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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need a little help getting into the home audio realm. I am sincerely as intimidated as I was getting into car audio.

For instance, I really would like a pair of tower speakers, but will I need a subwoofer in addition? Questions like these pester my mind….


So, I’ve done some research and well, this is what I’m thinking. All critique and suggestions are welcome.



For towers, I’m thinking about using the B&W 684 2 1/2 Way Vented Floor Standing Speaker. I’ve heard a pair of B&W towers and did love what I heard.





For the amp, I’m thinking a budget minded Onkyo M-282. I think this will provide enough power for the towers, do you agree?



















Anyways, I feel I’m missing something, so any insight and suggestions will be received with open arms.

As a sidenote, I won’t be purchasing until May22nd, so any good deals now won’t really matter on equipment, but a valid and cool discussion until then would be awesome.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Maybe something like this for a sound card?

Creamware Scope Pro Classic + Zlink @ Millennium Music


:laugh::laugh4:


No, but seriously, I think a sound card with good DSP and digi out into, lets say this Onkyo TX-SR706 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver (you can find it for $500) would be sick. I could also use my ps3 digi out and use it for the cd player.....

That receiver also has an integrated amp, but I feel I should have an external one specifically for the towers, what you think?

So, $1100 for the towers, $300 for the amp, $500 for the receiver, and $200 for the sound card....

Whatcha think !?
 

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For the amp, I’m thinking a budget minded Onkyo M-282. I think this will provide enough power for the towers, do you agree?
I have an older version of that amp running the subs in my home theather. Does a pretty good job on 2 10's ported, so should work nicely on a pair of towers.
John
 

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Your need for a subwoofer will be determined by how low the loudspeaker you end up with goes, what kind of content you'll be playing through the loudspeakers, and personal preference.

If you plan on using them for mains for an HT setup, you'll probably want a subwoofer regardless. Unless, that is, you find massive mains with 10 or 12" woofers.

Also, you know what my answer is going to be when it comes to going DIY or store bought. Stop being a *****. You're an intelligent guy from what I gather, I can get you through a DIY project.

The concept behind that B&W set you're looking at is relatively simple in the home audio world. Simple 2.5 way setup.

As for an amp, and sound card? Pro audio amp coupled with a creative card like this one Newegg.com - Creative 70SB088000004 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express 1x Interface PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Sound Cards

Use the analog outs on the sound card to a pro amp and get a whole lot more power and durability for your money with a pro audio amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
As far as using a digital output on a computer, I say go for it. That's exactly what I do with my mac pro and my denon 2809ci. I actually go a step further and use an airport express which has an optical output to feed the denon. Wireless between the computer and my a/v rack is pretty nice. Plus I control the mac pro with my iPhone as a glorified remote.

Thanks for your comments. That wireless stream is pretty kick ass! Throw in a remote as an iphone....Damn.


Also, you know what my answer is going to be when it comes to going DIY or store bought. Stop being a *****. You're an intelligent guy from what I gather, I can get you through a DIY project.

The concept behind that B&W set you're looking at is relatively simple in the home audio world. Simple 2.5 way setup.

As for an amp, and sound card? Pro audio amp coupled with a creative card like this one Newegg.com - Creative 70SB088000004 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express 1x Interface PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Sound Cards

Use the analog outs on the sound card to a pro amp and get a whole lot more power and durability for your money with a pro audio amp.

Ok, now that sounds doable. Take the sound card, feed the anolog outs into a pro amp, and be done with it. Just curios, the analog outs aren't in rca format huh? I'm not use to the outputs on sound cards...

I do want a subwoofer. All this time I've had that desire for a kick ass reference 2.1 system that can go as low as I want. So, maybe I should be looking at a 4 channel pro amp with the money saved via a reciever.


Now onto the most important thing...the speakers.

Yes, I'm totally being a *****, utterly. The design involved with a crossover and woodwork of the cabinet itself scares the **** out of me. I don't have the tools to cut circles nor nice edges, but I do have wood glue :laugh::)

Are their kits with built crossovers? I can't solder worth crap nor even read a crossover design without scratching my head, a lot.

The good news is that we have time for a gameplan, but I feel bad needing so much help. You'll end up hating me after this.
 

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Towers shouldn't need a sub. If they need a sub, they should be tiny bookshelves...

I feel that home audio is so much easier to do trial and error with than car... but for that reason, a good maker already has done more than I will. If you aren't ready for a long project/hobby, buy premade.

Check echohifi.com. Lots of good used gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
This looks like a start.....


Zaph|Audio - ZDT3.5





Or what about ridiculous awesomeness....PRE assembled crossover too! I would drop the sub if I pursued this project.




Summary
This is about as good as it gets for a 7" 2-way or 2.5-way. Not exactly cheap, but about as high performance as anyone could hope for. When the drivers like this have incredibly low distortion, and the design is well implemented, you get a non-fatiguing "listen all day" type of sound.
http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=35_425&products_id=8448

http://www.zaphaudio.com/ZRT.html





I have a feeling this thread will turn into a "build thread".........
 

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I find that to be a ridiculous assertion for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that the form factor of a given loudspeaker is in no way a sole determinant of its frequency response. Begin to factor in the concept of loudspeakers and the room as a system and it will become further evident why the above assertion is false.




There is no need to relegate your efforts to "trial and error" (or more optimistically stated "learning while doing"). There are readily available tools to allow one to create extremely competent designs even at the beginner level. Even easier is snagging a kit where the design is already complete and the demands on the user are simply woodworking/finishing skills.

My mains were a kit. The price will be higher than something DIY start to finish, but the cost is still a fraction of what one might pay for similar performance from another manufacturer. In my case I've also got a relatively unique design that is all but completely absent in the retail sector.
That was an opinion, as is this:

You're being a dick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This looks like a start.....

Or what about ridiculous awesomeness....PRE assembled crossover too! I would drop the sub if I pursued this project.

Zaph|Audio ZRT 2.5-Way, Revelator Tower - Pair - PARTS ONLY from Madisound

Zaph|Audio - ZRT - Revelator Tower

So if I take that madisound Parts only set, and combine it with the cabinets they offer, more specifically, the MD38T Black Ash, and also use the
MD38-B2 Baffle cut, I would only have to assemble everything else.....


But is that even considered DIY still? And now were at $1000 including shipping per tower. I'm not thrilled its non budget minded, but if the end result will blow me away, I don't mind.


Thoughts about this potential setup. Anything cheaper, yet comparable?



BTW, I can't go over 2.5k, thats my savings since Feb for this project.
 

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Towers shouldn't need a sub. If they need a sub, they should be tiny bookshelves...

I feel that home audio is so much easier to do trial and error with than car... but for that reason, a good maker already has done more than I will. If you aren't ready for a long project/hobby, buy premade.

Check echohifi.com. Lots of good used gear.
You must not be very aware of the physics in audio reproduction and small rooms. Unless you have a LOT of room treatment, you are not going to get coherent bass with mains unless you either:

A.) A dipole setup, or variations such as bipole, push pull if you will ALONG with minimal room treatment, larger room helps, or...

B) Run multiple subwoofers placed in different parts of the room, per Dr. Geddes' suggestion.

The latter of which you can see implemented here: mehlau.net > audio > multisub

Read it, absorb it, learn it :)

Regards,

Serg
 

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Hey Braves,

Here is a design from Ellis Audio, the disty for Hiquphon (sp?). These are drivers that you are probably pretty familiar with on this forum. Price is reasonable. He includes a link for plans to build your own cabinet also.

1801B
 

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I know I've made these recomendations before in another thread and I swear that I am not affiliated with either company, so here it goes. Speaker Art ask for Bob Gross. He makes some of the most amazing towers I have ever heard (and yes I like B&W as well). If you PM me I will go into more detail about products not on the website and some "deals in the garage".
For an amp look to WYRED 4 SOUND they are ICE monoblocks and modular in design for future expansion. Both of these manufactures are located just a few hours north of you and will sell direct to you. With some coersion you should be able to get a set of 1/8 wavelength 2-way tl's and a pair of monoblocks to power them for around 2K-2.5K.
Sorry to keep recomending these two little known companies, I just like to support small localy made products that kick butt and are competative with imports pricewise.
 

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Ok, now that sounds doable. Take the sound card, feed the anolog outs into a pro amp, and be done with it. Just curios, the analog outs aren't in rca format huh? I'm not use to the outputs on sound cards...

I do want a subwoofer. All this time I've had that desire for a kick ass reference 2.1 system that can go as low as I want. So, maybe I should be looking at a 4 channel pro amp with the money saved via a reciever.


Now onto the most important thing...the speakers.

Yes, I'm totally being a *****, utterly. The design involved with a crossover and woodwork of the cabinet itself scares the **** out of me. I don't have the tools to cut circles nor nice edges, but I do have wood glue :laugh::)

Are their kits with built crossovers? I can't solder worth crap nor even read a crossover design without scratching my head, a lot.

The good news is that we have time for a gameplan, but I feel bad needing so much help. You'll end up hating me after this.
Get two Pro Audio amps. One for your mains, and another that you'll bridge for your subwoofer. You could probably pick up both on ebay for easily under $400.00. Of course, look around for some high quality amps. But you can get A LOT of power for little money with a pro amp.

I think everybody else here has convinced you to go the DIY route. If you're not tooled up to do cabinets though, that's a huge deterrent. So, I would agree with VP Electricity that buying something prebuilt or a kit would be the way to go.

However, if you have a machine shop around that's friendly and looking for some work, you can also sit down with them. You'll need some pretty detailed drawings though.

Still, I think a kit might be your best option. Buy the time you buy the right tools, the cost would be more than made up for. Router, table saw, jigs, etc, etc.
 

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if you dont wanna spend too much... look into toby.com, most of there home audio consists of using scan speak, peerless, and vifa!

i do like the way the 683 towers are though, as im thinking of getting them for my 2.1 channel home audio... Denon or Marantz receivers would be the way to go on b&w, they make them sound alive and clean
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just as an update, it looks like I'll be outsourcing the cabinets to Mr Marv. Were gonna have a big discussion about it tomorrow once he comes up with estimates and what not....

In the meantime, we realized that the port size for that design wasn't included in the blueprints. Through some research I discovered that he suggests two 2"in flared ports, but doesn't give a length. It needs to be tuned to 30 hz, so I assume 3 or 4 inches.....Anyways, he states to cut them to size, but MORE ironically, he says that he hasn't built this setup ported, only sealed...that does scare me somewhat.....

Heres Zaphs post regarding port size....

My website information on the ZRT 2.5 way ported system is minimal. The main reason is simply because I never built it in a ported configuration, only sealed.

The system should have two 2" flared ports, but it's hard to specify the exact length. Madisound did have a prototype 2.5 way vented enclosure built, and one of the things they were going to do with it is find the correct port length for the tuning. You'd think it would be as easy as modeling the drivers in a box response program, but those are never very accurate particularly when trying to predict flared port length.

My guess for two flared ports is somewhere between no insert piece and a 2" insert. It's easy enough to experiment - start large and cut the insert shorter to taste.


So, whats an insert?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Any suggestions on a subwoofer kit to pair with these ZRT's.....in fact, can't I just get a subwoofer and use the amp for crossover? Or will I need a passive crossover and hence, the sub kit?


Man, a critical listening setup has me feeling sooo noooooooooobbbb, sorry guys.
 

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Most car sub woofers will work nicely, I would just get a 15 and 18 and put it in a proper sealed box. Plate amps and pro amps that are bridgeable will have a low pass x-over starting at around 150hz or so.

I would check out the sdx15 at creativesound.ca , and they offer several sealed box alignments with full measurements of the dimensions. Also check out Exodus audio for the tempest-x (if they still have them) and maelstrom x at diycable.com.

This is for music right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Just as an update, it looks like I'll be outsourcing the cabinets to Mr Marv. Were gonna have a big discussion about it tomorrow once he comes up with estimates and what not....

In the meantime, we realized that the port size for that design wasn't included in the blueprints. Through some research I discovered that he suggests two 2"in flared ports, but doesn't give a length. It needs to be tuned to 30 hz, so I assume 3 or 4 inches.....Anyways, he states to cut them to size, but MORE ironically, he says that he hasn't built this setup ported, only sealed...that does scare me somewhat.....

Heres Zaphs post regarding port size....

So, whats an insert?

Ok, so here is the email I received from Madisound when I asked about the tower they prototyped for the ZRT 2.5 way...


for 30hz Fb in 2.3ft3 use 2) 2"dia 4.5" long.
For flared ports add 1/2" to 1" in length.

Also remember the "inner" flare is the most important.
The outside flare is more cosmetic, and problematic when
trying to fit everything on the baffle. If needed leave it off.

And, remember you are tuning the enclosure and not the drivers,
ports do better mounted on the front, never put a port behind a driver!
Load both drivers evenly with regards to port(s) distance to each driver.
So, I'll need to adjust the building plans with Mr Marv to have the ports up front.




*EDIT* Looking now for a 2 way integrated amplifier....!




Everything is helpful, thanks very much.
 
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