Discussion in 'DIY' started by Chris Slade, Feb 10, 2018.
now you just need a few acres of open land
Or a desert.
I'm sorry, I don't believe you live in Texas. The jig is up.
Today's DIY designs and kits are better than ever. Computer aided XO design software is cheap and so is the measuring stuff. CNC cut flat packs make it easy to assemble and table saws are no longer needed.
The resale value is still nada and to me that is the biggest con.
But with DIY you have the best chance of getting exactly what you are looking for at the lowest cost.
How is that so if you are way more likely to not be able to listen before you purchase?
Faith Brother, Faith.
The internet is full of reviews ya know.
And lets say you are trying to squeeze the most out of a single driver set up for your milliwatt zero feedback DHT amp. You can get the drivers and the CNC flat kit for a back loaded horn from Madisound.
Or my latest, a shiny-glossy subwoofer.
Or you could be like me. Trust no Internet designer or reviewer (unless they are known like Vance Dickason.) Buy drivers that look interesting and that have the bandwidth you need. Match them up with other drivers of similar sensitivity ratings. Test them yourself to discover their T/S parameters (and compare to the rated specs to see how far off they are.) Model a crossover network that gets your desired curve. Temp wire together a Xover using the best quality components you can afford (or that you happen to have on hand, or that fit into the available budget.) Test the Xover with the drivers temp wired in. Swap components as necessary. Adjust cap and inductor values and retest. Adjust resister values and retest. Add some bypass caps for the heck of it. Test it again. Finally get an output curve the looks good, and solder the network together. Design an enclosure that models out with the performance you seek. Make sawdust (as Mike says.) Temp mount your drivers and Xover and test it. Turn it over and test is some more. Test it from behind or at least off-axis. Curse the fact that your neighborhood has noise. Adjust the stuffing and the braces and sometimes just toss it and start over. Do a near field test with your work room as damped as much as you can make it. Take it outside and do a far field test from 10 feet away. Curse and redo the whole damn thing about half the time. Repeat the process several times. Finally get a result you like, or at least that is close enough that you're not gonna fuck with it any more. Finish the enclosure as you desire, put everything in its place, screw it down and enjoy. THAT's doing DIY. Building a ready-made kit is building a kit. Like building a model airplane.
I actually think we're pretty much on the same page. The DIY evangelism has always bothered me. 1) The same people who would tell you they won't recommend a commercial speaker because its subjective and you really need to go listen will gladly recommend their favorite kit because they're awesome. If Mike citing reviews is a good reason to recommend his Mundorf kit then so is the guy over at AVS telling every single poster to buy B&W. They generally have good reviews. 2) Based on your definition, which I agree with, you're definitely not saving any money. 3) I'll never accept my own ability of fit and finish. I have a nice house that I've spent 10's of thousands of dollars furnishing and decorating. I don't want some poorly finished MDF boxes in my room.
Most people do not do DIY (or even assemble) obviously. We all know that. But it can get you into stuff cheaply that is not readily (or cheaply) commercially available.
Like horns or coaxials or line arrays or other such off mainstream stuff. Most people don't solder up Bottlehead kits either. But for those that do now is a wonderful time -
Yep. The closest to an HTM12 would have been the Geddes Abbey. Which is no longer available and he wanted almost $3k each before he stopped making them. I'm not aware of any other waveguide speakers like them available and not even remotely close to the roughly $400 per they will cost me to build. And since they will be hidden in a screen wall I don't have to worry what they end up looking like at all. Although if I did that's just a bunch of extra time and a little extra money depending on the finish choosen.
Often you can find someone who has built them to audition them (or attend one of the diy gatherings similar to the big trade shows). Outside of that its no different than the Internet direct manufactures as you can't audition those either. Won't lose any more reselling components if you don't like them than you would to shipping costs on Internet direct if you don't. Time on the other hand is a different story.
Saying building a model or a kit isn't diy is like saying you didn't cook a meal if you followed a recipe. Of course it takes an entirely different level of skill to create your own recipe. But following a recipe is still very much doing a lot of it yourself.
Available money, time, skill and how you rate/prioritize the 3 will vary greatly for each of us. Or as Mike so aptly put it. Different strokes for different folks.
It depends on the level of kit. Some are Blue Apron and some are Hamburger Helper.
If all you are doing is assembling then you are painting by numbers. If you choose to call that DIY, fine, and you can call the assembly yours but not the design. They are not speakers (or anything else) you "made" yourself. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
I made the speakers in my Landcruiser. It's so noisy that the radio speaker just could not be heard over the road/engine noise. Bought a pair of cheap 6x9's and threw together a couple of plywood boxes and mounted them to the roll bar. Car is still so noisy that it almost wasn't worth the effort. Other than that I built the manifold to hold the PE 15's in my infinite baffle subwoofer. Not a lot of design effort but I did use my own tape measure.
But you didn't design and build the drivers yourself, all you did was design a crossover and layout over what a kit builder did.
I get your point though. If you try and hide that you are using someone else's design that's not cool. If you aren't hiding that's what you're doing then it's just a different level of difficulty in DIY. For some even paint by numbers would be too difficult. For others if they didn't design it not worth their time to build it.
I have designed my own drivers. But normally I choose what manufacturers make available. I design my crossovers from scratch, just like what Kit designers do. In fact, I have designed kits that have been sold commercially. Anyone remember SpeakerLab? They sold two of my designs back in the 70's.
Their big horn? Or something else?
That's cool! I remember Speaker Lab, I think they were in WA? Got good reviews too.
Yes, based in Seattle. The K-horn designs were great (K for Klipsch knock off of course.) Mine were the 2-way and 3-way bookshelf systems, sold as the Model 1 and the Model 3 in 1973-75. There was a 2 and a 4 but they were done by someone else. I made a few bucks off this, but no one associated with the company got rich. I hooked up with them through Tom Oberheim who was my boss at the time.
I recently saw a pair of Model 3's for sale locally.
Separate names with a comma.