Its time for new speakers! Suggestions?

Hey everyone,

I've recently sold my diy speakers to a friend of mine in need of some quality sound. The speakers were a set of fr125 based mtm's with some cheap hivi tweeters in 14 liter sealed enclosures.

Bob at CSS was kind enough to help me with the crossover, as I'm no expert, and the finished results sounded quite good!

Now that I'm speaker-less, I'm in the market for my next build. I'd like to keep the budget to $200 or less for parts (I know, small budget) but end up with a better set of speakers then the fr125 mtm's I had once before.

I was looking at the Zaph za5.2 kits from Madisound but with tax and shipping it will push me closer to $300, which is a bit more than I wish to spend.

I've also been looking at the Alpair 7.3 drivers. I was intrigued by the fr125's run full range but the upper octaves left something to be desired. I hear this is not an Issue with the Alpair 7.

The overnight sensations from parts express also interests me, but for some reason, I feel they will be a step backwards from my prior speakers.

I'd like to build a set of speakers that play reasonably loud (my previous fr125 mtm's were plenty loud) and have a great mid and upper range. The speakers will by crossed to a trio12 vented sub so deep bass is not overly important, but welcomed.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a kit, or design that would ring in at under $200 Canadian and match or surpass a basic set of fr125 mtm's?

Cabinets are a non-issue as my father is a cabinet maker and very interested in this speaker hobby of mine!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
 
Thanks for the replies! Im really drawn to zaph kit as I hear most of his designs are supberb. My only issue unfortuanetly is budget. at the moment I am limited to around 200 for parts so the zaph kit its likely out of the question.

Ive also seen a design from the folks at audiokarma. It seems to be a community designed 2-way using the 7" dayton aluminum cone driver ( the cheaper silver version ). this should fall within my budget and I am wondering if anyone has any experience with this design?

Im totally drawn to the alpair 7 as well. as I mentioned before, I was intrigued by the fr125 run full range but dissapointed in its top end. A friend of mine has a pair of fr125 in minionken cabs and on the right tracks they are very impressive. I hesitate because I have no experience with "highend" full rangers and dont want to be dissapointed.

This is tricky buisness

p.s. pardon the grammer.. Im typing this on a cellphone
 
Thinking you going to have a hard time finding something better than what you had; in the $200 range.
Found some pics of Fr125's in a MTM configuration, this would be hard to beat with one pair of similar size drivers.

Sounds like you are headed toward full range, best if you post on that page for more ideas.
 

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I'm totally drawn to the alpair 7 as well. as I mentioned before, I was intrigued by the fr125 run full range but disappointed in its top end. A friend of mine has a pair of fr125 in minionken cabs and on the right tracks they are very impressive. I hesitate because I have no experience with "highend" full rangers and dont want to be dissapointed.

You won't be disappointed with Alpair 7.3's, unless you expect room shaking bass. They are excellent thru the entire audio band. I still enjoy my older A7's in P10 bamboo Mar-Ken boxes. With help (powered sub) in the lower bass, they are very enjoyable.

jeff
 
Thanks for all the input folks! I have actually decided to increase my budget to $300. This now allows for the zaph kits or something of equal or better quality.

I've been peeking around at some of the dayton rs180 kits and designs which seem tempting.

I guess my biggest issue is deciding between the za5's (or other kit/design) or the alpair 7.3's.

I know the fullrange forum is a btter place to discuss the alpairs, so I may pop over there for some questions.

Otherwise given my now large budget, are there any more suggestions for a high value kit/design in the $300 range?

Thanks again!
 
In my opinion you wont beat the Zaph 5.x series for anything close to the cost. The ZA14 has measured performance equal to that of some of the best out there. The DQ25 is also an admirable performer and sounds very nice to boot, lush would have been my choice of words, but then that's as much down to the overall system design and room interaction as the tweeter itself.

From a two way, sound per pound stand point (with the intention of coming up with something very high quality), it's hard to do much better. The only thing I could think of would be a good design based around the Dayton Reference series mid/bass drivers as these are also excellent in the same way that the ZA14 is. There are a number of designs around with these drivers so perhaps you could do a bit of googling.

A full range approach is completely different altogether and unfortunately you wont know if it's for you unless you try it. Having tried the 125 FR and had reservations about it might indicate that full range isn't for you, or perhaps your room, where the off axis contributes to the overall timbre, with full rangers beaming like crazy perhaps not what you'd want. Still, the MA drivers are some of the better drivers out there, so from that point of view it'd be hard to go wrong.

Another supplier would be Solen in Canada, they stock the Dayton drivers, along with other great full range drivers such as the fountek FR88EX.
 
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Well said 5th.

Glad you found extra $$ Robert;
A couple of thoughts to add:
Robert, never did say what type of music you listen to, or how loud you want them to play? One pair of FR 4" drivers is only going do so much; they'll start to break up if you crank them up too loud.

Would have posted this earlier but over budget:
A MTM by Maidsound: The Madisound Speaker Store

This kit has the acclaimed Vifa XT25 tweeter.
Posting pics because the MS site could use a few more on web page.
 

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Not to sound like a miser or a scrooge but I would actually advise against the MA 10.3s, as these are likely to cost an arm and a leg, especially if Mads pricing for the current 10 is anything to go by ($100+ dollars each).

You can get lots of very good full rangers for peanuts compared to that, some of the budget vifa's for example the TC9FD18-08, has excellent performance on all fronts except for having very little actual bass. Nevertheless these cost $11.75 and would make an excellent candidate as a trial for a good full range (to see if the mids and highs do what you want). The aforementioned fountek is considerably more costly, but is available locally, as is the RS100, but that might need a notch filter to sound right. Then again almost all full range drivers need some filter to correct for bafflestep losses, unless the implementation inherently corrects for this as some of planet10s designs do.

This brings us to another point, planet10 himself. He is also Canadian and I know Canada is a big place, but if he's reasonably local (he is in Victoria), if you drop him a line (or a PM) I am sure something could be arranged where you could pay him a visit and listen to some of his full-range designs. If you like what you hear and the full rangers suit your listening preferences, then I'd say go ahead and pay premium for some of the more expensive full range drivers.

I'm only mentioning this as a caution because the full rangers seem to divide opinions quite strongly, either people like what they do and love them, or the opposite. As you know you already like the sound of multiway designs, you can be pretty confident that you'd like the ZA5.x. Not to mention the tuning options that Zaph provides for tweeter level and bafflestep to suit your room/tastes. As the budget is obviously limited and yet you clearly want good sound, you can't really afford to go premium full range and find it's not for you. This is why I'd recommend trying some of the less expensive full range offerings first, to see if they can be made to fit what you want.
 
Thanks for all the input. I think Ive settled on the za5.2 kit from madisound. Ive spent a lot of time reading reviews and comparing specs on zaphs site and the drivers used in his kit seem to be extremely high value.

I may pick up a set of inexpensive full rangers to get a better feel for them before I decid to buy a more premium full ranger.

as soon as I begin the build Ill be sure to start a new thread to include build pics and listening impressions!