Full Range Speaker Kit recommendation for newbie


2016-03-28 1:16 pm
Hello Friends,
I am very new but fascinated with the diy speaker world. I am interested in starting a project and I need some help picking out the right speaker size and type.

I listen purely to acoustic music. Jazz (small group and big band) and classical (everything from solo piano, to Mahler symphonies)

My wife and I are both professional musicians, I'm a jazz drummer and she is a classical bassist.

Although this will be our first attempt building speakers, we would like to give it our best shot, and build something we can be happy with for a long time.

I would like I like to hear absolute naturalness and accuracy, (I really like details in cymbals) my wife would like louder but well textured and clear, accurate bass.

Our living room size will be 250-300 square feet.

What are your recommendations? Is full range a good idea for us?
Should we go for madisound fostex full range kits like the bk-20?

Thanks for your input!
Generally naturalness + accuracy = full range while big band + symphonies + loud = 2 way. That's fairly small room though. If you want concert levels then I'd go with a 2 way at least. There's a speaker design called a FAST using a woofer crossed to a full range around 100 to 300 hz that would work but I know of no kits.
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I'm decidedly in the FR camp. Yes a budget would be nice.

Do note that the BK20 is a really old design (before good modellers), for a driver at least 3 generations ago, and likely too big for your smallish room. The BK12m is a modern design and appropriately sized. The "similar" sized Frugel-Horn Mk3 is better & more versatile. There is also the larger Frugel-Horn XL. BTW the last 3 designs mentioned all by Scott @ Woden Design in the UK.

Bob Brines sells FR flat-pak speakers, as do i. You could cobble together a system based on PE pre-built cabinets as well (i consider only the curved cabinets worthy)

There are also lots of plans (free & for money) of proven FR enclosures.

Closest thing to a FAST kit might be the Manzanita OB which uses a full range Vifa and a large woofer. Commercially, they cost $2500 built, or you can get the parts list and detailed instructions on how to make a simple open baffle (a board with some support wings) from plywood, wire the XO, and have a great system.

Commercial units:
Manzanita Audio Solutions . Manzanita CV

DIY version:

Last time I priced this it was circa $450 in parts not including wood.
I would consider in the mix a coax, for a big living (250-300sf), in a sealed type of speaker and good bass/transient reproduction. You can look at drivers from 8" to 15" and expect a sealed enclosure of 100-150+ Liters. A sealed type (obvious BR has more LF handling and you will have more raw power to handle the driver) is very much used in studios for the fairly accurate LF reproduction and very much liked by the classical/jazz type/style of music where you don't play at distortion level and amps clipping. Nothing against horns of course, but you can get used and experiment both types and have both speakers of course. I would like to know by curiosity if you guys like or prefer a big or smallish speaker. Does the size affects the listening visually?!:D
You can consider drivers as (for the sealed type as was mentioned above):
Ciare HX255
HX255 - Audiokit E-Shop
Beyma 8BX
Beyma Coaxial Speakers - Beyma 8BX coaxial speaker - Beyma 8BX 200 watt 8" coaxial speaker for all 2-way applications. Beyma 8BX coxial speaker and other Beyma 8" coaxial speakers here.
B&C 15FCX76
B&C 15FCX76 is a 15" coaxial speaker - B&C 15FCX76 15" coaxial speakers - B&C 15" high power coaxial speaker for fullrange systems. B&C 15FCX76 coaxial speakers available now.
As previously stated, a multi-way speaker is probably required, but you could use a very wide-band driver to be almost full-range.

Visaton do lots of kits that may be appropriate, and are reasonably close to Turkey.

Examples are:

A normal box. Build this, and you are done.
"Owing to the very low-frequency separation, SOLITUDE is, in effect, a wide-range speaker with a subwoofer."

...or this (using the same full range driver)

With this option, you could create the speaker in stages - start with the solo20, and then build or buy a high quality pair of active subwoofers.
It's easy enough to determine the location in question is Turkey, so with the vagaries of international shipping, duties etc, it's harder to know where the most affordable source of components might be.

As to the question of whether an enclosure utilizing a single mid sized full-range driver would suffice - that's much easier to find consensus -i.e. "definitely maybe". :rolleyes:

I'd be inclined to agree with suggestions of some type of FAST system, but it should be noted that OB designs can get big quick, and while thanks to generally shallow depth their total footprint might not be huge, like many large planar dipoles they also generally need a fair amount of open space behind the baffle - for example Manzanita CV recommends minimum of 36" from rear and 30" from side walls. In a small room as depicted above, a more conventional box - or at least one with less onerous placement requirements might better suit the application.

I'm personally a fan of the FAST approach with 3-4" full-rangers operating from around 200-300Hz up and smaller mid-woofers. I've built at least eight such, generally with either the Fostex FF85K / WK or Alpair7.3 as mid-tweeter, and numerous combinations of singles and multiples of 4 - 8" mid-woofers.
Assuming the room described is actually used for "living" and entertaining, I think even the smallest among these would likely satisfy most listening needs.
suggestions of some type of FAST system

Do note that a FAST will often start with a small FR system with woofers added later.

Some of our miniOnken are like that… here a µFonkenSET with the optional woofT (might look like 2 boxes but these are actually 4)