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Are diy speaker projects worth it?


Type 1

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Sooo… every so often in life, we get this desire to get involved in a new project…

So, apparently Our life focuses on the Retail Therapy 🤑 thing.
However, We somehow know that we are better than that….

But, we have done a little research and realise that just joining random speaker drivers together and boxing them won’t do it.

So we think 🤔, why not look at diy kits to get a nice project and some value for money ( at the cost of some blood, sweat and tears).

Soo…. I’ve been looking at the SB Acoustics Rinjani kit. Except I’m kind of a cheap skate, but have access to endless plywood/ mdf and CNC machining time, so, I don’t want to buy their Asian made boxes and would rather DIY the boxes myself.

Their design is available online, but it’s not the easiest…. They seem to be trying to avoid boxy vibrations. Are they trying too hard? Could it be simplied.

The Elsinore design by Mr Joe Rasmussen is kind of similar $$$ 

what do you think???

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1 hour ago, Type 1 said:

Could it be simplied.

Internally, yes, if you know what you are doing.

Externally, not really....  if you changed any thing to do with:

  • The box tilt
  • The baffle edges
  • Position of the drivers relative to the baffle edges or to another driver

Then you would need to new crossover design.

 

1 hour ago, Type 1 said:

The Elsinore design by Mr Joe Rasmussen is kind of similar $$$ 

what do you think???

The Elsinore will probably be a better IMO (but bigger) speaker.

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Thanks Dave, 

I’ve  heard that you can’t mess with things too much before you need a crossover redesign.

soooo, the sb acoustics design looks a lot like some of the Richter speakers… they claim to have good construction… is it worth making boxes, even at nearly cost free , if you can get something off the shelf?

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Thanks for your opinion Dave.

Mass production and marketing likes to con us that their products are better..

As an out there question, where do do you think Adelaide Speakers fit into that?

 

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It all depends how do you define "worth". To do it properly a decent pair of speakers will cost you a lot of money and time. However, if you learn to enjoy the process and focus on the journey and not the end result - the experience is invaluable.

 

Could it be simplified - of course - commercial brands were doing that for ages and charging people a lot of money in the process.

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1 hour ago, Type 1 said:

where do do you think Adelaide Speakers fit into that?

They are built to a low price.   I think they do a good job of focussing on what is important, given the budget constraint.

 

They use relatively expensive drivers, given the overall cost of the speaker.... they use relatively simple and cheap to build cabinets (in their standard models), and use (in the models I have measured, which is only 2) well designed crossovers, but with (relatively) inexpensive parts.  I think this is a all up a good choice of compromises, as said, if you want the price to be what it is (relatively low).

 

Something like a Richter (like you mentioned) will look a lot better, and you can try them in the shop, etc.... but the cabinet is only better visually, and the drivers are worse.

 

At this sort of level, I'd say that having and using EQ in your system is the biggest step froward someone can take for the $ (both to help the performance of the sound, and also to get it sounding how you want).

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Without a doubt DIY is worth it , can't be beaten for bang for buck , check out my build log here 

Very similar to the SB Acoustics Rinjani kits and recently I have replaced the tweeter and 6.5" driver with the textreme equivalents for a very nice improvement , very very nice sounding DIY speakers with the best midrange I have ever listened too.

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I am, and always have been a DIYer in this hobby, but with extensive experience I came to realise the real value and best result (for me) has been buying quality used speakers, as is the case with most hifi. My time is extremely valuable (to me) and I spent a lot of wasted time and frustration building when I'd have preferred to be listening to music. The classifieds, Gumtree and FB Marketplace are littered with bargains. But, if you have an itch to scratch then go for it. 

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I have built several DIY speakers over 40+ years 

All of them were worth it 

 

Although my current speakers were originally built by another member with the help of a cabinet maker I finished them off with custom crossovers and other tweaks 

 

 

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A few years and iterations in these, but happy with where we are now. JBL drivers (except LF) and Azura horns.

 

I agree with the points here, and would advocate for using an existing design if only to avoid the uncertainty of knowing if what you’ve made stands on par with what’s out there… 

 

https://imgur.com/a/NbywTsH

Edited by crtexcnndrm99
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Hi Mr Tal! And others who have built Troels Graveson kits…

 

Have you sourced all the gear from his website?

Do the drivers come in the kit and are there any complications with Australian Customs, bringing in imported goods?

Thanks

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Hey @Type 1, I recently went down the DIY path. I did a little post on a local Australian business. I believe they also sell just the drivers, parts and plans so you can make your own cabinets.

 

The Speaker Project - Trohet build - Speakers, Soundbars and Subwoofers - StereoNET International

 

Hopefully that link takes you through, a really rewarding process.

 

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No , I purchased everything locally from WES components but you need an account or you can purchase from their retail outlet https://www.wagneronline.com.au/ and had the wood cut at Plyco , you can give them a cutting list and they will accurately cut the wood to order.

 

It would not be cost effective to import the kits , shipping and our exchange rate would kill the cost advantage of DIY.

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Troels kits are sold via Jamtzen Audio in Poland. Shipping is FedEx., non negotiable. Your kit choices are with all drivers included,  some drivers, or no drivers. No other options, except the level of crossover components.  Whatever your choice, the FedEx shipping cost remains the same. For import duty, total parts cost not including shipping must be under $1k AUD and it will be duty free. 

 His current kits do not display the crossover component values, but once his kits are not current he will post the values so you can source everything locally from Wes etc.

If you buy a current kit like I did you are in a gentleman's agreement not to disclose the crossover values.

If any of the above sounds a little unfair,  balance that against the realization that you are buying a kit from one of the best designers in the world. Specifically the kit I mentioned,  T went out of his way to design a maximum bang for buck creation and I am incredibly pleased with the results. If you choose the same, I sincerely doubt that you will be disappointed.  

I must say, he describes that kit as being simple to make. Remember,  he is a master craftsman.  Simple for him was not so simple for me lol. Unless you are a proficient woodworker I'd advise getting the cabinets professionally built. 

Have fun, enjoy the music:)

 

By the way, the kit includes everything except wood and glue. 

 

Edited by tal
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I would personally head towards a well documented and sorted controlled directivity Econowave design, or if you funds allow a sorted Pro driver pseudo 3way, using a coaxial wide bandwidth - dual diaphragm compression/waveguide and 12/15inch woofer. Add capable/quality subs if needed, and enjoy.. 

 

My preference would always be to go active with DSP crossovers, allowing discrete driver customisation for phase/amplitude in room, and personal preference. 

 

The Troels Loudspeaker I or II is also very lovely, but also very expensive to acquire drivers and passive components ; hence build cost is second guess territory. 

 

 

Edited by Grizaudio
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10 hours ago, tal said:

…….I must say, he describes that kit as being simple to make. Remember,  he is a master craftsman.  Simple for him was not so simple for me lol. Unless you are a proficient woodworker I'd advise getting the cabinets professionally built. 

Have fun, enjoy the music:)

 

By the way, the kit includes everything except wood and glue. 

 

So true.  Get someone with access to CNC equipment or similar, e.g SNA @Sub Sonic or commercial entity / or as @tal says a cabinet maker. 

Then it’s a much simpler assembly and finishing job. 
Considering the markup on commercial speakers is about 10:1, if you DIY with an acknowledged design and keep to the components/plans then you are going to come out on top. 
In my Linkwitz LX521.4 build I estimate I saved at least 50% on the landed cost of their built/shipped to your door units. I could have saved more but for a couple of errors and also not willing to undertake the electronic build (x-overs/amplifiers). 

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Thanks Tal for your explanation!

That makes sense!

Thanks Frankn. In my work situation I have virtually free access to CNC and quality plywood and Mdf ( is there such a thing as quality Mdf! 🤣),So that part isn’t really a problem.. sadly I don’t have Electronics background…I just love the music!

 

I imagine Making sense of the hidden costs for DIY speakers ( exchange rates, freight etc) is important to make sure we can cope with budget blowouts!

 

Sadly the room in which I play music is quite big, so some of the smaller kits although very good ( Lenehan etc) probably wouldn’t be the best choice,

 

Thanks for your thoughts so gentlemen!!

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11 minutes ago, Type 1 said:

Sadly the room in which I play music is quite big, so some of the smaller kits although very good ( Lenehan etc) probably wouldn’t be the best choice,

 

Elsinore is the good option then...

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Agree with all the above.  One thing I would add is that DIY speakers really make sense if you can do the woodwork yourself-that's where the big costs are.   Find a well documented recipe on the net using non-exotic drivers you can source locally,  source crossover parts locally eg Speakerbug and you have a great, inexpensive speaker.  The "Troels" kit route has great appeal but I'm not sure the value is there.

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Thanks Gents!

I’ve been looking at different options and quite like the look of Jim Hotz Anthologys. 
I figure it’s a bit more work because you have to source all the bits yourself, ( unlike the Elsonores, which is pretty much just an assembly job apart from the cabinets.. I have access to free Cnc, so not really a problem).

The Anthologys appeal because they should fill a big room and I like the idea of some mid range reflection from the back of the cabinet to liven up the sound.

Also the crossover is relatively simple compared to some.


Part of the reason for starting this project is because at present I have hybrid panel speakers and they are getting old and I expect one day they will let me down and will be too expensive to fix.

 

Any thoughts Gentlemen?

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