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    Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

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    Dogstar

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    Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:04 pm

    I have Klipsche Heresy's (sorta) and JBL L100T3's that sound good with my VTA ST-120. I'd like to build a pair of speakers that will sound good with my amp. Obviously something fairly efficient. All of the speaker designs I see seem to hover around the 88 dB level and it seems 90 dB and up is more in line to use with a tube amp. I'm contemplating building Aethers or Sunflower Redux speakers but those are actually closer to 86 dB speakers...though I understand they sound great. They seem like a speaker more conducive to a 100 wpc amp at least.

    So can anyone suggest a more efficient speaker design?

    mresseguie

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    Join date : 2016-08-18

    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by mresseguie on Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:26 pm

    Hello, Dogstar.

    Could you give us an idea of your budget? Are you looking for a 2-way design? three-way? MTM? OB? Standmount vs. floor standing?

    I've spent quite a bit of time and energy recently looking at kits, and these are some of the questions I've asked myself.

    Other questions I ask myself:

    What sort of tweeter do I want? (ribbon, soft dome, Be dome, ring radiator, etc)
    What material do I want for the woofer/midwoofer?

    Regards,

    Michael (first post!) bounce

    Dogstar

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:36 am

    i want to read what your suggestions are for a design I could build. It doesn't matter about its configuration. As I said I want your suggestions. My thought is that it' shouldn't cost thousands since when it's at that price point I can just go out and buy speakers that don't sound like crap.

    mresseguie

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2016-08-18

    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by mresseguie on Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:10 am

    Well, here are a few ideas:

    There are dozens of proven kits to choose from at Meniscus Audio. My personal favorites are the Adelphos (I bought this kit. Excellent sound IMHO), Kairos, Piccolo, Soprano, Continuum

    Selah Audio has a dozen or so kits. Rick's Anniversario is very similar to my Adelphos speakers. His Decennio is an MTM. The Tempesta is his most popular speaker.

    DIYsoundgroup has many designs to choose from:

    Jantzen Audio in Denmark has many designs. I'm very tempted to order the CNO MkII or its sister speaker, the CNO-25 [There's an excellent chance I'm going to buy an ST-120 from Bob. I suspect it would power these speakers quite nicely.]

    There are some others, but it's very late. I'm off to sleep. Surely, there must be some kits in the above links [Oops! I'm too new, so I cannot post links yet.] that pique your interest? Enjoy the search.

    Regards,

    Michael

    cci1492

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:06 am

    If I were in the market for a new pair of speakers, I would go for these:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Klipsch-Cornwall-III-Walnut-Pair-Open-Box-3-Way-Tower-Speakers-/172267913801?hash=item281bf7c249:g:xT0AAOSwvg9XgBKS

    I heard a similar pair of Cornwalls many years ago and they blew me away...never forgot them. I bet these would kick some serious butt with a pair of Bob's M-125s amps. But not DIY though.


    Last edited by cci1492 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Maintarget

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Maintarget on Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:38 pm

    If you like horns check Bob Crites out for what is billed as CornScala basically a blend of Cornwall & LaScala Kilpsch speakers very efficient 100+dbl@1m depending on parts used.
    As soon as I have the money I will be building a set.

    http://www.critesspeakers.com/cornscala.html


    Last edited by Maintarget on Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling & additional info)

    corndog71

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by corndog71 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:52 pm

    GR Research has several kit options but the biggest bang for your buck would be these:

    http://gr-research.com/x-statikkit.aspx

    mresseguie

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by mresseguie on Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:22 pm

    This is becoming educational for me. I'd like to thank MainTarget for posting the link to critespeakers.com. I have next to zero experience with such speakers. In fact, after reading some of the information on that site, I came to the conclusion that I've happened upon a whole new world of 'what is a good speaker?" cheers

    This is a good thing for me. Now I need to track down some folks with horn speakers to hear what I have been missing.

    If it does not derail this thread, I'd like to ask how these speakers (CornScala, Cornwall lll, etc.) might pair better with the ST-120 than some of the kits I had suggested above?

    Regards,

    Michael

    cci1492

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:53 pm

    Yes, thank you MainTarget and corndog for posting those sites.

    Peter W.

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Peter W. on Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:57 am

    Now, here is the dilemma: Klipsch and their clones are very, very fine speakers. And, they are efficient which then helps with tube amplifiers. But, horn speakers are directional - not an issue in a room big enough and with enough distance to the listener that being off axis is an issue. But I can imagine situations where that might be an issue.

    I am intrigued by the possibilities of those "CornScalas". And I have just the room for them.

    Dogstar

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:20 am

    Actually...I bought the Sorta Klipsche speakers because of the Crites Speakers. I thought I'd ask about them in the Klipsche forum and mentioned that I was looking to either buy a pair of used Heresy speakers or buy a Crites kit and I ended up getting in contact with a guy that builds speakers based on Klipsche drivers as a hobby. He offered to build a pair of speakers using Heresy drivers but different waveguides (horns) and he also revised the crossovers using new components for the price of the used Heresy's. Others on the Klipsche forum gave good reviews to his design so I bought them. Unfortunately the veneer work is bad and they were dropped in shipping so the corners got crushed.

    But...after a few hours of break in the seemed to suddenly come to life. They are very smooth and three dimensional. Personally I'm still perplexed about the breakin period but it seems to work.

    However I'm looking for something different than what I currently own. I wish the Sunflower Redux were more efficient. The open baffle hybrid from GR looks interesting. And I'm going to look at the others that were mentioned here. Thank you.

    Gregg R.

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Gregg R. on Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:45 am

    I came across these speakers on the Zu Audio website:

    Omen Dirty Weekend

    Of course, they not strictly DIY, but seem like a good buy. Note that they use refurbished drivers. You need to check for availability and lead-time. I think the Sangria Maple looks particularly sharp: last photo. They are too big for my small listening room.

    Dogstar

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:16 am

    The Omen Dirty Weekend speakers are about the same size as the JBL L100T3's I have. And with a 97 dB rating they certainly would be good speaker to use with a low powered tube amp.

    One other requirement I guess I should have mentioned is that I'm building a tube amp based on the Tubelab SSE design. The amp only puts out about 8 watts per channel and this is the type of speaker that would be ideal for that type of amp.

    If there were plans for those speakers and if I could buy drivers I'd build those....

    10-E-C

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by 10-E-C on Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:17 am

    Dogstar wrote:The Omen Dirty Weekend speakers are about the same size as the JBL L100T3's I have. And with a 97 dB rating they certainly would be good speaker to use with a low powered tube amp.

    One other requirement I guess I should have mentioned is that I'm building a tube amp based on the Tubelab SSE design. The amp only puts out about 8 watts per channel and this is the type of speaker that would be ideal for that type of amp.

    If there were plans for those speakers and if I could buy drivers I'd build those....


    I have a pair of Omen Defs which I purchased over two years ago, there was an adjustment to listening to them, but now I don't see me buying any other speaker to replace them.

    TM


    Peter W.

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:31 am

    Whyizit that I am always dubious when I see speaker specifications without parameters.

    Bandwidth: 35 – 25 kHz

    All very well, but if it is down 15dB at each end, that spec is rather meaningless. If only 3dB, that is spectacular!

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by tubes4hifi on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:05 pm

    Dogstar & all,
    do you really need more efficient speakers? I listen to my music VERY LOUD and with 87db speakers have never needed more than 15-20 watts of power.
    I'd say an ST70 is adequate power for 99% of listeners. Realize, that's 87db output with 1 watt. With 10 watts you get 97db !!! Can you hear me talking at that level???
    If you're super bass heavy, then you need a subwoofer anyway, and of course almost all of those have their own 100w-1000w internal amps.

    corndog71

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:46 pm

    Dogstar wrote:The Omen Dirty Weekend speakers are about the same size as the JBL L100T3's I have. And with a 97 dB rating they certainly would be good speaker to use with a low powered tube amp.

    One other requirement I guess I should have mentioned is that I'm building a tube amp based on the Tubelab SSE design. The amp only puts out about 8 watts per channel and this is the type of speaker that would be ideal for that type of amp.

    If there were plans for those speakers and if I could buy drivers I'd build those....

    Ok, in that case I don't recommend GR kits. They really need at least 25 watts and preferably more to sound their best. The vintage Klipsch or Zu speakers might be your best bet.

    That being said I would also second the recommendation for an ST70 if only because it gives you a bit more muscle for what ever speaker you choose. A low powered amp is fine for some applications but if you're looking to fill a room you may find it limiting unless your speakers are extremely efficient.

    Peter W.

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:45 pm



    Ok, in that case I don't recommend GR kits.  They really need at least 25 watts and preferably more to sound their best.  The vintage Klipsch or Zu speakers might be your best bet. <
    OK. It may be worth while to go over how noise and watts relate.

    A so-called "inefficient" speaker (such as all of mine) will produce 85 dB of noise at one meter centered exactly in front of the speaker. 85 dB is about as loud as a moderate quality dishwasher, blender or dishwasher. This takes one (1) watt of power.

    95 dB (twice as loud) is about as loud as a commercial jet aircraft at 6,000 feet in landing mode. This will take ten (10) watts of power.

    105 dB is about as loud as the average Harley cruising at 45 mph, from the side of the road. This will take one hundred (100) watts.

    Now, we have "peak-to-average". Most well-recorded classical music will have a P/A of about 20 dB - meaning the loudest passages are four times as loud as the average run. Some vanishingly few examples (Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, well-recorded) will approach 30 dB.

    Listening at a moderate volume, it is easy to imagine to imagine very short peaks easily exceeding 100 x the power requirements of the average - and if that moderate volume needing a peak of 100 watts. NOT a sustained 100 watts. But, a peak.

    OR - the amp will clip. Clipping is not usually fatal with tube amps - as in creating massive speaker damage, but it is easy to see why smaller amps are often not at their best when forced to deliver a lot of power over a wide dynamic range into an inefficient speaker.

    A Dynaco ST-70 will make eighty (80) watts peak. Then, it clips. An ST-35 will make about forty (40) watts.

    Which leads to "headroom" - how far can an amp go before clipping. I keep two brute-force amps that can deliver over 400 watts peak without clipping, but RMS are at 125 and 205 respectively. My most resilient tube amp can make 200 watts peak, but 75 watts RMS.

    Only the biggest of the three can handle my Maggies. The others are fine into any of my AR examples, including the 3a, M5 and Athenas.

    Dogstar

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:13 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:Dogstar & all,
    do you really need more efficient speakers?  I listen to my music VERY LOUD and with 87db speakers have never needed more than 15-20 watts of power.
    I'd say an ST70 is adequate power for 99% of listeners.   Realize, that's 87db output with 1 watt.  With 10 watts you get 97db !!!   Can you hear me talking at that level???
    If you're super bass heavy, then you need a subwoofer anyway, and of course almost all of those have their own 100w-1000w internal amps.

    I'm not trying to start an argument but you are incorrect in your statement.
    If a speaker is putting out 87 dB at 1 watt then it needs 10 times the power to output a 3 dB increase in volume which is the the lowest increase in volume that is perceptible to the human ear. So to get to 90 dB you need 10 watts. Another 3 dB brings that up to 100 watts.  If the average volume is at 87 dB you would need over 1000 watts to hit that 97 dB level.

    If an amp is capable of putting out 60 watts continuously it is capable of putting out more power instantaneously. The whole secret behind being able to handle the dynamic range of a good musical recording is headroom. The more power an amp is able to output continuously the more likely it is to be able to handle the dynamic range without going into clipping mode. That's one reason why solid state amps need to output higher powers because unlike tube amps they go into clipping mode and distort very harshly rather where when a tube amp goes into clipping the distortion is smoother.

    so if a speaker is able to output 97 dB at 1 watt it only needs roughly .01 watts to output 87 dB. And an amp that can create 8 watts can make that 97 dB speaker handle the dynamic range relatively easily.


    Last edited by Dogstar on Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Bob Latino
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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:13 pm



    Dogstar,

    I do not think you have it quite right ... See chart above ... When you say "If a speaker is putting out 87 dB at 1 watt then it needs 10 times the power to output a 3 dB increase in volume" You need DOUBLE the power in an amp to provide a 3 dB increase in the sound level not 10X the power level ...

    Bob

    Peter W.

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:14 pm

    Loudness to watts is logarithmic. As Bob notes, 3dB - the smallest perceptible change = 2 x the power. For a perceived doubling of volume = 10 x the power.

    And why I paid attention to "PEAK-TO- AVERAGE" issues. Most well recorded orchestral music has easily a 20dB peak-to-average. Meaning that an amplifier must be capable of making One Hundred (100) time the average power to meet the peaks without clipping. AKA "Headroom".

    Let's fly up to 20,000 feet. To make sound, it is necessary to move (vibrate) air. To vibrate small amounts of air effectively (treble) takes a certain amount of energy. To vibrate larger amounts of air effectively (bass) takes yet more. Most individuals who have been raised on earbuds and computer speakers have no conception whatsoever of what real Bass sounds like - unless they have been around a real organ with the functional equivalent of 30' (10 meter) bombard pipes. So, they have this touching belief that they can get actual faithful loud noises from a small amount of energy.

    And, as it happens, why I questioned speaker specifications without parameters. If a speaker maker gives a range without parameters, RUN, don't walk away.

    Dogstar

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:51 pm

    My mistake...sorry.

    OK. So I'm wrong about the power usage of the speakers but using the scale Bob posted if the speaker is rated at 87 dB a 60 watt amp is still not powerful enough to handle the 30 dB range of volume some recordings have. That is why a speaker that's rated at 92 or 93 dB is a better choice to use with a tube amp.

    I'm not sure if the speakers actually produced low frequencies accurately but I remember as a youngster going to see the movie 'Earthquake' and the theaters had huge surround sound speakers setup in the theater that certainly were loud in addition to making everything and everyone rumble if they were directly in front of the speakers. I believe Cerwin Vega speakers were used in the setup. As I said I don't know what the actual frequency was achieved but I do believe the intent was to get pretty low.

    Tube Nube

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Tube Nube on Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:24 pm

    Dog'

    Building your own speakers is an overwhelmingly satisfying and emotional experience. It complements and extends your VTA Latynaco build pride to a substantial degree, to understate things.

    I have built 3 different pairs of speakers, the latest and greatest being a creation of famed Denmark speaker guru Troels Gravesen. He offers plans for micro sized book shelf speakers up to very very large floor standers. I encourage you to search out his reputation on the web, and once satisfied of his "rep", look at his site at epthe various plans.

    I found my DTQWT (double tapered quarter wave tuned pipe) straight forward to build. It just took a bit of time. Troels designs his speakers around the highest quality parts, most economically available as a kit from Jantzens. All you need to buy is the wood. I recommend 3/4" baltic birch. I mean, why cheap out with dust board, I mean MDF, when you've paid $2k for parts?! This is a bit pricey for a kit/plans built, but apparently they play like boutique speakers costing 15 to 20. K. So I've been told. I'd never pay that. Don't know anyone who would. That's the beauty of good DIY--you don't have to.

    Whether Troels or someone else's design... A bit of research on lime will direct you to excellent choices that you'll be able to verify from builder reports. If you do this, you are almost sure to get a speaker that punches 5 to 10 times above what you paid, and all of your friends and family will be stunned. Almost as stunned as you will be with what you've accomplished.


    mresseguie

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by mresseguie on Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:38 pm

    Tube Nube wrote:Dog'

    Building your own speakers is an overwhelmingly satisfying and emotional experience. It complements and extends your VTA Latynaco build pride to a substantial degree, to understate things.

    I have built 3 different pairs of speakers, the latest and greatest being a creation of famed Denmark speaker guru Troels Gravesen. He offers plans for micro sized book shelf speakers up to very very large floor standers. I encourage you to search out his reputation on the web, and once satisfied of his "rep", look at his site at epthe various plans.

    I found my DTQWT (double tapered quarter wave tuned pipe) straight forward to build. It just took a bit of time. Troels designs his speakers around the highest quality parts, most economically available as a kit from Jantzens. All you need to buy is the wood. I recommend 3/4" baltic birch. I mean, why cheap out with dust board, I mean MDF, when you've paid $2k for parts?! This is a bit pricey for a kit/plans built, but apparently they play like boutique speakers costing 15 to 20. K.  So I've been told. I'd never pay that. Don't know anyone who would. That's the beauty of good DIY--you don't have to.

    Whether Troels or someone else's design... A bit of research on lime will direct you to excellent choices that you'll be able to verify from builder reports. If you do this, you are almost sure to get a speaker that punches 5 to 10 times above what you paid, and all of your friends and family will be stunned. Almost as stunned as you will be with what you've accomplished.


    Hello, Tube Nube.

    More than two years ago I discovered the Troelsgravesen website and quickly fell in love with a couple designs. The one kit that most caught my imagination was the DTQWT kit. It does pretty much everything I believe I want in a speaker.

    Unfortunately, my current listening room just isn't adequate or large enough to do them justice. Someday, I do hope to own a pair of my own. At the time I found them, I was very intimidated by the idea of building my own speakers. Even now, knowing that I have eleven thumbs, I hesitate.

    I'd love to hear any and all impressions you have on your DTQWT speakers. How do you like the JA-8008 driver? Which tweeter did you settle on, and how is it? Do you ever wonder how it may have sounded with the other tweeter?

    Best regards,

    Michael

    Tube Nube

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    Re: Suggestion for a d.i.y speaker

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:36 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I, too, was afraid of power tools and all the terrible things I might do to my clumsy self. With no carpentry experience, I was just very careful working with them, and had no problems or nearly-gotcha encounters.

    I built the Mk III, and went with the Seas cloth dome tweeter (T35c002), and a single Emminence 12" driver on the back side. I don't worry about the other tweeter, as I understood it's better than the Audax unit. Well, I didn't ever think of it til now. Thanks! ;-) I also went with the upgraded cross over components -- it kinda hurt at the time to spend the extra money, but I knew I'd regret cheaping out after my very next pay check.

    I thought about building the TQWT, since I had a pair of subwoofers already. Maybe that's an option for you? Glad I didn't, though, because the bass is punchier, faster, tidier than what I get from my sub woofers. Though the DTQWT's don't go down as low as the sub woofers, they go low enough. At the moment I'm not even using them.

    I have to say these speakers sound really really good. I wish I had experience with (other peoples) high end store bought speakers so I could make comparisons, but Alan14 on this forum is one guy to talk to about this. He built a pair of these and has a bunch of audio philliac friends, some with very exotic speakers that he's heard--and also, those guys have heard his speakers too. Talk to him for the comparative comments, but be prepared to feel compelled to build, because the opinions were all very flattering, if I recall correctly.

    If DTQWT and TQWT are too big, you might practice on a smaller model that still uses the same Seas tweeter. Relegate them to "supporting cast member" duties if and when your situation allows for (or demands) bigger speakers.

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