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Old 22nd October 2004, 08:59 PM   #1
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Default Budget tube+speaker system for classical and jazz music

I am looking for a complete DIY system (except source) for mainly listening to classical and jazz music in a relatively small room. I think about a tube amplifier and a sensitive loudspeaker (like every Fostex based one). My budget is max 1000 USD but I think it is not impossible to make it.

I really like the philosophy behind ptsoundlab.com, but there are too many variations there and everything is in french. For that kind of music there was an advice: a 11W integrated KT88 amplifier and a Fostex FE208ES based loudspeaker (almost full range driver)
http://ptsoundlab.com/sectubes/schem...sn7kt8811w.htm
http://www.ptsoundlab.com/secenceint.../fe208esbh.htm

The other interesting things I came across were the ORIS horn based speakers using AER drivers. The entry level DIY KIT is about 450 USD, but I know nothing about how good does it sound. The other idea is not a DIY speaker but a very cheap commercial one, the Magnepan MMG W. It won a Blue Moon award at 6moons and it is only 300 USD. It says nothing about how difficult is it to drive with a SE tube amplifier.
http://www.diy-systems.com/
http://6moons.com/audioreviews/magnepan/mmgw.html

OR
What do you think about buying a Stax SR-404 and building Kevin Gilmore's Blue Hawaii hybrid amplifier. I know nothing about the KGBH but once I heard a Stax Classic system and it was really musical.
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Old 25th October 2004, 12:48 AM   #2
Ken L is offline Ken L  United States
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Default Re: Budget tube+speaker system for classical and jazz music

Quote:
Originally posted by erozsolt
My budget is max 1000 USD but I think it is not impossible to make it
I think if you take your time and are thoughtgul you can do so _grin_


Quote:
Originally posted by erozsolt

The other interesting things I came across were the ORIS horn based speakers using AER drivers. The entry level DIY KIT is about 450 USD, but I know nothing about how good does it sound.
If you can come up with a good price on a pair of Oris 200's I suggest you put a pair of Fostex FE206E's in them. The FE206E's sound like they cost a lot more than they do when used in a front horn.

Then you would be well on the way to something _magical_ for a relatively low cost.

Few things sound as good to me as front horns. I haven't heard the Oris horns but know several people that have. The Oris are well thought of, I'm using Azurahorns which are similar - but with a different flare and larger.

It would be a minor challenge to match a sub but that is doable also.

Put that with a homebrew 2A3 amp and you're well on the way to reaching your goal and getting maximum sound for your money.

Regards

Ken L
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Old 25th October 2004, 12:54 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Classical? Small room?

Electrostats.
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Old 25th October 2004, 12:50 PM   #4
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Do you think it is possible to DIY an electrostat with amp under 1000$?

At the moment I am thinking of a 2A3 and a very efficient horn speaker. I can choose between two rooms: one of them is 3 x 3 metres, the other is 6 x 6 metres. What do you advice: a 2A3 or a cheap 300B based amplifier?

Are ORIS horns in this budget or it is better to do some back loaded horn or TWQT?
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Old 25th October 2004, 12:59 PM   #5
JohnR is offline JohnR  Australia
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The Oris doesn't seem like a very good choice if the total budget is $1000. To the 427 Euros, don't you need to add the drivers, plus bass drivers, cabinets, and another amplifier? And you still haven't paid for your main amplifier
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnR
The Oris doesn't seem like a very good choice if the total budget is $1000. To the 427 Euros, don't you need to add the drivers, plus bass drivers, cabinets, and another amplifier? And you still haven't paid for your main amplifier
Yes, this was what I thought about...

Do you know any "best value" DIY high efficient speaker? What do you think about this japanese design using FE208ES?

http://world.altavista.com/babelfish...a%2fpag9-1.htm
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:19 PM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by erozsolt
Do you think it is possible to DIY an electrostat with amp under 1000$?
Yes indeed. Materials cost for electrostats is very, very low. Some film, some bits of plastic, some perfed metal. To build a pair of roughly the size of Quad ESLs would cost you under $100. Then figure another $100 or so to get some step-up transformers (reversed 8000:16 ohm output transformers in the 15 watt class are perfect for this). There's more labor in it that just buying an off-the-shelf cone driver, but that's part of the fun of diy.

Get some 'stats together, a nice little 25-35 watt classic design tube amp (you've got $800 left in your budget!) and those strings will sound unbelievably good.
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:38 PM   #8
JohnR is offline JohnR  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by erozsolt

Do you know any "best value" DIY high efficient speaker?
To be honest, I've had better luck with Jordans than Fostex. I know people love Fostex, this is not a knock. Just for the record I've used the FE108E (I think) in TQWT and FE207E (I think) in bass reflex. The efficiency is lower w/ the Jordans yes indeed...

You might like to look at the EL84 amp from diytube.com.

Good luck! I'm sure you will get lots more opinions
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Old 25th October 2004, 01:50 PM   #9
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JohnR:
Yes, I've heard many opinions that Fostexes are not the best. There is a local driver builder company, who produces full range drivers much better than the Fostexes for the same price, I might pick from their drivers. There is a link, the page is in hungarian but the specs are the same.
http://www.sonido.hu/1.htm
http://www.sonido.hu/info/sfr200.htm

SY:
I have found some DIY ESL link, but it looks more complicated to me than a full range driver loudspeaker. Is a crossover and a sub always needed for ESLs, or there are some alternatives (like almost-full-range)?
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Old 25th October 2004, 02:09 PM   #10
SY is offline SY  United States
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Well, you've got a small room and you're not listening to heavy metal. A reasonable size panel (say, 80x120cm) will do nicely without a sub. Running a panel full-range, no crossover, has a certain purist appeal.

Yes, there's some complication, but it's more on the order of gluing together fiddly bits than trying to debug complex circuits. ESLs are simple devices. Take a look at Sheldon Stokes's web page for his version. And the Roger Sanders book, though deeply flawed, has excellent practical advice on building panels.
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