Help making DIY stereo speakers

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I am new to DIY audio stuff and am planning to take on the project of making a pair of good quality speakers for myself – I'd like to upgrade my current speakers, and I like doing stuff myself, so it's two birds with one stone.
However I am finding myself getting a bit caught up in the technical side of it. Firstly, I'm not entirely sure what the primary considerations are when designing the speaker box – I know that the volume of the box is dictated by what drivers I choose, but I'm not sure how to calculate that or what the other major considerations are.
I have found a couple of websites that share various DIY designs; two that I like are:
Speaker Design Works
Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5
Both of those designs provide all of the details necessary to build the speakers – but this has given me a couple more problems:
Firstly, I'm not 100% satisfied with the design of the speaker cabinets, but I'm not sure how much I can safely change without compromising the quality of the sound.
Secondly, the designers of both sets of speakers have designed and built their own crossovers. I'm not sure whether or not this is something I can do myself – I know how to solder, but am nervous that I'd stuff something up.
If I was to buy my own crossovers as an alternative, I'm not sure what I'd need to be looking out for when comparing them.

I know it probably seems like I know absolutely nothing – which is true, up to a point – but I am happy to learn, and any adice will be appreciated. I'm not sure if anyone reading this will have actually done this before but surely someone on here knows their stuff!

Basically I just want to get a design on paper, and buy everything that I will need, ASAP.

I should also outline what my budget and aim is.
Exclusive of the cabinet, I'm probably looking at spending around $400 on the speakers. Of course, if it costs less that's great, if spending a bit more will make a big difference then that's fine too.
Basically I want to make the best speakers that I can for the budget. The speakers I have at the moment are Harmon Kardon KH-20's which don't sound terrible but aren't anything to boast about either. I want to make bigger speakers than these, with a significant sound improvement too.

At this stage, I'm leaning towards making the speakers that are in the "Zaph Audio" page I've linked to above - but as I've mentioned, my main concern is with the crossovers. My ideal scenario is if I can buy suitable pre-made crossovers, even if I have to swap out a couple of capacitors or something.

Finally, I should mention that the site I've been thinking of buying parts from is Parts Express: the #1 source for audio, video & speaker building components as it seems to be reasonably priced and with a good range, but if there are any other suggestions I'm open to them. I'm in Australia if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for any help! I'm looking forward to making the speakers but will feel much better about it once I know exactly what to do!

For the ZDT3.5 you must build the crossovers as specified.
You cannot use or modify an off the shelf crossover.

See the crossover details in the first link :
Zaph ZDT3.5 project
Speaker Project - ZDT 3.5 -- 8/23/2011

Check with PE if they do a special price for the complete kit,
their parts listing in the above link its clearly inadequate.

The cabinet construction can be modified but you need to maintain the
driver layout and the baffle width. The tweeter should be at ear level.

The cabinets can be made somewhat larger if you want *, and you can
use your own internal bracing and damping schemes and cabinet details.

You won't go wrong with the ZDT3.5 - its a great design, and with a
good quality build it will easily rival vastly more expensive speakers.

I'd sand fill the base section after fitting the crossovers.

rgds, sreten.

* Use the same ports, they will tune a little lower in a bigger
cabinet. Don't go over say 50L, the standard version is 39L.
Any bigger won't really help much with 20L Vas drivers.
At the moment I'm moving away from the Zaph ZDT3.5 on the basis of cost.
I've found a few kits on Meniscus that includes the crossovers etc so I'm thinking that may be the way to go. Sadly the only designs that fall within my budget are 2-way ones, whereas I'd prefer 3-way - but this may be better as I'm I'm a beginner.
Both those options look quite good. In terms of size I'm now leaning towards a bookshelf-sized speaker, similar to in the first design.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I am able to source it locally at a reasonable price, and it seems to tix all the boxes for me - making it fairly appealing. However I haven't found much about it on the internet and I don't want to end up with a low-quality end product.
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