What's involved in building a pair of A/V-1+?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan T, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    I want to build a completely sheilded, black pair of A/V-1+ speakers. I've never build speakers and I don't want to pay 900 for RAD to do it for me. So, what's involved. I've made wooden clocks, desks and small toys before and I solder wires on my R/Cs so I have some experience.
     
  2. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Buy the kit, and build your own cabinents (not the easiest thing to do). I just bought some unfinished cabinents for a pair of AV1s from RAD (and will be building the kit for my Birthday). They are really well made, and high quality. I know I could never have built anything as nice. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to have Brian build you a pair of high quality cabinents - they will improve the sound.
     
  3. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    But it will cost 900 dollars, it's 3 times the cost of buying the kit from GR. You said I could just buy the material, precut, and put the speaker together, right? How much would that cost? Would I just have to put the drivers in, put the cabinet together and wire everything up? Or do I have to mess with other stuff?
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Just send Brian an email. I'm sure he'd be willing to do just the baffel. Flat kit. Unfinished assembled. Finished assembled. Finished assembled, with the crossovers and drivers installed. Price going up as you go along my list.

    If you have decent basic wood working tools and skills you'll have no problem building the enclosure. The hardest part will be cutting the driver holes. But if you have or make a decent circle jig for a router, and do some test cuts first it won't be bad either.

    Finishing will be more dependant on your skill level and what you attempt. Brian is excellent at wrapping veneers. In the latest pictures I've seen from him you can't see the seams. This is where most of Brians expense happens I think. The veneer is expensive and he spends a lot of time on the finish (sanding, staining, sealing). Plus you also get those cool magnetic grilles. Go take a look at some of the manufactures that have special versions of a speaker line with a comparable veneer finish to what Brian does. See how much extra they charge for it and then see if you still think Brian's prices are unreasonable.
     
  5. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    I don't think his prices are unreasonable at all, I just don't want to pay 900 dollars for the speakers. I would like to build a 2.1 setup for no more than 2000 dollars. I have a router, I would just need to get a jig. What would be ideal is to get just the cabinet, precut with holes for the drivers, I'd paint, build and install everything else myself. I'm 14 so these speakers won't be seen by anyone but my friends who don't really care about how they look. And I don't care to much about what they look like either. As long as I like the color and they are somewhat neat.
     
  6. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Jonathan,
    I opted to build my own cabinets (with the help of a friend). The construction quality is pretty sad, and they're really ugly (I've gotten used to it and now think it looks cool, but about two other people in the world agree [​IMG])... they work OK and cost only $50. It helps to have good tools (and a friend who really knows what they're doing).
    I would suggest buying a flat kit - the hard part (driver holes) is done for you, and everything will line up perfectly while you assemble everything yourself and save money. It shouldn't cost more than around $150 for the pair.
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Sorry, got the wrong impression. Thought you were complaining about the price, not that you just don't want to spend that much.

    Send Brian an email and ask for a quote on a AV1+ kit and an assembled but unfinished pair of cabinets. $2000 is oodles to build a 2.1 system that will kick ass (with DIY anyways).

    If it's still too much and you have a router I don't think you'll have a problem building your own (Brian's big advantage will be quality of the finish, if the finish don't matter much to you then you shouldn't be disappointed with what you build). You don't even have to buy a circle jig, you can make one.

    You may also want to consider the Adire HE series speakers.

    Pair either with a nice low Q sealed Tempest with an HS series amp, then pick up a nice used 2ch amp and preamp and you'll be in sonic bliss.
     
  8. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

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    I just want to say how awsome it is for a 14 yr old to be interested in quality sound and equipment!
    Like other people have suggested, the flat kit would save you some grief. You could then spray paint them black, maybe a little texture first? Who knows, just go to Home Depot and see what looks interesting to you.
    Good Luck![​IMG]
     
  9. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Brian, yes I'm very intrested. I can't stand that nasty sound mini systems and bad headphones give out. I want a system that will play the music I like to listen to well. I got started with a pari of HD 280s for portable use. Soon I'll probably get some HD 580s from newegg and build myself a nice tub amp sometime next summer.

    As for the speakers thanks for the recomendation. I will look into getting just an assembled but not finished kit.

    Dustin, I was planning on getting some H/K receiver, an SVS 20-39 or 25-39 PCI, a pair of GR Research A/V-1+ speakers and some quality redbook CD player. I fell this will be a great setup that can play well. You mentioned going the seperates route with a DIY sub. If I were to go that route, the sub would be hardest to build, right? I would want something with performance just about equal to that of an SVS 20-39 for less than what SVS is charging. And where would I find some used 2 channel amps and a used pre/pro?

    And, yeah, I just didn't want to spend 900 dollars on the cabinets. I'd rather get the experience now than pay 900.
     
  10. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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  11. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    I looked at the pre pro's there. There are SO many there, I have NO idea what to even look at, although, I don't want to spend more than 700 on the amp and pre/pro all together. And I'd like to expand this system into a good surround system as time goes on.
     
  12. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    How about a Marantz AV-550 for 325 used?
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Jonathan,

    First of all, I applaud your desire to build your own speakers! I wish I'd started when I was 14. Unfortunately I didn't really get started until I was in my mid-20's.

    Also, you aren't paying $900 for the cabinets. You're paying for a completely assembled, veneered, and finished pair of speakers. In other words, you take them out of the box and plug them in.

    Building the cabinets isn't that difficult. To do it properly, it requires that you can cut the MDF panels and route out the holes including the tweeter recesses. It's best to use a plunge router, but a fixed based router can be used with a little know how. There are two shelf braces, one above the tweeter and one below. You'll also need a 2" hole saw for the port hole.

    Concerning subs, check out Dustin's "Twins" to see what can be done on a pretty tight budget.
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Oh, concerning receivers, whatever you choose make sure it can handle a 4 ohm load. The two that come to mind are Sherwood Newcastle and H/K. Stay away from receivers with a 4 ohm switch.
     
  15. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    Ok, well, I have a plunge router so that's not a problem. I had planed on getting an H/K 325 or 525 but I'm also lookin into used pre/pros and seperate amps. Not sure yet. I'll check out the "twins", thanks.
     
  16. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Jonathan,

    It is really great that you want quality equipment. As Brian said, the unfinished cabinents are not that expensive. I got my unfinished AV-1 cabinents from Brian for about $75 plus shipping. The cost of the AV1 kit is $300 with the caps upgrade. So for a little more than $400 I will get great sounding speakers. Admittedly, they will not look nearly as good as if Brian had finished them, but still a reasonable price.

    Good luck.

    BTW, if this is a music only system. Don't get a receive, just get an integrated amp or stereopreamp and a CD or SACD player - Good values are Rotel, Cambridge Audio, NAD
     
  17. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I'm glad I started at 14 [doh, forgot]. I'm 16 now and don't plan on stopping anytime soon... [​IMG]
    Jonathan, have you considered DIY amplifiers? Heck, nothing wrong with being ambitious! And the subwoofer will be easy, especially if you use a flat kit. Performance should be a bit better than equivalently priced SVS, with something like a Tempest.
    If you're looking into only stereo system, you might as well just get a good CD player and an amplifier - no preamp needed, as long as you have a volume control somewhere. And if you don't, you can make your own simple little volume control for a few bucks. I am using, for a hopefully short time, a Denon DCD-1520 CD player and Audiosource Amp One amplifier. Used equipment (the above components totaled $250) may be a good idea to get the most for your money.
     
  18. Jonathan T

    Jonathan T Second Unit

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    For no it's only gonna be a stereo system. I planed on also getting a DMX 6fire and running all the audio from my computer to the A/V receiver through an optical input. If I could find some equipment that would accept audio from 2 sources, weither it be coxial, optical or 2 channel analog, and has a volume control that costs less than the 325 (plus amp), then I'd take it.
    As for amp building..........I don't think I'm quite ready yet[​IMG] I would like to build a headphone amp first, then move to the bigger stuff.
     

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