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Need some direction: DIY home theater speakers (1 Viewer)

Jeff Elliott

Stunt Coordinator
Nov 5, 2002
Since my AV-15 DIY sub turned out so great (thanks to all of the help I received here), I thought I would take a stab at building my own HT speakers. My main reason for building rather than purchasing is that all of my speakers will be hidden from view; read: spend money on components and not aesthetics. I currently have the Swans Diva 6.1's, center channel, surrounds and the 2.1's to complete the 7.1 system. It seemed a shame to put such beautiful cabinets behind speaker cloth!

I wondering if you fine folks can point me in the right direction on this project. What I'm looking for is:

- A kit(s) that contains all components except for cabinets. I would like for the crossovers to be assembled but could do that to if necessary

- A finished product that will play relatively loud and sound good. I have decent amplification for these speakers and like to listen at concert levels on occasion.

- Strong center channel. The Diva center channel, while better than my old Klipsch, still leaves me wanting on occasion.

- Smooth, somewhat "laid back" sound. Since I switched from the Klipsch line to the Divas (I know, drastic difference), I can listen at concert levels for hours without fatigue. I would want to recreate this sound as much as possible with what I build.

- Budget. Maybe $1000 - $1500 or so for the 7 channels. I'd like to build the main channels as a test before I sell my Divas and make the plunge.

So, with all that in mind, any suggestions? I'm not looking to recreate any wheels with this project, so only tried and true designs and kits if possible. Thanks to all!!!


Brian Foley

Jan 25, 2000
There are very few choices of HT speaker kits. The one that usually gets recommended is the Audax kit that Madisound sells:

Audax HT Speaker Kits

I haven't heard it, but I've read good things about it. North Creek sells HT speaker kits that are probably much better, but also more expensive than what you have in mind. I think the Audax kits are in your price range.


Second Unit
Oct 1, 2001
For that budget and requirements you listed I'd heartily recommend purchasing 7 GR-Research AV1+'s. It is smack dab in the middle of your budget and the kits come with everything except the cabinets. They are an extremely incredible value for home theater as you would have 7 identical speakers in a MTM configuration. My personal opinion is that having all identical speakers is the ultimate for HT. I lay my center on it's side and the horizontal dispersion is awesome even on it's side. They crank and are very musical to boot!

Of course you could also use the AV1+ model and mix it up with some smaller AV1's which would have nearly identical voice matching if you wanted to save money or space for surrounds and/or center.

You can find out more at www.gr-research.com

You can check mine out at: http://www.thomaswoodcraft.com/GR/av1plus.asp

Click on the side menu links to see them being built as well as the finished product. Very attractive, easy to build and they sound wonderful. I have mine mated to an AKSA 100 amp and a B&K Reference 4420. They are very efficient and are rated at 4 ohms.

P.S. I'm not affiliated with GR-Research in any way, just a satisfied customer.


Al Garay

Stunt Coordinator
Oct 23, 2002
I have seen and heard Darren's system.... very very nice! I highly recommend you get the Sonicap cap upgrade.

You might also want to check out Dennis Murphy's designs at http://www.murphyblaster.com. The MBOW1 uses the same cabinet as GR-Research AV1 and the same woofer mated to the Hiquphon OW1 tweeter which is very nice too. Gomer, Anthony, recently built Murphy's Usher 2-way with very nice results.

Lots of good choices.


Dan Hine

Oct 3, 2000
Hey Jeff! I can't remember if you have a TV or a projector. If you have a projector then I would look hard at the HE12.1's all around. I have a pair of the HE10.1's and love them. They are easy on amps, great dynamics, with a very clear and true sound. The 12.1's should be all this as well as better bass extension.

If you have a TV then I'd like either the AV1+'s from GR-Research or Adire's Kit 281 and LCC. If you need bookshelves for the rear channels you could either go with the smaller Kit81's or a variation of the 281 (either sealed or a smaller ported design, about the size of the LCC but with out the midrange).

And to tell the truth, I can really only vouch for the HE12.1's (by extrapolation from the HE10.1's) and the AV1+'s. I haven't heard either the 281's or LCC but from the quality of the rest of Adire's line I have no doubt that they'd be killer!

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