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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm looking at building something from diysoundgroup as a first foray into speaker building. I want to replace my existing lcr with something that has better quality and higher output. Eventually I will upgrade my older Onkyo reciever but for now I just have the bug to build some speakers! I'm running Pioneer bs-22's all around. The room is a 12x24x9 multiuse living room.

Pretty sure I want to stay at 8ohm's for this build. My current choices are Helix dome MT or HT-8/HT10. I just saw in another thread that the Cobalt's are also coming back so I'm putting those back in the mix as well! Should mention that it's a 50/50 mix for music/home theater. I think I've pretty much decided against the HT's because of my inability to eq them. I feel like I've read in different places they may need eq to sound their best. Or is this the wrong way to think of them? If this was going to be purely a movie room I would be leaning heavily to the HT's.

The Cobalt MTM is a mystery to me. Does anyone have the specifications on them? In another thread someone mentioned 94db sensitivity at 8ohms. That seems pretty awesome to me. How would these compare to the Helix dome MT? The Helix seem to get a lot of love from the various sources I've looked at. I like the idea of a $500 speaker comparing to a $5000 speaker.

I forgot to mention that I will be crossing these over to a sealed 18" sub. Anyway sorry for the ramble. Just very excited trying to figure all this out. Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
 

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that's a big room . . .
post pics of proposed layout with dimensions
and range of budget
and
very likely 1 sub and the room will not be able to play very well together
clarity begins now . . .
 

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That sounds accurate on the Cobalt MTM. The Helix MT is lower sensitivity but leans toward more full range. Since you have a sub, that wouldn't be a deciding factor. Since music is a bigger factor, I'd say you're on the right path looking at Dome designs instead of the HT-8/10. Generally domes rate better for music unless you want rock show SPL.
 

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Any of the dome tweeter designs will shine for normal level music listening. I did want to throw out though that the HT’s do not require EQ to play nice. The designers here are all very talented at creating speakers that sound sweet “right out of the box” and most play just fine on AVR power.
I also wanted to add that my trio of 1099’s and pair of Volt 10’s are being run off a 50 watt per channel Marantz. Volume is not a problem.
 

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You might find that you really enjoy the sound of compression drivers for music - I do, some people prefer them. But the majority do find dome tweeters to be smoother for music. The Helix MT or Cobalt will work great for you. Keep in mind the inherent differences in ported speakers (Helix/Cobalt/HT) vs sealed subwoofers, different roll off slope etc. Unless you're really going to get into the measurements and DSP though, not to worry about it.
 

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Pretty sure I want to stay at 8ohm's for this build. My current choices are Helix dome MT or HT-8/HT10. I just saw in another thread that the Cobalt's are also coming back so I'm putting those back in the mix as well! Should mention that it's a 50/50 mix for music/home theater. I think I've pretty much decided against the HT's because of my inability to eq them. I feel like I've read in different places they may need eq to sound their best. Or is this the wrong way to think of them? If this was going to be purely a movie room I would be leaning heavily to the HT's.
I think the "need to eq" is really coming down to trying to make a perfect Home Theater experience, not a shortcoming of the HT speakers. So in general people who are focusing on Home Theater movie watching end up EQing everything with DSPs and try to maximize the experience for all seats. In general though Audyssey (built into your amplifier) will do a really good job getting everything setup properly. A lot of additional EQing goes into getting the subwoofers (generally more than 2, can be upwards of 10!) to mix with the full system and remove nulls. This is something that can be done later and would be required no matter which LCR you have.

If your Home Theater watching is generally more like TV watching (i.e. good sound, but not THX movie theater experience) then the domes are a great choice. The HTs and compression drivers in general are good for reaching the full THX (and louder) sound levels using regular amplifiers since they are usually much higher efficiency (i.e. less wattage to hit THX levels). This comes into play especially when you consider music might use the LR only whereas movie watching requires LCR, surrounds, Atmos, etc. So for music the amplifier has to drive 2 speakers, in Home Theater the amplifier has to drive 5 (LCR plus 2 surrounds), 7 (LCR plus 2 surrounds and 2 atmos or sides), or 9. Going from a Dome efficiency of 88 (for Helix MT) to 95 (HT10) makes a huge difference when driving LCR plus all of the surrounds.
 

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Has anybody on here heard Bagby's Solstice design (sold by parts express?). Curious how that would compare with other designs on DIYSG. There used to be an old bagby design document for it I think claiming F3 ~30Hz, so perfect for fullrange LRs.
 

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Lots of good feedback! Thanks! I figured all of diysoundgroups kits were excellent but it's always good to actually hear that from people who know. If it was just me I would go for the THX movie experience. My wife doesn't like movies played that loudly. Although I've tried to tell her that the efficient HT speakers would play effortlessly at higher volumes unlike what we are currently used to. She was decidedly unimpressed.

I understand that EQ would be needed for best in room response. It's just that at this time I'm focusing on speakers and don't have access to EQ. A new receiver with that ability will probably be my next upgrade though. It's just not in the cards for now.

Yesterday I made the mistake of watching Steve Guttenberg(the audiophiliac). So I spent some time researching some speakers he recommended. Now I'm even more confused because some look like real contenders to be good for the money. One in particular I was looking at is the JBL stage a170. Any opinions on how that may stack up against the Helix MT or Cobalt MT? It's a 2.5 way floorstander and seems like it may have a little more heft behind it than a bookshelf speaker. Currently about $360 for a pair. With little knowledge of such things I feel like Helix is a more refined speaker with higher quality drivers. But the JBL would have a higher sensitivity, bigger box, and more weight to the sound. Lol. I really have no idea what I'm talking about. Would the Helix be a no-brainer over the JBL? Or vice versa?
 

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... My wife doesn't like movies played that loudly. Although I've tried to tell her that the efficient HT speakers would play effortlessly at higher volumes unlike what we are currently used to. She was decidedly unimpressed. ...
My wife is the same. The difference between clean and compressed, distorted audio played at the same SPL really needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Rather than try to explain it to my wife in advance I simply changed over to more efficient speakers that played more cleanly at higher levels. After awhile I asked her how she liked the sound and she thought it was good even though it was playing at higher SPL than what she could previously tolerate.
 
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