As my basement finishing project crawls along toward completion, I have been pondering my speaker decision more and more as of late. I have a fairly large open floor plan, much of which will be used for HT/music. I find myself favoring the use of 6 towers, a center, and a sub, as far as speakers go. So, because I am not rich, and my general basement finishing expenses have crept up higher than expected, I need to go with bang-for-the-buck towers if I am to keep that plan alive. I have auditioned Energy's C-line of towers, and thought that getting the C5s all around would be a good plan. My wife loves how they look as well (the canadian maple/silver look), and they are very stable boxes. I've read good things about the HTD level III towers too, and those would be a cheaper alternative. I prefer front vents as the side speakers may have to be quite close to a wall. Then I started reading about some of the DIY experiences, and have become intrigued. I don't have a lot of woodworking skills, but I do like to tinker, and have built several electronic projects just because the exact thing I wanted/needed didn't exist. My next door neighbor, however, has a full-blown wood shop, and for a bottle of wine, I'm sure I could solicit some help in getting some of the tough stuff accomplished. I'm intrigued with the Adire Kit281 (vented) and the SCH K08T23 kits. I like the fact that the Kit 281s have a center design that should integrate well, but the shorter SCH towers would have better WAF. What I'd really like to know is how these DIY speakers compare to a commercial speaker like the Energy C5, which are considered nice bang-for-the-buck commercial speakers? Also, I'd probably seal the deal with my wife if I could find some canadian maple vinyl vaneer to make my speakers look like the Energys. Anybody DIY with vinyl veneer? Do you know a good source with decent selection? Parts Express has a beech vinyl which looks alright, but I don't know if it is THE color that I need.