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Old 9th December 2003, 07:15 AM   #1
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Default Best $800 on home theater speakers?

Critical jazz listening as well as Home Theater 5.1 setup..

Would $800 best be spent on buying the most qualified used speakers, or by building my own speakers through following someone else's design?

Not looking for pretty,, just looking for the best sound possible. The sweetspot can be narrow, but the depth/soundstage would most definately need to be excellent.

The center channel can be full-sized!!
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Old 9th December 2003, 08:27 AM   #2
Nielsio is offline Nielsio  Netherlands
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Open baffle seems to be the thing at the moment (I have it too).

Look through this thread..
System Pictures & Description
..as well as these posts:
* http://diyaudio.com/forums/showthrea...860#post234860
* http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...369#post231369
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Old 9th December 2003, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Would $800 best be spent on buying the most qualified used speakers, or by building my own speakers through following someone else's design?
Have you asked the salesperson at your local Hi-Fi shop this question also?

$800 for a 5.1 system in a retail shop is not going to get you much. As for used speakers, who knows? Some incredible bargains have been found. You may want to check the Hardware for Sale Forum at hometheaterforum.com to see if there's something there. For $855 plus materials you could build the Audax Home Theater from Madisound, get a decent setup and the satisfaction of having built it yourself. Another possibility is to build a decent sub like a DPL12 and amp, then (since you're into jazz) go with a set of Fostex drivers following their plans. No crossovers and jazz sounds great through Fostex drivers. It might not give you 100db+ dynamics for home theater but it's still not bad.
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Old 9th December 2003, 04:15 PM   #4
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I could be talked into closer to $1k.

Already have a 15" tempest I'm building, so that's outside the equation.


A complete (and new) Ascend speaker package is under $800 for everything except sub (which I don't need) and this has been considered to be VERY musical.

What I want to know is, can a DIY speaker system outshine a factory speaker at my particular budget level?
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Old 9th December 2003, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
What I want to know is, can a DIY speaker system outshine a factory speaker at my particular budget level?
The quick answer is yes. I've read glowing reviews of speakers but when I got them in my house I was surprisingly disappointed. If you want to hear what DIY speakers are capable of you'll have to hear them. But, unless you know someone that has built a bunch of speakers and still has them available to hear, you'll have to go to a DIY conference of some kind. The bottom line is, you have to be able to hear them to make a decision. Many of us got into this to build and learn, not to just get one set of good speakers. To quote the wife of a successful DIY'er; "he's spent thousands of dollars to make cheap speakers".
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Old 9th December 2003, 05:48 PM   #6
Nielsio is offline Nielsio  Netherlands
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My advice #2: forget 5.1 and go solely for quality.

For 800 you can build Kuei Yang Wang's open-baffle Supravox bicone 215 speaker.
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Old 9th December 2003, 06:16 PM   #7
sreten is online now sreten  United Kingdom
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The simple answer is secondhand is a walk in the park compared
to building your own stuff - if you put any sensible value on your
own time.

You build stuff because you want to.

In some cases its difficult to even buy the materials for the price
of a good secondhand choice - notice here I say good - anyone
can justify something if they compare it to poor value stuff.

And you can audition it before shelling out your dollars.

If your dissapointed with whats available - then you could become
a DIY convert - but this is different - you now want to do it and
need to find a sound that you like - fine.

But building someone else's A/V system design unheard is not
going to give you better quality than the other options available
unless you are very lucky - i don't recommmend it.

/sreten.
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Old 9th December 2003, 06:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, thanks guys. Have been looking through the links Nielsio posted and am getting cold feet very quickly.

This would obviously require not just time in building the speakers, but time spent researching a design I like, and speakers I would want.

Ouch!
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Old 9th December 2003, 07:36 PM   #9
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Go to the pro music store and audition studio monitors by:

ART (Yorkville), Alesis and M-Audio.

If you have a receiver, look at the passive units.

If you don't have a receiver yet and your DVD player has 5.1 analog outputs, then look at the active monitors (internal amps) and build a 6-channel volume control.

To stay in budget, I suggest the M-audio BX-5 at the rear with the Yorkvilles as mains. You will only need you sub for HT and only blended in at 80Hz. If you must have a center channel, build a full range as most of the audio there is between 500 and 10kHz.

:)ensen.
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Old 9th December 2003, 09:58 PM   #10
Nielsio is offline Nielsio  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally posted by CZ Eddie
Yeah, thanks guys. Have been looking through the links Nielsio posted and am getting cold feet very quickly.

This would obviously require not just time in building the speakers, but time spent researching a design I like, and speakers I would want.

Ouch!
DIY means using your head and hands for something you really want. Don't be affraid of the complexity, but be aware of the time spent (as mentioned before).

As for making choices in unknown territory: this is still the case for each and every one of us: some love it and some chicken out; the choice is yours.

I can tell you this: if I had known back then what I knew now, I wouldn't have bought each and every one of those 5 sets of speakers (commercial and DIY). I am however still happy I did it, because I am aware of the learning curve and the practical means of it.
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