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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings home audio fans! So I have always wanted to build my own pair of home speakers and my biggest inspiration has been the Linkwitz Orion:



ORION challenge to DIY

However, it has always been hard to justify setting aside $$$ for 8+ channels of high end amplification, electronic x-over and then the astronomical prices of SEAS/Peerless drivers. Not to forget the cost/time needed for the enclosure itself. Until now...

I got a screaming deal on a pair of SEAS W22EX drivers last weekend so it has officially begun:



For the tweeter, there is now way I am going to drop $1000+ on two pairs of Milleniums. Enter the BG NEO 3 PDR:



Bohlender Graebener Neo3-PDRW Planar Tweeter w/Back Cup 264-735

Excellent off-axis response and removable back cup make it a good match for open baffle use. And affordable! Plus a little different, great for street cred ;)

As for the woofers, I am not keen on spending another $700 on the Peerless XLS woofers. However, Peerless has a driver that happens to be a be better suited for open baffle use and costs less than half as much, the 10" 830668:

Peerless 830668 10" Paper Cone SLS Subwoofer 264-1110

Not as much Xmax as its XLS big brother but QTS is much higher and the price is right. Two per side in an H configuration with 120 watts gained down should do well.

The other option I may try is the Eminence Alpha 15". I am also a big fan of the Jamo R909 and the Legacy Whisper so these would play into an interpretation of either design. Plus a wall of 15's looks pretty cool :D



Eminence Alpha-15A 15" Driver 290-407

Jamo R909:


Legacy Whisper:


I'm in a small high-rise right now but my condo is supposed to sell by the end of the year...if it does, I'll be more inclined to go the 15's route since I will be moving into a large house, perfect for the large format sound that the 15's will deliver.

Now, onto the amps and crossover. For a crossover I'll use a DBX 234 proaudio unit:



These are on ebay buy it now for $129 refurb'd and just need mono 1/4" to RCA adaptors for home audio use. Very flexible and only one required for a pair of 3 way channels. Very good feedback on diyaudio.com regarding noise floor and performance.

As for amplification, there are a number of amps I am looking at and it all comes down to the best deal. I have an offer in on a pair of Rotel 6 channel amps locally here but I have a feeling it will fall through. If it does fizzle, I may end up with a pair of Elan (Sunfire) Z660 6 channel amps, one channel per mid/high and two channels per woofer (60w per channel or 120w bridged). Or a pair of Adcom GFA 535's for mids/highs and a 545 for the woofers. The great thing is that all of these combinations are $400 or less all day long on Craigslist or Ebay. MUCH less expensive than anything in Linkwitz's plans but all comparable performance.

Next week a contractor friend of mine is taking me to a local exotic wood shop where I will pick out the mid/high baffle. Everything else will likely be 1" MDF, likely piano gloss black but I am still looking at other finishes before committing to that.

And there you have it. I'll be sure to continue posting updates as the build progresses. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Linkwitz calls for a 4th order 24db/octave at 120hz and 1440hz, 5khz notch filter for the W22. The slopes are easily accomplished with the DBX unit but I will need to make the notch filter myself. I will probably play around with the 1440 xover, I've read that the Neo PDR tweeter can go as low as 1200hz open baffle but is better closer to 2khz. I just need to stay away from the 2.5khz breakup with the W22.

The other option would be a pair of 2x4 MiniDSP's and then crossover/notch with those. Or a single 2x8 MiniDSP.
 

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You could do the miniDSP but I like the DBX idea, and with the change in components, the notch may not be needed or likely change.

Wait, that out of band notch is being used to correct phase.... nice, don't see too many out of band notches used around here. Effective way to do things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You know, I never actually understood why they did that until you mentioned it now. Learn something new every day!
 

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We do it quite often in pro audio, kinda works the same as an all pass filter. just threw me for a loop for a second to see it posted here :D

Almost wondering if finding a second hand DCX2496 may be an option, rumor has it 200 bucks can be an attainable number.
 

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All new drivers would need an all new xover. The minidsp is a good alternative with some extra goodies in there to help tailor the sound to your environment and personal preference although, I havent had much of a chance to play around with it to know what filters it has (orders, slopes, notch, zobels, passive assist etc.)
 

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mini DSP has weaksauce I/O... granted it's just gain staging but it's rather dependent on his amplification as to if the mini DSP can drive them to full output. I know that the MiniDSP would have a hard time driving my amps without help. one reason I have decided not to use them.

The notch WILL be different because of the tweeter change, especially since it's setting up phase relationship and the drive source of the tweet will be at a different place in relation to the woofer's drive source with the planar.
 

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Great thread! I have been wanting to build a set of Plutos myself. Now your build has caught my attention. Looking forward to this....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great news, I picked up a pair of Elan Z-660 amps for dirt cheap tonight. They are manufactured by Sunfire and normally used for whole-house audio. Good specs and very flexible. Mixed reviews but most people are listening to them with crummy in-walls so I am taking my chances, especially for the price.

And my SEAS Excels came in the mail today. Time to go wood shopping!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I bought a carver PM1.5 mono... it's Bob Carver week!
Nice, that is a great amp.


Quick update, I finally decided on Vifa XT25 tweeters paired with Monacor WG-300 waveguides. Four total, one front firing and one rear firing per side (rear will be out of phase similar tothe latest Orion design).

I also ordered the dbx crossover and all cables/hardware needed.

I have been looking at preamps but may just open up my Denon receiver to find the preamp section and route it directly to the crossover.

Hopefully I will have everything together before my 2 weeks off at Christmas.
 

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i built the Plutos as well as the Orions. both are fabulous designs and sound simply amazing. you will not be disappointed. i never had them in the same room, but the Orions were just better at the dynamics, but both had the most insane imaging and "lifelike liveliness" i have ever heard. the man knows his stuff. period.
 

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i built the Plutos as well as the Orions. both are fabulous designs and sound simply amazing. you will not be disappointed. i never had them in the same room, but the Orions were just better at the dynamics, but both had the most insane imaging and "lifelike liveliness" i have ever heard. the man knows his stuff. period.
Yeah, that is what I keep hearing, I have never heard either of the designs. I was considering the Plutos just based on cost. However, if this project turns out well I may consider a budget Orion build. My home audio options suck...I reall need to start working on a nice reference system.
 

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I've always wanted to try one of those designs! One day maybe. I like your choice of components. Will you have any EQ ability? (obviously not as critical as in a car, but still)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've always wanted to try one of those designs! One day maybe. I like your choice of components. Will you have any EQ ability? (obviously not as critical as in a car, but still)
Trying to go sans EQ to begin with but I may need EQ for the subs depending on what design I settle on. With the XT25's and the SEAS crossed over at 120hz and 1800hz, I don't expect to need any EQ for them.
 

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Subscribed.... Interested to see your X-over choices. I would probably go passive to only use one channel of amplification.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Subscribed.... Interested to see your X-over choices. I would probably go passive to only use one channel of amplification.
That was definitely a consideration but building a pair of 3-way 4th order crossovers was starting to get pricey and then there is no room for easy customization should I not get it right the first time. My Elan Z660 6x60 watt amps arrived today so amplification is now covered. My dbx 3-way crossover should arrive this week, leaving me with only the preamp/processor to figure out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Crossover arrived but my clients have been keeping me busy with their end of year scamble to exhaust their budgets so I haven't been able to invest much time in a preamp search. Thankfully I have the next two weeks off and will be building test baffles for the tweeters/Excels and looking for a preamp.

No decision yet for woofers but I really want four AE OB15's. However, AE seems to be experiencing production issues right now with a recent supply deal that went badly and also a big TD group buy so I may have to wait a while :( I'm contacting FI to see if they will build an OB-friendly pair of IB318's and I will replace one of my Z660s for a Behringer EP2500. A couple of OB 18's with 30mm of xmax and 700 watts each should be plenty for bass :D
 
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