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Hey guys and gals,

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around sound quality and value of DIY speakers. I spent several years selling typical consumer audio products which sparked my love of home audio/home theater. Within the confines of typical store brands,, I can get a rough understanding how good a speaker will sound based on what I know I do and don't like. I worked for Best Buy, Magnolia HT, and Magnolia Design Center so the brands I know well are Polk Audio, Klipsch (the BBY exclusive not as good line), Pioneer, Def Tech, Energy, B&W (600 series through 802D and custom theater series), Martin Logan (used to own a pair of Montis), and Sonus Faber (BORING, I was so disappointed by them). All that to say, I've never heard any DIY speakers and don't know anyone who has any so my frame of reference..... has no reference point!

Right now, I have a pair of Def Tech Mythos ST-L's. I like them, a lot actually. But, I'm always on the lookout for an upgrade and I haven't built anything recently and I'm getting antsy so maybe I build an AIY speaker. So does anyone have any experience with AIY speakers from DIYSG and really any of the brands that I'm familiar with? Typically, I like a slightly more forward sound, not the more laid-back and warm sound of say B&W 600 series or Sonus Faber.

The one's I'm most intrigued by are:

Cinema 8 http://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-theater-speakers/cinema-8/cinema-8-kit.html

Cinema 10 Max http://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-theater-speakers/cinema-10/cinema-10-max-kit.html

Elusive 1099 http://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-theater-speakers/elusive-1099.html

Minion Bamboo http://www.diysoundgroup.com/alpha-kits/minion/minion-bamboo.html

Continuum Bamboo http://www.diysoundgroup.com/alpha-kits/continuum/continuum-bamboo.html

Possibly Denham MTM http://www.diysoundgroup.com/speaker-kits/denham/denham-kit.html


Thanks for any insights!
 

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If you like a forward sound, the Elusive 1099 has a very aggressive, forward, snappy, fast attack, many more subjective adjectives that people use to describe that kind of speaker, sound. The Jeff Bagby and Matt Grant designs are more laid back Is my understanding. Although the DIYsoundgroup speakers all posses the same inherent qualities (smooth response, even polar response, high effeciency, etc.) they are designed by different people and can have difference in tonal balance (forward vs laid back).

If you post where you live you might get an invitation to hear some.

Edit - with DIY we always encourage resistor changes to get the sound you want. Often a $0.50 resistor can make all the difference. And the designers can tell you what to change. That's something you can't do with commercial speakers.
 

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I can tell you this and I do have a limited listening experience. I have owned klipsch RF42s and a few various others, but nothing I would consider merit. With that said I have had the chance to listen to many high end speakers. Even the MBL1X-treme


I also have a few close friends with some Wilson's among others.

I just finished my Cinema 10 max speakers and I can say with out a doubt they compete with some of the best speakers I have ever listened to. Way better then my friends Klipsch RF-7s. He came over on Sunday and we listened to a few songs and he was flat stunned. and now wants me to build him a pair. I may sell him mine and build some 1099s I am more then impressed with this build. I have been to the Magnoila store in PX and the Cinema 10 max is more snappy and sharp then anything they had in the rooms.

Most people compare the DIY speakers to speakers costing thousands more.

With all of that out of the way, sound is subjective what sounds good to you could sound bad to someone else. I bought mine on a leap of faith and on reviews from here and other sites and on what most people compare these speakers to. And all the reviews were right on in my book!

One note to point out these would need a sub unlike your Def Tech Mythos. As they are intended to be crossed over at 80hz. I have not had the opportunity to listen to the Mythos but I do not doubt for one second that the cinema 10 max or 1099 would compare to them at a fraction of the cost. Although they are a good looking they are not as good looking as the mythos. Then again that extra coin in my wallet makes up for the looks ;)
 

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If you like a forward sound, the Elusive 1099 has a very aggressive, forward, snappy, fast attack, many more subjective adjectives that people use to describe that kind of speaker, sound. The Jeff Bagby and Matt Grant designs are more laid back Is my understanding. Although the DIYsoundgroup speakers all posses the same inherent qualities (smooth response, even polar response, high effeciency, etc.) they are designed by different people and can have difference in tonal balance (forward vs laid back).

If you post where you live you might get an invitation to hear some.

Edit - with DIY we always encourage resistor changes to get the sound you want. Often a $0.50 resistor can make all the difference. And the designers can tell you what to change. That's something you can't do with commercial speakers.
I'm doing my first build. If you do it make sure you have the right tools. It's more of a B than it seems
 

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Add Clearwave Dynamics and Statements to your list.

I have the Dynamics and I'd rate them 10/10. I'm coming from the highly regarded Ascend Sierra 1s. The Sierra is a 2/10 compared to the Dynamics.

Gonna build Statements next to compare them to the Dynamics.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you like a forward sound, the Elusive 1099 has a very aggressive, forward, snappy, fast attack, many more subjective adjectives that people use to describe that kind of speaker, sound. The Jeff Bagby and Matt Grant designs are more laid back Is my understanding. Although the DIYsoundgroup speakers all posses the same inherent qualities (smooth response, even polar response, high effeciency, etc.) they are designed by different people and can have difference in tonal balance (forward vs laid back).

If you post where you live you might get an invitation to hear some.

Edit - with DIY we always encourage resistor changes to get the sound you want. Often a $0.50 resistor can make all the difference. And the designers can tell you what to change. That's something you can't do with commercial speakers.
I live in Washington, DC but make it out to the MD suburbs pretty regularly is anyone wants to have a listening party :)

That's what I'm going for, flat response and high efficiency. The Elusive 1099 is probably top of my list

In regards to tonal balance, the idea of changing resistors in the crossover circuitry seems easy enough. I don't really have any experience in cross-over design, just a basic understanding of the purpose of a crossover so excuse my ignorance if this question is a bit basic, but if I'm looking for different tonal quality, what is the benefit of changing the sound through the crossover vs using a parametric EQ that would give me higher levels of control?

One note to point out these would need a sub unlike your Def Tech Mythos. As they are intended to be crossed over at 80hz. I have not had the opportunity to listen to the Mythos but I do not doubt for one second that the cinema 10 max or 1099 would compare to them at a fraction of the cost. Although they are a good looking they are not as good looking as the mythos. Then again that extra coin in my wallet makes up for the looks ;)
The cross-over from mains to sub is something I tend to struggle with. Directionality of sound is apparently something I hear better than most and 80hz is too high for me. For my ears, 60hz is about as high as I can go before I can too easily pick out the placement of the sub so being flat to 60hz (or close enough that some EQ can make it flat) is pretty important for me. DIYSG has basic frequency response measurements but not +/- 3db and it's hard to find response and distortion graphs. If i decide to go DIY, I'd sell off the mythos (def tech holds a very good resale value) and definitely do an 18" DIY sub as well, likely UXL, HST18, or SI HT18 depending on budget

As for the look of the speakers, I do like the way my Mythos ST-L's look a lot but certainly not a deal breaker/maker. My wife thinks all speakers are ugly no matter what, she just thinks the mythos and my old MartinLogans are just a bit less ugly than most :confused:

Add Clearwave Dynamics and Statements to your list.

I have the Dynamics and I'd rate them 10/10. I'm coming from the highly regarded Ascend Sierra 1s. The Sierra is a 2/10 compared to the Dynamics.

Gonna build Statements next to compare them to the Dynamics.
Hm, never looked at clearwave speakers, i'll definitely look into them. thanks!
 

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Add Clearwave Dynamics and Statements to your list.

I have the Dynamics and I'd rate them 10/10. I'm coming from the highly regarded Ascend Sierra 1s. The Sierra is a 2/10 compared to the Dynamics.

Gonna build Statements next to compare them to the Dynamics.
Which model do you have for the Clearwaves? Looking at their page now for their dynamic series kits they're all much more expensive than the finished Sierra-1....nor are two ways. I'm looking for where I go next after my Sierra-1s in any case....
 

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Which model do you have for the Clearwaves? Looking at their page now for their dynamic series kits they're all much more expensive than the finished Sierra-1....nor are two ways. I'm looking for where I go next after my Sierra-1s in any case....
I took a look at them too. I think their speakers would be a bit out of my pricerange. Also, I'd rather not have to make the enclosure myself.
 

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I took a look at them too. I think their speakers would be a bit out of my pricerange. Also, I'd rather not have to make the enclosure myself.
Its worth it. I expected them to sound good, but I was dumbfounded with all of the new life it brought to my favorite songs and movies. New sounds and details that I never heard before simply came to life with these speakers.
 

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Using EQ to get the tonal balance you want is fine, to an extent. You need to be careful with boosts and how it can tax your amp. Helps to know what you're doing to the anechoic response too.
 

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Its worth it. I expected them to sound good, but I was dumbfounded with all of the new life it brought to my favorite songs and movies. New sounds and details that I never heard before simply came to life with these speakers.
I'm sure they're really excellent speakers, but hard to justify around $2000 vs
 

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With EQ and in a bigger sealed box the Fusion 15's can be forced to go as low as 30hz.
Not sure if the 1099 could be forced to do the same.

The Fusion 15's beat my B&W N803's at everything except maybe the very upper crust of transparent-musicality and depth of bass.

The B&W 600's sound like shrill muddy plastic if you ask me, by comparison the 800 series and SEOS's are a level of refinement beyond.

I'm a bit of a basshead though, 30hz as a 2-way wasn't good enough for me. I wanted mains that were strong to 15-20hz, which required a beefcake 3-way design.
Obviously my DIY mains go louder/deeper/dynamic and with greater efficiency than 99.99% of speakers could ever dream of matching.

The B&W 800's start falling apart much beyond 105db, where as the SEOS's go louder than I can withstand, especially with 500watts per channel of treble behind them at 100db/watt. LOL!
They have no problem keeping up with 8 18's.

Here are some various vids of mine that might be of interest to you (use your best headphones.)

Mains Test:

Surrounds Test:

Center Test:

HiFi:

Bass Test:
 

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Sweet. Still a bit different from a Sierra-1 :) The Minuet looks more comparable. Did you use their flat packs or are they even available? Where do they hide the specs on that site? Love to know more about your build as I want to build my next set and these look like they could be interesting.
I originally had ordered the Ascend Towers and Center with RAAL tweeter upgrade. Got tired of the months of waiting for them to deliver with their "Preorder" with speakers that have been available for a while now so I canceled the order and ordered the Dynamics from Jed. I saved $1400 and I whole lot of waiting as I would probably still be waiting on them to deliver.

The flat packs are no longer available. I have very little free time and no wood working skills or tools at the time so I had to get a cabinet maker to build mine...had some major problems with him so make sure you get one that is highly recommended. The idiot that made mine took a month when it should have taken less than a week and he couldn't even follow a diagram nor could he follow my explicit directions. Also the idiot damaged my Mid, Tweeter, and a Woofer that he was supposed to use to get the dimensions to make a flush mount cut on the baffle.

As for the specs I'm pretty sure that Jed them on a thread here in the AVS. Just search for Clearwave Dynamics and you'll be able to see it all for yourself.

As for putting them together once you have the cabinets made, make sure that you don't get in a hurry and double or triple check your work or you will forget to do stuff. I forgot to put foam in two of the cabinets. But heck they still sound good and I can't tell the difference. I still have yet to paint mine as I'm still enjoying them. I might just leave them unfinished. These sound so good I really don't care about making them look pretty. I'll get around to posting some pictures some time here or another.

Also the customer service that you get when you order is outstanding. Jed is simply amazing as are his speakers.
 

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Hopefully not a stupid question, but one that I haven't stumbled on an answer for. What are the key differences over the DIYSG Fusion line and Cinema line, the obvious is TM vs MTM designs. When would someone want a Fusion 12 over a cinema 10 and vice versa, same price point (or even a fusion 10 vs cinema 10, different price point and compression driver but same designer)

One more "stupid" question. Where does the volt slot in? Should it be considered as surround duty or as an alternate main?

Im fairly interested in building a pair of these but not sure which pair.

And funny comment about the B&W 600 series sounding like shrill muddy plastic, I have some old 604's and they do a job but Ive never been totally happy...
 
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