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Old September 23, 2009, 08:20 PM
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Default Any good DIY speaker suppliers in Canada?

Hi All!

I'm thinking about maybe making my next project a set of DIY tower speakers for my HT setup. I have spent some time on AVSforum and the like researching, but I really haven't a clue what I'm doing so far as crossovers and whatnot go, so I'm looking for a speaker kit (though I will make the cabinets myself).

I looked at a place called PartsExpress and found a cool kit called the "recession buster" kit, which is more or less what I'm looking for, but I would prefer to order something from Canada, if possible.

Does anyone know of a place with decent (somewhat comparable) prices on this side of the border?
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Old September 23, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Solen has been around for years. I bought some stuff from them in the late '80s.

Solen Electronique Inc.
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Old September 24, 2009, 12:00 AM
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Vulcan, I'm into DIY speakers. From what I've read the RB kit is OK but not great. AFAIK they used up some existing 'prebuilt' crossovers and slightly modified them. I have seen alternative crossovers to make them sound better though. BTW the RB kit is from Madisound, Parts Express has the 'Recession Destroyer' which is a design from a very respected XO designer... though keep in mind they are cheapie drivers. I've used Solen a few times and they've been good to deal with.

You can part out the same kit from solen though it won't seem like as good of a deal but we're in Canada and things cost more anyway. If you want some help (or maybe ever steer you to a different design) let me know. If you're going to go through the effort of building boxes it might be worth it to consider a better design... unless ofcourse you're trying to reach a price point. Here's the actual write up of PE's RD kit, properly called the TriTrix.
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Old September 24, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Don't really know where you can get the stuff but DIY speakers brings back memories, here's a book I got a long time ago when I was in to this.

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Old September 24, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Thank you for all the responses. I suppose I really should have provided more info....

HalifaxPete: It looks like most of the stuff Solon has as kits is WAY above budget for me, but thank you.

TopDogZero: Maybe that's where I should be starting...Maybe if I knew WTF I was doing with crossovers, etc, I could just put together my own speaker kit...

Biff:I would love some help, as I'm clearly clueless. Yes, I am trying to work with a particular price point; I'm not exactly rolling in money, and I would like to be able to assemble a speaker set for around $200 total (including wood for cabinets). Yes, I know that's a pretty limited budget, but that's why I was looking at the Recession Destroyer (thanks for the correction) kit. As I have no idea how to assemble or tweak a crossover, I figured it would be a pretty good place to start.

For reference, I'm upgrading from a Sony HTIB, which puts out ~90w per channel @ 6ohms, and up to 140w for the front two. All I know about the speakers are that they're 2 7/8" cone style "full range" speakers. I figure it can't be hard to put together something more impressive in tower form.

Also, thanks for the link. The one I had been looking at was this one: Parts Express DIY Project

My only real complaints with it are: a) the opening in the back, as I have cats, and they would get in there (though I could always just put a screen on it) and b) size. I haven't got much room to work with, particularly in terms of width, and primarily at the base. It would be ideal if I could have a tower that allowed me to have the base sit underneath the subwoofer I have to the right of my TV, or somehow around it, so that I don't have thm sitting side by side and sticking out into the somewhat limited walking space I have to work with. My worry is that I also don't know much about how much air and space speakers require to perform properly. <sigh> Maybe I do just need to read up on the whole idea. Speaker building for dummies, perhaps? <laugh> Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old September 24, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Biff: I just took another look at that link you posted for me; I had only glanced at it before, and I see that on page 3 it actually has a number of different designs for the speakers...YAY! Maybe I'll make the stand portion however the hell I want then, and use the vented or sealed speaker design. Any reason I should prefer one or the other?
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Old September 24, 2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcan500rider View Post
Biff: I just took another look at that link you posted for me; I had only glanced at it before, and I see that on page 3 it actually has a number of different designs for the speakers...YAY! Maybe I'll make the stand portion however the hell I want then, and use the vented or sealed speaker design. Any reason I should prefer one or the other?

If my memory serves me I think a vented or ported box gives more bass or puts more emphasis on the bass tone? A lot of smaller boxes tend to use the ported design, but you should try and mach your speakers to the box. I'm sure there must be some guides online that will help you to mach speakers with the right size boxes.
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcan500rider View Post
Maybe that's where I should be starting...Maybe if I knew WTF I was doing with crossovers, etc, I could just put together my own speaker kit...
I think you'd be getting in over your head, A book like that won't get you too far as the design process goes. I've dabbled a bit with XO design since the available simulation software is getting really good but I can tell you it's not easy. The design process goes like this:

- You need measured frequency response graphs and impedence graphs of the drivers you intend to use... assuming you picked ones that will play nice together to begin with.
- You import that data into a software package and simulate what effects the box (as in enclosure volume and port tuning frequency) will have on both the frequency response and impedence and save that.
- Then you take that data and import it into a different software package that with simulate what the physical shape of the box will do to that data. Here you need to state exactly where on the front baffle the speakers are. The distance the speaker is away from a box edge will give an effect called diffraction and you need to know what that is and decide if you want to offset the tweeter. You also have to add baffle step compensation. When the wavelength of the sound reaches the same length as the baffle is wide the sound will wrap around the speaker and you will be producing bass all the wat around the speaker not just in front. So in the listening position you just lost half the bass energy so you need to compensate for that. Then you also extrase phase information.
- Then you dump all this data into a crossover simulator and start designing the XO keeping track of cross over frequency vs. driver center to center spacing, making sure the signal gets to your ears time aligned and in proper phase after you have taken the into account the acoustic offset of each driver. You also have to make sure the impedence doesn't take any strange dips that could cause an amp's overload to trigger, and make sure the phase doesn't vary too far or you could drive your amp into oscillation.
- When you're happy with that you can build it, then voice it and/or run some measurements and then tweak the design for a few months till its just right.
- and I think I forgot some steps in there somewhere


...or you can build somebody else's published design that has already gone through this for you. The 'textbook' crossover books like that teach you won't get you close to what the above method will produce.

That big box is called a transmission line and apparently has very nice bass at the expense of a pretty large box. A ported enclosure will allow the driver to play lower and a sealed box will usually sound 'tighter' and be easier to integrate with a subwoofer. And yes drivers will lend them selves usually to one design or the other.

You might be pushing it on $200 but I'll see what I can dig up for designs without having to order parts from the U.S.. Actually making the XO is easy. Just twist the wires together as per the diagram and solder. Tiewrap it and hot glue it to a scrap board or pegboard and voila! I know it sounds slap'n'tack but most do it that way.

I'll get a list of links together, in the meantime anything you cantell me about your goals? Do you just want to focus on something that is just loud or I'm assuming focus more on sound quality, which will pretty much require small speakers for the $$$ you're looking at.

And for your reading pleasure , here's a build thread I made for my first build... which BTW could be a good design for you though I'm sure it will end up a little over your price goal.
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Last edited by biff; September 24, 2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:26 PM
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I was checking out the Solen site - Biff- I need a new tweeter for my Paradigm CC370 center speaker- as long as the dimensions are equal and the tweeter matches the hole, should I be alright ordering it- all of the 26mm tweeters seem to have fairly similar specs. I was perusing the SEAS prestige line- are they good?
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Old September 24, 2009, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babrbarossa View Post
I was checking out the Solen site - Biff- I need a new tweeter for my Paradigm CC370 center speaker- as long as the dimensions are equal and the tweeter matches the hole, should I be alright ordering it- all of the 26mm tweeters seem to have fairly similar specs.
I'm not a designer so I don't really know but I don't think it would be OK if you're looking for the same sound quality. The new tweet maybe the same size but if its not a direct replacement it will have completely different characteristics so even if the new tweet is technically better the XO won't be optmized for it. Who knows you may get lucky and it will work out. I'd get on an audio forum and ask there, maybe somebody will be familiar with it. Parts Express has a good forum.

[edit]BTW yes Seas makes some nice stuff[/edit]
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