16 April 2010

DIY HiVi Research Swans M1 Speakers

We got an email from Daniel Bolduc (Quebec, Canada) letting us know that he has followed up his DIY Swans Tempus Bookshelf Speakers with another DIY build of a HiVi Research speaker.  Daniel tells us that the speakers were built for his uncle who was very impressed with the Tempus speakers, but wanted something a little smaller and finished in a piano black high gloss finish.

HiVi Research Swans M1 Speakers
HiVi Swans M1 Speakers
Sticking with drivers from HiVi, Daniel proposed to build a DIY version of the Swans M1 Speakers. For the enclosure Daniel used a pair of ready made speaker enclosure from Parts Express.  I used a pair of the curved Dayton Audio 0.38 ft^3 enclosures with black piano gloss finish for my Fostex FX120 bookshelf speakers and the enclosures are well built and look great.

Dayton Audio / Parts Express Curved Speaker Cabinets
Dayton Audio 0.38 ft^3 Prefabricated Speaker Enclosures
The high gloss finish on the speaker cabinets will scratch easily so be sure to cover the area well so you don't scratch it with the router when cutting the port and driver holes.  The crossover schematic is shown below and Daniel wound his own inductors for the crossover.

HiVi Swans M1 Crossover Schematic
Hand Wound Air Core Inductors for Crossover
The drivers used in Swans M1 speakers are the HiVi F5 (5" bass / midrange) and the HiVi RT1C planer tweeter.

Mounted Crossover Circuits
The speaker project cost about $550CDN for the pair and Daniel estimates he invested about 55 hours.  I think Daniels build looks much better than the original Swans M1 speakers. 

Finished DIY HiVi Swans M1 Speakers
Daniel writes: "So far, I'm very satisfied with the M1's and my uncle is rediscovering his discography with the pair I built for him and is also impressed by the sound reproduction quality."

For full details, more photographs and a materials list for this DIY speaker project, see Daniel's Swans M1 speaker build

Related DIY HiVi Speaker Projects:


  1. This project has inspired me to build my own version. I first set up my speaker in an existing Jamo C403 cabinet, but intend to later to put the set up in the same Dayton cabinets Daniel used (cherry instead of black). I also agree these cabinets are much nicer looking than what Swans has used. Everyone wanting to build speakers aren't wood craftsman, and the Dayton cabinets (different sizes and shapes) are a wonderful alternative.

  2. Extremely nice! I'm imagining the clarity and timbre of vocals, guitar, piano and bass. :) Well done sir.

  3. i think the high freq to high,R 15ohm change with R 20ohm

  4. I modified a Zalytron Aria R1 kit to make an MTM speaker similar to these. A photo is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35236795@N03/3267313610/in/photostream/ I built the sides from several sheets of 7mm mdf. I have since added a 3/4" radius on all 4 edges of the baffle. I am very happy with the result. I'd be curious to know how they compare to yours.

  5. nice bookshelf.
    great sound, thank you

  6. I build the Swan M1 with the F5 and RTC1 drivers and the result is very good, BUT, IMHO the high freq is a bit to high.
    What is the best solution to solf that ?
    Has anywhone build this speakerset to ? Ans what kind of capacitors you use ?
    I replace the resistors by wirewoundings in cement and that sounds better than Mox resistors !

  7. I also built mine with Jamo cabinets (speakers suck, but cabinet nice). It is in the area of the original M1, and I'm not a circuit builder, so I used the Dayton 12db/octave. I was surprised the tweeters specified 12 db with a crossover at 3000 Hz. I'm complete blown away with how good they sound. I replace my Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 ($500) when I bought them. The M1 replica is so much better with the smoothest high end ever.

  8. Which port size and lenght did you use?

  9. A completely frustrating and outdated article.
    PE has not sold re made cabinets as stated and commented for a loooooong time. The Jamco cabs are pure crap and not worth gutting for a M1 clone. There is NO port size and length mentioned anywhere for the .38 cubic foot cabs in this project, and WHERE the consumer can actually buy pre made and finished enclosures anymore (as 99% of the DIY worldwide consumer does not have the ability to do woodworking), and then what the different internal cubic foot volume would be and what the correct length and diameter the port should be.
    Articles like this posted freely on the net that leave out so many critical details in the name of "look- be proud of me, this is what I made" are nothing but misleading.

  10. I completely agree with you. Many articles like this are just to brag and pretty much useless for readers. I have M1 at home, so I might help you with the measurements.