Down the rabbit hole I go then....

Where to start. So many questions.
Okay, here’s one. Its a chicken and egg sorta question.
I want to start building my own quality audio system. I have decided I have to go with proven designs, as I cannot even think about learning how to do this all from a “designers” point of view. Too big a learning curve, and too much involved in it. Also, judging by what I read on here, I could get hooked, and go nuts like the rest of you!

My first conundrum is, what do I build first, the amplification system, or, the speakers?

I could get by for a while I suppose, with my current setup amp (please don't laugh), which is a 1980’s Kenwood integrated amp, but, has a real nice sound. I have it coupled to some 1980’s Missions, which now have cracked/crazed cones. I also have a large pair of floorstanding speakers which I bought to repair, following a wild hen night, where the previous owners wife fried one of the drivers… long story.

I rather liked the looks and reviews of the “Parts Express” Solstice kit. The main drawback however, is that it would cost a fortune to send the whole kit to NZ. I could buy just the components, but then this costs FAR more than getting the whole kit?!:mad:… Also, I have a MDF factory about five miles up the road, and the stuff is quite cheap locally.

Anyway, any advice would be welcome at this point. Even a hookup with anyone local to me (not the Tinder sort of hookup…) might be good. When looking at such forums as this, or the many others I frequent, I’m always a bit disheartened by the fact that “stuff” isn't easily available here in NZ, like it is in the US. So many times Ive had to call off a project because of unavailability, or just the ridiculous cost of freight/import tax etc etc….

Okay, well, here’s looking forward to any replies.
Cheers.
 
oh mate sorry hear that

i have some problem here, in my country there not many quality part and i have to order from capital which is not cheap in shipping though

first start you could start from build quality amp and dac.

i recommended with class D amp from china with some little mod and good power supply you will be surprise with how it sound.
 
Just another Moderator
Joined 2003
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From an electronics standpoint, element14 and RS should be as good as any for NZ. Speaker wise I don't know.

I'm lucky in that we have a great speaker importer here in Sydney so I don't have to worry about shipping. Not sure how shipping would be from Aus to NZ, I know I got a quaif diff from NZ and was surprised at how reasonable the shipping was!

Where to start, that is a difficult question. It sounds as though your speakers are where you are hurting at the moment, though logistically they are probably your biggest hurdle. Depending on what speakers you end up with, it may affect amp choice as well (efficiency and ease of driving)....

On the other hand getting together the things for an amp or other electronics project are probably easier (from a logistics and shipping costs pov).

Tony.
 
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Thanks for the replies. I think I will go with speakers first. I'll wait till after the Xmas period, and see what gives. I'm now thinking that if I go for a full range option driver, the freight shouldnt kill it. Saw a Voigt design on YT could fit the bill. I have a large room to fill, so need to take that into account also.
Thanks .
 
Hi Jazzguy,

Personally I would start with, 1.) What music do you listen to, as this will determine what type of speakers would be best to build; 2.) How large is your lounge/listening room as this will also determine the size and efficiency of the speaker you will require, which in turn leads to 3.) the amp you will need to drive the speakers. Budget of course is the question that controls everything.

Also take a quick look at Jaycar - they have a special on some speaker cabinets, that are designed for Vifa drivers. Might be worthwhile. Speaker Cabinet for JV60 Speaker Kit | Jaycar Electronics New Zealand
All the best, went there 40 years ago, and have had some regrets, but not many.
 
Also, judging by what I read on here, I could get hooked, and go nuts like the rest of you!

Hey... I resemble that remark!

I'd start with speakers. I'm sure there are places in or near NZ where you can get decent kits (if that's your bent) or you might want to consider restoring your Missions... They were A#1 in their day.

Don't worry too much about the amp... Kenwood was and still is a good product. In fact, some of the "legacy" stuff is better than we get today.
 
I would start with the speakers and then work my way backwards. My argument would be that development in speakers is the slowest such that they also become outdated the slowest.
The fastest development I believe is in the source of music such that when you finally get to that element of the audio chain, you get the newest technology at the best price.
 

Hi Ferret. I did take a look, but not a great range of drivers, especially when you consider that the vast majority of established "plans" that are available, use in their design, the more well known (better) brands of driver. These would be a guess at best to use.

I think like most things here, I will either have to either pay the cost, else just don't do it! On saying that, if I can get them delivered through a freight company, I might be able to keep their value down (cough!) to slightly less than that which attracts import tax. This is itself plays a big part in what might be do-able or not!
 
Hey... I resemble that remark!

I'd start with speakers. I'm sure there are places in or near NZ where you can get decent kits (if that's your bent) or you might want to consider restoring your Missions... They were A#1 in their day.

Don't worry too much about the amp... Kenwood was and still is a good product. In fact, some of the "legacy" stuff is better than we get today.

Funny you should say that. The Kenwood (Special Edition KA 3020) has been a faultless amp for me since it was new. It has a clear, crisp and undistorted sound, and has been used to drive various Warfdale XP2's (two sizes), and the Mission's, all without issue. Interestingly, I had one of the very first Kenwood CD systems in a car, oh, in the very early eighties. The car was a Diesel Mercedes, and the rear speakers were unrestricted through to the boot. Two in the doors and two in the dash. I recall I had two big amps. One running the rear speakers, and the other the front.
I kid you not, I have never ever heard anything so good in a vehicle.
Queen or Floyd was out of this world.
I upgraded to a newer Kenwood system, which had a concealed mini-disc behind the faceplate, and a six cd changer in the boot (also bought a new Mercedes)... but alas, the sound never quite was the same. Was it the drivers? the vehicle?... not sure. The old drivers had been sun-bleached and the cones destroyed. My god, if only I knew back then that you could have them reconed. They went in the bin...:eek:
Now I ride a Pathfinder, with factory stock speaker system, and a JVC player. Its dead to me!

My music 'room' however, well we now have a place where I can truely crank up the volume without any issues. No neighbours. The room has a sloping ceiling from 2.4 mts at one side, to 6mtrs at the other. Cant remember the size but probably 10mts long x 7mts wide... or something close. In other words, a BIG space. So.... here we are.
 
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Hi Jazzguy.
Dang! that's a nice sized room. Is the sloped ceiling on the length or width? With the room size, you could easily go for some decent horns. Saying that you don't have neighbours nearby tells me you are on the outskirts of Christchurch - or tiddy bit further out. Very pretty city indeed - was there beginning May 2016 for a brief South Island tour. Went up the cable-way, walked/bussed around taking in the sites. Memories.

Anyway, back to the music and I will reiterate that with size room, you could definitely go for some horns, but also open baffle could verily work exceedingly well in this room.

Good luck, Kevin
 
Okay, well, here’s looking forward to any replies.
Cheers.

You can buy in Auckland Sonus Faber Principia 7 loudspeakers for NZ$=999.00 on discount. Depicted was a pair of speakers, so much for the better if I'm not mistaken about the price. A pair of these cost in Croatia 2500 NZ$ at the moment. You get a 3 way comprised of 2x180 mm woofers, 1x150mm midrange and 1x29mm tweeter. Any DIYing ambition, crossover is always interesting to work on.
 
Hi Jazzguy.
Dang! that's a nice sized room. Is the sloped ceiling on the length or width? With the room size, you could easily go for some decent horns. Saying that you don't have neighbours nearby tells me you are on the outskirts of Christchurch - or tiddy bit further out. Very pretty city indeed - was there beginning May 2016 for a brief South Island tour. Went up the cable-way, walked/bussed around taking in the sites. Memories.

Anyway, back to the music and I will reiterate that with size room, you could definitely go for some horns, but also open baffle could verily work exceedingly well in this room.

Good luck, Kevin


Hi Ferret

Thank you.
You are right on the nose about where we are, as far as “out of the city a ways”. About 35km north, on a ten acre lifestyle block. The closest neighbour is about 50mts away, and the next one, maybe 200mts. The walls however are brick, then 8” concrete, then 65mm internal XPS insulation, so no problem with sound/neighbours.

The ceiling is sloped up down the full length, not the width. My listening area will be across the width at one end. There is a internal double door however, which does mean the right hand speaker (yes, both left and right, I know) will have to be away from the side wall.

Both the floor and ceiling are timber. The floor is one I put in myself, 22mm Beech planking on laths that space it about 25mm from a concrete floor pad. The Sloped ceiling is Rimu. A NZ native hardwood. The sound space is big and airy. I currently have my music in our kitchen/dining area, which is about 20+ mts long and around maybe 7mts or so width. That has a cathedral ceiling also, which is maybe 4-4.5mts high to the centre. The sound in there is very good too. Also, because at the back wall where it sits, there are no doors, and the audio just plays “down” the length of the room, if that makes sense? Overall, the house has a wonderfully “warm” acoustic bent, as all the downstairs floors in the main area and long hallway are beech timber, and most of the ceiling area is vaulted and Rimu. That, and I installed 65mm XPS insulation prior to GIB boarding, so apart from windows and doors, all very audio friendly. Its taken me years to do all of this.

Money is quite tight right now (long story), so that as to be taken into account with my audio fancies. That is one reason I’m quite excited about building my own system. That, and I get a real kick out of making/building things. I tend not to do things by half, but, even if they take me a long time. I thought, this way I can get a system that would be quite something, but which I can build over time, as funds become available.
 
You can buy in Auckland Sonus Faber Principia 7 loudspeakers for NZ$=999.00 on discount. Depicted was a pair of speakers, so much for the better if I'm not mistaken about the price. A pair of these cost in Croatia 2500 NZ$ at the moment. You get a 3 way comprised of 2x180 mm woofers, 1x150mm midrange and 1x29mm tweeter. Any DIYing ambition, crossover is always interesting to work on.

Lojzek, AV Audio do have some great deals, and I have purchased from them quite recently. I bought a Marantz 6006SS, which I got for my workshop, so I can access and play from my home NAS. It was only $499NZ (about $330US). I couldn't believe that price!
 
Hi Jazzguy. Just want to ask if you managed to get some work done on your system?

Regards, Kevin

Hi Ferret
Embarrassed to say no, I haven't, as I have started other much bigger projects on our property (buildings etc). Not had the time or spare cash to be honest, however, funny you should ask just now, as I have just contacted a guy here in NZ about re-winding two of my drivers from a couple of pairs of "blown" speakers I bought. Also, only last night I started ripping my CD collection to FLAC on my NAS, and just got my logitech touch up and running again (it has been sitting dormant for a year or three!) So I'm feeling the urge again to start getting back into my music. I also keep looking at a great youtube vid of a guy showing his actual building of a pair of Voight tubes. I'm so tempted! The woodwork isnt the issue believe it or not... its getting the darn drivers! Looked on parts express, but it the shipping that kills it for me! Anyone would think NZ was on another planet! Im sure China can send a rocket to the moon for less money than it takes to ship a decent size package from the states to NZ!
Cheers