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jparker 21st January 2013 11:10 PM

Hello please bare with I'm new to this.
Let me start I guess with my system. I have a Yamaha RX-V467. I listen to movies and music through my computer connected through a Asus Xsonor sound card. I connect through the headphone jack into analog in the receiver. I have found the sound is better that way than through HDMI from the video card. My question is. I want to build a home theater using Alpair speakers in either slotted base reflex or double bass reflex. I'll be using a subwoofer with Dayton SA1000 amp and a 15 inch woofer. I have heard the speakers on You Tube which I know is not a good place to listen but it's the best I can do for now. I like the sound I hear and the fact they are pretty easy to build. No crossovers. I have seen speakers on the net using 2 Lowthers so, I'm wondering if it could be done with Alpairs too. Would this help with the dynamics? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been doing a lot of research on all the form sites including this one. Reading and trying to learn all I can. Also I was planning on cover the cabinets with formica. Would this affect their sound? Thank you ahead of time for your thoughts. I don.t have a lot of money. Remodeling my house right now so between doing rooms I want to build the speakers. I don't have a wife or kids so size is not an issue. My living room is connected to my kitchen. Measurements are 11 feet wide and 24 feet long or deep.

zman01 22nd January 2013 03:16 AM


You will be able to do a system without crossovers with the Alpairs. Quite a few diyAudio memebers have HT systems with Alpair drivers and I am linking a couple for your reference:

The Alpair 7.3 was used for for of these builds.

For box plans you can check P10's site:

Frugal-phile | Box Library / Mark Audio

If you are looking for floor stander fronts then the Pensil 7.3 can be an option. For bookshelf size (front or rear) the Mar-Ken 7.3 is a good bass reflex design. Dave has a seperate design for the center IIRC.

jparker 22nd January 2013 04:19 AM

Thank you!
Cool man! Thank for replying to my post. I have read that building a Mar-Ken is hard for a beginner at wood working and I am a beginner. Lol. I'm retiring from work in a couple of years and I want to build some speakers for my system and kick back and enjoy. I have got to get the saws and stuff to do it. A friend of mine at work is helping with the house and he told me as long as I pay him he will help show me some things. Would a simple bass reflex work just by making it a little taller say 36 or so inches? I know from reading not to go to big on the speaker because that will effect the highs and I don.t want to add a tweeter. That would defeat the purpose. I have been on here looking at the gallery at the speakers. Man the guys on here build some awesome speakers. Wish I lived by some of you, I live in San Angelo Texas. Set down have a good beer and talk. Since I was a kid I wanted good speakers. I have a Cerwin Vega system right now. But even listening on You Tube I'm hooked on Full range. I have been everywhere on the net and good speakers are not cheap. Even good Klipcsh would set me back 2500 and they are not perfect. So I thought if I'm going to spend that much money over time might as will do what I did with my computer and build my own. Like I said size does not matter too much just quality of sound. The wall I'm putting my front speakers and TV on is a little over 8.5 feet. Height to my dropped ceiling will be about 6.5 feet. So as long as the don't go past that anything is possible. I listen to all types of music. Sarah Brightman, Johnny Cash,Korn, and so forth. I figure if full ranges can play theater with all it's dynamics I figure with a sensible volume they should play just about anything. Hope I'm not wrong. Got a little long winded but to help ya'll need info. Thanks again for posting the links. I'm clicking on them now.

cogitech 22nd January 2013 04:23 AM

zman01 offers some great advice. The only thing I can add is to get an external DAC for 2-channel (music), and for multi-channel (DD, DTS, etc.) try to figure out why the HDMI link is resulting in lackluster sound. You can then configure your music player to output to the external DAC (then analog into the receiver) and configure your movie/video player to stream the digital source directly to the receiver for surround decoding.

jparker 22nd January 2013 05:02 AM

Thanks man. The sound card I have has a built in DAC and headphone amp. Signal to Noise is about 115 I think. I got a GTX 460 video card right now. Going to build a new computer when Haswell comes out unless I get busy building speakers. I think the reason for the sound difference might be the DAC in the sound card compared to the video card. Also I'm my 50 year old ears are probably use to analog as will who knows. I got all my music on my hard drive and have a Blu-Ray burner in the computer. So everything goes through there. Makes looking up songs easy. I miss the crackles and pops of vinyl. But can't afford a phono right now and do all this other stuff.

cogitech 22nd January 2013 05:49 AM

Audio output on your video card's HDMI interface does not go through a DAC, it is pure digital. The DAC stage happens in your Yamaha in this configuration.

If you like analog sound, a computer sound card DAC is not the best solution. When I switched to an external DAC, I couldn't believe how much more "analog" it sounded compared to my sound card. Your mileage may vary, but start with the speakers and tweak the other stuff later.

jparker 22nd January 2013 06:02 AM

I saw a cabinet in one of the diagrams that might be cool for two centers. I'll describe it. It's on the page marked Home Theater Appendix. The cabinet that is laying on it's side and has a piece of wood with holes behind the driver. It's 10 7/8 inches long. It looks like two of those hung over the TV would be good for center wired in series. Also I noticed that 11opas system,which is amazing,he is using a driver at the top and one in front. Would it be possible to that in a Pensil and if you can,then do you have to compensate if you are running the same drivers. By compensate I mean notches. I don't know how to solder and with so many things going on right now learning would be difficult if not impossible. Many thinks for ya'lls advance and I am paying attention and trying not to be a pest. If I could I'd by the beer. Lol.

zman01 22nd January 2013 06:07 AM


I have a couple of Xonar cards too (2 channel STX and the DX which is 7.1) - they are pretty nice cards - good place to start from. A good DAC is an improvement - you can add a DAC later as Cogitech has suggested; I recently added a HifimeDIY CS4398 DAC and do notice an improvment in sound on my system (PC based).

The free CGR (Classic Golden Ratio) Mar-Kens from Dave are bass reflex boxes and relatively simple builds, The paid plan-set Mar-Kens are more difficult to build, and look pretty cool with the wide chamfers. Due to the narrower baffle and wide chamfer these will have slightly better imaging vs the CGR-Ken. The designs in the HT appendix are pretty simple builds and designed for the Mark Audio CHR-70 drivers. The Alpairs are better sounding that the CHR-70.3, but having said that, the CHR is no slouch and very good value for money. Maybe Dave can suggest if the same center will work for the Alpair 7.3? BTW, a center with one driver should be sufficient - please refer to page 3 of the plans.

If you make BR boxes tall and slim, then my understanding is that it becomes a quarter-wave speaker. The Pensil 7.3 is also a relatively simple build (in case you are planning the fronts as floor standers), and are 37" tall - that should be close enough to your stated 36" height preference. It has a simple slot port.

For HT in full glory, speakers with single full-range drivers (or other speakers for that matter) will need sub-woofer assitance.

It would be great to chill out with fellow diyAudio members and talk speakers, and amps, and DACs, but at least we have the forum where we can learn and exchange ideas. :)

jparker 22nd January 2013 06:14 AM

Oh yes I'm more interested in building the speakers right now. I have seen some expensive DACs. I'll ask about connecting later down the line. Speakers are more important. If nothing else I can build the electronics "around" the speakers as per how the sound and what sound I want. Maybe throw in a EQ later. I know that might sound crazy but the speakers I have now are VE-5ms and VE-5c Cerwin Vegas. My subwoofer is an old 100 watt CV I bought at a Rex appliance store 13 years ago. It went out on me and the speaker rattles. So I started looking at subs and good ones that are 300 and 900 watts are just as expensive as building my own and the accomplishment as well. So I thought just build everything and get the sound I WANT not what some one else wants.

cogitech 22nd January 2013 06:21 AM

Good plan. You can't go wrong with Alpairs, according to many around here.

(DAC doesn't have to be very expensive to be good, but another time, another thread :) )

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