Looking for a cheap DIY speaker kit...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Libby, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Ryan Libby

    Ryan Libby Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never heard Totem's Dreamcatchers, but read they are great, and sound like the neutral 5.1 in maple I've been looking for. But since my father,(a 50-something contractor), has every tool in the book and I'm a bit of a handyman/artist I am going to give the intimidating world of DIY a shot and maybe get more out of my $2K.

    I thought we might play it safe and test our skill with a very cheap speaker kit. I would even like to find something that didn't come in pairs. If it turns out well, then we turn $2k into the best 5.1 setup I can find...bird's eye or quilted maple...piano lacquer finish...I'm getting chills.

    The cheapest I've found is SCH's KO5b11 at $82/pair with baffles.
    Thanks for your help, this ought to be interesting.
     
  2. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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  3. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ryan,

    The SCH K05B50 would be a better choice. The B11's can't take much power. I've built the K05B50's (well a modified version) and I doubt there's anything under $500 or so retail that can touch them.

    I've also built a version of the ELF kit using a different driver. It is very good for the money. But the SCH kit is better overall.
     
  4. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Brian so you are talking about the 879S i would guess.

    The Top end of the 871S is more controled and the Elf Kit has a twin driver with a rolloff on the lower driver.
    I have not built any of the other kits from SCH, but looked at them a few times.
    So what drivers did you use and in what form .refering to the 3'

    Al
     
  5. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,

    Yes, it's the 879S driver and I'm referring to Jim's design. It's a 1.5-way design in the same sized enclosure as Jim's. The one thing I did different is move up to a 2.0mH coil instead of the 1.5mH coil Jim used. When the measurements were done on his pair in Atlanta there was a bit of a midbass hump. He mentioned that going to a 30% larger coil should flatten that out. So I used 2.0mH coils on the lower woofer.

    While I did notice the 871S had better top end I doubt the average person could hear the difference without them being side by side. Also, I can get the 879S for less than half the price that CSS is charging for the 871S, but I may bite the bullet and change over to the 871S anyway.
     
  6. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Thanks Brian.
    I have been working in line with Bob,Jim in these and I know the larger inductor does have a over all better responce but fitting them in the holes for the drivers just does not work.So Bob had to go with what will work the best of both worlds.

    Yes I am sure you will here the top end difference,I will get some 879S after Xmas and do some A,B tests.

    There is that artical about this design from Mr Koonce hopefully to hit print in the next few months.And they go threw reviewing this alingment and using the 871S and 879S.

    And yes having the Whole sale account at Pe helps does it not :O)
    So since you have them built what are the power handling and off axis like.
    I am finishing a set for myself in the next day.Just veneered them today.So I will see myself, but the single driver cubes I have are a drop dead speaker for just building a cube and dumping in a driver and using them.Fullrange they do Ok long as you are not running a large load to them they do well.

    So what kits have you built from SCH?
     
  7. Jon Torres

    Jon Torres Second Unit

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  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,

    I went with Jim's recommendation on using the iron core inductors from PE (the cheaper ones) and they fit through the driver holes up it does help to have someone help out from the other side through the terminal cup hole. Actually, I just used inexpensive binding posts from PE as well. So we fed the wires through the holes and my dad pulled them through as I put the inductor through the lower woofer hole.

    Jon,

    I changed the cabinet dimensions to increase the internal volume and changed to a different port for lower tuning.
     
  9. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Brian, what size of cabinet you use.
    I to just built larger cabinets and need to play with tuning.
     
  10. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,

    I went with .2ft^3 for the K05B50. BTW, I also have the towers and center channel built. VERY hard to beat for the money. Especially that center channel.

    BTW, I forgot to mention, I really can't give you any specs on the true power handling and off axis response of the 1.5-ways. I will say that using them in my spare bedroom on my computer desk I can crank up the volume of my 100W per channel Sherwood Newcastle receiver to about the 10 o'clock position on the dial and they don't sound strained at all. I'm really impressed with how they handle some hard rock with a lot of drums.
     
  11. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Brian.
    i meen the 1.5 what size of cabinet did you use.You said you changed the cabinet size.
     
  12. Ryan Libby

    Ryan Libby Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the suggestion Brian. Sounds it's worth the little extra cash to get the larger kit. The website says that the K05B50 is out of stock right now so I'll have to check that out. The plans have the indented top and bottom. I can just flush those edges and veneer all six sides right?
    If these turn out some family member is getting a nice christmas present.
    Appreciate the help
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,

    I was referring to the SCH kits, not the 1.5-way.

    Ryan,

    If you want to keep the same internal volume then just leave the top and bottom where they are in the plans but don't extend the sides, front and back to create the recesses. In other words, shorten the overall cabinet height.
     
  14. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Ryan, I began recommending SCH kits long ago as the best DIY value I've ever seen in speakers. Brian has become a believer and now does lower-extension versions. You'd be hard-pressed to beat them.
     
  15. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    I heard Brian's K05B50 at DIY-Atlanta. They impressed the socks off of me! There is no better deal (price wise) in DIY audio than these speakers, period. I am going to build some for my in-laws for x-mas! [​IMG]
    If I built them, I would add a grill. I don't care for the look of the tweeter. But that is easily remedied with a grill!
    Ronnie
     
  16. Mel Silva

    Mel Silva Agent

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    I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Ellis Audio. Of course, I know very little about DIY speakers, and they could be garbage, but this guy got my attention through his low key approach and focus on results rather than marketing hype.
    Mel
     
  17. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ryan,

    I should also mention that with $2K to spend you could buy 5 GR Research A/V-1's. They are $229/pr. and $119 each for the a single, shielded kit. For under $600 you'd have 5 VERY high quality speakers. I think they could easily sell for $1500/pr. through a retail chain. And for under $800 you could have 5 A/V-1+'s, which are my personal favorites. I've had a pair for about a month and couldn't be happier. They have some of the best imaging and soundstage I've ever heard.

    You'd still have plenty of money left over to build an awesome sub or two and finish the cabinets accordingly.
     
  18. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan,

    I'm finishing up a pair of the SCH KOB50 kit and one SCH center channel. I ordered the pre-cut front baffles, but then used 3/4" MDF for all panels instead of the 5/8" called for in the plans. I pushed the end panels out flush instead of the inset to keep the internal volume pretty much the same as their design.

    If you plan on veneering and using grills, have fun cutting the tweeter cutout after you veneer. The recess was too shallow to use my flush trim bit, and I don't have a special one like Brian that'll work. I did it by hand- lots of fun! My method was to cut enough of the hole out to see the mounting holes, which I had already drilled, used the actual tweeter and lined it up with the holes, then cut around the tweeter frame with my utility knife. I had to trim a bit more here and there after that, but they came out pretty well.

    Also, if you order pre-cut front baffles (the tweeter again, a pain to rout) ask for a shallower recess. They cut the recess at .4", and it's really deep. I'll probably double up the weather stripping to try to take up some of that depth.

    Brian,

    Did you change crossover values on the SCH's as well, or just the cabinet tuning? I had mine assembled and running before I took them apart to veneer, and was surprised in my room how low they went. I'm running with a sub, of course, but they still did pretty well. Your versions look great on your website, and your veneer postings here are really helpful, and the pics of those cherry AV1+'s just amazed me! I wanted to try that Old Dad's stuff, but they don't have anybody very close to here, so I'm currently using the Watco wipe on poly in satin. It seems OK, but the finish isn't very vibrant, compared to your pics.

    I'm really excited about getting the center channel put together and fired up. It's going to be a huge upgrade from the Paradigm CC-70 I've got now. What a front baffle to cut, though! I was *really* glad I got the precut baffle.

    Hank,

    We had a 3 day "heat wave" up here in Rochester- got up to 65 degrees! So I managed to get my veneer on after all! I hope to get everything assembled and take pictures sometime this week. I went with 3/8" roundovers (with the precut baffles, you can't go bigger, there's no room) on the longest edges of the front baffles of each speaker, and it worked pretty well. I'm looking forward to trying some of the NBL veneer for my next project- I always seem to get some paper messed up in the flush trim bit with contact cement, etc., and it's a pain to get it to look good on some edges. Also, the flat cut maple just doesn't really like to do roundovers. I did the center with it, and it split a little bit in a couple places. I don't thing anyone will notice, though, unless they get close enough to feel it.

    I agree that the SCH stuff is a really great value. With one pair of the KOB50's and the center, with precut front baffles, and all crossovers assembled, I was still under $250. I plan to get another set of KOB50's for surrounds when I have the weather to build them in the spring!

    Wes

    (sorry this is so long, but these SCH kits are all I've been doing the last couple days, so this thread was perfect)
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Wes,

    No I kept the pre-built crossovers intact. I actually got my second pair of KO5B50's assembled today finished in maple veneer. I cut my own baffles but may just get Ken to send me some premade in the future. The $10 is worth the time saved even with a template.

    At this point, I've got 2 pairs of the monitors, 1 center, and 1 pair of the mains. Very nice speakers for the money.

    Oh, and thanks for the kind words! :b
     
  20. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    Why can't I get your website to come up in google.com? What's the URL again? I've searched on Rutledge Audio Design, and your name, and no success.

    Thanks,

    Wes
     

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