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Old 5th November 2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Box for the FE127e

Ok guys,

So I think I am finally ready to dive into my first full range driver. I like everything I am hearing about the Fostex FE127e (including the price), but there are so many box designs for it. I am just curious what the pros and cons are of different designs. I hear great things about the Fonkens, but I have also read that they don't go as low as the Mileva (which may be an issue as I won't be running a sub for a while), and I have hardly heard anything at all about the PAWO (but I think Daves build of it with the sub baffel looks sexy). I listen to a broad range of music from acoustic folk, indy rock, and alternative to ambient electronic, and classic rock. Any opinions and comparisons of any of these builds or any others would be much appriciated, and very helpful to a full range n00b. Thanks guys!

- Justin
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Old 5th November 2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Box for the FE127e

Justin:

I'll assume you're looking for something relatively simple for your first full range project. Since I've built a fair range myself over the past few years, a few questions:

What type of amp will be playing?

Will this be a primary or secondary system? (i.e. how important is physical size?)

How large is the room they'll be occupying?

How important is deep bass and high SPL's in your range of music?

If that's a SO in the photo, how important is "domestic acceptance factor"?

Mileva is the easiest build of the 3 listed, and IMHO an overall better performer than the PAWO, which was originally designed for the CSS FR125. We could never get excited about that sound - the FE127E was a "team afterthought", as was the walnut suprabaffle to accommodate installing them on the bamboo enclosures. We have yet to prove how significant the SB's contribution was to what we preferred in FE127 over the FR125 in this design. As all the PAWOs have found happy homes, that investigation would require building 2 more pairs, which I can't get excited about.

The original Fonken is still my favorite of this group for imaging and mid-bass articulation, but also the most royal pain to build (and veneer). Interestingly enough however, I don't mind building this one or the FE167 variant.


Another floorstanding design to consider for the FE127 is Scott Lindgren's Brynn- as simple a build as the Mileva. I don't think I've actually compared them directly to the Mileva with the same driver*. My suspicion is that since both were designed by the same team that they'd be much closer to each other than the PAWO is to either of them, however as noted above, we don't have a pair handy with which to test that thesis.

*I currently have a pair of Brynns with Hemp Acoustics FR4.5, which are very nice just different. Unfortunately availability is sketchy to say the least - designing enclosure(s) that will work well for any of the HA drivers is not that complicated, but if the goal is to market finished products or share plans with DIYers, what's the point?
RANT OFF
I should borrow my sister's Brynns with FE127 for a serious listening session.

Both the Brynn and Mileva produce more in-room low end extension than the Fonkens alone, at a slight premium of definition / articulation in the lower registers, as well as image depth and specificity.

OTOH, you can cross either the Fonkens or milliFonkens over around 100 or so, and add a pair of powered woofers for something quite spectacular. Since either of these enclosures require floor stands, simply build the woofers in. Dave has some pictures of exactly such implementations.
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Old 6th November 2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Hey Chris,

I am not afraid of a challenging design, I am a competent wood worker. The main issue is not knowing enough about the limits and capabilities of full range designs to pick one that isn't going to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

The amp that will be used will be a Nakamichi SR-2A, I have already been told about the trick of putting a wire wound resistor in series with the speaker to lower the dampening factor of the amp.

This will be my new primary system. I am moving into a new place and at the same time have developed a taste for vinyl. This system will however be in my bedroom (10' x 12' ?) as my roommate wants his Klipsch floorstanders in the living room.

Deep bass is desired, however I am by no means expecting 20 hz out of any full ranger this small, but an f3 of 50hz would be nice. I don't need or desire any high spls out of these speakers, being in a small room and in an apartment and all. I have speakers that go loud, but they sound terrible at low volumes. I'm looking for something that will be a pleasure to listen too for long listening sessions at low to moderate volumes.

The SO is my fiance, and she is very good about compromising, as long as my build quality, and fit and finish are good, she is pretty good about putting up with anything.

Eventually I would like to build the fonkens and build matching sub stands for them, but at the moment with the holidays coming and trying to save for a wedding funds just won't stretch that far.

Thanks for your advice so far!

- Justin
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Old 6th November 2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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Justin -
a few more suggestions if you don't mind:

For your current and anticipated future situation, I'd be inclined towards a modular system - starting with the bookshelf sized milliFonken enclosure, and adding a woofer/stand combo later. This recommendation is not based on build challenge, but on pragmatic consideration of space limitations - approx physical dimensions on these are 11.33"H x 6.5"W x 6.9"D.

http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeaker...-0v999-map.pdf


Based on my own experiments, that particularly in a small room, and provided you can get the enclosures symmetrically placed near a corner (these little guys are small & light enough to easily mount on the wall), that you first try the system without any series R .

In the long term, consider other amps for use with full range systems. Personal bias here of course, but full range and triodes or some of the new digital class amps would be my choice.

If you don't want to use baltic birch or equivalent true multi-layer veneer core plywood, try particle board rather than MDF. OTOH, if you have the budget, and aspire to something special that plays much bigger than its size, I can highly recommend laminated bamboo plywood. 1/2" would be more than adequate for the little guys, 3/4" for larger designs.

http://www.plyboo.com/products/bambo...dge-grain.html
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Old 7th November 2008, 04:51 AM   #5
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Hey Chris,

I am all for suggestions, hehe, that's why I am here!

I love the idea of the modular system, but I am worried about the Fonkens (especially the Millifonkens) having enough low end extension. I am not against building new cabinets later, like building a larger box for the 127 now, but then building the fonkens for the 127's and matching sub stands at a later point.

Speaker size is not an issue (I don't really have a lot of bedroom furniture at the moment), and I wouldn't mind prudent planning in building something that will work in a larger room as well. I do plan on eventually building a new amp, but I just picked the Nakamichi up at a pretty fair price to tide me over for a while.

Also, have no fears Chris, hehe, high grade plywood will be my building material of choice. I don't know how many times I've read people say that their next speaker will be built out of plywood after they've just built one out of MDF.

Here are some questions to think on though...

1. Should I maybe consider a larger speaker such as the FE167?

2. what are your opinion on the floorstanding fonken for the FE127 as opposed to the other designs previously mentioned (primarily the Fonken and the Mileva), or the Brynn?

3. What are the effects of a sub baffle as used on the PAWO on a speaker design? What if one was built on a Mileva, or a Fonken, or even on a Brynn? I just think it really looks slick, hehe.

4. I personally like the Brynn, however after conferring with the SO she immediately pointed to the picture of the Gabriel right next to it and said that that would be more acceptable. The FR looks very similar to the Brynn. What would be the advantages of the Brynn over the Gabriel, and has anyone built the Gabriel?

Thanks again Chris!

- Justin
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Old 7th November 2008, 05:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by despotic931
4. I personally like the Brynn, however after conferring with the SO she immediately pointed to the picture of the Gabriel right next to it and said that that would be more acceptable. The FR looks very similar to the Brynn. What would be the advantages of the Brynn over the Gabriel, and has anyone built the Gabriel?
Brynn is the single mouth version of Gabriel for those who can't accomodate the larger size.

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Old 7th November 2008, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
What are the effects of a sub baffle as used on the PAWO on a speaker design? What if one was built on a Mileva, or a Fonken, or even on a Brynn? I just think it really looks slick, hehe.
In the case of PAWO, I believe it is there primarily for 2 reasons: firstly, because the cabinets were originally built for CSS drivers, which didn't work too well. The 127 was tried & worked well, but needs a smaller cut-out, hence the baffle. And secondly, it spaces the driver out a little, so gives a little more room in the low-pass chamber.

Quote:
I personally like the Brynn, however after conferring with the SO she immediately pointed to the picture of the Gabriel right next to it and said that that would be more acceptable. The FR looks very similar to the Brynn. What would be the advantages of the Brynn over the Gabriel, and has anyone built the Gabriel?
I believe there are a couple of builds. If your GF likes the double vent Gabriel, then go for that one. They're similar in basic balance. It will sound subjectively rather larger than Brynn, as it's coupling to almost twice as much air, with improved depth & height perspectives.
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Old 7th November 2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by planet10


Brynn is the single mouth version of Gabriel for those who can't accomodate the larger size.

dave

Yea, I mixed up the Brynn and the Gabriel in my last post. She said the Brynn was more acceptable, not the Gabriel.

So, would a sub baffel hurt the performance of the Brynn?
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Old 7th November 2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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No. It just wouldn't do anything much, other than mass-loading the driver frame a little & freeing up a whisker more volume.
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Old 7th November 2008, 04:25 PM   #10
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scottmoose


In the case of PAWO, I believe it is there primarily for 2 reasons: firstly, because the cabinets were originally built for CSS drivers, which didn't work too well. The 127 was tried & worked well, but needs a smaller cut-out, hence the baffle. And secondly, it spaces the driver out a little, so gives a little more room in the low-pass chamber.

that's right - the only thing I'd add is that the aesthetics worked out quite well.


Quote:


I believe there are a couple of builds. If your GF likes the double vent Gabriel, then go for that one. They're similar in basic balance. It will sound subjectively rather larger than Brynn, as it's coupling to almost twice as much air, with improved depth & height perspectives.

"Multiple builds"? Justin - you could soon be testing just how much patience your fiance has for your "silly little games"


Provided you have room to accommodate size of enclosures, the FE167 certainly has several advantages over the FE127, but for my tastes, upper midrange clarity/ sound stage "spaciality" and high end extension are not among them. Of the numerous designs that Dave and Scott have developed for this driver (167), I've only built the Demetri and floorstanding Fonken67 . As well I've heard the 167 in the factory recommended BR box - a gross underperformer IMHO, and a gorgeous DIY build by Scott Dunn of the Bob Brines MLTL design. Of the bunch I've heard, I prefer the Fonken.

Even restricting yourself to FE127/167 drivers, there is no shortage of designs to choose from, and few of us will ever have the opportunity to hear every possible iteration, so eventually a certain amount of faith is required to commit resources to a given design.


When dialed in right, the FE127en in Fonken design supported by dual powered woofers can integrate very smoothly, and does a pretty damned good disappearing act. FWIW, this combination of FE127 Fonken and dual woofers outclasses the FE167 in any enclosure I've yet heard.
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