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Old 21st September 2006, 11:09 PM   #1
Evazan is offline Evazan  United States
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Default budget dorm system

I'm in need of help trying to put together a system for my dorm. Right now I have a couple descisions running around my head and just need some perspective as to whats going to be the best value for my money and needs.

I have background in car audio but this will be my first home audio project. I believe I have the skills and knowledge nescessary to build some descent speakers. I'm probably going to be building one of the projects from parts express.

I want to keep this project around or under 300 dollars and that includes something to power the speakers and speakers.

One of the ideas I was contemplating was using my ipod as the source, getting a two channel amplifier and using it to power two power two Dayton III's. I think these would provide sufficient low end where I wouldn't need a sub. I was thinking about using this amp http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHA500, but if I could find something cheaper used that would be great. I really like this idea but the main problem with this design is speaker placement. I really don't have much room left and these speakers supposedly wont fair well pushed up against a wall. The amp is a bit expensive for my budget at 180 and the speakers would be about 150 dollars.

The next option was to go with two book shelf speakers and a sub. The speakers could fit nicely on my desk and the sub would be tucked into a corner. I have an infinity kappa perfect 10 which I am planning on using if I do this setup. I heard they are actually very good for home audio. If I do this I will probably end up going ebay shopping for a cheap stereo reciever. Any reccomendations here would be great. I would also look for a used plate amp around 250 watts to power the sub. With this setup I would build the dayton budget two ways on parts express and putting the sub in a 1.3 cubic foot box tuned to 27 hrz. Prices here would be between 50-100 dollars for the reciever, 50-100 dollars for the plate amp, and 100 dollars for the speakers.What I would like to know is how many watts per channel do I realistically need for a set of book shelf speakers. I am also interested in buying a reciever or amp if anyone has ones around their not interested.

These are the two main ideas I've been contemplating right now. If anyone has any other ideas for a kid on a budget he like DIY let me know.
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Old 21st September 2006, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forums.

I think for a receiver, you might consider pawn shops, liquidations houses or the local good will/Salvation Army type stores. Lord knows I have accumulated enough from those places. Just today I managed to find a pair of 7" kevlar woofers for $6 Cdn.

Plate amps are cheap enough to buy new.

Speakers: Considering these are for a dorm, have you thought about using some good full rangers? Easy build, good sound nowadays. The CSS FR 125's come to mind. Do you know these?

http://www.creativesound.ca/details.php?model=FR125S

EDIT: the thing with those drivers is that when you are no longer in a dorm, they make an excellent midrange for a larger set-up.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 12:01 AM   #3
Evazan is offline Evazan  United States
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Thanks for the advice. I didn't think of going with a full range speaker. How do you think one full range speaker would compare to the dayton budget two way? Wouldn't it also be harder to get one 4 inch driver to blend well with a sub compared to a two way system?
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Old 22nd September 2006, 12:03 AM   #4
Evazan is offline Evazan  United States
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One more thing. With a full range driver I'm not going to need to build a cross over and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it depends on how hard they are to build. I've done some reading about them but have never actually assembled one and am only going to have about two days to put these speakers together when I go home. I would like to learn what goes into making a cross over but if it's going to be too much of a hassle I can put it off till later.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 12:08 AM   #5
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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How big is the dorm room, and what kind of music do you prefer?

What size speakers can you accomodate? Are they going to be sitting on a shelf, up against the wall? or can they be out in the room a bit?
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Old 22nd September 2006, 12:12 AM   #6
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Hi,

I can't compare the Dayton two way as I haven't heard it but I was thinking of simplicity and the fact that those FR's are a great little driver.

Those CSS drivers go down nice and low so integrating is not really an issue.

Not having to build an XO is a good thing. Even a two way has it's share of problems. When you have a couple of years on your hands you can start building XO's of your own
They really just a bunch of caps, coils and resistors but you'd be surprised how frustrating they can be.

Also, the FR guys have us under their thumbs when it comes to point source and imaging. A good full range really is a nice thing.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:24 AM   #7
Evazan is offline Evazan  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by preiter
How big is the dorm room, and what kind of music do you prefer?

What size speakers can you accomodate? Are they going to be sitting on a shelf, up against the wall? or can they be out in the room a bit?

As far as dorm rooms go its pretty big. 220 square feet I think, but its a triple so pretty much all the wall space is taken up so they will be sitting on a shelf on my desk, up against the wall. As far as the size my desk can accomodate, I wouldn't go bigger then a two way with a 6.5 inch driver.




The Dayton two ways is a project that someone with a lot of knowledge and experience designed. The cross over schematic is already made so all I would have to do is assemble it. I know you are not able to make a direct comparison but if you know that you can get good sound from a full range driver I might go with that out of simplicity. I would still like the experience of building a crossover but there will be plent more speakers in the future.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 02:11 AM   #8
Evazan is offline Evazan  United States
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The more reading I do about the CSS FR125S the more excited I am getting about it. I had no idea one driver could reproduce such a wide range of the audio spectrum accurately. It sounds like these speakers should perform better then the dayton two ways and they will be much easier to build. I was amazed when I read that there is a +-3db from 65hrz up to 2khz. In car audio full range drivers really aren't used in any serious applications. This probably has to do with a number of factors but most likely speaker placement and imaging.

I'm pretty sure for my system I'm going to go with a pair of these in a sealed .15 cubic foot box along with my infinity kappa perfect and a used reciever from either the pawn shop, forums, or ebay. Do you think it would be better to seal the sub or port it and depending on the application how much power should I be giving it. It's rated to handle 350 watts rms but I think I'm going to go with the 250 watt plate amp because its only slightly more expensive the 150 watt amp. As far as design for the ported box goes is it acceptable to just plug the parameters into winisd and take the optimum box it gives me?

I have one more question dealing with crossover points. In car audio the sub is usually crossed over around 60-80 hz. Does the same thing hold true for home audio. The sub is probably going to be behind me so the lower the cross over point the better I assume. Also, should I use any kind of cross over to block bass from the full range drivers and if so where should I put it and at what slope. If I remember correctly putting a capicitor inline will create a 6db slope at whatever point you choose but I could be very wrong and I think I would want a higher slope, at least 12 db.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 03:29 AM   #9
jerishi is offline jerishi  United States
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Default dorm system

Hi, The parts express catalogue is readily available... It has some basic graphs for crossover systems both 6db. and 12. Anyway, it's helpful w/ 2 or 3 way systems... but these days it seems the C.A.D. systems that're being developed are the next step. I (also) think the full range drivers ... are exceptional... or really good, given the right enclosure.
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Old 22nd September 2006, 03:36 AM   #10
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Hello fellow dorm room diyer. In my dorm I have a pair of Frugel-Horns. No sub, I bairly had enough time to finish these cabinets before I came here. I would definately go with fullranges . I have the CSS wr125, very good driver indeed.

Ported or sealed?
What type of music do you listen to?
By looking at the website, the recomended sealed goes down to 35hz and there are sealed designs that go down to 20hz.

Personally a bass reflex man myself, as long as their is no port noise.

Good Luck,

Josh
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