Building or buying new speakers and speaker cabinets

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by lefty, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. lefty

    lefty I :heart: music

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    I've been searching a bit but I figured I would tap the knowledge of OT and see what I could come up with.

    Where are some good places to buy good home stereo speakers. Nothing insanely expensive or anything like that. But something that sounds really good but can also put out some bass.

    My current speakers sound pretty good. I have gotten many compliments on the quality of sound. With them I found some old cabinets and put in newer speakers. It took a little altering and you can tell but I was satisfied with the result and the cost. Here is a picture of one of them
    [​IMG]

    However, I wonder if I could do better. If there are some really good already made speakers out there that are of a reasonable price that are better than the ones I have right now I would definately consider it. However, anything you build yourself is going to be cheaper.

    I can find plenty of places that sell individual speakers but not many that sell cabinets. And the ones I find are not to my liking. Is there a place that sells them. Is there a place that has plans to build them?

    If I could build anything I wanted I would like to have some sort of configuration with one 15 inch woofer, 2 midranges, 1 tweeter, 1 super tweeter for the higher symbol sounds, and a subwoofer in the back (I've seen this somewhere, I have no idea how effective or practical it is but it is a cool idea and I'm just silly enough to do it).

    Anyway, any help/advice is appreciated.
     
  2. 04

    04 Guest

    First of all, it seems your goals are for sound quality - accurate musical reproduction and decent output, right? I'm sure the speakers you have now go nice and loud, but truthfully, just by looking at them, they probably do not sound good. Designing your own loudspeaker is a SCIENCE. You cannot just get a bunch of speakers and throw them in the box.

    Believe it or not, the electrical components inside the box known as the crossover really make or break the speaker. And figuring the correct values for all the components takes mathmatical calculations as well as listening and measuring with instruments. In short, it is a huge undertaking.

    If you want to possibly build a pair of speakers more focused on sound quality than output check out:
    www.speakerbuilder.net

    If you want to build a pair that has extremely high output, and sounds really good too, but is a little more expensive, check out:
    www.pispeakers.com
     
  3. nt

    nt Guest


    Also brace the cabinet to hell, resonance is bad. As a simple check just knock on the side of the cabinet, it sounds "hollow" it needs to be braced.

    There's also a magazine dedicated to do-it-yourself audiophiles, can't think of the name (used to speaker builder, but not anymore). It has alot of ad's from companies that build kits you can put together.

    As far as buying speakers, I go for quality over quantity. So if I were buying budget speakers, I'd go for monitors/bookshelf speakers (bookshelf is a misnomer though, b/c I place mine on stands). Something like B&W's (not their nautilus series...kind of expensive, but their cheaper line) or PSB.

    Now if you just have to rock on a budget, I like NHT. They have a small speaker out called Super Ones. They integrate really well w/ NHT's subwoofer. Excellent soundstage and accuracy, but can be a little harsh. You can find used super ones for @ $100-200, and the subwoofer usually go for a little more. That's a deal for $400-500.
     
  4. lefty

    lefty I :heart: music

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    You would be surprised at their sound quality. Yeah it's nothing compared to a set of really good speakers. But my friends tell me they sound better than $600 speakers at best buy and I have to agree :dunno:
     
  5. 04

    04 Guest

    Well, they may sound good to you guys, but they probably are not very accurate. Don't get me wrong, you should be proud you redid those yourself. But if you want speakers that an audiophile would want to own, you cannot just put a bunch of drivers together and call it a day. They might be really loud, and perhaps sound GOOD, but they wont be very accurate.

    Honestly there is a difference between an accurate speaker and one that sounds good. Bose would be an example of a speaker that people think sounds good. However, when measured they have extremly poor frequency resoponse. Yet they are probably the best known brand in home audio.

    Building a reasonably accurate speaker is not too difficult to do. The problem is, the average joe comes in and hears a bunch of neutral, accurate sounding speakers. He then hears the flashy brands with exaggerated bass and treble. At first the flashy ones sound good. But after a few months pass he gets tired of the ear piercing high frequncies and the muddy one note bass.

    So in short, for you, those may sound just fine. I would urge you to however visit the local highfi store (not bestbuy, ultimate electronics or other chains) and listen to speakers. See how they sound in relation to yours. Bring your own music in, and see the differences. If you then prefer your speakers you have now, I wouldnt take my advice, build whatever gets the loudest to suite your fancy. But if the store speakers sound remarkably better.... :)

    Also, you would be surprised in how so many people use simple two way speakers with one tweeter and woofer. The Kiss principle applys in the audio world. Having many different speakers all in one box sounds like a good idea at first, but once you start to learn more about sound reproduction and the way the speakers interact with each other, you will realize that more speakers per box doesnt necisarily mean better sound.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2002
  6. lefty

    lefty I :heart: music

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    I know you're right. But most audiophile stuff starts getting into thousands of dollars.

    And I'm not even sure if there is a hi-fi store around here. There probably is and I just don't know it.

    Thanks for the info though.
     
  7. 04

    04 Guest

    Thats cool, hey if you still might want to build your own, check out www.partsexpress.com today, the deal of the day is the br1 kit, EXCELLENT value. Its onsale for today only for 99 dollars.
     
  8. lefty

    lefty I :heart: music

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    I don't mind spending ~5-600 Just not many thousands.
     
  9. 04

    04 Guest

    http://www.pispeakers.com/Prices.htm

    Check out the stage series 3pi bass reflex. It looks like you would want a speaker that sounds good AND has extremely high output capabilities. If so, I would definatly check the Pi's out. With a pair of those, you WILL NOT be able to listen to them at full volume in a room without hearing protection on.

    If sheer output is not too high on your priorities, check out the speakers Grumppy posted... Although, I personally with that 600 would build a KILLER pair of kit speakers! :)
     
  10. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

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    Check out www.adireaudio.com

    Relatively cheap but phenomenal sound. Contrary to popular belief around here, equipment doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars for accurate sound reproduction.
     
  11. nt

    nt Guest


    Never believed you had to spend alot of money to get good sound. But, getting the best sound possible on a budget sure does take alot more work.

    Personally, I like to shop audiogon.com, which is a site similar to ebay but only dedicated to stereo equipment for those who've never visited. Always a good deal if you look hard.
     

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