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Old 5th September 2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default Suggestion for First DIY Project for Wife and I

Hi all,

I have been lurking around here for a while and am finally ready to build my first DIY speaker set...

My wife and I are big home remodeling DIYers and would like to tackle a speaker/audio project together...

We are both big music fans and would like to build a set of floorstanding stereo speakers...

Our woodworking and electronic skills are above average... We have just never actually build a set of speakers before... We don't know a lot about speaker design, so we are looking for complete sets of plans that we can build the "boxes", build the crossovers and drop the speakers in...

What I was hoping was to get some validation that I am heading down the right path...

Thinking of starting off small and simple but get a big bang-for-the-effort type of return... That way we don't do all this work and feel it was not worth it...

Thinking of start off wtih the Dayton 3s and/or maybe the EROS:

http://www.speakerbuilder.net/web_fi...D3/dayton3.htm
http://www.speakerbuilder.net/web_fi...oject/eros.htm

Are there any other recommendable low-cost and somewhat simple plans/kits that others can recommend???

Then, if that goes well and the wife is also happy, I was thinking of stepping up the building complexity and cost somewhat and doing something more "high-end" "audiophile-quality" 3-way speaker from this web site:

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Lou...r_Projects.htm

Again, if anybody can recommend better plans/kits, that would be great... Basically, need to "sell" my wife on the idea...

Also, can anybody recommend a good amplifier and cd player to use
with these speakers...

Right now my wife and I use our tv with an apex dvd player to play our audio cd's through...

Makes us squint in pain everytime we play a cd...

Thanks for any suggestions/support,
Mark
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Old 5th September 2006, 09:38 PM   #2
Nuuk is offline Nuuk  United Kingdom
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Well, if you can live with open baffles, head over to Hawthorne Audio where you will find another husband and wife team (also house remodellers I believe) who can supply you with the drivers and crossovers to make some very good, but cost-effective loudspeakers!
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Old 5th September 2006, 10:04 PM   #3
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Mark
My advice is, HOLD ON TO YOU WIFE! Don't ever let her go!
A DIYer & music lover!!! She's gold!!!
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Old 5th September 2006, 10:07 PM   #4
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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IT is actually a lot of work to make and finish a pair of speaker boxes and crossovers and install the components.

For this reason I suggest only bothering with a pretty high quality speaker. The Eros appears to be well designed, and I was tempted to make them. There were some minor conflicts with dimensions mentioned in the text and shown in the drawings which made me hesitate long enough to be distracted by the Basszilla which I made. Also the Eros tweeter may be discontinued,

The Basszilla Platinum is great - very dynamic using pro type drivers, open baffle for the majority of the bandwidth, efficient and clearly a high end speaker IMHO. Big though, and need to be at least 4' from the rear wall to sound their best. He isn't a great carpenter, but if you poke about on the site you can find nice versions made by others:
http://www.blackdahlia.com/html/tip_43.html
http://www.blackdahlia.com/html/tip_54.html


The troels gravesen site is highly regarded as good stuff.

This is another site that has a good reputation:
http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/


The Hawthorn Audio (Silver Iris) site is a great suggestion. Should be dead easy to make, and will be a great introduction into pro driver based efficient speakers in open baffles to see if you like that approach. Lots of fun as a first prooject but I suspect you will keep them for one room even if you end up with another pair also.

The Troels, Eros, and Humble Hifi sites are more conventional but are probably excellent.
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Old 5th September 2006, 11:57 PM   #5
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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Great wife! (but i'm sure you already know )

Without knowing about your room size, how loud you like your music/movies, your expectations (maybe a commercial product of reference?), it's hard to suggest a design for you.

For really basic projects, I'd start out with a simple 2 ways. The cost will be lower than other projects, but of course, SPL is rather limited if you have a larger room. You'd miss some of the low-end bass as well.
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Old 6th September 2006, 12:11 AM   #6
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I'd suggest the HT3 kit at : http://www.rawacoustics.com/ If you look at the left hand side and click on DIY kits it's the third one down. It's a good floor stander that's pretty easy to build, but will yeild audiophile results.

-Jim
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Old 6th September 2006, 02:04 PM   #7
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Hi all,

Thanks for the great responses so far... Yes, the wife is great... Always looking for new projects to work on together...

To answer a few questions that people have thrown around:

1) The initial room is somewhat small, roughly 10W x 12L x 8H... This is our guest bedroom that we are converting into a listening room... Guests don't need a bed, they need good music... It has one window, the door (obviously) and then a closet door as well... We will eventually redo the basement and have a dedicated ht/listening room...

2) Probably the commercial speakers I have been most impressed with were the Paradigm Studio and Signature (cannot recall the exact model) floor speakers that we heard at Hi Fi Fo Fum... They were being run through a $10k Macintosh amp at the time...

3) Listening preferences: We both favor and respect good sound reproduction... Favoring quality over quantity... I enjoy deep tight bass... I like more bass than she does... But I think that is somewhat of a guy thing...

I hope this answers some questions that will allow for more great recommendations and comments...

Also, if anyone can recommend a good cd/pre/amp for use with stereo reproduction, I would be greatly appreciative...

Thanks again,
Mark
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Old 6th September 2006, 08:45 PM   #8
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My personal journey would lead me to suggest starting with a good 1-way speaker. If you don't find it has enough bass add an active sub. Not enuff top, add a super-tweeter. Growing a system this way is modular to a certain extent, but starts where things are most important -- in the midrange. (note: the Basszilla mentioned already is the culmination of just such a journey)

Which one -- and this applies to a multi-way too -- has a lot to do with the amplifiers you will use.

Given adequate amplifiers i'd suggest a set of Fonkens, if your amps are more mainstream, the very similar miniOnken (i am biased here, there is no doubt)

dave
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Old 6th September 2006, 08:46 PM   #9
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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Mark, for the size of that room, a nicely built 2-3 ways tower with extension down to 40s will keep you satisfied with the bass.

I recommend going over
http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/

http://www.zaphaudio.com

and http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Lou...r_Projects.htm

they are 3 of my favorite places to look for completed projects. They are very talented designers and are very detailed in their work.

As you first entered into this forever addicted hobby, I recommend to stay with projects with the minimalist approach for now. The lower the crossover parts and non-exotic parts, the better you'd feel about spending money on drivers.

Here's a great project with a simple box design and not too many cross-over component parts. It has highish efficiency so you can drive this speakers with almost any receiver/amp that you can get your hands on. Bass should be PLENTY for such smallish room.
http://www.zaphaudio.com/Waveguidetmm.html

Whichever projects you decide on, come back and keep us up with the progress. I enjoy watching DIY projects.
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Old 6th September 2006, 09:26 PM   #10
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First DIY Husband and Wife project -- why not a baby? Practice is so much fun.
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