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Need help selectings HT speakers

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JessDa, May 6, 2006.

  1. JessDa

    JessDa Member

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    I recently finished building some towers for my HT and I was wpndering if anyone had a good choice of speakers to put in them? I was planning on putting 2 6.5" in each front tower and 1 6.5" in each of the rears. I looking for something in the $150 a pair range.

    Jess
     
  2. Don.l

    Don.l Well-Known Member

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    I can't recommend specific brands, but I can recommend going to www.partsexpress.com. They have tons of speaker building supplies. There are also guides and reviews of products. Also, consider posting this in some of the other forums, specifically the product reviews forum.

    Don
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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  4. SamNavy

    SamNavy Well-Known Member

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    Check out this section on the PE website:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...homeaudio.html
    There are a couple dozen projects for you to get a good feel about what others have done. I'm sure after looking through all of these, you'll be able to make an informed decision.

    To stay in your price range per pair:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=296-165
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=264-512
    or to stay cheaper:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=295-306
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=275-055

    If you've never been to the PE website, they're really the biggest/best/most accesible/practically only game in town for the average DIY speaker builder. Click on the "speakers" section on the left side of the main page, and then click on the type of speaker right side... you'll go crazy over all the choices.
     
  5. JessDa

    JessDa Member

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    Thanks for all the replys. Im going to buy something from parts express. Now some more help [​IMG] I currently have the to front towers set up for 2 pairs in each tower and the rears for 1 pair each. What size mid should I be using for what? What size should my center channel speakers be? Do I wire the 2 pairs that are in the fronts together? Im a noob. Its my first project. Can you guys tell?

    Jess
     
  6. SamNavy

    SamNavy Well-Known Member

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    Hold up there cowboy!!!
    The fronts have two pairs each... do you mean a total of 4 woofers per tower? And the rears have a pair of woofers, ie 2 woofers in each speaker... and you're wondering about mids and a matching center channel?
    Stop everything!
    Time for advice from a guy(me) who has made the same mistakes I see you headin' for... ie, tackling a big task like building your own HT system with no plan and no clue. I knew virtually nothing about speakers and was totally gung-ho to get a saw and some MDF and rock the house down... until a little fairy told me about the Parts Express web page I've listed here...
    http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage....ectGroup_ID=72
    I love the internet... Before you go spending hundreds of dollars on drivers and crossovers(forgot about them didn't ya), buy the second book on this page "Designing, Building and Testing Your Own Speaker System",
    and read it start to finish. Trust me on this!

    Didja take a look at the projects?
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...homeaudio.html
    See anything you liked? A huge variety of DIY speaker designs are featured there, with construction diagrams, design theory, driver selection, crossover design, etc... Take a look at this one:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...ilee/index.htm
    it appears to be exactly what you're looking for but with just a single driver. You could use a pair of these for surrounds:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...ayton2way.html
    and build a nice matching center channel with a pair of the same Dayton woofers and tweeter that match the surrounds.

    And definitely buy "Designing, Building and Testing Your Own Speaker System".
    So, whaddya think?
     
  7. DaveHo

    DaveHo Well-Known Member

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    Am I reading this correctly? You've built the cabinets and are just now selecting drivers to mount in them? That a backwards way of going about it. Just slapping any ol' driver in the those boxes is likely to yeld mediocre results at best. It can be done, but would have been much easier if you had bought the drivers first and built the cabinets around them. Time to do some reading as suggested above.
     
  8. JessDa

    JessDa Member

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    Thanks again for all the links. As for the towers it was 1 pair in each front tower and the rears have 1 driver each. The only reason the boxes were built first was because the original design was based around my first selection for speakers which I later found out wont work for HT. Leave it to a car audio store to try to sell me something that wont work. So now im left with finished boxes ( no holes have been cut yet ) Just wasent sure what size drivers to use in each box. Ive looked at alot of them and their dosent seem to be a standard. I see everything from 5 1/4, 6" to 6 1/2".
     
  9. SamNavy

    SamNavy Well-Known Member

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    Jess, what drivers were you sold out of curiosity?
    What are the dimensions of the boxes you've made?
    Are you planning to use a subwoofer with this setup?
    Do you know about crossovers?
    What receiver are you using?
    What are the dimensions of the room you're going to be putting these speakers in and what kind of TV do you have?

    Answer these questions and more good advice will come...
     
  10. JessDa

    JessDa Member

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    Well the drivers they tried to sell me were some JL Audio XR650-CXI componet speakers. I called JL before I bought them and they said they probally wuldnt work.

    The box sizes were 8" wide, 8" Tall, 10" Deep

    I already have a subwoofer

    I knew about crossovers. (kinda) The JL's I was going to buy came with them.

    Im using a Onkyo reciever. Not sure about the model without looking at it.

    Size of the room is kinda hard. I have a 1100 sq finished basement and my TV is in one corner of it. I would say around 12'X12' roughly.

    My TV is a 60" SOny LCD
     
  11. SamNavy

    SamNavy Well-Known Member

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    OK Jess, it's making more sense now.
    First off, 8x8x10 are not tower speakers... they're small bookshelf speakers. Assuming you used 1/2" MDF or plywood and the dimensions you gave me are exterior, that makes around .25cuft per box. If the front is 8"x8", how were you planning on putting 2 6.5" speakers on there? If you were also planning on having a 2-way system, ie also a tweeter, then you'll be limited at the most to single 5.25" woofer? Am I missing something?
    Like DaveHo said, finding a set of speakers to match your already made boxes is kinda doing things backwards, but can still work. I'm assuming the box is sealed, if that's the case, it looks like you're trying to build THESE with some slightly different dimensions:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...ayton2way.html
    If this is what you're looking for, then problem solved, my recommendations are to purchase these:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=295-301
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=275-055
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=260-146
    That puts you right at $100 total... then you'll need binding posts:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...umber=091-1245
    These only require one 1/4" hole to mount and then solder the wire onto the solder tab
    Then you'll need a foot or two of wire to connect the binding posts to the crossover and then to the drivers... any cheap Radio Shack 12guage wire will do.
    The crossovers must of course be mounted inside the box, not outside like in car audio where the crossover has it's own case and you just stick it inside the door.
    If I'm right so far, then these boxes seem suited to be your surround speakers, not the main fronts. You can use them for fronts, but they're going to need to be placed on stands. Then just build 2 more like it and you've got your rears.
    I think you need to build some real towers for your fronts though, nothing too big, but these 8" ones seem perfect for a 12'x12' room:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...ah8/index.html
    They will be a perfect sonic match to your surrounds... and now for a center channel, I recommend using the same 5.25" drivers and 1" tweeter that we talked about in the surrounds... just build the box along the same lines that you built the surrounds but big enough to put 2 of the woofers on the front panel, say 13"wide, 7"high, 7"deep.

    The plan I've outlined for you get you some great sounding speakers at a great price, with just a little sweat on your part... but just following my advice won't teach you anything or let you know why you've built the things you have. I haven't talked at all about crossover points, driver specifications, porting, speaker placement, and zillion other things you should be considering.
    You need to buy that book I recommended, or one of the other good ones on the page I linked so you can really understand what you're doing, and not why you're following the advice of someone who had nothing else going on, on a Sunday afternoon.

    One more question, what subwoofer do you have?
     
  12. JessDa

    JessDa Member

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    Hey thanx again sam. Check your PM's I sent you one their.
     
  13. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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    This I can easily agree with...

    Good Luck with your project.

    If you invest a few years of time to learn the engineering behind speaker design you will probably will get great results.

    If you leverage the work and design of others that are experienced (build a proven design with the same enclosure dimensions, drivers, AND crossover), you can get really great results without having to do all the engineering yourself.

    If you try to put some random drivers in a box, (even using expensive drivers) your chances of getting anything decent are just about zero.

    Joe L.
     
  14. SamNavy

    SamNavy Well-Known Member

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    Thank God somebody else chimed in to help this guy out. I'm definitely in my infancy here also.

    Joe, you're absolutely right on all points, I didn't do as much homework as I should have before making my suggestions. I was trying to get away from having Jess make his own crossovers as part of his first project, so I just picked a point in the middle of where the specs say those drivers run out, ie 4000hz on the woofer, and 3000hz on the tweeter. That Dayton 3500hz crossover made sense, but again, I show my infancy. In fact, I didn't even read the write-up on those little bookshelves... or I would have known better... lesson learned.
     
  15. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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  16. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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    Another decent looking choice using .5 cubic foot enclosures is this design:
    http://www.speakerbuilder.net/web_fi...k/pcrkmain.htm

    It is slightly more expensive design, but from what I've read, a step up from the budget 2 way also designed by Wayne and featured in the Parts Express project showcase. (You can even use the pre-assembled PartsExpress cabinets for a really professional result.)

    Joe L.
     

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