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Using full range drivers for HT setup


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Marshall_M

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Posted December 10 2004 - 03:33 AM

Specifically the Fostex fe206e or fe207e. Ofcourse the guys at www dot fostexspeakers dot com recommend them. I'm sure they work good and they have plans for the center, mains and surrounds. Have any of you built or heard a setup like this? The pros and cons if yoy would.

I'm about 80% HT, 20% music. I like accurate reproduction but don't necessarily need lots of SPL to be happy. I'm building an efficient horn sub right now and the fostex speakers seem to be a nice match to them. They are both very efficient. I like things that are a little off the beaten path.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Javier_Huerta

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Posted December 10 2004 - 01:17 PM

I own the Omega TS-3, which uses a Fostex FE full-range driver.

I'd never consider it to be a HT speaker. To me, it's at its best when used with a low powered valve amplifier. It has a very peculiar sound to it - some would characterize it as flat and unexciting. To me, it's accurate and mellow.

Quid, me anxius sum?

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Greg Monfort

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Posted December 10 2004 - 03:08 PM

You'll probably have better luck on these forums: http://www.diyaudio.....?s=&forumid=51
http://www.fullrange.....php?forumId=1 and possibly: http://64.154.92.195...ms/hug/bbs.html

Anyway, I've done a number of small FR driver music/HT systems and they all share one thing in common, a lack of sufficient low distortion dynamic headroom if no midbass drivers are used unless the room is very small and/or you like the sound of B*** systems.

WRT other pros/cons, not any 'cons' IMO other than I prefer at least partially horn loaded systems for HT to get some of that 'sound' of a cinematic experience.

One driver that I'm familiar with that should meet your needs is the Jordan JX92S, but it's not particularly cheap or very efficient, though it will play loud enough at low distortion if your amp has enough clean power (at least 100W/4 ohms) and sonically 'blows the doors off' every Fostex I've auditioned.

GM
Loud Is Beautiful, If It's Clean

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Marshall_M

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Posted December 13 2004 - 12:59 AM

Javier - I like accurate and mellow. Laid back accoustic rock is a favorite of mine.

Greg - I can't imagine the fe206e sounding like a b*** speaker if its in a properly ported cabinet. The set I heard had great midrange.

Will it make a difference if these are going to be BR cabinets? Horn enclosure is heavy and complicated and would be kinda hard in a center channel location.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Greg Monfort

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Posted December 15 2004 - 03:38 AM

Greets!

You're putting words in my mouth. I said '(if) you like the sound of B*** systems', not quite the same. No, it won't sound like them, but played at the same typical HT levels will audibly distort about as much, and way too much for me.

Anyway, all the Fostex FR drivers, and particularly the ones designed to be horn loaded, have very little Xmax with a rising rate (compressive, ergo distorted, like a guitar amp driver) suspension so either must be kept to a fairly low average SPL or XO'd as required to keep them from going audibly non-linear, which initially manifests itself as a 'cupping of hands over your mouth' sound in the midbass/lower mids.

In the few years that the Atlanta DIY Meet has been around, numerous folks have auditioned very well designed Fostex and other ~fullrange driver BRs and ML-TLs that audibly distorted when turned up to minimum HT levels, yet were crowd pleasers, so as always YMMV, but I'm not going to recommend them to be used to a frequency below their linear BW for the desired layout since HT is as much about getting the 'flavor' of the cinema sound experience as the film itself.

WRT using the 206 for a CC, you will have to either shield it or use a bucking magnet if it's within ~a couple of feet of the CRT(s). Regardless, based on this and your comments, better IMO to use the shielded and flatter FR 207 for all the channels. For sure, don't mix n' match the two in the front channels since they have totally different tonal 'presentations' that will require significant EQ to null.

Another problem with using drivers fullrange in a HT is the lack of sufficient HF dispersion, particularly for the CC, so a super tweeter is required in most cases for the front channels.

WRT what is the best alignment, some variation of vented or sealed, it depends on the desired XO point/slope and desired SQ.

GM
Loud Is Beautiful, If It's Clean

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Marshall_M

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Posted December 15 2004 - 07:58 AM

My mistake Greg. Thats what I get for reading it once then typing my response. Sorry. Thanks for the reply. I need to get to the next Atlanta DIY event. I live just across the state line in Alabama on I-20.

About the xmax of the 206 and 207, it was my understanding they have more xmax than the typical horn loaded type driver. This is part of the reason they work in a BR type box, or am I mistaken?

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Greg Monfort

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Posted December 15 2004 - 09:24 AM

>My mistake Greg. Thats what I get for reading it once then typing my response. Sorry. Thanks for the reply. I need to get to the next Atlanta DIY event. I live just across the state line in Alabama on I-20.
====
No biggie, just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. Yeah, if you're into DIY, it's a lot of fun and the more the merrier, though unfortunately it's mostly two way cone/domes.
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>About the xmax of the 206 and 207, it was my understanding they have more xmax than the typical horn loaded type driver. This is part of the reason they work in a BR type box, or am I mistaken?
====
Well, 1.5mm is 50% > a typical FR driver's 1mm (or less), but due to being very underhung motor designs (VC length < gap length), though with a relatively long (for the size) gap/rising rate stroke so that they can be overdriven with less chance of destruction in normal use, it's still woefully inadequate for most HT or music apps at anything above typical average TV levels/output (~70-74dB/~10-15dB peaks).

There is a bit of a caveat though in that our hearing acuity falls off in the extremes of the audio BW, so some drivers are designed with one or more decoupling rings or damping circles to allow them to be overdriven in these extremes while maintaining a fairly well controlled portion of the diaphragm to reproduce our acute hearing BW with low distortion. Unfortunately, none of the Fostex appear to use this type design, at least not to the extent required to keep the 'cupping of hands' sound from rearing its ugly head at typical HT levels (not reference, ~ -10dB), probably due to cost/manufacturing QA considerations. Factor in that much of the Fostex line are somewhat 'recessed' in presentation (the opposite of what HT needs) and I find them ho-hum at best for this app, regardless of their acceptable mids resolution.

Really, if you want ~fullrange/resolution/presence without resorting to compression horns, either Babb Loreleis or Lowther DX4s are where you need to be, especially the Babb, which doesn't run out of linear excursion at rated power until 20Hz! if vented due to a spiderless 1" Xmax, but both these are way over the average 'joe's' budget.

Anywhoo, if you decide to use the Fostex and have either a RP or FPTV, then you have enough room to use a pipe design to get the most out of them short of a horn.

GM
Loud Is Beautiful, If It's Clean

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Marshall_M

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Posted December 16 2004 - 12:24 AM

As luck would have it I am your average "joe" with his average budget. Thanks for the information.

I'll still get a pair of the 206's for music and try them in my HT just for the Heck of it. I've got a place for them if they don't work there.