Need advice on choosing HT speaker project

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Hi gang,

I'd like some input/advice on what speaker designs to choose for building a budget home theater system. Please give suggestions as to which speakers you have built/heard/liked. I know that I need to give as much info about what I need as possible so...

Here are my criteria:
- would like to keep each satellite at about $100 for drivers and crossover parts (this can be flexible)
- satellites don't need much bass as I will also build a sub
- drivers need to be shielded
- smaller box size is better, but quality (performance vs cost) is more important
- I need a speaker that has already been designed since I don't know how to design a crossover
- would like to use the same design for L/R/C and surrounds
- I will build all cabinets

I think the right idea is the 'surround' speaker in the Audax home theater system ( ). However, I've never heard them and I don't know if the difference between their 'surround' and their 'L/R' is significantly different.

The best commercial example I can think of is the NHT super zero.

For a sub, everyone seems to like the NHT 1259 project, and the Adire Shiva. Any comments about which sub project would go well with the satellites are welcome. (Looking to spend about $350 for sub driver and amp.)

Thanks in advance for your comments!
Hi Pete,

The Audax HT kit surround speakers are well-designed and have a pleasant sound. They differ from the front channel speakers in low-end extension and imaging, naturally, due to the differing geometry, but the character of sound is the same.

You may also want to consider the bookshelf HT kit by Sound Clearing House at I've built the Audax kit for the parents and enjoyed it, but for my own college student budget this kit is the best available choice. The SCH center channel is the main reason why I'll be building this kit rather than designing a two-way speaker and using it for all channels - the SCH design is similar to the Audax center in that it is a three-way design with mid-woofers flanking a tweeter and dedicated midrange.

As the SCH kit is $330 shipped including a 10" sub driver (which can be subtracted from the kit) it's a good budget alternative to the Audax kit, at half the cost in parts.

The Audax look like a good deal with drivers costing about $50 per speaker, I'm glad to hear they sound OK.

What brand (or level) of crossover components do you recommend with these? If I use Axon, the crossover parts are as much as the drivers (nearly $48 per speaker). Is it overkill to use Axon (or Solen)? Is there a lower tier of components you recommend?

Joined 2002
Navin - Rest and recouperate :) :) ( or is this your convalesence?)

Hi Pete

I built the Audax Centre recently to replace my old CS that was stolen, and it is a fine project.

Because I am in the process of making my whole system fully active, I only used budget parts for the crossover, and it still sounds excellent.

The only problem with using really high quality parts is that they tend to be larger, and room inside the cabinet is limited, so I would build an external crossover network in a seperate enclosure, ( but then I would anyway :) ).

The box itself needs a little extra bracing to get good and solid, so I made mine deeper to allow for the extra bits of ply and dowel required, but I also slightly changed the illustrated dimensions so I could reduce the size of the front baffle, and get the drivers closer together for better coupling...
Thanks for the advice!

simple polyester caps and air core inductors will do the job
Do I need to worry about the guage of the inductors as stated in the Audax plans, or just the mF rating? (I'm definately NOT up to winding my own!)

Do you suggest a particular brand of 'budget' caps and inductors or will any do?

I also slightly changed the illustrated dimensions so I could reduce the size of the front baffle
I also wanted to slightly change the baffle dimensions of the surround speaker. (Mostly for aesthetics.) Is it true that as long as the internal volume stays constant that any dimensions will be OK? (Not talking about huge changes here, just small ones.)

Where did you get your 'budget' parts? Is there a line between 'budget' and 'poor'?

Joined 2002

I used standard off the shelf parts, with a mixture of poly and nonpolarised electros, and ferrite cored inductors wound for me with an aproximate metric equivalent to the AWG.

If I had been building to stay passive, I would probably have used air core inductors and all Solen Polyprops, as they give the best performance per pound of specialist caps.

As for the enclosure, as long as the dimensions do not end up as multiples of each other you can do just about anything you want, but bear in mind the rules also apply to the inner mid enclosure!
seems like solen is good vlaue for money so you might use these.

although i have not compared ferrite core to air core in terms of sound i am usng air core only because I can. I am able to wind my own inductors so I do. I have opened up saome very expensive speakers in the past and founf ferrite core inductors so there is no reason to believe that ferrite core is much worse than air core. this might start a flame war:(

if solen has the kit I think you can get the whole deal from them. what experience I had with them in the 80s was very good. there used to be a guy called Dennis Oullet there who was quite nice. even offered XO design for free when I ordered my parts.

I built my first 3 speaker systems using Solen parts. These systems were not cheap and Solen were very good with help.

Now I live in India and imprting is out due to duties, shipping costs, and relative value of the dollar.
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