Some advice on building a 2.0 or 2.1 Studio Monitor setup

Hi all!

I'm hoping you'll be able to point me in the direction of some resources to help with a project I'm looking to take on.

To start, I have a degree in electrical engineering and have taken numerous analog electronics courses and a specific course on speaker design that included crossover networks. I am comfortable with the underlying theory of this wide world of DIY audio but not sure where to begin with applying it for my own needs.

I have plenty of tools for electrical and woodwork and access to a maker space at my university with anything else I might need. Consider my time free because I will enjoy the journey; I'm looking to get as high performance as I can with as little actual money spent, meaning besides the drivers, I'm open to building anything and everything if it's cost-saving without reducing performance significantly. If I can stay under $500 that would be ideal.

Background out of the way, I'm a bedroom DJ looking for either 2.0 or 2.1 studio monitors. Below is the layout for the room I'll be in with windows, doors, and current furniture. I realize the size and window placement are going to be somewhat of a nightmare, but I'll work with what I've got. The floating circle is about where my head will be.

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The room is currently untreated, but I have a reference mic and will use REW to work on that once I have the system built.

Hopefully this covers everything, but if I've overlooked anything please let me know!
 

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I would move the speakers closer. Cover the side walls with blankets and drapes. Put carpet down. For speakers I would use a 4-6” full range or a WAW with a 3” fullrange to an 8” woofer. You could use the more typical 1” tweeter with a 5-6 1/2” woofer format too. I think you need to do more research to find what you need. You are in the right place, there will be lots of suggestions here.
 
Something like this might do the job. I've not heard it personally but it's quite popular on the full range forum.

Do note this is the full range part of the forum, where people like to use a single driver to cover the full spectrum or as much as the spectrum as possible (xovers are usually only a few hundred hz max if multiple drivers are used) rather than a traditional speaker that uses a tweeter with a higher xover around 2k
 
FRFT Im sure they would do perfectly, but they are 10 years old design and why not use all the accumulated knowledge this forum has gained since then about wavegudes etc? There must be more current designs though I can't promise they are better.. .Oh. I now realize you posted assisted fullrange speakers. I first saw them as "ordinary" 2 ways. Sorry!
And Cheers!
 
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TNT

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Just don't focus on the boxes (speakers) - a system without digital EQ in 2024 is a big mistake. So, you will "need" a way in the end to tailor the sound to the specific location so a DSP platform "must" go into the budget. This can be e.g. a Pi and the free CamillaDSP platform.

I would skip the .1 and go for a closed box speaker - the LF can be set by EQ - this will give you a low group delay / tight detailed bass - aim for a good quality 5 or 6" driver from e.g. SB. And then why not a dome in a WG as suggested above.

What kind of amplification do you have?

//
 
On room treatment you should stay away from colorful foam in fancy shapes, despite the heavy marketing it does almost nothing. It’s far better to build some 2‘x4’x4” boxes filled with fiberglass or rockwool, use peg board or plywood for the back. cover the boxes with whatever colorful fabric or even a print that you like. The deeper the box the lower the frequencies it absorbs. Plans for these are all over the Internet. They are inexpensive and way better than fancy foam at absorbing midrange and treble frequencies. I place them to the sides and front of my listening room. To the back is a bookshelf with randomized books for dispersion and a bit more absorption. This is probably the least expensive and most effective way to go. You can put the absorbers on stands or build them with feet so you can move them around your listening area. After that you may want to experiment with a ‘cloud’ of absorption material on the ceiling. One of my favorites is a 4x8’x1/4” sheet of plywood bent into a curve. This defuses the sound and absorbs some of the floor ceiling bounce and, it’s a great place for sexy led lights.
 
Thanks for the input everyone!

I would move the speakers closer. [...] I think you need to do more research to find what you need. You are in the right place, there will be lots of suggestions here.
I could bring them up some, but getting anything closer than ~3ft would most likely break the spouse approval based on where they'd end up standing. Agreed there, I'm already piecing together some ideas based on the feedback so far!

Something like this might do the job. I've not heard it personally but it's quite popular on the full range forum.

Do note this is the full range part of the forum, where people like to use a single driver to cover the full spectrum or as much as the spectrum as possible (xovers are usually only a few hundred hz max if multiple drivers are used) rather than a traditional speaker that uses a tweeter with a higher xover around 2k
Those look right up my alley and are something I think I will investigate further.
I am realizing now my mistake after browsing more of the forum, any way to pick this up and drop it into the multi-way? Although, I like how a lot of these WAW builds have turned out, does that typically fall into multi-way or full range?

Just don't focus on the boxes (speakers) - a system without digital EQ in 2024 is a big mistake. So, you will "need" a way in the end to tailor the sound to the specific location so a DSP platform "must" go into the budget. This can be e.g. a Pi and the free CamillaDSP platform.

I would skip the .1 and go for a closed box speaker - the LF can be set by EQ - this will give you a low group delay / tight detailed bass - aim for a good quality 5 or 6" driver from e.g. SB. And then why not a dome in a WG as suggested above.

What kind of amplification do you have?

//
That makes sense, and I'm starting to think pinching pennies on the actual speakers and putting that towards other components would make a lot more sense / be required if I want to actually listen to the speakers. As in, I don't currently have anything other than a Scarlet 2i4 and Fostex TH-X00 audio equipment-wise.

I've been looking into DIY amplifiers, mostly the ESP P3A, and power supplies also from ESP. Would going the DIY route there have any downsides / be worthwhile? I'll also need to build some stands and traps.

I stumbled upon the C-Note and am not sure if those might make the most sense to begin with given the low price and seemingly decent performance for a small space like mine. Then I can take care of other aspects of the room / setup and come back to do the WAW FRFT linked or something else as I learn more.

Use the room sim tool in REW.
I embarrassingly thought I had to have speakers to do anything with REW, going to start playing around with this and report back, thanks!

On room treatment you should stay away from colorful foam in fancy shapes, despite the heavy marketing it does almost nothing. It’s far better to build some 2‘x4’x4” boxes filled with fiberglass or rockwool, use peg board or plywood for the back. cover the boxes with whatever colorful fabric or even a print that you like. The deeper the box the lower the frequencies it absorbs. Plans for these are all over the Internet. They are inexpensive and way better than fancy foam at absorbing midrange and treble frequencies. I place them to the sides and front of my listening room. To the back is a bookshelf with randomized books for dispersion and a bit more absorption. This is probably the least expensive and most effective way to go. You can put the absorbers on stands or build them with feet so you can move them around your listening area. After that you may want to experiment with a ‘cloud’ of absorption material on the ceiling. One of my favorites is a 4x8’x1/4” sheet of plywood bent into a curve. This defuses the sound and absorbs some of the floor ceiling bounce and, it’s a great place for sexy led lights.
Fortunately for my wallet, a lecture in my audio class spent time covering traps, and we actually discussed why those foams don't do much. I love the idea of having them on stands to move around, that's not something I'd considered as my only other audiophile friend has theirs mounted on the walls.
For the cloud, I'd been thinking of just a box above me, but the curved plywood sounds interesting. I'm not able to search accurately for what I'm imagining, but it's not something like this, correct?

1707805672507.jpeg


What I'm visualizing is a very wide / gently curving parabola with the apex mounted to the ceiling, something like this:
1707805888215.png
 
Why? You don't want to lose volume, at least in that place.
It would be interesting to build two big waveguide/parabola and move a little speaker...or just make one and use the corners created for the damping of the back wave. To put the parabola on the ceiling makes me think of something "Atmos" that's built for down firing speakers ( processed).
But no, the space is very tiny ...
Originally my working area is very messy with everything all around so the sound is scattered...it depends on your "originality"!
 
Hmmm...
Me and you, Picowallspeaker and Howsthatsound, could build some crazy things...
I mean, YOU, as I'm quasi retired ha ha haa!

so the thing is to make some carpentry to allow a big 3D printer ( the ones that build houses!) to sit some material on a parabola ( a 3 D parabola either ways, i.e. an ellipse )
Then allow the speaker box to be placed somehow but emerging from it, you know volcanoes..?!
Not infinite baffle but close, same with the parabola use: not opposed and reflecting as demonstration purposes but a wall... but maybe you've studied that...like steradiants and the source of sound posistioned such π radiation defines the boundaries. And vice versa
 
Fortunately for my wallet, a lecture in my audio class spent time covering traps, and we actually discussed why those foams don't do much. I love the idea of having them on stands to move around, that's not something I'd considered as my only other audiophile friend has theirs mounted on the walls.
For the cloud, I'd been thinking of just a box above me, but the curved plywood sounds interesting. I'm not able to search accurately for what I'm imagining, but it's not something like this, correct?

View attachment 1272638

What I'm visualizing is a very wide / gently curving parabola with the apex mounted to the ceiling, something like this:
View attachment 1272640
Exactly like that but upside down. The bend goes down not up. You don’t want to focus the sound you want to diffuse it and absorb it. The large area will damp bass and you can add fiberglass on top to change the frequency. Like these but on the ceiling. The holes absorb midrange frequencies, you don’t necessarily need those. The large area absorbs bass the smooth curve diffuses the mids and highs. In a 10x12’ studio you can put in one 4x8 and two 3x8 diffuser/absorbers on the ceiling. Skyline diffusers don’t do much in a small space, they look cool though. Look under room treatments for some more ideas. Here’s a word of caution, the better my room got the worse my speakers got. My speaker building got a lot better
1707843644528.jpeg



These diffusers are bent the long way. Auditoriums use them for a different reason, to bounce the sound evenly around the audience.

9D04E1EA-8E51-4484-A55D-442A7940C424.jpeg

This is a cloud cluster to stop echoes in an area with a high ceiling. You might want to try something like this directly overhead.
339D51AE-62EC-46B1-8D87-199B6978CD4F.png
 
As a recording and mix/mastering engineer, allow me to help you save yourself a bit of money and aggravation.

https://audio46.com/products/audeze...caRvi64WZhXsP3udsDkJdkD_nchn7m-gaAnnXEALw_wcB

You will go to much greater lengths and a deeper hole in your savings otherwise. There’s simply no value in treating a space to that extent for your purpose and as you’re not recording anything with microphones, avoid the exercise all together.
 
Exactly like that but upside down. The bend goes down not up. You don’t want to focus the sound you want to diffuse it and absorb it. The large area will damp bass and you can add fiberglass on top to change the frequency. Like these but on the ceiling. The holes absorb midrange frequencies, you don’t necessarily need those. The large area absorbs bass the smooth curve diffuses the mids and highs. In a 10x12’ studio you can put in one 4x8 and two 3x8 diffuser/absorbers on the ceiling. Skyline diffusers don’t do much in a small space, they look cool though. Look under room treatments for some more ideas. Here’s a word of caution, the better my room got the worse my speakers got. My speaker building got a lot better
View attachment 1272808


These diffusers are bent the long way. Auditoriums use them for a different reason, to bounce the sound evenly around the audience.

View attachment 1272800

This is a cloud cluster to stop echoes in an area with a high ceiling. You might want to try something like this directly overhead.
View attachment 1272801
Ah this makes a lot more sense!
I'm sure I'll end up down the same rabbit hole of finding new things to tweak, build, or upgrade as I read more here

As a recording and mix/mastering engineer, allow me to help you save yourself a bit of money and aggravation.

https://audio46.com/products/audeze...caRvi64WZhXsP3udsDkJdkD_nchn7m-gaAnnXEALw_wcB

You will go to much greater lengths and a deeper hole in your savings otherwise. There’s simply no value in treating a space to that extent for your purpose and as you’re not recording anything with microphones, avoid the exercise all together.

When I was in the market for headphones I lusted after these LCDs! I'm certain they sound amazing, but I am still interested in building something despite the limitations of my room situation. I'll admit straight away that I'm definitely going to be spending more on this journey than the LCDs for most likely worse performance, but there's something to be desired for not needing to put on headphones and constructing as much as I can myself.
 
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