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Old 19th December 2011, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default Small speakers for study?

Hi

I spend a lot of my working day in the study and quite fancy building a new amp and speakers.

Click the image to open in full size.

I have several LM3886 and 3875 chips left over from previous projects, and could easily build four channels.

Can you recommend a small speaker cabinet design that I could mount on a wall bracket in each corner?

As the room is so small I will require very little amplification. I would like to try and keep the cost as low as possible, but still achieve a lively dynamic sound.

Thanks
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Old 19th December 2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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Why four sources ? If you listen to stereo recordings ,it's already difficult to set the sources (speakers ) correctly in the room .
Focusing from the ceiling might be good , I had good results with cheap multimedia ( old Toshibas ) satellites with a subwoofer... Indeed , The System is called The Subwoofer ...Hey , Turn The Subwoofer on !!!
The sats are hung from the ceiling with a rope , since they are made of plastic.
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Old 19th December 2011, 10:30 AM   #3
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Richard,

How far will you be seated from the speakers? If you don't need lot of bass weight, I have read that the Alp 6.2 is good in a small BR box. The other 4" MA paper cones should do the job too - especially the EL70. There are quite a few designs on the Planet10 website that you can look into. Also some Mark Fenlon designs you can find at the Madisound website.

BTW, what type of music will you listening to most of the time?
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Old 19th December 2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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Hi Zia

If I position myself in the centre of the room the sides are only ~1.3m from my ears. I listen to all sorts of music from jazz, folk, blues and dance. I also listen to the radio a lot.
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Old 19th December 2011, 11:28 AM   #5
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripmaster View Post
Hi Zia

If I position myself in the centre of the room the sides are only ~1.3m from my ears. I listen to all sorts of music from jazz, folk, blues and dance. I also listen to the radio a lot.
Richard,

CHP-70 2nd gen can be a choice here; it's top end is a bit shelved though, and Mark Fenlon describes the sound as warm and alike to vintage drivers. Since you will be listening in nearfield position, something with a brighter sound like the CHR-70 might become a bit fatiguing. The Alp 7.3 is very revealing, but very refined - I made a Mar-Ken 7.3 for a friend who listens in nearfield and likes it. I am very curious about the CHP-70.2 though - so much of music is over compressed and poorly recorded nowadays, a warmer driver would be interesting to try.

Dave also mentioned that the 3" Fostex FF85wk is very good and the new uFonkenSet box gives it a bit of weight too.

I leave it to Dave and the others to chime in .

Last edited by zman01; 19th December 2011 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 19th December 2011, 07:20 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripmaster View Post
Hi Zia

If I position myself in the centre of the room the sides are only ~1.3m from my ears. I listen to all sorts of music from jazz, folk, blues and dance. I also listen to the radio a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zman01 View Post
Richard,

CHP-70 2nd gen can be a choice here; it's top end is a bit shelved though, and Mark Fenlon describes the sound as warm and alike to vintage drivers. Since you will be listening in nearfield position, something with a brighter sound like the CHR-70 might become a bit fatiguing. The Alp 7.3 is very revealing, but very refined - I made a Mar-Ken 7.3 for a friend who listens in nearfield and likes it. I am very curious about the CHP-70.2 though - so much of music is over compressed and poorly recorded nowadays, a warmer driver would be interesting to try.

Dave also mentioned that the 3" Fostex FF85wk is very good and the new uFonkenSet box gives it a bit of weight too.

I leave it to Dave and the others to chime in .

Zia is probably on to something here - at very nearfield, the CHPs would certainly have a more relaxed presentation - this is a case where Fostex's generally very forward presence could be too much of a good thing, literally in your face.
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Old 19th December 2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
Zia is probably on to something here - at very nearfield, the CHPs would certainly have a more relaxed presentation - this is a case where Fostex's generally very forward presence could be too much of a good thing, literally in your face.
Also in his back , since he wants to put 4 sources in a room
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Old 20th December 2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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Interesting question and feedback.
I have a somewhat similar issue: I'll be relocating for two years to Asia, I have meanwhile converted all my music in iTunes to 320kbps AAC variable bit rate (difference with the original CD is very subtle on my decent quality main system) and I am now investigating compact sound options for the small dining room in the bedroom, and later perhaps in the kitchen. In the study I'll continue use satisfying active Tascam studio monitors directly connected to my Mac.
The puzzle is about the other rooms.
I am thinking of adding the Sonos wireless music distribution system. I'd use the Connect device for the main system but I am puzzled about the other three rooms. I could buy (rather expensively) their Connect:Amp amplifier/signal receiver for these rooms and diy something nice and compact with FR drivers. For example using Markaudio 10 series speakers. It won't be that easy to diy over there in the apartment, however if I can get the wood/ply/mdf cut to measure including all round holes then it is doable to glue and paint everything. But in total the bill for this solution sure begins to add up, esp. since these are for less critical listening.
On the other hand, Sonos also offers quite nifty Play:5 all in one powered speakers with build in receiver, for less than the price of the Amp device. These things get remarkably good reviews though I haven't heard them yet. To save money, the smaller and cheaper Play:3 could be ok in bedroom and kitchen as weighty bass is less important there, the Play:5 would be great (perhaps overkill) for the dining area. These are more cost-effective than Connect:Amp device + DIY speakers, unless if later on I'd put two of these devices in one room and assign L and R channels to them (on their own they're more like sophisticated boom boxes, ok for intended use).
Any comments on the above puzzle? Or experience with Sonos and its sound quality?

Last edited by talaerts; 20th December 2011 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 20th December 2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talaerts View Post
Interesting question and feedback.
I have a somewhat similar issue: I'll be relocating for two years to Asia, I have meanwhile converted all my music in iTunes to 320kbps AAC variable bit rate (difference with the original CD is very subtle on my decent quality main system) and I am now investigating compact sound options for the small dining room in the bedroom, and later perhaps in the kitchen. In the study I'll continue use satisfying active Tascam studio monitors directly connected to my Mac.
The puzzle is about the other rooms.
I am thinking of adding the Sonos wireless music distribution system. I'd use the Connect device for the main system but I am puzzled about the other three rooms. I could buy (rather expensively) their Connect:Amp amplifier/signal receiver for these rooms and diy something nice and compact with FR drivers. For example using Markaudio 10 series speakers. It won't be that easy to diy over there in the apartment, however if I can get the wood/ply/mdf cut to measure including all round holes then it is doable to glue and paint everything. But in total the bill for this solution sure begins to add up, esp. since these are for less critical listening.
On the other hand, Sonos also offers quite nifty Play:5 all in one powered speakers with build in receiver, for less than the price of the Amp device. These things get remarkably good reviews though I haven't heard them yet. To save money, the smaller and cheaper Play:3 could be ok in bedroom and kitchen as weighty bass is less important there, the Play:5 would be great (perhaps overkill) for the dining area. These are more cost-effective than Connect:Amp device + DIY speakers, unless if later on I'd put two of these devices in one room and assign L and R channels to them (on their own they're more like sophisticated boom boxes, ok for intended use).
Any comments on the above puzzle? Or experience with Sonos and its sound quality?
I have no idea about the prices of the various Sonos components you are considering, but if there will be a TV (or monitor with HDMI) in any of the rooms you should consider simply using a WDTV Live+ ($99) and a Lepai 2020A+ amp ($21). Add some inexpensive DIY speakers and you have a complete system for under $200. I have this system set up in my bedroom and it works like a charm. The WDTV Live+ connects to any network share and streams any kind of music content you have (or plays it right off a USB drive, of course). The internal DAC does a surprisingly good job. You can use it to stream any kind of video, Netflix, etc. as well, of course.

See here for a demo video of my setup: nanoTower Part II - Tang Band W3-881SI - YouTube

In the video you can see that I have the WDTV accessing my network via a wireless bridge, but you can also just plug in a USB wireless adapter, or use wired ethernet.

EDIT: Wow! I just saw that the MSRP of the Connect:Amp is $599. You could fund a WDTV Live+, Lepai 2020A+, DIY speakers and a small LCD TV or monitor for that kind of money.

Last edited by cogitech; 20th December 2011 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 20th December 2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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Hello, actually I have the WD TV live connected to my main system, with two hard disks connected for movies only. I absolutely love the device for movies. But, personally I find the user interface not good for music and it does sound ok-ish but my 10 years old Harman Kardon cd player is noticeably better sounding on my system. I admit that I have not yet heard Sonos.
I also have the Apple TV connected to my main system which I currently use for music and photo streaming, the GUI is much better for music browsing. The limitation of the Apple approach is that it's not a true multi room solution like Sonos. In the smaller rooms I was hesitating about putting something like the Sonos Play:5 which is indeed not DIY but offers quite some clever functionality; or indeed the Sonos Connect:Amp with DIY speakers which is said to sound nice but it's indeed expensive. Choices, choices...
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