Please recommend small tower project

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I don't have design skills, but I think it's a blast to build speakers, and I'm looking for a new project. It doesn't have to be a tower, but I do appreciate the extra low end. I was thinking about either Bagby's Testarossa or Selah's Cali4, although I haven't heard either. The former is a little larger than my preference, but it seems to be well-received, and looks fun to build.

Do you have any suggestions?
Based upon the cost of the Jeff Bagby Testarossa speaker you are considering....

This is a good time to decide if you want to invest in DSP + multi-channel amplifiers to both simplify design and improve the room equalized sound.

This is a good time to understand your limitations in cabinet construction from both toolset and experience.

This is a good time to sketch your room layout to help determine the best speaker to build.
Huh, I hadn't thought about DSP; I guess because I don't know what the options are. I would like to keep the boxes/wires to a minimum, though. I'm using a Mytek DAC and amp with a Bluesound streamer at the moment, and I like how compact the system is.

I'm just a weekend woodworker, but I have a nice little garage shop. I don't have a CNC or bandsaw, but I do have a sliding tablesaw, tracksaw, shaper, a few routers, Domino, a large vacuum bag setup, etc. I definitely not a pro, but I enjoy a challenge and am willing to own my mistakes :)

I don't have an electrical background, but I can follow a schematic and have built a couple simple crossovers. I don't have any measurement instruments.

Until I can get a proper drawing:
The "room" is about 12.5' x 15', but it opens on the left to the rest of the first story, and the ceiling slopes from 11' to a second story hallway. It's not a dedicated listening room, so practicality and aesthetics are a consideration.
If I were in your shoes, having budget of >3k$, I'd want to test these in person prior to building. Normally you can assume that both of the loudspeakers sound good. I was taught whenever I feel like I need to spend a larger amount of money, to count it three times and after that I will know better if this is something I really need to do. Plastics take away that wisdom.
Cider- Lots of questions to ask and learnings to have! Active and full digital everything is a REALLY strong way to go, but has quite high initial investment (high quality multichannel dac off a PC source/crossover is generally the best modern solution).

First thing's first, decide on specifics around size, budget, placement, and how you want to feed them (source type, equipment associated with that (LP? CDP? PC/DAC?)

It's easy to blow out your budget (or, perhaps worse, go too affordable and wind up with something you're not happy with), but the narrower you can define constraints the closer you'll get. Sounds like enclosures are a non-issue as you can do decent woodwork... you had me at vacuum bag. Measurements are definitely recommended, you can look at holmimpulse, some of the dayton products, or go to the very nice Smith and Larson solutions

Take your time, continue to do your homework, and set yourself up for success in adjusting things longer-term by going active if at all possible. This tends not to be a "1 and done" hobby, as there are so many disciplines involved that there's always another improvement to make. A good digital volume control on a PC source, doing crossover before each channel (left tweeter, left mid, left woofer, and so forth) requires more digital to analog converters and amps, but is literally a perfect preamp for PCM (it can be run at 64 bit resolution)
Hi Cider,

my suggestion is this, get someone to design you a pair of 3 way slim looking speakers with decent bass capabilities, great midrange and transparent highs, in an acceptably sized cabinet, good on and off-axis radiation for the right amount of money. I would guess 8" woofer, 2" mid dome and either 0.75" or 1.1" dome tweeter. This combination is the right kind for the people enjoying music at moderate listening volume that you'd achieve with a 100W/8R amplifier.

I am not confident there is a kit like that out in the market, hence this idea. Wolfteeth member (Shaffer) is the name that comes to my mind for the job and Meniscus is offering 2 way kits under his name.
I am sure they are not uncommon but I haven't got exact numbers. The advantage of such an approach is that a customer is free to choose the bits if one desires so and the designer will check the feasibility. I've made a decision to build myself a fine pair of speakers after some time I first saw these.


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You cd choose drivers and go to a crossover design service.
I was just thinking about a good 3 way on a reasonable budget,
And came up with
Virtually any SB Tweeter
Vifa NE123W-4

Pretty sure Madisound stock all the above, and may offer a design service ie crossovers and recommended cabinet
Wow- Esotar, D52, and 15W75 svelte towers. Do you actually have the drivers, Lojzek? Or something similar?

Confidence 5 was introduced in the 80's if I'm not mistaken, and it is a sealed compound design with a 6.5" internal driver. Drivers on the baffle are all from the Esotar series, woofer being 20W with a 4" voice coil optimized for a vented cabinet, lacks a bit in the bass region and people have reported such remarks.

My version is a straight sealed cabinet, 24W75, D52af and D28/2. These are absolutely the best sounding speakers that I have designed and I will hold on to them.


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You cd choose drivers and go to a crossover design service.
Pretty sure Madisound stock all the above, and may offer a design service ie crossovers and recommended cabinet

He could do that, and we could do the same (simulate the xo and cabinet) for free which is not the same thing as build a real test cabinet and design and test xo filter for perhaps several weeks or longer than that. This is the right way, all else is cutting corners.

What is the largest diameter quarter round cutter your shaper can safely handle? You would purchase?

You can maintain a narrow width low edge diffraction cabinet by building a jig(1 tapered board) which only cuts the large(1.5" - 3) radius quarter round edges on the upper TM half of the cabinet, allowing dual 8" woofers to still fit in the narrow(11" wide) bottom section which has modest (say 0.25" - 0.5") quarter round edge cuts.

You can maintain a narrow width low edge diffraction cabinet by cutting tapered pyramid (Avalon Style) edge bevels on the upper portion of the front baffle which has a 6" midrange, and mounting a 10" -12" woofer on the side panel close to floor level.
LineSource, I don't have any monster roundover cutters, but I prefer the look of the Avalon-style facets better anyways. A side-firing woofer sounds great, but I'm limited to kits/plans. I'm aware of some kits with faceted cabinets, but none with side-firing woofers.

BTW, Lojzek, gorgeous speaker.
JUST use this as ONE EXAMPLE

Hobby HiFi magazine has a side woofer design named "scan by side" which provides design and build information.

Scan By Side
Scan By Side

The kit is delivered with the following drivers:
- a Scan Speak D2905/930000 tweeter
- a SB Acoustics SB17NAC35-4 mids driver
- a Scan Speak 26W/4534G00 woofer
size (HxWxD): 1075 x 230 x 380 mm
Kit without cabinet, price per speaker EUR 462,00

speaker kits | | Your online hifi specialist
speaker kits | | Your online hifi specialist


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