Arpeggio Music & Sound


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Speaker Systems and Kits for Home Theater, Audio and Stereo

We make four basic speaker models, detailed below. They can be customized to your tastes (woods, size, finish, joinery, frequency response, power handling, etc.), and provided complete or as a speaker kit. Kits are usually about 25% less than the completed systems, and contain everything you need to complete the set except for glue, stain and tools. The order form is at the bottom.

Home Theater and Stereo Speaker Boxes
- Our Base Designs

Few things bring more realism and enjoyment to your favorite music, movies and shows than a full, high quality, surround sound speaker system (okay, maybe good popcorn helps). Not only do our speakers sound great, but they look good in your home, too. Our recommended set starts with Beta left and right front stereo enclosures, and an Omega subwoofer. For home theater add a 4-way center channel (Delta), and as many surround speakers as are desired (usually 2-4 Alphas). Pricing depends on the items and options selected, but starts around $1500 for a good speaker pair; a 5.1 system starts at around $4500, complete, depending on which speaker designs you select. All speakers (except the subwoofer) are shielded and so can be placed near televisions and related equipment without interference.

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Alpha Surround Speaker: This front-ported speaker is modest in size but not in performance. It handles up to about 200 W per channel and the Vifa drivers, coupled with a 3rd-order crossover, provide an even response from ~45Hz through 20kHz. Pick your hardwood, joinery, stain and optional pedestal. They fit nicely on a desktop or bookshelf at 9" wide x 17" tall x 12" deep. Prices start at $800 each, complete.

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Beta MTM Stereo Speaker: A step up from the Alpha, this front-ported, three-Vifa-driver MTM design is controlled by a 3-way crossover circuit to flood your listening area with an even, pleasant sound covering 45Hz through 20kHz. Intended to act as the front stereo left and right channels, it can also be used as the center channel, or as an upgrade for the surround speakers. Each speaker can handle ~300 W, and measures 9" wide x 25 1/2" tall x 12" deep. Pricing starts at $900 each, complete.

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Gamma 3-Way MTM-Style Center Channel: The back-ported, five-Vifa-speaker MTM design anchors dialog and other key sound info. The hand-matched 3rd order crossover provides even room coverage from 30Hz through 20kHz. The speaker handles ~300 W, and measures 30" wide x 9" tall x 21 1/2" deep. Pricing starts at $1600 each, complete.

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Omega SW and SW+ Subwoofers: The Alpha, Beta and Delta speakers provide great response through 45Hz. But for vigorous sound, a subwoofer really helps. "But where is the subwoofer?" is the question they'll be asking. Using dual 12 inch Peerless subwoofer drivers in a push-pull configuration provides twice the power from a box half the usual size. We mount them in a beautiful, handmade unit that is usually mis-identified as a side table. Yes, really. Ours measures a discreet 14" wide x 20" tall x 14" deep. Pricing starts at $820, complete. SW+ has its own built-in amplifier (connect to line-level output). SW contains a 3rd order low pass filter and gets plugged into your amp.

Important subwoofer note: Unless your listening room is larger than 400 square feet, or you plan on just overdriving (and distorting) the bass from your music and movies, any responsible and knowledgable person will advise you against purchasing a subwoofer. The room simply won't support the frequencies (under 50Hz, the wavelengths reach about 7 meters, or 23 feet). We're not going to refuse your request for one of our excellent subwoofers if you ask us, but we just wanted you to be aware that no subwoofer will sound its best in a small room; it is physically impossible.


Custom Speaker Box Designs

Whether starting with one of our base systems or working from scratch, we're happy to create custom designs of single speakers or complete systems. If you wish, you can even design the entire system right here, on our site, and we can send it to you as a kit or complete. Because we have our own complete wood shop, we can make wood enclosures of almost any shape, size, material and finish. See the Speaker Design menu to get started, or just contact us with your requirements and we'll see what we can do.

Test-Drive a System

If you've been browsing the Internet or visiting audio stores, you've seen a wild price spread on custom speakers from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. As with most things, if you are dealing with an ethical company, you will "get what you pay for." But there is only one good way to determine how any of these speaker systems will really look and sound in your own listening area, connected to your equipment, playing your music or movies. We are happy to send to you any of our common speaker models for you to try in the "reality" of your own home. Just cover shipping, handling and insurance each way and you can try them out for a week. If you'd like to try it longer, we can work out a rental plan. If you want to keep and purchase the ones we send to you, that is fine, too. Or we can custom make a set just for you. Cables included. USA addresses only. Requires deposit or credit card. Please call or e-mail to make arrangements.

Complete or Kit?

Any of our speaker systems are available complete, or as a kit with electronics only, pre-cut box panels, or even pre-assembled enclosures. "Complete" means all you have to do is take them out of the box, plug them into your amplifier, and press play. A kit with panels has all of the parts and wood panels already cut to size. You will need to assemble the panels into enclosures, do the circuit wiring, etc., before hooking up and using the speakers. This is a considerable amount of work, but enjoyable. Another option, the kit with preassembled enclosures, means that we've put the enclosures together. You'll still need to stain the enclosures, assemble and install the crossover circuitry, install the drivers, etc., but it is a lot faster than having to also assemble the enclosures. The kit with electronics only "assumes" that you will build your own enclosures from scratch.

Amplifiers, Receivers, Players

Our speakers will work with almost any conventional sound amplifier. However, if you have an 'active' amplifier, we need to know this before making your speakers so that we can make the necessary changes to the circuitry.

At this time we do not carry or build amplifiers, receivers or players; only speakers.

To Order...

You are welcome to place your order by phone (503-472-0688, 10 AM - 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday), or 24 hours a day right here on our web site. Just fill in the quantities and desired options, below, then click "Add to Basket." If you aren't sure what combination of speakers you need, or just wonder what we might recommend, click the buttons in the little form to the right to automatically select the "right" number of speakers and options.

Intended Use Sound Appearance
Music Only   Good   Good
5.1 Home Theater   Better   Better
6.1 Home Theater   Best   Best
7.1 Home Theater  
QtyBrief DescriptionPriceLine Total
SP-A: Alpha
Smaller but powerful design makes excellent surround speakers for home theater, or even a stereo left/right pair for smaller rooms. A good book shelf or desktop speaker. 200W limit.
~$790 each
SP-B: Beta MTM
Superb design for stereo left/right units. Also works as a single, center channel. Even sound coverage. 300W.
~$900 each
SP-G: Gamma MTM Channel
Designed as a horizontal center channel speaker for superior home theater enjoyment. 300W.
~$1640 each
SP-O: Omega Subwoofer
Powerful bass from dual 12 inch drivers. Handles up to 400W from your amplifier.
~$790 each
SP-O+: Omega Subwoofer Plus
Same as Omega, but includes built-in 300W amplifier.
~$1030 each
Solid Hardwood Construction No additional charge
Danish Oil Stain/Finish No additional charge
Dovetail Joinery (available on completed systems only) $200 per box
With 4" Pedestals $50 per box

Provide everything complete and ready to connect    
Provide as kit with pre-assembled enclosures (~20% off)    
Provide as kit with pre-cut panels (~25% off)  
 Speaker Wires
If ordering cables, what kind of connector, if any, should we put on the amplifier end?
6 foot 11g speaker cables $24 each
12 foot 11g speaker cables $36 each
24 foot 11g speaker cables $48 each
 Speaker System Totals
Estimated Subtotal
Estimated Freight
Estimated Total

Your amplifier's maximum power output: Watts per channel. (If it is more than the speaker's rating, we'll either add power breakers or change the drivers to ones with higher power ratings.)

Why Purchase from Arpeggio Music and Sound?

We invite, welcome and would be honored by your order. However, there are many excellent speakers and speaker makers in the world. We won't claim to be the 'best,' whatever that means, but we do provide an excellent speaker at a price that is proportional to the quality of the finished product. Many speakers are made with less skill and quality components, some with more. Many are comparable. If good components, solid hardwood construction, custom options and our pricing are all to your satisfaction, then we will be a good choice. If not, perhaps there is something we can change, or perhaps a different speaker or maker will be more to your liking.

This question is more difficult to answer than one might think. When I first started woodworking many years ago, I did not have and had never used a quality woodworking bench. I used whatever was available. Saw horses with boards on them. A sheet of MDF over the table saw. A leftover folding table. The concrete garage floor. Any flat space would do. As my skills improved and the woodshop picked up more business, I finally 'splurged' and bought a professional bench. It isn't that I thought I really needed it. We had some cash, I was in a spending mood, and it just seemed like the thing to do. It has so improved the enjoyment of working in the shop and made previously-uncomfortable and difficult tasks easier that I often say to people that I'm not quite sure how we made it so long without it. Well, the truth is that I didn't know any better. I had never used a professional woodworker's bench so I didn't know what a help one could be. I simply didn't know what I missing, and I didn't know how to explain to my friends that, yes, this $1200 thing with two strange clamps on it is really, really worth every penny. Ignorance was bliss.

This story may not make much sense to people not involved in woodworking, but you could probably substitute something else. Consider what the computer-spreadsheet meant to accountants, or what the piano meant to harpsichordists, or a good car for someone who has only driven junkers. In a similar way, it is almost impossible to explain why someone would actually buy quality speakers until you hear them for yourself. Once you do, you won't need any explanation. You'll just wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

For those for whom "money is no object," there are $40,000+ speaker systems available. For those who just want whatever is presently-popular, easy to get, and relatively-inexpensive, there is the local video/audio store. But for someone looking for a moderately-priced speaker that is as beautiful an addition to your home as it is skilled at producing moving sound, there are speakers like ours (and we do invite you to try them in your own home before purchasing).

Speaker Location

All other things being equal, among the largest factors on your speakers' sound is where they are placed relative to nearby walls. In general, speakers must be designed in anticipation of their room location. Speakers placed in 'free space,' a few feet or more from nearby walls, require additional circuitry to accomodate a physical reality called diffraction, which is when low frequency waves bend around the speaker. The result is that an otherwise excellent speaker can sound 'weak' and does not project frequencies under ~2000 Hz in the same way as higher ones. The same speakers, placed within a couple feet of a backing wall will sound perfect. Placed against the same wall, they may even sound 'boomy.' You can use your receiver/amplifier's equalization to increase or decrease bass frequencies as needed; this is often the best solution since you may want to move speakers to different locations if your rearrange the room. A minor electrical adjustment can be made to the speaker, too.

Other Custom Makers

Our desire is for you to find a speaker set you will enjoy... even if it isn't ours. To that end we are pleased to provide links to other custom speaker shops, below. (Please understand that we do not have any relationship with these shops, are not necessarily recommending or responsible for their products or service, and are not getting any commission for this.)

Copyright 2005 Simple Way Limited Partnership DBA Arpeggio Music and Sound. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use

Arpeggio Music and Sound, 805 NW Alder St, McMinnville, OR, USA. 97128
Telephone 503-472-0688; FAX 503-434-5803; Hours 10 AM - 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday
Visits by appointment only.