Any Great sounding DIY 5-speaker kits out there for $800?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jeff lam, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I have a budget of about $800 for a set of mains, surrounds and center. Center must be shielded. Small monitors or floorstanding will do fine for mains. Will the DIY route be better than just buying say a pair of mini monitors and the CC370? Any kits out there that will outdo these speakers for the same price?

    Please help.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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  3. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Is there a matching center or would I just use another one of these for the center? Are they really that much better than other brands?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Have you looked at Adire Audio yet? I haven't built these, but many others here have and have been very pleased. The kits don't come with the wood for the cabinets though. So that will be an additional cost. You can get 3 of the Kit281's for $508.50 and 2 of the Kit81's for $259 for a grand total of $767.50 plus the cost of wood, glue, paint/laminate/or vineer and you'll have some killer speakers. The Adire kits use there own 8" shielded midwoofer.
    When I have the budget I plan on building these. Their crossovers come pre-built now, so no soldering experience is necessary.
     
  5. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,

    The ACI emerald makes an excellent center and is shielded. The idea that a center should be a short wide speaker with 2 mid-woofers (ie., MTM configuration) is marketing jive.

    Also, Bill's suggestion- 5 adire 81's or 2 adire 281 and 3 81, another good option. The Adire is a little cheaper with slightly lesser drivers perhaps. Can't go wrong with either.If you want to walk further down the counter, also take a look at madisound.com. If you don't want to make cabinets, they have kits with pre made cabinets.
     
  6. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Brian,

    Those ACI's sound awesome but they are our of my range when I figured out the cabinets were not included. Right now, I won't have the resources and time to make the cabinets so I will need them already pre-made. Does anyone sell a quality cabinet that I could put the ACI drivers in?

    What kits from madisound would you recommend that would be comparable to the ACI's or that would be best for my situation/price range?

    BTW, is Vifa a brand? I noticed madisound had these as well. Are they the same drivers used in the ACI's?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Check out Speakerbuilder.net for a inexpensive DIY HT set of speakers. Look for the Dayton HT project in the DIY Projects link.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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  9. BobL

    BobL Agent

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  10. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Jeff,
    I've built both the Adire Audio 281's (towers & sealed) and 81's and they are all excellent speakers. I currently use a pair of 81's for my mains. There are many DIY's out there that will vouch for Adire's quailty (me being one of them). Click my signature if you're interested in seeing them.
    Another company I just became aware of is http://www.speakerpage.com (also called SCH) I just finished building 3 of their K05B41 mini's (they're even sheilded) as surrounds for a friend. I have to say I'm very impressed with these speakers. They compare very favorably to Adire's 81 which I was very surprised with because the kit for a pair costs $150 less than the Adires.
    I've also read many good things about SCH's towers and they go for only $180 a pair. So you could do a pair of towers and 3 mini's ($150) for $330 and that would leave you plenty for the cabinets and keep you under your budget.
    Whatever you choose you can't go wrong with DIY (assuming you can build things). If you go with an established kit you will definetly get something much better than what you could purchase retail.
    -EJ
     
  11. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Wow, so many options now. Thanks for all the links/replies guys. Is there a brand/type of driver that is the best? Are all fairly equal? I'm brand new to DIY in HT. I have built many Car audio sub boxes, but that's simple stuff compared to this. I have never done any veneer/laminate work before. BTW, what's the difference between the two? Is it very difficult to do a good job and make the speakers look nice? Also, what about crossovers? Should I build my own or should I buy one? Again, all I'm looking for is a solid speaker that will outdo the Paradigm minimonitors or the like.

    Thanks Again!
     
  12. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Jeff,

    I have ACI's Emeralds as my mains and center in my HT setup. I would have used them for surrounds as well but I don't have room so I used in-walls instead.

    I have built 4-5 of these Emerald kits and would be willing to build the cabinets for you if you really are interested. Not sure what I'd charge. It would really depend on the finish that you wanted, how soon you needed/wanted them and all that. If you're interested, email me offline.

    Brian
     
  13. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Jeff,
    Brian's suggestion to build the boxes is a good one. Also, the kits at Madisound(Vifa Solo etc) use the exact same drivers as the ACI Emerald. I'm quite sure you'd be happy with either, but Brian's boxes would tip things in favor of the Emerald. Check out the reviews of the ACI Emerald at audioreview.com, and you'll see.
     
  14. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  15. Ben Yang

    Ben Yang Extra

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    I second the recommendation for www.speakerpage.com . I have their towers and am extremely impressed with the sound. As is true for most DIY speakers, the sound quality is far superior to retail, given that most retail speakers carry a 500-1000% markup. I would eagerly compare them to speakers in the $1000-1300 range. They are clean and neutral. The midbass is without "honkiness" or nasal character that I've heard in this price class. Bass dips around 55-60 hz then rolls off again below 40 hz. If you are not willing to veneer, then I'd recommend their black cloth sleeves. Makes a nice professional look.
    If you build four speakers and a center channel, the cost will be ~600 for the kits, plus about 120 for the wood, glue, fiberglass, etc...
    See my page for pics, and I'm happy to answer any questions about them.
    Ben
    http://members.bellatlantic.net/~wpsg/
     
  16. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Just some thoughts in no particular order.
    Even though I've never heard them the Emeralds have a great reputation and are probably the ones to beat. The down side is they are pricey. Brian is an excellent craftsman, you couldn't go wrong having him build them for you. Have you seen his subs and emeralds? Click to see a post @HTT with picture links WOW!
    If you choose to do the work yourself the laminating process isn't terribly difficult. It just takeas a little time and patience. If you can build a speaker box I'd say you probably have enough skill to do the laminate finish.
    As Ben pointed out you can do a cloth finish too, which is what I used on this pair of Adire 281's that I built. I went fancy with the baffle and port but you don't have to do that.
    If you're looking to beat Paradigm minimonitors you're in luck because my in-laws happen to have a pair and I compared the SCH K05B41 mini's to them I really preferred the SCH's more (and that was with no breakin).
    So when I comes down to it whether you build Adire's, ACI's, SCH's or ? I think you'll be happy and you may even save some money too. Plus building speakers is fun and it's really satisfying to listen to something that you created.
    -EJ
     
  17. Fred Seger

    Fred Seger Stunt Coordinator

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    you could also paint your speakers. I've used a flat enamel on the last couple speakers I did and I think they turned out looking great. I've done the gloss black piano finish before but will never go back now. Useing flat paint made things so much faster and easier, and they turned out looking better.
     
  18. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Ben,

    The speakers look great, I am wondering how you applied the cloth covering. Did you have to sew a seam? I like the look of the cloth covering, much like the Def Tech towers.
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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