Need rears and a center, DIY or factory speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Hsu, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    I finally decided to start asking around, since I just talked to my friend, who's parents have some equiptment that I could use for wood-working. Just so happens, that his dad already has plans to make some DIYs this summer, so that would work out perfectly.
    I don't know how much I'll have to spend, but at most a couple hundred of dollars, anywhere from $200 to $500. Is there a specific tweeter/woofer combination/setup that would be "perfect" or "ideal" for my price range, or is it the usual "your own preference"? Since I myself won't be doing too much of the wood-working anymore, that shouldn't be too much of a concern. I've read some threads mentioning the AV1's, but what other setups are there? Should I look at different designs for rears? (Bi/di-polar?) And same question goes for a center, is there one design that's the BEST for what I want, in my range?
    Or, would I just be best off going with a factory set, like the Axiom M3Ti, Paradigm Atom's/Mini-Monitors, PSB Alphas, etc etc...(list any others in my range, there's a good number of hifi HT stores around home, so I can probably listen to most all of them.) I've also read a good deal on the JBLs, something like the S38's, but as for a center, not a clue.
    Sorry for the lengthy post, but I've been reading a lot, and I want to make the best decision possible. Remember, rears and a center, since my family-friend donated towers and SA-WM40 will do for now.
    Any suggestions are much appreciated, and for those in the know, about DIY, I'd really like to hear what you have to say, as that's very interesting to me, but I don't want to be wasting my money.
    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    The magic is in the crossover. Unless your really really know what you are doing and have some good test equipment I wouldn't attempt crossover design. Unless you want to make this a serious hobby, collect the test equipment and do all the necessary reading to get up to speed on crossover design I would stick with kits.

    In that reguard there are a lot of great options out there that have extremely good value. But $200-$500 for 5 speakers is not a lot of money. If you need the sub too it's just not possible to get good stuff for that price.

    The Audax hometheater kit is pretty good. Runs a little over $600USD for the parts for the 5 speakers (not including enclosure construction and finishing materials).

    Adire is having a group buy on their 281 and 81 speaker kits. $150USD for each 281 kit and $125USD for each 81 kit.

    I suggest you get a little more specific on your budget and what you want to have when you are done (stereo pair with sub, 5/6/7.1) and whether you would be willing to do it in stages or not. We would also like some room info and what the other associated electronics would be.

    Once you have that info, post again in the DIY/Advanced section and the guys there will steer you in the right direction.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The AV1s are amazing speakers, but that is with pre-fabbed enclosures, and even making your own cabinets, you are still only going to get 1-2 pairs, no center and no sub for that kind of money.

    You might want to look at the JBL NSP-1 package in that price range, with a sub, you could probably do a decent setup for around $500-$600, but that is speakers ONLY. You didn't say what kind of gear you already have.
     
  4. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Well, I did mention that I had two mains already and an SA-WM40, but you must've missed it. [​IMG] The mains are big 1 1/4 ft wide, 2 1/4 ft high, 8" deep speakers, older Sony. They seem to do the job quite nicely, and I know it'll be too costly to replace everything.
    So to reiterate, it's just a pair for the rears and a center.
     
  5. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    My advice is to move the Sonys to the rear and build 3 speakers so you'll have a matching LCR for smoother panning and run your setup as all small speakers with sub. Most DIY speaker kits will most likely use better drivers, better cross-overs, and most likely you're going to have a superior built cabinets to boot (after all you are most likely going to have proper bracing, damping, partitioned, and volume cabinet for the drivers used). Right now there are so many great DIYs in the price range you're buying that making such a decision is going to be very hard but if you do decide to buy a popular kit (like the Adire for example) you should have plenty of people to ask questions for when those things that go wrong or steps that can be done much easier.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  7. David Giles

    David Giles Stunt Coordinator

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    I know this is getting off the topic from Joe's original question, but John, you said something I wanted to ask about:
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Joe,

    I've had PSB Alpha A/V's before and they were very nice, but both my ACI Emeralds and GR Research AV-1's are well ahead of the PSB's. There's just no comparison.

    Assuming you're building your own cabinets, I'd definitely look at the AV-1's or even the Adire kits that Dustin mentioned. The AV-1's will set you back $358 + shipping for a pair of unshielded kits and a single shielded kit. Unless you choose some wild veneer, you should be able to build and finish these around $500 including the kit prices. And I do agree with Robert. I'd move the Sony's to the back if at all possible. An AV-1 center definitely would not match up well with them.

    David,

    I'm assuming John is refering to the finish, but to be truthful, it's really not that hard. If you have access to some decent tools, then you can build quite nice speakers. A decent tablesaw (I actually built my 70-80lb. subs with a small $150 Craftsman tablesaw), a plunge router with a circle jig, and a few clamps will do the trick. And laying veneer is not hard at all.

    BTW, my dad and I will be GR's main source for AV-1/AV-1+ cabinets. We have a well equipped shop, but are still just a small 2 man operation. No fancy CNC router, cabinet saw, or anything like that. Just quality tools, his 30+ years of woodworking experience, my 2-3 years of experience, and a decent sized shop.

    Brian
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have no shop, and no longer have the room even for decent tools at the moment, in my apartment (not really even room for a decent work bench). This is a big factor for me. I don't have the time lately, but if I wanted to, I could make the time. Aesthetically, my previous work was not perfect, but not unattractive.
    Brian & his dad are who I would be looking to have make my cabinets. [​IMG]
    With an unstable work environment at the moment, I am holding off on anything.
     
  10. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    So no Axiom's John?
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Gonna hold off. If I'm going to spend money, it will be on the GRs. [​IMG]
     
  12. David Giles

    David Giles Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    David,
    Well, I've been using a router for over 2 years now and just the other day I had a router bit go airborne on me out of my router table so be sure to take much care! [​IMG]
    Brian
     

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