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DIY passive studio monitors + amp, mod cheap monitors?
DIY passive studio monitors + amp, mod cheap monitors?
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Old 16th May 2014, 08:32 PM   #1
jdominicjackson is offline jdominicjackson  United Kingdom
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Default DIY passive studio monitors + amp, mod cheap monitors?

HI ..
I am a reasonably experienced sound engineer, IT tech, Video tech.. all round geek. I am very interested in learning more about the insides of all the kit I use every day. I am looking into creating a VERY cheap but nice quality little monitor set up but I am looking for something which can give me decent bass, sensitivity and very transparent mids.

This is probably a really stupid question but I wondered would there be any luck in buying a very cheap pair of studio monitors and then updating the drivers for much more sensitive and better quality? I have noticed that drivers on ebay are cheap and high sensitivity, they are good quality and probably ok for studio monitors some skytronic drivers look very decent I heard good things. I know doing things DIY makes such a huge difference in price.

I am a bit lost really, I have the Lepai 2020A+ amplifier which I also intend to mod but I am starting to wonder if this will be good enough for a studio situation. I am not expecting the best quality in the world.

Any advice would be great.
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Old 16th May 2014, 09:31 PM   #2
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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DIY passive studio monitors + amp, mod cheap monitors?
You might want to check this thread out: The Nautaloss Ref Monitor

Not a passive system but pair with a good sealed sub and it can sound really nice. Look at the TPA3116D2 amp - it should be good enough your application.

If you really want a passive solution with tweeters and woofers this is the wrong forum - multiway is where the experts are.

Have you looked at the Zaph designs for a 2 way monitor?
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Old 16th May 2014, 11:05 PM   #3
jdominicjackson is offline jdominicjackson  United Kingdom
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Hi sorry I thought full range meant two way but this is for single driver speakers? I mis understood..
I have looked into a UK equivalent of Zaph, (Zaph are US right?) they are called IPL ACOUSTICS HIGH QUALITY SPEAKER KITS .. I hear very good things about them but they are limited on the kits that include a cabinet and I have no wood tools or skills to create the cabinet, its also slightly pricey I was hoping for something a bit more cost effective like a mod of some cheaper speakers, like re using a cabinet with updated drivers, is that possible?

I will see the thread thanks for the reply.
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Old 17th May 2014, 12:43 AM   #4
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Skytronic drivers are cheap. Best thing you can say about them.

Unfortunately you can't have decent bass, little boxes and sensistivity.
One has to give, usually bass, sensitivity and box size in that order.

DIY is not cheap on the budget end factoring in time and effort,
quite the opposite in fact. FWIW you can easily buy good used
speakers for far less than the cost of decent drivers and a x/o.

There is no merit to updating drivers in new speakers whatsover.

Unless its something like :
Tibo EDGE MINI Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds

Which is quite frankly garbage, but the vented cabinets are
nice enough, the x/o a one capacitor joke, and it just so
happens you can get Tangband FR that will work in the cab :

Tang Band W4-1052SDF 4" Full Range Speaker | 264-913

Tangband Breitbandlautsprecher W4-1052SDF

Shipping is 17Euro to the UK. Miles better than the fitted bassmid driver.

The fitted tweeters look reasonable enough to be reusable in some fashion.

Then you have to design a proper x/o and studio monitors they are not.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 17th May 2014, 04:45 AM   #5
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Full range here means one driver for the entire frequency range, unlike studio where it means 10 octave reproduction. Hopefully a mod will move the thread for you :-)

It is not really possible to update drivers in an active monitor system. The front baffle on lower cost monitors is usually moulded for their specific drivers, and the crossover is also tailored to work, at least somewhat, with those drivers.

A cheap DIY two way active system would not be as cheap as off the shelf gear, but offer better performance. I built my own pair when I worked out how the cheaper ones would sound - to make a long story short, you can't mix on the real low-end products without at least two other references.
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Old 17th May 2014, 05:05 AM   #6
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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DIY passive studio monitors + amp, mod cheap monitors?
I think it may be tough to make a good studio monitor for less than an off the shelf product like the Behringer Truth series, for example. They are reported to be very flat from 50 Hz to 20 kHz and about $400/pair for active DSP versions. However, with careful selection of drivers and going with active miniDSP and biamp class D, you can beat it for about the same price in components.
What you will need to work on is the waveguide front baffle that is molded as part of the commercial item. I would use a Vifa soft dome tweeter with waveguide and a Peerless 8 in Nomex woofer with a class D amp and miniDSP.

Tweeters $50, woofers $150, minDSP $100, class D amps $40, enclosure $60. Same price but better components and a lot of elbow grease.
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Old 9th June 2014, 05:50 PM   #7
jdominicjackson is offline jdominicjackson  United Kingdom
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hi guys sorry I just saw these replies thanks for the information I. I have sort of decided its best to go for oldskool hi fi speakers as I generally feel you get better value than modern "monitor" speakers and still flat frequency response. I see how complex speaker cabinate design is and specifically built around the exact drivers so its hard to just swap them out as it will probably ruin the sound. Still I would like to experiment with a pair of cheapo speakers with nice cabs and see if I can match the drivers with better versions.
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Old 9th June 2014, 05:52 PM   #8
jdominicjackson is offline jdominicjackson  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Skytronic drivers are cheap. Best thing you can say about them.

Unfortunately you can't have decent bass, little boxes and sensistivity.
One has to give, usually bass, sensitivity and box size in that order.

DIY is not cheap on the budget end factoring in time and effort,
quite the opposite in fact. FWIW you can easily buy good used
speakers for far less than the cost of decent drivers and a x/o.

There is no merit to updating drivers in new speakers whatsover.

Unless its something like :
Tibo EDGE MINI Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds

Which is quite frankly garbage, but the vented cabinets are
nice enough, the x/o a one capacitor joke, and it just so
happens you can get Tangband FR that will work in the cab :

Tang Band W4-1052SDF 4" Full Range Speaker | 264-913

Tangband Breitbandlautsprecher W4-1052SDF

Shipping is 17Euro to the UK. Miles better than the fitted bassmid driver.

The fitted tweeters look reasonable enough to be reusable in some fashion.

Then you have to design a proper x/o and studio monitors they are not.

rgds, sreten.
Hi this is really interesting and exactly what i was after. It would be great if there was a good box for some of those fostex high sensitiviy drivers. They look greaet!
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Old 9th June 2014, 10:33 PM   #9
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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My go-to budget speakers for pretty much any home listening (ie, not PA use) would be Behringer 2031P monitors. Or the active version, if you don't have an amplifier.

For ~100 2nd hand delivered, you get a pair of Seas ally dome tweeters, decent 8" cast-frame woofers, a crossover that merges the two very nicely, and a well-built MDF box.
You couldn't build anything nearly as good for that much. Seriously.

Chris
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Old 9th June 2014, 10:36 PM   #10
jdominicjackson is offline jdominicjackson  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
My go-to budget speakers for pretty much any home listening (ie, not PA use) would be Behringer 2031P monitors. Or the active version, if you don't have an amplifier.

For ~100 2nd hand delivered, you get a pair of Seas ally dome tweeters, decent 8" cast-frame woofers, a crossover that merges the two very nicely, and a well-built MDF box.
You couldn't build anything nearly as good for that much. Seriously.

Chris
Hi I think that the original passive behringer speaker is ok but honestly I have heard the active ones a few times and really do not like the sound from them at all. I think the Alesis Monitor MKII are better in that area. Unless you mean to mod the behringers?
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