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Old 5th December 2008, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default questions building fe103e zigmahornets

My first ever post here...

I'm about to begin building a pair of zigmahornets with fe103e (my first time building speakers). A few questions I'd appreciate comments on before I start:

- I'm going to do butt joint for the four sides, but which is better/easier: front and back at full width, or the sides at full depth?

- I'm using the drawing by Dave (planet10). How large an opening do I need to cut for the drivers?

- Do I need to use something between the driver and the baffle for better seal? If so, what should I use?

- Can anyone recommend what material to use right behind the driver, inside the enclosure? Should that be on all four sides?

- Where's a good place to mount the speaker cable terminal, same height as the driver, or can I mount it low? Does it matter?

- Can anyone recommend a particular soldering iron/station? I'd like to try my hand at building an amp next, so it won't be just for soldering wires for the zigmahornets.

TIA for your comments/thoughts!

Andy
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Old 5th December 2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: questions building fe103e zigmahornets

Quote:
Originally posted by fishline
I'm going to do butt joint for the four sides, but which is better/easier: front and back at full width, or the sides at full depth?
Given the narrow front, baffle full width makes most sese so as to have as much meat as possible after the driver hole is cut.

Quote:
- I'm using the drawing by Dave (planet10). How large an opening do I need to cut for the drivers?
The info sheet that came with the drivers will have a dimension but it is always a good idea to take a measure from the actual driver.

Quote:
- Do I need to use something between the driver and the baffle for better seal? If so, what should I use?
Use the foam gasket that came with the drivers.

Quote:
- Can anyone recommend what material to use right behind the driver, inside the enclosure? Should that be on all four sides?
We'd use wool or cotton felt (3/8-1/2" thick)

Quote:
- Where's a good place to mount the speaker cable terminal, same height as the driver, or can I mount it low? Does it matter?
behind driver is more accesible (unless you use a removable cup) and has the shortest wire in the box, at the bottom leads to a tidier wiring loom.

Don't expect too much bass from these, they are a by guess design, and not all that optimum (they are elegant and image like crazy), Scottmoose did up the Vampyr (which i still need to do drawings for) that gives more optimum loading in a similar aspect cabinet.

dave
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Old 5th December 2008, 10:58 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Default Re: questions building fe103e zigmahornets

Quote:
Originally posted by fishline
My first ever post here...

I'm about to begin building a pair of zigmahornets with fe103e (my first time building speakers). A few questions I'd appreciate comments on before I start:

- I'm going to do butt joint for the four sides, but which is better/easier: front and back at full width, or the sides at full depth?

- I'm using the drawing by Dave (planet10). How large an opening do I need to cut for the drivers?

- Do I need to use something between the driver and the baffle for better seal? If so, what should I use?

- Can anyone recommend what material to use right behind the driver, inside the enclosure? Should that be on all four sides?

- Where's a good place to mount the speaker cable terminal, same height as the driver, or can I mount it low? Does it matter?

- Can anyone recommend a particular soldering iron/station? I'd like to try my hand at building an amp next, so it won't be just for soldering wires for the zigmahornets.

TIA for your comments/thoughts!

Andy


I'd second Dave said about the Ziggies - be prepared to consider adding at least one powered woofer if you want anything approaching full range from the system. I'd imagine these would work great in a A/V system with bass management control in the receiver/processor.

Put the terminals anywhere you like, but I tend to place them as near to the floor as possible. Considering how thin the voice coil wire is on these small full-rangers, and how much of it there is, do you really think an extra couple of feet inside the box makes that much of a difference?

there's a loaded question - y'all jump on board now


soldering?


Weller WES51 - analog, adjustable temperature

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Old 6th December 2008, 03:44 AM   #4
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OK, I am a dyed-in-the-wool bass freak. No, I don't mean the kind you hear on the street that's nothing but bass, but I do mean feel it in your chest and blur your vision when the drummer hits both kicks at once kind of authority. So it was with some reservation that I put together my Zigmahornets as the mouthpiece for some chip amp and SET projects. I am here to tell you that the bass performance on these speakers is not as bad as most of us would have you believe. No, of course they won't keep up with drivers optimized for high spl bass, but at moderate levels, the bass support they do give to the kind of music you'd likely use the Ziggies for is surprisingly good. Depending on your room (mine is smallish) you may find the same thing. My biggest beef is that they do seem to have a hump somewhere around 300 hz, an artifact of the best-guess design, perhaps.

That said, the imaging is absolutely everything you've heard about. I thought I was impressed already, but this evening I placed a USB DAC in between my amp and PC, replacing the "hi definition" sound card hardware. The increase in soundstage depth was immediately and dramatically improved.

I've got a a couple more speaker projects in the hopper, but I'm having trouble getting motivated because I am so enamored with the Ziggies. One will be FE127 Metronome's and the other a BOFU Chang (or Metronome - still trying to decide). Sure, I'll eventually get off my *** and build some more, but right now Lucinda Williams is standing right behind me singing It's Over and I am once again distracted.

Good luck on your projects and keep us posted.
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Old 6th December 2008, 04:13 AM   #5
chops is offline chops  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrn77478
Sure, I'll eventually get off my *** and build some more, but right now Lucinda Williams is standing right behind me singing It's Over and I am once again distracted.

I know just what you mean by that. Ever since I got my 103's up and running, and especially after I put more than 250 hours on them, I don't want to leave the room while they're playing.

I mean, I would love to do some cap upgrades to my SI T-amp, totally remove the volume control from the signal chain, upgrade to nice RCA connectors and binding posts, and possibly move it to a new chassis... But once I start hearing music pour out of the FE103E's, I don't want to shut the system down again until I absolutely have to.


As for a first project, I was originally planning on doing the Ziggies as well, but after a few recommendations from some of the leading designers here on the forum, I have decided to go for the Vampyr's as my first official build. The fact that the Ziggies are more of a "one size fits all" kind of design, the Vampyr on the other hand is specifically designed just for the FE103E to get the most out of this tiny, wonderful driver.

Just my 2 cents of course.
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Old 6th December 2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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Dave is working on the CAD plans as we speak... er, type... well, you know what I mean, so ignore any previous rough drawings.
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Old 6th December 2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
The fact that the Ziggies are more of a "one size fits all" kind of design, the Vampyr on the other hand is specifically designed just for the FE103E to get the most out of this tiny, wonderful driver.
The "Ziggies" are a tried and proven design from close to a decade ago. The Vampyr is an as yet unproven computer simulation. Charles, here is an excuse to build two pairs of speakers and compare them and see which ones you prefer.
Remember also the "Ziggies" are designed around the FE103 Sigma which like so many other of the better Fostex speakers was a special edition and now "unobtanium"
More after your build.

I am very familiar with the "Ziggies" and can vouch for them.
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Old 6th December 2008, 01:55 PM   #8
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As am I (or was -I think the cabinets are in the loft somewhere, supporting an FM aerial).

Just to be really really pedantic (because I'm in an odd mood today -too much coffee taken this morning ) Vampyr isn't a computer simulation per se, because it's not actually designed in modelling software. It's only run through it once the first pass of the design has been worked up. So it's a theoretical box rather than a simulation.

Sorry. Blame the caffine.
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Old 6th December 2008, 05:37 PM   #9
chops is offline chops  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrewbee


The "Ziggies" are a tried and proven design from close to a decade ago. The Vampyr is an as yet unproven computer simulation. Charles, here is an excuse to build two pairs of speakers and compare them and see which ones you prefer.
Remember also the "Ziggies" are designed around the FE103 Sigma which like so many other of the better Fostex speakers was a special edition and now "unobtanium"
More after your build.

I am very familiar with the "Ziggies" and can vouch for them.

I wasn't referring to the Ziggie as being a bad design or anything, I'm just stating that it isn't exactly matched to the FE103E. Also, I have seen quite a variety of drivers (Jordan, TB, etc, etc..) used in the Ziggies, hence the "one size fits all" thing. When properly implemented with the right driver, I'm sure they do sound perfectly fine.

I mean, look at me. ATM, I'm 99.9% perfectly happy with the sound I'm getting out of a pair of cardboard boxes! And now that I have the BSC circuit inserted, I'm really impressed with the amount of "oomph", openness and naturalness I'm getting out of these little buggers. I can't wait until I can build an actual pair of enclosures for them.
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Old 6th December 2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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Thanks a bunch to all the replies! That's really helpful. I'm planning to use the speakers in a 10x14 bedroom that's being used as an office now. Since it's adjacent to two other bedrooms and I mostly listen after the kids are in bed, spl will need to be limited. I currently have my PC hooked up to a Nuforce Icon, and that goes to a pair of infinity primus p162 as well as an infinity ps8 sub. The sub is set quite low currently.

A few follow-up:

- What stores would I find the cotton/wool felt? Fabric stores? Home Depot/Lowes?

- I plan to use CAT5 cables (one for each pole) for the internal wiring, and would prefer to mount the terminals lower towards the floor. Any potential problem with that?

- This being my first shot, I think the Ziggies are the easiest. I might consider the Metronome some time down the line. What's the Vampyr? Would appreciate links to description/drawing.

- For soldering iron, I ended up ordering Weller WLC100. At least it's a weller, I suppose. Should be good enough for a newbie like me...

Will report back with progress.

Andy
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