What cheap kit should I buy? I need help!

Im looking to build some speakers for my room; towers with good bass (about 30hz), clear highs and sweet sound. Now for the hard part: the entire project needs to come in at about $500. I have never built DIY speakers, but I have what I would consider very good woodworking skills. They will be used for music listening (rock and rap) and later I will add other speakers to form a surround sound setup for movies and music, so the drivers need to be good so that I can enjoy them later. I don't have the best ear, but I do have a fairly good set. Any kit recommendations? Im thinking a MTM, TMM, TMW 2.5 system, or whatever you can think of. Any input would be greatly appreciated and I also need advice on cheap amps, too.

Greg Lightfoot

Actually I lied; I have built a subwoofer for my sister's car, but that isn't really the same.

yeah those were the speakers, I sold one and put the other one in her car ( boy it sure is cool to have the bass shake your seats and teeth at 60mph :D ! But I did find a few kits: Adire audio kit281, and a whole bunch at zalytron.com, the av1-plus ar www.gr-research.com

That's about it for now.

Greg Lightfoot

Oh and i forgot to mention something; the 30hz part will be handled by a sonotube sub with a shiva:D . So the towers should roll off around 45-50hz, or lower.
There are quite a few good DIY kits. And if you open it up to well described DIY projects that are easily cloneable the numbers skyrocket.

Where to start?

The Adire kit mentioned gets good word-of-mouth (i have met and like the guys at Adire). So do the Focal based MTMs. The Audax MTM has also been recommended.

What kind of amp(s) where you thinking of? Makes a difference when it comes to choosing speakers.

Probably too early in your DIY experience to tackle an active speaker?

Oz- that kit you suggested looks good, it might do well, but i don't know enough about it. how good do the drivers sound? what amp could i use? But they doo look promising, and the cabinet design is very unique! We'll have to see.

Dave- I also like the Adire kit, but the one Oz suggested looks good too. Any experience with that one? As for tackling an active speaker, I guess you mean an active crossover, it probably is too early, but I think I can handle it ( I used to build and design tons of electronics kits), and I have plenty of time to work on these. As for an amp, I'm not sure. I need help with that too. Diy Would be fun, but I don't know if it would produce enough power. Somewhere I heard that the adire kit can be run with a 25watt amp with enough volume to shake the walls. I would enjoy to build a DIY amp as long as it comes as a kit, and has a prefabbed PCB board. But If you think it would sound better and cost about the same, if not a little more, i would tackle an active speaker, but please help me decide.

Greg Lightfoot
Hugh's new kit does look very interesting. If you are in Oz or he offers a semi-kit (ie plans & XO -- you buy the drivers locally -- i'd hate to have to pay for the drivers to come from Oz to NA) it would be well worth considering.

If you went active with an MTM, or TMM (or bipolar TMM -- my choice), you could easily get away with quite small amps, particularily if you choose drivers that are a bit more efficient. I was thinking that 3 of the 25 W Q-Kit & a John Pomann Active XO Experimenter's Kit would make a nice set of inexpensive electronics for a 3 driver active speaker (the fact that i have a surplus of power trannies perfectly suited also drives this). You are looking at <$150 USD + amp power supplies, cases, etc for all the electronics.

Why would I need 3 25watt amps, why not 2, wouldn't that be enough? how would you wire 3 amps? And finally, what kit would work well with those amps? I think the Adire kit can be run oof of those, and I dont know about the kit suggested by oz. I just heard from someone who built the adire kit, and she really loves them. But I'm still open to the other kit if I can get some more info, and how those drivers sound. Thanks.

Greg Lightfoot

Also, what is the difference between active and passive crossovers?
kingfootga said:
Why would I need 3 25watt amps

One amp for every driver... i'd be building a 2.5 way TM(M*) and as such each driver needs its own XO and amp -- bedsides those amps are cheap ($8 USD each!) and by giving each speaker its own amp you are increasing the available power. Here are some interesting charts on clipping in a bi-amped system .

* 2nd M on the back so that the deleterious effects of the 0.5 roll-off are hidden by the cabinet.

what is the difference between active and passive crossovers?

A high level XO is between the pre-amp & the the power-amps, a passive one (PLLXO) uses Cs, Rs, and sometimes, Ls, an active one uses tubes, transistors, or op-amps.

A low-level XO uses Cs, Rs, and Ls between the drivers and the amplifier.

There are some active XO links on my website that cover this more thoroughly. And here is a good one i haven't gotten on that list yet.

Dave. I see your point, and i'll probably try an active speaker after this one, i don't feel like trying to work it out right now (although i probably could). I want to try a passive xo. Just like the simplicity and such. Now onto the drivers or kit. Which one(s)? i really need suggestions. I want to power them with a 25 watt amp or so, I like the idea of less amps, cleaner signal, and higher efficiency. Could either of the before mentioned kits, or combinations of drivers be powered by an amp of that size? I read that the Adire kit was powered by a 15watt tube amp with ear splitting spl's before clipping. Any more comments would be great. By the way, I ordered a copy of The loudspeaker design cookbook, but it won't be here for a while (1.5 - 2 weeks). Any ideas would really help, as i don't have much of an idea when it comes to full range speakers.

Oz, I'll post a thread to the forum after I get back. I'm going on vacation. The only thing I'm concerned about is most speakers use two midranges, while the ASonik kit only appears to have one. Would the bass response be acceptable, and would the highs become overpowering? Just wondering.

Greg Lightfoot

P.S. im going on vacation from sunday to july 4, so I won't be able to answer any of you posts, but keep posting, any news, ideas, possible conifugurations, PLEASE post them, and i'll read them on thurs. Thanks for all the help you guys have been, I really appreciate it.