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Old 3rd June 2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default WTB: beginner level speaker kit with better-than novice sound

My son is coming up on his 18th birthday and has shown interest in DIY electronics the last two years. Mostly little gadgets.

He has now done his own DIY gaming and home theater PC for his room and bought some Soundblaster speakers...top-of-the-line, but in my opinion they sound like crap and when he plays his music (he is a sucker for classic R&B and Jazz at 18!!!!), he never hears anything of what the artist/recording technicians intended for the listener to experience. Of course, I don't tell him that, but I will provide all the means for him to succeed with DIY speaker kits...

He is very proud of the little things he has put together before, and I think he would love to have speakers and the best sound "on the block" that he has actually made himself.

I have spent hours looking around at speakers from DIYAudio, Audio-Review, Madisound, PartsExpress, DIYcable etc.

I really like the little Madisound Vifa Studio kit, but that is me and I believe that he would probably have to invest quite a bit on the amplification side since these Vifas are 4ohm. I like the looks of the small Exodus 41, but I don't know about the SQ on the fullrange MR-125 although it seems very easy to build with simple xover and using PE prefab cabinets. I like the peerless driver kits, just because I have had Peerless drivers in some speakers a while back and like their sound. The Adire Extremis and Usher Audio tweeter kits look above average as I have heard much about these drivers.

Most of all, I think I need to find kits with ready-to-build cabinets or prefab cabinets as we don't have the tools to start putting together boxes....not for this first project...

I would like to buy 1-4 (maybe it will end up being deals with several forum members...) speaker kits at a reasonable $$ and by that I mean that I am looking to pay less than what these sites are selling them for retail. A kit that you bought that is just laying around and collecting dust, might just be a winner here with me.....

If someone has a kit or two or three (maybe I can make my own together with him, nice father/son project this summer as he lives in Europe and is coming over to visit in July for a month...), please let me know. I would be happy to discuss a deal on any kit that might be out there.

This is my first post, but I am a decent fellow and pay promptly. I have been a member of Audiogon for years with great feedback on the trades I have done there...my Audiogon ID is francis1967. Thanks.

NOTE. The kit that I am intending to get for my son needs to have reasonable sized cabinets because he needs to able to bring these with him back to Europe after summer vacation.
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Old 5th June 2006, 12:30 AM   #2
dfdye is offline dfdye  United States
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You might want to check out North Creek kits too. I really like my CM-77's but they are a little tricky with regard to placement. You might want to look at their Echo series since it is both inexpensive and will easily fit in the Dayton 0.25 Cu. Ft. Boxes.

This isn't quite an offer of a kit for you to use, but hopefully it is another suggestion in case you don't find what you are looking for.

David
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Old 5th June 2006, 12:40 AM   #3
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally posted by dfdye
You might want to check out North Creek kits too. I really like my CM-77's but they are a little tricky with regard to placement. You might want to look at their Echo series since it is both inexpensive and will easily fit in the Dayton 0.25 Cu. Ft. Boxes.

This isn't quite an offer of a kit for you to use, but hopefully it is another suggestion in case you don't find what you are looking for.

David

I saw a pair of the Dayton 0.25 Cu.Ft boxes. BrianGT has a pair and they looked really nice good finnish on them and great cabinet work too.
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Old 5th June 2006, 03:10 AM   #4
john65b is offline john65b  United States
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I have seen a few Circuit City or Best Try advertisements in the Sunday paper for these cheap Pioneer speakers for $9.99 each. And some Sonys for $15 each. Buy if for the cabinets, as I believe the drivers reallay leave a lot to be desired. They look to be about .25 cubic feet and 5.25" woofers.

Try these before you send a lot more on cabinets...
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Old 5th June 2006, 04:49 AM   #5
dfdye is offline dfdye  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by john65b
I have seen a few Circuit City or Best Try advertisements in the Sunday paper for these cheap Pioneer speakers for $9.99 each. And some Sonys for $15 each. Buy if for the cabinets, as I believe the drivers reallay leave a lot to be desired. They look to be about .25 cubic feet and 5.25" woofers.

Try these before you send a lot more on cabinets...
I've had some experience with cheap Pioneer cabinets, and I can say with some certainty that you get what you pay for. The ones I have were ~1/2" particle board (not even MDF) and had a terrible vinyl finish. They didn't have any internal bracing, the seams were definitely not air tight, and the cabinet resonances are terrible. I bought these when I was in high school because they were cheap, and that they were. They are now relegated to my garage to try and compete with my table saw for sound quality.

There really is no compariso between the PE boxes and the cheap stuff you will find at Big Box stores. If you are merely trying to make the cheapest set of speakers you can, then those boxes would indeed do, but you had indicated that you wanted some level of quality. For ~$120 there is not a lot you can argue with with regards to value for the build. The only complaint I have heard about the PE boxes was the single layer front baffle, but that can easily be replaced later on if you are not happy with it.

It will really come down to where your priorities are: if cost is the #1 concern, then John has a great idea. If you want something quality that your son will hold onto for a while without worry of having it fail, I would go for the better boxes. A bargain is only a bargain if it meets your needs.
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Old 5th June 2006, 01:46 PM   #6
john65b is offline john65b  United States
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Well said, and no offence taken. I am cheap at heart, hence my initial foray into DIY audio. I was tired of looking at expensive, just OK sounding Carver amps and decided to try chipamps, Tripaths, UCD, ZAPs, etc. I now have more great sounding audio gear that I know what to do with...

I tend to experiment on the cheap, and if a success, I then spend a bit more $$ on the final permanent project.

Hard to imagine a speaker that sounds as bad as a tablesaw tho.
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Old 6th June 2006, 12:44 AM   #7
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Check out www.partsexpress.com. They have a pair for $150.
The kit comes with everything but a screw driver.

Shielded: $150.00
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=300-642

unshielded: $140.00
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=300-640

I built a set for a friend after I gave him a gain-clone as a house warming gift. They love it.

You'll be pleasently surprised.

Vince
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Old 8th August 2006, 03:49 AM   #8
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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I'll second the recommendation for the Dayton BR-1 kit. It's a good value for the price, and really easy to put together.
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