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SEAS Trym DIY Speaker Build


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#1 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 06 2011 - 04:00 PM

Notice: This thread started as a DIY advise thread, it is now a DIY log for a SEAS Trym build I'm doing. Check the second page for mre specific information. So I originally posted about speaker options, but now I'm thinking I might want to venture into DIY for this one. Any suggestions about how I can make a good pair of larger bookshelf speakers for around $500? So far I've only looked into subwoofer DIY projects, but haven't really thought about speaker DIY stuff yet, so any and all help/advice is welcomed! :D

#2 of 58 Mike Thomass

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Posted December 07 2011 - 02:00 AM

you can make a pair of these for about $350 or less (i made them, but at the moment, dont recall the exact cost. i realize they arent bookshelf, but so what) i will be making at least one of these as a center then, two of these as surround i may make 3 of the D3s and use as center and surround. not sure i pair of d3 wont cost you 500. if you had your heart set on spending the whole 500, look elsewhere. theres a bunch of projects on parts express, but i dont have the expertise to advise which are worth the effort. i would imagine though that most are worth it.

#3 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 03:31 AM

Mike, Looking at the first pair, I'm not so sure I want full tower mains yet. Also, looking at the individual parts used, they don't seem to use the best parts you could get on parts express (parts like the woofers which never get THAT expensive on PE). The second and the third link you posted look more doable for my space, but I'm not entirely certain I have the time to do a full construction DIY job and I'm not certain about making my own crossovers, but I might be willing to delve into it if it will give me higher quality. I might, however, depending on the descriptiveness of the plans I'm using. I'm good with my hands and wood working tools, but haven't ever made speakers, so maybe it's just nervousness. :D I was looking at these parts for my setup: Dayton RS180-8 7" Reference Woofer Dayton RS28F-4 Silk Dome Tweeter I'm open to suggestions as to other parts that might be better quality, but these both get high reviews anywhere I find them. If I could use these parts in a pair of bookshelf speakers, I would feel better about that. I think I basically just have to go with large bookshelf speaks because the space isn't large enough to warrant full towers, plus I'll be pairing the speakers with my SVS SB12-NSD, so I'm not lacking in low end. I really just want to build a pair of speakers that could rival these B&W 685s or these NHT Classic Twos for the same cost, or less. The important thing for me is the quality (and also the looks, to the extent that I might actually be able to build nice looking cabinets haha).

#4 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 04:15 AM

I've also heard good things about Swan for a while, but does anyone know if they would offer anything in the price range of around $50-75 per woofer? I'd be willing to go as high as $100 per each woofer, but thats only if something for $100 will produce vastly superior quality to something around $75. I looked at these because the specs look nice and the 89 dB sensitivity is sort of a plus (though maybe I'm wrong). Hopefully Robert_J will chime in too, he's got good experience in DIY that would likely be invaluable to me.

#5 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:32 AM

Mike, Also, looking at the individual parts used, they don't seem to use the best parts you could get on parts express (parts like the woofers which never get THAT expensive on PE).

As far as crossover parts go, they use the best parts available. The drivers are the best available in their the price range.

The second and the third link you posted look more doable for my space, but I'm not entirely certain I have the time to do a full construction DIY job and I'm not certain about making my own crossovers, but I might be willing to delve into it if it will give me higher quality. I might, however, depending on the descriptiveness of the plans I'm using. I'm good with my hands and wood working tools, but haven't ever made speakers, so maybe it's just nervousness. :D

It's a simple box. Crossovers are just placing components on a board and soldering. I use zip ties and hot melt glue to hold them in place.

I was looking at these parts for my setup: Dayton RS180-8 7" Reference Woofer Dayton RS28F-4 Silk Dome Tweeter.

Yes, those are more expensive and they are better quality than the Dayton Classic series. On the other hand the woofer requires a much more complex crossover to tame break-up above 2,200hz. You could build this as a smaller, sealed speaker - https://sites.google...peakers/db717tl . Here are some other projects - http://www.rjbaudio.com/projects.html

#6 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:57 AM

Alright, so I'm up for the DIY job, whatever parts I end up going with. I knew nothing about building computers before I built my first, so I'll put the same idea of learning as I go to the test in terms of speakers. So now, I need to choose parts. I'm only focused on quality here, so whatever work I have to put into making a good crossover, I'm willing to do. My budget is around $700 max for a pair of bookshelf speakers with at least 6.5" woofers. That in mind, what are the best components I could go for? Also, I know nothing about building enclosures, so any advise/link to similar size designs is helpful. This looked interesting, but I'm guessing out of my price range since it uses a Seas woofer: DD8-1

#7 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 07:05 AM

Actually, I really like the cabinet design he uses on the DD8.1s so I would like to use the same measurements if I could. If I could go with a 7" woofer, would I just need to widen the front baffle surface to accommodate that and then adjust all the other measurements accordingly? Also, I'm not set on the components he uses because I don't know the pricing and the dome tweeter he says sounds a bit harsh at times.

#8 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 08:29 AM

I drew up a rough first measurement design of the front baffle, wondering if this would work for a 7" woofer (as shown on the drawing). I left room for a possible port at the bottom, or I could make it closer to 15" total height and keep it sealed. Thoughts on this? http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ The most important thing for the enclosure is, of course, the woofer, so I need to make a decision on that first before elaborating on the enclosure design any further. Suggestions on what the best ~$100 woofer would be?

#9 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 07 2011 - 10:24 AM

Choose a proven design. You don't want to design a crossover from scratch. It takes a few hundred in test equipment and software and a few years for the learning curve. You don't want an off-the-shelf crossover because that is like going to Autozone and just buying car parts at random. Yes, they may bolt together and drive but you have no idea how the car will handle. I suggest the Dayton II's. Really. They are great bookshelf speakers. I run a pair of them. Ignore the dust. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#10 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 10:41 AM

Gotcha. I figured designing my own crossover would be work than I could handle at this point. I'm still a little uneasy about the quality I'm going to get out of them though. I mean, for $300, am I going to get a speaker that will rival the B&W 685? It just seems hard to believe, since I'm willing to spend $300 per speaker if I can build a proven design at that cost. Really honestly, I'm not just looking at the price and saying, "that's too far below my price range". I'm only interested in the quality of speaker I get or make and I set my budget at around $650 because that's precisely what I can comfortably spend at the moment. If I get speakers below my budget that don't sound as good as what I could have gotten at my budget limit, then the speakers I got won't really be worth it to me. Also, if the Dayton speaker pair will perform at the level of the B&Ws, then why wouldn't I build something better/higher quality and have speakers that OUTPERFORM the B&Ws for the same cost? So, I suppose I am pretty set on spending within my budget: $500-$650. Any proven designs in this price range I should look at?

#11 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 07 2011 - 11:19 AM

The Dayton III's compare to speakers costing about $2,000/pair. The DII's sound the same but they aren't as loud and don't have the bass response. You have a sub so you don't need the bass response. They are loud enough to crank up to a point that I can't hear my wife when she yells at me to turn it down. And they still sound good loud. Do they sound like uber high end speakers? No. Last year my wife and I had the chance to tour Egglestonworks Speakers in Memphis. We had about 45 minutes in their listening room talking to one of their marketing guys and listening to the Savoy speakers ($55,000/pair) powered by Boulder monoblock amps ($45,000 each), with a CD transport and digital to analog converter that I couldn't recognize. The record player was in the $20,000 range. During the listening my wife said, "Those speakers sound better than the ones you built but not THAT much better." You will be surprised how good they do sound. Read the design philosophy behind them - http://www.speakerbu...s/D2/d2main.htm Here's me between a Savoy and an Andras III. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#12 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 12:06 PM

Very cool speakers! Way overpriced though, couldn't justify buying them even if I had the money (haha). Ok, so the Dayton II series... Could you post a link to the DIY kit for that series. I'm assuming its not the RS621 pair on parts-express, correct? A couple of other questions out of curiosity: 1. What kind of wood is best for the enclosure, if I do indeed have to build an enclosure? 2. If I wanted to, is there a proven design out there using this woofer: SEAS W18E-001? (I only ask because I worked out the cost of a pair with these woofers and it's right in the middle of my price range, and I've heard only good things about SEAS woofers; a couple SEAS DIY kits use these woofers, so I'd expect someone has built a good design based on their model) 3. As a follow up to question 2, wouldn't a build using these woofers make better speakers? I completely understand that more expensive does not mean better, but I also know that SEAS is a much higher regarded company for woofers than Dayton and generally sound better (personal opinion). I've heard Dayton bookshelf speakers (don't know the type) and, while they sounded good, I thought they sounded like $300 speakers. Flat enough sounding response, but they sounded light and empty in a way. Realistically, I want speakers that will make me think they're worth at least $1000. I've never heard SEAS woofers, but the general consensus I've seen is that they vastly outperform many more expensive woofers. I'm very sorry to go back on this idea that the Daytons are cheaper than my budget, but really I'm just looking for what higher quality I could get for a little more cash. If there aren't ANY proven designs using the above SEAS woofers, then I'll go for the Dayton pair, but if there are, I'd like to go for the SEAS woofers.

#13 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 07 2011 - 12:26 PM

Also, SEAS provides crossover schematics and cabinet specs for this DIY: SEAS Trym Basically uses the SEAS W22EX-001 and the SEAS Excel T25CF-002, which looks to be a higher priced version of the T25CF-001. Both are reasonably within my price range and with the schematic drawing SEAS provides for the Trym DIY speaker plus my friend who's extremely good with electronics' help (he's an electrical engineering major at Cal Tech) I feel like I could do this build. Wouldn't this be worth it? It puts my cost at about $700 for the woofers and tweeters. Considering it now, I'd say that will be in my price range if I get all the components over time. EDIT: Also, I'm willing to spend whatever time I need to, in order to learn how to make the crossover SEAS shows. So I'm really not concerned about that very much as long as I have the schematic.

#14 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 04:20 AM

Seas is a great speaker manufacturer and I'm sure they design great speaker. $700 for a DIY speaker was outside of my budget. If this fits your budget as well as design criteria (small, bookshelf) then go for it. You will find out the crossover is extremely easy to build.

#15 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 08 2011 - 04:51 AM

Yeah, I was reading up on crossover building last night and getting a pretty good grasp on it. Going to pick up a soldering iron and some of the crossover parts and start building them next friday. My reasoning for wanting to build as good a speaker as I can right now, is basically just so that I can ensure that they'll last me a long time and I can be happy to listen to them and know that I built them. Thanks for the advise! One final question I have is, if I didn't want to mess with porting (I can't find the size port they suggest anyways) and I think the 8" woofer will produce enough low end for me in a sealed enclosure, should I just adjust my height measurements so that it equates to the correct volume measurement SEAS posts on the woofer page? I only ask because SEAS posts the low cut off freq. at 53 Hz for a sealed enclosure and 33 Hz for a ported one; I have a good sub, so I'm not going need the speakers to get any lower than 80-90 Hz. These are the specs SEAS gives for the two different enclosures: Ported http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ Sealed http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ What do you guys think? If I don't need that 33 Hz low end cut off as opposed to the 53 Hz, should I adjust the measurements and make a sealed enclosure? Or would that screw up the effectiveness of the crossover? (I don't really see how it could, but maybe I'm wrong)

#16 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 10:53 AM

Going to pick up a soldering iron and some of the crossover parts and start building them next friday.

Do you have a local place to get polypropylene caps, air core inductors with the correct resistance and non-inductive, wire wound resistors? Don't go cheap on the crossover. It's like buying a Porsche and then getting cheap tires at Wal-Mart. Your speaker will only be as good as the weakest part. Sealed will work fine. Make sure you keep the woofer to tweeter spacing the same and the width of the baffle the same. All other measurements are adjustable as long as you end up with the correct final volume.

#17 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:41 AM

Do you have a local place to get polypropylene caps, air core inductors with the correct resistance and non-inductive, wire wound resistors? Don't go cheap on the crossover. It's like buying a Porsche and then getting cheap tires at Wal-Mart. Your speaker will only be as good as the weakest part.

They carry some of the parts for the crossover on partsexpress, but where would you suggest I look? The crossover schematic calls for these components: 2.0 mH 14 AWG coil .22 mH 22 AWG coil .56 mH 22 AWG coil 12 uF cap. 4.3 uF cap 10 uF cap 4 ohm res. 3.3 ohm res. 22 ohm res. I can't seem to find 22 AWG coils anywhere online, and I'm having trouble finding a 22 ohm resistor. Thoughts on where I should look?

#18 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 01:29 PM

PE is usually the cheapest. Madisound and Meniscus both offer similar parts. To get a 22 ohm resistor, get a 10 and a 12 and put them in series. With the price of copper, it's cheaper to shop around for the right sized coil.

#19 of 58 iBalisy

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Posted December 08 2011 - 01:50 PM

I figured I'd have to put a 10 and 12 together to get the 22, just wanted to make sure. So would the parts from PE be good? Would these Mills resistors be better than these Daytons? Would the Dayton PMPC or DMPC capacitors be good or should I look for something else? Would this inductor be good?

#20 of 58 Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:13 PM

The Dayton resistors are more than adequate. I like the DMPC caps. Air core inductors are just wire. As long as you get the correct size, you are good. As with the drivers, don't always equate price with quality. I've been dabbling in speaker building since the mid 80's and nobody beats PE for their value. Yes, you can build a speaker that sound better than PE's bargain drivers and crossover parts but it will cost you 3 to 4 times more while only being modestly better. There's a point to ME where my ROI isn't worth the extra quality. For you, that may be different.