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Old 4th January 2009, 07:37 PM   #1
chops is offline chops  United States
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Thumbs up Planet10's Fostex FE126eN...

Well after much consideration, looking at all possibilities, what will and won't work in my room, how much I space I have to work with, and the amount of power I'm going to be running, I finally decided on a fully worked-over pair of FE126eNs' from Dave.

Once finished with my little 11' x 12' room, I will have it laid out specifically for the stereo. It will take a little bit of doing, but I'll get it done. I just need to get the time to do it. There's a lot of pooh in here! LOL


So why the FE126eN?...

Well, for one, it's pretty efficient at 93dB @ 1W/1M (about 92.5dB after the full Planet10 treatment on the cones), perfect for low powered SET tube and T-amps. It's small, requiring small enclosures better suited for my small room, and is optimized for horn loading.

My requirements are maximum efficiency, a very natural and open midrange, crisp, airy highs (without the need for tweeters), clean and accurate midbass down to around 80-100Hz, no need for circuitry inline with the drivers except maybe a Zobel network if needed, very clean, low distortion with peaks of 90dB+ and sustained output between 80-85dB+.

True sub-bass reproduction is of no concern with these guys as I will have true stereo subs to cover the lowest octaves. Most likely, these will be GR Research 12" servo subs in small sealed enclosures with the associated servo amps with built-in, fully adjustable crossover, phase and PEQ.


ATM, I am looking at Back Loaded Horn designs for these drivers as that's what they perform best in. What I'm currently looking at are the Frugal Horns and Austin A126 horns, both of which are corner loading horns, requiring them to be put into the corners of the room and allowing the room's walls and floor to be the final portion of the horns.

The Frugal Horn is a very nice, little design being not much bigger than my network server case! Only being 30.5" tall, this puts the driver center around 25" off the floor which isn't much higher than knee level! I don't know how well these would take to being raised 10" off the floor and used with a false floor. I'm sure it would take away some of the bass output, but then again, I would be using subs as well, so...

I'm also looking at the Austin A126. This horn is a bit larger, standing in at 41.5" tall which puts the driver center at 37.5". This would be a much better build for me as it already has the height I would need for my rather tall seating position, so no need to raise it off the floor. Another major plus of the A126 is that it looks extremely simple to build, even more so than the Frugal Horn.

There is only one little catch with the A126 as I have been told that it requires a "little bit more room". Although, I don't know what is meant by this, unless that just means it takes up a little bit more real estate. If that's the case, that shouldn't be an issue at all as I will have plenty of room all around the speakers in the desired corners.

So as of right now, I am heavily leaning towards the A126 BLH. I also have some pretty neat ideas for an integrated supraBaffle that also becomes the entire front baffle from head to toe!


As always, your input, recommendations, suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 4th January 2009, 08:01 PM   #2
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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Chops: I'm running a pair of Frugels (126's), rm. approx.13' x 22' with vaulted ceiling. Unfortunately, room shape dictates no corner placement.I'm using a diy PP sub,x'overed @ around 80hz.
Much has been made of the height of driver(s)
Listening position is about 10'away. Raising the speaker fronts a few degrees easily places the drivers around ear height @ 10'.
Obviously nearfield would be problematic.
With both my SET and T amps, they throw a huge soundstage, and image both front to back and vertically like champs!
Don
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Old 4th January 2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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Howdy gentlemen,

Chops, an excellent choice of driver. I will definitely follow your build(s). My take is that the A126 is a no-compromise design and hence large (long path length etc.), but the Frugel-Horn is going to work for more people, space-wise. My wife loves the look of the Frugel-Horn but was not too keen on the (aesthetically similar!) A126, so I'll eventually build the FH.

Doorman, may I ask -- did you do the full Level 3 build?
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Old 4th January 2009, 08:53 PM   #4
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by rjbond3rd
Howdy gentlemen,

Chops, an excellent choice of driver. I will definitely follow your build(s). My take is that the A126 is a no-compromise design and hence large (long path length etc.), but the Frugel-Horn is going to work for more people, space-wise. My wife loves the look of the Frugel-Horn but was not too keen on the (aesthetically similar!) A126, so I'll eventually build the FH.

Doorman, may I ask -- did you do the full Level 3 build?
rj:No,mine are the"level-0"
(http://www.frugel-horn.com/gallery.html)
Scroll down to"Don Austin, Royston&etc.
Since the pic, I've gone to the 126's. A"Super-baffle" is coming as soon the temp. rises enough so I can use my shop comfortably again!
Don
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Old 4th January 2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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Hi doorman, sweet! Your build is sharp.
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Old 4th January 2009, 09:21 PM   #6
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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Thanks!
When I first showed the plans to my wife (incl the "supra-baffle)
it was "uh, what ARE those things that look like stop-signs?!")
I figured I'd have to work them in gradually!
I'm looking for a new project, but would recommend the Frugels to anyone looking for a small BLH.
Don
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Old 4th January 2009, 09:29 PM   #7
chops is offline chops  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by doorman
Chops: I'm running a pair of Frugels (126's), rm. approx.13' x 22' with vaulted ceiling. Unfortunately, room shape dictates no corner placement.I'm using a diy PP sub,x'overed @ around 80hz.
Much has been made of the height of driver(s)
Listening position is about 10'away. Raising the speaker fronts a few degrees easily places the drivers around ear height @ 10'.
Obviously nearfield would be problematic.
With both my SET and T amps, they throw a huge soundstage, and image both front to back and vertically like champs!
Don
Hi Don,

So how do the Frugal's match up to the DIY sub? Where is the sub located with regards to the Frugal's? If the match-up is good, I might just try using one sub myself as well.

I also notice that you have the horns pulled out about 15" or so from the rear wall. How does that work out for the overall sound as opposed to being up against the wall?

And yes, you do great work. I was just admiring those exact ones the other day without even knowing they were yours!


Quote:
Originally posted by rjbond3rd
Howdy gentlemen,

Chops, an excellent choice of driver. I will definitely follow your build(s). My take is that the A126 is a no-compromise design and hence large (long path length etc.), but the Frugel-Horn is going to work for more people, space-wise. My wife loves the look of the Frugel-Horn but was not too keen on the (aesthetically similar!) A126, so I'll eventually build the FH.
Thanks . It's funny though, if you followed my large FE103E thread, you know that I went through every of the "FE" series until I came all the way down to the little guys again. LOL

I honestly don't know what the advantages or disadvantages are going with either design. The main two reasons I'm going with the A126 is because if the easier build and that they stand much taller than the Frugal's.
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Old 4th January 2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by chops It's funny though, if you followed my large FE103E thread, you know that I went through every of the "FE" series until I came all the way down to the little guys again. LOL
Howdy chops, yeah so did I! I got almost every Fostex 8" made, then heard two 6.5" drivers and thought, hmm, these have interesting qualities. Then finally the 4.5" where I think I'll stay for awhile (given my room size). All in all, it wasn't terribly expensive though.

All that because my brain could not believe that a 4.5" could do anything "better" than a larger driver. They all sound good, just in different ways. Try 'em all, chops!
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Old 4th January 2009, 10:17 PM   #9
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If you can afforf the room, go with A126. They work fine against just a wall, will give a bit more versatility.

As it is a bit deeper and taller then FHG, the mouth is further away from driver so you need a tad more distance for bottom to integrate. We aren't talking much.

dave
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Old 4th January 2009, 10:32 PM   #10
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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Chops: My sub is (another!) P-10design.
2, 7.5" drivers in a "push push"config.
They're off to the side, at the end of a sofa-
would have preferred 'em between the speakers , but SO says NO!
It integrates very well with the Frugels, however, I'm quick to point out my hearing is quite bad, not much left above 12 KH+/-,with a dash of tinnitus thrown in.
I'm forced to focus on things other than HF extension and ultimate detail.
PRAT, with very clear mids are my priorities now.
I enjoy these speakers a lot!
I'm also sure Dave's right about the A126's.
I may try a pair myself.
Don
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