4.5" vs 6.5" Trade offs - diyAudio
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Old 5th February 2008, 04:57 PM   #1
kvk is offline kvk  United States
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Default 4.5" vs 6.5" Trade offs

I've been lurking and browsing a lot of the online plans in hopes of taking a speaker project just for fun.

I the look of designs like the Milena/Dimitri Fonken Floorstander, etc. I figure I might at well build something 3-4' tall and not have to worry about stands. It'll be a while be for a pick a design. I first have to decide on size.

Look at specs on drivers like the fe127e and fe167e that some designs I like use, I'm curious about the trade-offs between 4.5" and 6.5".

Benefits I can think of with a 4.5" --

Cheaper (but $20/driver is chump change compared to building effort)
Less wood to buy for smaller enclosure. (might be more than driver cost difference)
Higher WAF of smaller enclosure.
More places they'll work in the house if I decide to use them in a different room.

Benefits I can think of with a 6.5" --

+3db efficiency
about 1/2 octave deeper bass.


So that's what's intuitive to me. Are there other things? Would the sound from a 4.5" be clearer at the expense of given up bass (or using sub)?
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Old 5th February 2008, 05:11 PM   #2
Piek is offline Piek  Europe
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4,5"
+propably better radiation of higher frequencies, larger sweetspot

6,5"
+less distortion
+less bass fatigue on higher volume


regards, Micha
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Old 5th February 2008, 05:38 PM   #3
DaveCan is offline DaveCan  Canada
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Id say depends on listening habits, room size and amplifier power..

If you really like it cranked then the 6'' or larger drivers are going to serve you well, especially if crossed over to a sub...

If you listen more intimately and require just medium loud volumes at times, then I'd stay with the smaller 4'' ish drivers. Nicer mids and highs than many of the larger drivers, and if you add a well designed sub to bring up the lower freq you'll have a very nice hard to beat system.

So I guess my vote would be if were talking Fostex ,and your not into high spl ( wrecks your hearing anyhow) I'd stick with the smaller drivers for that sweet midrange, Fe108ez, 127, 126 etc.. And then if you want, add a sub to fill in the bottom...

Dave
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Old 5th February 2008, 06:06 PM   #4
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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IMO fostex drivers are un-listenable without a BSC circuit. With that in mind, your going to loose 3-6 dB efficiency in the mid range. I'd go with the FE167E if your using a low powered amp. Parallel a 6ohm resistor with a 1.5mH choke. Then wire the component pair in series with the driver.

The only exception to the BSC I've had with fostex drivers is using an amp with a Zout of 8ohms driving the FE167E. A Zobel was added to bring the impedance rise down a little. While the lower mid range isn't quite balanced with the rest of the mid range. It is still for the most part a pretty good sounding combo with a surprising amount of bass for a full range driver.
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Old 5th February 2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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http://www.zillaspeak.com/fostex127eSSB.asp

scroll to the bottom to read my thoughts comparing the fostex 127e with the 168s (old style with wizzer).

I noticed no real difference in loudness from one driver to the other. Maybe the 167e is more efficient than the 168s?
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Old 5th February 2008, 07:30 PM   #6
kvk is offline kvk  United States
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Thanx for the response Mr. Zilla. I looked at your pictures. I'm thinking of building he speakers to fit against the wall on either my of the fireplace in my den in much the same fashion as yours. That's why I was looking at the Mileva design which looks similar in dims to yours. I'll have to take and post a pic of where I want the speakers and post it.

For what I want to listen to, somewhat sparse but bright acoustic music-- mandolins, fiddles, acoustic guitar and bass, bluegrass, old-time folk and country (not modern nashville country rock), vocals like Peter Rowan, Emmilou Harris, Gillian Welsh, etc. Oh, and same blues and jazz maybe with a warm electric guitar sound (Ronnie Earl) and a bit of Hammond organ or piano. And stuff like the Waybacks and Hot Club of Cowtown acoustic with a fuller sound, traditional/jazz blend.
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Old 5th February 2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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The larger drivers won't have the midrange magic of the smaller drivers, but will have better dynamics.

Myself, i'll always go for the smaller driver.

With wall placement, a wide cabinet like Mileva means that baffle-step is dealt with acoustically, ie the speaker doesn't have 4 pi space to radiate into,

dave
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Old 5th February 2008, 09:44 PM   #8
DaveCan is offline DaveCan  Canada
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Here's some pics of my inverted fe108 BIB cabs, taller than you may want but sound very nice and easy to build..
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Dave
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Old 6th February 2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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Having played with a few drivers my mind is firmly in the camp of 4 to 5 inch drivers if you want real magic, but with the caveat of using a matching sub. Good smaller drivers just have a mid range magic that is quite amazing and they follow a complex waveform in a way no larger driver can. 5 inches is probably about as big as you can go before the mids start to loose something. Additionally a good small driver can actually stretch well into the upper freqs so a tweeter is not needed in most cases.

Larger drivers have more dynamic impact I guess but in general I would trade this for clarity and mid range finess at any time.

Incidentally it is possible to use an active high pass filter on the driver so as to block freqs below say 50hz, this is no hardship as the sub will cover this anyway, but it will relieve some stress of the drivers making for an even cleaner mid range and much higher power handling and thus more volume if that is what you are after.
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Old 6th February 2008, 02:26 PM   #10
kvk is offline kvk  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zero One
...Incidentally it is possible to use an active high pass filter on the driver...
When you say active high-pass would that imply that it's in the line signal before power amplification? That's as opposed to just some Ls and Cs (and Rs if need be) between speaker terminals and driver.
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