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Old 29th November 2006, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default ar.com speaker questions

I have wanted to get this kit for a long time now, but the description is vague. Madisound lists an optional port tube, but does the kit come with a port tube? Does the speaker need one?

How about the resistors for tuning the tweeter? Where do I get them? Can it be done at the same time that I order the speaker kit from Madisound? It is not listed as an item to buy when buying the speaker kit. Radio Shack? I'm guessing not.

Yes, I have searched and read a lot. Searching for "ar.com resistors" turns up 437 threads, where many threads have nothing to do with this speaker.
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:46 AM   #2
Zaph is offline Zaph  United States
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If you haven't bought this speaker yet, you can do better.

Every time I mention this, a bunch of newbies get angry because I just insulted the first speaker they built, and they thought it sounded good. Most were comparing it with some equally trashy commercial speakers, or blindly following the hoards of ill-conceived reviews.

Here's an old thread to ponder.

(note: please don't post to it - I hate it when people dredge up ancient posts. I wish there were a setting on this forum to prevent it)
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Old 30th November 2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zaph
(note: please don't post to it - I hate it when people dredge up ancient posts. I wish there were a setting on this forum to prevent it)
Too funny. I know what you mean. Newbies crack me up sometimes. Oops, maybe I'm talking about myself now.

Thanks for the link. I have read that one in the past couple weeks.

I have not bought nor built this speaker yet. I know what you mean about some of the reviews coming from people with little to compare the speakers to. My main system uses speakers that the AR.com speakers could never touch, so this won't be the first step up to mid-fi for me. I am looking for something to give me natural, fatigue-free stereo listening until the HT system is hooked up again, and then the stereo will go into the bedroom. I plan to start the system using the Adcom GTP-500 preamp and B&K ST-202 amp. I am actually considering moving into a passive preamp sometime.

If you do not like the design of this speaker, have you done much listening to this speaker? Would you recommend the GR Research crossover, or a completely different (similarly priced) DIY speaker?
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Old 30th November 2006, 10:02 PM   #4
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Default AR.DIY

I have to agree with Zaph. There are better options.

The woofer is not bad, but the tweeter is a poor choice and doesn't EVEN have a smooth response.

If you order my revised crossover design from Speaker City it's not a bad speaker. It has no problems anyway, but it's still a far cry from the sound quality of even our A/V-1 kit.
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Old 1st December 2006, 01:05 PM   #5
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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http://www.speakerbuilder.net/web_fi...k/pcrkmain.htm

Hi,

Details some of the bass tuning issues.

I your using a sub, then a small sealed box is your best option,
if your not using a sub then a larger vented box is likely best.

It seems the above is a better choice than the AR design.

Checkout some of the designs at the following, all are good :

http://www.zaphaudio.com/
http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/
http://www.rjbaudio.com/projects.html
http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Diy_Lou...r_Projects.htm

If you like deep bass this may appeal :

http://www.rjbaudio.com/Extremis/extremis.html

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Old 1st December 2006, 06:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

Danny, at about $350, what kit speaker would you go with? This is for a second stereo-only system (not HT). I put high emphasis on the reproduction of acoustical instruments and female vocals. I will start using a REL sub with the speakers, but that might be swapped out for a much cheaper DIY sub.

sreten, Thanks for the links. I will look through them all. No need for deep bass in the speakers I build. I'm most interested in getting an accurate 2-way design for 60Hz and up. The sub will handle the low end.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 12:18 AM   #7
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Scott,

For many years our A/V-3 has been a favorite of mine. It has good sensitivity at 91db, it's 8 ohms and plays down to a -3db of 40 due to its transmission line loading. It's a good all around performer that it tough to beat. It's only $329 for the kit. A Sonicap upgrade will add $64.

See info here: http://www.gr-research.com/kits/av3.shtm

My latest favorite though is a few bucks more. It's $415 for the kit.

See info here: http://www.gr-research.com/kits/o3.shtm

It already comes with Sonicaps though. The sound stage presented by this omni directional design gives it a big speaker sound in a small package. This one nails everything really well and is a real standout design.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 08:46 AM   #8
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Both of those speakers are much bigger than I want. I'm looking for more of a bookshelf speaker because this will eventually go into a bedroom system. Also, it seems that those prices do not include any of the cabinet.

I don't want a speaker that tries to outclass my current "great" speakers (just my opinion). I want cheap and high value.

Thanks, I do appreciate the suggestions.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 07:38 PM   #9
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Then have a look at the X series speakers at AV123.

http://www.av123.com/products_catego...akers&brand=55
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Old 4th December 2006, 02:35 AM   #10
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I built the AR.com DIYs about a year and a half ago... (first project) now I am looking for something better.

Apart from reading some theory, I can only comment on what they sound like to me, having compared with more speakers over that time.

The biggest complaints I have about the AR.coms are:
- forward / bright sounding (fatigue)
- unfocussed voices - you strain to listen to dialogue in movies.

The above are compared to some older KEFs and Wharfedales

Even though, I still prefer to listen to the AR.coms - overall they are better, even with the above weakpoints. (Probably also because I built them). For the money I spent I could have probably done better in DIY.

I'm sure in 1.5 years time, I'll have built another pair and listened to more. Take the adivce of others above and either invest in another model. I'm looking at some of Zaph's designs. Some criteria that might help you:
1. How long do you want these for? Are these an experiment in DIY or something you want to live for for another 5+ years?
2. Do you have high SPL needs? - what amp are you pairing them with?
3. Are they size constrained (room or WAF)?
4. Do you listen to bass heavy music (and need more than just a 2-way?)

A good design is a good design. What I mean by that is good phase tracking through the crossover region, adequate baffle step compensation and a reasonably flat frequency response are common.

Let us know what you decide. I might be following you!

Cheers,
Dave.
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