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Old 4th December 2007, 08:51 PM   #1
Chr3is is offline Chr3is  Canada
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Default Newby DIY speaker project

Hi - I am a new member here. I've been lurking and searching past posts for inspiration for a while. Can't decide what to do nor how to narrow my search.

What I want to do is build a pair of single driver speakers - but there are so many designs and makers to choose from - from Fostex to Lowether to the CSS fr125s! (But I've decided already after reading that my listening tastes suggest that I should probably still continue to use my Shu powered subwoofer once I finish the project). And I want to use a 2A3 amp...

My problem is that I want to know what something will sound like in my listening room before I build it!!! So any guidance is much appreciated.

My listening room is 24L X 14W X 7H and I prefer to position my speakers along the 24L wall. My listening tastes run from gregorian chants to acoustic trio jazz to solo/electric blues to chamber music to Metalica/Sepultura.

Any suggestions for a design given my broad listening tastes and room size? I've been reading the Frugal-Horn Spawn sight lately and I also enjoy reading about the Hemp Acoustic FR8OC and CSS fr125s.

Suggestions for a newby much appreciated - Thanks, Chr3is
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Old 5th December 2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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Basically, because of the size of your room and choice of amplification, any of the smaller drivers are a no-go based on their efficiency. The CSS FR125 is the least efficient of the drivers you have listed.

You may not be happy with anything less that an 8" driver with at least a 95dB rating, given your varied listening tastes. A 6.5" driver may work for you used with your powered sub, but for jazz or acoustic material the sub may be redundant, or unwanted.

Hemp Acoustic FR8C/ Fostex FE207E would be a good place to start. You just need to decide on a suitable box, 'cause it's going to be BIG.

I'm sure others will have more/better ideas on what to build.

Jeff
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Old 5th December 2007, 04:01 AM   #3
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Your choice of amp probably eliminates the FR125 -- for sure eliminates it if it is SE (for some reason the FR125 does not like SE amps of any flavour (EL84.845 or DD.

Except for the Metalica, you listening tastes are similar to mine... the sub also gives you more latitude (as long as you can get it to blend (it can be tricky).

Choosing a FR means you have to choose your tradeoffs... i'll just tick off a general ones ...

1/ bigger drivers tend to be more efficient than little ones (which mean they play louder with a small amp)

2/ smaller drivers usually have better mids & tops.

3/ bigger drivers go lower & tend to be able to do dynamics better

4/ small drivers usually go in smaller boxes, with higher WAF, and lower cost to build

5/ bigger drivers tend to cost more (and i haven't meet a driver i can't improve)

6/ and a corollary to 5... a modded small driver for the price of a similar priced large driver will usually have more finese. (disclousure: i sell modded drivers)

And a couple specifics with your room...

1/ the 7' ceiling is going to cause problems in between 80 & 100 Hz

2/ listening across the short dimension will tend to favour smaller speakers.

3/ you cab narrow your choices by considering which ones won't work in your room (no BIBs, no Frugel-Horns, nothing that needs to be 4' out from the wall

My room has over 3 times the volume & i use amps that are on the order of 5W. I tend to choose smaller drivers because i won't compromise the midrange magic (currently listening to a set of GR Fonkens with FE127eN (if i had corners i'd likely have the Frugel-Horns up here for the bit higher efficiency -- when i get the time to load drivers, i will bring up the RonHorn A126 -- i recently cleared enuff space to get them against the wall).

What kind of budget do you have? Size considerations?

dave
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Old 5th December 2007, 07:15 AM   #4
Chr3is is offline Chr3is  Canada
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Thanks for the thoughts so far.

I've been thinking about your trade-offs list, planet10 and I understand that in any speaker (DIY/commercial) there are trade-offs. I'd have to say that a larger driver would probably suit my listening preferences, given your list - but I wouldn't be hostile to trying a smaller driver either.

Speaker size isn't an issue, look isn't an issue and neither is WAF - my listening room is my basement man-cave.

My budget would be around +/- $700 (start to finish) and I am fairly handy with power tools (but not a soldering iron ) and have lots of clamps and a fair amount of patience, so I'll should be able to judge beforehand when a design I see is beyond me. I am also not in a hurry - so it doesn't have to be a single weekend project! I don't want to design anything (I haven't a clue how) and am looking for proven design plans.

Your idea of considering which types wouldn't work in my room was very helpful.

What about something in the Spawn family, like Harvey?
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Old 5th December 2007, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chr3is
What about something in the Spawn family, like Harvey?
I was going to suggest you poke around the Frugal-horn site and thru the box plan library at planet10-hifi -- our aim is to ensure no shortage of choices.

I hope to hear a local set of Harveys sometime before the summer, and the curved mouth Changs have some real appeal... fortunately we are in a position that we just keep building them

From Scott's initial Harvey build and the comments of those who have built it, it is outstanding.

dave
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Old 5th December 2007, 04:21 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Default too many choices?

For a less physically domineering enclosure than could still fill a pretty big room, the Demetri with FE207E/FT17H would be worth considering.

You'd not likely need a sub, you can drive them crazy with less than 10W, and they're a far easier build than any of the big-a$$ BVR or Nagaoka style horns.

If you're willing to sacrifice teeth-rattling bottom and SPL levels, his "little sister" (Mileva) with FE127eN is very musical. Indeed the single FR* driver delivers all the magic to which Dave alludes in his above post, and FWIW, so far it has won the WAF at my house. Not counting the 2 computers, there are currently 3 audio systems and 5 different speaker systems in residence.

*without debating what exactly "Full Range" means - to me it is the sense that not enough is missing to take anything away from the emotional connection with the music. - i.e. "what was the artist trying to say?"


I've heard enough obscenely priced retail products over the years to appreciate that the number of drivers and complexity of filter networks / driving electronics guarantee nothing.
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Old 5th December 2007, 05:00 PM   #7
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>>> the 7' ceiling is going to cause problems in between 80 & 100 Hz...

My ceilings are only that high. Is there a way to minimize problems in that freq range? Maybe this is why sound absorbing materials seem to help so much in this room. I can just walk into the room with a handful of fiberglass and things sound better.

Great list Dave! I think it will be helpful.

My recommendation is a Half Chang using the Pioneer B20 or the Fostex 207e driver and a helper tweeter of your choice. It will fit the room and probably fill the room with sound better than some of smaller drivers mentioned.
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Old 5th December 2007, 06:42 PM   #8
Chr3is is offline Chr3is  Canada
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My carpentry skills/budget well fit the Half Chang. But I don't see in the plans how to make the center driver brace with the holes in it.

Ideas?
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Old 5th December 2007, 07:06 PM   #9
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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I can't suggest the Metronomes with a Hemp FR8 enough (FR8c now, I guess). The plans are available on Dave's website. At the Burningamp festival in october, they were there with a lot of other awesome speakers, and they were killer. I think there were details posted in the burningamp thread, a few days after the festival. I'm working on a different pair of speakers, and sometimes wonder if I shouldn't just switch over to the metronomes...

I used to have a 'man-cave', and it actually worked fine. Not beautiful, but I didn't hear any bad low frequency problems (although I wasn't there long, and had uneven, exposed wood stud, partially filled with fiberglass ceiling). If you need to tame vertical, low frequency modes like that, I think I've seen plans specifically for that at audioasylum.com, and Jon Risch's diy tube traps might also do. They were tall PVc tubes stuffed in specific ways (called a 'room lense'?). It isn't easy to absorb LF waves (it takes a lot of material depth).
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Old 5th December 2007, 07:18 PM   #10
Chr3is is offline Chr3is  Canada
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But it's easy to absorb WAF waves when you have a man-cave.
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