High Caliber DIY Speakers

I listened to two different pairs speakers over the weekend at the homes of two friends and was floored by how good they both sounded- Vandersteen 5's and JMLabs Utopia. While neither are the most expensive nor "end-all" speakers, both are excellent but beyond what my current budget allows. Realizing that a good portion of any speaker is the cost of the cabinetry, I was struck with the idea of building my own.

I have the cabinetry skills to match or exceed any commercially built cabinets and I also have some very nicely matched burlwood and crotchwood veneers that are just begging to be used. On the other hand, I don't have the electronics knowledge to design a speaker configuration, crossover scheme, etc.

Can anyone suggest sources for acquiring absolutley top-flight speaker kits (sans cabinetry)? Would have particular interest in "system" kits that supply all tweets, drivers, crossovers, etc. and whose design has been carefully matched, tested, and proven. I don't mind having to assemble the crossovers and, of course, building cabinets that will rival the very best in quality.

Obliged for all input.
A couple here.

I did somethings based on their Rhythm speaker. It is very nice.

The Orion

Sure there are others.

Thanks, Clueless. I have seen the Orion mentioned elsewhere and from private e-mails. Mr. Linkwitz lives within an hour drive from me, so that would be a plus.

I have a bit of trepidation with respect to the "open baffle" design. Unfounded concerns?

With those North Creeks, did you find need of a subwoofer with thier two-way design?

At this point, I would appreciate any and all suggestions along this same line of quality.
Hi 4

21/2 way. No, I did not need added bass but that is just me. I only dealt with the Rhythm speaker. They have a nice sub all set up that integrates well if you want to go that way. Northcreek has (or use to have I have not checked their site for a while) a pamphlet on cabinets they sell that is worth the read too if you are new to speaker cabinet making. they match all of the drivers, etc and go the extra mile.

I've also liked damping of multiple layers of mdf/birch ply or what ever you use. There was an article in the 2/02 issue of audioXpress on it (might be worth lookiong at too)and it works as far as I can tell.

I've not done the Linkwitz speaker but have wanted to. He is a genius. I'd for sure drive over and give a listen if I were you.(if he has one set up to listen to) I wouldn't be concerned with the different design at all. I'm not sure if it difficult design to do but doesn't seem like it.

If you want some other ideas go to the Madisond.com forum.
If you want to go with another system you can find people there who will test your drivers for you.

Here are a couple good sites if you want info re the electronic side of things. You won't need it if you go with Linkwitz or Northcreek.

Keep us informed.

I am building a pair of line arrays. They were designed by Joe D'Appolito. They use 8 Focal utopia drivers from the JMLabs Utopia's and a Raven R2 ribbon tweeter.

More info at www.zalytron.com/array.htm They are the w-line arrays.

BTW They are huge!!! I have pictures of the boxes being built.
Talk to Andre at www.e-speakers.com
There are a lot of great projects at his site.
Solen.ca has some great kits designed with hefty discounts.
One problem with DIY kits is when it comes time to sell...."home made speakers" scares off a lot of potential buyers.
Butsy, and others, thanks. If I go this route, and given the time and care I'd put into the cabinets, these would be lifetime keepers, in one application or another! :-)
The Seas Thor available from Madisound (www.madisound.com)is a great transmission line speaker. Absolutely reference quality.
Second page full range for sale add title, dual oris 150 trihorn,You can do as good or better than the big companies with a little research and sweat .happy listening .JK