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Old 28th March 2012, 10:56 AM   #1
Penkka is offline Penkka  Finland
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Default Why DIY?

Hi all,

Since my stereo set is quite outdated I went looking for options to renew it. The first thought was to go the easy way and buy a new complete set, straight of the shelf, but then almost by an accident I stumbled over this forum and saw all your lovely creations and started thinking of perhaps building my own speaker cabinets. In order to find a suitable project I have been reading a lot of different threads and you are all responsible for me not having time to sleep enough lately Wow..! I am stunned by your skilled work! At first I was thinking of a sealed box or maybe a bass reflex cabinet. Then I suddenly got my eyes on back loaded horns and TLís and MLTLís with full range speakers. These were things that I didnít even know existed and that really got me interested. And the more I read, the more aware I get of how little I know, and how much there still is to learn. Well, at this moment I still havenít decided which way to go when and if I take the big leap into the DIY world. I suppose I first have to try to find out what it is that I really want and need, and in the meantime Iíll be admiring your fantastic creations. I have one question though (well, as a matter of fact I have nothing but questions..) For example a couple of Fostex FE206En speakers would cost me around 250 euro (including shipping), the material for BLH enclosures another 100 Ė 150 euro. Plus glue, paint or lacquer, cables, terminals etc.. And looking at the speakers you all have made I understand that you must have spent a whole lot of hours making them. For the same amount of money (and much less time) I would guess that one could get a pair of decent speakers from the store. Are DIY speakers so much better than the speakers found in the store, or is it just the feeling of creating something that makes the whole DIY speaker concept so interesting? This is perhaps a stupid question, but since Iíve never heard a DIY BLH or MLTL or TL speaker I donít have a clue of what to expect and that is why I have to ask you that are more experienced. Why DIY?

Best regards,
P-H
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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It is very hard to find back loaded FE206 horn in a general store moreover full range speakers are not common as a retail product at all. That kind of stuff is for knowledgeable demanding consumers.
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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At this price point, DIY can definitely be better than what can be found at the store. Or in many cases allows you to work with theories and designs that have been nearly abandoned by commercial manufacturers.

Some of us also just enjoy the process of designing and building something (I make a lot of random things around the house anyway) - makes enjoying it that much more sweet to use the fruits of your own labor, even if it doesn't represent huge cost savings.
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Old 28th March 2012, 12:53 PM   #4
Penkka is offline Penkka  Finland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suntechnik View Post
It is very hard to find back loaded FE206 horn in a general store moreover full range speakers are not common as a retail product at all. That kind of stuff is for knowledgeable demanding consumers.
Youíre quite right about that. As far as I know I have never heard (or even seen) a back loaded horn in real life. Not in any shop nor at any other place and therefore I have no clue whatsoever of how it compares to a standard of-the-shelf multi way speaker. When reading about different full range projects most of the times people seem to be enthusiastic over the quality of the sound. This makes me wonder even more why full range speakers not are common in shops.
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Old 28th March 2012, 12:58 PM   #5
Penkka is offline Penkka  Finland
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Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post
At this price point, DIY can definitely be better than what can be found at the store. Or in many cases allows you to work with theories and designs that have been nearly abandoned by commercial manufacturers.

Some of us also just enjoy the process of designing and building something (I make a lot of random things around the house anyway) - makes enjoying it that much more sweet to use the fruits of your own labor, even if it doesn't represent huge cost savings.
I too enjoy the process of creating things, and I guess that is what caught my interest for this forum in the first place. For some strange reason, despite the fact that I have no experience of full range speakers, the thought of a back loaded horn appeals to me. Hopefully I too will experience the magic of fullranger DIY some day
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Old 28th March 2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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With DIY speakers you need to be prepared to change your idea, often frequently.

What looks OK on paper often can be disappointing in reality. With a bit of luck and loads of experience you can certainly create a real masterpiece. However, don't expect your first DIY speaker to be an instant success nor particularly cheap.
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Old 28th March 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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The relative accessibility of designing a box with an FR driver, even with a few correction components, can make for very good result at a good price.
It is doable but less evident to have similar outstanding results for a good price with multiway speakers. I once was at a DIY happening, with several speaker designs on demo, well a few were great but for many of them I thought that you can get a better result in the shop for not much more money.
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Old 28th March 2012, 02:06 PM   #8
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400 Euros is a lot of money in my mind.

Good luck. The most difficult part is to make them acceptable to the eye.
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Old 28th March 2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Karlson

I may suggest to make a Karlson speaker enclosure. I made 3 of them, two for 15" and one more for 12", plus a tweeter cone coaxial mounted using 4 pieces of hard wire, and the the results are greatly satisfactory: I can make a earthquake in my house with only 3 TDA 2006 (12W each one).
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Old 28th March 2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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A full range speaker can offer an exceptional experience on some, but not all or most, genres of music, but is generally limited in terms of output and bass response unless the box gets very big. Hoffman's Iron Law applies here. You can see that the trend in commercial designs and home theater is small boxes and subwoofers.

The general trends is smaller cabinets. This is why one doesn't commonly see horns as current designs.

Your Fostex example isn'y very representative since those drivers tend to be expensive for a relatively limited use. DIY can allow you to get a well performing multi-way design for significantly less than a comparably sounding commercial design IF you discount your time, AND you already have adeqaute tools to do the job. If it's going to be a one time affair rather than a hobby, then financially you're better off either commissioning someone or getting a commercial offering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penkka View Post
Youíre quite right about that. As far as I know I have never heard (or even seen) a back loaded horn in real life. Not in any shop nor at any other place and therefore I have no clue whatsoever of how it compares to a standard of-the-shelf multi way speaker. When reading about different full range projects most of the times people seem to be enthusiastic over the quality of the sound. This makes me wonder even more why full range speakers not are common in shops.
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