Questions on DIY

A kit might prove to be just a little bit cheaper than building the same thing from scratch. But I would imagine someone with your education would want to up the satisfaction and challenge up a notch and actually build a pair from scratch :)

If you want to roll your own speakers, aside from carpentry tools and a soldering iron, you'll need software to help you with the technicalities of speakers.

Some freeware tools:
Speaker Workshop
FRD Group

Some commercial tools:

Good luck :)
Haven't seen or heard that kit. It is interesting that they use Foster drivers (Foster id Fostex's parent). I run into a lot of neat Foster drivers in my salvage biz.

But for that kind of cash you could get pretty close to building a set of BD-Pipes using real Fostex FE103s. If you can scronge up 4 RS 40-1197s it will cost a lot less (i have heard prices of $2-4 USD if the Radio Shack sales guy can find some stashed in the back). Even ordering at full-pop from you are looking at about the same as the kits mentioned. From personal experience these can embarass a lot of kilobuck commercial offerings.

mFinalHeaven said:
How will these sound?? Honestly, they don't look very impressive. And radioshack speakers?! Can you explain more about this.

These were originally put in as tempoarary replacements for a set of multi-kilobuck ESLs. After they had broken in, i found myself listening more often, and enjoying it more, a good sign of a better system. So they stayed and started me in a fresh direction. The particular Radio Shack driver, the 40-1197 is a version of the Fostex FE103 (shall we say made by Foster the same company made the drivers for the kit you 1st mentioned), so don't let the Radio Shack name get in the way -- they have had a few gems (like headphones built by Stax). The real Fostex FE103 is a better driver with more extension on the top, but will cost about $110 USD for a quartet, and then there is the ACR version which is even better (& more money). And if you can find some, the alnico version is probably up with the ACR & costs like the Radio Shack -- they will inhabit the next iteration of my speakers.

The RSs in particular can benefit from some tweaking -- only some of which i have done to mine yet (i want to get my measuring kit together to see if some of the tweaks can be quantified), but all of them will benefit from things like ductseal on the baskets and wool felt on the inside of the basket legs.

These should give about the same amount of bottom as the kit you mention, don't require stands, don't have an XO to muck things up, and are efficient enuff that you can get away with a little single-ended tube amp, small gain klone or little Class A SS amp. Because they are bipoles they also don't have any bafflestep. Later on you can add a pr of subs and they get even better (and, at least with the RSs, a little help at the top - above 10k - doesn't hurt).

Also how would i go about building this thing?

The plans are at Bert Doppenburg's site which is one of the 1st links on my page.

What are they for?

Hi mFinalheaven,

I will try to give you my personal point of view, as I think I'm more or less in the same position as you are now, i.e. finding how exciting would be making our own speakers.
First of all, what are they for? What kind of use are they going to have? serious listening? Loud headbanging? Are the size a problem? The rest of your equipment is mid-fi or hi-fi? and the most important thing: Do you have time and money enough?
I will recomend you to follow some standard design, as I'm doing, adapt it to your requirements and have fun. But the very first thing to do is to learn: If you don't do that you will have to turn back to the begining all the time you discover a new thing, that unafortunately is of main importance and you didn't take into account.

I'm in a similar situation, I've built a few amps, have engineering background, but am looking into a first speaker project. I ended up with the zalytron mighty mini kit without cabinets. My thinking was they're small so I can tackle a simple cabinet fab with minimal materials and complexity, they're cheap ~130US for the parts kit, and they'll work. Opposed to what my first cut attempt might be! (At worst they'll be descent surrounds)

I plan to reverse enginneer the kit and crossovers to learn what I can. Speaker workshop (free) combined with ~30bucks in parts will give you a rudimentary testing set up. This gives a good comprimise between lerning something and having a reasonble end product first time out with minimal risk ($).

Just my 2 cents......
Hmmm...I been sorting out what I wanna do and this is what I got so far.

I dont really have a big budget so < $150 total would be nice. Space is sorta of a problem and I would prefer bookshelf speakers over towers. I don't know too much about woodworking so keeping that to a minimum would be better. I dont really need them to be LOUD just decent with quality sound. I am gonna run them with my dad's ex reciever the yamaha rx-v590.

Based on these, what do yo guys think is the best kit for me?
mFinalHeaven said:
budget < $150 total would be nice... bookshelf speakers... don't know too much about woodworking so keeping that to a minimum would be better

So a sealed mini-monitor would be good -- add subs later for the full-range.

John Ks LS3/5a inspired mini probably exceeds your budget, but you could consider the drivers in the TLb (just use a midbass & T in each box) for something sweet & elegant. And if they can be found, a set of RS 40-1354s (the other driver from RS worth looking at, now under $2 each) in a set of modified Hawaiis.

this is the link of the P13/D25 crossover.

what do you want to change?

you cant use the LSs/5a XO as it uses a Focal woofer with very different characteristics.

an XO takes in account drivers and box as well as listener preferences and sometimes room (for DIY only).

if you ar copying a design copy it whole. dotn mix and match one XO with another pair of drivers.
mFinalHeaven said:
if i use the John Ks LS3/5a design with Vifa 5" woofers, P13WH-00-08 and Vifa soft dome tweeters, D27TG-45-06, would the crossover be the same? Thanks so much for the help so far.

You might need to tweak the box size to get it right. Those two drivers were carefully choosen so that you could use a single cap on the tweeter as an XO -- in this case 5 uF.

chrisB played with XO on his similar system, starting with a complex modeled XO. The speaker got better as more parts were turfed until he was down to the single cap, which sounded best.