Studio Monitor diy options vs off the shelf

stax

Member
2007-11-18 12:13 pm
G'day

Im in a position to buy some studio monitors under $1k Aud ..

Options are pretty much - Alesis Mk1 6" / KRK RP5 or RP6 or Yamaha HS80M

Is it possible to build something as good or better than these powered monitors for similar pricing?

or am i wasting my time as i guess amplifier cost might drive the diy option through the 1k limit.

I have no problems building boxes etc, not interested in building an amplifer so that would be a purchased item.

Any opinions or gear options would be greatful.

Thanks guys.
 
Hello,

ProAc is pretty popular Down there and unfortunately expensive!

They have Studio 100s. Maybe you can clone these or their older and very similar model, the Studio I MK IIs.

Amazing from top to bottom but you have to find your own amp and a Rotel RB-980BX would do the job beautifully @ 120 watts per channel.

I have KRK Rokit 5s hooked up to my Digidesign MBox2.

I have ProAc Studio I MKIIs in my Living Room and they are like from two different planets with the ProAcs being the better.

These monitors are used in more recording studios than just about any other!

Find a dealer and give a listen!

Good luck!

Regards//Keith
 
Building a powered monitor for under $1K is difficult, but building a passive speaker and powering it with a separate amp is easier.

The main difficulty that I'm finding is sourcing a decent 50Wx2 (or better) plate amplifier to whack on the back of the speaker.

If you're interested in the passive route, there are a handful of speakers that I could recommend that would beat the entry level monitors like Alesis/KRK hands down...
 

ttan98

Member
2006-04-04 11:24 am
Melb
I am building a passive speaker now for $700 worth of parts plus cabinet. But learning to build takes some time if you design yourself. If you build speakers from Zalph, Troel, or Tony Gee is quicker and easier.

I am sure it will beat any off the shelf speakers worth $1K. $1K speakers in Australia is not really top notch, ie monitor class.
 

stax

Member
2007-11-18 12:13 pm
thanks for taking the time to reply guys.


Yeah im definatly interested in building a passive speaker and powering them with an amp.
Never wanted to try build a a box with a amp screwed into it :)

To be honest, my jaw sort of dropped at the price of monitors, and i dont really have the gear to support something like orpheus or dynaudio level of speakers (2k+)..

tktran: im keen to learn what combinations would work best for this purpose around the same price range.

Basically 1k would be my maximum spending, and i want to get the best quality possible for my money. Ive built speaker enclosures in the past so this is not an issue.

Speakers + amp combinations most welcome
 
BTW, the Rotel would be used. They don't make them any more. The current model ie the RB-1070. Used RB-980s go for $250 to 300 USD here. That would leave you $700 to 750 to build the monitors. ScanSpeak manufacturers the both the mid/woofer and the tweeter in the ProAcs. The cabinets aren't complicated but are front ported and the crossovers aren't too complicated either.

When my mid/woofers needed to be replaced, I found buying ScanSpeaks with shipping was only a little less than buying the originals from ProAc. ProAc also said the mid/woofers were made to their spec so this was a no brainer but the tweeter is the original ScanSpeak. You can make your own PCBs for the crossovers and acquire the correct components and wiring yourself to keep that cost down and make your own cabinets!

I bet you could do it for $750. With the amp, $1K is do-able with very nice results!

Look into it, you won't be disappointed. At least listen to the Studio 100s at the dealer to set what your level of expectation should be. Or look for them used. I have seen the Studio I MKIIs go from $300 to 500 used. The only difference between the Studio Is and the Studio 100s is the tweeters are offset in the 100s, requiring a mirrored pair.

Good luck!

Regards//Keith
 

ttan98

Member
2006-04-04 11:24 am
Melb
Monitor Class

Not many people can spend lots of money buying expensive monitor and that includes me.

To spend $1,000 I suggest you look seriously at one of the projects by Zalph, Troel, or Tony Gee, you will get monitor class or near monitor class quality full stop.

Also parts in Australia are expensive, if you decide on 2 or 3-way projects try drivers from scanspeaks(expensive), you will very happy with them. I use scanspeak clone drivers(usher drivers) they sound very good already, and if you use scanspeak, it would be even better. $1,000 well spent. The speakers will last for many years to come.

BTW, A pair of speakers from Legend Acoustics using scanspeaks($5,000 a pair) drivers, I heard they sound very good indeed, monitor class.
 
Hi Stax,

Building DIY speakers is much like cooking. If you've never cooked you can create a horrible meal using even the finest gourmet ingredients. If you are a chef, you could create several tasty meals with only left overs in the kitchen.

So for now I would advise against spendy big sums on premium European made parts, but instead finding a good recipe (design) that will suit your needs.

Please tell me more about your intended usage. Is this for a small project studio in a house, or dedicated studio. Is it for personal use or a commercial client? What kind of music will they be monitoring primarily

For the speakers, what are your size, placement, SPL and bass requirements?
 

ttan98

Member
2006-04-04 11:24 am
Melb
Re: Monitor Class

ttan98 said:
Not many people can spend lots of money buying expensive monitor and that includes me.

To spend $1,000 I suggest you look seriously at one of the projects by Zalph, Troel, or Tony Gee, you will get monitor class or near monitor class quality full stop.

Also parts in Australia are expensive, if you decide on 2 or 3-way projects try drivers from scanspeaks(expensive), you will very happy with them. I use scanspeak clone drivers(usher drivers) they sound very good already, and if you use scanspeak, it would be even better. $1,000 well spent. The speakers will last for many years to come.

BTW, A pair of speakers from Legend Acoustics using scanspeaks($5,000 a pair) drivers, I heard they sound very good indeed, monitor class.

I like to qualify the above by saying if you enjoy building and experimenting with speakers then using expensive parts may not be the best start. However you just want to build a high quality pair speakers for your money(*) then there is no point buying cheap drivers, even vifa, peerless and seas drivers are not considered as cheap morely likely to be mid-range.

* speakers to keep in the long run/long term.
 

damianl

Member
2006-07-05 1:18 pm
I use "Polk audio monitor 10b's" for monitoring. Came from an op shop . Cost me $80 the pair. They are reasonably flat right down to about 45 hz. Check out eBay for something similar. I have found from 8 years of music production monitors aren't the world i have owned alesis mk2's and found my $80 finds to be just as good!
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
Unless you are knoledgable and experienced in speaker design, either buy something or build a known design. Several designers have been suggested earleir.

A better option is simply to buy something secondhand. Check ebay etc then research the ones you find.

Most of the 'monitors' I've heard sound dire at best and my old KEF's kill them.

A final option is a really good set of headphones and a dedicated driver for them. Apart from soundstaging, which is fairly irrelevant in multitracked near miked recordings, they will give you far more insight into what you're recording than anything else, until you spend heaps of money.
 

stax

Member
2007-11-18 12:13 pm
tktran303:

Its just for my personal home studio.

Im producing mainly psytrance/electronica, so clear responsive bass is fairly important, as is the rest of the range.

Using PC with a firewire outboard soundcard in a room about W 4.5m x L 4m x 3m H thats carpeted.

At the moment im using some old 4" full range in closed boxes with an old marantz sr140 amp thats seen better days, all this is sitting on a desk nearfield of me. so something similar would be nice, but not necessary as i can change the room around how i like.

Thanks for your help lads
 
Stax,

There are a range of DIY speakers built for domestic "hi-fi" that may be suitable for your intended use.

However, the main concern is that most speakers designed by hobbyist serious about hi-fi is that that crossover design is suited mainly for free-standing placement, even if placed in relatively small rooms.

When placed near walls, or on a desk, tonality can change.

There are variety of designs with reduced baffle-step compensation to suit. I will check and get back to you...
 
Replicate Alesis MKIIs....

Of course it would be difficult to replicate the MKIIs because they are active, and I am sure their amp is tweaked for flatness(And to flatter the drivers). But you can buy the woofers used in the MKIIs for $15(US)ea, so you could probably build a nice set of passive monitors with them. I bought ten of them, but I have yet to do anything with them. A decent driver when you consider their construction and price. Carbon Fiber cones and shielded with a bucking mag. If you make a digital XO part of your budget, you can correct or at least dial in a reasonably flat curve(including delay/phase). Of course this would require at least two power amps(HI/Lo). You would not have spent much on drivers by this time($60+S&H per pair). They also have the MKII's tweeters(Shielded) for $15ea. Supposedly the woofers can yield an f3 of around 35Hz in a .75 ft^3 ported enclosure. 35Hz as a bottom for 6.5" drivers is about as good as it gets for the dough. Worth a look.
 

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The Zaph Audio SR71 is a moderately priced DIY-design that can be built from the ground up, or purchased as a ready-to-assemble kit.

http://www.zaphaudio.com/SR71.html

Is is a good idea to have monitors clear of walls/ground planes etc, so having them on small stands is the idea, instead of sitting directly on your desk.

If you do decide to place them directly on your desk, imaging will suffer, and you may find the bass is a bit heavy handed.
In that case, there are a couple of approaches to modifying the crossover for reducing the baffle step compensation.