Best kit for 3-way tower kit for music around $400.

TylerPerry

Member
2013-01-31 1:47 pm
Hey folks, another noob lost in the sea of information and 5-10 year old DIY posts, please help a fella out.

I'm looking for a full kit (including crossovers) for a decent 3-way tower with minimal wood working. I'd like to have around a 8" woofer, open to whatever on the mid and tweeter. I'd like to keep it to around $400. This will be my first build, so the easier the better, but I want something I'm going to be happy with for a good while.

Does anyone have any suggestions for full kits I can purchase to achieve this? If it's a little over $400, that's okay, but I want to stay in that ballpark.

I listen to mostly electronic and older progressive rock (Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson), in case you've got so many options that music choice will affect your decision.
 
I think you have set too tough a target to expect high fidelity. A 3 way for that price is not likely to be very much of a speaker. I would suggest a two way of a little higher quality. A 6 inch two way sitting on some future subs makes a very nice combination.
For example, I have the Zaph SR-71's somewhat modified, that are very good. (I modified the cabinet design, different tweeter and a few other tricks.) This requires full woodworking skills. Buying Madisound cabinets bumps the price quite a bit. A three way is much harder to design, and of course it means more expensive parts. A good 6 inch can usually out-match a cheap 8 inch anyway providing you add subs. Without a sub, a really good 8 inch three way has the possibility of being close to a full range speaker. 40 Hz and up for real in a reasonable room. Unfortunately, your budget would just cover about the woofers themselves. I'd love to build such a thing one day. AE woofer, Scan Speak mid, and Seas Tweet. That's about $2000 in parts son. Better stick with a 6 inch two way that does 60.

There are several of the Dayton based kits at Parts Express including the cabinet for this range. The Dayton RS drivers may not match the Seas, but they are very good and great value. You get cheap cabinets with sharp edges. That is just the way it is. I am a big believer in generous baffle edge radius to decrease the ripple caused by diffraction. Very few OEM speakers deal with this very well either. That forces you to DIY and woodworking skills.

With your music taste, you must be as old as I am. Hey, where is Tull? Zappa? Actually, your taste in music has almost nothing to do with building good speakers. Accuracy is accuracy.
 

lousymusician

Member
Paid Member
2005-11-24 4:10 am
NorCal
Does anyone have any suggestions for full kits I can purchase to achieve this? If it's a little over $400, that's okay, but I want to stay in that ballpark.

$400 each, or $400 / pair?

The Karma 10 suggested above would really need a sub, which would up the budget quite a bit. I'd go with the Designer 12 design instead - it should go plenty deep and loud, though it would not be quite as efficient:

SEOS12 with Designer12 woofer

There was to have been a complete kit, but it looks like that one is not on the menu right now. In any case the drivers and crossover are well documented, all that's needed are cabinets. The cabinets can be quite simple, straight cuts in plywood that could even be done for you at a lumber yard, a few holes that can be cut with a router or jig saw, and some glue would do it if you don't need a fine-furniture finish. Or this pre-cut cabinet might work:

2 cu ft Tall SEOS box - Waveguide Cabinets - Flat Packs DIY Sound Group

With the flat packs I think you'd be around $500 for the drivers, xover and cabinets. You might need to contact Erich @ diysoundgroup to see if he could provide the Karma 12 front panel, waveguide, cabinet pack and Denovo 350 tweeter as a semi-kit.

If you can't tell, I'm also in the 'go with a good 2-way' camp. Another approach would be a wide-band (aka 'full range') driver with a woofer to handle the low end. Search the full-range forum for FAST for more reading that you can handle.

Bill
 

TylerPerry

Member
2013-01-31 1:47 pm
I think you have set too tough a target to expect high fidelity. A 3 way for that price is not likely to be very much of a speaker. I would suggest a two way of a little higher quality. A 6 inch two way sitting on some future subs makes a very nice combination.
For example, I have the Zaph SR-71's somewhat modified, that are very good. (I modified the cabinet design, different tweeter and a few other tricks.) This requires full woodworking skills. Buying Madisound cabinets bumps the price quite a bit. A three way is much harder to design, and of course it means more expensive parts. A good 6 inch can usually out-match a cheap 8 inch anyway providing you add subs. Without a sub, a really good 8 inch three way has the possibility of being close to a full range speaker. 40 Hz and up for real in a reasonable room. Unfortunately, your budget would just cover about the woofers themselves. I'd love to build such a thing one day. AE woofer, Scan Speak mid, and Seas Tweet. That's about $2000 in parts son. Better stick with a 6 inch two way that does 60.

There are several of the Dayton based kits at Parts Express including the cabinet for this range. The Dayton RS drivers may not match the Seas, but they are very good and great value. You get cheap cabinets with sharp edges. That is just the way it is. I am a big believer in generous baffle edge radius to decrease the ripple caused by diffraction. Very few OEM speakers deal with this very well either. That forces you to DIY and woodworking skills.

With your music taste, you must be as old as I am. Hey, where is Tull? Zappa? Actually, your taste in music has almost nothing to do with building good speakers. Accuracy is accuracy.


I see, well that's disheartening. Supposing I can figure out what 2-way tower I want to build, what would you DIY Subwoofer would you recommend. It will be something further down the road and I'd be willing to spend a couple hundred bucks on it.