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NEW PROJECT - audio specialists needed

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

audio specialists & suppliers needed!



I was wondering if you would be interested in helping me develop a high quality audiophile reference speaker that is affordable for students that would not otherwise be able to afford such a product.  I have limited skills in areas of audio, but I can handle the overall design and implementation to hopefully produce an award wining product.  I am looking for people that share the same passion for this project and that can help cooperatively in an "open source" development way at no cost, with compensation to be made in other ways. My intention is to manufacture and sell this product at close to actual cost or make available parts and or plans for someone to build it on their own.  This all needs to be possible for less then $200 and deliver true audiophile quality. With today's technology and low cost parts, I think with your help and others it will be possible to do so.

Please let me know if you are interested in participating and we can further discuss how to go about doing this.


Enzo Beretta

I am looking for the following specialists and or suppliers:

Box acoustics and design
DAC boards and parts design circuit boards
pre amp and amp design circuit boards
cross over 2 way and 3 way circuit boards
stock speaker selection supplier
audio test engineer and audio tester
audio consultants of all types
All parts and components should be user "plug and play" & upgradable.


This will be an open source project & all plans available to all


post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

The area I'm in need of help is designing a small DAC (as small as possible, best quality possible at a low cost, and  a very small amp 20-40w to work well with it.

If anyone knows any company that makes very high quality stuff at low cost please let me know, as I can simply just buy the boards pre-made.

I'm also looking  for the the highest possible quality speaker 3-4 inch in size (maybe best to use a full range speaker and eliminate the cross over).

Edited by Beretta - 6/18/13 at 8:46pm
post #3 of 4

Head-fi is possibly not the best place for speaker set ups, but I'll give you my 0.02€.


DAC-wise don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to: make the amplifier board modular to accept eith the GrubDac or the BantamDac depending on the amount the builder wants to spend, these DACs are exceptional for their price and the budget that you've given doesn't allow you to look anymore upmarket.


I take it that you're effectively suggesting a pair of active speakers with a DAC input, so with the amplifier contained within the speaker. I would be inclined to suggest an LM1875 board either in each box (which means getting power to each box), or in one box with some clever cabinet design to account for the different volume inside each box.


I would guess that between your DAC, powersupply and stereo Gainclones you'd be at 100$ if you were very careful with your budget. So that gives us 100$ to make a pair of speakers. I'm not on top of what drivers are available for what price, but the last time I looked the cheapest system was often a 2 way with passive crossover (the good full range drivers are very dear), but for 100$ it's certainly going to be tight.


I would be inclined to sell the boards that you design yourself and also the plans for the cabinets along with the BOM. Then cabinets can be made out of 10mm MDF or similar (available all over the world) and I believe that most DIYers can get access to the necessary wood-working tools to follow the plan for a normal (fairly simple speaker box). Don't forget that Damping material will also have to be taken into account. I'd expect that you could get enough for two bookshelf sized speakers for 15$, the MDF is gonna cost about the same, leaving about 70% for the drivers themselves.


For design of speaker boxes etc... I suggest looking on Diyaudio


However I would never recommend audio diy to save money, it's rare that you ever do. I can often pick up fairly decent quality old speaker systems in my local second hand shop and amps where the total price of their components is worth more thn the number stuck on the front. I'm not sure how effective a 200$ budget would be in attaining the desired effect. But I wish you lots of luck.



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi & thanks for the good advice.  You are very much on target with this project and basically confirming my initial ideas to simply use pre made parts.

The problem is I have a list of 20 different DAC  & amp boards to select from and have no idea whatsoever what is good or bad until I test, and I don't intend to buy them all! So thanks for any recommendation.

As far as the cabinet the structure & design that I have in mind, it may cost about $12,000 - 18,000 for the tooling (if done offshore, otherwise it will cost much more). But the actual final cabinet will then cost less then $5 or $10 a set.

"I would never recommend audio diy to save money"

Yes this is also a valid and statement as I have found that in audio you never really know what the sound will be like, that is why repeated test with different parts are necessary until the get it right. Just having expensive parts means absolutely nothing - I know this for a fact as  I once put together a $12,000+ audiophile setup and in blind test was inferior to a very inexpensive but carefully put together professional studio equipment setup.

This being said I would like to give it a go and put together a small but amazing package using parts that all work well

If you have further recommendations or any experience with products or other companies like:

Dayton Audio / parts-express



 please let me know.

thanks again for your help.


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