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Old 29th July 2012, 06:37 AM   #1
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Question Want to build budget nearfield computer speakers, which plans/amp to choose?

Hi all,
I'm looking to build a pair of nearfield computer speakers from online plans, but am having trouble choosing which to pursue.

I'm pretty sensitive to higher frequencies and usually prefer a more 'laid back', listen all day type of tweeter.

I was looking at these two designs so far, but am worried both are designed for listening from ~10ft away and would have excessive high frequency response when used as a nearfield:
ZA5.2
Zaph|Audio - ZA5 Speaker Designs with ZA14W08 woofer and Vifa DQ25SC16-04 tweeter

Swift
Amps Lab Swift

I have a moderate amount of soldering and carpentry experience, so crossover and cabinet fabrication is not out of the question. I have also installed and tuned a fully active car audio system, so passive speaker designs are not mandatory as I could use software crossovers with a multichannel soundcard.

Any input on these or suggestions of alternatives is highly welcomed.

Additionally, I need a small amplifier, and would either build from plans or purchase a reputable used one. It could be a simple power amp as I currently have an M-Audio Audiophile USB that could act as a DAC/Preamp, but, once again, I'm open to any superior alternatives. (Is the Audiophile USB even a good preamp?)



Thanks in advance to all!

Last edited by mbayaq579; 29th July 2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 29th July 2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Well the cheap option ( and certainly not the worst) is to use the sound-output on the computers soundcard to a cheap stereo amp.
For instance I use a small Alessis RA-100 and my wife uses a 300 watt Inkel, both cost less than building a kit.
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Old 29th July 2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
Well the cheap option ( and certainly not the worst) is to use the sound-output on the computers soundcard to a cheap stereo amp.
For instance I use a small Alessis RA-100 and my wife uses a 300 watt Inkel, both cost less than building a kit.
That's exactly what I was considering, having the RCA output from the M-Audio Audiophile going right into a small used stereo amplifier, as it seems to be a cheap and easy solution (as long as the Audiophile doesn't suck as a preamp, I've had nothing to compare it against so I can't really judge its performance accurately).

That RA-100 looks great by the way, 75x2 @ 8ohms is perfect. How much did you get your amps for if you don't mind me asking?

I've heard Alesis were solid amplifiers in the past, any other brands I should keep an eye out for on Craigslist?

Last edited by mbayaq579; 29th July 2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 29th July 2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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See the second place design here: Zaph|Audio - Design Contest Results

By Alexandre Chamagne.

Or use a Mark Audio alpair 7 in a 7L sealed box with computer eq. Or a Planet 10 box. Or any other Mark Audio full ranger.

Or a Kef coax design, but I don't think there are designs for it out there.

I disagree with using the Overnight Sensation. Very high cross over with relatively large CtC driver spacing. My belief for desktop use is point source. You're so close to the speaker, you need full range, coax, or very low cross over. You also don't want much baffle step compensation because the desk extends the baffle such that it's nearly 2pi. The overnight sensations use full BSC. No offense to Paul, it's not the first time I've said this.

I have experience with that tweeter in the Zaph contest design and it's nicely laid back. But my preferred approach is to use a good full ranger.
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Old 29th July 2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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Well, there's the TangBand W3-1723SA coaxial. There's a simple build listed in the reviews. And a build thread at techtalk.

As for a small amp... tripath amps are small and you easily add space in the speaker cabinet.

Madisound has a turn-key solution using HiVi and Tripath.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 29th July 2012, 04:27 PM   #7
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

I disagree with using the Overnight Sensation. Very high cross over with relatively large CtC driver spacing. My belief for desktop use is point source. You're so close to the speaker, you need full range, coax, or very low cross over. You also don't want much baffle step compensation because the desk extends the baffle such that it's nearly 2pi. The overnight sensations use full BSC. No offense to Paul, it's not the first time I've said this.
I've had mine on my desk a couple of times for fun and they seemed to do pretty well for what they cost to make. *shrug*

As for point source in near field, you have a point. Maybe a pair of chp-70s would do better.
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Old 29th July 2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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Budget & nearfield scream single full range speaker. There are lots of choices, Ryan mentioned a few, My favorite is FF85wk.

The CHP70.2 (mentioned by Dr. Dyna) is currently very aggressively prices at Madisound, it naturally has a laid back top end.

dave
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Old 29th July 2012, 07:29 PM   #9
sreten is online now sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Proper farfield speakers have excessive
bass, not treble, listened to nearfield.

The BSC reduced version of
Zaph|Audio - 4" Bargain Mini
and a T amp should work well.

As would the Aura NS3 , going cheap at madisound.
See Zaphs comments here : Zaph|Audio
http://www.zaphaudio.com/archives-19.zip

rgds, sreten.

Zaphs budget version
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Old 29th July 2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbayaq579 View Post
That RA-100 looks great by the way, 75x2 @ 8ohms is perfect. How much did you get your amps for if you don't mind me asking?

I've heard Alesis were solid amplifiers in the past, any other brands I should keep an eye out for on Craigslist?
From memory I paid $100- AUD for it about 10 years ago, very solid performer.
Being a PRO amp it needs 1/4inch jacks, nobody should need more power than this for near-field. I also used it on occasion to drive the top end of my party set-up.
Buying second hand is always a risky thing but Rotel from the early days usually sell cheap as no-one wants an amp that puts out :"ONLY" 20 watts these days
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