Looking to DIY

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Cameron Garrett, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Cameron Garrett

    Cameron Garrett Auditioning

    Jun 11, 2002
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    I'm looking to make a jump into the DIY world of audio. As of now I guess I have a very modest/budget setup. I am using B&W 303 speakers paired with a yamaha reciever and a Sony SA-Wm40 sub.

    I have had this setup for around a year and a half, and I think its time for an upgrade. I don't feel like spending a ton of money on brand name items if I could build a better setup myself.

    I have searched around for a while and I am really not sure what I think of DIY audio -- The crossover seems very intimidating. I do have basic soldering skills, is that all I need? I'm also no master wood worker, so I would probably buy pre finished cabinets from parts express (or does anyone know of any other good places to get pre finished cabinets?)

    I would like to follow a guide, where everything is laid out very nicely, and the crossover design is tested so I know I dont have to do any tweaking on my own. I was curious if anyone knew of nice project that featured a nice bookshelf speaker (mtm maybe?) that would blow my b&w 303's out of the water. I do like the sound of my 303's but I would like to do better. These speakers would be 90% music and 10% HT. I listen to everything from Tool to The Roots, To Eric Clapton.

    And finally, I would be comfortable shelling out around $500-600 for the total cost of items to build these speakers.

    If anyone has any suggestions please let me know, thanks a lot!

  2. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

    Sep 13, 2003
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  3. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 15, 2003
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    Two ways to go that I'd suggest:

    1. buy a kit
    2. follow a good design

    There are loads of kits you can look at. There are also loads of good designs online. Sounds like you don't want to deal with passive crossover design!

    Here's an alternative. Take your 303's (a bookshelf right?), build a box for woofers to the same footprint (possibly deeper if required). Use this box as a stand and use a pair of 6.5" midbass drivers such as the Vifa M18 in a 40L vented box tuned to say 40 Hz. Add an active crossover and a DIY chip amp and cross to the woofers at say 200 Hz with a 4th order 24db/octave slope and you will find:

    - clearer midrange
    - more headroom and output - yes your 303's will sound better!
    - deeper and more powerful bass

    If you want to go a step further then do the above but also build a TM speaker to go on top. I'm not very familiar with your speakers but I suspect you would need some very good drivers and crossover to better a B&W significantly.

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