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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Best "Off the Shelf" speakers for DIY mods.
Best "Off the Shelf" speakers for DIY mods.
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:01 PM   #1
percy is offline percy  United States
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Default Best "Off the Shelf" speakers for DIY mods.

What are the currently the best candidates of buying a speaker off the shelf and modifying the crossover and cabinet to improve the sound. Still using the same drivers though.

I know the Insignia 2-way coax is quite popular, but any others besides that ?

I saw one KLH at Radioshack the other day for $30. A 6.5" and 3/8" tweeter. I think it was this one -
Wonder how good of a candidate that one is ?
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:39 PM   #2
bzfcocon is offline bzfcocon  Romania
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At this price level, I rather doubt that the drivers quality and performance are worth the effort of BUYING and modding the speaker. Since you want to change the cabinet and crossover, you should be better off buying just new, better drivers.

It also depends on what you're looking for: good speakers or just DIY fun.

I've modded my speakers(B&W 602S3) heavily because, in time, I have become convinced that the drivers do have more potential (actually the woofer, which is pretty much the only thing left from B&W, besides the front baffle ).
I don't believe in audio believings.
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:46 PM   #3
sdclc126 is offline sdclc126  United States
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I concur -

I've done this before but the first thing I consider swapping out is the drivers - they make the biggest difference. The Insignias benefit from having decent drivers in the first place - can't be said for a lot of other cheapo retail models.
Soft Dome
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:52 PM   #4
percy is offline percy  United States
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Originally posted by bzfcocon
Since you want to change the cabinet and crossover

sorry if I wasn't clear. I meant keeping the cabinet and the drivers. Obviously if you change drivers and cabinets then it doesn't make any sense.

thats the whole idea about the original question - I guess if asked another way - Which off the shelf speakers have decent drivers that will benefit from a crossover redesign ?
Cabinet treatment is not a big deal for a small bookshelf, ofcourse as long as the box is already of reasonable size for the driver used.
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Old 18th December 2007, 02:15 PM   #5
theAnonymous1 is offline theAnonymous1  United States
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Don't waste your money. I had almost that exact same set of speakers I bought from BestBuy for around ~$30 some 4 years ago. They sounded like complete garbage.

Over the years I had them I tried many different crossovers and even a few different tweeters. Nothing helped. They eventually ended up in the garbage where they belonged.
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Old 18th December 2007, 02:42 PM   #6
percy is offline percy  United States
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what were you comparing them with ?
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Old 18th December 2007, 04:34 PM   #7
x. onasis is offline x. onasis
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They probably sounded similar to the KLH's.

I donated my Insignias to a charity event that raffled them off. They raised about $130 for the cause, and someone got them for $2. They sounded OK to have "tunes" in a room, and maybe "great" for $30, but they didn't compare to any I've built from plans shared here.

The problem with your quest is that "off the shelf" speakers usually have crappy boxes, crappy drivers, combined with crappy crossovers, and replacing the XO, will be a rather expensive swap with minimal gain. The Insignia's had a little going for them in each area, and their cabs looked real nice for the price.

I haven't seen a recent example where a commercially produced product used decent drivers, an attractive, well constructed enclosure, then skimped on the XO.

Older speakers found used, may have drivers worth playing with, but when you balance the time and effort to build proper cabs for them, design and purchase parts for a proper XO, the cost for good drivers isn't that great.
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Old 18th December 2007, 04:53 PM   #8
JC Fardo is offline JC Fardo  Brazil
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JBL L100

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Old 19th December 2007, 02:02 AM   #9
peter_m is offline peter_m  Canada
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Bestbuy recently had the famous Insignia Bookshelf speakers on sale at 49$. A friend of mine got me a pair from the US and he was very impressed with them. I was not as impressed as the highs are ear shattering and gave me a head ache. Could also have been the cone break up as I can hear a little sibilance. One thing I noticed is that you can drive them pretty loud. I plan to modify the x-over in my pair as I find them unbearable. Here is the new x-over: http://murphyblaster.com/content.php?f=insignia.html

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Old 21st December 2007, 04:36 AM   #10
14G-Dutch^ is offline 14G-Dutch^  United States
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I just picked these up from the radioshack clearance store for 19.99 a pair. They sound pretty weak. I am going to return them. I was thinking the same thing as you, but I am not skilled in this sort of thing, and it seems like a lofty goal for these speakers.

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