building some full range speakers on the cheap. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-07-2009, 10:42 AM
I had this funny idea the other day. You all remember those Insignia NS-B2111's that BB sold for under a hundred dollars? Well i have heard them and they sound okay but the enclosures are top notch for the price, all i would need to do is maybe add some better fill inside and add another brace. I have been interested in owning a pair of full range speakers for a while and figure what a greater way to get into it then a cheap way like this!

This will be a crossoverless speaker.

The Insignia's have a coax driver which means no tweeter in the box, perfect switch out for a 6.5" full range driver! I have been looking at the Fostex FF165K drivers for $67 each and the Audio Nirvana Super 6.5 cast frames for $160pr

I will be only using these in a small 2 channel setup and only for music.

Anyone used these drivers or know of others?

Or any other things I should know!

Thanks guys!

harley .guy07
10-07-2009, 01:04 PM
Before changing them that much I would look around the DIY speaker building sites on the web. There have been people out there take this inexpensive speaker and make it much better than it started with. it might give you some ideas for your project.

audio amateur
10-07-2009, 01:09 PM
It's not as simple as swapping out drivers for better quality ones.
You also need to consider the enclosure (volume, ported vs sealed etc) and the crossover. That is, unless the end result doesn't matter too much to you.
Do you have any experience in speaker design/DIY?

10-07-2009, 01:37 PM

10-07-2009, 03:34 PM
The AN woofers are ment to be crossoverless fullrange woofers in a ported box. As i was looking online, I found that cheap, square boxes are around like $120-$200 dollars. The Insignia cabs are the perfect size and shape for the job. I figure it's a all around $250 job for the Insignias and the woofers. I plan to have a guy in PA make custom cabs for me if I like the woofers, if not, I will at least have had fun and have a good pair of bookshelfs to use.

The guy that builds the custom boxes wants $500^ for his stuff and I wanna be sure im into the whole crossoverless thing before investing that much into it. I've read many places it sounds great and I figure why not, If i dont really like the A'N woofers, I can sell them to a friend, who's also into the idea and just keep the Insignias for light stereo or computer listening.

Just looking for a cheap way to have some fun with my friends! I saw a thread that had a full disect on the Insignias and they are built (cabs) top notch for 90 bones. From what i read crossover'less speakers have a great musical feel to them, and thats me....MUSICAL! I am getting more into alot of chill and full of life music and i want a way to really live it without spending a arm and a house.

For around $250, I doubt im going to have as much fun or get a honestly better speaker.

Correct me if i am wrong!

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 05:28 PM
found a good website for you to check out about moding these speakers. Go to zaph audios web site and he talks about this speaker and possible mods for it. It might give you some insight

10-13-2009, 05:33 PM
If I understand you correctly, you don't want to mod or upgrade the Insignia just want to use the Insignia box for your full range drivers. If I had the level of interest in full range driver speakers that you have I'd go forward with your plan. I think it's an interesting idea.

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 05:40 PM
Thats part of what Zaph audio talks about on his site. Parts express and Madisound both sell some interesting full range drivers you could take a look at.

10-13-2009, 06:26 PM
I figure, The woofers are $130 for the pair, and the insignias are $80. I mean they are anti-standing wave side wall cabs with good mdf for $80? Its that, or have someone build cabs for $500.

I looked on parts express for full range, and they only have one woofer and I do believe it's a 8".

I plan on buying a t-amp, a 12v bat charger and making those speakers. From everything I have heard online, for the almost nothing It would cost to make this, It will be very pleasing.

t-amp (sub)$200
Insignia cabs $80
Woffers $130
Interconnects $60

Total of drum roll!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the website for the woofer company, very interesting!!

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 07:03 PM
try madisound, they have a bigger selection of drivers and will be the most likely to have something that would work. Parts Express has a habbit of doing away with drivers that arent selling and what you are wanting to do is by no means a bad thing its just not what most people think of when building speakers. I am not sure where you found the woofers that you are planning to use just make sure they will work in the cubic feet of these cabnets. Dampening materials inside the cabinet will help make the cabinet tighten up the sound and if you really wanted zero cabinet resonance I would line the cabinets with a good quality dampening material glued to each side and back of the cabinet. It will make the world of difference as I have experienced myself. When you put these drivers in you will probably have to play around with different amounts of acoustic filler in the cabs to find the right balance that makes these drivers work there best in these cabinets. but thats part of the diy thing. A lot of trial and error untill you get what you are after.

10-13-2009, 07:58 PM
Thats the name of the game though. The company deals with only full-range single driver speakers. They carry many brands, as this is their house brand made to take over a fostex(?) driver that was ment for bass reflex cabs that they cancelled. There is alot of reviews online of them.

I will check out the place you said, and see what they got to offer. I did alot of reading before I made up my mind on this, so I did get alot of info before just jumping at a idea. I read up on all different brands of fullrange drivers and the use in bass reflex cabs. Some of the drivers are only ment to work in horn setups so its a gotta make sure thing, or you will have a horrible sounding paper woofer! And who wants that!

The whole plan here was the buy the Insignias to test out the woofers to see if I am even digging the full-range thing. Then if things go well, have some beautiful cabs made for them!

10-13-2009, 08:03 PM
I checked out that site, and Its a no go. Just a cheap, ugly fostex 6.5 for the same price as the ones I am looking at.

I have a strange feeling, I've been to that site in my search

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 08:11 PM
Well then I hope it goes well for you in your build. the bad ass thing about diy is that you can tweak and play with different things and try to get the sound you are looking for. you arent just stuck with what you buy. Hell My Paradigm mods were probably the most simple mods I have done to a pair of speakers in a long time and they came out way better than expected. Its surprising what new tweeters,zobel networks, and some new crossover caps will due to some 15 year old speakers.

10-13-2009, 08:13 PM
Nice!! How do they sound compared to what they did and how much did ya dish for mods??

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 08:42 PM
Well it made a whole new speaker out of them really. The tweeters I got for about 55 bucks and I can't remember the amount on the crossover components, I know they were not over about 25 bucks or so. The tweeters are very smooth sounding and with the zobel networks allowing the crossovers to work more effectivly on the midbass drivers it smoothed them out as well. The speakers now are good for any kiind of music you can throw at them and they bring out stuff I never heard these speakers bring out in music I have been listening to for years. They image and soundstage about twice as good as they did in stock form and almost make me want to quit looking for a speaker upgrade prodject but I have had these a long time. I will probably move these to a second system and either build or by used some higher end speakers at some point, not to say these are bad. they are light years ahead of what they started at. Anyone who has heard the older Paradigm monitor 7's know that they put good midbass drivers in them but the tweeters were way too bright and the crossovers were not effective enough to produce great imaging and soundstaging(crossovers can really get in the way of that if not done properaly).I remember reading some of the reviews on these speakers back in the mid to late 90's and those were the main downpoints of the monitor 7's so as a challenge for myself I wanted to try to overcome these shortcomings and take them to the next level. All my friends who have heard them that study audio as well were all impressed by how much better they sound and can't believe that now they can hold their own against some of my friends speakers that are around 1000 bucks and are just a couple of years old. That to me makes me feel like I met the challenge. I don't think I will get rid of them just yet even though I might still upgrade

harley .guy07
10-13-2009, 08:46 PM
this is a picture of them after I built the tweeter pods on them and was just listening to them for the first time.

10-14-2009, 10:56 AM
sweet! looks good! I had the 5se-mk3 ,a single driver version of yours I believe. I hated the color, loved how they sounded-ish. Mine were the same color as yours, but my living room is red and black so they stuck out like you wouldnt believe. They sounded so so so horrible on the kenwood they came with, but when I hooked them up to my pioneer they really sounded good. I guess I just thought they were too laid back, not bright enough per-say.

Maybe mine were of a different breed then your's, at least maybe a different crossover. I really do with I would have kept them. Could have painted them or something!

10-14-2009, 10:56 AM
Does your's have the floor spike threads on the bottom??

harley .guy07
10-14-2009, 11:25 AM
Mine do have the spikes and your 5se-mk3 are an earlier model that Do not have exactly the same drivers as the Monitor line. the monitor line has a better mica poly midbass and a little better crossover design. Not to say that mine did not need improvement because they did. And the tweeter in the 5se was a soft dome tweeter I believe, I might be wrong about this but I am pretty sure. Paradigm started the Titanium tweeter in the monitor series and their first few version of it were bright as hell. I have found over the years that I prefer soft dome tweeters for their smooth accurate responce and non fatiging nature. Thats not to say there are bad soft domes out there but a well built soft dome tweeter is heaven to my ears.

10-14-2009, 06:55 PM
Ah, well for the $120 I paid for them, a pair of atoms and a kenwood receiver I was quite happy! It was a soft dome. It might of just been a good mix with my Pioneer amp I dont know. I think at that point I was listening to exclusive heavy death metal in the nasty bitrate and they were not what I wanted them to be and my JBL's at the time hid mistakes In music better. Though I do remember them sounding amazing on rock. God I kick myself all the time for selling them.

I did sell them (just the mk3's and the atoms - "with rotted surrounds") for $225 (paid $125 for all three) and sold the receiver for $20. Then hooked up the guys home theater for $120!!

I enjoyed the money!

harley .guy07
10-14-2009, 07:18 PM
well it sounds like you got descent money out of them. and you are probably right. You loose alot of music information in mp3 format, I have learned this through my own studying and what the other people on this siight have said on computer audio. I mean I would not put them against studio 60 or 100's or something like that I woud be stupid to do so. I know the limitations of what I am working with. My challenge was to make them do the most they are capable of within reason. I am not going to build new cabinets for old drivers and i am not going to put 100 dollar a piece tweeters in a 15 year old speaker design. Within the limits I set I think I did good making them sound as good as anything in a small floorstander in the under 1000 dollar class. And I'm glad you enjoyed the money because you got pretty good money out of them. By the way do you like my steroid super dog!!

10-17-2009, 09:07 AM
Very much so! The dog looks like a monster. If I come across a pair of the ones I had in the under $100 range, I would pick them up for sure. Just very relaxing to me.