59mga
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DIY loudspeaker kits
bierfeldt
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So, I had purchased some Monacor drivers off of eBay and needed to do something with them. I purchased some Dayton Audio cabinets from Parts Express, Dayton crossovers, and all the other hardware that I required including l-pad attenuators, binding posts, wire, etc....

They honestly sound fantastic but I spent a LOT on the drivers. Just parts cost me like $800 but the outcome was exceptional. The tough part is cutting the holes in the baffle to mount your speakers. Otherwise it was shockingly easy. All in all a fun project that I don't regret doing. They definitely fall in the middle in quality between my B&W M-1s and my Revel Performa3 M105s.

59mga
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Thanks for your input.
The kits that I saw, which interest me, were 2-way consisting of drivers and crossovers. One included Morel drivers the other Scanspeak...both used top-of-the-line drivers and crossover components. Both were about $1,000. Cabinets weren't included but that's not an issue beings I can make my own.
Beings these aren't combination that either manufacturer sells as a factory made item determining how they compare to anything else is just a guess. I was just curios if it was woth the effort/cost.
I guess I'll find out.

MuseChaser
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I cut my teeth on a Dynaco SCA-80Q kit back in the 70s, then went on to Heathkits and Hafler kits. I built a satellite/sub kit designed and sold by Mike Dzurko under the Audio Concepts name years ago, and am still using them in my main stereo system. At any price point, they're very good. At THEIR price point, they're ridiculously good. I'm a classical/jazz musician; accurate tone color/timbre and soundstaging are of prime importance to me.

From there, I bought and DEVOURED Vance Dickason's Loudspeaker Cookbook, and began designing and building my own speakers from scratch. NONE were bad, and none were worse than commercial offerings at similar pricepoints to my investments in materials. MOST were much, much better. Makes sense; I didn't have to pay for research and manufacturing. I gave away my early efforts to my kids as they trickled off to college.

I have a pair of subs in sealed enclosures based on the NHT 1259 driver; a REAL gem. Then, I designed and built a main pair based loosely on a D'Appolito design using Vifa drivers. Total cost of the mains, using very good but not esoteric crossover components, was around $400 including MDF, birch plywood, and oak trim. EVERYONE who's heard them loves them. There's no way you could get even close to the same sound for $400 from commercial speakers.

I've heard lots of great speakers, as have most of us here. The simple truth is that price doesn't guarantee anything. I've heard kilobuck speakers that sounded awful... and kilobuck speakers that I'd buy and enjoy for a lifetime if I had the dough. I've heard $250 speakers that were emminently listenable and enjoyable that would happily enjoy a place in a listening room. I've never heard a speaker that couldn't be surpassed by a homebuilder at it's pricepoint, as long as you don't take sweat equity and time into the equation.

NOW.. as far as kits go.. the seller has SPENT that sweat equity and R&D in producing the kit, so the bang for the buck goes down. However, for those who DON'T have a lot of experience, OR the desire to get a lot of experience, OR the desire to do a TON of research or reading, OR the desire to create a lot of sawdust, OR the desire to buy a router (don't THINK about building speakers from scratch w/out one), a kit can be a VERY good value.

I took a chance on the Audio Concept speaker kit because I personally know a respected reviewer who spoke highly of Mike's designs and kits. After building the kit and seeing what went into them, I was hooked. I devoured as much info as I could, downloaded a good box-simulation program, and went at it.

Any one with enough time and interest can build excellent speakers. You can also build less-than-excellent speakers. That's OK. Just build a couple cheap pairs first to get your feet wet.

DO IT.

Barry

59mga
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Barry,

Thank you, ever so much, for your input.

I'm not familiar with Dickason's book but will get it.

As for kits...the "bang for the buck is not so much the concern", rather I don't want to spend the money and time on something that will prove to be not worth the effort. I have all the gear and experience needed to build a cabinet, along with 40+ years in the electronics business. But this will be my first excursion into loudspeakers and not knowing much about crossovers or matching drivers I have much to learn.

Thanks, once more, for the insight.

Mike

Steve C
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I built a horn loaded sub from plans I got off of AVS forum. It is only a 6 1/2" driver but goes down to 25 Hz. It is a rather large box but sounds fantastic with my LaScala's. If you are handy with a skill saw, glue and screws it is a great. The driver is robust as I got it from Parts Express. Of course I don't push it as it is only for music only.

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