Application: Stand mount speakers to be positioned relatively near my computer desk. They will not be backed from a wall, my desk faces outwards towards the middle of the room so the only boundary issue of note is the sound coming at my desk and monitor themselves.
What I have now in that category:
AR11 (doesn't image well or work well near field), C-Note, Classix II (excellent), Econowave (doing duty elsewhere but probably also not great near field, mine has a 12" woofer)
What I'm looking for:
Another fun DIY build in the upgrade path i.e. what's next to try and listen to that would either be different from or an improvement on the Classix II - not that the Classix II is bad...I love it and it reproduces anything well...just because I love audio project and audio in general. I will be leveraging the system in a 2.1 configuration with a rolls high pass/low pass (and a Behringer crossover to sub in if needed) with a M&K 70B sub to supplement the low end. I like to listen at moderate volumes because my 46 year old ears like/need them and I enjoy some dynamics to the music. I'm preferring to spend $500 or less for this project iteration which eliminates Adelphos/Kairos for the most part. I will be driving the speakers with a McCormack DNA .5 so 4 ohm load based designs are wholly within scope. I'd prefer a bookshelf for stand mount form factor rather than mini monitors due to my desire to have some larger midbass drivers 6" or larger unless there is compelling reason to go smaller and maintain output/dynamics.
DIY Sound Group Helix Dome Kit (Bagby), Hivi 3.1 (intrigued by the ribbon), Carmody Spitfire, anything that is well documented and out there sold as a kit. Not married to ruler flat response, I want something that sounds good and can reproduce music beyond only music fit for critical listening. After some research those are the two that pique my interest the most but it's not out of the question to look at other items.
Some Specific Questions:
1. Just how good is the Hivi 3.1 kit? The price and comprehensive inclusion of the kit is compelling, I've never owned something leveraging a tweeter of that type (closest I've owned is EMIT on an Infinity RSII), and having a stand mounted 3 way might be interesting. Are there better DIY options i.e. for over 100 more would the helix dome be a better choice? I see all the crossover mods which are compelling as well i.e. that it's well documented and I can tweak it in a number of ways. In optimal condition, just how good of a deal and performer is it? This is one of the main reasons I joined the group, MAC seems to have spent the most time dissecting and solutioning on the 3.1.
2. Helix Dome...how does it stand against other similarly priced and aligned Bagby designs i.e. Piccolo, Soprano, Docere, etc. I like the idea of the Continuum II but I'm concerned that it might be too small and not have enough output even with bass supplementation.
Thanks in advance for all your help! If I was still living in Indiana I'd just attend one of your events...but it's only 5 hours away from Nashville so I'd absolutely consider driving up I still have family in Indy.
Let me add that if anyone wants to audition any of my speakers feel free to reach out to me and have a beer at my home in Mount Juliet TN a few miles away from Nashville. Audio people are always welcome!!