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Discussion Starter #1
A few of you may remember that I used to daydream about building the Linkwitz ORION system someday.

Well, my opportunity is near. I visited Don Barringer last weekend who was kind enough to demo his ORION system for me. I wanted to make sure that all the high praise was true before I committed.

I think I might have ordered the plans today...:T
 

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Wow, this is like the ultimate DIY speakers project. Personally I would build Plutos first, to hone my skills and to see if those kind of speakers are for me without spending a fortune. Are you going to build everything yourself? I have to say those cabinets really intimidate me. I wouldn't know where to begin. Active crossovers are also not exactly a piece of cake, although I'm more capable with a soldering iron than a circular saw. Best of luck to you and please keep us updated on your progress. I may decide to retrace your steps one day.:wave:
 

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I can't WAIT till you've started/finished this project.

So, which flavor did you go with? I.e., are you going to do the crossover project yourself? or will you have someone else do it? Are you going to buy the boards pre-cut, or did you just buy the plans?

And pictures NEED to come fast and furious!! :paddle:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I certainly wanted to find out if these speakers were "for me" before I spent a few $K on them. If you've read the reviews of this system you know what others are saying about it. It's all true.

The sound stage is 3D. It makes box speakers sound 2D by comparison. Good stereo recordings (I listened to Chesky 2K) extend behind the speakers to far beyond the back wall. When playing good recordings, the speakers disappear. You can stare at the exposed drivers and you can't convince yourself that you hear anything coming from the drivers. These speakers can thump. I expected dipole bass to be a little wimpy, but it is not. Of course the tone is completely natural.

Most recordings today including surround sound are "pan-potted mono". It is immediately evident when a recording of this type is played that the sound stage has collapsed into a plane. It's like someone took your 3D glasses off. I would say that for these types of recordings, my existing box speakers (DALI IKON 6) will do fine.

But for 3D stereo recordings, only the ORION system will do.
Personally I would build Plutos first, to hone my skills and to see if those kind of speakers are for me without spending a fortune.
The thought of building the PLUTO crossed my mind, but $1800 is an expensive experiment/training exercise.
So, which flavor did you go with? I.e., are you going to do the crossover project yourself? or will you have someone else do it? Are you going to buy the boards pre-cut, or did you just buy the plans?
I'll buy the crossover assembled and tested. I wouldn't mind soldering the board, and I've done that kind of thing before, but troubleshooting it would be beyond my ability and would not be my idea of a good time. I'd rather pay the $240 difference for the working crossover.

But I'll definitely build the speaker cabinets either by myself or with the help of a woodworking friend.
 

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I don't think it's $1800 for a pair of Plutos. Here's a quote from the website:

To estimate the total cost for a pair of PLUTO assume that the four drivers will be about $140. They are available, for example, from www.madisound.com . Electronic components are about $280 and available from www.digikey.com . The pipes, fittings, wood and miscellaneous hardware for the enclosures are around $60 and should all be available at your local hardware store. Thus the total cost could range between $480, if you need nothing more than the information on this website, have time, experience and patience, and around $1000 when you start with the PLUTO Construction Plans, two Electronics Modules and a Test CD.
Orions would be a tad more expensive. Two assembled crossovers are $1500, drivers are $1800. Multichannel amplifiers would also cost a pretty penny. All in all I'd say Orions are a pretty big step up from Plutos in terms of cost and complexity. Of course if you auditioned and liked them and have the money/skills to build them then going straight for the jackpot makes sense. A poor, timid schmuk like me would be better off reaching for the low hanging fruit first.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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I am very jealous! :)

I have lusted over the Orions for some time, but could never justify the expense. Definitely keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
For the moment, I'm just waiting for the plans to arrive in the mail.

I'll be pulling together the funds over the next six months, so we'll have to practice patience together!

If I do start buying supplies, I don't know what to get first.
Maybe I'll start by upgrading my receiver and buy the amps.
Maybe I'll start by building the cabinet.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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I've been doing my OB center channel build for 2 years now, so I know patience (and distractions) :D

Good luck.
 

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I built a set of Orion's a few years back. The crossover soldering is tedious, but definately not difficult. Cabinet construction was also pretty easy especially if you use the templates he provides.

To this day, they are still my favorite speakers. I sold them to help fund a wedding ring, but it's only a matter of time before I build another set.

My only gripe with them at the time was all the amplification they needed. I used two Parasound 855a (or was it 885a...can't remember) which was cheaper than going the ATI route...but for someone who puts way to much consideration into amplifier specs, design, and regrettably, marketing...it was limiting to need 8 channels.

Good luck with your project, if you have a nice big room to put them in to keep away from the back/side walls, I can nearly promise you'll be very happy with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the encouragement.

At the moment I am considering the Rotel RMB-1048 amplifier for $800 (MSRP). It's 8 channels of 40 watts into 8 ohms. From what I've read on the Orion Users Group, this amp woofers will hit their physical limit before this amp clips, so its got enough power for the job.

I have a big room, but I'm going to need luck convincing the Mrs. to let me rearrange the furniture!

By the way, I got an e-mail from SL letting me know that my plans have shipped. I'm looking for that package!
 

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I find that its a good practice to buy the drivers first since the manufacturers like to discontinue or change things, then I start building the box...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In a couple of weeks I'll have the funds to buy the drivers and cabinet materials, and then I'll pull the trigger on those. :spend:

The crossover and amp will probably have to wait until January. :waiting:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well folks, after MUCH discussion with my wife, I've decided to wait on the ORION. It just won't work in our living room. Maybe in a year or two we'll buy a new house and my #1 priority is a home theater room of my own.

In the mean time, I've got this money burning a hole in my pocket so I'm going to upgrade my TV. I'm pretty settled on a KURO...
 

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As dipoles, the Orion speakers do need to be positioned four feet from the back wall and two feet from the side wall when doing any critical listening. I have made many Orion speakers for people in many countries. During this experience, I have incorporated many changes (with Siegfried's approval) that improve upon the construction and the wire layout. I will be glad to share this information with those who have purchased the plans and are about to begin the building process. The plans show the construction using Birch Plywood, but most of the speakers I have made have used solid woods. The most popular of these have been Bubinga, Brazilian Cherry, American Cherry and Maple. I also have made the baffle panels from Quilted Maple with Ebony trim. The results are some beautiful speaker/furniture cabinets. This increases the WAF. I personally replaced a pair of rather expensive (unnamed) shiny black speakers that my wife thought looked like trash cans. She prefers the look of the Orion speakers as well as the improvement in sound quality. When you get ready to build these, please let me know if you would like some suggestions on the construction.
Don
 

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Hello! I'm an Orion owner myself, and up to this day, completely enjoying it. I built mine myself slowly for over 6 months and now still enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have heard several high-end speaker demo before, including the cover of the September 2009 issue of a popular stereo magazine, but nothing comes close to the sound and performance of an Orion speaker, not even speakers that cost $68K (US brand) or $85K (Danish brand) or even $100K + (French brand) top-of-the-line speakers. Orion has made me enjoy this hobby even more! It would probably be my last speakers!

Sorry to hear that you can't do your Orion project as soon. Good luck on your new house plan and I hope soon you'll fulfill your Orion project. I assure you, when that day comes, you won't regret it! Good luck!

Or you can try the Pluto project. I've been wanting to start my Pluto project, to use it as surrounds to complete my Orion-Pluto home theater speaker system but work constraints are posing as hindrance to implement my project soon. I don't have a Pluto yet and have not heard them yet, but from the various review and the forum, all agreed that it is a smaller version of Orion. And also I believe on the genius of Mr. Siegfried Linkwitz, who provide us high-end enjoyment at a lesser and realistic cost.

Good luck on whatever decision you'll take. The important thing is you enjoy this hobby!

Cheers!
 
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