First timer, Fostex FE206 + FE208sigma + Marantz - diyAudio
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Old 15th March 2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default First timer, Fostex FE206 + FE208sigma + Marantz

Hello everyone,

First of all thank you for all the excellent information available on this site!

I am a complete newbie and apologize in advance for my general ignorance. I have been reading through the archives for ages and decided to just present my first project idea and see if any of you experienced audiophile/DIYers see any blatant flaws in my project.

I have a very basic system now which I like but would love to upgrade. However, I'm a full time musician (read, low income), so the idea of building a high quality speaker myself is very appealing.

My current set up is:

Marantz 2220 receiver
Tannoy E-11 speakers
Rega Planar 3 and probably a Denon DL-110 soon
Random no name DVD player for CDs or my laptop

I first got the idea of building a Fostex 206 speaker from the TNT audio site which suggested it was a very efficient driver. I thought it may be suitable for my old Marantz in that case. I haven't seen any mention of Marantz 22XX receivers on this site (maybe they are well below your standard?). So my first question, would these drivers work with a Marantz? I would consider a receiver upgrade, but probably only to another Marantz or similar vintage piece in this low price range.

Secondly, I have read countless descriptions of the different enclosures available for this driver. In the end, it seems the FE208sigma is the best combination of relatively easy to build/ good sound performance. Possibly excepting the BIB, however I wasn't planning to stick the speakers in corners (which some have said is best) and don't know that my girlfriend would go for the size. I realize the FE208sigma isn't small, but it also looks cooler (again, important to convince the other half).

BTW, I listen to all sorts of music from jazz and classical to noise and hardcore. I'm not looking for anything super loud or room shaking bass. Clarity and realism are my priorities.
The room is fairly large at about 7 M X 15M however right now I'm using half of that as my listening/multimedia area (with the speakers on the first half of the 15M wall, don't know how to explain that clearer).

Even though this is my first speaker project, I would prefer to spend the time and energy to make something really nice as I doubt I will have the time to build another cabinet anytime soon.

Any suggestions or advice are very much welcomed and sorry for posting a lot of things that have already been discussed to death.

John
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Old 15th March 2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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Hi John,

FWIW, something you'll need to keep in mind is that the FE208ESigma is a wide-range, rather than a full-range driver; it's only good for about 10KHz, above which it needs a helper supertweeter. This is not inherently a bad idea (it's actually a very good idea and a substantial advantage over the lower-end models), but it's something you'll need to keep in mind.

Onto other matter, yes, you can use them with your Marantz, although it's not an especially great natural match; you'll probably find you'll need to add some resistance in series with the driver, which is no big deal, although it will lower efficiency slightly. As you've plenty of power in your reciever, that won't be an issue, although you'll probably want to look into something else in the future.

As for cabinets -depends what it is you want, and how large you can go. There are various options -MLTLs, back loaded horns (which is what these drivers were designed for), open-baffle with supporting woofers & so on & so forth.

Best
Scott
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Old 15th March 2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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Hello Scott,

Thanks for the reply, I've found a lot of your posts on this site helpful thus far and appreciate you taking the time to help a beginner such as myself.


Quote:
Originally posted by Scottmoose

FWIW, something you'll need to keep in mind is that the FE208ESigma is a wide-range, rather than a full-range driver.
Actually, I'm looking at the FE 206E driver but with the 208 cabinet. Does this hold true for the 206 as well?
I don't remember where I saw it, but someone on this forum had a 206 with DIY cabinet and latter simply placed a supertweeter on top of the cabinet. Is this a good solution? If so, I'd be happy to go along with my plans as the tweeter would be very easy to add latter when I have the cash.

Quote:

Onto other matter, yes, you can use them with your Marantz, although it's not an especially great natural match; you'll probably find you'll need to add some resistance in series with the driver...
Again, forgive my ignorance, do you know of a good reference to calculate how much resistance I should use to match the system with my Marantz? Would this be a problem with all Marantz vintage receivers? Are there any low budget receivers (ie other vintage makes, T-Amp), that would suit them better? Or, conversely, would I be better off with a different driver? Concern being, I'd rather have speakers that are too good for my receiver which I can upgrade later than put the effort into lesser speakers that work better with a current system that I will probably upgrade eventually anyway.

Quote:

As for cabinets -depends what it is you want, and how large you can go. There are various options -MLTLs, back loaded horns (which is what these drivers were designed for), open-baffle with supporting woofers & so on & so forth.
This is where I really trust the experience of those on this board who have heard a few of these. I am looking for the best sound possible, considering my woodworking skills are minimal. I would love to try one of these beautiful horn designs such as Sachiko but I just think it's out of my league. If it's really worth the extra time and effort, I would certainly consider it. Otherwise, it may have been you that suggested the Fostex 208ESigma cabinet would produce almost the same sound but on a slightly smaller scale.

Actually, some really helpful comparisons I haven't found, does anyone have the weight of a completed Fostex 208ESigma, Sachiko and BIB?

I will probably only be living in Amsterdam for a couple of years and I would certainly prefer to take these with me....

Thanks again!

john
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Old 15th March 2009, 07:39 PM   #4
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John,

Narry a problem, it's what we do. People help me all the time.

Anyway, yes, the 206 will go in the 208 cabinet, & work rather better than in the nominal 206 box (which isn't up to the drill IMHO). While sticking a supertweeter on the top of a cabinet might not be the most elegant of solutions, the higher-priced Fostex supertweeters are actually designed to be used as such & come with little stands, so it's not that much of a big deal. While I personally prefer something a trifle more integrated into the cabinet, it works well enough for most people.

There are various ways you can calculate it, but 3ohms is likely to be about right. I'd hang onto your reciever for the moment; I followed a similar course a few years back. Besides, you can never have too much clean power (although how you define clean power is another question...).

Hmm. Sachiko might be a bit ambitious for a first build, but having said that, it's no harder than the 208 box. It's simply larger (a mere trifle ) that's all, and you might be able to persuade someone to lend a hand for a couple of bottles of their favourite beverage? If not, I find blackmail usually produces the desired effect. Is it worth it? Not for me to say. FWIW, here's a review of a pair built under the Madison moniker by Jeff Carder until he got his dedicated range: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...3498&read&3&4&

As to the weight -well, lets just say, you don't want to be shifting any of them around yourself, especially not the big 'uns.
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Old 15th March 2009, 08:02 PM   #5
hm is offline hm  Europe
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Hello,
with such knowledge you are no newbie,
may be you can find a lot of construction ideas
on my side, the TRUMPET is the easiest but only a sat.
But you will find measurement of different 8" driver
to compair.
take a look on my HP
__________________
http://www.hm-moreart.de
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Old 16th March 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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Well, the extremist that I am, I'm thinking more and more of the Sachiko design. (I tested both the 208 and Sachiko pics with my girlfriend, she said both were hideous so maybe it doesn't matter... )

A couple questions. Has anyone tried both of these that would be willing to compare them? I suppose if they are "equal" in sound I will probably feel obliged to go for the 208, but if I hear the Sachiko is an improvement...

With the Sachiko, what difference would it make to replace the stacked corner deflectors with a single piece? Visually, I prefer the stacked method, but if I could save a bit of weight without effecting the sound I would probably go for it.

Are there any other double horn designs I should seriously consider (ie, lighter and easier but similar quality)?

The other highly recommended horn design for the 206 is the Dallas, but I do think that looks too difficult for me. At least the Sachiko is all right angles...

HM: No need to flatter me, just wait until I start building one of these and have a million questions...
No, I really am a newbie, I've just wasted away the last couple days reading these forums (whilst I should have been playing my saxophone). A week ago I didn't know what a BIB or BLH horn was (and I still probably can't precisely define a BLH...)
Thanks for the suggestion though. I did check out your site, as well I had looked at your Saxophon. However, some of those angles scare me. I think at this point I'm going to either play it safe with fostex or go for the massive double horn. I will keep the options in mind though!
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Old 16th March 2009, 08:35 AM   #7
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Scott: To show what I newbie I am, I finally pieced it together that you designed the Sachiko!!
I had wondered why you were being shy about comparing it with the Fostex...
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Old 16th March 2009, 09:19 AM   #8
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OK, as you press for an opinion, I haven't compared them one against the other, but Sachiko should kill it in every area, other than lightness, and the latter is not exactly the Kate Moss of the speaker world either.

No, sonically it won't make much of a difference if you changed the stepped strike-plates for a single angled piece, but if anything, the latter would weigh more, as you'll have to mass-load the cavity with dry sand, antibacterial cat litter, compressed expanding foam or the like. So there won't be much of a saving.

As for other designs, there are a few over on the FH site; the very simple Chang BVR box with a minor modification might appeal if you're using the 206. It doesn't have the gain & scale of Sachiko, and is probably best described as a horn for people who like bass reflex cabinets: it's behaviour & sound is closer to a regular BR box; just somewhat larger in presentation & changes in volume don't upset it as much as the kind of little cabs we're accustomed to these days.

As for what a BLH is, it's simply a horn loaded by the rear of the driver. There are different ways of doing it, and many different types, but that's basically about as precise as the term itself gets, so don't get too worried about it.
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Old 16th March 2009, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scottmoose
OK, as you press for an opinion, I haven't compared them one against the other, but Sachiko should kill it in every area...
Great, that's the kind of no bull**** answer I was looking for to push me over the top! I think I'll go for the Sachiko. It doesn't cost any more to make and as you pointed out, should actually be about as easy to build.

My next question is a biggun: I just got back from the hardware store and found the MDF fits nicely within my price range while the Birch is about 200 euros more. Does it make a sonic difference to use one vs the other? And if so, is it necessarily a negative one?
I'm quite hoping the big difference is just visual aesthetics. I know in the world of saxophones people will fight to the death about how materials effect the sound, if the instrument is made out of brass, copper or silver, or even just silver platted which obviously has a brighter sound than gold plating which is much darker, and a black nickle sax, the darkest sounding of all... I am a big skeptic in terms of saxophone material, I hope my acoustic principals somehow apply here.
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Old 16th March 2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by john_dikeman

I know in the world of saxophones people will fight to the death about how materials effect the sound, if the instrument is made out of brass, copper or silver, or even just silver platted which obviously has a brighter sound than gold plating which is much darker, and a black nickle sax, the darkest sounding of all... I am a big skeptic in terms of saxophone material, I hope my acoustic principals somehow apply here.
Controversy over the subtle acoustical effects of one material over another? No!


Actually, there is a difference in sound between BB and MDF (or almost any two sheet goods materials). How much of a difference, and more importantly, whether or not that difference is worth the price, is a rather subjective thing. You are on your own.
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