First music only build suggestions

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  • dfg
    Junior Member
    • Nov 2009
    • 14

    First music only build suggestions

    I've been following along on this forum for quite a while, and want to take the plunge into my first project. There are so many I'd like to try, but figure I should be realistic about my first attempt, so shouldn't go too crazy, especially $$$. I'd love to build a $2k speaker, but I should develop some skills before working up to those levels.

    I have a spare bedroom I want to set up for music only. I have an Aksa amp I built, and will use analog out of an Oppo 980H for playback. (I'll be getting the new Oppo soon for HT). Simple set up.

    The RBR kit probably would have been a good choice....snooze

    Most of the builds seem to be geared towards HT, which I may want to tackle at some point.

    Not sure if I want a monitor or not.

    Any help is much appreciated.
  • WillyD
    Senior Member
    • Feb 2006
    • 675

    #2
    Budget for the pair?

    Comment

    • dfg
      Junior Member
      • Nov 2009
      • 14

      #3
      This is where I can get into trouble. I'd say under $500 for drivers and xo.

      Comment

      • JonMarsh
        Mad Max Moderator
        • Aug 2000
        • 15214

        #4
        That's what's critical- your working budget. Also, you may want to consider a design that uses pre-made (mostly) cabinets- I've done a few that work well in PE cabinets, for example.

        There are a LOT of good two way designs you might consider- but IMO, you get a lot more growth room with a good three way, as it's possible to have better resolution - both lower linear and nonlinear distortion with a good three way. Of course, size and complexity may be an issue for me. For something compact, I'm still awful fond of my NeoD CC's, which can be used in many applications, and just this weekend delivered a set to one of my daughter's cousins in Sacramento. ThomasW is back to listening to his set- with some equipment upgrades, the basic neutrality and transparency has become quite appealing, and visitors here for RMAF again wondered if he had done something to hotrod the speakers, but it was just the system. You can use them to compare expensive DACs, yet they are not at all fatiguing.

        Also, look into the several versions of the Statements- they're quite popular, and for good reason- easy to build, and a nice performing system.
        the AudioWorx
        Natalie P
        M8ta
        Modula Neo DCC
        Modula MT XE
        Modula Xtreme
        Isiris
        Wavecor Ardent

        SMJ
        Minerva Monitor
        Calliope
        Ardent D

        In Development...
        Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
        Obi-Wan
        Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
        Modula PWB
        Calliope CC Supreme
        Natalie P Ultra
        Natalie P Supreme
        Janus BP1 Sub


        Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
        Just ask Mr. Ohm....

        Comment

        • dfg
          Junior Member
          • Nov 2009
          • 14

          #5
          I've read a number of posts on the NeoD's and they sound impressive. But, aren't they about $500 in parts per speaker?

          Also, where are you located, if you're delivering a pair to Sac? I currently live in Minden, NV, but used to live in Carmichael and the bay area before that. I'd love a chance to listen.

          Comment

          • peterpan
            Member
            • May 2004
            • 36

            #6
            I wanted to build the NeoD CC but realised the tweeter is out of production. can not find any available anywhere I looked. Any replacement tweeter? I understand there is a new build on the cards, any information on that?

            Comment

            • JonMarsh
              Mad Max Moderator
              • Aug 2000
              • 15214

              #7
              Yes, there is an updated version in development. Though I still have a few sets of the original tweeter, I'm about finished evaluating alternatives. I'm waiting for one more midwoofer possibility before deciding which way to go.

              Though I bought materials and cabinets for several sets, intending to do an LCR + rear HT setup, they have worked so very well on music that all pairs have gone into stereo music setups now, this last set going to my daughter's cousin. The low signature of all of the drivers (low harmonic distortion, very clean Cumulative spectral decay behaviors) have made these a chameleon with regards to system behavior- hook them up to some good gear, and they hold there own surprisingly well against speakers as "rich" as Kharma Exquisite Mini (yes, the diamond tweeter version)- I was even surprised at that. I give credit to the Duelund crossover configuration and the very low "signature" of the drivers selected. So an update on the design will have to stay within those parameters- the dome mid will stay the same, as properly used the RS52 is a very nice piece of work.

              I mentioned the Statements because the Tangband 1337s is another exceptional midrange driver for the price, and without the crucial midrange performance, the rest just falls apart, in my opinion.

              Keep in mind what I look for is a high level of neutrality as well as transparency, with amplifier loading characteristics that will work with solid state, vacuum tube, or non-feedback solid state. As regards their sensitivity to revealing other components, I proved this quite handily to my skeptical 25 year old daughter demonstrating the subjective difference between two speaker cables- Cardas Golden Presence and Cardas Golden reference, which after a brief exposure she could reliably identify which was in the system, and describe the tonal differences.

              Now, not everyone wants that resolving power, and not every system needs it, but to be able to get that level of performance in this price range (about $500 per speaker) is fairly satisfying).

              Oh, BTW, the Exquisite Mini's are quite nice - but they should be at their price! Yet when I heard them in comparison using a Carey 303 CD player, having the better DAC (Berkeley Alpha DAC) on the NeoD CC gave them the edge for imaging and soundstage, with an otherwise similar balance and frequency range, particularly for "life" simple microphone recordings like Shefield Labs or the Mecury Living Presence classical recordings.

              Since I'm not selling anything, and since we all know there are other excellent alternatives, I hope you don't mind my bit of enthusiasm this morning.

              the AudioWorx
              Natalie P
              M8ta
              Modula Neo DCC
              Modula MT XE
              Modula Xtreme
              Isiris
              Wavecor Ardent

              SMJ
              Minerva Monitor
              Calliope
              Ardent D

              In Development...
              Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
              Obi-Wan
              Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
              Modula PWB
              Calliope CC Supreme
              Natalie P Ultra
              Natalie P Supreme
              Janus BP1 Sub


              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

              Comment

              • ---k---
                Ultra Senior Member
                • Nov 2005
                • 5202

                #8
                I would caution you against labeling most speakers here as for "HT". I think the exact opposite is true. Most of the designers are music people first, and foremost. It's just that a speaker that can do music exceptionally well will do HT well also. The reason you probably are under the impression that most of these speakers are geared towards HT, is because that is what most of the causal builders are interested.

                For a first project, for the bedroom, you probably want something small and easy. Maybe DLR's SB 2-way would be a good fit:


                Zaph's SR-71 are also reportedly nice.

                If you can get your hands on the tweeter, Jed's D4 is also a nice little speaker. Jed also has some nice commercial kits.

                Then, there is always the Modula MT.
                - Ryan

                CJD Ochocinco! ND140/BC25SC06 MTM & TM
                CJD Khanspires - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS225 WMTMW
                CJD Khancenter - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS180 WTMW Center

                Comment

                • JonMarsh
                  Mad Max Moderator
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 15214

                  #9
                  Very good points, Ryan- I think most of the design posters on the forum are music oriented.

                  In the budget range of $500 or less, your optimum choice may come down to considerations of size and maximum SPL, as well as quality on and off axis-

                  I'd put a vote in for MarkK's new design, as I'm enamored of the ER18RNX, and the crossover design and off axis behavior appeal to me, as I note in another recent thread.






                  Mark's been working on this some time. Total cost for components is about $350; if you go with pre-made cabinets and consider the stuffing and other miscellaneous, Mark estimates $580 total. If you have tools and can build your own cabinets, you can save money- but for the time and effort, the PE cabinets are hard to beat- I don't build small cabinets from scratch anymore, though I often do create a more complex front panel than the simple baffle supplied with them.
                  the AudioWorx
                  Natalie P
                  M8ta
                  Modula Neo DCC
                  Modula MT XE
                  Modula Xtreme
                  Isiris
                  Wavecor Ardent

                  SMJ
                  Minerva Monitor
                  Calliope
                  Ardent D

                  In Development...
                  Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
                  Obi-Wan
                  Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
                  Modula PWB
                  Calliope CC Supreme
                  Natalie P Ultra
                  Natalie P Supreme
                  Janus BP1 Sub


                  Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
                  Just ask Mr. Ohm....

                  Comment

                  • WillyD
                    Senior Member
                    • Feb 2006
                    • 675

                    #10
                    Yeah, I'll be using the PE cabinets no matter what my next build is. They are very hard to beat for the money.

                    Comment

                    • dfg
                      Junior Member
                      • Nov 2009
                      • 14

                      #11
                      I see how I misunderstood the HT thing. Good point about smaller cabinets, though part of the learning experience is building one.

                      I don't plan on using a sub. The Mini-Statements or Monitors look like they are in the ballpark, and there have been a lot of people who have built them.

                      I think I need to open a number of the designs here and do a side by side comparison list. It's easy to get lost going from one to another.

                      Comment

                      • ClosetSciFiGeek
                        Senior Member
                        • Oct 2009
                        • 247

                        #12
                        First Build that will teach you all you need to know

                        I built Zaph Audio's B3N full ranges. I built them from 3/4" MDF(had to use a tablesaw etc...), I veneered them in walnut(had to get the right bits for my router and learn to glue them up and press them), I recessed the driver(though Zaph doesn't in his build, but I wanted to do it to learn how), I rounded over and primed, hand sanded and painted the front baffles), finally I soldered the shaping circuit(which is a simple circuit, but has enough components to teach you to solder and read electrical schematics). This is a nice bedroom or office speaker and can sound decent paired with a small 8" sub. Best of all you teach yourself all you need to build that $2,000 pair with the minimum amount of time and money invested(finishing this cabinet is far less time consuming than doing a floorstander with multiple drivers, but all the concepts and processes are the same). I think materials/drivers/crossovers were just under $100. Hope this helps.
                        Attached Files
                        "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                        -Hyman G. Rickover

                        Comment

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