DIY newbie advice

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  • 09-13-2004, 05:10 PM
    soundslike
    DIY newbie advice
    In an exhausting search to find an audiophile grade pair of used standmounts for under $600 I have decided to go the DIY route (for hopefully a few bucks less!). I know next to nothing about DIY speakers but I consider myself a relatively intelligent and mechanically inclined person (I am considering speaker city's free assembly offer going on now though :D ). I've read quite a bit on this and other sites and I am leaning towards the ar.com Ed Frias speakers. My questions are:
    1. Is this the way to go, or are there better options in my price range?
    If going with the ar.com Ed Frias's
    2. Is there a difference between the madisound and speaker city kits?
    3. Who has the nicer cabinents or, does someone out there make high end cabinent for this project?

    BTY the speakers will be mostly for 2 channel music and would be part of a future upgrade to multichannel for DVDA/SACD.
  • 09-14-2004, 09:16 AM
    poneal
    I would recommend the ....
    AR.Com from Madisound if there is no one locally who can build you some quality cabinets based on the specs. I've also heard good reviews about the PeeCreek DIY speaker. I believe they stopped making the original tweeter but there are replacements and they changed the names to More-Pee (using a Morel tweeter) and the U-Pee using the more expensive Usher tweeter. I have personally built two and in the process of making three more AR.Coms. They are an excellent choice in my opinion. I built my own cabinets and will post a picture in the next few days under the AR crossover DIY Forum thread. Ed Frias definitely had his sh*t together when he made these speakers. Just read the reviews about them here. Remember the DIY speakers should be done because you enjoy it (thats what its all about although the money does play in too). Good luck and ask any questions as Ed checks these boards regularly.
  • 09-19-2004, 09:53 AM
    soundslike
    poneal - thanks for the heads up. I plan on building 2 this year and the remaining 3 starting in the spring. I'd love to build my own cabinents but right now I have to many house projects so I'm trying to find who's got the best looking cabinents that I won't mind looking at until my own are done. BTY, what stands are you using for your ar.coms?
  • 09-20-2004, 12:15 AM
    dave_bullet
    Or.....

    you could build your AR.com DIYs into a tower. The reasons I'm doing that are cost, stability plus I can place the tweeter at exactly the right level for my couch. You might find a tower is the cheapest option if you can get someone to make it (than AR.com DIY bookshelf cabinets + custom built (or commercial) stands)

    Cheers,
    David.
  • 09-20-2004, 02:49 PM
    soundslike
    If it ain't broke...
    A tower version of the ar.coms would be nice but I'd rather not mess with a proven design. I'm not to worried about the price of stands as they seem to be a dozen lately on ebay, I was more curious about stand height for ideal imageing (tweeter below, at, or above ear level) as ebay stands aren't returnable. Also, as with buying any house, one of my sacrifices was a smaller living room so floorstanders are not the best choice physically and visually i.e I'm tired of rounding the corner and nailing my towers :p .

    Basically, I'm trying my hand at DIY speakers this year and if all goes well I'll pick-up cabinet building next year. I've settled on the ed frias ar.coms and want to know if anyone has taken a good look at the cabinets from speaker city and madisound and who do they think makes the nicer cabinet?
  • 09-21-2004, 02:13 AM
    dave_bullet
    The tower version doesn't change the design (Tell me if you are interested why and I'll tell you - otherwise I'll save my typing...)

    Sorry I can't help you on your cabinet choice between SC and madisound.

    Dave.
  • 09-21-2004, 10:31 AM
    soundslike
    Dave - now i'm curious. do tell!
  • 09-21-2004, 12:52 PM
    poneal
    Parts Express has some nice cabinets:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage....WebPage_ID=180

    3 choices (black piano finish, cheery, beech).

    I would personally stick with the madisound all in one it for convenience. You know that the cutouts are there and the ports are going to fit etc. If you have a router and circle jig I would opt for one of the PE cabinets ohterwise stick witht he madisound kit with cabinets as everything will fit together very nicely.
  • 09-21-2004, 06:31 PM
    soundslike
    If I had the router and the jig (and a lot of extra time on my hands) I would probably attempt the cabinents myself. Next year....hopefully. The dimensions on the PE cabinents look too big so I will probably go with the madisound if... i'm supposed to hear from a friend of a friend this weekend about the possibility of building cabinents. Now I just have to find a list/schematics of ar.com cabinent dimensions and the cutout sizes and I'll be set!
  • 09-21-2004, 11:31 PM
    dave_bullet
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by soundslike
    If I had the router and the jig (and a lot of extra time on my hands) I would probably attempt the cabinents myself. Next year....hopefully. The dimensions on the PE cabinents look too big so I will probably go with the madisound if... i'm supposed to hear from a friend of a friend this weekend about the possibility of building cabinents. Now I just have to find a list/schematics of ar.com cabinent dimensions and the cutout sizes and I'll be set!

    I've partitioned the tower (see photo below) so the woofer only sees the 10.6 litres (actually 10.8 - but heh) that Ed intended the design for, therefore the tower bottom is just effectively a false stand. the bottom part just has some odd braces to help prevent resonance that may transfer from the top part.

    Cheers,
    David.

    (PS: I recommend you buy a plunge router and circle jig. I have the jasper 200 and it works well). It saves you a lot of wasted fiddling and wasted MDF. Although I did practice, I didn't make (too) many mistakes when I did it on the baffle for real.
  • 09-22-2004, 06:56 PM
    poneal
    Here are the cabinet specs from Ed Frias...
    AR.com Kit Cabinet specs:

    3/4" MDF material
    13" high x 8 3/4" wide x 9 1/4" deep

    Port size is 2" Dia. (ID) x 6" deep from rear surface.
    Rear Port hole is centered (widthwise) and 3" from top to center of port.

    Speaker input terminal hole is 1 15/16" Dia. It is countersunk 3/16" deep x 3" Dia. This can be changed if you desire another type or size speaker terminal. Rear Speaker terminal hole is centered (widthwise) and 3" from bottom to center of hole.

    Front Tweeter hole is 3 5/16" in diameter. Front tweeter hole is also centered widthwise and also 3" from top of cabinet to center of hole. If you opt to countersink the tweeter, cut 1/8" deep x 4 1/8" Dia.

    Front woofer hole is 5 5/8" Dia. If you opt to countersink, use 3/16" deep x 6 15/16" Dia.
    Front woofer is centered 4 1/4" from bottom of cabinet.
    Success to all!

    Ed Frias
    EFE TECHNOLOGY Speakers
  • 09-22-2004, 06:59 PM
    poneal
    Also....
    just buy the premade crossovers from madisound. I computed the cost of the parts and it was only 5 extra bucks per crossover for them to make them. Do yourself a favor and get them to make them for you and save the headache.
  • 09-22-2004, 08:06 PM
    soundslike
    So I spoke with the great one and....
    Thanks poneal and dave for all your imput and help. Ed actually chimed in and sent me an email regarding the madisound kit. I've been picking his brain and I got to tell you that guy is awesome...Thanks Ed!!!
  • 09-22-2004, 09:32 PM
    dave_bullet
    G'day soundslike,

    I also bought the xover premade from Madisound. They use reasonable components befitting the overall cost of the speaker. The xovers were well put together on proper PCBs. They layout the inductors to avoid EMF (?) effects which is good. The only problem I had is one of the larger inductors came loose in transit (well it was going to NZ) but a hot glue gun quickly fixed that.... I'll post photos of the towers when done and tell you how they sound.

    (PS: the woofer sounded great when I was tuning the cabinet.)

    (PPS: Madisound with their kit version also supply some foam pads to line the enclosure. I don't believe Ed specified this originally, so I'm just using dacron (1 - 2 lbs per enclosure) as per the learn page on this site.

    Good luck,

    Dave.
  • 09-25-2004, 12:31 PM
    BluesDaddy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poneal
    just buy the premade crossovers from madisound. I computed the cost of the parts and it was only 5 extra bucks per crossover for them to make them. Do yourself a favor and get them to make them for you and save the headache.

    But that's half the fun!! :) Seriously, when you build your own, part of the satisfaction is knowing you did as much of it as you possibly could. I didn't put my own cabinets together when I built my pair a couple years ago, but I did do the crossover. But I like to solder and that way I felt more involved in it. Also, when Ed came out with a modification of the crossover a few months later I didn't feel like I couldn't make any changes, since I built them to begin with. But YMMV. These are great speakers.
  • 09-26-2004, 09:09 PM
    approse
    Any Additional Info?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poneal
    AR.com Kit Cabinet specs:

    3/4" MDF material
    13" high x 8 3/4" wide x 9 1/4" deep


    Poneal,

    Thanks for posting the spce sheet from Ed Frias! I'm a little late butting in on this thread so I missed the answer to this somewhere I apologize ahead of time. First, did Ed state whether the dimensions listed referred to outside or inside dimesions? Second, is there a components list anywhere you're aware of. I've scanned the net and looked around for one but have come up empty. TIA!!
  • 09-27-2004, 02:19 AM
    dave_bullet
    approse

    I believe the dimensions Paul provided (courtesy Ed) are outside.

    Cheers,
    David.
  • 09-29-2004, 04:35 PM
    pecker
    Here is a place you can have AR cabinets made.
    http://members.verizon.net/~pecker/diybox/diybox.htm
  • 09-29-2004, 06:52 PM
    poneal
    Yes,
    Outside dimensions.