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Discussion Starter #1
What is the best performing MTM plan or kit for 70% HT / 30% music in 6.1 surround in a medium sized room, paired with an SDX15 sub, at about $150-200 in parts per speaker?

A few designs to consider, but feel free to add to the choices...


Raw Acoustics HT-2 (Boxing Week sale $299/pr + $49 s/h) - WR125 x 4, RA104.5 ribbons x 2, x-over components, CNC'ed baffles x 2, magnetic grills, crossover and cabinet plans.

GR Research A/V-3 ($329/pr) - M-130 x 4, GR-T2 x 2, "proprietary network", cabinet design.

CSS EL-3 ($199/pr + $15 s/h) - WR125 x 4, HiVi SS1 II x 2, crossover components, ports, binding posts, stuffing and wire.

Parts Express Dr. K's MTM ($380/pr) - RS180 x 4, RS28 x 2, crossover components, binding posts, port.

ZaphAudio Vifa XG18 / Seas 27TDFC ($322/pr) - drivers only


Thanks for weighing in!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
If anyone could make comparisons between the listed designs, that would be helpful too. Also if one driver package really stands out as a great deal compared to the others, I would find that information helpful.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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I don't have any direct experience with any of these. However, Zaph always posts detailed reviews and measurements of his speakers, so you know what you are getting into ahead of time.

GR-Research has a decent reputation, and the kits are all-inclusive. Raw Acoustics as well, has a good reputation. I think they both have manuf. forums over at www.audiocircle.com

I have not built a PE design yet, but I do buy most of my drivers and crossover parts there.

The others I'm not as familiar with.

So it's not a full review, but hopefully that helps a little.
Anthony
 

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If it were me I would build the set from zaph. You will always overpay a little when buying a kit. I built a pair of his BAMTM last year and absolutely love them. I have huge respect for John's designs and would build any one of them without hesitation.

On another note, have you considered the Nat P? I believe those are around your price range and are very very popular.
 

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Save and do it right the first time. LOL
Actually that's an example of "do it wrong the first time"

Those attentive to the Thor threads on several DIY forums will know Joe D's TL box design is flawed, and there are issues with the crossover as well.

The Thor is a moot point for this thread given it's cost....
 

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Actually that's an example of "do it wrong the first time"

Those attentive to the Thor threads on several DIY forums will know Joe D's TL box design is flawed, and there are issues with the crossover as well.

The Thor is a moot point for this thread given it's cost....
That is the first time I have heard of those issues with the Thor's. Something I will have to look into.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
In reference to Zaph's MTM, he posted comments on the high distortion characteristics of the Vifa XG18 and had this to say about that MTM (link):

I guess I can pull that XG18 MTM design off my website now, I don't think it's likely to be built anymore.
Guess that one's off the table...

The WR125s will likely be too small as some have pointed out.

Thanks, cixelsid and bonehead, for the Nat P suggestion. I'm starting to wonder though, if an MTM is going to cut it SPL-wise when it comes to HT applications. With a sub to fill the <80Hz demands, will I be dissapointed in this design. Should I instead be considering something like Dennis Murphy WMTW or TMWW, or something comparable (hope to not exceed my budget by much).
 

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An mtm, especially something as capable as the nat p, should have no problem getting to very high spl when crossed over with a sub. I have heard that when you drive an mtm full range you should limit the input to around 100W, but when you add a sub and xover that limit disappears. The only advantage IMO to go with a tmww or similar is if you plan on running them full range. Dont forget to buy a nice amp like the behringer a500 to really get everything out of an mtm as you can.
 

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The WR125s is a small driver but you have to remember they have 6mm one way xmax, most mid drivers have closer to 3mm, so going by overall displacment one WR125s has almost the capability of a 6.5" driver with 3mm xmax. I am testing a HT set up right now with my new Fw4.1's as surrounds and center(FW8.4.1's for LR) useing the FR125, and I can tell you output from these little drivers is no problem, the sytem seems to be able to keep up with the 18" LMS5400 subwoofer I am testing them with. The MTM with two WR125s' should have plenty of output.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Should I have any trouble driving a 4ohm load with a Marantz SR6200 AV receiver? They're supposed to have pretty beefy amp sections, and I've never had even a wimper pushing huge Klipsch monitors to reference level. Specifically, I have the Nat P in mind...

 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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If your marantz is not rated for 4 ohms, then do not hook up 4 ohm speakers to it.

I thought the same thing and everyone told me "if it can handle a 6 ohm load, it should handle 4 ohm magnepans, it's an easy flat load to drive". Well, it did drive them for two years, until one day it said "no more" and blew the output transistors on two channels. It was only a $300 fix, but since then, I just use it as a preamp.

So don't make the same mistake I did.
 

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I have a Harman Kardon AVR 330 and it ran the Nat P's just fine. I intend to run my RS 3-way mains on a separate amp eventually but the HK does just fine for now. I don't have any experience with Marantz.

As far as the speakers go, here's my two cents:

I've built GR-Research speakers and they sound great but they are more expensive for what you get.

I haven't heard Zaph designs but based on what I've read they are very well designed and sound great.

I have built designs by Dennis Murphy, Evil Twin and John Marsh over at the HT Guide Forums. Great designs that sound great. At this point in time, I am completely satisfied with my speakers.

I have also built designs by Curt Campbell featured on the Parts Express website and they sounded great.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If your marantz is not rated for 4 ohms, then do not hook up 4 ohm speakers to it.

I thought the same thing and everyone told me "if it can handle a 6 ohm load, it should handle 4 ohm magnepans, it's an easy flat load to drive". Well, it did drive them for two years, until one day it said "no more" and blew the output transistors on two channels. It was only a $300 fix, but since then, I just use it as a preamp.

So don't make the same mistake I did.
Anthony,

What kind of A/V equipment did you have that blew? How old was it? Obviously, this is a big concern and I don't want to ruin my receiver. A lot of people have adopted the Nat P and seem to be running them on a wide range of consumer and pro amps. Are there others out there who have experience in this area?

Thanks for all of the advice!
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Marantz SR-18 receiver (was their flagship about 7 years ago).

Also blew a Kenwood KM-Z1 amplifier with the same speakers. That accident was through ignorance (didn't know the Kenwood's minimum was 6 Ohms). Thought the Marantz would fix it. That incident was deliberate as I knew the Marantz was not rated for 4 Ohms, but I had plenty of "experts" telling me that I would be fine, Marantz amps were overbuilt, Magnapans were easy 4 Ohm loads because they were flat, etc. All those people didn't have to pay the repair bill or sit without a receiver for two weeks.

I have since bought an Outlaw power amp and now use the Marantz as a pre-only. No problems at all. It barely gets hot.

so there's a chance you'd be okay, but be forewarned: those amps are rated that way for a reason.
 

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That is the first time I have heard of those issues with the Thor's. Something I will have to look into.

I live in Palm Bay and work in Melbourne at Rockwell Collins. One of the engineers there was so unhappy with the Thor xo's that he took his own measurements and redesigned the xo's himself. I've heard them several times at his home and can say that they are very nice now. They actually sound very similar to my big MTMWW towers using all Dayton RS drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As you might guess from my last couple of posts, I decided on the Natalie P for my L/R channels. My Parts Express package arrived yesterday and the Madisound crossover components should be here by Friday. Thanks for everyone's advice, and look for a build thread for the new Nat Ps in the near future!
 
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