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DIY => DIY Resources => Topic started by: decibel on October 19, 2009, 02:50:29 AM

Title: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 19, 2009, 02:50:29 AM
About two weeks ago I asked Kay (Pavel) if I can make an offer to forum members to indicate that I have designed some speaker kits for sale. He gladly agreed, and I can now announce that they are available at present.

There are currently two options, a 2-way bookshelf and 2-way floor stander. The range will be expanded in the coming year depending on the success of this venture. The kits use Infinity Dynamic drivers, which are good entry level drivers from a local supplier, and also present good value for money as a result. Many experienced forum members have used these drivers in their own designs and seem to report favourable results so far. The kits are aimed at those who would like to enter into the DIY speaker arena and learn how to build their own speakers at a relatively affordable cost, without having to invest in expensive tools.

The kits will, for now, be made on order only, and turnaround times will be about two weeks, depending on availability of stock.

If you are interested, please go to the website at www.decibelaudio.co.za for the details on the kits. Payment is handled through the Bid-or-Buy portal at the moment, but I will accept direct correspondence from forum members through this forum.

I hope this venture will make DIY speaker building more accessible in our country, knowing that parts are hard and expensive to come by at the best of times.

Please feel free to make comments (hoping they will all be positive of course  ;)) and ask questions in response, and I will try and answer them as best I can.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: ghostinthemachine on October 19, 2009, 08:47:18 AM
Decibel

Congratulations on your business venture.

The website layout is very professional and clear (just check that your HTML page title tags gets completed to avoid "Untitled Document" at the top of the browser).

The kits, from the photographs looks very neat and, I guess, should be fun to assemble. 

Do you plan to issue a slightly higher end kit with ie SEAS or Vifa drivers?

What about veneer kits and clear instructions to "do it yourself"?

Here's to DIY Audio!!
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: iondb on October 19, 2009, 08:56:40 AM
It is looking good!!  Good luck with your venture!!
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on October 19, 2009, 08:57:34 AM
Well, it looks promising. I must say that the crossover is much simpler than I would have done, but it's hard to judge performance from a picture.

Kudos for:

1) The guts to take on such a venture
2) "the local market in South Africa and surrounding African countries"
3) Neat, apparently simple to assemble kit
4) CNC'd panels
5) Bracing: nice
6) Web site: nice, neat. But browser page tab reads "Untitled Document"
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 19, 2009, 09:10:43 AM
Excellent, always good to see more activity in this space. I still have some of those drivers laying around gathering dust.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 19, 2009, 11:18:22 AM
Do you plan to issue a slightly higher end kit with ie SEAS or Vifa drivers?

What about veneer kits and clear instructions to "do it yourself"?

At the moment the offer extends to two models in the Cine Series, which is aimed at the beginner to intermediate DIYer, but not limited of course. I will add a Grande Series in the coming year (no specific date yet) that will use the SEAS drivers most probably.

I will expand the website with some DIY guides in the coming months. So depending on the outcome of this venture, veneer kits could be an option for the future.

Thanks all for the positive comments so far, and for pointing out the incomplete webpage title tags!!  ::)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: DRNB on October 19, 2009, 03:46:14 PM
Decibel,
You took the step in doing what many of us dreamed of doing for many many years. Congrats, your kit looks very nice.
From one very jealous dude  ;) (should be a thumbs up icon)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on October 19, 2009, 04:05:42 PM
I was just asking myself: So, who is decibel?. I see from the profile that you are in Cape Town. Hmmm... I'd like to meet. Where in CT are you?
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 19, 2009, 04:56:06 PM
@Shonver

I live in Plumstead, but work from a home/office in Tamboerskloof. It will be great to meet some of the Cape Town forum members! Contact me on my email address in my profile, and we can arrange to meet. Any other Cape Town forum members are welcome to join in...  8)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Ampdog on October 20, 2009, 01:13:55 AM
Perhaps to fill in one extra piece to the picture:

For the reasons Decibel have mentioned I also became interested in Infinity Dynamic products. With some trouble I got in touch with the factory and obtained some response graphs. They are more than reasonable. Then I 'sacrificed' one of their 10 inch models to inspect the innards. I found nothing in magnet and voice coil construction to put me off, compared to more expensive makes. (The only possible improvement I can see is the use of a copper shorting ring over the magnet pole. As an aside, I would really like some comment from Timber as to the real advantage of such without further discussion, Decibel allowing.)

So! Another aside, with my hopefully dead-practical outlook ... why only entry level?? - - I would really wonder to what degree expensive types like Vifa or Scanspeak would audibly improve a good design like this?

(In deference to Decibel, this thread should not be used to branch off on such a discussion per se. But as the question has been asked, I have yet to see the real advantage of some quite more expensive makes in practice...)

This in support of Decibel's venture.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 20, 2009, 02:42:51 AM
@ Ampdog

First, thanks for the support!

You raise some interesting questions regarding the possible advantages of more expensive drivers versus less expensive types, which is probably a discussion for a separate thread as you mention, but I would certainly like some of the experts like Timber to fill in on a discussion like this.

That aside, to shed some light on why I call these entry level drivers (although they seem to perform very well for the price), I should rather have said 'entry level speaker kits', as the I believe the driver, enclosure and crossover combination determines the level of performance you ultimately get from a complete loudspeaker. My goal for these particular kits using the ID drivers are to be entry level units, and have thus been designed with the following criteria in mind:

- good value for money compared to entry level commercial speakers - price must be right
- it must produce good sound that is suitably balanced for both home theatre and a wide variety of music genres
- easy placement, especially close to a back wall, which makes it suitable for small to medium sized rooms
- simple crossover that can achieve a FQ response of +-5dB at least, and not break the bank!
- easy to assemble enclosure (without the need for heavy woodworking tools)

I managed to use a very simple XO for the design, and still keep the response within +-5dB. It can surely be improved by adding more XO components to tweak the response graph, but for entry level units the result is more than acceptable and hopefully affordable. I am also hoping that some who buy and assemble the kits, will at some stage be brave and encouraged enough learn more and start playing around with the XO values and add an take away, in an effort to advance the DIY speaker building community and get guys involved in this field.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 20, 2009, 09:35:41 AM
I haven't measured these up properly and what measurements I had were lost...perhaps it is time to play around with a few drivers again :)

The stamped production of the ID drivers' top plate (I have also vivisected one) means that BxL is lower than in a higher tolerance production series such as Seas for instance. This generally results in high Qes values in these speakers (making them suitable for sealed enclosures) and can lead to production variances if (as often is the case) the speaker manufacturer jumps between motor part suppliers (don't know about ID). Note that even scandinavian manufacturers are also not immune to this (as some Vifa tweeter buyers of 10 years back will attest)

The better drivers also will use a T-pole gap to improve magnetic field symmetry (optionally copper shorting rings) and machined motor assemblies, but one must consider the cost of manufacture. One upshot is that if you will compare the respective Seas or similar to the generic chinese type drivers is that they will have far greater Xmax for the same magnet size in addition to lower distortion due to the gap symmetry.

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Gerhard on October 20, 2009, 10:27:24 PM
Sometimes you get what you pay for and sometimes you get lucky ;)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Ampdog on October 21, 2009, 01:59:12 AM
As Timber_MG said.

I will still be 'pushing the envelope' by the following, hopefully not pulling attention away from Decibel's original purpose for this thread. Here follow the T-S characteristics of an Infinity Dynamic 20cm loudspeaker, model R8520, as determined 'on the bench' by me. (I have used several of these):

BL = 6,32 t.m   fs = 36,7Hz   Mmd = 22,1gm   Mmr = 1,5gm   Mms = 23,6gm   Cms = 8,06 x 10(power -4) m/N   Qes = 0,88   Qms = 3,3   Qts = 0,69   Levc = 1,1mH   Revc = 6,9ohm   Vas = 42 l (1,5 sq. ft)

It will be apparent that Qts is rather high for many uses, also there is bound to be a tolerance as Timber said. I did not test several examples for control.

Also to state that I am not an agent for Infinity Dynamic and have no connection with them. (In fact, I was rather disappointed by the scant attention received at my last visit to their Jo-burg agents.) But the above for comparison.   
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: kay on October 22, 2009, 12:52:26 PM
I can only echo the other comments on the website design - it looks great! The only thing that I'm wishing for is even higher resolution photos of the kits. Perhaps a gallery showcasing some possible different finishes would work well also. Best of luck with this venture! :)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 26, 2009, 12:09:16 AM
Tx Kay, I'll definitely add more photos of the products as I go along with different finishes etc. I'll also be adding the availability of some DIY components such as air coils etc. very soon, and hopefully some reviews on the finished kits after the CPT forum members get together this coming Saturday (31st).
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: JacoP on October 28, 2009, 10:51:19 AM
Sorry, but I can't be in agreement here.

You use PQ Sound woofers @ R112.30 each and the tweeters @ R75.00 each.
That gives you a total of R374.60 for all the drivers.
Give or take R250.00 for the X-Overs and a few bucks for the port, terminal, stuffing, etc.

Your kit price is R2599.00 for a pair, making your profit margin more than 200%!!!

I have used these woofers, tweeters and X-Overs before in a venture that I started, and my price for something similar to the "CM651" was R1250.00 per pair. I battled to sell them as you can buy, e.g. Wharfedales at HiFi Corp for cheaper than this and they have a brand name attached.

These "Kevlar" woofers are also not that great, as their TSP's are never the same; not even in the same batch.

My adivce: Drop your pricing as anybody with a Router, Table saw and the Internet can build these for under R800.00
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: ghostinthemachine on October 28, 2009, 11:43:37 AM
Well Jaco

Not defending anybody but do take notice that CNC-ed MDF panels are included in the kit. This is an assemble and play kit which changes the game a wee bit.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 28, 2009, 11:52:15 AM
My opinion is to let the market decide on the viability of any commercial venture.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 28, 2009, 12:24:14 PM
Quote
Sorry, but I can't be in agreement here.

You use PQ Sound woofers @ R112.30 each and the tweeters @ R75.00 each.
That gives you a total of R374.60 for all the drivers.
Give or take R250.00 for the X-Overs and a few bucks for the port, terminal, stuffing, etc.

Your kit price is R2599.00 for a pair, making your profit margin more than 200%!!!

I have used these woofers, tweeters and X-Overs before in a venture that I started, and my price for something similar to the "CM651" was R1250.00 per pair. I battled to sell them as you can buy, e.g. Wharfedales at HiFi Corp for cheaper than this and they have a brand name attached.

These "Kevlar" woofers are also not that great, as their TSP's are never the same; not even in the same batch.

My adivce: Drop your pricing as anybody with a Router, Table saw and the Internet can build these for under R800.00

Hi Jaco,

I have tested numerous of these drivers. After burn in time, they settle, and the differences in TS specs is more than acceptable IMO.

You must remember to add costs for the flatpack CNC cut enclosure panels. With this included, my markup is not even close to what you suggest. (the enclosures are really very easy to assemble and comes with good instructions, which is time spent and all adds to the package)

I'm not a fan of Wharfedale (and have bought some grey products form Hifi Corp before, unknowingly so), but despite that, the kits I supply is not for the guy who wants to buy off the shelf. It's for the DIYer who would like a good speaker set and have the time and ability to apply a custom finish etc.

What I have seen some people do with a router and table saw is scary  ;), but seriously, for R800 you pushing it a bit, and not taking all factors (design, time, parts, materials etc.) into consideration.

Some of the CPT forum members are coming around on Saturday. I'm eager to get their opinions, and will post feedback after.

This venture is still very new, and only time will tell if it can work.

Tx for your input  :).
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: JacoP on October 28, 2009, 12:29:19 PM
ghostinthemachine,

At that price, one would expect better drivers. The fact that the MDF is CNC'd, is great and I do not dispute the quality there, but itís also not expensive. I had a guy in Pretoria do mine for about R250.00 per pair.

For the rest, I relied on good old woodworking skills and tools.  ;)

But to put, well, substandard "cheap" drivers into a MDF box and sell it at this cost, is a bit absurd.
Then the buyer has to spend more money on finishing, i.e. veneers or good paint, which is also expensive, as I would not want R2600 worth of speakers looking like R300 units.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Hennie on October 28, 2009, 03:57:25 PM
I'm just curious as to what the Qts of the Infinity Dynamic midbass driver is? Did you find them suitable for bass reflex loading?
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on October 28, 2009, 04:17:51 PM
But to put, well, substandard "cheap" drivers into a MDF box and sell it at this cost, is a bit absurd.

The performance of a system is not determined by the cost of the parts. For instance, the cost of parts to the high-volume producer is not as high as the final price might suggest.

I myself have expressed a reservation concerning the apparent simplicity of the crossover. The designer has qualified his choice to go this route, so I leave the final verdict until I have heard them. I have heard the yellow kevlars sound very good in my own speakers and at Mcully Music studios, so I don't think they are as poor as you suggest. I don't know the tweeter, so guess what? Everything else is either speculation or sour grapes. Give the man a chance; he's been bold enough to invite total strangers to come and sample his offering.

We'll know by Saturday.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 28, 2009, 05:13:33 PM
I'm just curious as to what the Qts of the Infinity Dynamic midbass driver is? Did you find them suitable for bass reflex loading?

Qts=0.54. The EBP averages at about 93.5, which suggests that these drivers will work well in both sealed or vented, although, 93.5 tends more towards vented.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: GearSlave on October 28, 2009, 05:18:41 PM
Sorry, but I can't be in agreement here.

You use PQ Sound woofers @ R112.30 each and the tweeters @ R75.00 each.
That gives you a total of R374.60 for all the drivers.
Give or take R250.00 for the X-Overs and a few bucks for the port, terminal, stuffing, etc.

Your kit price is R2599.00 for a pair, making your profit margin more than 200%!!!

I have used these woofers, tweeters and X-Overs before in a venture that I started, and my price for something similar to the "CM651" was R1250.00 per pair. I battled to sell them as you can buy, e.g. Wharfedales at HiFi Corp for cheaper than this and they have a brand name attached.

These "Kevlar" woofers are also not that great, as their TSP's are never the same; not even in the same batch.

My adivce: Drop your pricing as anybody with a Router, Table saw and the Internet can build these for under R800.00

You know, this is EXACTLY what I was afraid of!! ::)

Jaco, Decibel came here with a product to offer the fellow DIY'ers. He worked out a price and he's prepared to maintain a presence here for the sake of marketing and support.

I find your post above to be rude, offensive and in very bad taste. I'm sure you posted your remarks with the best of intentions, but I'm pretty sure we are all capabale of making decisions for ourselves. If we do feel his pricing to be out of line, we will not buy his product, simple as that. If there are some of us here that does like his product, we will buy it. Finish and klaar.

What get's my nose out of joint is that you proceed to quote his cost prices here on the forum and then make unqualified statements about what you think the man should charge for his work. All of this considering the fact that you've not even heard nor seen them yet. You do not have intimate knowledge of this product. If you have tried these woofers in the past and did not like the way they sounded, how do you know you didn't mess up the XO design?! Well, you don't and I thus call your statements unqualified. So would any statement be that I make regarding the quality of the kit. BECAUSE I'VE NOT HEARD IT AND I DONT KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT IT.

So please, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself and think twice before you comment on something that could take the bread out of someone elses mouth.

Thanks

Gert
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Hennie on October 28, 2009, 05:34:59 PM
Qts=0.54. The EBP averages at about 93.5, which suggests that these drivers will work well in both sealed or vented, although, 93.5 tends more towards vented.

Thanks, and good luck with your venture.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 28, 2009, 09:42:28 PM
I think many people would be shocked if they realized the parts cost for mass-produced speakers (and many of the tweets in there are just down right nasty).

I have had good experiences with the yellow cones in the past too and am actually more interested in the tweeter section than the commercial merits of this venture (perhaps some measurements?)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 28, 2009, 09:47:02 PM
Higher Qts woofers in a small, sealed enclosure for speakers aimed to be high passed can work really, really well for HT scenarios. Perhaps a plug for the ports or for those more traditional in their ways a sock :)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Hennie on October 28, 2009, 10:42:37 PM
Yes, that's almost an aperiodic box you are describing. With that Qts, a small box with an aperiodic vent could work well, like some Dynaco's of yesteryear.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 29, 2009, 12:38:07 AM
Some good points from Timber and Hennie.

For those who don't know, an aperiodic design will allow a smaller enclosure size than would normally be possible in a sealed box by using a 'damped port'. A smaller sealed box will raise the Q, and cause a peak in lower FQs and impedance. The dampened port will allow air to leak from the box, and result in lowering the peaks for low FQs and impedance. This is claimed to provide better and clearer bass, and an easier load on your amp at lower FQs.

The CM651-Kit Stand Mount is perfect for such experimentation. Blocking the port completely will actually give you an ideal sealed enclosure with Qtc of 0.71. Playing around with damping material in the port and enclosure gives you the option to then tune the system to your particular listening environment. Good for rear surround speakers, but I have to add that the box volume for this model as vented design has also been optimized to work well close to a wall without becoming boomy (for those of us with limited space). Very low bass lacks of course in both types of enclosures, but it has to taken into consideration that the main focus of these units are ideally for HT use with a subwoofer. I will hopefully be able to add a 3-way design and/or TL soon that will address the lower FQs, and a subwoofer kit.

I'm really enjoying your input! The comments and discussions are really placing some emphasis on the purpose of these kits: it is for playing around with in an effort to get an understanding of how a speaker works and interacts with your unique listening environment, and then perhaps in future moving on to building your own loudspeakers or upgrading to a more advanced kit.

I can never claim that these 1st two models will completely blow your socks off, but can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of performance for the purpose that they have been designed for so far.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Timber_MG on October 29, 2009, 07:21:34 AM
It is difficult to make a call at this point. I am sure that many have open questions regards this kit. Perhaps when you demo Shonover or someone else could collect some data on multiple axes?

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on October 29, 2009, 11:26:52 AM
True! I'll post some feedback and data here after Saturday's meeting.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Ampdog on October 29, 2009, 08:43:17 PM
In accordance with the FORUM RULES (I suggest that some members realise that such exist and take time to read the same!!!) - I was not going to comment. For those who cannot read, it says that where such offers as the present are made, criticism and analyses (especially derogatory) are off limits.

But enough is enough.

A product is on offer, the designer took the trouble to consult with the forum owner and only then did he introduce it. No wild claims (as is so often the case), only a matter-of-fact offer.

I would suggest that those who are lavish with uninformed comments, take the trouble to work out the cost of components of most products in this line, compare that with the over-the-counter cost, and LEARN. A man has the right to charge for his time, work and ideas. One example of many, there is a commercial up-market valve power available for R90K odd, of which the components cost no more than 8% of that figure. And it is lauded beyond realism and sells.

I would respectfully request that moderators be on the lookout for the above kind of uninvited and unwarranted posts and promptly deal with the same in the prescribed manner.

 

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Viagara on October 30, 2009, 07:34:35 AM
Amen Ampdog!

Its far too easy to say, "But I can make it cheaper!" Fine if you can, but you don't have to be derogatory about someone else's efforts.

I remember Ampdog telling me the cost of the components in his 100watt per channel valve amp and what he will sell it for and my initial reaction was also that there is a huge markup involved, but intellectual property, research and labour plays a big role in the price. If you were to build a set of speakers or amplifier or whatever, you never consider the time you have spent as having an actual monetory value.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: dotVIBE on November 02, 2009, 06:56:18 PM
Checked the site out. These are pretty cool.

May I suggest:

Some Vinyl kits
A DIY subwoofer kit

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Telephono on November 03, 2009, 03:39:37 PM
So? What did the speaks sound like, guys...?  8)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 03, 2009, 05:50:45 PM
Many of the guys could not make it this Saturday to the get together, but this is what milesgopal had to say:

"...put his 2 way floorstanders through its paces and it coped well with  a wide array of music.the floorstanders are not fussy with regards to placement -  clear highs, deep bass. i think they can easily compete with commercially available products costing 2-3 times more.i like the idea that you can customise the finish and the assembly seems to require minimal tools and diy ability."

It was posted here: http://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,3619.15.html

I'm hopefully having some more guys over this saturday. will keep everyone posted on the results as they come in.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Vaughan on November 03, 2009, 08:44:17 PM
Hi Decibel,

Congratulations on the new venture. I wish you the best of luck.

Regards,


Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 03, 2009, 10:24:55 PM
@ dotVIBE

Tx! I'm planning a subwoofer kit in the near future. Will keep you all posted on developments. If this venture proves to be successful, I will surely expand to bring other offers to the table, such as veneer and vinyl kits if they prove popular enough.

@goneten

Thank you! Much appreciated  :)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 10, 2009, 12:02:04 AM
Some feedback from this past Saturday:

I had 3 guys from the forum around. Thank you very much for taking the time out to review the kits! Would be appreciated if you could perhaps just post a few comments on your findings here  :)

What I have gathered form the experience is the following:

1. The floor standers should prove to be most popular and best value for money.
2. Low FQ response is very good, with tight and clean bass for a kit in this price range.
3. As feared, and probably the question on the minds of many, the tweeter struggles to deliver in high FQ definition, and does not do the yellow kevlar units any justice.

I was hoping that the response of the tweeter and the XO tweaking would be enough to deliver just above what is needed, but I have to agree with the guys who reviewed (with very good ears indeed!), that a new tweeter will be needed to match the good performance of the woofer, and should then make for a very good deal indeed.

So, I will be modeling a new XO with a new tweeter. I will post the availability of the update here soon with some FQ response graphs.

Thanks again to Miles, Rodney, Theo, and Ryan!
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on November 10, 2009, 08:43:51 AM
Pity I could not make it this time (unlike last time when I could make, but lacked the address/directions).

It will likely be a toss-up between a higher-specced tweeter (that plays with lower distortion down to lower frequencies) and a more complex crossover (higher order). Both will add cost.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 10, 2009, 12:54:02 PM
Since it will add some costs, I think going the better tweeter route is the one to do although, this might add additional XO components as well. At the end of the day I think it will just make for a much better product, which is really what we are looking for.

Extra XO components on the ID tweet is just not worth it. The high FQ still tends to roll-off quite early. Initially my ears thought it will be acceptable but, when physically compared side by side to a good commercial tweeter, the difference is quite clear.

So, I'm working on MKII of the kits then  ;)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Rodney_gold on November 10, 2009, 01:09:52 PM
I and Theo were there and heard the speakers - bass was surprisingly good for what they are  , definitely needs a much better tweeter. It was somewhat difficult to audition em due to the tweeters performance , room and placement issues

Im not wanting to rain on anyones parade , but these are my thoughts

IMHO a better tweeter and a substantial price reduction of the kit would perhaps be  the recipe to success , I feel the unfinshed floorstanders at R3k , requiring a good R1-2k  to finish them to a good commercial veneered or paino gloss type standard pitch themselves into a VERY competitive segment of the market , most of which have recogniseable brand names and good finishes to em. The competiton is real tough here , one has to look at speakers in the R6-10k range and these kit speakers have to be at least equal or a lot better. The other issue is that kit speaker builders tend to be rather savvy ..zillions of plans on the internet of proven designs so the target market will be demanding an out and out bargain or at least finished panels to relieve em of the hassle of making their own cabinets.  If I were marketing these speakers , I would develop them fully and not sell em as a kit but rather as a finished item - problems with using the internet as a sales channel is that no one can audition em..but I do see on the website there is a money back policy if you dont like the sound..

You can return a speaker kit after 14 days of purchase for a full refund if you are not completely satisfied with the sound quality. Components must be in the original packaging and in the same condition you have received it. You must return the enclosures as well, even if these have been partly or completely assembled. You will be liable for shipping costs back to us.

If they are finished , this policy would be a lot easier for the mnfgr  to implement as they can be easily sold again as a slight price reduction ..Im not sure what you would do with a partially finished or assembled enclosures if you get em back and only sell kits.

Regards
Rodney
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: dotVIBE on November 10, 2009, 02:50:10 PM
Hmm, what are these speaks up against at the R4k mark? Wharfedale 10.6 maybe? Q. Acoustics 1030i? That's about it afaik. I haven't hear these kit speakers, and while I agree that finishing is important, if the SQ is noticeably better than that of the competition, i think decibel might have a winner on his hands.

I also think that having pre-cut vinyl or veneer packs as an option would go a long way towards selling these.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 10, 2009, 04:24:08 PM
I'm still quite eager to resolve the current kits with a new tweeter and see how good I can make them sound for this price range. Although, we must remember that the aim really is to buy a kit that will give you the response of a system costing 1.5 to twice the amount commercially. Whether I can do it with the current woofer and new tweeter remains to be seen. But ...

... this brings me to think that the more niche up-market (as with this type of product) is probably where some more success could be at (and has always been in the back of my mind to do a up-market Deluxe Series version depending on the success of the current Cine Series). The average bloke can not afford a R15K set, but if you can make a kit for half that or less and get the same performance, WOW, now that's a bargain in my book at least!

It is difficult to reduce price on the current units and still make it worth all the effort, so maybe a deluxe version could prove better value for money using much better components.

Looking at some potential drivers and costs, I can surely see a kit for R6 - R7K that could easily match performance of a R15K commercial set.

With regards to finishing kits: Veneer is fragile to pack and transport, but vinyl is easier. And to be honest, both are easy to apply and readily available. I will for a start rather offer DIY guides in the future to show how it is done.

I will in future also consider pre-assembled sets and/or enclosures. All in due time and will need to happen when I have the necessary capital to implement many of the suggestions you guys have made.

Thanks for the replies and comments  :) keep them coming!
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on November 10, 2009, 04:47:57 PM
I don't know how much cheaper chip board is than MDF, but I would say that for the cine series you should probably look at cheaper materials and manufacturing methods (as opposed to CNC). Reserve the CNC and MDF for Deluxe, where it is better justified. Many up-market speakers use chip board with smart vinyl wrap, and the customer is none the wiser. If you use the better materials in your entry-level model, you will lose a potential price advantage.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 10, 2009, 11:10:03 PM
A cheaper material and 16mm board instead of the current 18mm MDF will make a bit of a difference, and as you say, for the cine series and level of drivers used should be good enough. But chipboard edges are difficult to finish if you don't use veneer or vinyl, so maybe a price comparison between 16 and 18mm MDF then. Off the cuff, the difference per board is only around R50 to R100 depending on where you buy, and with my already low markup will not make much difference to the final price per set. Their are also not many other manufacturing methods versus CNC for the MDF apart from doing it manually, which from a time/labour perspective will actually be more expensive.

But I like the way you think, and will explore more possibilities to see if I can cut cost further.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Rodney_gold on November 11, 2009, 12:33:54 AM
Decibel , the only way you will cut costs is economies of scale , however the issue is that cutting costs of the speakers is not relevant unless you get em sounding right .. folk want a giant killer at an affordable price.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 11, 2009, 01:09:07 AM
Decibel , the only way you will cut costs is economies of scale , however the issue is that cutting costs of the speakers is not relevant unless you get em sounding right .. folk want a giant killer at an affordable price.

True, and I have already indicated that cutting costs will be very difficult!

And what you are saying is exactly what I'm trying to achieve eventually.

The questions I ask then is: Is my price right (affordable) if I get the speakers with a new (better) tweeter to sound right (giant killer or as close as)? ... and, do you think from what you have heard, that the woofer and enclosure at present with a new tweeter and XO has the potential to achieve this criteria?

If not, I'll have to consider different components, but would like to know what you think though, based on what you have heard so far. I know you have already indicated that the woofer's performance have surprised you, but can it be good enough to be part of a system that is regarded as a "giant killer" with the right XO and tweeter?

These questions might be difficult to answer, but you seem to have a good ear and have heard the system and therefore your opinion is quite valuable to me at the moment.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Rodney_gold on November 11, 2009, 07:44:14 AM
I cannot really give you an answer until I have heard the speaker with a good tweeter as the old tweeter doesnt allow any of the potential of the speaker to come thru , apart from that my comments are based on tonality only and a breif listening session , there are other characteristics of the speaker that need to be auditioned  in far more detial like transient attack , imaging , soundstaging and a far more extensive analysis of microdynamics and so forth. You have got the bass right which is one of the harder things to do - so build on that foundation. Personally , I think supplying the speakers with no finish is a mistake ..speakers are the most visible component in a systems and even if they are giant killers , I think aesthetics are very important for both the owner and the rest of the family. I recon if you can make the floorstanders look and sound awesome at under 5 grand , you would have a good chance , the asking price of R3799 (as per your website) vs R4800 or so is not going to make a huge difference in terms of the market - its R1k more which is not going to be a deal breaker especially if you up the ante in what you provide.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on November 11, 2009, 09:13:23 AM
... and, do you think from what you have heard, that the woofer and enclosure at present with a new tweeter and XO has the potential to achieve this criteria?

If not, I'll have to consider different components, but would like to know what you think though, based on what you have heard so far. I know you have already indicated that the woofer's performance have surprised you, but can it be good enough to be part of a system that is regarded as a "giant killer" with the right XO and tweeter?

What is your design methodology? Did you tune by ear? This approach can work on condition that the drivers have smooth response at crossover. But some of the baddies can only be picked up by measurement.

The mid/bass can be made to sound remarkably good, but the tricky bit is integration with the tweeter. Done right, the midrange is silky smooth. This I achieved using a good (not great) silk dome Vifa tweeter that is now obsolete. The crossover was not simple, however.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on November 11, 2009, 02:12:27 PM
@ Rodney,

Thanks for the reply. The purpose of the kit is for people to build themselves and to then apply their own finish. Others might want a finished unit, which is an option I will offer eventually. It's just not possible for me to give all the possible scenarios and options at the same time. Also, the kit needs some tweaking, which is why I'm having it reviewed, and then make improvements and expand on the offering as time goes by.
Adding a good finish for an extra R1000 plus labour etc. is very difficult, when you consider that the cost of building a speaker mostly goes into the cabinet and finish, and then I still have no mark-up on that yet for my time and effort. The kit offering eliminates the labour costs and markups that I would normally add, and the person finishing the kit themselves only pays for it in their own leisurely time and materials. Or you can take it to someone who can finish it for you at some cost of course, but without my labour and markup you should easily be able to get someone who can give the cabinets a decent lacquer finish for a R1000. Maybe not 100% piano finish, but very close!

But at the end of the day, as you say, it needs to sound right, so that will be my focus for now.  :)

Thanks!

@Shonver

I use measurement equipment and software. I also tune by ear as you can pick up some nasties in this way that measurements don't always show. Then I'll compare to other similar units if possible, and have others listen to see what they think.

One thing I have noticed is that many people prefer a very crisp (sometimes even harsh) top end FQ, where personally I prefer a more subtle top end FQ that is smoother on the ear. Noticeable often when you use metal domes versus soft domes. Maybe why my ears thought the top end level to be acceptable for what we have here. Midrange is not that open as I have heard before, but my decision to go with the XO that I did, was a compromise between getting  acceptable mids and acceptable highs. Other more complicated XO's made no real difference.

TBH, the current ID tweeter and Woofer XO integration over midrange is very good on paper, and I have spend loads of time on this using different configurations. It is simply the tweeter that does not perform great and I need a better unit. Full stop.

I have actually already sourced two Vifa units, one metal and one soft dome, which I will try. Both have very different response curves, so I'll have two options regards to integration with the woofer. At the moment I'm just wanting to get the sound right, without worrying to much about amount of XO components.

Thanks guys, much appreciate your input.  :)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on April 06, 2010, 12:15:19 PM
After about 4 months in development, I am pleased to announce that the 1st new Decibel Audio speaker kit is available as of now!

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_kit_comp_large.jpg)

As many of you might already know, the original kits, using local Infinity Dynamic drivers were pulled from the market. The reason is found in the build quality of these units. Not only did some units arrive damaged, but some of the rubber surrounds were glued on skew. I was not prepared to bring a product to the market that displays these qualities, and resorted to import quality drivers from abroad and start from scratch, rather than bring the original kits up to standard.

(I am still of the opinion that the ID drivers are good performers in sound quality when implemented correctly, but in providing a quality product to the market, consistency and good service is of more importance).

The new drivers I have chosen are all value leaders in their category, of good build quality and perform very well indeed.

Currently there is one model available, a MTM floor stander (CF552-Kit), with a matching center channel (CC552-Kit) to be added before the end of April.

I will also post some 'enclosure assembly' and 'veneer guides' on the Decibel Audio web site in the coming month to assist DIYers in finishing their units.

More info here: http://www.decibelaudio.co.za (http://www.decibelaudio.co.za)

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_001_large.jpg)
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: JacoP on April 06, 2010, 01:00:59 PM
Good to see that you have changed to better drivers. Congrats!

I have also used the ID Drivers before, and I do not share your opinion of these. It appears that there is no QC at the factory and their TS Parameters are also not consistent at all.

It shows in the price of their drivers as well as being local and making use of inferior components and skills.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on April 06, 2010, 04:48:43 PM
I would like to ad that if anyone lives within a 50km radius of the Cape Town CBD, and is interested in the kit, that I am willing to bring the kit and do a demo at your premises.

A kit is also being sent to AVSA Magazine, so hopefully we will have a professional review soon.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on April 06, 2010, 05:27:04 PM
Below are in-room response graphs of the CF552-kit MTM floor stander. Please keep in mind that the response is not accurate below approximately 200Hz due to the gated measurements taken.

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_kit_SPL.png)

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_kit_Phase.png)

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_kit_HD.png)

(http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/images/CF552_kit_HD_percentage.png)

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on April 18, 2010, 11:18:35 PM
With the Cine Series MTM floor stander having been sent to AVSA magazine for review, and the matching center channel and 2-way models on their way, I am starting to consider working on a Grande Series of DIY speaker kits.

The Grande Series is to use higher end drive units, most probably from the Vifa and/or Seas stables, and offer a range of units in the R7500 to R12000 price range approximately. The idea then, that these models should be comparable to commercial offerings in the R15000 to R25000 price range or more.

My question to the forum members is this, "What type of speaker would you like to build if you should consider a kit as an option?"

My personal preference at this stage is perhaps a transmission line enclosure for a start, but I would like to hear your input and thoughts before further development takes place.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: The Godfather on April 19, 2010, 04:14:19 PM

My question to the forum members is this, "What type of speaker would you like to build if you should consider a kit as an option?"

My personal preference at this stage is perhaps a transmission line enclosure for a start, but I would like to hear your input and thoughts before further development takes place.
Take a look at something like the Seas Thor / Odin. They are exactly the same crossover and driver wise. Cabinet is different. This makes it more flexible for those with limited space.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on September 02, 2010, 01:46:47 PM
I would just like to extend a big thank you to Joel Kopping and AVSA magazine for the great feature and review in the AVSA August and September 2010 issues.

Joel has done a fantastic job of assembling the CF552 floor stander kit, and also of finishing it in paint. It will be given away as a prize probably in next months issue.

The XO has also been updated to it's final version since the review, and the improvements in the top harmonics now adds even more openness and clarity to the upper-mids and crispness to the treble. Frequency response between 600Hz and 10000Hz is now within +-1dB of the reference axis, and overall response within +-3db between 41Hz and 20000Hz.

This has turned out to be a very good speaker, and can now very easily be compared to commercial offerings of 2 to 3 times the price!

If anyone is interested in listening to these floor standers, please drop me a PM. I am willing to travel as far as 100km from the Cape Town CBD to demo a set at your convenience. I am also currently working on creating some kind of presence in the Gauteng area, but maybe Joel will allow you to listen to the set he has during the course of this month before it goes out as a prize.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: WD on September 02, 2010, 03:17:49 PM
Fantastic review and great to see recognition for your work - congratulations and hope the orders roll in! If you're ever in the Paarl area I would definitely be interested to hear them on my system.
Regards,
Wes.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Hennie on September 02, 2010, 03:41:38 PM
Great stuff, Decibel, and congratulations. Now to get some presence in Gauteng, even if it's just a representative or a client where prospective buyers can audition.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on September 06, 2010, 05:59:41 PM
Thank you guys!

I am also currently working on finishing the Cine Series Range, which will when complete consist of the following items:

- CF552-kit Floor Stander
- CC552-kit Center Channel (already available via the website)
- CM551-kit Stand mount / Bookshelf (coming soon)
- DIY speaker grills for all of the above
- DIY plinth with spikes for the floor stander
- DIY speaker stands (one and two column)

- Also considering a subwoofer kit to suit the range in the future, but will ultimately depend on the viability if importing parts for these.

Will post info on all of these as they become available.

Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on September 29, 2010, 03:01:34 PM
I have just released the CM551 Bookshelf Speaker Kit. Check it out here: http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/CM551_kit.html (http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/CM551_kit.html)
The combination of drivers in this kit is very good quality, and the kit is of great entry level value. The crossover has come together nicely, and I am rather pleased with the outcome of this bookshelf speaker.

The CC552 Center Channel Kit is also available now, and completes the Cine Series range. http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/CC552_kit.html (http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/CC552_kit.html)

As said before, a subwoofer kit is being considered, but will depend on the demand for such a product. Any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Naix0naplane on December 24, 2010, 10:13:45 AM
Very well done and good luck, while I'm here:


Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Willi on December 29, 2010, 12:52:35 PM
Well done on your venture, wishing you best of luck. I would add a "BUY NOW" button with a link to the page where you have them on offer on the Bid or Buy website, strike while the iron is hot and all that.

Also, I don't see any details on the power requirements for your speakers. It will be nice to know if they're power hungry or easy to drive.

Is there a third party review on your speakers?
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Juggy on May 15, 2011, 06:16:33 PM
Is this still going? I'm interested in a floor standing dual or tripple driver assembly that I could put together as my first venture into "home made" audio.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: jeanrick on May 23, 2011, 09:21:13 PM
I am also interested in a better quality kit (Your proposed "Grande" series might do it). I was thinking along the lines of a very good Seas Tweeter, Midrange and 10" woofer with well designed cross over. Seas H1209 woofer - R2 446, H1262 - R837 Midrange and H882 tweeter - R455. Your ideas on such a kit and pricing would be interesting. I think the crossover design is very important with such a kit.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: decibel on June 13, 2011, 12:41:46 AM
Hi, I have not been on the forum for some time, so please forgive my late response to some of your posts.

After some consideration and feeling out of the local market for DIY speaker kits, it is evident that our market is somewhat small to provide a sustainable DIY speaker kit product line. For this reason I have decided to rather tackle different market segments and have pulled the kits from my product lineup for now.

There are numerous well documented DIY projects that will suit almost every need to be found on the web, and companies such as Madisound, to name but one, provide excellent kits that can be imported and built with relative ease and will provide results that will outperform higher priced finished products available commercially.

Decibel Audio is now more focussed on developing finished products that will be available at retailers. One such product is a new iPod wall mounted powered speaker available at Digicape in Tyger Valley. Follow this link to view: http://www.decibelaudio.co.za/soundframe_i2000m.html

The plan is to eventually also offer finished loudspeakers available for retail, so most of the kits that I have developed until now will hopefully be finding their way onto shop floors in the near future, with some new designs in development.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: MorneDJ on June 15, 2011, 10:10:14 AM
Whoo Decibel. That really looks awesome. Brilliant idea, but how would that sound, with the TV right in front of it.

Looks very good though.

Regards
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: chipwelder on June 17, 2011, 02:52:53 PM
The first post outside of Joke of the day, that I could spam friends and family wif.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: ingenieus on August 09, 2013, 09:51:50 AM
The site in post 1 says:

Down for some maintenance. Please send an email to...

Is this venture still up and running?

Sorry to revive an old thread, but it is a sticky thread.  :whistler:
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Poepies87 on April 29, 2015, 04:29:26 PM
So I guess this thread has died a horrible death? The website says forbidden when I try access it?
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Rhino on April 29, 2015, 05:32:43 PM
It is long ago that it stopped.
I think this needs to be locked.
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: jeinnor on October 26, 2017, 11:10:43 AM
Awesome, i think you might be able to help me with something :-D
Title: Re: Speaker Kits
Post by: Shonver on August 02, 2018, 09:00:28 AM
Soundblab

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxtfOw_wJBqrYn0vsqmt0lA (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxtfOw_wJBqrYn0vsqmt0lA)