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Old 9th January 2009, 10:00 PM   #1
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Smile My introduction to full-range

Hi everyone. Long time reader, first time thread starter. Heh heh. For almost 2 years I have been wanting to build a set of full range drivers but my time has been taken up by other projects (mainly car audio related) and the WAF as many of you know was an issue too.

Anyway, long story short, last month I ordered the last of the FrugelHorn beta flat-packs from Dave at planet10 along with a pair of Fostex FE126eN drivers. I'll jump right to the photos for those that are skimming...


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Construction:
For the most part, I followed Martin's instructions at the bottom of this page . I had to trim part 6b and also had to trim part 4 (bottom) which was at least 1/4" too long. I clamped pieces one at a time and waited the necessary time before moving on to the next piece. I accidentally left some clamp marks on the outer panels (note to self, always use a shim under the clamp). To drop the final side on, I had to pull out the router. I opened up the inner channels by about 1/8" all around except for outward facing edges. After doing this the side dropped right in place with a little wiggling. Of course I forgot to run the wiring so that was a fun task. I tied a small screw to the end of a string and passed it into my binding post hole. After some shaking I got it to come out in the CC.

Finishing:
I used all minwax products from home depot. 1) sanded with 120 followed by 220. Applied pre-stain. I should have sanded again with 220 to get rid of the raised grain but you live you learn. 10 minutes later I applied minwax natural finish oil-based stain. This gave it just enough color to bring out the grain. I let it dry for 24 hours and then i applied my first coat of minwax satin polyurethane. I sanded with some worn out 220 by and and applied another coat of poly. Then I sanded with 320 and 400 and applied another coat of poly. Finally I buffed it out with an old foam sanding pad attached to my orbital sander (not very professional but it buffed out the finish to somewhat of a shine). In all honestly I feel like I totally f*cked up the finish and need to start over...but I really wanted to get some listening hours on them first...and my wife said she'd like them better if they were black to match our furniture anyway.

Listening:
Well, coming from a mostly car-audio background it would be an understatement to say that they knocked my socks off...and you're going to laugh at how I am running them. I placed one on either side of my computer desk, roughly 6' apart, 1ft from the wall and towed in about 15 degrees. The room is fairly small so one speaker is about 3' from a side wall and the other is inches from a dresser and about 5' from a side wall. Poor placement to say the least. Seated in my office chair I could easily roll around and find the sweet spot (as long as it wasn't more than 6' from the desk). I connected them to a brand new out of the box Sonic Impact Gen2 T-amp (powered off the supplied PS) which I connected to, guess what, my computer's on-board sound card. What did i listen to? A bunch of 192Kbps mp3s. And these things STILL knocked my socks off. They sounded cleaner than any car audio system I have heard or built (including my current fully-active x-over system).

I'd go into more detail but you know the song. Surprisingly, I haven't noticed any of the midbass peaks that others on this forum have been having trouble with. I haven't placed any padding or polyfill in the CC other than the backing to the speaker. I haven't filled the voids. And I obviously don't have the suprabaffle or rear deflector. So perhaps my ears are just not tuned properly...but they just sound damn good! Sure the bass is a bit lacking and doesn't provide the kick that a 12" sub getting 1000w in the back of a sedan might provide...but I wasn't expecting that and to be honest I find the bass it does produce far more enjoyable as it blends better with the rest of the music. There isn't much sizzle to the highs (especially if I move in closer to my desk) but they allow me to listen for longer periods at louder volumes (when the wife isn't home of course). So in short, I'm loving them and I can't wait to start doing some tuning and tweaking.

Thanks to all the major contributers in the full-range forum. You've helped me quite a bit, even though you don't even know who I am!
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Old 9th January 2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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Old 10th January 2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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indeed - it's great to hear you're liking them so far - that's what "the project" was all about

Sorry about the tight tolerances on placing the second side on, but your photos show you did a fine job, and you'll likley soon enough forget about the extra bother.
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Old 10th January 2009, 02:29 AM   #4
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Darn it... I wish I had my drivers and A126's built already.
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Old 10th January 2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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Well, having read the threads and knowing what was in store definitely helped. I didn't even bother to try using a razor...After fiddling for about 30 seconds I knew what had to be done. I probably opened up the gap a little too much in some places but I was very generous with the glue when putting it all together. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly and next time I am definitely going to do a build from scratch.

I did some more listening this evening and I'm thinking I may need a little padding in the CC after all. Norah Jones was a little too...umm...deep and resonant for my liking. Could be room acoustics too though since I did have the volume turned up quite a bit.
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Old 10th January 2009, 07:40 AM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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I think you could afford to experiment with small amounts of damping in the chamber - I'd start with some egg-crate or sawtooth textured open cell foam on the back wall, (ensuring of course that the throat aperture is not occluded) and maybe some cotton felt or such along the bottom.
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Old 10th January 2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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Nice work indeed.
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Old 10th January 2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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I've got a bunch of 1/8" thick closed cell foam. Worked wonders on the doors of my car. Would it help in place of cotton felt?

Click the image to open in full size.

Also, is it common practice to solder speaker wire to the terminals of the speaker? I soldered the ends to the back side of my binding post but I wasn't sure if I should do the speaker too.
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Old 10th January 2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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Hi,yes it always creates a better join if you can solder.Tin both the terminal and the end off the wire first , then flow in some solder.You need to be quick as you dont want too much heat soak into the voice coils etc.. .Nice speakers by the way.Try to position them abit further apart then youll get proper imaging too....
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Old 10th January 2009, 03:20 PM   #10
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Sorry ,with regards to your first question about stuffing,Closed cell foam tends to reflect higher frequencys and in a horn you are trying to absorb high frequencys in the horn and let the lower ie 200 hz pass.Felt is better i think.Dont do what i did and glue it so much that you cant remove it later.When these drivers are run in around a yearlater , you may want to remove some Felt. Just blob afew bits of glue on should be fine.....james
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