Which kit would you go with in a 14’ x 18’ room for under $1k?

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TylerJ

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Hi guys,

I’m new here and have spent far too many hours researching GR’s kits, watching reviews from Ron on New Record Day, watching Peter’s videos and reading about Jay, Mike and Killian’s cabinet services.

I WAS going to go with a pair of Zu Omen Dirty Weekend’s but have decided the DIY route will be more fun, and leave me with a pair of speakers I will enjoy more for the price.

My question is, which kit would you choose for a system in a 14’ x 18’ living room where open baffle is not an option (wife wouldn’t want speakers 3ft from the wall).

Will be used for music only, for listening sessions for myself, and a nice sounding system at low levels when we have people over for dinner etc.

I listen to just about any type of music, so no strong bias there.

I am considering the X-SLS Encore or the X-MTM at this stage, but am open to other suggestions.

I like the idea of floorstanders for the extra bass extension, but will one day add a sub kit as project #2.

I’m trying to keep the total cost of the kit plus flatpack around $1k. Whilst I have never built or finished cabinets myself before, Peter’s videos have given me the confidence that I could do that part myself with a good flatpack.

Interested in anyone’s thoughts, and appreciate this community for helping people get into the DIY Hi-Fi space.

Cheers,

Tyler

Danny Richie

  • Facilitator
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    • http://www.gr-research.com
Either of the two you have narrowed it down to will be great choices.

How good it can get will revolve around how well they are placed in the room and how well the room is treated.

MattSelinger

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
TylerJ

I recently finished a pair of XLS Encores (with crossover upgrades) and I am floored at the quality of the sound.  I did the cabinets myself (no flat packs) and they turned out great.  The instructions are good - you just need to have access to a table and miter saw and have a little experience with wood.

A few months back I built a pair of Solstice speakers (kit from Parts Express that included flat pack cabinets).  These are transmission line floor standing speakers that also sound amazing. 

I have been spending time listening to both of these speakers and I have to tell you that these two speakers have effectively ended me purchasing mass produced speakers ever again.  The sound is dramatically better.  My best set of speakers prior to these two DIY kits were DefTech 8040s and then I had a pair of KEF LS50s.  Read the reviews on these and you will see they are pretty highly respected, especially the KEFs.  DefTechs.... sold.    KEFs in the process of being sold.  It's not that they aren't good, they are.  The issue is the Solstices and the Encores are just so much better.

I highly recommend the XLS Encores.  Their price point is lower than the Solstices and when I am done with my comparative listening (not quite done yet) I am pretty sure they are going to be my #1 listening speaker. 

Good luck!!

Speaker Challenged

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 34
TylerJ

I recently finished a pair of XLS Encores (with crossover upgrades) and I am floored at the quality of the sound.  I did the cabinets myself (no flat packs) and they turned out great.  The instructions are good - you just need to have access to a table and miter saw and have a little experience with wood.

A few months back I built a pair of Solstice speakers (kit from Parts Express that included flat pack cabinets).  These are transmission line floor standing speakers that also sound amazing. 

I have been spending time listening to both of these speakers and I have to tell you that these two speakers have effectively ended me purchasing mass produced speakers ever again.  The sound is dramatically better.  My best set of speakers prior to these two DIY kits were DefTech 8040s and then I had a pair of KEF LS50s.  Read the reviews on these and you will see they are pretty highly respected, especially the KEFs.  DefTechs.... sold.    KEFs in the process of being sold.  It's not that they aren't good, they are.  The issue is the Solstices and the Encores are just so much better.

I highly recommend the XLS Encores.  Their price point is lower than the Solstices and when I am done with my comparative listening (not quite done yet) I am pretty sure they are going to be my #1 listening speaker. 

Good luck!!

I couldn't agree more with Matt. I purchased the standard crossover xls kit. I downsized from the floorstanders. I had wharfedale Diamond 220 (sold) and Orpheus Aurora floorstanders (Aussie company) being sold. When researching new bookshelf speakers to replace the Diamond speakers for more bass, sound stage and clarity I auditioned Elac B6.2, Kef Q350 and Wharfedale Diamond 11.2 to name a few. My Xls have approx. 15 hours on them and I think they are better. I enjoyed the process of researching non diy and diy, building diy and now listening to the xls that are only getting better. It is as Danny says the drivers work so well together and the tweeter is not fatiguing. I have not heard other DIY kits to compare but I don't feel the need to spend $1000 - $1599 on something like the Kef Q350 or Wharfedale EVO 4.2 anymore.
Bass is great and you don't need a sub in a small to medium room but they help kicking in at around 50hz for deep deep bass when you want sub 45hz. (I have 2 subs as the wharfedales where a little light on bass) :)
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TylerJ

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Thank you so much for your input guys, really appreciate it!