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Old 14th September 2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Default Being realistic on speaker size.....

After a ton of reading both here and on various DIY speaker building sites I have come to the conclusion that my lofty plans for speakers may just be a little too lofty.

So I am here to ask you experienced people what a suggested speaker size would be for my situation....

Our primary listening area is our lounge room. It is 5.45m long (17' 11") x 3.7m (12' 1 1/2"). In one long wall is a large window, in the other a door way 1.98m from one end. Currently the TV and audio gear is on the long wall with the window with our seating on the opposite long wall.

The speakers I am hoping to build will suit music and movies. Music will be fed from both a multimedia centre (XBMC) using FLAC rips and CD's via a Denon DVD player. Movies will also come from XBMC and DVD's. Our TV is only a 68cm analog and my current amp is one of the cheapo no name brand 100W p/c AV systems, 7.1 capable.

I am looking at budget speakers along the lines of the ZaphAudio site, nothing fancy or ambitious for my entry into DIY. I would need a project that not only gives what drivers and tweeters to use but also crossover info, I am in no way setup for designing my own. I am also looking at building a Gainsclone amp once my Paypal balance recovers.

Based on the info above, can anyone suggest what direction I should be taking to end up with a nice sounding set with the possibility of expanding in the future to a complete surround package.

Any suggestions welcome.

Cheers
Bruce
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Old 14th September 2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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Perhaps the best person to direct this question to is the other half (I'm serious!). Otherwise the question is a bit like how long is a peice of string If you get some guidelines, you could then ask what can I build which is no larger than X.

I have a similar sized living area, and my plan is to have 75L woofer cabinets with 10" drivers (currently they are 70L) with MTM's (approx 12L) on top of them.. I'm lucky in that I had some of the ugliest 3 way speakers (said 70L boxes) in history before I met my other half and she has been very tolerant of them , so anything new I build should be an improvement. What I am doing a lot of people would shudder at! even some of the other diyers I imagine, not just better halves!!

So ask the person it will matter most to (other than your good self), maybe do some bargaining and then come back and ask again as I suspect you will get a VERY big difference of oppinion of what is realistic!

BTW what was your lofty plan??

Tony.
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Old 14th September 2009, 10:53 AM   #3
rjb is offline rjb  New Zealand
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Definitely ask. Show her pictures as well. But include something to show scale. Ideally take a phote of where they are to go and paste pictures of the suggested speakers to scale on them.

You may be surprised.

Finish and colour also makes a big difference to acceptability. My wife likes ours with no grill cloth now, something I did not expect when I built them. Also brown boxes may be considered boring, and something more exotic found acceptable.

Also make a full size cardboard model (or three) in the approximate colour so she can get used to them before making a final decision
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Old 14th September 2009, 10:53 AM   #4
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! 18 inch speakers have good bass; 8 inch speakers have good WAF!
Show her a picture of the 18s and then show her the 12s you really want, WAF is a very serious and much under-rated audio quality factor I have neglected once too often.

Seriously some good 2-ways using at least a 6inch woofer times five, with a couple of smallish 12inch subs cleverly hidden as coffee tables or pot-plant stands.
I must point out that SWMBO is very tolerant and allows me to have 9 sub-woofers in our lounge room, only one of which is a 15
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Old 14th September 2009, 01:15 PM   #5
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Thanks guys....

Tony: My lofty plans were to build a set of these: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Speakers/Hi-Vi-3-Way-Tower/ including the center, sub and surrounds (unpublished). I bought the plans but have had second thoughts. The mains are 49 1/2" tall, 12" wide and the center is almost 4' wide (!). Currently the top of our TV sits at 43" and will maybe be going a little higher when I build the new TV stand / gear rack.

I just had a chat to my lovely wife and she basically said "you know what you want.... but...." After that it was something about not being too big "after all, you know how much room we have in here..." As for colour, we have timber bookcases in a darkish stain that she likes. Black is out, she hates black and besides, it is not a good colour in our house with 2 kids under 12 plus 3 dogs - dust is a factor bigtime!

I explained to her that I am after some speakers that make the music sound like it should - mains, maybe a sub (or two or three ) plus possibly rears and a center at a later date for movies. When my B&W DM220's were working I loved the sound (from what I can remember) when they were on the stands that came with them. Even the KEF C10's sounded OK (again from memory) - both of these were via my Denon receiver and Yamaha amp. These days I have the cheapo A/V amp and the woofers and tweeter out of the Accusound kit I bought in the old DM220 boxes - everything is flat, drab and basically horrible.

Speaking of the Accousound kit, Rach did ask about that. I explained I *could* build those but I did not know if they would be as good as I could get from a good DIY project, seeing as I have absolutely no info on the driver/tweeter/crossover specs AND have no definitive info on the proper cabinets.

rjb: I'll show her a few representative sets I know of and get her opinion. I do like the idea of building cardboard mockups, might try that with a few and see what she thinks!

moondog55: Rach likes her music too but I don't think she has ever heard a "real" set of speakers, I firmly believe she will be blown away by something that is designed to work correctly. I love the idea of subs as plant stands/coffee tables!

As for what I am after, well something along the lines of these initially (just wish they were floor standers) http://zaphaudio.com/ZMV5.html - especially for the cost side of things - or these http://zaphaudio.com/ZDT3.5.html or even something like these: http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/LBS.html. I have also looked at Troels Gravesen's site but his are a little expensive for me at the moment. Of course with any of these it is a case of locating the parts in Australia at a reasonable cost.

Anyway, off to do a little more research and come up with some more examples for Rach. I would love to get a good set of speakers with the little Gainsclone running just to show her

Cheers
Bruce
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Old 14th September 2009, 02:01 PM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
what about building a small footprint tower speaker?
Use two 8ohm 90dB/W/m drivers (bass/mid & treble) each with a passive crossover fed from a 60W into 8ohm chipamp amplifier.

The treble could be a fabric dome 1inch driver and the bass/mid could be a paper cone 6inch driver, that will work as a reflex loaded (ported) speaker of about 20litres (1200mm tall by 140mm deep by 120mm wide - internal dimensions)
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Old 14th September 2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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Hi Andrew

Thanks for your suggestion but, and I do not want to seem ungrateful for your post, unless there is a "design" on the web somewhere that suggests drivers, tweeters, cabinet design plus a crossover design with components, I can't use your suggestions. I am nowhere near the level of DIY required to successfully build speakers matching those things. They do sound like a good choice though.

As for the chipamp, I plan to start with one from AudioSector first to wet my feet in amp construction......

Cheers
Bruce
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Old 14th September 2009, 03:26 PM   #8
badman is offline badman  United States
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You're doing it the right way, good on you mate. Let your wife have some input, then build a tried and true design from someone like tony, zaph, troels, jon marsh, or dave dlugos + crew. Do post a build thread, we love those 'round here!
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Old 14th September 2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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Get some hot water tank boxes and suggest this is the smallest size that will work in your environment. When she balks, scale it down a bit. When she still balks scale it down a little more. You'll still end up with a nice big set of speakers by the time she gives in. Don't be afarid to remind her how many times you have compromised in going that "small"

Cheers.
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Old 14th September 2009, 04:33 PM   #10
algoart is offline algoart  United Kingdom
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Just do it slowly!
I introduced something different (also fast to build if you have a router):
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/z...gmahornet.html
Plans: http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeaker...ornet-plan.gif

Ok, bass is not the lowest around, but from 4" wharfedales, not too shabby either.
Once SOH got used to the look, I built a second pair with a cowl to accomodate 8" drivers...better
Then I started complaining about what we were missing....
So now I've made a pair of 120L cabs for 10" Tannoys.....Bliss.
As I said do it slowly !
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