To Buy or to DIY, here is my question

If I buy the speakers that appear closest to what I desire

they are $11k new and $8k used.

If I buy the raw speakers and build it 

the speakers alone are $2.2k.

That is a 3 way system.

Still must add costs of XOs and cabs.


Assume the total custom build cost would be about $3k.

The $8k speakers used are Proac D40Rs.

The raw components would be from ScanSpeak and SB acoustics

and include 10" woofer, 4.5" Mid and a planar ribbon tweeter.

MadiSound provides XO advice. 





@sandthemall Thank you for the compliment, nobody has called me “ kid “ lately, brings back memories custom building crossovers with a FFT running on a Comadore PET in 1982… ah to be young again….

wishing you the best in music



Thanks for getting the joke. I knew well that you might actually be more knowledgeable than me when I wrote

OK!  DIY!  I have now rebuilt a half dozen serious pairs of speakers.  From the 4 foot high towers by 1970s Bose Corporation to AR-3s and a pair of Advent's, both by Henry Kloss.  There are others that I call my 'Zombie' line as all are really fine boxes that I strip of everything.  The cheap junk you can pull out of these old masters is surprizing and mostly way too cheap.  With classic cabinets I have all the data I need to proceed.  

What I do is so far superior to what I have found in units like the 7speaker Sansui frat house monsters with poorly insulated 28 AWG cheap copper wire not fit for the lights I put on my boat trailer.  

My last began with a full real wood new veneer on a Henry Kloss Advent that was vinyl on MDF.  I treated the vinyl with bleach and painted with primer for wood glue to hold.  Many coats of Total-Boat water based 'varnish'.  The veneer was Birch and finished in a light shade.  New frames were cut for the screens and new screening was applied.  The interior was fully lined with the sound absorbing 'egg crate' style damping.  I mark out where the plate for the crossover will go and I painted 2 or 3 coats of Acoust-X on the surface to protect and pad the crossover.

I put solid brass fittings cut and plated with gold with a mounting plate for speaker wire termials.  Multi-able with banana plug fittings.  From the terminals I connect in the box between terminal and crossover connection with 12 AWG premium speaker wire.  I use the same 12 AWG to connect crosssover with Mid and Woofer.  This time I used 20AWG pure solid silver speaker wire from crossover to the tweeters.  ($80 for 6 ft and worth every penny).  The wiring alone is a major step up from all but the ten grand or higher priced commercial offers.  And even some of them!

I installed pre-made Eminence 3-way crossovers rated for 200 watts.  This went on to feed planar ribbon tweeters, an 8" Emenince mid and a 12" Community VERIS series woofer.  Got a deal on the woofers and all drivers for under $500.00  Another $75 for each crosssover and $3.75 per foot of speaker wire sans the silver.

All in for under $1,000 and would blow Henry Kloss away to hear this now!  And well driven with a 70 watt Marantz intergrated amp.  My Peachtree X-1s  with 440 watts per channel can make the really sing out too.  I live in a house with neighbors and people and find that 70 watts is more than plenty. 

My first real effort some time ago taught me a lot about what goes on in a speaker cabinet.  I had gone to Radio Shack and bought pairs of mids and woofers to fit the old Bose Inter-Audio 4s.  Got all four drivers for about $50.  That sounded better but the overall sound was bad.  I replaced the tweeters.  Still bad.  I got new Mids.  Better, not good.  Now with some experience I returned to Parts Express and put all B & C components in after stripping the box again.  These are a highly articulated set of speakers and only took about 4 rounds to get to what sounded just right. 

And if I had $20,000 each for speakers, where would they go?  I love the big Focals, but that is not 'home style' listening and I would need another $100,000 for amps and speaker wires.  And then a gun to keep everybody the hell out of here when I want to listen to some Yusef Lateef jazz or any and all of Joni Mitchell's catalogue.  I will take it to my 'bunker' (aka man cave but I don't live in a cave) that is just the right size to sip a bourbon and burn a Michigan joint and be blissed out with what I have managed to 'put together' and now own.  And with the money I did not spend I bought a new Rega 6 turntable and a new CD player and a Vincent 701 phono pre-amp upgraded with a rare Brimar tube.  

Just got my copy of the vinyl set from Frank Zappa and a release of what is called his last concert in the U.S. before failing health and death.  I think it is late enough to head to my 'studio bunker'.  

The folk tune I remember about "...You got to walk that lonesome valley, you got to walk it by yourself;  ain't nobody gonna walk it for you, you gotta walk it by yourself! DIY!!!



@sandthemall thx, I am just trying to be a perpetual student… I think everyone should DIY some audio gear…

best to all


Okay time for some replies:


OldSchool- I built a dozen Owens Corning 703 2' x 4' panels 3 years ago.

Nearly cried when I heard the improvement.

Then again if I take my gear outside to the patio and

listen, well I just want to move out there permanently.


Re all Altec Model 19 proponents. Agreed a great  speaker.

I owned the Altec Maestro 500s. Basically the 19 in a pro version.

Modded them up and moved on.


If I build anything it will have only the best components and drivers.

The XO will be designed by someone way better that most. Like

Danny Richie.  

No-Rez inside and braced every which way. 


Undecided whether to port or not. 


Jonk & Phus- My goal is for the speaker to double as a toaster.

Could not agree more with your perspectives.


Rustybut  & Drumax- Funny you should include the Linkwitz photo

from November in Heraldsburg. I was in the room. I liked the effect 

but those speakers have no presence in my book. Also too hideous

to be allowed out in public.



Thanks for the support!!!