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Old 6th November 2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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Question "Better built" amplifier or separate dacs for biamp system?

My name is Nishit. I am 24, Indian and into 60s pop, 70s prog, indie, post-rock, some singer-songwriter stuff, and so on.

My reference point for a half decent playback system is Alessandro Music Series One.

Looking to put together my first speaker system. My room is 15.5 X 9 X 8. This is rented apt though, and we will be moving next year. But just to give you guys an idea of average room sizes here.

I have allotted 700$ for the whole system. I might be able to stretch it to 800. These are the speakers I am considering building. Gainphile: S20-Z Compact Open Baffle using Zaph Kit

Right now, the breakdown looks like this. 200$ for the mids and tweeters. 160 for the woofers. 170 for nanodigi. 150 for usb-spif converter and two dacs. So, that leaves 100 odd for the amp. A Sure tk2050 4 channel which outputs about 30w into 8 ohms and 70w into 4ohm. Which would be 30w for the mid+tweeter and 70w for the woofers.

Alternatively, minidsp + ministreamer + minidigi = 175$. Leaving a bit more for the amps. Someone has 41hz monoblocks + autocostruires. They put out exactly the same power as the sure. But they are built with audiophile approved caps and such. I tend to believe the objectivist view that most modern amplifiers if engineered well, contribute less audible distortion than the speakers.

Which would make a more audible effect? Also, any additional comments/opinions/feedback are welcome on the choice of speaker design.

Thanks.

Last edited by apocalypseon; 6th November 2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 6th November 2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalypseon View Post
Looking to put together my first speaker system. My room is 15.5 X 9 X 8. This is rented apt though, and we will be moving next year. But just to give you guys an idea of average room sizes here.

I have allotted 700$ for the whole system. I might be able to stretch it to 800. These are the speakers I am considering building. Gainphile: S20-Z Compact Open Baffle using Zaph Kit
Open baffle speakers I believe are much more sensitive to the room than most other designs and tend to need to be a fair amount out into the room. So I'm not sure they're a good choice for a small room, especially when you probably won't have a lot of choice in terms of placement.

If you're on a limited budget an active speaker probably isn't the best choice either. Their strength is the ease of experimentation and testing the DSP offers, if you are trying to design a system from scratch.

Also they tend to work best in higher end (ie. expensive) systems due to the requirement for multiple channels of amplification.

They aren't necessarily better than a good passive crossover either.

The basic Zaph kits are very good value for the money by all accounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalypseon View Post
Which would make a more audible effect? Also, any additional comments/opinions/feedback are welcome on the choice of speaker design.

Thanks.
Well I'm firmly in the camp of "Most 'audiophile' beliefs on cable/caps/DAC/etc.. are nonsense". So if you want to put your money somewhere I'd say the speakers. I would just get something like a basic AVR and put the rest into the speakers.

Last edited by Generic George; 6th November 2013 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 6th November 2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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Points taken into due consideration. I considered open baffle from the aspect of requiring lesser room treatments, with the caveat of placement away from front wall and side walls. Which in my present room I can manage. bout 3 feet and 1.5 feet front and sides respectively. Dealing with low frequencies in a small room presented two options before me. Multiple subs. Which considering the logistics of inconvenient placement and price(3x price of a sub), led me to consider OBs. I was previously considering diysoundgroup kits+3 compact budget subs with active crossovers. However, a guy who was selling his diysoundgroup speakers told me he didn't like them much. That they weren't "hifi". It's late now and I must sleep. Will get back to the topic tomorrow.
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Old 6th November 2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Open baffle speakers will not excite room modes as strongly as a box speaker, they do need to be away from side and rear walls to get the best performance. A well designed open baffle speaker will easily outperform a comparably priced box speaker. If you would like to research open baffle design go to Siegfried Linkwitz's site.

Unfortunately the cost of his DIY designs is probably outside your budget limit otherwise his Pluto design would be ideal for your room size.

Careful about "audiophile grade" components, good quality carefully selected components are all you need without the rediculous mark-ups of some "audiophile" suppliers.



Pluto introduction
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Old 7th November 2013, 05:03 AM   #5
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Yeah, lol. The more I read about acoustics, human hearing, and our fragile perceptions combined with poor auditory memory I feel "audiophile" ANYTHING is dubious.
I also understand that your view and genericgeorge's aren't opposing. He was merely pointing out the sensitivity of OB speakers to placement. While you were pointing out that they interact less with the room. Regards to the amps and dac dilemma, I cleared it up by myself. mini(streamer,digi,dsp) it is.
Don't want to spend more than is prudent. I didn't mention that my brother will be paying. He stays in portland. And the idea is to get the drivers,amps,etc down to India through some relatives.
I have an incurable tendency to research. Stems from my mild ocd. However, it leads to dithering at times, which causes further exasperation. The tendency is also partly due to the fact that I cannot listen to the design in person. Nor have I any experience with open baffle designs or even DIYing in general. But, I am prepared to take the plunge. Can't be that bad.
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Old 7th November 2013, 05:04 PM   #6
taloyd is offline taloyd  United States
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Default FaST system?

Hello,

What about a system composed of two full-range speakers (ie: Mark Audio CHR-70), in a sealed enclosure (creating a 2nd order roll-off), and a powered subwoofer driven off the ~high~ level speaker inputs - so creating a 1.5 way system.

Any nice Tripath type 10 - 15 watt amplifier would be good for the full-range drivers, and the subwoofer, appropriately crossed would provide for the bottom octaves.

You can even try one of those nifty Tripath amps with the USB input and a DAC (like a Topping TP30) - so the D/A conversion ~and~ power amplification is done in the same spot.

Sizing the sealed box for the full-range drivers would provide both the appropriate "filtering" and limiting driver excursion.

You'd be left with a good amount of money to spend on the subwoofer - which could always be used for future designs. Something like a 2 x 8" with the drivers mounted opposite sides (or best yet, in a PPSL configuration) would provide a great foundation, and sound quite good. Car audio subs model well in small boxes, and are reasonably priced due to lots of competition - something like the Alpine E-series (or S? I forget.) Or a single 12" in a Q = 0.7 box, or even a bigger box for more damping (with potentially dubious benefit.)

Anyway, that's my $0.02!

cheers,
-Tal Allweil
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Old 7th November 2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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OB speakers for his room of 15.5 X 9 X 8?! Are we really suggesting that?
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Old 7th November 2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot Tal. Appreciate your time and effort. However, I'm looking at constant or uniform directivity designs. Given that my budget is limited and the final listening space is undecided, I want minimal room treatment. Greebster, you're right in thinking they're gonna be too big for my room. However, if you look at the design once more, it's pretty compact. And although he says he's listening to them in 4.5m X 8m room, he has mentioned elsewhere that they work just fine in a room even smaller than mine. As for the placement away for walls, in my present room I can manage the 80 cm behind the speakers and 50 cm from the sides. They're about 97 X 21.5 X 27(cm) in size.
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Old 8th November 2013, 12:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apocalypseon View Post
Thanks a lot Tal. Appreciate your time and effort. However, I'm looking at constant or uniform directivity designs. Given that my budget is limited and the final listening space is undecided, I want minimal room treatment. Greebster, you're right in thinking they're gonna be too big for my room. However, if you look at the design once more, it's pretty compact. And although he says he's listening to them in 4.5m X 8m room, he has mentioned elsewhere that they work just fine in a room even smaller than mine. As for the placement away for walls, in my present room I can manage the 80 cm behind the speakers and 50 cm from the sides. They're about 97 X 21.5 X 27(cm) in size.
Forth time today what I posted either is cleared when submitting (LIKE NOW!!!) or is not accepted is really ******* me off.

I'll let him suggest what I wouldn't. The room is far to small for proper placement, period. OB are some of the most pickiest to place properly let alone in a tiny space. Looking at the room in the best case scenario with placement only 2' from either front/sidewalls would leave you with only 5' between the two (WOW close) or leaving you with a listening distance of <2m.
Physical size of speakers is irrelevant unless they are really big.
TL type speakers on the otherhand are some of the easiest to place in smaller rooms outside of the little bookshelf/cubies.

Last edited by Greebster; 8th November 2013 at 12:52 AM. Reason: bloody forums screwing up again deletn ma sheet
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Old 8th November 2013, 04:27 AM   #10
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Haha. Love your reason for editing:P. I can imagine how ******* off it must be. Could be cookies related.
Ok, I'm on the verge of changing my mind. OBs too big for the room? Alright.
Continuing this thread would be redundant. I'll start a new one. Get some fresh perspectives from scratch.
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