What FR project to start with?

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Hi all! So, I'm in an interesting place in my life...still relatively young (28) and I'm moving again. I currently own a pair of Dynaudio Contour S1.4's which I will be selling. Before I settle down again and upgrade the system, I'd like to play around with a few DIY ideas. I've built a few electronic pieces up to this point but never a speaker.

I want to start with an Onken-style speaker and then move on to something from the Chang family or similar. I'm looking for suggestions on what Onken to build...I have a 1980's Sansui SS receiver, 1980's Pioneer SS int. amp, and a Fisher 500c that I still have to overhaul. So, let's say that I have a 25-50W vintage solid state amp to use (everything else is in boxes)...does this help decide which design to go with?

I'm open to bookshelf/floorstander, but I'd rather start with a smaller speaker that I can later use as a test speaker or bedroom system. These also won't be used for high-SPL listening, so that's not really a concern. Thanks in advance!
 
frugal-phile™
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So, let's say that I have a 25-50W vintage solid state amp to use (everything else is in boxes)...does this help decide which design to go with?

That does... you want one of the less efficient drivers (soon a moot choice once all the FE127 & 167 are gone :)). That suggests CHR70, EL70 or one of the Alpairs depending on your budget. What is your budget?

dave
 
Hah, I was hoping you'd be one of my replies! For my first pair, I'd like to keep it relatively affordable as I'm sure I'll make many mistakes along the way. (I don't even know where to source baltic birch around here yet!) That said, I guess...<$100 a driver? Could you maybe give me a few examples at different price points for a bookshelf? I wasn't aware there were that many options to even start with. :p

Money really isn't too big of an issue, but like I said...for the first project, I don't want to get in over my head.
 
The EL70 models well in a BIB configuration. 52.5" x 8.5" x 11" (H W D ). These are simple builds with few pieces. You could do that for under $200 total easy. You would get some scale to the lower mids and upper bass then. The EL70 has impressive bass for it's size.

I think Dave mentioned that the EL70 works well in a small sealed cabinet as well.
 
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Hah, I was hoping you'd be one of my replies!.

Hope? No you have assurance. As I understand this process Dave, Scott, and Chris are 3 of the 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2010. This past week, the recipients learned in a single phone call from the Foundation that they will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. Recipients are found and awarded these grants based on genius and service. All of which are much in evidence through gigabytes of selfless service and inspiration on this forum.

Bravo, Bravo, Mucho Bravo!
 
Thanks for the suggestions, all. I'm not really too concerned about low-frequency extension as these speakers won't be used very often and my "real" system has a Velodyne DD12 sitting in a box.

I think I'll stick to a bookshelf design due to smaller pieces of wood and more flexibility for future applications (test speakers, bedroom, whatever).
 
frugal-phile™
Joined 2001
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I guess...<$100 a driver?

CHR & EL70 should set you back <$100/pr Fully treated ones will get you closer to your max budget. 1 pair per box makes a big bookshelf.

Alpair 7 will just fit your budget.

Don't forget that -- except for the early version Mar-Kel70 (EL70) and the millis* -- the miniOnken plan set subscriptions cost money (a free bonus with my drivers) -- hope that doesn't read like an advert.

*(CHR is the one that works sealed)

What are your main speakers now? Despite the modest cost to get into these, they surprise a lot of people.

dave
 
Dynaudio Contour S1.4's...as I said though, they're boxed up and ready to sell once I get around to posting them to audiogon. My new place in Chicago will determine my next set of speakers...love the Dyn sound, so perhaps the Contour S5.4's, Confidence C1's, Maggies...who knows.
 
I've wanted to try one of these fonkens myself:

http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeakers/FAL/downloads/MarKen10-1v01-map-090810.pdf

I meets the requirement of small size. The others here will say if your old style SS equipment could damage anything at high volumes.

The build requires all the learning curve for tool use that is used in these "exotics."

I reuse old boxes (or ones found as castoffs) to experiment with things before doing one to exact measures.

After moving, get yourself into some BIBs.
 
frugal-phile™
Joined 2001
Paid Member
For completeness I should also point out http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-range/175056-martello-enclosure-fr88ex.html (FR88ex also works in a variation of the uFonken) and Solo 103 (althou designed for 2 generations ago FE103, there has been at least one recent build with the new FE103En)... other than my miniOnken family, the only well documented small Onken-style boxes i'm aware of.

dave
 
I'll poke through the suggestions next week as I'm off to NYC for a few days tomorrow.

As for live music in Chicago...I know! I visit Chicago many times a year and a few friends play in bands so I definitely am lucky to be plugged into the music scene. Still, the fantasy of a wide open loft and big fat juicy speakers still tickles me. :p
 
Dave convinced me to build the Mar-Kel70 speakers and i think they'll suit you well. I've spent around 210-220$ totally on the whole build including lots of shipping and lots of international purchases. I built them in particleboard though.
They do really well at nearfield-listening and they also work very well in my room too with some assistance from an 8" cheap sub.
 
The Mar-Kel70 looks pretty good and the price works for me...one consideration I have is this though:

I intend to scrap or give away the bookshelf enclosure eventually and I want to use a driver that can be then used in a Spawn-family design (I don't know, just like that double-mouth look). Can the EL70eN be used in something like that? Or should I stay with the FE126E or something similar? I'd like to narrow down the driver in the next week or so in order to start work before the end of the year.
 
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