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  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Astonishing deal on DIY speakers.

    Just for the heck of it I was looking around a speaker drivers, speaker kits, and DIY speaker supplies in general. In that process I came upon what looks look an incredible deal on an excellent, complete DIY kit.

    Parts Express is offering their "Solstice" MLTL (mass-loaded transmission line) tower speaker kit for only US$498 each. (I'm in no way affiliated with Parts Express.) For under a grand plus a little labor you get speakers for which you'd pay $3000+ in finished form.

    Each kit includes one Morel CAT 308 tweeter and two Morel TiCW 638Nd 6" woofers, plus all crossover components, cabinets in in knock-down format, plus virtually all hardware and stuffing. On top of this you get free shipping State-side. The is amazing for less than 500 bucks: the Morel woofers alone are $244 each.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/...ly%20Guide.pdf



    If I lived in the US I'd be all over this. As it is, dollar exchange, shipping, plus brokerage, taxes, and likely duties sour the deal for me -- at least given I love my Maggie 1.6's

  2. #2
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    I'd be interested in how these sounds. Morel speakers are supremely smooth in my experience and the transmission line would be fun to work on.

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Morel drivers have a very high reputation, basically equal any other high-end make. The drivers in question aren't Morel's absolute top or the line but are upper midrange. Jeff Bagley is highly regarded as a speaker and crossover designer in DIY circles. Speakers are always a matter taste, more even that other components, however there is little reason to doubt that these Solstice MLTL will sound great to most people. There's a few pages of discussion at Parts Express Tech Talk ...
    New Kit via PE.... "Solstice", Nice looking one too, Jeff! - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum

    I have been very, very pleased with my Magneplanar MG 1.6QR's but they are obtrusive in my small-medium room and I would be happy to try some thing a little less in-your-face and placeable a little closer to the wall. Living in Canada, the Solstice MLTL's don't look quite the bargain they obviously are in the USA; for one thing, PE pays shipping in that country but not to Canada and shipping would be VERY expensive given the weight of over 100 lbs per pair.

  4. #4
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    I understand completely. Before I bought the JBL's, I was looking at a pair of speakers in Toronto and checking into the process of shipping them to the states. It ended up being so cost prohibitive, I simply moved on and am glad I did. Opportunities are like trains; if you miss this one, don't worry...there's always another one coming down the tracks.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Morel drivers have a very high reputation, basically equal any other high-end make. The drivers in question aren't Morel's absolute top or the line but are upper midrange. Jeff Bagley is highly regarded as a speaker and crossover designer in DIY circles. Speakers are always a matter taste, more even that other components, however there is little reason to doubt that these Solstice MLTL will sound great to most people. There's a few pages of discussion at Parts Express Tech Talk ...
    New Kit via PE.... "Solstice", Nice looking one too, Jeff! - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum

    I have been very, very pleased with my Magneplanar MG 1.6QR's but they are obtrusive in my small-medium room and I would be happy to try some thing a little less in-your-face and placeable a little closer to the wall. Living in Canada, the Solstice MLTL's don't look quite the bargain they obviously are in the USA; for one thing, PE pays shipping in that country but not to Canada and shipping would be VERY expensive given the weight of over 100 lbs per pair.

    I totally understand what you mean as I have seen many people that love Magneplanar speakers end up giving up on them because they take up so much room and are so big. I think for myself I would like the realism of the MG's but the dynamic limitations would be a factor for some of the music I listen to, but I also heard that they are much better than they used to be at dynamics. I have seen the Morel drivers as well as many others used in DIY designs with great success. If you have the skill or at least the tools to put together the precut enclosures that come with such designs and are good at finish work they can be a bargain and get you way more speaker for your dollar.

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  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I totally understand what you mean as I have seen many people that love Magneplanar speakers end up giving up on them because they take up so much room and are so big. I think for myself I would like the realism of the MG's but the dynamic limitations would be a factor for some of the music I listen to, but I also heard that they are much better than they used to be at dynamics. I have seen the Morel drivers as well as many others used in DIY designs with great success. If you have the skill or at least the tools to put together the precut enclosures that come with such designs and are good at finish work they can be a bargain and get you way more speaker for your dollar.
    Harely, you just need the right electronics for Magnepans. The dymanics were good with my AVA preamp and Parasound amp, but switching to the Pass X250 and the BAT preamp really to things to another level. When my audio buddies come over for a listen they are impressed with the dynamics and musicality of my system. I do use a sub crossed over at 40-45hz. But even without then sub the dynamics are there.

    I think that people that buy maggies tend to try and get by with less gear. You really need an amp with high current and lots of watts with a lot of headroom. The preamp also matters. When I switched to the BAT preamp from the Pass X1 preamp, thats when I was really able to appreciate what the Maggies can do.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
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  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Harely, you just need the right electronics for Magnepans. The dymanics were good with my AVA preamp and Parasound amp, but switching to the Pass X250 and the BAT preamp really to things to another level. When my audio buddies come over for a listen they are impressed with the dynamics and musicality of my system. I do use a sub crossed over at 40-45hz. But even without then sub the dynamics are there.

    I think that people that buy maggies tend to try and get by with less gear. You really need an amp with high current and lots of watts with a lot of headroom. The preamp also matters. When I switched to the BAT preamp from the Pass X1 preamp, thats when I was really able to appreciate what the Maggies can do.
    I agree with Blackraven here, the electronics make a big difference with Maggies although the small Maggies have their limitations. For example it doesn't matter how much power you put into the MMGs, they simply don't have the bass radiating area to deliver dynamic bass.

    Briefly, not so long ago I tried a Forte Model 5 amp with my Jolida JD50A passive preamp: dynamics were incredibly bad -- a sonic Mask of Death. It as a whole different phenomenon with my ARC LS9 preamp and Pass Labs X150.5, further enhance by Schiit Multibit DACs, both the Bifrost and subsequent Gungnir.

    Granted I listen to classical mostly, not Hard Rock or Electronic, but there are plenty of dynamics to be heard depending on the recording. E.g. I was listening last night to Henri Dutilleux's L'Arbre des songes last night which has stunning bass and dynamics.


  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I totally understand what you mean as I have seen many people that love Magneplanar speakers end up giving up on them because they take up so much room and are so big. I think for myself I would like the realism of the MG's but the dynamic limitations would be a factor for some of the music I listen to, but I also heard that they are much better than they used to be at dynamics. I have seen the Morel drivers as well as many others used in DIY designs with great success. If you have the skill or at least the tools to put together the precut enclosures that come with such designs and are good at finish work they can be a bargain and get you way more speaker for your dollar.
    I've only ever made one DIY speaker, (and I do mean one (1)), a center channel. I designed this an built from scratch, not a kit, and it was a success. I certainly wouldn't shy away from assembling the Solstice MLTL. Presently I'm considering a another DIY effort but using homemade cabinets and somewhat less costly components; if it's built, it will likely end up in my HT setup.

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