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Speaker kits in Melbourne


james66
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I'm looking at a few speaker kits and wondering if anyone has any opinions or recommendations, my budget is around $600. I'm looking at building either the Classix II's by Paul Carmody or  the LSK M6 Mk3 monitor kit and was wondering how they compare. I don't have the tools for the precision cutting so would like a kit that includes the cabinet. I've previously built the overnight sensations and love them. Any recommendations or shops to look at around Melbourne would be greatly appreciated. 

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To be honest neither are the best the m6 is expensive for what it is and the paul carmody is much better bang for buck but iv never been that impressed with the dayton designer series of driver's.

I would reccemended the following troels gravesen http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/SBAcoustics-61-MFC.htm

Or the zaph http://www.zaphaudio.com/BAMTM.html

Both represent great bang for buck diy I would say. All easily sourced and made is Australia.

Great branching project to start designing your own.

Then depends on what you prefer as look etc

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Having heard several zaph builds and owned one, they are excellent. This is the problem with online reviews - they are positive on so many things to do with stereo components. You might help the SNA members who want to comment, on the reasons in particular you like the items you've mentioned.

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Thanks for your replies, the reasons I was looking at Paul Carmody's is mostly due to the positive reviews and responses I found about it on other posts and forums, although I have never heard them. The m6 I was looking at for ease of sourcing in Australia. 

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Hi James

 

What are your listening preferences/sources, room size and cabinet size constraints, please?  Paper, composite or aluminium drivers?

 

These will have a bearing on what you could build: for $600 there are many options.

 

I think only LSK sells kits with cabinets at your price point, but it's not that hard to make them if you get the wood CNC cut for you: I use Allboards in Thomastown , who will cut + or - 1mm and round over the edges for you.  I haven't asked them, but if you provide the drivers they may also route the holes and recesses.  You can get away with surface mounting for woofers but tweeters really do need to be flush mounted.

 

Decibel Hi Fi in Brisbane sells an 'Omni-directional' kit with cabinet but that's above your budget and uses a 5" woofer. Wagner sells Peerless kits with excellent cabinets but they're beyond the $600 price point.

 

For my first truly DIY build, the Classix II, I made the cabinets from CNC cut MDF, surface mounted the drivers after cutting the mounting holes with a jigsaw, then cut a piece of Masonite to glue over the front. Yes, it looks very amateurish but that's why you have speaker grilles!

 

I also have the parts on hand to build the Classix 2.5, when I have the excuse to do so.

 

For the price, I think the Classix are very good speakers, with the proviso that they're not for larger rooms. Excellent bass, slightly 'warm' sound, and they need to be on stands. Many, many people have built them and are very happy with the sound.

 

The Dayton DC160 woofer on which they're based gets waves of hate from some circles but I like them.  Not the most attractive looking woofer, if that's a factor. 

 

Since I built the Classix II, the cost of the woofers has gone up due to the $A slide against the US. Driver cost will now be about $190: $120 for the DC160s, $70 for the BC25TG tweeters.  MDF or ply cut to size, about $90, crossover parts, terminals, wire etc about $120.  For $400, I doubt you will hear a better pair of commercial speakers. The 2.5s will have the same sound, but have a larger cabinet and will play louder.  The extra woofers will cost another $120 and an additional $30 in crossover parts.

 

The drivers could be bought from LSK or Wagner (same company now, I think).   I buy my crossover parts from Speakerbug, excellent service, price and advice.

 

I've only heard the M6 speakers once, when LSK was in Templestowe, I thought they were nice but at the time I was buying components for a different build. Other 6" 2 way options could include something with SB Acoustics 16PFC ($40), such as Michael Chua's "Larks", which sound very good, they use the same tweeter as the Classix.  The woofer frame's a strange shape, but.

 

The other 6" two way I've built  was a commercial design with a tweaked crossover.  They have the Peerless 830657 ($38) and again the VIFA BC25TG tweeter.  They sounded good and could play at a higher level than the Classix (the Peerless has more Xmax), but need a large cabinet and I can't compete with Paul Carmody's expertise in crossover design! Sound OK but there's still something not quite right about the sound.

 

If you like his Overnite Sensations, Paul's "Hitmakers" also get great reviews but are designed as studio monitors: same tweeter as the Classix but a DA175 aluminium woofer.  The woofer's more expensive than the DC160 but the design uses fewer crossover parts. Paul's floor standing "Amiga" uses the RS180 woofer and the VIFA DX25 tweeter, it may scrape in under your budget.

 

There will be other options, check out Parts Express Tech Talk, many great projects which use drivers available here: postage from the US is crazy. LSK/Wagner sell Peerless, VIFA, Dayton Audio and SB Acoustics, so you have plenty of choice.  Speakerbug sells some SEAS and other high end drivers, but I don't know of any other companies which sell hi-fi speaker parts.  There there may well be others and of course there are on-line vendors.

 

Hope this helps

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Millar
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On ‎18‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 8:53 AM, james66 said:

Thanks for your replies, the reasons I was looking at Paul Carmody's is mostly due to the positive reviews and responses I found about it on other posts and forums, although I have never heard them. The m6 I was looking at for ease of sourcing in Australia. 

There's nothing wrong with looking at on-line reviews; as you can seldom audition DIY speakers, it's the only way to get an idea of what speakers may sound like.  Of course, everyone's room is different and that will affect the sound.  However, if a DIY product like the Classix II, or Tritrix, or Zaph's BAMTM, or whatever, gets good reviews from different people on different web sites, I think that's a good guide for what to expect. 

 

I found that the designers' write ups of the Classix and Tritrix, for example, were honest about the pros and cons of their designs and were very accurate in describing the sound.

 

Geoff

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Wow Geoff, thanks for your detailed and extremely helpful response. I am still quite new to the world of diy speakers. I am really looking for the best bang for buck speaker design which is fairly accessible to get the parts for, $600 was not a hard budget and would spend more if necessary. I listen to a wide range of music from rock to modern day electronic and don't have any size constraints per se although i prefer the look of bookshelf speakers on stands. I will check out the stores mentioned above and hopefully find a design with drivers available in Australia.

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No probs, happy to help.

 

Apart from choosing the design, the cabinet will be your biggest challenge. If you limit yourself to a project with pre-fab or finished cabinets, your choice will be rather narrow. Before diving into DIY I spent many hours on the Internet looking at designs, prices etc and all I could really find by way of speakers with cabinets were LSK, Decibel Hi Fi and Wagner (for the Peerless HDS kits).

 

If you have the cabinets made for you by a cabinet maker, that will probably cost you $250-$450 each for the finished product, so there goes your budget. We were lucky to have a family friend make and finish our first pair for a reasonable price and they look great. 

 

If you buy CNC cut wood, you have to is cut the driver and port tube holes and screw/glue it all together. And assemble/solder the crossovers, which even an electronics idiot like me can do.  Cabinet finish is then up to you.

 

I think a 6” two way or 5" mtm might be the way to go if you want to mount on stands. I highly recommend building a design which has been widely built and well-reviewed, there are plenty around.

 

I have to say that our first and main pair of DIY speakers - Curt Campbell's "Slapshot" MTMs - sound better to my ears than anything I've heard in a shop which cost at least two or three times as much.  Current driver cost from LSK would be about $700, with another $100 or so for the crossover parts. Dayton RS180P woofers  - very snazzy looking drivers - and Morel CAT 378 tweeters. Might be a little lacking in bass for electronica but fine with anything else. Will you be using a sub?

 

We're also very happy with our Classix and Tritrix designs, even if my home-made cabinets with Hendrix decoupage look 'interesting'.  Scores of happy builders for each of those designs.

 

Another option is just to buy a pair of good quality second-hand speakers, but that won't provide the satisfaction that DIY can deliver.

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Millar
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