I need help with a low budget speaker dilema

Ok, I first want to say that this site is awesome, I have been a member for 10 minutes and have already found out a lot of great info. However I need you guys to help me with a dilema I have run into. I am building a dedicated home theater in my new house and I have already bought a Denon Avr-3802 receiever and I am going to get a dlp projection system. I have spent a lot of money already and I dont have alot to spend. So I have approximately $1200 to spend on speakers, (center, fronts, and 2 rears, also a sub.) I am wondering if I should buy already built speakers, if so which set and where from, or should I build my own using a kit, and is that even close to possible for the money I have to spend. Please anybody give me a response.

Thanks, Adam
Thanks for the feedback

Hey, thanks alot for you feedback, i took a look at those and it seems like a good deal. However do you think that for that price range I could get a better set of speakers that are already built. Also have you or any one every heard these speakers fully assembled.

With only $1200 to spend I'd agree with Griff, maybe you should consider building a nice set of mains and a sub. Then later you could add matching center/surrounds. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck going the DIY route, check out www.adireaudio.com for some more kits and raw drivers. I've heard good things about their 281's and 81's, as well as Shiva and Tempest subs.


2001-12-27 4:01 am
the shiva sub is wicked, im building one at the moment.

im also building a pair of mains, SEAS 6.5 inch drivers,

sub cost - including everything = $275
main cost = $230

this is a very high quality system, using drivers that are comparable to speakers 5 times the cost, one thing that you need to understand about the commercial speakers in the low budget range is that the are exactly that, low budget, companies are trying to squeeze every last dollar out of them. I did some research a while back on my JBL HLS 620 mains, for which i paid $500 for, the drivers cost around $14 each, and the tweeter about $12. Building a speaker yourself, you can use drivers that are to ur specs, tuned to your musical taste, and with the people on this forum, you simply cannot go wrong with the designs!
Consider buying something from Energy; I purchased their Take 5 sub/sat system a while back and have been pleased with it. There are obviously compromises made in this system, but it has a good sound and cost me only US$600 from http://www.audioshop.on.ca/. The system's high SAF was a critical design element as my wedding approaches. ;)

You could then use your remaining $$ towards some DIY projects.

I only suggest this route as I know how long DIY projects can drag out, especially when one is new to these things.


Account Disabled
2002-01-07 7:20 pm
Newton Falls, Ohio
two ways to go with this:

If you know nothing about speaker building:

1: get a kit
2: buy "the loudspeaker design cookbook" by vance dickason, and study it. Find drivers and a system design that you like, and have Madisound.com design the crossovers for you using leap.

I went way two, although I had built a couple budget systems on my own, and they turned out great! Another suggestion is to look for a proven design online and copy it.
If you are planning on building your own cabinets, you might want to check out this site:
Unfortunately, there are no preassembled boxes available (yet), and I have not heard any of these designs, but I can attest to the quality and exceptional value of the Parts Express drivers used in many of the designs. I have used both the 5.25" Dayton drivers and the 6.5" in budget speaker projects a couple years ago (with Vifa D27 tweeters) and was amazed at how good they could sound! As all speakerbuilders know, exotic drivers are no guarantee of great sound, and with a clever crossover design (carefully tailored to the characteristics of the drivers) and a sturdy, non-resonant box, inexpensive components can yield phenomenal results.
The dayton tweeter seems to be getting some great feedback, and seems to be the equal of the Vifas I used at nearly half the price.
Three of the D3's up front and a pair of D2's in back, or 5 D3's should leave enough cash left over for one of the Titanic Subs from Parts Express.
If you have the ability to build some enclosures, I say go for it! There is nothing like listening to equipment you built yourself, and I doubt there are any commercial speakers for anywhere near this price that could compare in sound.
You simply can't find the quality of the Titanic subwoofer driver in a commercial product for under $800 (probably more) and the awful tweeters, cost compromised crossovers, and flimsy boxes found most budget commercial speakers are never going to be capable of the sound you can achieve from a good kit with a little (or lot) of hard work.
And I would also suggest looking for predesigned kit, as opposed to doing the Madisound LEAP-designed crossover thing. LEAP is an amazing tool, but computer simulation is only the first step in designing a great speaker system. Countless hours of listening, refining, remodeling, and more remodelling always follow-- Unless you have the test equipment and simulation software yourself, I'd opt for a kit where someone else has already put in all those hours.
Good luck with your project, and keep asking questions!:D
I knew this would not be easy

When I first began this project I knew it would be a hard one, I have built a lot of things but never Speakers. I am definately looking forward to it. I have decided to build my own, and I am going to study for atleast another month before I make any final decisions on what size,shape,brand or anything to buy. I can not thank you guys enough for all the great feedback. It has helped an incredible amount.

Thanks Adam
quick word of warning, well, more just letting you know of the facts.

first projects always take more time then you think, and there are always things that are harder then you think they will be, be patient, and dont bite off more then you can chew as a first project.

its definately a good idea to do the speakers yourself, you will no doubt get better results from it, if you can spare the time.