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Old 22nd December 2003, 02:01 AM   #1
manxam is offline manxam  Canada
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Default Inexpensive project, which to choose?

I'm very new member to this forum (signed up approximately 30 seconds ago), but have been following the discussions for some days now.

Two projects have piqued my interest but would like some of your inputs on which would be the better choice.

The first is the Alegria Audio Isa and the second is the ELF Spire.

These speakers would be mated with a sub (or two perhaps) at a later time and would be used for both HT and music.

Which would be the better choice and, in your opinion, why?

If it's the Isa, where would I find the "crossover" schematic and other pertinent information to building this speaker?

Thanks alot for any help, it's greatly appreciated.

Regards...
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Old 22nd December 2003, 08:35 AM   #2
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Maxman, merry xmas.

I too was a new member to the DIY speaker building fraturnity a couple of years ago. I tried a number of speaker that looked like every speaker you can buy from the local Hi Fi shop thinking that they must be good because everyone buys them.

Big mistake! What I built was the same boring sound that we all know.

Here is what is what I built 2 years ago and I have not heard anything better no matter what the cost. Imaging is sensational and the system is very unconventional but very affordable.

Mains are http://www.t-linespeakers.org/projects/tlB/index.html

I used North Creek "Crescendo Caps" http://www.northcreekmusic.com/

The main speakers are run from an AKSA 55 watt amp http://www.aksaonline.com/

For the sub, I use a single Linkwitz phoenix with 2 Peerless XLS 12" http://www.linkwitzlab.com/woofer3.htm using a DOD pro audio 18dB/octave active crossover to set the low pass for the sub. The Sub is powered by an old Rotel amp which will be upgraded to an AKSA 100 watt next year.

All components are easy to build and you will be impressed by the sound. I know it is not easy to evaluate these type of posts objectively, but all the components of the speakers can be used in other projects if the sound is not to you taste.

Mark
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Old 22nd December 2003, 04:03 PM   #3
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Hi Manxam,

Oz Audio has given you some good advice, without asking about the other criteria in the design process, like what's your desired budget, taste in music, amps, ability to use measuring and modeling programs,etc. But you've suggested quite alot in your choice of attractive options.

I've built the Isa and it's a remarkable sounding speaker for it's price, but it doesn't have the SPL's I want for HT, nor the bass. I suspect the Spire's are the same. However, the neat thing about the Isa is it's minimal xover (or none at all) and it could be built for around $100. (all in all, pretty quick and easy)

There are others in the 100-200 price range (and lower) that I've built, that will happily wait for a sub, feel free to email me.
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Old 23rd December 2003, 06:51 AM   #4
manxam is offline manxam  Canada
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Thank you both for your help, the information you provided is very much appreciated.

X.onasis, i'd like to take you up on your offer of further information but you've chosen not to allow emails from fellow board members

Perhaps you'd be able to change that or speak with me here.

I currently have a very modest system using a Nad 3140 int. amp for music and an Onkyo 575 for HT. My speakers consist solely of Paradigm atoms which sound REASONABLY decent for their price.

I'd like to build a larger bookshelf or preferably a floor standing speaker for about 300$ CDN or less which would sound at LEAST as good as the Atoms while hopefully extending a little lower and looking a little prettier.

Duty would be 50/50 HT & Music (VERY wide range).

Thanks!
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Old 23rd December 2003, 10:50 PM   #5
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Manxam-

I think the email link is fixed.... mine anyway. Here's one other option that is in that price range, but addresses the "no sub now" criteria. It's a little power hungry, but your Onkyo would be plenty of drive.


Take a look at this site , even the TM will provide you with much more bass than the TB's will, at a similar cost. This seems far more important for HT than music listening. Then, when you build your sub, just put a sock in the port.

If I were to build the Stryke fronts again, I'd try the MTM design, as the xover chokes the tweeter quite a bit to match efficiencies.

I'm not trying to talk you out of the TB designs for any other reasons than the HT use, I'm actually a big fan of them.

The problem with building your first or next set of speakers seems to be the same: Too many options. Jump right in, you'll like it.
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Old 24th December 2003, 01:31 AM   #6
manxam is offline manxam  Canada
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X.onasis,
So, given the option of building either the Stryke MTM or the Spire/Isa with the intention of using it for both music AND HT, you'd choose the Stryke?

Sounds like a fairly simple build and I like the idea of the larger drivers (though I think the Spire/Isa looks pretty neat :P) but I wish the SA071 was shielded. I suppose i could always shield the enclosure if it comes to that.

Is there anything else you'd suggest within the same price range given my requirements?

I appreciate all of your help thus far and can't wait to get started.

I hope to be ordering drivers as soon as xmas is over.

Regards!
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Old 24th December 2003, 12:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
So, given the option of building either the Stryke MTM or the Spire/Isa with the intention of using it for both music AND HT, you'd choose the Stryke?
Yes, exactly. Given the driver's costs, the "wow" factor is very high. Until you have a sub, you wont be able to rattle the windows, but you'll have decent sound for both.

Like many of us, I wouldn't be surprised if you then want to upgrade your (and other people's) speakers everywhere with DIY projects. The TB's are more appropriate elsewhere. So do the best job you can when building them. They may well live a long time as your "first set."
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Old 24th December 2003, 08:07 PM   #8
diypole is offline diypole  United States
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Default I vote for the spires (nt)

You'll be impressed...
regards, JY
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Old 24th December 2003, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
I've built the Isa and it's a remarkable sounding speaker for it's price, but it doesn't have the SPL's I want for HT, nor the bass. I suspect the Spire's are the same. However, the neat thing about the Isa is it's minimal xover (or none at all) and it could be built for around $100. (all in all, pretty quick and easy)
I wasn't going to join in on this but I have to say that my personal results are much different. Just last night we were watching X2 in DTS. I have the Isa's in front, a center comprised of six 871's, my TB3 surrounds, a vented Tempest and a Shiva Tube (with a BFD) and we were getting blown out of the 20' x 22' room. Not just bass, but with clean overall sound. It's absolutely correct that the 3 inch drivers are not going to deliver much bass, expectedly so. However, they also don't have the mid-range problems that so many MTM designs do which is why I chose to use them in my HT.
BTW, thanks for the compliment and I'm glad you're enjoying the Isa's. I'm flattered to be included with such noteables as CSS.
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Old 26th December 2003, 04:04 PM   #10
manxam is offline manxam  Canada
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I might just have to build both the stryke MTM and a set using the Tangbands

Tim, in your opinion, would you build the Isa again or go for something like the CSS Spire?

I'm assuming that the Spire, due to the extra driver in each and the use of the 319's, would have a little bit more 'punch'. Tend to agree?

Do you think the use of the 319's vs all 871's would change the sound dramatically?

Do you have full details on your Isa including crossover schematics and cabinet dimensions?

Thanks to everyone once again for all of the great help!
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