Recommendation for new DIYer

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I currently have a pair of Gallo Reference 3.1s driven by a Krell 400xi. I "upgraded" the Gallos from a pair of B&W Matrix 802s. I never really loved them. Years later I have the bug again but I really hate the audiophile scene of today. Any unambiguous upgrade would be insanely expensive (new 802s are $20k).

I am considering building a pair of full range speakers based on the Dayton PS220-8, 8" driver. They would be driven - at first - either by the Krell or an old Adcom 5300. Eventually, I would like to try building a small class A amp. The Singularity cabinet seems like a manageable project. I have completed one or two woodworking projects successfully and I think that I can manage this one.

My question is, will these speakers sound nice? I expect that they will be different from the Gallos but would they be objectively worse than the Gallos in a way that will disappoint me? I have a second system with a pair of B&W 601s and a pair of ADS L400s. Would the Daytons outperform those other speakers, which I would sell to fund the project?

Thanks for any help that you can give.
 
Well, we're not all able to be here 24/7. ;)

Welcome to the world of DIY loudspeakers; it's an interesting place. Re your question, viz. 'will they sound nice', there's no real answer to that one because it depends how you define 'nice'. Ditto for whether they are objectively 'worse' (or 'better', for that matter) than the Gallos, because that depends on having said data for both speakers, and then interpreting from this data how well either or both meet your particular requirements.

Without further information, we don't (and can't) know any of this. You'll get plenty of opinions, but at this stage, all that be realistically said is that the speakers are very different from each other conceptually. One point to keep in mind if you happen to like the B&W 'house sound' is that it isn't exactly neutral. What they do, they do well, and they know what they're doing and why, so that is not a criticism, it's a means of identifying what you may value. I suspect you'd prefer a multiway to be honest; a single 8in widebander is probably unlikely to give you want you want, unless you're looking for something rather different, but that's just based on the limited information in your first post.
 
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I have had one pair of PS220 thru here and have designed a Monster miniOnken for them. In the brief listen i had they showed real promise.

But i much prefer smaller FR with better mids & top. Like the Alpair 11ms/10.3/10p.

There are a growing number of decent FRs, each with different compromises. You likely won't end up with only 1 build ;^)

dave
 
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I think a great full range speaker that deserves more builds would be a Tangband W5-2143. Make a simple bass reflex stand mount for it. Add a baffle step compensation with circa 5ohms and 1mH coil. This driver has super nice reach. Very neutral and substantial bass for its size. I am driving mine with an M2X Class A amp. Mine is in an XKi cabinet - but that’s not needed for this driver.

Check out the specs on the 2143. It’s very “nice” sounding. I have heard B&W 802’s on several occasions. They can play loud and clean but to my ears, don’t sound natural and the transients on percussions are not as good as a good full range.
 
Without further information, we don't (and can't) know any of this. You'll get plenty of opinions, but at this stage, all that be realistically said is that the speakers are very different from each other conceptually. One point to keep in mind if you happen to like the B&W 'house sound' is that it isn't exactly neutral. What they do, they do well, and they know what they're doing and why, so that is not a criticism, it's a means of identifying what you may value. I suspect you'd prefer a multiway to be honest; a single 8in widebander is probably unlikely to give you want you want, unless you're looking for something rather different, but that's just based on the limited information in your first post.

I like the B&W house sound and agree that it's not neutral. It plays rock well. Strong dynamics (at least to my ears). The difference in cost baffles me. As I am looking into things, it seems that I can purchase high quality drivers with sometimes very forgiving characteristics (i.e., easy to design xovers, multiway, and cabinets) with relatively little cash. I understand that cabinets are a big part of the cost to a manufacturer like B&W. Whatever I build will not have the aesthetics of a commercial speaker. I am just not that strong in woodworking and finishing.

I am willing, at this point, to gamble with approximately $200-300. I realize that this is an unfair comparison to large and expensive commercial loudspeakers. But I have owned probably more than 20 pairs of speakers in my life, ranging from a $100 pair of Technics 3-ways that I bought with money earned mowing lawns, through two different pairs of Phase Techs, 3 different pairs of B&Ws, 6 different pairs of ADS speakers, Polks, Infinities, and now the Gallos. Of those, the Polks, ADSs, and B&Ws were my favorites for their price points.
 
I have a couple of different sizes in mind. One possibility is that I use these with a pair of speaker stands next to the Gallos. The width of the box should be 10-12 inches. Depth must be longer than width. Height is completely flexible.

Another possibility is that I use these as a desktop monitors. In that space, 5 inches wide.
 
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meanie,

In Singapore there should be other FR aficionados, so maybe you can have a listen before you build.

There was a Mark Audio distributor, diyAudio member neoinc, - you can check with him.
Martin Audio in Burlington Square has tube equipment and Fostex drivers - you can call them up and ask if they have any of the drivers in cabinets so that you can have a listen. Saying that, the Fostex are likely to sound quite different with single ended tube equipment vs your nice collection of solid state amps.
 
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To the OP,

Little bit different from a single full range driver speaker, but this design makes me curious:

Speaker Design Works

Also from the same designers who did the Singularity for the Dayton driver you mentioned earlier.

The Alpair 10P serves as the mid-tweet, and the 2 x 6.5" woofers in the TL cabinet should be able to provide adequate low-frequency output. The cabinet is quite deep, but if room depth is not an issue should be interesting.
 
I have a couple of different sizes in mind. One possibility is that I use these with a pair of speaker stands next to the Gallos. The width of the box should be 10-12 inches. Depth must be longer than width. Height is completely flexible.

Another possibility is that I use these as a desktop monitors. In that space, 5 inches wide.

If I may come with a suggestion, unless you are confident in your woodworking skills, that you consider making the "desktop monitor" option first.
Should be lots of options for drivers, but don't expect earth shattering bass from a single 4". Perhaps the Fostex FF125WK would be a suitable option? Personally, I am a fan of the Seas FU10RB, but it needs help in the bass department. The Mark Audio drivers get a lot of praise, but with a 5" limit on box width, you get somewhat less membrane area to push air with the wider frames.
 
I believe that I need a circle jig for my router... and probably a new bit. My woodworking skills are meh.

One thing that I can't figure out is the flush mounting of drivers generally. Suppose that we have the right sized baffle cutout. Why can't we acheive flush mounting by using 1/8 inch thick plywood as a sheath on the baffle? The 1/8 inch thick ply would have a hole matching the OD of the driver.
 
Thanks for everyone's replies. This seems vastly easier than other methods. I have a very nice set of hole saws. I might be able to simply use a pair of hole saws for the baffle and baffle sheath. This is especially true of smaller drivers, which I should almost certainly start with.

I am starting to see where this project should go. Small-ish (e.g., 4-inch) full range driver, well-built (if not "nice") enclosure. I will revisit the amplifier once finished but ideally the adcom 5300 will be used.
 
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