My new DIY surrounds

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  • MikeK
    Junior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 16

    My new DIY surrounds

    Here are the "Guacamoles" speakers. (you try coming up with "green" names") They are ADIRE AUDIO Kit81 speakers.

    For the past 5 years I have been using bi-polar speakers in my rear soundfield. My room is large and I felt that the dispersion normal to bi-polars was a good thing in my room. I had experimented with direct radiating speakers in the room and felt that they always left a void in the rear center position. What I had failed to realize at the time is that directional speakers, when positioned properly will image just as the fronts do (in the sweet spot).

    I will post a link soon to a page that details the construction and finishing process of the "Guacamoles", I will deal with the sound here.

    Although these have only one 8" driver compared to my mains that have two, they are very well matched in voice characteristics. I decided to use these for surrounds because of the voice issue and the size of the speakers. Let me tell you something...these could well function as mains for someone that has some space limitations. They really sound almost too good to be relegated to the rear effects channels!

    The first thing I noticed when firing them up was that they were much more clear sounding that the Energy's. I know, I know, the Energy's are supposed to be diffuse, but I never realized how much they really were. The Guacamoles had a great sound, it sounded like I had just turned my back on the main system. Like the mains were playing behind me.

    I like to use a particular DTS track to evaluate speakers. I really dont care for 5.1 music but this track is nothing but voice in all five channels and I can turn off each amp and listen to an individual speaker. The track is a Boys to Men version of the Beatles tune YESTERDAY. When I turned off the amps to isolate the rear left speaker I was amazed at the clarity and the depth of what was coming out of those little boxes. I have a sub on the surrounds and the high pass is set at 80hz now but I think I will play with it some as I feel these speakers could do a little more of the work themselves.

    When I finally got the speakers toed in properly to create a center image at my listening position I was in heaven. I truly had not experienced this before. The rear channels now became more a part of the over all mix rather than just a place for effects to wash around in.

    I put on The Haunting and noticed that the effects were more pronounced than before and they played a more active role in my viewing experience. The directionality of the surrounds now placed things in a definite space rather than an ambiguous one. I had placed my bi-polars behind me so I was getting directionality from them before but along with it I was getting ambience. The one thing the new speakers will not do as well is the ambience part. But that is a small price to pay for the increased dynamic range and clarity the Guacamoles offer.

    I must thank Max for continuing to push me to upgrade the rear speakers. I resisted for too long. I do however think that a combo of bi-poles and direct radiating would be the best choice. On music concerts where the croud noise in in the effects channels the direct radiating speakers do create a large void behind the listening position. It almost sounds like there is crowd behind you to the left and right but not directly behind you. Again, a very small gripe and easilly overshadowed by the fine sound that these speakers put out. Plus, that problem would exist no matter which direct speakers were behind you.

    I am very happy with the performance of these little beasties. Way more bang than the buck! I recommend these to those spatially challenged individuals looking for a good bookshelf speaker and for those of you looking to place some L/C/R quality speakers in your surround field.

    Build some speakers, if not these, then some others....but build them. You will not believe how much better your system can sound for a fraction of the money. And dont forget the pride you will have when someone comments on how amazing your sound is and you tell them "I built the speakers myself!"

  • Bing Fung
    Ultra Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 6521

    Good Job Mike! It's amazing how important the placement of the suround can be for a direct radiating speaker.

    Even the mount is DIY, your kinda like the McGyver of HT arn't you?

    I have that disk, I'm going to go play it now, thanks...

    looking forward to the build page.



    • Andrew Pratt
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 16507

      Thanks for stopping by..hope those surrounds taste as good as they sound


      • Lexman
        Super Senior Member
        • Jun 2000
        • 1777

        Ahh, look what the high tide washed in, lol. Good post Mike, and the speakers look great! I am sure they sound as good as they look.

        Thanks for dropping in Mike.



        • Little Bruce
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2000
          • 166

          Read your post.... very informative !
          Ijust printed the kit81 specs about an hour before I read your post. Sounds like a project for me. Question though, how would you rate these for rear surrounds for hard, action sequences for dvd? I gather you listen to alot of music. Did you purchase the whole kit together?
          I do commend you on the looks and the mounting brackets. Very modern and stylish.
          This will be my first FIY project and looking for all the input I can find. Thanks.


          • KennyG
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Sep 2000
            • 745

            Hi Mike glad to see you making the rounds!!!
            You got me thinkin'as I watched your adventures in DIY upgrading over the last couple months, and now with all of Thomas's excellent links I'm lookin'.
            I think I'm going to try a little surround project of my own, I need a tweeter to match the ribbons in my mains and center, so I'm thinking about a single small raven ribbon as my starting point, then a 1.5 to 2 inch midrange dome and a pair of 6.5 or 7" midbasses, arranged in a D'appolito configuration. (this is the top end arrangement of my mains and center)
            The cabinet would be built with a cross section that is triangular, so they'd mount in corners. (ceiling & wall...or back wall & side wall) Rather large, but this keeps them out of the way.

            Other green speaker names: Peas (small surrounds)...your right this IS hard.


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