Dayton BR-1 DIY kit

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Chris Tsutsui, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I completed a pair of Dayton BR-1 kits today. I think it took me close to 1.5 hours. I hooked them up to a Rotel amp and gave them a whirl to see if they really are worth the $140 price tag (Came Free shipping from Partsexpress)

    The tweeter looks very similar to the GR-Research AV series soft dome. It has a glossy coat over a small silk dome and the woofer is made of a stiff paper. It also sounded similar to the GRs when I fired it up... It was as if I was hearing a replica of the GR-Research AV-1 only with a slightly lower quality crossover.

    The Sound was on the laid back side, a bit too warm for my taste. Vocals had a slight touch of grain and grunge to them, which spelled out "budget" 2-way to me. The soundstage was very nice, similar to the AV series. Bass was impressive, and reminded me of my JBL S38s. Clean, accurate bass, wasn't muddy, and doesn't sound cut off. I could easily enjoy these without a sub unlike other bookshelf 2-ways.

    The sound quality vs cost is unbeatable. I'd take these over a stock pair of JBL S38s. The highs are not fatiguing, and these are capable of loud spls without harshness. This is probably due to their laid back nature, and that they arn't very sensitive speakers with a small 85db sens. I used a 100 watt per channel amp that was able to drive these to louder than casual levels just fine, but I fear low power receivers may have trouble pushing these to reference. Another quirk I had was that they arn't shielded which to some ppl is a priority.

    There were many surprises in this kit as well. My first shock was at the flawless craftsmanship of the enclosure. Although a bit on the thin side at 5/8" MDF, it was precision CNCed and covered perfectly with a fancy vinyl Black Ash finish. The craftsmanship is better than the ones on my JBL Studio speakers and even those are CNC routed. The half plastic/half cardboard port is flared and flush mounted. There's no internal bracing, but the kit comes with 1/5" thick egg crate foam to cover ALL sides of the inner box. It comes with a dark black polyester knit cloth over a CNC routered grill to act as a cover up The grill comes on/off with ease using the speaker/ball grill mounts.

    It has Sound King 16ga wire, and comes with female disconnects which I tossed because I used direct soldering methods. It even came with phillips screws so I didn't need to use anything of mine other than solder and adhesive, and the terminal came pre drilled as wekk.

    The kit came with detailed instructions so any newbie can build them in a couple hours. I was very suprised to see that the crossover was designed smart to keep the Budget low. Dayton PP capacitors were used except for one electrolyte on the Zobel filter. There are 2 resistors as attenuators on the tweeter and the crossover consisted of a simple electrical 2nd order on both the woofer and tweeter. (I believe it's a Linkwitz Riley)

    Will I ever buy this speaker to use for my own? Probably not. I'm a fan of speakers that are forward, accurate, with high sensitivity like my Vifa (Premium) 2-ways. These speakers would be good for ambient classical music while eating, or listening to some jazz at a party. These make rock music a bit on the smooth side, and it's too easy on the ears for my taste. I like something that has some bite, but isn't too harsh.

    In conclusion, I think that if you have a low budget and can safely use a soldering iron, these make an excellent choice. I believe these make excellent low cost "laid back" speakers. Best part of all, they actually play a generous amount of bass for their size. I could spend hours listening to these with no fatigue and stay mesmorized by the soundstage. They didn't have a whole lot of depth, but the separation of sounds and details weren't lacking. You have to picture hearing a cymbal and all its detail, only listening to a recreation of that symbol so it's slightly easier on the ears than a real one...

    At $140, I doubt anyone will feel ripped off after hearing them (Properly assembled that is). I give it my [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Great review Chris. There arent many speaker kits out there under $150 that can be given the seal of approval.
     
  3. Dean Mar

    Dean Mar Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    Thanks for taking the time to write about these speakers. I have been seriously thinking about purchasing a pair of these for my daughter. I have an older 120 watt per channel amp and preamp that she could use with them. They would be used to listen mostly to pop music in her bedroom.

    Your review has convinced me to get a pair, I figure for a total of $140 that I really can't go wrong. Plus it will give me a chance to use soldering skills that I haven't used in many years.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the review. I've been curious about there and I demoed the AV-1s for a while, so I'm familiar with your comparison.

    It's too bad they don't have a sheilded version. They would make a nice pair of computer speakers given an inexpensive amp.

    Too bad they stopping carrying that $99 subwoofer kit - I bet they would be a great combo for
     
  5. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    The BR-1's are good and bad. They come with textbook crossovers, but the designer has a recipe to take away some of the grundge. The surrounds blow apart easily. It takes time to solder and wire them up, but it is great for a DIYer project. The sound is actually good for that price point. They are not B&W's, but they do work well in HT.
     
  6. Joe.Kuta

    Joe.Kuta Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the opportunity to build one of these kits through my university for $60.

    I am wondering how they compare to my current speakers, JBL S26.

    Also, how they would sound paired with the S26's,
    for when I have an actual home theater (not just a school apt room).
    Are the timbres enough alike?

    here is my current rig::
    http://www.KU74.net/kutaudio
     
  7. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, my post was in July and I am surprised the thread is still open.
    At $60 assembling the BR-1 is a good deal. You see how speakers are made and why certain things are done to reach the final goal of sound reproduction. I do not know the specs on the S26, you would have to compare the crossover and drivers along with enclosure type with the BR-1. The impedance would have to match to reach similar volume levels as well. You could use these JBL's as surrounds and make three BR-1 cabinets. It is most important to have identical speakers in the left, center ands right speakers for panning and timbre matching.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    A note of caution from personal experience:

    I would be very careful about soldering wires directly to a speaker, especially to tweeters. Their own internal lead's solder joint can heat up and pull away from their own respective terminals. And if soldered on too long, a plastic tweeter dome could be melted where the wire connects to the voice coil. Personally I wouldn't ever solder a hook-up wire to a speaker for these reasons--and I've pulled apart many speakers and can't remember any of them having corroded male/female terminals except for a couple of ancient no-name brand cheapies.

    Ever notice how many high power, big-name woofers come with binding post or heavy duty spring-loaded posts? If power transfer problems were an issue I'm quite sure they wouldn't use these. Car battery cables seem to have no problems with non-solder joints, and they handle hundreds of amps of current. And those unsoldered things called RCA jacks, the same ones that handle the tiny & delicate signals from CD players, preamps, etc.?

    LJ
     
  9. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    From one of earlier posts: "The surrounds blow apart easily. It takes time to solder and wire them up, but it is great for a DIYer project."

    True use caution with soldering tweeter terminals (use heat sinks, or just not solder the tweet lead at all), but in the Dayton BR-1 kit what I was refering to when I metioned soldering was the crossover. The kit comes with the crossover network broken-down. Meaning Parts Express sends you a printed circuit board, caps, coils, etc. and you insert the leads and solder these parts to the PCB.


    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=16226&DID=7
     
  10. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    I use the BR-1's as my music speakers, in conjunction with an SVS sub. I am more than satisfied and consider them to be an absolutely ridiculous value. I can't imagine developing an urge to upgrade anytime soon.

    I think BR-1's and the new Dayton sub would be the ideal budget setup.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Scott: you're right. :b Didn't know the x-over had to be put together also.

    LJ
     
  12. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, and the crossover assembly, although the most labor intensive part of the kit teaches one about crossover design and the need for proper polarity and soldering skills.
     
  13. Joe.Kuta

    Joe.Kuta Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thanks for all the insight!

    I am signed up to instruct at the workshop:
    http://ieee.ece.uiuc.edu/modules.php...rticle&sid=637

    And I am gonna help their committee w/ a subwoofer workshop,
    as I just completed building a sub/

    I also encouraged as many people as I could to attend the workshop with me,
    including my Music TA. He is in need of some speakers!

    I am definately look forward to this.
    My only worry is the laid back and warm tweeter,
    I'd imagine myself to prefer something as sharp as some Klipsch horn tweeters!!

    But for $60 you cannot go wrong.
    I will most likely replace my S26's with these, and might use the S26's as surrounds.

    Will post my experience building and experiencing after next Saturday [​IMG]
     
  14. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe, you will be happy with the BR-1 tweeter. I have 7 BR-1 cabinets in a 7.1 in one of my systems and it reproduces the highs silky and lifelike. They are less harsh then Peerless tweets and and cost much less than Scan-Speak, Dynaudio, or Morel tweeters. For the money the Parts Express tweeter has a good sound.
     

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