Build Your Own Monitors

This page will describe a DIY project using an MDF flatpack that is cnc’d and provided by Jay at Reference North Audio.and designed by Danny Ritchie from GR-Research. All that you need to do is to glue, clamp and finish the cabinets and install the speaker components and crossover. This is a great way to end up with a world class monitor for mixing, mastering, and listening. You couldn’t purchase anything this good for under $5k to $10 but you will have in invest your own time in completing the build. This project will be completed in the near future.

The pair of speaker cabinets are built using a cnc machine and only need assembly and finishing by you as their builder. The flatpack (for both monitors) is $379 plus $65 shipping. Purchase this flatpack kit from Reference North Audio and build some incredible monitors.

The actual internal components have been designed by Danny Ritchie of GR-Research. He sells the complete kit (tweeters, woofers, wire, crossover components, etc) to complete this build. He doesn’t build the enclosures however and you’ll need to order those separately from Jay. Since you’re using Jays’s flatpack for the enclosures, Dannys component kit is an additional $700.

You’ll need an external power amplifier to use these monitors and I highly recommend that you build your own Neochrome amp using the Modulus 286 modules provided by Tom Christiansen of Neochrome. I’ll provide more about this project later to accompany the monitor build. The combination of this power amp and those monitors will create the absolutely the best sound quality you’ll experience at anywhere near this relatively low price level. By adding a tube amp designed and built by Dennis Had, his Inspire KT88, you’ll then have two very different presentations available to you – one highly accurate and the other highly emotional. Both are worth using along with the Dangerous Music gear that I’ll recommend.

These monitors (when built and finished) will allow you to track, mix, master, and listen to music in a small to medium room either near field or medium field. They are extremely flat and accurate and provide open baffle tweeter capability that will blow away any other box monitor approach that you might purchase. They are some of the best monitors compared to anything between $5,000 and $20,000 a pair if purchased commercially. There are no distributor and dealer markups to pay for and you will be investing your own sweat equity into this build. Is it worth doing? Absolutely!

Consider using these speakers for your studio and your audiophile listening use. Add a pair of subwoofers and you’ll have a world class monitor system that will be difficult to beat at any price plus these speakers can be placed close to the wall behind them and into a corner. Only the tweeter is open baffle and it points upward providing a superb sound stage without needing to be pulled 3 to 5 feet into your room. Use a pair of M&K subwoofers as stands (that I sell) and you’ll love the combination. They provide some of the absolute finest tight dry musical bass I’ve ever heard. Yes, these subwoofers are expensive but they are very worth purchasing.

Because you’re saving substantial money by building your own monitors, you might be able to afford the purchase of 2 M&K subwoofers to accompany them. With the Monitor ST Remote Desktop unit, you’ll be able to play up to 3 different speaker moniitor pairs with a 4th subwoofer pair. In my demo system, I’ll use the NX-Studio monitors with the Neocrhome and KT88 power amps. I can play those 2 power amps through a 2nd set of Tannoy speakers that I also have connected. Then I can connect my pair of Neumann KH301 active studio monitors. What fun and a beautifully productive way to achieve many audio goals.

Play each speaker pair separately or combined with the subwoofer pair by pushing the appropriate buttons on the remote. Everything is already connected and awaiting your use. This provides way more flexibility than either a strictly audiophile system or a pro audio system and it has some of the best features from both. The separate remote can be placed 20 feet from your electronic gear so your listening position can be shifted and changed depending on your mood and needs.