For the past year or two, as I have been building my North Creek speakers, I have also been following closely the Linkwitz Orion, which many consider is the best DIY speaker you can build. It is frighteningly expensive, however, and I thought it would always be out of my price range. As I read reviews and studied the design, it became evident that this speaker is something special, and the whole concept of open baffle presentation has slowly grown on me. Also my son recently build an open baffle system based upon the Hawthorne drivers, and I have had a chance to listen to them and learn more about the open baffle concept.

Just a few months ago (at the end of October 2012), Siegfried Linkwitz unveiled a new design called the LX521. These he considers "Monitors" and given my studio background what I prefer. I have been following closely the new design and the responses of those who have listened to and built them, some of which are just now finishing their builds, as the drivers were not available until after Dec 25th. I have been impressed so far with the responses, and given that the cost of the drivers is quite a bit less than the Orions, and also that I have the capability to build the amplifiers DIY I have been seriously considering a set.

Last week I purchased a set of LX521 construction plans and the ASP circuit boards. I am now working through what it will take to build and measure a set of them. I am hoping to chronicle the build process in this blog. A kit of drivers are available in the US from Madisound.

I am still finalizing the crossovers on my North Creek Kitty Kats, and Thunder subs, and will also update that work on this blog. They are almost in a state that I am comfortable using them to do some real audio production mixing and mastering. I am currently using them with a DCX 24/96 crossover that I modified to improve the analog performance of the DACs. While I am not totally happy with the sound of the DCX, where I suspect I am hearing artifacts from the sample-rate-converters as well as the less than state-of-the-art DACs themselves, I am learning what the analog crossovers I hope to build need to be.

Copyright © 2013 David L. Bytheway

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