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Built vs bought mid tops

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Teadub View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 April 2019 at 2:46am
eneing all. Long time lurker etc  
We've started to outgrow our smt112s snd juat after some opinions and ideas. New tops need to play from around 130 up from our es 18s.
Moatly playing techno, DnB speed garage but really varied, also got a soft spot for dub.
I would ike to build all my own cabs again but is it worth it?

Any of the following worth considering?
1 - extra 12" sections for the smts to make 212- kindd on the wallet.
2  porn horn, components still availabe?
3 Mt-130, looks like a nice easy build and plot looks nice
Used martin audio w8/c which is one of my favourite top boxes ive heard 
Would love floods but can't really stretch to 1600 a pair used
Soundgear orbit how do these compare to the martins?

Any input appreciated
Cheers all
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bob4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2019 at 7:00pm
My mate just got a pair of orbits and is quite impressed. Good price/performance ratio. Should xover well to your subs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el chupacabra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2019 at 2:57am
2: porn horn horn moulds to buy are pretty much non existent now. there was 3x mk2 12" that went out through voids ebay in the last year which were the first being sold anywhere in several years.

I've always been sure that 2nd hand commercial mid highs are good value for money.
You'll always spend more on quality components if building for yourself from scratch. if you chose lower quality you might aswell just wait for the bargains to come up on pro audio. less triamping/biamping to do although I'd imagine also less neo drivers and more mid 2000's ferrite b&c, phl, bms being used in widely available 2nd hand uk stock. wavefront as mentioned + eaw kf, logic cs1290, ohm trs212/112h. to cite but a few.

Prices will always fluctuate. If that's the going rate for floodlights it's both artificially inflated and they had best be mint condition.

The orbit4 cabinets are decent and good value. a nice match for just es18s doing one way bass.

Just making another 12" section for your smt might satiate you if it's running of steam ahead of everything else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sypa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2019 at 5:08am
So floods went up in price? 
Noice Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevinmcdonough Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2019 at 11:53am

It's hard to define a "best" mid top speaker (or any speaker) as everyone has different criteria. Some want small compact speakers, some have the transport and manpower for massive heavy things etc etc.

However, with that said, the best DIY mid top speakers that are available just now are Peter Morris' designs, plans and 2 long threads of detailed discussion available here....https://soundforums.net/community/forums/diy-audio.28/

Horn loaded double 12" plus coax comp driver, built with a 90 degree version for using one a side or a 60 degree horn to double up. They're relatively big compared to a reflex top just because you need room for the two 12" horns, but are still just about compact and light enough that one person can lift them up onto a pole. And they sound better than just about every speaker out there, will easily hold their own even the biggest pro touring companies designs. 

But the rub is that the drivers are fairly expensive, and you need capable processing preferably with FIR to get the best out of them (though they do sound amazing by all accounts with just IIR processing too). 

And that really is what it comes down to these days for DIY tops, the processing.  Wood, paint, grills etc are all relatively cheap nowadays, good very capable drivers are affordable, CNC shops and DIY maker spaces are cheap enough that they'll cut the wood for you far more exact than you could yourself, and will cut rebates and handle holes and things. 

So actually building DIY speakers isn't that much of a challenge these days. 

Measuring and processing them is where the magic happens. Properly measuring the speakers, choosing crossover points based on dispersion as well as frequency, time aligning and EQing everything properly, all pass filters and FIR processing to correct phase. 

Even consumer level powered tops from Yamaha, EV, RCF etc all have fir processing, good limiters etc etc built in these days, and to make DIY worth it this is where the challenge comes. If you can accomplish all of that then as I say those DIY tops from Peter Morris are pretty hard to beat at any price point. But otherwise, second hand tops from a big brand might be the way to go, with all of the processing and measuring taken care of and ready to use. 

Edited by kevinmcdonough - 14 April 2019 at 11:55am
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