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Old 17th December 2007, 02:49 AM   #1
slacky is offline slacky  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Questions from a neophyte dummy.

Hello all,

I've been reading about diy horns for 3 hours straight and my head is spinning so it's time to post and ask for advice.
I was looking for some good cheap speakers and horns seemed the way to go for two reasons, they're relatively cheap and the construction would utilize my proficient woodwork skills and not my non-existence electronics skills.

So I have two big questions -

Are horns for me?

My system is pretty rudimentary, some of you may laugh at it but its the best thing I've ever had to play my records on. In fact I can seriously remember playing punk records on a crappy portable player my aunt gave to me and using a pin for a stylus, so given my pedigree and impoverished circumstances (aka first-time fatherhood) what i have is comparitively high end.
Project 3 turntable, Bellari tube pre-amp and a Dynaco st120 ($50 from yard sale). So no tube amp as yet, I may well upgrade later (by my calculations my daughter should finish college around 2028).

If they are for me, then which ones?

I understand the Frugal Horns require corners which is not possible for me so I'm looking at the Spawn variants, the Mikasa maybe. I'm open to suggestions but ideally I'd like something that isn't ridiculously huge and looks aesthetically pleasing, I'm particularly attracted to anything unusual looking.

All responses appreciated, keep in mind I am new to all this and my knowledge is lacking although I am extremely keen.
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Old 17th December 2007, 03:45 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NorCal
At the intersection of inexpensive and SS amp, the Pioneer BOFU seems to be a natural. There are several active threads about them, and many enclosure designs from which to choose.

I got two BOFU's at Burning Amp. My first thought was to play with them on an open baffle. I put them into some small boxes and hooked them up to my Panasonic HT receiver to break them in. They work well there - they aren't the most resolving speakers, so they don't accentuate the SS nature of the receiver. IMO they would be a better match for the Dyna amp than something like a Fostex. They'll work with tubes, too, if you go that way later on.

My wife liked them so much that I wound up buying two more, and plan to build 4 channels worth for matching main and surround speakers. (She finally confessed that she hated the looks of 15" Hawthorne Silver Iris speakers I was using as mains; my son is going to wind up with them). The surrounds will probably be sealed boxes, but I may build Half Changs for the front pair just for the heck of it. WAF says no full Changs for me, maybe an option for you?

Insert witty signature line here.
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Old 17th December 2007, 10:06 AM   #3
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chinook Country.Alberta
Default slacky, I'm gonna ask a few more questions...

my standard ones.
  • what's your taste in music?
  • how big is your room?
  • what is your budget for drivers, etc for the speakers (realistic, and less cabinets ...)?
  • how important is SOAF (Significant Other Acceptance Factor)?

obviously if a small room, head banging music, with a driver budget of $300 will be significantly different than a large room, jazz or chamber music, and a driver budget of $50.

And don't apologize about the equipment you have. Most everyone here started with significantly less. And your pieces are "solid", so no real mistakes in there.The Pioneer lousymusician suggested is the cheapest, and perhaps one of the best hidden deals in audio. It can be made to sparkle with an add on tweeter, or can be quite good if left on its own (so sez Mr. Pass himself). Your amp is 60 watts/channel so most any speaker could be driven to fairly high levels in a 12'X20' room (an arbitrary size as an example).

stew -"A sane man in an insane world appears insane."
Let's help Ruth and Dave
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Old 17th December 2007, 10:35 PM   #4
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chinook Country.Alberta
Default slacky....

while doing a little research on possible ideas I did "find" again Zillaspeak's webpage . In it is a description of the Pioneer full-range and an inexpensive piezo electric tweeter. "The world's cheapest exotic speaker". This could very well be the jumping off point for a great speaker for you.

Not horns but efficient and a decent sounding driver full-range as well. And even your proficient carpentry skills can be put to use (not really, a very simple box). Just make the box out of Baltic Birch ply (marine grade). A little expensive, but little or no formaldehyde. At 42H x 9.75W x 5.5D (inside dimensions), tall and narrow and able to be placed close to a rear wall. Something in the neighbourhood of under $100 for the pair including materials (if careful and can obtain scraps, even cheaper).

The basic character is of a non offensive driver that does what it claims to do. They should sound quite good with a solid state amp.

stew -"A sane man in an insane world appears insane."
Let's help Ruth and Dave
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