DIY Noob intro and advice sought Please

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Greetings All
1st post here and would like to say hello.
Last year I got turned onto a Leak st20. It didn't work very well at first until I sent it to England for a complete re-do. Now I am pretty sure it sounds about as good as a 20 can sound. The weak link in the chain is my speakers. So, I am wondering what you experts think would work best for a 10 watts per channel little Leak?
I mainly listen to Blues, Jazz and Rock, at medium to medium high volume. I do need decent bass without utilizing a sub.
My Man Cave room is over a 2 car garage. Not exactly sure how big that is, but just to give you an idea size-wise.
Whatever the cabinets would need to be pre-cut at the very least, as woodworking is not my forte.
Any and all ideas Greatly appreciated!
up to 1500 bucks. maybe more? Hey I don't have any idea what is required cashish wise?

At 10 watts you need efficient speakers, perhaps something like the GedLee designs (Loudspeakers), but they may be at the top end of your budget (can be cloned?) Also look for similar but cheaper alternatives, like Gainphile: S15 - Econowave DSP, and I don't know how to get much bass without a separate powered subwoofer.

Also look here for designs and info: [, then click on High Efficiency Speakers.

Do a search here - there are a lot of designs to fit your needs, and I'll let some of the other members chime in for recommendations I don't have off the top of my head at the moment.
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Hi c2
Thanks for the warm welcome
what I am using now are my Hot-Rodded Klipsch KG4's with matched drivers, crossover upgrades. Sonic caps with bypass caps, better inductors etc. Upgraded tweeters with everything hardwired.
They sound pretty good to me, but I have nothing to compare to, so I don't know what I am missing.
Did have a stereo magazine reviewer have a listen. He thought they sounded pretty good to. Said I would have to spend a boatload of cashish to do better. So I was thinking DIY, 'cause in this economy my shekel bag is kind of low ;)
Joined 2006
Paid Member
Hmmmmm........ a lot of folks lika da KG4's!! Klipsch KG 4 Reviews

Not my cuppa soup tho - I just get a little bored with the Klipsch "sound" after awhile. They ARE a very good speaker - horns just aren't my taste for home music (concerts and PA work is a different story - hard to beat 'em there).

BUT in terms of your budget they are gonna be really hard to beat (esp. with the tweaks and mods you have installed). This gets back to the point of what do you find lacking - or what do you want to do better?

Orrrrrrr - is that amp ya got really a good match for the K4's???? Were you using a SS amp to drive them before and how much "extra" drive did that amp have (dynamic "head room").

The ecnowaves are called that because they can be had at an "affordable" price - but you would wind up with a speaker very similar to what you are currently using.

Check into attending some of the DIY shows you can get to - some are listed here and more are listed over at tech talk of the Parts Express web site. A couple of shows would give you some good ideas - and some others to talk with face to face.

If you are in a big hurry to play around I would suggest that you check out the OB threads and maybe try out MJK's design perhaps with a SS amp to drive the woofers. That can be done quick and cheap and will give you something to play with. If you don't like 'em you can reuse the parts for the next "experiment".

Hope this helps!!
Orrrrrrr - is that amp ya got really a good match for the K4's???? Were you using a SS amp to drive them before and how much "extra" drive did that amp have (dynamic "head room").

I believe the Leak is an excellent match for Klipsch. The horns are very smooth with No fatigue. even cranked it never hurts my ears at all.
Have never plugged them into any of my solid state stuff, so i don't know?
I am getting soundstage that goes all the way out of the room. Great height, depth etc... sometimes I hear sounds behind me and often times at 90 degrees to my head.

Yes it would but what you have is very sensitive, higher is very difficult.
The Quads would be a joke relative volume wise, you are near the limits
of simply what 10W per channel can do, speakers can't make up lack
of power without lacking bass, and the balance is critical for real power.

rgds, sreten.
you won't get much more than your 94dB/W@1m other than going to horn loaded for everything, treble, mid and upper bass.

Your existing 10W and 94dB gives about a maximum of ~99dB/20W@2.5m and peaks are ~3dB above that, i.e. ~102dBpk SPL.

You could benefit from an extra 5dB to 10dB of extra peak ability, but to get that you either need 5dB to 10dB more efficiency out of your speakers or an extra 5dB to 10dB of extra amplifier output.
This will cost real money if you go to horn loaded and or to big Valves.

Settle for listening at average levels of <=79dB (-20dB ref. maximum) at your seating position and enjoy the music.
Joined 2006
Paid Member
Thank you sreten!
I guess I will buy more music and turn the volume down a smidge ;)

OTOH - you might consider one of the lower power Pass SS amps as a winter project. I know they aren't tubes - but hey you can build a great amp for budget $$$$ - AND you can keep your room warm at the same time!!! :rolleyes:

There are some tube amp kits and plans running around and some are very good - but you will spend some serious $$$ to build up a good one and you absolutely will need to be an electronics and tube ace - not a project that I would recommend for 1st timers unless you have a coach or mentor near.
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