Newbie looking for a project (long)...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ian C, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Ian C

    Ian C Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys. I've been researching speakers for the past few months. Due to my limited budget ($500 for a pair), I feel I would be better served by DIY, along with the fun that goes along with that of course. Problem is, I don't really know too much about this stuff. I've been looking over threads and reading about various things, and it sounds like a lot of fun...I just don't know where to start.

    Anything is going to sound better than what I have (Klipsch KSB 1.1's) in my 22 x 13 x 10 room. I currently have an SVS 25-31 PC+ sub to round out the low end, so I'm not sure if I need to go with floorstanders, though they certainly have more "presence" to them.

    I'm looking for detailed speakers, though not harsh. I would like something good with music, since I currently can't stand listening to music on my system. However, it would still probably be 90% home theater.

    Some things I'm considering are the GR-Research AV2/AV3, the Adire 281's, and the Audax Home Theater Kit at Zalytron. Anything else I should look at? Since I'm only doing mains now, I would need to be able to do a matching center at a later date.

    I've never built anything like this before, but my father-in-law has a ton of tools and will be available to help (though I don't know how much knowledge he has either). I'd like to go ahead and start on the enclosures before ordering the parts, so I guess I need to go ahead and make up my mind. Anybody know of any good woodworking supply stores in Dallas?

    Oh, I only have a Sony DB-830 to power them for now, though I'm hoping to upgrade to a separate amp or better receiver in the next six months or so. So take that into account when making recommendations (don't think it would drive 4 ohm speakers well, and probably only in the 30-40 watt range with all channels driven).

    Thanks for any help.

    Ian
     
  2. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    Ian,
    Here is an interesting plan:

    (link deleted)

    Buy this set, and either build nice boxes or get some of the parts express diy boxes (.5 - .65 cu. ft.). I've heard the G1 speaker (these parts + box) and they are great neutral speakers in the "canadian" tradition (PSB, Paradigm, Mirage, Energy, etc.) You would be hard-pressed to do better for the money.
    JP

    (Admin note: Active auction links are not allowed on the HTF)
     
  3. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    For what it's worth, I can recommend the audax mains. I have been enjoying mine for a few weeks now (and am putting together a webpage to share with all of you, hopefully it will be finished next week). I find myself enjoying music much more than I used to. I can listen for long periods of time without being fatigued. These are the first speakers I have owned that I can say that about. I admit I have never owned anything decent so take that with a grain of salt. They have good bass extension but do need a sub for HT. They sound great for movies too. But really how difficult is that? I also built the audax center ...WOW... this is a center to recon with, I guarentee if you build it you will be happy. It is everything I said about the mains with even better midrange and clairity. Plus the three provide perfect tonal balance accross the front soundstage as you would expect. It cost me $600 total for all three (not including new tools[​IMG] ) Definitely a bargin compared to the retail market.

    Here is a link to my webpage(under construction) you can see a pic of my speakers. I built the mains as towers and I need to put grills on them but you get the idea.

    http://www.angelfire.com/music5/hometheater/

    and if you don't want to assemble the crosses you can order from madisound.com the crosses come preassembled if you want to save time.
     
  4. Ian C

    Ian C Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,

    I look forward to seeing the details of your project. Where did you find the design for the floorstanders? I've only seen the bookshelf designs at Madisound and Zalytron. What are you powering them with? It looks like an H/K receiver in there...hard to tell. Do you have an idea of what other speaker they might sound similar to?

    That $600 for all three sounds tempting. Of course, I think I'll have to buy a router (don't think my father-in-law has one), but this sounds like something I could really get into...so the initial upfront cost would be made up for in time.

    Thanks,
    Ian
     
  5. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

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    Joe, those really look nice, first time i've ever seen a tv set on TOP of the center! [​IMG]
     
  6. Jonathan_D

    Jonathan_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Is that $500 budget include wood, etc., for building the cabs?

    If not, check out Wayne J.'s Eros or Veritas designs as well.
     
  7. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    Looking at the Audax HT setup and comparing it to the Adire 281 they use the same tweeter but the AV8 in the 281 looks to be a better performer. I can attest to the low frequency capability of the 281's. It's quite surprising in the floorstanding design. I've measured 90 db at 45 Hz in my room from the listening position. For $369 it's hard to beat. The same goes for the center channel, the LCC.
     
  8. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    I just modified the cabinet dimensions on the audax site to make the towers. the bottom of the tower is designed to give easy access the crosses and to hold sand to weight them down(My dog has a habit of knocking things over with his spastic behind). once I get the website finished you'll be able to see what I mean.

    They are powered by an HK-525, I really like the reciever, only downside is a slight delay while it figures out what kind of signal it is recieving. I can turn it all the way up without a hint of distortion, I haven't seen too many amps that can do that[​IMG].

    I don't know what they are comparable to yet, I haven't had time to go listen at any of the local retailers since I finished them.

    A router will definitely make your life easier but it isn't absolutely necessary. If you do buy one you will also need a circle jig. And the cutout dimensions given on the audax site for the 5.25" in the center are off a little (too small). I have all the correct cutout dimensions written down at home if you want to know what they are. I flushmounted everything even though the design doesn't call for it.

    Here is how I look at DIY: Even if you spend the same amount of money overall to complete your project as you could have just bought it for, you get a superrior product and lots of new tools. When have you ever seen a HT package that comes with a free table saw?
     
  9. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    $500 is a liberal budget for a pair of mains. You can have just about anything you want except something using ScanSpeak or Seas Excel.

    Your main limitation would be the center channel. Unless you have a rear-projection TV, you need something shielded, and there just aren't that many shielded speakers out there.

    So, with $500 for mains, you have about a hundred options unshielded, but if you insist on the center perfectly matching the mains, you only have a few. So you might want to think about whether absolute mathing is that important. Most DIY designs are fairly neutral, and should match well with whatever center you pick later on.

    My personal opinion is that it is impossible to make the center perfectly match the mains. They are placed differently in the room and will have different levels of baffle step loss - which generally occurs right in the middle of the midrange. A center channel can even sound different placed on different sized TV's.
     
  10. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    Another good reason to consider the 281's with the LCC. The LCC uses the same mid-woof and tweet as the 281 with the addition of a mid-range driver for a 3-way system.
     

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