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Old 28th April 2008, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default Contemplating the Saburo- opinions please

Hello all,

I've been interested in building my first full range speaker and have come to be enamored with the Saburo. My listening space is approx 20' w X 15' d x 7 1/2' h; it's divided from my wife's studio by a tapestry across the width of the room. My musical tastes are varied, from the Dead to Doc Watson, reggae, jazz, etc. I've not yet got any of the electronics typically associated with an FR design, right now I'm using a Rotel 980bx amplifier rated at about 120wpc into 8 ohms.

My questions:
Would the Saburo do well in my room?

Is this a good combo of driver and design to start with?

Will it "play nice" with my amp until I get something more suitable?

My goals:


A good starting point for a DIY FR experience

A cool project

Thanks in advance to everyone; the amount of info that you guys collectively have put out there is staggering.
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Old 28th April 2008, 06:04 PM   #2
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It looks like it will meet your goals with flying colors Strider.

As for "playing nice" with the Rotel, it has been my experience that this is a pretty subjective thought. Some people don't like any SS amps at all. I like to think that this speaker will likely sound pretty good. You may need a bit of attenuation in the mid to high frequency bands to smooth out the response as the Fostex drivers tend to be pretty harsh without EQ or Tube sound coming to them.

I am certainly not the most experienced builder here, but that is a cool project that shouldn't be too difficult and in that size room (not sure about the ceiling, but I think I am close) it should have sufficient weight and width to take care of the room with no problems. With that much juice, the EQ may be a neccesity for any higher listening volumes though. YMMV of course,.

Take care,
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Old 29th April 2008, 09:53 AM   #3
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FWIW, Jeff Carder builds Saburo, renamed Tybone, under licence (I stress I get nothing material whatsoever out of that). This is what one of his buyers left as feedback:
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Old 29th April 2008, 02:36 PM   #4
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Hi Scottmoose, spectacular review! My only quibble: if I were the builder, I would surely credit you by name in the Audiogon listing. On the other hand, perhaps you asked him to leave your name out... Fascinating review, and I hope I get a chance to hear them someday!
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Old 29th April 2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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I don't think that's Scottmoose's review, though it was an interesting read, to be sure.

And I'd describe the reviewer's journey through the audio high-end as a journey into euphonia. That is, he progressively switched out components of his system to suit his newfound taste for euphonic forms of distortion. It's known that the overload characteristics of tubes introduce a type of vaguely appealing distortion to the audio signal, instead of trying to remain the most faithful to the original audio signal that they can be. And short-Xmax full-range drivers (without XBL^2) have a very small range of excursion over which their BL curve is flat enough to damp the driver's motion electrically with real signals -- even smaller than Xmax, so there's bass distortion added as well. At the microscopic level, paper/hemp/bamboo/banana fiber cones without surface treatments or resin impregnation produce additional noise from the fibers in the cone rubbing against each other as they shift to bear the force of excitation by the voice coil -- I think this is what's called 'cone cry' in larger paper drivers -- and that's the reason why the type of fiber used in the pulp makes such a difference to the overall sound of the driver.

I'm hoping to go a different direction with my full-ranger project, which I'll be attacking in May. My personal goal is to harmonize the benefits of single-driver design with the ideals of high-fidelity, hoping to design a reasonably accurate point-source reproducer. I'm purposely selecting a full-range driver without a dry-paper cone because I'm not looking to add "cone cry" to the driver's output. My driver of choice is the Tang Band W4-1052SA, which uses a homogeneous formulation of polypropylene instead of paper, which I think will give it an advantage in the area of accuracy, with less euphonic information added to the audio signal.
If it works, but you don't know why it works, then you haven't done any engineering.
Taterworks Audio (nothing for sale)
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Old 29th April 2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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No, it's not my review. I just designed them. Beyond that, I can't be bothered to reply. I suspect I know what would happen if I did.
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Old 29th April 2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Originally posted by Taterworks
I don't think that's Scottmoose's review
Oh no, definitely not -- the review just happens to cover the Saburo + Rotel amp combination which is what the original poster is asking about.

Taterworks, I will follow your quest for single-driver fidelity with great interest!
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Old 29th April 2008, 10:24 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses. I had read that review on Audiogon following the link from the Frugal Horn site, although I admit I skipped through some of the parts in his "gear journey". The way I read it, the reviewer hadn't paired the speakers with any of his Rotels, but a ST-70. Not that that really matters in the long run, I'm looking forward to my own journey with these speakers. Thanks again for the responses.

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