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Discussion Starter #1
So I've recently completed my first several DIY speaker builds. First it was the Nexus MT from DIYsoundgroup:

I built these to go in the kitchen and provide background music while cooking or whatever. They work very well for this task although they seem to be a little bit quieter than the Energy in-ceiling speakers in the next room powered by the same onkyo amp (Energy's as speaker A and Nexus as speaker B). Prior to installing these in the kitchen I did do some dedicated listening to them and I thought they sounded very good, although this is the only amp I had to power them with at the time. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with them before installing them in the kitchen.

Next up was a set of Overnight Sensations. I had of course been hearing about these speakers for a while, and all the positive reviews were honestly one of the main reasons I wanted to try DIY. I decided to try and knock up my own cabinets so I got a sheet of MDF and went to work. After a little cutting, gluing, and painting I had a set of cabinets ready to go so I ordered the guts. I decided to try the MTM for more volume. Here are some photos:




I decided that if I liked the way these sounded, I would go ahead and build a 5.1 OS system. Well, I do like these speakers so next up was the center channel:



This thing looks cool. :) This speakers doesn't put out near the bass as the MTM does. I don't know why? Maybe the smaller driver size, or the sealed cabinet, or maybe I don't have enough stuffing in the box (any input here would be appreciated)?

So next up is the OS MT for the surrounds. I have not ordered parts yet but probably will soon.

With all that said, I'll get to the whole reason I'm posting here. All these speakers I've built sound really good, and I really enjoyed the building process. But, I don't feel like they are incredible. They definitely sound good, but they are not giving me the 'transcendent' listening experience I had hoped for.

Once, when I was a lot younger delivering appliances for a local box store, I dropped off a tv to someone who had racks full of audio gear in his living room. I made some comment about it and he offered a demonstration. I was blown away with how good it sounded. He had speakers all over the room but told me all the sound was coming from just two of them. Blew my mind how good it sounded. Everything was so clear. It didn't just sound like the band was right there playing in front of me, it sounded like I had been transported to a completely different environment along with the band. It was transcendent.

How do I get that kind of experience? I'm sure that part of my problem is the room my speakers are in. It's a 20' x 20' square with 8' ceilings and a huge window along one wall. I can hear test tones echoing around the room whenever I do the Audissey calibration with my receiver. So I'm sure the room needs some work.

Is another problem the specific speakers I'm building? The B4N drivers in the OS are only $15 each and the tweeters are only $8. I know price doesn't always reflect quality but if I build a speaker that uses $100 drivers will I notice a difference? If so what speaker should I build next? Amiga? Statements? Something else? (any recommendations?)

tl;dr - My OS speakers sound great but not quite fantastic. Is it just me?
 

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He he he... you could be on a long and pleasant journey my friend. I built my friend a pair of Statements and he absolutely loves them. I built myself an SEOS12/TD12M and I love them, but they are very different speakers.

I may have missed it, but are you using a subwoofer with your setup? If not that might help quite a bit.

http://speakerdesignworks.com/index_page_2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He he he... you could be on a long and pleasant journey my friend. I built my friend a pair of Statements and he absolutely loves them. I built myself an SEOS12/TD12M and I love them, but they are very different speakers.

I may have missed it, but are you using a subwoofer with your setup? If not that might help quite a bit.

http://speakerdesignworks.com/index_page_2.html
I have a cheap Polk sub. Sounds pretty good with our without it on, too be honest. I listened to the os mtm again today and I think I'll try and take some of the stuffing out of them. I may have put too much in.
 

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It was transcendent.
90% of the sound you hear is based on the mood you are in.

Audiophiles are the most miserable people on earth. It's because their system reveals all the details and their ears are aware of all of the mistakes of the speakers, room acoustics and recording.
The happiest, is a noob who just got their first set of speakers, or whom hears a rack-full system for the first time. ;)
Entropy gets worse over time, not better. Like time, it is mono-directional.

When you and I watch a movie, we get transported. When a director watches a movie, he see's all the bloopers and F-up's.

Given a sufficient amount of listening hours and quality gear, we all become said director.
 

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90% of the sound you hear is based on the mood you are in.

Audiophiles are the most miserable people on earth. It's because their system reveals all the details and their ears are aware of all of the mistakes of the speakers, room acoustics and recording.
The happiest, is a noob who just got their first set of speakers, or whom hears a rack-full system for the first time. ;)
Entropy gets worse over time, not better. Like time, it is mono-directional.

When you and I watch a movie, we get transported. When a director watches a movie, he see's all the bloopers and F-up's.

Given a sufficient amount of listening hours and quality gear, we all become said director.
One of the very rare and truly good posts on AVS these days.

You have a source for that 90% figure based on some research or is it a random made up statistic?
 

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How big is your room? Where do you have your crossover set? If your crossover is set too low (below80hz) you are likely straining your speakers by having them try to dig too low. I also will jump on the 'you should try diy sub' train. If you can build speakers with internal crossovers you can build a sub. You could build a sub for $600 that would absolutely destroy that Polk sub.
 

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I love my Overnight Sensations, but they're also kind of the gateway drug rather than the pinnacle of DIY. I've got a pair of Speedsters that definitely have better sound quality. I just ordered a Continuum kit from Meniscus as well.

I'd think you need to outline your requirements for sound quality, volume, and response, and figure out what design suits those needs best. Maybe you should be targeting Fusion 8s, or stepping up 1099s, or just sticking with a traditional design with better quality drivers.
 

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90% of the sound you hear is based on the mood you are in.

Audiophiles are the most miserable people on earth. It's because their system reveals all the details and their ears are aware of all of the mistakes of the speakers, room acoustics and recording.
The happiest, is a noob who just got their first set of speakers, or whom hears a rack-full system for the first time. ;)
Entropy gets worse over time, not better. Like time, it is mono-directional.

When you and I watch a movie, we get transported. When a director watches a movie, he see's all the bloopers and F-up's.

Given a sufficient amount of listening hours and quality gear, we all become said director.
Very true! I find some days that my system does indeed sound transcendent. On others, it sounds harsh, flat, and dull. Mood (and expectation) is a huge influence on how you hear your gear.

All the Best,

Brian
 

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You do have your speakers wall mounted. Are the tweeters even at ear height? Placement is very important for razor sharp imaging and full size sound staging. That means putting them on stands, pulling them a couple feet out into the room, spreading them out wide, and adjusting the toe in until everything sounds right.

Source material also has a HUGE impact on the experience. Crappy mainstream recordings sound like doodoo on a good system. A good recording will give you goose bumps.

If your room is very reflective (echos) that is a problem also.
 

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Entropy gets worse over time, not better. Like time, it is mono-directional.
Excellent post is excellent, but I can't stop myself from picking a nit:

Entropy is reversible via the application of energy, or we wouldn't, say, be able to turn a pile of parts into a speaker. ; ) Whether time is mono-directional remains to be determined!

But, yeah, it really feels like "the better the system, the more annoying glitches you find." Same goes for those who develop a taste for wine or beer, or many other areas that have a heap of subjectivity. I am seriously jealous of those who are perfectly happy drinking wine from a $10 box, or beer from a $20 case! I wonder if the same might be said by some audiophiles, upon reflection on the amount of joy an upgrade from TV speakers to HTIB brings to the untrained?

Source material also has a HUGE impact on the experience.
This is also something I wish I had been warned about: Thanks to this fantastic forum, I upgraded from a mediocre (to be nice) commercial sub to a borderline (by the standards around these parts) TH sub. On the whole, I'm *super* thrilled. But now I also find myself futzing with sub levels, bemoaning the crummy mixes on low-rent TV shows that I used to watch without irritation, etc!

In fact, this whole threadjack has me doubting whether _really_ want to upgrade my speakers....
 

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While fixing any room and setup issues will certainly gain you some extra performance out of these speakers, the reality is that you can only eak so much performance out of an $8 tweeter and $15 woofers. The Statements would be a significant step up in performance, as would the 1099's. But, they are very different in terms of sound, and they each represent two very different design philosophies. If I were you, I would try and find a place to demo some high effeciency speakers, such as the 1099's, (commercial designs such as Klipsch) and some "HiFi" designs, which typically use a dome or ribbon tweeter. To me, and many others, high effeciency designs that use a compression driver and horn or waveguide are the better choice for movies, and designs that utilize a dome or ribbon are my favorite for music. The Statements are a truely epic design that are going to comparable to commercial designs costing $3,000 and up. I don't think that you can go wrong there!
 

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While fixing any room and setup issues will certainly gain you some extra performance out of these speakers, the reality is that you can only eak so much performance out of an $8 tweeter and $15 woofers. The Statements would be a significant step up in performance, as would the 1099's. But, they are very different in terms of sound, and they each represent two very different design philosophies. If I were you, I would try and find a place to demo some high effeciency speakers, such as the 1099's, (commercial designs such as Klipsch) and some "HiFi" designs, which typically use a dome or ribbon tweeter. To me, and many others, high effeciency designs that use a compression driver and horn or waveguide are the better choice for movies, and designs that utilize a dome or ribbon are my favorite for music. The Statements are a truely epic design that are going to comparable to commercial designs costing $3,000 and up. I don't think that you can go wrong there!
I agree with everything Tip has said above. You'll also get great satisfaction out of building some of these more advanced speakers. I have Klipsch RB-75's, which were Klipsch's reference speakers some years back, but I prefer my SEOS/TD12M's. These are going into a dedicated theater, but if I were doing 50% music, I'd probably build the Statements for myself and I might do it anyway.
 

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Just looking at the speaker placement in those pics make me think you are leaving a lot of sound quality on the table. Having said that I can see from want something "magical" like you had heard before, since you have already built one of Paul Carmody's designs have you looked at his open baffle speakers? Very reasonably priced. "Magical" if you are able to place them well, and whether you end up staying with them or not a very fun adventure into what kind of speaker you may like.
 
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