Completed my Stage 4 Pi speakers

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by James W. Johnson, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    A little background:
    I grew up in a broken home where my mother raised me and my little brother..she basically became a workaholic and still is to this day. As a result she would show us love by buying us things , since time was something she could not spare.
    So as a young kid I developed a love for electronics.

    I gradually worked my way up to inexpesive seperates for my stereo system and never really expanded much on it until I got into the HT side of things in 1998.

    My venture into better stuff started out with some Paradigm monitor 7s and a B&K 125wpc amp and pre-amp. My first HT reciever was a Denon AVR-3300 and right about this time I was getting bored with the Paradigms so I upgraded to a PSB Image series package.
    I was quite unhappy with the Image series speakers so I took back the package and traded all 5 speakers in for a pair of PSB Stratus Bronze speakers and I just kept using my cheap Radio Shack speakers for surround duty.
    Also I ended up getting rid of the Denon and purchased a Sony ES reciever which I was much happier with the livier sound it produced...it used BB Dacs like the Denon but simply sounded better and had quite a bit more power.

    I then built my Adire Kit 281s which would end up being my main speakers for many years. During this time I experimented with several speakers from JBL , a few small DIY projects and a few other commerical speakers.

    I wont get into the subwoofer side of things but I have owned some from Paradigm, Velodyne, Sony , Cerwin Vega, Servodrive and have built 15-20 subwoofers.

    Anyhow I developed some liver problems a few years ago and got out of the scene for awhile, last year I got back into it and sold my Adire Kit 281s and bought an all new HT consisting of a Yamaha RX-V3300 receiver and all Klipsch Referece speakers, RF-3IIs were my mains.
    These were my introduction into super high efficiency speakers...I say super high because really many others I have owner were in the 92dB area and many people would consider those pretty efficient as well.
    I loved many of the qualitys about the Klipsch speakers , most of all I enjoyed them for my day to day use which is a max of around 80dB...but if I took these up over 95dB or so they became ear bleeders.
    I tried all sorts of rememdys to get rid of this but to no avail, I did learn a valuable lesson though..you cannot change certain properties about how a loudspeaker sounds just by change out the other components.

    And I did change out everything.. the Yamaha was my last receiver , from now on its seperates.
    I now have an Aragon Soundstage Pre-amp and a Parasound 1500A amp, I still need 3 more channels and 3 more speakers for that matter because I sold all of my Klipsch speakers.

    I put alot of thought into what I would build this time and finally settled on some speakers I considered building a few years ago. So I settled on the Stage Series 4 Pis.

    I really tried to keep my expectations neutral because while I have read this and that about a speaker I usually find that actually listening to it results in something different. Who knows, wether it be that I can hear better or worse or have higher or lower expecations that the other person , all I know is I really need to hear something for myself before passing a final judgement.

    Anyhow they are built and I have had them going for 3 days now and I am happy to say that they are just what I was looking for in a speaker.
    I'd decribe them as full bodied, without being too much of any one thing at any SPL. A subwoofer is definatly needed to fill in the bottom end but the upper bass region and midrange area is crisp and punchy and the high end is crisp and crystal clear without being harsh.
    These sound great at 75db and sound good to as high of volume levels as you could possibly want.

    Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Madonna are a few of my favorite female singers and all of them sound wonderful. They sound more real then I have ever heard them, almost as if they were singing in the room. Every other speaker I have owned would sound artifical to some degree in comparison.
    Bob Dylan , The Who, Beastie Boys, The Crystal Method are a few of my favorites and all sound great.
    I have CDs in piles all over the place because I have been going thur pretty much every one of them anxious to hear what they sound like on my new speakers.

    The only other speaker I had that comes close to these as far as satisfying me were my Adire Kit 281s but I am happy to have finally found something that blows them out of the water..after all that is the ultimate goal when upgrading...all too often my upgrades have been lateral moves or even downgrades but not this time.

    Now that I have these built I am going to build a center and surrounds to match.

    Of course I doubt these speakers would satify the golden ears of some of you but Id bet many of you guys would enjoy them as well.

    Click on my project link below for pics.


    BTW if you plan on trying some Pi speakers Wayne Parham, the owner and designer will gladly email you the plans for free..just ask. He is very willing and always happy to answer any questions you have while building these as well. Thanks Wayne!
     
  2. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Yahoo! Besides being quite envious, I'm very glad to hear this. Tell us more. [​IMG]
     
  3. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    Just curious, didn't the kit come with an XO? why did you choose to buy another one? Looks like from that page you bought another one from madisound.

    EDIT: never mind looks like you just got the plans from Pi, then bought hardware else where, and looks like you saved quite a bit. I wonder how the OX that came with a kit would compare to the one you assembled from madisound.
     
  4. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Glad to hear you found what you were looking for...for now[​IMG] They turned out great[​IMG]
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Do these speakers sit on the floor, or on stands?
     
  6. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    They sit on the floor which with my situation bring the top of the horns to within 3-4" of ear level.
     
  7. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Probably no audible differnece, botique parts certainly look cooler though and since you have that 15" woofer hole (14" hole) you can slap them on a huge crossover board so nothing is cramped. :)
     
  8. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Well one thing I forgot to mention was the fact that they are alot more forgiving with poorer recordings compared to my very unforgiving Klipsch speakers.
    One extreme example is from O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, Harry McClintock "Big Rock Candy Mountain" which is an old recording with alot of hiss, my Klispch speakers seemed to amplify the hiss more than the music while the Pis are the opposite.
    I have several old Jazz recordings that just never sounded that good on the Klipschs so I have not spun them in awhile...I look forward to doing so again with the Pis.
     
  9. Bob K

    Bob K Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    I've been following your progress both here and on the Pi Speakers forum. Congratulations, you've done a beautiful job. I've had a pair of Pi Theater 4s in a music-only system for a little over a year and am not surprised that you're very happy with your Stage 4s.

    With the right amplification, I don't think my Theater 4s need a sub, but I'm using low-power SETs that roll off in the bass, so earlier this year I added a sealed Tempest and am delighted with the results.

    Happy listening!

    Bob

    Pi Studio 2 Tower Construction Pix: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/m...view_album.php
     

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