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dcourtney 30th December 2004 06:54 AM

John Krutke Designs adaptable for Home Theatre?
Hi Guys

I recently posted a thread stating I'm a complete newbie in dire need of some guidance. Basically my situation is this will be my first ever diy speaker set and I was after a plan that would sound very good according to you guys (as obviously I won't be able to test them before purchasing)

My main usage for these speakers will be tv/dvd/xbox but also the ability to play some nice sounding music (mainly rock/accoustic material)

In that thread krutke's designs were brought to my attention. Now I have very little understanding of whats out there but John's page seems to have very detailed guides which is steering me that direction but as I mention in all of my posts please jump in if you think there are better options out there. (I still havn't even decided between the seas L18 mt or Vifa XG18 mtm designs)

Now to the main part of my question. Of all the DIY plans I've found they seem to detail the main speakers very nicely however I'm gathering for home theatre usage I'm going to need atleast 5.1? I guess I'm hoping to hear from any of you guys if these designs are easily transferred into a home theatre setup and if so are there plans out there for a nice matching sub, centre channel and surrounds. I have read its advisable to use matching drivers but thats where my knowledge ends. It would actually be great to hear from John as I did read in one of his posts that he uses the xg18 mtm in his home theatre room so I'm presuming he has the other speakers designed to go with them.

I'm also havn't worked out if a floor standing or stand mounted setup is the way to go so advice there would also be appreciated.

The next part of my question, Is I'm based in Sydney Australia and I can't seem to source the drivers needed for either of these projects so may have to import. If anyone has recommended places to import from with cheap reliable shipping as well as good prices on the driver that would be greatly appreciated.

Once again if anyone has any suggestions on alternate kits that may suit my needs better please feel free to let me know.

Thanks in advance

Regards Dave

Wodgy 30th December 2004 07:17 AM

John Krutke's designs have a reputation for being excellent. Because they use metal cone drivers they'll likely have the detail you're looking for in a home theatre rig (while also being suitable for music because John dislikes an overly bright sound).

All you need for HT to do is build five identical speakers and a subwoofer. As long as you have the vertical space above or below your TV, you can use a standard bookshelf midrange/tweeter speaker for the center channel, rather than a horizontal MTM. The standard MT design will have better off-axis performance anyway without the lobing problems of most MTMs, and John is careful to engineer a good off-axis response.

If you have specific questions, try sending him an email or posting something on the Madisound forum, where he usually hangs out.

dcourtney 30th December 2004 07:31 AM

thanks wodgy

By metal cones drivers are you talking about his seas L18mt setup? I was actually leaning towards if anything the XG18 mtm only because thats what I noticed john used in his home theatre room. But if you think the L18mt would be better than I'm all for it.

Ahh ok I'm a little confused on the building identical speaker side. I always thought the rears would be smaller but your saying I would have the full sized ones at the rear as well? What happens if I build the floor standing fronts does that mean I need them in the back as well? Pictures of rears like this is what has thrown me out thinking they need some complex design

Centre Wise I would be putting it ontop of my tv so was hoping I could find plans for one of those long rectangle designs like this for example that sits ontop of the telly however once again this may not be feasible. Shielding was my other concern though.

Subwise can I pretty much just choose any sub design build it and stick it in the corner or do I specifically need to find one that matches in with the rest of the speakers?

I appreciate your advice so far and I will make a post in the maddisound forums now I'm hesitant to email him as I remember him saying he doesn't provide speaker 101 support :)

ERICSPEEd 30th December 2004 09:36 AM


Originally posted by dcourtney

Ahh ok I'm a little confused on the building identical speaker side. I always thought the rears would be smaller but your saying I would have the full sized ones at the rear as well? What happens if I build the floor standing fronts does that mean I need them in the back as well? Pictures of rears like this is what has thrown me out thinking they need some complex design

All just add my 2 cents worth...

I the age of digital surround each channel recieves full bandwith. So it would be best to use the same design for each speaker (5,6 or 7 depending on the receiver/decoder used), that being "full-range" speakers(be that 1, 2 or more drivers).
Problems can arise do to the fact that the tv or plasma or projection system, etc (monitor). makes placement of the center channel difficult, the difficulty being the center channel should be placed where the monitor resides. The most utilized option is an MTM configuration placed on it's side above or below the monitor. This setup has many disadvantages. MTM, or D'Appolito configuration was designed to improve horizotal imaging (for lack of a better way of describing it). Now the afore mentioned configuration placed on it's side is going to sound different depending on where your sitting (from left to right) and only decent head-on.
Better to do what was mentioned above... using a two driver (tweeter-woofer) bookcase style enclosure. It won't have the same WAF but will sound better throughout your listening/veiwing area.
Another option used is to place a tweeter above a midrange flanked by two woofers. Here is a link that has such a center channelAudax home theater kits

There are probably more options available too you than you wish. If possible use the same speakers throughout your HT setup. If not try to use designs that use the same divers at least (so to match the timbre of each). Imagine if you will a setup that has different speakers using different drivers. The mains are one design, the rears another and the center different. During a movie something pans from left to right (say a plane or spaceship) it could sound very different as it works it's way from spkr to spkr to spker (the center sounding different from the mains).

johninCR 30th December 2004 07:54 PM

Full range towers is a good idea for the mains. Smaller surrounds works fine and as previously mentioned using identical drivers is best so the voicing is different. Not much of the sonic material goes to the surround channels and almost all of the HT receivers have a "small or big" setting for the different speakers. "small" means the bass covered by the sub doesn't go to that speaker, so smaller sealed surround speakers is fine.

Center channels can be more trouble than they're worth. 1st it is recommended that they be no more than 1 foot different in elevation than your mains. If it's going very close to a CRT TV, then magnetic sheilding is required. Also, as previously mentioned, MTM's don't perform well on their sides. Try going without a center channel first, you can always build one later. Most receivers can be set so no center channel exists and the sound is distributed between the mains. As long as the mains aren't too far from the video screen, the dialogue images right where it should, so don't consider a center channel speaker mandatory. Try it without first.

hifiZen 30th December 2004 09:13 PM

You may have noticed that John Krutke has two designs using the Seas metal cone drivers - one using the L18 (I am building a pair of these myself), which are perfect for L and R main speakers, and a smaller design using the L15, which would be suitable for center channel and surrounds. John is well known for designing speakers which are voiced with remarkable consistency, and these two speaker designs should match exceptionally well.

Personally, I find that a good two-way stand mounted speaker provides enough low end to satisfy me even when watching movies with lots of LF effects. I would only be concerned if I were listening in a very large living room, in which case, adding a subwoofer would be more than adequate to round out the bottom octave. As a previous poster suggested, large tower main speakers would do well in place of a separate subwoofer. Finally, I'd also second the advice against using an MTM center channel... these do exhibit severe lobing problems. MTM is meant to stand vertically, not horizontally, and I honestly don't understand why it's so popular for commercial center channels.

ERICSPEEd 31st December 2004 08:10 AM

I also agree with JohninCR that a center channel isn't manditory.
I was at my parents house a while back and wnated to watch a movie on there new HUGE widescreen HDTV. They were out of town and I was stopping in from time to time to water plants, etc. so i had the run of the place. First of all I was a little miffed because my stepdad had purchased a krappy center channel speaker (probably off eBay). Miffed because I made all the other speakers, save the sub.
There originally was no center channel due to the fact that i felt it unnessecary for their HT set-up (the mains aren't that far apart). I spent quite some time tweaking the receivers settings to match the volume of the center to the mains (ok it just seemed like a long time - remember i just wanted to watch a movie).
Anywoo... The center channel was terrible. Dialog was at times difficult to understand, and tinny sounding (due probably to the same sealed enclosure). Krappy centers can make movie viewing a PITA because so much information goes to the center channel (think about it most the time people in movies talking aren't moving back and forth across the screen as they do so). After about a half an hour I switched the receivers center channel out put to "phantom". Ahh... much better the dialog was clean and discernable. Back to the way it was before.
Too make a long story short (too late) try it with out a center channel first. You'll save some cash and time. If you feel you just gotta have a center - you can, i won't stop you.

Good luck and Happy New Year (unless you use a different calendar that i do:))

Oh ya - that afore mentioned center was one of those MTM style Horizantal jobbies

ERICSPEEd 31st December 2004 08:18 AM

i just remembered to offending center's brandname and found there hideous to the hideous speaker

hifiZen 1st January 2005 01:27 AM

Just thought of something else...

You may want to take a look at Dennis Murphy's MBOW1 speaker design. It's a 2-way design, but Dennis recently announced a 3-way tower version which basically just adds a big woofer to the existing 2-way design. The two versions should sound almost exactly the same. Thus, you could use the 3-way version for your front main speakers, and the 2-way for surrounds.

I also agree with the consensus in this thread regarding center channel speakers - good center channels are hard to position properly around a video screen, since they're supposed to be at the same height as the main speakers. Add in the problems of MTM arrangements, and there are very few ways to build a short speaker to fit above or below your screen, so you may as well just go with a pair of main speakers and omit the CC entirely. The results will likely be better, and the $ you save can go into the rest of the system.

hifiZen 1st January 2005 01:30 AM


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