Advice On A Custom System? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-19-2008, 02:54 PM
OK, here's the deal.

This set of Sounds Dynamics speakers has been in my home for a while,
originally purchased by my parents as a part of a larger home stereo.
One's blown, clearly, the tweeters have their cones punched in,
and they're in generally hard shape (they need to be repainted, sanded and stained, etc.).
I was going to make a project out of it, seeing has I've been planning on replacing my current 100 Watt Aiwa piece of crap anyways.
I'd have to clean up the boxes and replace the woofers and tweeters with one's from an online source, giving it an output power of close to 400 Watts and hopefully have myself a neat little system (they only measure roughly 2.5 feet by 1.25).

I'd have to spend at least $200.00 not counting a receiver. Is this feasible? I'm no expert on these things and don't want to spend a load of cash and get nothing out of it.

Thanks for any help,

04-19-2008, 04:39 PM
Welcome to AudioReview. Looks like you need to repalce the surrounds on the woofers. Check for surround repalcement kits. The cones should still move even though the surrounds are shot. If the cones do not move at low volumes than they are blown and need replaced. If the cones move repalcing the surrounds is fairly inexpensive compared to new drivers. The pushed in dust caps on the woofers will not effect the sound. The resolution is not good enough that I can see if the tweeter domes are damaged. When you have the speakers hooked up listen to hear if the tweeters are working.

New veneer is also available to cover the speakers. Many speakers originally had vinyl covering over mdf particle board and you may have trouble refinishing the cabinets if the veneer or vinyl is damaged. Better to replace it.

04-19-2008, 05:01 PM
Alright, thanks.

I'm fairly sure the tweeter domes are in fine working shape, they're made of steel or some other metal, I'm not a geologist, haha.
Just as a thought, could you give me a general idea of how much replacing the drivers would cost, or recommend an affordable home system? I was looking for some more power, and I lean towards audiophilia.
Budget price in the long run I suppose, under $750 (I'm only 17, money is tight) including shipping from an online retail, my location is far from ideal for purchasing pretty much anything, let alone stereos.


Mr Peabody
04-19-2008, 07:59 PM
If the speakers are shot, I'd recommend just buying new. There is a lot to replacing drivers. The drivers are custom designed or selected for the size of the cabinet and to work with the crossover. You can't just replace a 6" woofer with any 6" woofer and expect it to sound right, just an example.

If you really lean toward audiophilia take a look at:

Pay close attention to the L54 and don't be afraid of the power ratings, NAD is conservative and their 50 watts will sound 10 times louder and hundred times better than that Aiwa thing. Pair this up with a set of Paradigm bookshelves and you'd have a very nice system that sounds much better than any mass market stuff.

If you aren't opposed to used, Adcom separates are a great bargain on You can get a gtp-450 and gfa-5400 for less than $500.00. This is a preamp/tuner and 125x2 power amp. I actually have a 5400 I'd sell if you could find a preamp. Send me a message if interested.

JM, #2 post, has had good luck with his Onkyo 9555. One other user had problems with it driving a difficult speaker load though so stick with a speaker with stable impedance and some sensitivity. and both carry Marantz and offer a 30 day return if not happy.

Out of all of these, that L54 would be a good performer in a tighty package if you could swing it. All the other options you'd still have to buy a cd player.

04-20-2008, 06:21 AM
I'm certainly not opposed to buying used Mr. Peabody.

But before I start buying components, I could use a bit of a crash course in how things work...I was just reading this page:

And some things I'm not 100% on.
Just to use as an example, I have a pair of Technics SB-A10's in my home, spec's below.

Technics 3 Way Speaker System:

Model: SB-A10

Impedance: 8 ohms

Input power: 200W

Crossover frequency: 3000Hz-6000Hz

Output sound pressure level: 91dB/W (at/a 1m)

Woofer cone type: 25 cm (10")

Midrange cone type, ferrofluid: 10cm (4")

Tweeter, cone type, ferrofluid: 5.5 cm (2 - 1/8")

Dimensions (W x H x D): 360x733x265

The amp that came with this set originally is long broken, as well as the CD Player. I still have the radio tuner and cassette deck, as well as the original turntable (in need of a needle at the moment). If I pair this, say, a NAD C325BEE (no idea if that's appropriate), what would the result be? Would I get more power out of the 200W speakers?

Thanks for any help.

Mr Peabody
04-20-2008, 12:00 PM
The Technics may not be the last word in audiophilia but you have almost everything you need. Pair it with a NAD integrated and you are good to go. The integrated will be your control center and power the speakers, you just plug your tuner etc into it. If you don't have a CD player you might still want to look at the L54. But the 325 and matching CD player may be cheaper, not sure without going back to the list. I recommend buying the best amp you can, use your existing equipment and upgrade other pieces as you get the funds to do so. Or, you may find with a better amp and cdp you are satisfied

The thing about amps is all watts are not equal. Your speakers being rated at 200 watts means that's the recommended power handling and those speakers it's probably a very short term power handling. The NAD being of better quality will drive the speakers louder and sound much better than what you have now.

A preamp is just the volume, source selector and some have tone controls, the controlling component. It gets hooked up to a power amp which is nothing but the power to drive the speaker and the speakers get hooked to it.

An integrated is the preamp and power in one box.

A receiver is basically an integrated with a tuner, and now home theater processing.

The more you cram into one box the more corners have to be cut. With that being said there is good and not so good in each category. For instance, there are some killer integrated amps out there that rival or beat some complete separates. There are some receivers from NAD, Rotel or Music Hall that can keep up with some integrated amps. In general with separates it gives better isolation and more room for power supplies and heat sinks. Again, generally, integrated and separates tend to use better parts and strive for a higher quality sound.

Mr Peabody
04-20-2008, 12:08 PM
For the most part that is a good article you posted.

04-20-2008, 12:53 PM
Alright thanks.....A CD player isn't really a big deal for me anyways, as I generally use AUX input and my iPod.

Mr Peabody
04-20-2008, 01:05 PM
Aaaaaah!! No he didn't, did you say you were leaning more toward audiophilia and admit listening to mp3 in the same thread? :) If you are using Lossless or at least a high variable bit rate, you may get decent sound but if you have a smaller compression rate mp3 you might as well forget good sound. You can get it loud and maybe improve it some but the information has to be there for good sound quality and detail.

04-20-2008, 01:50 PM
I wasn't aware FLAC was even playable on portable media players...but yes, I do use MP3's.
I didn't know that so much quality was lost as opposed to buying discs(?).

Mr Peabody
04-20-2008, 02:21 PM
There is a pretty good amount of info missing, it's the compression that gets me. After I got a mp3 player I hooked it up to a good system and it was bad, I never done that again. I learned if you go into the program you use to Rip & Burn, set it to "variable bit rate" and one of the highest rates, it does make a big improvement. I'm not sure what effect it would have on already downloaded music, all of mine are from CD to begin with. I think there may be a couple mp3's that use FLAC. I'm really a novis at mp3. I just use a Creative Lab Zen Stone for commuting on public transportation. From what I understand most download in Lossless then let it convert to the best file for their player.

The only way you would know how much difference would be to compare the same song on a mp3 to a disc.

04-20-2008, 03:45 PM
I generally use the highest possible bit rate...I'm perplexed as to if anything major gets lost in terms of quality though. If you're playing a CD through your PC, and rip it at 320 kb/s, I don't think any quality lost will be major.

audio amateur
04-21-2008, 03:22 AM
Aaaaaah!! No he didn't, did you say you were leaning more toward audiophilia and admit listening to mp3 in the same thread? :) If you are using Lossless or at least a high variable bit rate, you may get decent sound but if you have a smaller compression rate mp3 you might as well forget good sound. You can get it loud and maybe improve it some but the information has to be there for good sound quality and detail.
We're not talking about a super system here, so most likely compression or not will not make a whole lot of difference

Mr Peabody
04-21-2008, 06:51 PM
Compression makes a difference on what ever. It makes a big difference what file size I use just with my mp3 and headphones. Switching to variable bit rate really made an improvement.