Uhh , anyone ?
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I built the 2.5 way version with the 2nd woofer in the middle position. Like Din04 said "you need to be handy with a saw and such" but I too think that they sound great. Be sure you know what type of speaker you are trying to build because while these speakers are high quality audiophile sound they do not put out a high spl. So if your trying to build a Rock concert level speaker Id pick a different speaker. Mine play loud enough to do hearing damage. However, "if you are playing at 10 and want to go to 11" these wont do it.
I built a pair of the Madisound 2-way kits about three months ago. Despite the sweat equity, I think I can be objective about the results and say that they are very good speakers. Certainly the equal of many commercial designs that I've heard and owned of equal or higher cost. Better, actually, since I don't have any of those around anymore! The driver integration is smooth. The drivers have outrageous dynamic response. While not annoyingly "detailed," thanks to inherently smooth frequency response, they do reveal system or source errors plainly. Enough to serve as fine monitors for my recording activity, yet not so extreme that I don't enjoy less than perfect records heard for pleasure. They live up to their name by revealing loads of musical nuance. These systems are for listeners who can still hear well and aren't hung up on excessive, unreal detail or extreme loudness. I'm sure you can improve on the inexpensive enclosures and achieve sharper imaging and tighter bass, but for the money the Madisound boxes make for an effective, fairly easy build for the moderately-skilled casual mechanic. I opted to leave the crossover boards outside the cabinets. They're funky, sitting out bare on the floor, but maybe there's a benefit in clarity? Anyway, I don't know of a better way to spend $1600 on speakers. You get some of the best drivers available anywhere in a perfectly enjoyable implementation. Spend the rest of your hifi money on music. Very highly recommended.
I'll make a follow-up after almost a year of living with the speakers. No change of opinion. I installed the crossovers inside the boxes with no apparent loss of clarity. In fact, the sound is a bit better, I assume because the xovers are now tied to the drivers without binding posts involved. I tied the inputs to one pair of posts since they're single-wired. I still find them very useful and enjoyable systems. If you prefer the top-end on the relaxed side, you might want to get some alternative resisters and try knocking back the tweeters a smidgen. Just a bit, depending on taste/system. But no faint-praise here - these are fine loudspeakers with the supplied enclosures. If you can improve on the kit cabinets, go for it!
I built the ZRT's finishing them about a year ago. I bought the drivers and crossover from Madisound. For the cabinets, I bought the Denovo Audio Knock-Down 1.16 cu. ft. tower cabinets from Parts Express because I don't have table saw. The Denovo cabinets are bit smaller than the Zaph spec, (1.33 cu.ft), so I adjusted the length of the vent using Bass Box Pro.
The result is great. I replace Magneplanar MG 1.6QR's with no regret. The ZRT as slightly more detailed with slightly better articulated bass, (IMO).
I can't say I agree with the negative comment about bass dynamics. I find these very good. I drive the speakers with a Pass Labs X150.5 and they sound terrific.
I doubt you could find better commercially made speakers for 2-3 time the cost of DIY.
I need to do a follow up to this post too. I still have these speakers and love them. I have been listening to a lot of speakers at several high end audio retailers as well as at friends houses as well and I have not heard any speakers that do what these do for this price. Speakers costing up to 10k start to sound as good as mine and any thing less is not worth listening too. I have mine in a 34 foot long room that is 12 to 20 feet wide (a stair case in the middle of the room chokes it down to 12) I have them about 5-6 feet off the back wall and I have a large 18" sub. I believe the room size is very important to speaker selection and YMMV but these things dont get enough credit. If you're out there John Krutke. you da man. my original post 2010. 10 years later these things still sound amaze balls.
I've also had the 2 way ZRT towers for a couple of years. I assembled them myself in cabinets from Lee Taylor (http://www.taylorspeakers.com.) Mine are in a smaller central room that that opens up to a couple of larger room on the sides. I'm really happy with them and would like more of the same. I'm running them with a Audio Research VSi60 integrated amplifier and play CD's and LP's.
I'm wondering if I should upgrade the 2 way ZRT to the ZRT 2.5 which has three drivers. I'm always happy to get a bit more base!
Any thoughts? I don't think this would be an expensive upgrade as the 2 way speakers would probably sell quickly and Lee Taylor is still around making cabinets.