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  #21 (permalink)  
Old October 19, 2009, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan500rider View Post
Now what I can't do, primarily because I'm not really an audiophile, is tell you precisely how these compare to a $250 pair of storebought speakers.
Very nice job vulcan500rider! Isn't that self adhesive vinyl wrap pleasant to work with? I've used that and veneer, and I much prefer that (actually, I've used that exact one as well!). I can say, not with 100% certainty because I've never taken apart a store bought set, that the speakers you built are much better than the store bought ones. One of the main reasons is the driver's themselves; they are of much better quality, with heavier duty magnet structures and higher sound pressure levels. Not to mention the boxes are made from heavier material, and braced, to avoid the situation that Biff mentioned.

My general rule of thumb is that to equate store bought speakers to DIY speakers, you generally have to ~double the price to get the same sound quality.

-Steve
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old October 19, 2009, 02:56 PM
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It really is great stuff to work with! My only complaint is that things can get a little dicey when you finally have to cut for the corners; sometimes the two bits meeting are a little rough. Mind you, that's user error, I'm sure, as they got better as I progressed and got the hang of using a razor blade to trim.

As for DIY vs Bought, you're definitely right about the boxes being heavier...WOW. They're like bricks! I can see how that would allow for better bass. In regard to driver quality, I have to admit that I was impressed, particularly with the woofers when I got them (as I have no idea what a "good" tweeter is supposed to look like). They have nice, heavy, yet pliable rubber around the edges and are quite heavy duty feeling, particularly when compared to the junky speakers I've had apart before, and the car audio speakers I've had some experience with. So far as sound goes, they have a nice, rich midrange to my ear, and the tweeters are like something from another planet--I've just never had that kind of clarity in the highs before. In fact, I didn't realize just how wonderful the tweeters were until earlier today when I watched a bit of 300 and was gobsmacked. Things like rain and wind moving through wheat, or the background music are just incredible.

In fact, I'm so happy with how things turned out that I have two of these and one more MTM baffle in my work area drying their first coat of primer:


I can't afford the hardware right now, but as long as I had the paint (which is kind of a PITA to find) I thought I might as well do up the baffles; if I get a decent-paying job soon (now that the M.A. is done), maybe a new centre and some surrounds aren't THAT far in the future
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Old October 19, 2009, 10:47 PM
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Heh, sounds like you're hooked on DIY audio. TBH with a lot of HT my speakers sound pretty ordinary too with the exception of the finer details like you mention, music is where the big differences are seen. Get some music that is recorded well (it's actually not that common) and see what they can really do. I find I listen to a lot of music that I never ever would have even admitted listening too for that reason.

I think you were asking about upgrade paths in the other thread. There's quite a few designs that use that tweeter but the mids not so much. I knew I'd seen it somewhere and it took a while to find it but it looks like this design uses your speakers plus some Dayton classic 8"s. It's not by an established designer but there are some notable people involved in the thread, including Curt C, the guy who designed your TriTrix.
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Old October 20, 2009, 11:29 AM
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One set of speakers that I'm very, very impressed with is the Dayton Reference Series, they're a little pricier than the classics, but the build quality on them is unreal. I've used the 5", 6" and 8" one's, and they are all outstanding. I've also used the Dayton planar tweeter, that is a thing of beauty! Great, even sound and very good looks;
Parts-Express.com:Dayton PT2C-8 Planar Tweeter | tweeters pt2c-8 planar tweeter ribbon tweeter dayton audio dayton loudspeaker dayton DayAudiTweetWoofMid050109

To be honest, I've been quite impressed with everything that I've ordered from Parts Express, even the pre-built crossovers.

I'm not a salesman .... honest!!!

-Steve
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Old October 20, 2009, 03:37 PM
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I like the looks of those upgrades, Biff, but I don't think I'll be doing them; now that the cases are made, I can't imagine redoing them for quite some time. More likely, I'll make those surrounds, and a centre (which I think would make a big difference in HT, as most of the dialogue etc seems to be put through the centre), and eventually maybe even a larger sub-kit (though that's off in the future quite a ways, I think).

I've been fairly happy with Parts-Express, KrazyUps. I'm not that thrilled about how they handled my speaker grills being out of stock (though in hindsight, I'm not entirely sure I would have wanted to use them anyway), but the prices were decent, shipping was FAST, and any questions I asked were answered quickly and succinctly. Two thumbs up!
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Old October 20, 2009, 04:27 PM
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I do really like the live chat with tech support, I've used it a couple of times and it's great! The guys on there really seem to know their stuff, and were very quick to respond.

Yeah, I don't really care for their out of stock policy (I believe that it's different for US based customers, but don't quote me on that), it just means that I have to be very careful when I go to order.

I'm kind of lucky in the fact that I only live around 4 hours away (southwestern ontario), so it's actually cheaper for me, for large orders, to drive down there and pick up what I need as opposed to having them ship it up to me. I've taken advantage of their annual tent sale the past couple of years, and saved a couple hundred bucks each time .... so well worth it!!

I know that you're just chomping at the bit to get the remaining speakers finished (or should I say, get the funds to allow you to get them finished!), and I'm sure that you will be very happy with the outcome.

You've done a fantastic job so far, I can't wait until the rest of the speakers are made!

-Steve
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Old October 20, 2009, 08:32 PM
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Yeah....my teeth are grinding already....The baffles are painted (though the second coat ended up with a few bits of dust in it...GRRR), and now I have the definite urge to buy the parts and get everything together. I've even figured out how and where I'm going to mount the new centre...<sigh>. I really need to get a good job; having your M.A. and working for peanuts sucks...
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Old October 21, 2009, 08:16 AM
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I hear you; computers and speaker building are definitely two hobbies which are monetary black holes. I've tried to make a little money off my speaker building hobby, but it's really hard ... no one wants a custom built speaker. I can see where they're coming from, they don't know anything about me or the quality of the build (pics often times don't do it justice, but you already know that!). For now, I'll just stick to friends and family who know what I'm capable of.
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Old October 22, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Amen to that. I ran a computer assembly & repair service for a while while I was finishing up my B.A., and while I broke even (and got some parts cheaper for myself due to volume), it definitely wasn't a big money-making venture. It's too hard to compete for cheap systems, and most people that want a custom system just build them themselves, as the components get better and better about working with one another out of the box. Cripes, I remember the hell it used to be just getting a CD ROM drive to work! Now everything just gets plugged in and it works...

As for speakers, I have trouble that way anyway; once I've got to all the work to build something out of wood, I want to keep it for myself. I suppose if I was getting paid great money to make them, sure, but like you said, it's not easy building and selling speakers unless you have a big company name behind you. You could just be some hack working out of the back of a van.
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Old October 23, 2009, 05:35 AM
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You could just be some hack working out of the back of a van.
Have you been spying on me?




-Steve
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