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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am a novice in electronics and speaker building. Buying a commercial audiophile grade is very expensive, esp. in my country. I am planning to make one set of speaker using an AFFORDABLE Audiophile grade DIY Speaker KIT for Left and Right (50% Music & 50% Movies). This will be used as the front L/R for movies (Center channel will be added later on). What are the best options?

Music : Nakamichi RE-10 2 channel amp
Movies : Onkyo TX SR-606

Please help me.
 

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You need to define affordable, there are lots of designs out there. The Statements come to mind weighing in at under $1000 for a pair, or the Natalie Ps for about $550 a pair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You need to define affordable, there are lots of designs out there. The Statements come to mind weighing in at under $1000 for a pair, or the Natalie Ps for about $550 a pair.
Thanks for your response. Since I dont know the cost involved, I have not yet fixed any budget. What would be the best range to make an audiophile speaker which will not cost a bomb. Please help me.
 

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Well DIY really shines in the 500-$1000 range with there still being some incredible values in the 1000-2500 range as well.

I'll throw a few out.

The Statements ~ $850

The SR71 ~ $500 There is a Kit

The Cryolites ~ $300

The Revelator Tower ~ $ 1500 There is a Kit

And many many more, what you build, if anything, will be based on personal taste, budget and a bit of randomness. Here is my first project, the Microbes and I've loved it for under $200 for the pair. Now I'm working on a pair of Zaph Waveguide TMMs, they're supposed to be phenominal and you can build a pair for under $600.

So what do you want your speaker to sound like, do you want lots of bass, nice clear mids, do you want it big, do you want a bookshelf and whats the most you think you could reasonably spend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
What could be the difference b/n the 800$ kit and the 1500$ kit? Will there be any significant difference?

I am looking for a full range speaker (other than bookshelf) so that i dont have to use the sub for music, may be around 30 - 35Hz. For the remaining, if required, i can use a sub.

The sound preference could be like "it should reproduce what was there in the recording without any coloring in terms of extra bass\extra treble", it should produce all sounds clean and clear, hope you got my point.
 

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Considering I have not built a pair that costs $800 or pair that costs $1500 yet I could not exactly say, both of them should sound great to tell the truth. To get an idea of what the difference would sound like my sugguestion would be to go to a hi-fi shop and listen to a pair of speakers costing around 1200 then listen to a pair that costs 2500.

For something that can be used with out a sub you will probably want a floor standing design with 2 woofers that are at least 7". Both the Statements and the Zaph Revelators meet that criteria, there are probably other designs out there that do as well.

Here is a link to a DIY competition where you can view all the designs that were entered, their approximate cost and how they rated in several categories by the judges. It will give you an idea of what the sound is like and how people like them.

http://home.mchsi.com/~iowadiy2009/Results.htm

Typically when the statements are at a DIY competition they will win the Midrange budget category.
 

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I am a novice in electronics and speaker building. Buying a commercial audiophile grade is very expensive, esp. in my country. I am planning to make one set of speaker using an AFFORDABLE Audiophile grade DIY Speaker KIT for Left and Right (50% Music & 50% Movies). This will be used as the front L/R for movies (Center channel will be added later on). What are the best options?

Music : Nakamichi RE-10 2 channel amp
Movies : Onkyo HTR-606

Please help me.
In general, it is possible to build a system that will out-perform a commercial system selling at the same price point. But as was already mentioned, "affordable" varies from person to person, as does the notion of what constitutes an "audiophile" loudspeaker system. So first I need to ask a few questions:
- Where do you live? (you mention "your country.")
- What is your budget?
- What, to you, makes something "audiophile grade"?
- Do you have any loudspeaker biases, such as preferring single driver or high efficiency systems over multi-element systems? Do you have any brand biases?

Let me know more about what you're thinking and I will offer some additional suggestions to the excellent kits already mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In general, it is possible to build a system that will out-perform a commercial system selling at the same price point. But as was already mentioned, "affordable" varies from person to person, as does the notion of what constitutes an "audiophile" loudspeaker system. So first I need to ask a few questions:
- Where do you live? (you mention "your country.")
- What is your budget?
- What, to you, makes something "audiophile grade"?
- Do you have any loudspeaker biases, such as preferring single driver or high efficiency systems over multi-element systems? Do you have any brand biases?

Let me know more about what you're thinking and I will offer some additional suggestions to the excellent kits already mentioned.
Thanks for your response. I am from India. I have my cousins in US and canada. So i thought of procuring some good speaker kits. Frankly speaking, i have not yet decided on the budget, it could be ~500-800$ and if we can get a significant improvement in sound i may stretch for more. Since i dont have any idea how DIY 500/800/1000/1500....$ kit performs. I have no bias towards any particular brands or designs. My preference is always on SQ.
As i had already mentioned: The sound preference could be like "it should reproduce what was there in the recording without any coloring in terms of extra bass\extra treble", it should produce all sounds clean and clear, hope you got my point.
 

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I think the most important thing, besides budget, that we have yet to define is your skill level in terms of building. Do you have some power tools at your disposal? Things like a table saw, sander, and other stuff for wood working? I think that for the price the TriTrix kit that Parts Express offers is hard to beat. Drivers and precut cabinet wood for $199 is a steal.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-702


If you've got some decent wood working skills and are ready to really get into DIY some of the designs on Frugal-horn.com are things you should look at.
 

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1 How big of a box can you handle?
2 Exactly how much cash are you willing to spend?
Until these are defined no recommendations will help you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)

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Ah, India. The many suggestions above are excellent but shipping a kit from the US to India might be cost-prohibitive. I am not aware of loudspeaker kit suppliers in India although I expect there are some. I do know of an excellent source in Australia: http://www.theloudspeakerkit.com/ Their TL6 transmission line is quite a nice performer, and the M5 bookshelf sounds really good too.

Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah, India. The many suggestions above are excellent but shipping a kit from the US to India might be cost-prohibitive. I am not aware of loudspeaker kit suppliers in India although I expect there are some. I do know of an excellent source in Australia: http://www.theloudspeakerkit.com/ Their TL6 transmission line is quite a nice performer, and the M5 bookshelf sounds really good too.

Best of luck to you!
Since my relatives are there in US, I can get it through them without any extra cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Hi all, Sorry for the late reply. I am totally confused. I read some reviews about the ZRT that a lot of people had to tweak the XO which came along with the Scanspeak speakers from madi sound (costs ~1000 - 1500$). Now I am in a dilemma whether to go for a DIY or a ready made one. I am planning to invest ~800$-900$ for a DIY pair for parts. From a rough estimate there are a lot of commercial options from Moudrant Short (Aviano8/Mezzo6), Wharfadale(9.6 / 10.6 / 10.7), Dali Elector, Monitor Audio RS6 and several other options in the same range (1000-1500$). Does the ZRT 1500$ or OB5 from GR Research is same as these options or these DIYs are comparable to some higher end than these?

The following seems to be good designs:
- OB5 (816$ using OEM Neo3) : http://www.gr-research.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=120
- Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5 (3.5 using Daytons) Madisound : http://www.madisound.com/catalog/adv...1&inc_subcat=1
- ZRT using Scan-speaks 3-way (1000 - 1500$), some people had to tweak the XO
 

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Well being able to tweak the XO is one of the best parts of DIY. If you want a bit stronger or weaker mids or highs you can just adjust it a bit.

Having said that I haven't heard the (Aviano8/Mezzo6). I've heard some Dali speakers and they were pretty fantastic they were however over $2000 per pair. I don't remember what Monitor Audio speakers sounded like as its been too long, and every pair of Wharfdale speakers I've heard just didn't sound all that good to me.

To put it into prespective, I have a friend who has a pair of these.
http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/408tri/
They were MSRP $1000 a pair, he got them for $800 I believe. Then I built a pair of these for $200.
http://rjbaudio.com/Microbe/microbe.html

Everyone agrees, they sound 99% as good as the Triangles. The Triangles have a bit more bass but you can always just use a sub.

So you can see the value of DIY. If you pick a good design that costs almost $1000 per pair to build none of the speakers you're looking at should even be able to touch it.

As for your diy selection I don't know much about the GR-Research kits, nobody really talks about them anywhere for a few reasons.

The ZDT3.5 should be fantastic. They do need a decent sized room to really play well, you're supposed to sit at least 2.5 meters away from them or more for the sound to really blend.

The ZRT 2.5way Revelators should be incredible. I've got a friend who is probably going to build a set very soon but so far I can't speak about them from experience. I haven't read any reviews online from anyone who built a ZRT or ZDT3.5 and wasn't completely satisfied with them.

There is also the Zaph Waveguide TMM to consider, the Statements and quite a few other designs.
Just look at this big list of DIY speaker web sites.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gradds55/diy_webs.htm
 

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A fun thread indeed. Building and audiophile grade setup in my mind would require significant effort and lots of materials. Good drivers are relatively cheap and you can even source inexpensive amps that will be adequate. Still I want you to get an idea of what an audiophile enclosure entails.

3 to 4 drivers per side.
Dual layer construction with a constraint layer in between the layers.

Bracing ever 3 to 4" one every axis throughout the enclosure. Use of 4" rock wool on all sides of the enclosure.

Doing this requires very large speakers even for 2-way bookshelf. Now you can compromise on some aspects. using only 2" on the sides for example. But the best enclosures have this sort of construction above.

I'd suggest the tweeter-midrange enclosure be a separate module too. Makes life easier on the construction. For the bottom I suggest the JL Audio 8w7 be used in a narrow ported box. That will get you plenty of extension. For the top you can get nice results out of the Dayton RS drivers or an existing design
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi all, Sorry for the late reply. I am totally confused. I read some reviews about the ZRT that a lot of people had to tweak the XO which came along with the Scanspeak speakers from madi sound (costs ~1000 - 1500$). Now I am in a dilemma whether to go for a DIY or a ready made one. I am planning to invest ~800$-900$ for a DIY pair for parts. From a rough estimate there are a lot of commercial options from Moudrant Short (Aviano8/Mezzo6), Wharfadale(9.6 / 10.6 / 10.7), Dali Elector, Monitor Audio RS6 and several other options in the same range (1000-1500$). Does the ZRT 1500$ or OB5 from GR Research is same as these options or these DIYs are comparable to some higher end than these?

The following seems to be good designs:
- OB5 (816$ using OEM Neo3) : http://www.gr-research.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=120
- Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5 (3.5 using Daytons) Madisound : http://www.madisound.com/catalog/adv...1&inc_subcat=1
- ZRT using Scan-speaks 3-way (1000 - 1500$), some people had to tweak the XO
Adding some additional info about the commercial options that are mentioned above:

- Moudrant Short Aviano 8
http://www.mordauntshort.com/summary.php?PID=81&Title=Summary
http://www.mordauntshort.com/specifications.php?PID=81&Title=Specifications
- Moudrant Short Mezzo 6
http://www.mordauntshort.com/summary.php?PID=65&Title=Mezzo 6 floorstander
http://www.mordauntshort.com/specifications.php?PID=65&Title=Specifications
- Monitor Audio RS6
http://www.theaudiopeople.net/monitoraudio/m-silver-products.aspx
- Also Usher V202

Any comparison possible with the DIY kits from their specs? Because both the mentioned commercial ones and the DIY after the enclosures will almost come in the same price range. In DIY OB5 \ ZRT 2way basic comes in my price range.
 

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DIY should be something you do for the fun of it not just to save money. If this isn't something you want to build. Buy commercial speakers.

There is a reason we pay to eat out. It's cheaper to cook, but if you don't feel like it and have the cash. Why not give someone else a job that needs the cash?

For commercial options

I suggest Ascend Acoustics or Behringer 2030p's

Or B&W 700/800 series if you can afford it.
 
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