Loaded question: what is the best full range driver? - diyAudio
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Old 10th March 2008, 05:02 AM   #1
gnugear is offline gnugear  United States
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Default Loaded question: what is the best full range driver?

These things are so cheap relative to finished comercial offerings! I 'm so happy with my FE168 BIB that I'm wondering if there are other drivers out there that are "better". I've got the bug and want to build another pair.
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Old 10th March 2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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Loaded indeed.

Better depends on what your looking for. More focus? Better Dynamics? Detail? Smoothness?

Your pretty close to Planet 10, so his modified Fostexs are a good place to start. There are also the Lowthers, PHY-Ps, and the Feastrex. Let's not forget the Fostex 138es-r that has its own thread. Of course each has it's strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on what your looking for.

I'm sure others that have heard some of these will chime in too.

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Old 10th March 2008, 02:26 PM   #3
Daze is offline Daze  Canada
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I've tried many (many, many) fullrange drivers in my lifetime(Various Coral, many fostex, EV, Fertin, Supravox, Visaton, RS, Goodmans, Manger, Philips, Hemp, etc...).
To me, there is just something about the Lowthers (DX-4, DX-3) that is absolutely incomparable. The Lowthers are very difficult to get properly loaded, but when you do, Wow oh wow.
My current Lowther faves are the DX-4 in Big Fun Horns, Beauhorns, The Academy, etc. I will soon be building the DX-3 All fun horn for myself.

I would like to hear the Feastrex...
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Old 10th March 2008, 03:07 PM   #4
MJK is offline MJK  United States
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I have listened to a few of the Fostex drivers, I own four different models right now. I also own a few pairs of Lowthers and in one on one comparisons all of the Lowthers better the 6" and 8" Fostex drivers that I have heard. I agree with Daze that the DX4 and DX3 are excellent. I also really like the PM2C and PM6C and consider them both a bargain. I am not such a big fan of the PM6A or PM2A drivers.
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Old 10th March 2008, 08:21 PM   #5
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I too am a lowther fan, i orgainse some meets in the uk
i see lots of fostex based speakers demo'd
i don't think they come to close to the better lowthers, the exception being the low cost of them

over the last 10 years i've build a few back loaded horns
but now use ex4 in OB with some vintage goodmans on bass duties
its the best sound i've had ... so far

Its quite hard to judge a speaker on its own
the amplfier is so critical to getting the best sound..
my blh's needed armophous core outputs to ensure the horn did not sound too coloured.. but in saying that, I seemed to get a sweet sound with horns without too much work on the amp..

the baffles seem to show weakness in the amps more readily
and its easy to blame lowthers when the amps and horns are not up to the mark
an 'average' or even most 'good' amps.. will not show what a lowther is capable of in my experence..
but i'm still very much learning...

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Old 10th March 2008, 09:51 PM   #6
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What Goodmans drivers do you use for bass duties Steve, the 12 inch Audiom 60? I have a pair of those in 15 watt/15 ohm and consider them incredible. They work to 20 Hz in the right enclosure up to 5 k or so, are efficient and very smooth without honk or beaming.
"There are more worlds than the one you can hold in your hand." Albert Hosteen, Navajo spiritual elder and code-breaker, X-Files TV Series.
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Old 10th March 2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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i use the lowther full range but rolled off at the bottom by the baffle shape/ size
the goodmans are 301 and 61 close together for coupling,and in ob.
they go down to the mid 30's no trouble, they are rolled off above 1000 hz ...
and do that with out any box sound..
the only crosover component is one inductor on the goodmans

one goodmans on its own per channel was not a balanced sound
using 2 x12" is a very good in my view, they are also tighter than most 15" drivers i have heard..

they are seemless with the lowther..

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Old 11th March 2008, 12:17 AM   #8
MJK is offline MJK  United States
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My Lowther OB system has gone a completely opposite path as Steve followed. I have two high efficiency 15" woofers crossed over with a low pass filter at 200 Hz using an active digital crossover. The Lowther is high passed, also at 200 Hz, so it does not see any of the low frequencies. I use a pair of 200 watt solid state amplifiers for both the four woofers and the Lowthers. You can play this system really loud and still have to touch the drivers to make sure they are actually moving. Two very different approachs to a Lowther OB system.
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Old 11th March 2008, 09:36 AM   #9
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Martin, i tried various cross over arrangements( although i'm not much of an expert at them). and found they spoiled the sound somewhat..
i believe in using 'simple is best' from an electronic point of view
and not being dissapointed so far, but i'm constanty trying out mods to get more performance.
at the moment I drive mine with one, two watts /channel home made valve amp
its a 1930's 2P output valve driven by a early 30's mesh 1 watt output valve into a pair of Pieter's tribute amourphous transformers.
it does 105 dbs peaks
the bass is may be not the deepest, but the deepest sounds i have heard do not sound as true as this,
It's the speed and tightness of the bass that sounds so good.

getting the amp right makes as much difference to the sound as the speakers do, the best of the early valves in my view are still ahead of any thing else in the quality stakes.

I will never go back to horns or boxes

I collect old valves and use px4, px25, british vt25's(det25),have 300A to build with, and many (1000's!) more,

Your using eminence drivers?,... that will have given you a challenge to get them to integrate with the lowthers in they way mine do.
my experence of the goodmans vs eminece is like comparing fostex to lowthers, many cannot tell the difference..
and many say it does not matter in the bass, i do not agree.

like your set up, at high levels you cannot see any of the drivers move, you can only feel them slightly viberate....

i friend of mine who built their own equipment in a 70's pop group used a wall of 301 and 61's, he would not use the 15" versions... and he was the bass player... the differences are subtle, but they are there.

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Old 11th March 2008, 04:33 PM   #10
gnugear is offline gnugear  United States
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Where's the best place to buy Lowthers? Is commonsenseaudio the only source?
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