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Old 1st July 2014, 06:41 PM   #1
JDCrae is offline JDCrae  United States
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Default Differences between speaker types

Hello all !

I have been researching DIY loudspeakers for a couple of months now. I swear I have been to nearly every webpage that even mentions them, and have greatly enjoyed seeing speakers all across the money spectrum. Some of the talent required to build some speakers I have seen clearly outdo the talent at many big box companies.

My question is this:

After looking at all the different loudspeakers, I am having a hard time discerning what certain speaker types are best suited for. This is making it very difficult for me to decide on which speaker to build for my first set. I have been in car audio for 15 years, so building cabinets is no big deal, and crossovers aren't either as I have messed with plenty. But in car audio, the only enclosures you make are for subwoofers typically, and even then, there are only 3 styles, sealed, vented, or bandpass.

So far in researching speakers I have found full range single speakers, 2 ways, 3 ways, 4 ways, and each half in between, line arrays, planars, electrostatics, traditional cone, waveguides, transmission lines, and more.

Besides reviews of people saying they like each speaker or don't, you don't find out much else.

The system I am building is in a 14 x 14 room, pretty crappy acoustics, lots of windows, doorways going into to other rooms etc. My amplifier is a Marantz that puts out a conservative 50wpc at 8ohms. It will handle 6ohm loads as well, but I would not want to do this regularly.

Based on the power I have available, I am looking - (I think from what I have read) a high efficiency speaker. Most plans I am looking at are 92db and above.

Based on these facts

1. 50wpc 8 ohm power supply

2. 90% for music - 10% movies

3. All music at FLAC quality and also HQ DAC

4. I listen to music at pretty loud levels. I don't listen at front row of a concert level, but I like it loud enough, if I am in the next room, I can hear it clearly.

5. I already have two powered subwoofers I will be using- so the low end is covered.

6. Music wise I listen to everything, Bach, Arctic Moon, Five Finger Death Punch, Scooter,George Strait and Sinatra to give examples.

7. In my living room, where this all is, the entire room is the "sweet spot" I really need speakers that fill every corner with sound, not just a 1 foot piece of land on the couch sitting straight up and my head cocked at a 13' angle

8. I would like to keep the budget, minus cabinets and finishing etc, to around $500.00.


Reasoning for the budget is the nicest speakers I heard in a store, were a set of B&W bookshelfs. They were 600.00 retail. I like to think doing it myself, I can save a little, and get a comparable if not slightly superior sounding speaker. I am in no way asking to get a 1500 speaker for 500. Maybe its possible, I don't know, but that is not my goal


What speaker type would best suit my needs? I am not asking for specific speakers, though I welcome the suggestions. I just don't want people to feel uncomfortable recommending specific models. Not wanting to start a war.

Speakers I have looked at and like the idea of

Mini Statements
GR-AV-3
Fusion Pure 10
Karma -10
A few Line Arrays, but can't seem to find one in my budget.
Mandolins
NHT-3 Clone- though I don't think any of the parts are available anymore
Fusion MTM
Cheap Thrills
Continuums

Look forward to everyones input. I enjoy research, but not having a great understanding of the differences has put a temporary halt on any progress. Feel free to correct anything I am wrong about- have no doubt I am wrong about plenty of things, you won't hurt my feelings.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:17 AM   #2
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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I have a pair of Continuums I built. They are GREAT speakers. I can't say how they compare to the others, but I can say they are GREAT speakers. I have heard a LOT of different speakers (but none that you have listed), and the Continuums are way up on the list of high quality speakers.
I also have a few Mark Audio single driver full rang speakers. They too are very good speakers.
I am veneering the boxes for my Continuums; otherwise I would A/B them with my MarkAudio speakers and give my impressions. Either way, my opinion is that you can't go wrong with the Continuums or the a MarkAudio build.
Mike
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:50 AM   #3
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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JD,

I'm the designer of the Cheap Thrills. You shouldn't take a speaker designer's word on his own design, so I I won't give it. But, the Cheap Thrills will have to go off your list, as the woofers for it (which are what made them cheap) are no longer available. They were Celestion pro 15s on a Parts Express buyout.

But you'd probably do well with any of the SEOS speakers for the very large sweet spot. Karma 10 (also my design) also worked out really well, but bear in mind I haven't really heard others' designs with the SEOS to compare.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 10:52 AM   #4
JDCrae is offline JDCrae  United States
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Thanks for the replies.

Bill, I read on a different forum, that the fusion and karma lines use cheaper capacitor parts and therefore they shouldn't be compared to other speakers. (This was a designer who was asked to compare his speakers to another designers. Don't think he took it well)

I have noticed a few kits that offer upgraded caps or resistors. What are the inherent benefits of upgrading these parts? Are there parts in the fusion or karma line that if I built, I should consider upgrading ? Also- when you designed the Karma-10- what were your goals with the speaker?

Also- I have found a lot of posts mentioning a Lou C- and found a list of his designs on AudioSQ- some well within my budget but his website does not work. Does anyone have any info on his builds?
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Old 2nd July 2014, 11:37 AM   #5
mkusan is online now mkusan  Croatia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDCrae View Post
Also- I have found a lot of posts mentioning a Lou C- and found a list of his designs on AudioSQ- some well within my budget but his website does not work. Does anyone have any info on his builds?
I built his Piccolata Mini Monitor, they are great speakers and he was a great guy, sadly he passed away. I suggest you try Techtalk Speaker Building Forum, I am sure someone made a backup of his website.

Regards
Marko
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:00 PM   #6
JDCrae is offline JDCrae  United States
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I ended up finding the website. Like was mentioned, it is archived in quite a few places.

From reading reviews, critiques, etc about loudspeakers, a waveguide setup seems to be the best idea in regards to wanting the widest sound dispersement. However- I keep seeing rave reviews of ribbon tweeters. I know the RAAL is so out of my price range it's not funny, but are there any 2 way speakers anyone knows of, in the 500 or so range, that utilize a waveguide ribbon setup?
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:00 PM   #7
Borus is offline Borus  United States
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2 way with waveguides?
I would look at the Zilch Econowave thread on audiokarma some great ideas over there and some really good instructions.
Zilch's AK Design Collaborative - Econowave Speaker - AudioKarma.org Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:26 PM   #8
Pallas is offline Pallas  Pakistan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDCrae View Post
***I read on a different forum, that the fusion and karma lines use cheaper capacitor parts and therefore they shouldn't be compared to other speakers. (This was a designer who was asked to compare his speakers to another designers. Don't think he took it well)***
You can safely ignore anything and everything that comes from the mouth/pen/keyboard of any designer who offers such commentary, because s/he is clearly not competent. (Unless, of course, what's said on other topics can be corroborated by someone with better listening and reasoning skills.) If s/he came up with anything good, it was by dumb luck not by design.
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