 100% of the time 95% HT and 5% music.


The speakers would need to be kept fairly close to the walls as the room is narrower than wide and I couldn't have them sticking out 15-18" into the room.


WAF- Isn't much of an issue.
 

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Waveguide designs are the only speakers that will give you the dynamics you want for movies and match the dynamics of your horn subs.


waveguide designs also work well when placed in corners of the room.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray
Waveguide designs are the only speakers that will give you the dynamics you want for movies and match the dynamics of your horn subs.


waveguide designs also work well when placed in corners of the room.
I agree. There are few (if any) alternatives which will do the job as well as a well designed waveguide, and thanks to the members of this forum and others, there are a number of very inexpensive easy to build designs which have been worked out, but I don't really know which have the best price/performance ratio. I plan to build a couple myself soon.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwomd /forum/post/19605538


I agree. There are few (if any) alternatives which will do the job as well as a well designed waveguide, and thanks to the members of this forum and others, there are a number of very inexpensive easy to build designs which have been worked out, but I don't really know which have the best price/performance ratio. I plan to build a couple myself soon.

Where are you in North Carolina? I'm in the Raleigh area and you can come listen to some better alternatives.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Craig /forum/post/19613981


Where are you in North Carolina? I'm in the Raleigh area and you can come listen to some better alternatives.

Chapel Hill. I'd love to listen to the better alternatives you mention. Cool looking stuff on the website.


Given what sounds like somewhat limited financial resources, the relatively limited amplifier power and room constraints justphil mentions, what are your suggestions?
 

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Sorry for the thread hijack, but like justphil, I also own a BFM Table Tuba (and love it) and am considering replacing my 15 year old Infinity setup. Garner is about an hour away from me and if Rick has some alternatives that I can afford, I'd love to hear them. Please PM me time and place...


I was looking at the statements/ministatements, but am open to similar cost alternatives.


NCDaveD
 

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Rick's a great guy, some years ago, before he officially started his business, I somehow got "invited" (can't quite remember how that came about) along with some other guys, over to his house for a listening session. I brought some speakers I had built based on a contest winner from way way back in--well, maybe it wasn't that long ago, in the late 90s? Rick was a gracious host... (speaking of way back in time, who remembers Speaker Builder magazine?)


You might be well served by not looking at your next set of DIY as your "final" build. I've been reasonably happy with mine for the past 10 years or so, but with the acquisition of a 73" tv, I feel compelled to build bigger speakers! So do your research, but don't obsess too much. Anything you build will be a learning experience--which you will apply to your next project!



After much searching and reading of forums, I decided to go with the mini-statements, and finally will start on them this month. My use is primarily HT surround sound, but I suspect that I'll also start listening to music more...


Have fun, and good luck!
 
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